WJTN News Headlines

A Chautauqua County Court Judge has thrown out a lone manslaughter charge against the Sherman man accused of accidently shooting and killing his neighbor in a hunting accident last November...  
 
In a four-page ruling issued earlier this week, Judge David Foley said the District Attorney's Office erred when it presented its case in front of a grand jury against 34 year-old Thomas Jadlowski in the death of Rosemary Billquist.  The Post-Journal reports the judge specifically said that District Attorney Patrick Swanson failed to answer a question of a grand juror regarding a lesser charge against the Sherman man.  Jadlowski was indicted by the grand jury on charges of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after dark.  Swanson says he disagreed with Foley's ruling, and now has 30 days to re-submit the case to another grand jury. 
 
 
 
The city man accused of dousing a woman with a flammable liquid and setting her on fire during a domestic incident last December has been indicted for attempted murder by a Chautauqua County grand jury...  
 
The Post-Journal reports that 37 year-old Luis Castro-Mojica will appear at a pre-trial conference next month after being indicted on one count each of second-degree attempted murder, and first-degree assault.  Both are felonies.  The new charge is the result of an ongoing investigation into the December 5 domestic incident at a Thayer Street home were Castro-Mojica set her on fire, seriously burning her.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the 27 year-old woman is still recovering from the ordeal at a Buffalo hospital.
 
 
 
Site plan approval has been given for the new Athenex manufacturing plant proposed in the north county town of Dunkirk...  
 
Officials say the Dunkirk Planning Board Thursday night approved the plan, another step in developing final plans for the Route 5 site for the pharmacutical maker.  Fourth-Ward Dunkirk City Councilman Mike Civiletto was among those attending the meeting held at Jamestown Community College's North County Campus.
 
Civiletto says there was much discussion about concerns people had with the project -- including those of some neighbors to the project.  The Dunkirk Town Board will have the final say when members meet on March 1.  In another development, First Ward Councilman Don Williams says the facility will likely be built using a Project Labor Agreement.  He says details of the PLA are currently being negotiated, which he says will put "a lot of local tradespeople to work."  Company officials have indicated to local officials they hope to break ground on the plant early this spring.
 
 
 
One person was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in the Cattaraugus County Town of Allegany last Tuesday night...  
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the crash occurred just before 10:30 p.m. on Buffalo Road.  Officers say the accused driver, 30 year-old Rolland Neilly of Olean, was later located in the city.  His unidentified passenger was taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the accident.  Neilly was arrested and arraigned on charges of felony unlawful fleeing from a police officer and causing serious injury to a third-party, leaving the scene of a person injury accident, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right and speeding. Deputies say the investigation is still on-going with possible further charges pending. 
 
 
 
A Jamestown resident was arrested Wednesday evening for allegedly blocking traffic from passing in the area of Newland and Forest Avenues... 
 
Officers were called to the scene shortly after 6 p.m. for an intoxicated-disorderly male in the roadway stopping traffic. Officers saw 39 year-old Raymond Brown-Senior standing in the middle of the road preventing traffic from passing. He was taken to city jail and is being held on charges of disorderly conduct and second-degree obstructing governmental administration. 
 
 
 
A federal assistance program that helps low-income families with their heating bill payments is available again for National Fuel customers... 
 
That from Assistant Director of Corporate Communications Emily Ciraolo, who says the second round of The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available to households that need assistance or have exhausted both the regular and first-emegency HEAP benefits. She says there are guidelines for applying, including a "shut off"  notice, your case number, social security number, utility account number and household income and resource amounts (bank account, etc).  Ciraolo says that HEAP benefits are available on a first-come-first-serve basis until funds run out.  The deadline to apply is April 27, 2018.  For more information or to check eligibilty, vist HEAPhelps.com or call 1-877-443-2743. 
 
 
 
Site work is now underway for  two, new health-related businesses that would be located between Sacred Heath Catholic Church and Davidson's Restaurant in Lakewood...  
 
After a delay in demolition work on the former Stroehman Bakery Outlet, and the former Pfeffer Insurance building was turned over to Morgan Management, which began work on the Fairmount Avenue site earlier this year.  The proposal would combine both properties and involve construction of a new 6,700 square foot building that would house a new Aspen Dental, and Five Star Urgent Care. 
 
 
 
Fox News personality and former New York prosecutor Jeanine Pirro has pleaded guilty to driving 95 mph in a 65 mile an hour zone...  
 
Authorities previously said that a state trooper clocked Pirro's Cadillac going 119 mph on Route 17 in Nichols, New York -- near Binghampton -- last November 19th.  The Journal News says Pirro - who negotiated a plea deal with the Tioga County district attorney's office - has been fined $300 plus fees and has to take a defensive driving course.  Pirro said in November that she'd been driving for hours to visit her ailing mother and didn't realize how fast she was going.  Pirro was a Westchester County judge before serving as district attorney from 1994 to 2005.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 22, 2010

Top's Friendly Markets confirmed Wednesday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  However, all of it's stores across the region-- including the one in Jamestown-- will remain open...  
 
Officials with the supermarket chain say they are pursuing a financial restructuring in order to eliminate a major part of the debt it's been carrying and, position it for long-term success.  Tops' Chief Executive Officer Frank Curci says they are "pursuing a voluntary financial restructuring that will help make us a stronger competitor.  All of our stores are open, with no impact on daily operations.  Just as we have for 56 years, Tops Markets is as focused as ever on serving our communities and providing our customers with an exceptional shopping experience." Tops has 169 stores in all across upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and Vermont. 
 
 
 
An investigator for State Police Troop "T" confirms that a 20-year-old woman from Erie, Pennsylvania lost her life in a three-vehicle crash that involved a tanker-truck on the state Thruway eastbound in the town of Portland...  
 
We have learned 20-year-old Dinaszah Green died in the accident, which occured in the eastbound lanes between Exits 61 and 59 just before 7:30 Tuesday night.  Four others were injured, with two being treated at Westfield Memorial and two others receiving treatment at Brooks Memorial Hospital, including the driver of the tanker truck.  The injuries were non-life threatening. according to the investigator.  The crash that occurred near the Mathews Road overpass remains under investigation.  
 
 
 
Jamestown police are warning local residents and businesses of a telephone scam that has re-emerged in the area...  
 
Police say someone called a Jamestown-area business Wednesday morning, claiming to be from the Board of Public Utilities, and telling the business they they owe the BPU a large amount of money. has apparently returned.  Officers were contacted by the business later and reported the call.  The business operator said they were threatened with having their service cut-off and terminated if they didn't pay the amount owed in cash and at a specific location.  Investigators say they determined the BPU had not placed the call.  Board officials say it is not their policy to make such calls and that the business was in good standing.  Police say if you receive such a call, contact them at 483-7537, or the BPU's Help-line.
 
 
 
For the fourth-year in a row, the Northwest Arena in Jamestown will try to be a Kraft Hockeyville USA, by taking part in a national contest...  
 
The arena has been nominated to seek the distinction... which Arena General Manager Craig Hinterleiter says will be won through a couple of rounds of balloting by fans of each arena.  Hinterleiter says the initial round will help cut the field to four finalists for the top prize,  which includes a $150,000 award for upgrades to the facility and an NHL pre-season game. 
 
Hinterleiter says you'll have to register, then select your arena and cast your vote.  He says you can even submit a picture of a memory you have from the arena to go with your written nomination.  This year, Hinterleiter says Kraft has added "rally points" that emphasize both quantity and quality of nominations.  He says the deadline for submissions is early March and the top four will receive the major prizes.  Second prize this year will receive $30,000 for arena upgrades, while third and fourth will get $10,000 each.  For more information on the contest, go online to northwestarena.com  or Krafthockeyville.com. 
 
 
 
Initial site plan approval has been given by the Jamestown Planning Commission to a new addition to the Northwest Arena which will provide more space for offices, and other amenities...  
 
City Department of Development officials confirm the panel approved the plan during Tuesday's meeting after the sale of the property was recently approved by the City Council.  Councilman Tony Dolce says there were no problems with selling the 10x90-foot right of way, and adds the ball is in the commission's court.
 
Once council approved the sale, Dolce says the commission was able to move forward on approving the new site plan.  One concern voiced was over the loss of five parking spaces in the area of Lafayette and West Second Streets.  However, that was addressed by the Center City Development Corporation... which owns the arena.  City planners say the move allows the corporation to seek funding for the project, but add final approvals are still needed.  The Corporation bought the property for $1,000 for offices and a gift shop for the nearby National Comedy Center, a Kids Zone Play-area and a concession stand.
 
 
 
Authorities say a 28-year-old central New York man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a U.S. congressman and his family over net neutrality...  
 
The U.S. District Attorney's Office says Tuesday that Patrick Angelo of Syracuse has pleaded guilty in federal court in Buffalo and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  He'll be sentenced on June 21.  Officials say Angelo called the Washington D.C. office of Republican Congressman John Katko in October and left a voicemail threatening to kill Katko and his family if he didn't support net neutrality. 
 
 
 
The price for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel has remained steady again this week for the Jamestown-area at $2.76... 
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report, which says drivers in some states-- including New York-- are paying some of the highest prices per gallon in the nation.  On the national front, gas prices are down $0.04 to $2.53 a gallon, but, are 25-cents more than a year ago.  Motorists can find gas prices along their route at GasPrices.AAA.com.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 21, 2018

State Police Troop-T officials say the investigation is continuing into a crash involving two vehicles and an oil tanker on the State Thruway in the town of Portland last night...  
 
Several fire departments were sent to the scene of the crash on the Thruway eastbound near Matthews Road around 7:20 p.m.  Officials indicate that the crash has left one person dead with four others being treated for injuries.  The Thruway eastbound was closed for several hours overnight because of the crash from Exit 61 to Exit 59.  State Police expect to release more details later this morning. 
 
 
Several records were broke across western New York yesterday as temperatures soared into the lower 70s in some parts of the region...  
 
That from Meteorologist Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service Office in Buffalo... who says they beat their old record high of 64 in 1955 with a 66-degree reading.  Reynolds adds that there were several 70-degree readings reported across the Jamestown-area.
 
Reynolds says it got to just short of 70 at the County Airport near Jamestown.  Here at our Media One Group stations in West Ellicott, we reached 71 while the sun was out a brief time early Tuesday afternoon.  However, Reynolds says enjoy it because colder air returns when a cold front pushes through the area about mid-morning today.  Reynolds says temperatures will only rise into the upper 30s on Thursday before they rise again on Friday and to near 50 on Saturday. 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he wants to work to solve the problems that have led to mass shootings in schools across the United States...  
 
However, Reed says any talk about gun control is a non-starter in Congress.  At the same time, Reed says he is committed to taking action that deals with the perpetrators of such heinous acts.   The Corning Republican says those with serious mental health issues need to be identified and prevented access to guns.
 
Reed says he doesn't support-- nor does the majority in Congress-- the notion of bringing back the assault weapons ban of the mid and late 1990s.  He also indicted some support for tightening up background checks on people because the accused Florida shooter: 19 year-old Nickolas Cruz, was able to purchase an AR-15 in spite of his troubled past.  Reed says he also supports the students who have been protesting across the nation and Florida in particular, who are voicing the need for lawmakers to act on the issue.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call Tuesday with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Are lawmakers who accept campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association serious about solving the nation's problem with mass shootings?  
 
That question was put to the county's Congressman during his weekly conference call.  An investigative report by Channel 7 in Buffalo shows that Tom Reed has received nearly $11,000 from the NRA during his time in Congress.  He says he's always supported the Second-Amendment, and that's why the NRA donates to his campaign.  
 
Reed did not indicate whether he has ever... or would return the donations.  However, Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins (who represented Chautauqua County at one time) has turned over about $5,000 he received from the NRA to organizations dedicated to stopping gun violence.  Clarence-area Congressman Chris Collins has received $4,000 from the NRA during his time in office.
 
 
The U.S. government has acquired the two final land parcels needed for a New York veterans' cemetery that will eventually ease a burden for thousands of military families...  
 
Democratic U-S Senator Charles Schumer is now urging the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to quickly begin work on the Western New York National Veterans Cemetery.  The cemetery in Pembroke will serve the Buffalo and Rochester areas.  Schumer says many families now have to travel about 100 miles to the closest veterans' cemetery, in Bath, New York.
 
 
An Erie, Pennsylvania man was arrested last weekend after a large quantity of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms were allegedly found during a traffic stop...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 21 year-old Matthew Ebach for speeding on I-86 near the city.  While speaking to Ebach, Troopers say they saw marijuana in plain-view.  A search of the vehicle uncovered 24 grams of marijuana, two bongs containing marijuana residue and just under three grams of psilocybin mushrooms.  Ebach was arrested for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.  He was issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.
 
 
A couple of the newest members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame have made a name for themselves in the sport of softball, mainly in college and the coaching ranks away from the area...  
 
However, they say the coaching they received in high school, and the calibur of play... helped their development.  Those are the feelings of Southwestern High School Graduate Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas, who was co-captain of her softball team at Clarion State University in Pennsylvania.
 
That career took Gulas to the coaching ranks at Allegany College in Meadville, Pennsylvania and Wittenburg and Ashland in Ohio.  She retired just this past year from Ashland after 18 years at the helm.  She was joined by Falconer's Lori Franchina, who also made her mark in women's sports in college after a stellar high school career.  Franchina was just inducted into the New England U-S Senior Softball Hall of Fame.  Others honored during the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame dinner in Lakewood was retired Southwestern high school football and track coach, Fran Sirianni.
 
 
There were several other awards given out during Monday night's Hall of Fame induction dinner... including several legacy and "all-star" awards that recognized athletic accomplishments, and support of sports...  
 
One was the James Sharp Legacy Award, which was given to our own Dennis Webster.  Dennis was recognized for his support of the Hall of Fame and interviews with several members and inductees over the years.  Congratulations Dennis!!

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 20, 2018

The eight latest additions to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame were officially inducted in front of a sell-out crowd during last night's induction dinner in Lakewood...  
 
During the annual event at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, the past met the present.  Former Maple Grove head football and basketball coach Curt Fischer was among the inductees and called it an "overwhelming" experience.
 
Fischer coached the Red Dragons football team to two state championships and almost a third this past season.  He also led the boy's basketball team to two state titles.  Dunkirk's Clem Worosz was an all-around sports stand-out at St. Mary's and Cardinal Minszenty High Schools in the 1950s, went on to play college basketball at Niagara, where he played with legendary NBA Coach Larry Costello, and, Hubie Brown.  Other inductees included two softball stand-outs: Southwestern graduate Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas and Falconer graduate Lori Franchina.  Long-time Post-Journal Sports Editor Jim Riggs, III was also honored postumously during the dinner.
 
 
A major warm up is underway, with a southwesterly flow of warm air moving into the western New York region...  
 
Highs got to near 50 late Monday and, the mercury could hit 70 in some places away from the lakes today.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, who says we'll see warmer and wetter conditions.
 
Reynolds says-- in fact-- we may see a new record high temperature recorded today.  However, he says that's up in the air because temperatures will be in the upper sixties near Lake Erie.  The record for today is 64 degrees.  Looking ahead, Reynolds says we'll cool down a bit for the second-half of the week.  However, he says it's going to be fairly warm for a while after a dip in the temperature on Wednesday and Thursday.  He adds temperatures will climb again by the weekend and, there's no real cold air predicted in the region through the end of the month.  Reynolds says the rain should not produce any major problems locally because the snow-pack is pretty much gone.
 
 
The presence of an ice castle helped draw huge crowds to Mayville for last weekend's annual President's Day Weekend Winter Festival...  
 
However, the castle almost didn't happen.  Early last Friday morning, Scott Dearing-- a long time volunteer on the building crew-- saw what the rain and warm temperatures had done.
 
Local Restaurant Owner Nick Andriaccio returned as 'crew chief' for this year's castle construction and says they had to work fast through the day Friday to keep the castle solid using a method called "slushing."  A group of students from the BOCES Conservation Club was responsible for 'slushing' the construction this year, helping to keep the ice blocks together.  Andriaccio says they used a snowblower to pack snow against the bottom part of the ice castle.  The technique was successful, and may be used in again in future years when warm conditions threaten the castle.  
 
 
A firefighter with the city of Jamestown is jailed without bail for allegedly brandishing a hand-gun during a domestic violence incident on the city's eastside last weekend...  
 
Jamestown police were called to the scene at 23 Alfred Street about 10 p.m. last Saturday for an incident involving a gun.  Officers say they spoke with the victim at a neighbor's house after she ran there for help.  Police learned the woman's boyfriend, 35 year-old Ryan DiDomenico, had gotten into a fight with her and at one point, held her down on the floor against her will.  DiDomenico is also accused of pulling a hand-gun during that time.  The victim tells police she tried to call 911, but he grabbed the phone away.  DiDomenico was arraigned on charges including second-degree menacing, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and reckless endangerment and sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
A city man is accused of resisting arrest and attempting to flee during a traffic stop early Monday morning on Jamestown's northside...  
 
City police say they stopped a vehicle near Lakeview Avenue and Bassett Street shortly before 1:30 a.m. for a traffic violation. Further investigation found that a passenger, 31 year-old Jermaine Gordon had a confirmed parole violation warrant.  When officers went to arrest Gordon, he began to actively resist officers and tried to run off.  But, after a short skirmish, officers were able to place Gordon in custody and take him to city jail without further incident.  He was also found to be in possession of a large quantity of marijuana and a digital scale.  Gordon faces several charges, including resisting arrest, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and second-degree obstruction.  He's jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
While Part-One crimes are down significantly in the city of Jamestown from 2016 to 2017, they don't tell the entire story...  
 
That from City Police Chief Harry Snellings, who recently provided more information on crimes in the city so City Council members will have the "full picture" of crime fighting.  Snellings says part of the problem in the city is repeat offenders, noting that a dozen people were responsible for a large number of criminal offenses.
 
Snellings also provided major crime statistics for nine parts of the city, and says they included serious crimes -- such as shootings.  He says these were based on the city's Gun-Involved Violence Enforcement (GIVE) Program.  He says there were eight shootings for 2017.  He says the city has two officers for every one-thousand residents and, says that's about where it should be, according to FBI crime reports.  For communities of Jamestown's size, he says they should have 1.7 officers for every one-thousand residents.  Snellings adds they have 14 officers during each platoon.
 
 
Local town officials from all across New York state are in Manhattan for meetings that will feature discussions with some of the state's top elected officials...  
 
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were among the featured speakers during Monday morning's general session of the Association of Towns 2018 annual meeting.  Today, fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer, the U.S. Senate minority leader, will address the gathering. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 19, 2018

 
A Jamestown man remains jailed on $80,000 bail after a traffic stop in the town of North Harmony led to multiple drug charges against him...  
 
Sheriff's deputies say they pulled over a car operated by 18 year-old Camille Lopez of Jamestown, for an alleged traffic violation on Route 394 shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday.  Officers say they also identified Lopez's passenger as 28 year-old Jonathan Vega-Rivera, who was wanted on multiple Felony and misdemeanor arrest warrants.  Deputies arrested him on the outstanding charges and they brought in K-9 Officer "Link" for an exterior sniff of the vehicle.  He alerted officers to narcotics being inside the vehicle.  During the search, officers found drug paraphernalia, multiple prescription pills, and a quantity of methamphetamine.  Vega-Rivera was arraigned on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and, sent to the county lock-up.  Lopez was given appearance tickets for unlicensed operation, and inadequate head lights.
 
 
 
An elderly woman died in a house fire in Dunkirk this past Friday afternoon...  
 
Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews responded to 35 Crooked Brook Drive at about 2:30.  On arrival, Edwards says firefighters were alerted by a resident that there was a person with burns inside the house.  He says they found an elderly woman deceased and a small amount of fire in a living space.  The fire was quickly put out.  Dunkirk Police, Chautauqua County Fire investigators, and the Chautauqua County Coroner were also called to the scene.  The fire and fatality are under investigation.  The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family.
 
 
 
It was one of the most successful -- if not most successful -- President's Day Weekend Winter Festivals ever at Lakeside Park in Mayville...  
 
Those are the feelings of Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Debbie Marsella, who says having an ice castle this year played a major role in that success.  However, Marsella says it wasn't easy; she gave full credit to their work crew for keeping it up through the weekend.
 
Marsella says it was "very scary" when they got to Friday because of the warmer weather, and it's potential impact on the castle.  However, she says the work crew was determined to do what it took to keep the structure up and in place.  She adds it helped their other activities, including what may have been a record number of people taking part in the annual "Polar Plunge" on Saturday.  She adds they had a great sign-up for their Chili Cook-off.  Marsella says the more "moderate" weekend weather conditions likely helped with attendance and, they were busy right up to closing time at 4 p.m. Sunday. 
 
 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly holding another person against their will during a domestic incident on the city's eastside early last weekend...  
 
Jamestown police were called to the scene on Barrows Street about 1:30 a.m. Saturday for a domestic dispute in progress.  Officers say their investigation showed that 20 year-old Duane Crawford-the-third prevented the unidentified victim from leaving several times.  Police took Crawford into custody, and he was booked on one count of second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  He was held pending arraignment.
 
 
 
While the numbers on what the federal government have come in on the low-side, President Trump's proposal to rebuild the nation's infrastructure is still a "huge opportunity"...  
 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed, who reacted to the public-private plan crafted by the administration.  While a plan identifying one-trillion dollars in projects was outlined by the "Problem Solvers Caucus" he co-chairs. Reed says it could still end up being larger.
 
Reed says being a former mayor, he agrees that there are a lot of "traditional" infrastructure needs including roads, bridges, and water and wastewater treatment.  At the same time... he says any plan must also take "non-traditional" infrastruture needs into account, including broadband -- especially in rural areas.  He says there also has to be a hard-look at upgrades to the nation's power-grid.  Several New York lawmakers... including fellow Republican Chris Collins, were critical of the president's plan because the federal government would only provide $200-billion of the cost.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
A New York City Council member has announced he will challenge Kathy Hochul in this year's Democratic primary for lieutenant governor...  
 
Jumaane Williams announced his candidacy for the position on Friday outside New York City Hall.   The 41-year-old from Brooklyn says his record as a progressive leader on the City Council shows that if elected, he would be he "people's lieutenant governor."  Hochul was elected four years ago as the running mate of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.  No Republicans have so far stepped forward to announce their candidacy for lieutenant governor, an often overlooked position that is second in line to the governor.
 
 
 
State officials are hosting a free fishing weekend and an ice fishing clinic...  
 
The Department of Environmental Conservation has designated Saturday and Sunday as one of a series of free fishing weekends, with license fees waived.  On Wednesday, DEC and the state parks and recreation office are hosting a free ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Glimmerglass State Park on Otsego Lake.  Anglers can expect to catch yellow perch and chain pickerel. Bait and tackle will be provided for beginners.  Free sport fishing days have been around since 1991. 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Feb. 17, 2018

One person found dead in Dunkirk fire...
A fatal fire has been reported in the city of Dunkirk... but, few details have been released.  Dunkirk Fire and Police responded to a report of a structure fire on Crooked Brook Drive about 2:30 p.m. Friday.  We have learned that the fire was out when crews reached the scene at 35 Crooked Brook Drive.  An elderly woman was reportedly found dead at the scene and a county coroner was sent to the scene.  The incident remains under investigation.  More when details are released.    
 
 
Three local school buildings go into lock-down, or "shelter down" after receiving threats...
Three local school students have been arrested for allegedly making threats against two schools in Chautauqua County... and, another in Cattaraugus County.  The incidents... which were reported Friday morning to State Police... took place at Chautauqua Lake Central School, the Ashville BOCES, and Randolph Academy.  Troopers were first called ot Chautauqua Lake just after 9 a.m. for a threat of violence reported to school staff.  Police say the school initiated a lockout while they investigated.  The investigation also reportedly revealed there was a possible threat at the Ashville BOCES.  The BOCES went into a "Shelter Down" protocol for a short time.  A 17-year-old student at Chautauqua Lake and a 15-year-old student from Ashville BOCES were taken into custody under the state’s mental hygiene law... and, taken to local hospitals for evaluation, and this investigation is continuing.
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A short-time later... troopers and investigators responded to the Randolph Academy for a threat there.  The school went into a lock-down situation while police investigated.  Troopers soon located a 16-year-old student believed to be involved in the incident.  He was taken to State Police headquarters in Machias for questioning.  He was later taken into custody under the state's mental hygiene law... and, was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.  That lock-down was lifted a short time later.
 
 
Young calls local school threats "alarming and dispicable..."
State Senator Cathy Young says the three "copy-cat" student threats made at the schools are both "alarming and despicable."  Young is commenting on the threats made in the wake of this past Wednesday's mass shooting at Parkland, Florida in which 17 innocent people... 15 of them students... were killed in cold blood by a former classmate.  Young says Friday's threats were made against the Chautauqua Lake, Ashville BOCES and Randolph Academy schools.  She says "while we don't yet know if their motivations were malicious or attention-getting, any type of threat understandably strikes terror in the hearts of other students, their parents and school staff."  She says these actions will not be tolerated and the consequences for threats of any nature will be rightfully harsh. 
 
 
Young in Sherman to present Bus driver with Liberty Medal...
Sherman School bus driver David Tenpas... who saved his students from a burning bus... has received the New York State Senate's Liberty Medal.  State Senator Cathy Young presented the award to David Tenpas at an assembly at Sherman yesterday morning... saying that it's the highest award that is presented by the Senate.  Tenpas hustled a dozen students off his bus on January 4, just moments before it burst into flames.  He was humble in his acceptance... and, thanked those on the bus for cooperating and moving when the problem was discovered.  
 
 
Tranum has concerns about proposed Payroll Tax in Governor's budget proposal...
The top official with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says they have concerns about Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal for a voluntary payroll tax.  The Governor has included details of the proposal in his 30-day budget amendments that were released this week.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum tells us there are two concerns about the proposal that attempts to blunt the effects of federal tax reform on employees... and, create another administrative burden on employers in NYS.  Tranum says businesses would have to -- it appears -- pay the tax in "some form" before getting the deduction.  There are some good things included in the budget proposal... according to Tranum... that should help the business community -- including more help for workforce training.  
 
 
JRC welcomes New Public Market Manager...
A Frewsburg native has been hired as the new Jamestown Public Market Manager for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  JRC Executive Director Lisa Hatch says Linnea Carlson has a background with the Chautauqua County Health Network... most recently coordinating it's Creating Healthy Communities program to promote healthy retail and worksite development.  Carlson says most of her work was done in the north county... with the Salvation Army in Dunkirk, and later with the Fredonia Farmer's Market.  Carlson says she's "very excited" to be heading up this year's market... which will run from June 9th through the month of October.  She says she's most excited about the market receiving a $200,000 U-S Department of Agriculture grant to help grow and promote the Public Market.  For more information, call Linnea Carlson at 489-3497. 
 
 

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News Update for Fri., Feb. 16, 2018

Three students arrested for alleged copy-cat threats made at Chautauqua Lake, Randolph Academy, and Ashville BOCES schools...
Three local school students have been arrested for allegedly making threats against two schools in Chautauqua County... and, another in Cattaraugus County.  The incidents... which were reported this morning to State Police... took place at Chautauqua Lake Central School, the Ashville BOCES, and Randolph Academy.  They are believed to be "copy-cats" of Wednesday's mass school shooting that killed 17 people in Florida.  Troopers were first called ot Chautauqua Lake just after 9 AM for a threat of violence reported to school staff.  Police say the school initiated a lockout while State Police investigated.  The investigation also reportedly revealed that a possible threat of violence could exist at Ashville BOCES.  The Ashville BOCES went into a "Shelter Down" protycol for a short time.  A 17-year-old student at Chautauqua Lake and a 15-year-old student from Ashville BOCES were taken into custody under the state’s mental hygiene law... and, taken to local hospitals for evaluation, and this investigation is continuing.
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A short-time later... troopers and investigators responded to the Randolph Academy for a threat of violence reported to school staff.  The school went into a lock-down situation while police investigated.  Troopers soon located a 16-year-old student believed to be involved in the incident.  He was taken to State Police headquarters in Machias for questioning.  He was later taken into custody under the state's mental hygiene law... and, was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.  That lock-down was lifted a short time later.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 16, 2018

A 19 year-old Florida man is jailed without bail for allegedly shooting and killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland Florida Wednesday afternoon...  
 
President Trump addressed the nation Thursday morning about the school shooting, the 18th reported this year.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace calls it another senseless act and, "we're all searching for answers."  Gerace says he believes school resource officers can make a difference. Gerace adds, though, that local school districts are struggling with the costs involved.  He says the federal government should step in to help out, like they did when the SRO programs first began.  Gerace says the federal government is where it should all begin.  He says there are a number of local schools that have SROs, but adds they don't have to money to have the number they would like.
 
 
 
It was an "all hands on deck kind of day" in the Jamestown School District Thursday...  
 
That from Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who says the atmosphere in city schools following Wednesday's mass shooting at a Florida high school was solemn.  Apthorpe says these kind of events "hit all of us..." and it's "unbelievable that they're still happening."  He says he spoke with school principals and safety officials Wednesday night to mentally re-enact safety plans to see if there was anything they may need to re-visit.  He tells our Noel Blackhall that the U.S. needs to get serious about mental health issues.
 
Apthorpe hopes that if something positve comes from this, it's the "awakening of a nation" of a mental health crisis in our youth.  In Jamestown, schools have secure entrances and visitors need to be physically "buzzed in" before entering.  Apthorpe says that the district also employs three full-time city police officers as School Resource Officers and also employs full-time, on-duty officers that walk through schools connecting with kids. 
 
 
 
New York state's comptroller says the budget proposal submitted by Governor Andrew Cuomo gives him "significant flexibility" to adjust spending after the plan is approved by the Legislature...  
 
Thomas DiNapoli's analysis of the fellow Democrat's $168-billion budget proposal would weaken the checks and balances over the how taxpayer dollars are spent.  DiNapoli's report released Wednesday calls 2018 a "high-pressure year" for the state budget because of the federal tax overhaul and other changes Washington is making that will impact New York's bottom line.  The comptroller says aspects of Cuomo's spending plan raise concerns about transparency and oversight.  Cuomo will negotiate with the leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled Assembly to come up with a final state budget, which is due by April 1.
 
 
 
There will still be an ice castle at this year's annual President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville, despite a social media posting Thursday morning that the castle had been torn-down...  
 
It was apparently a mistaken inference made after someone saw the castle with snow piled up against it.  We talked with Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce President Sally Andriaccio, who says crews had put insulated blankets on the castle to preserve it and later, also put snow over the blankets in spots to provide more insulation.  The ice castle lighting in Mayville is still set for 6 p.m. tonight; the festival runs through Sunday afternoon.
 
 
 
A fire that broke out in the basement of Falconer High School early Thursday morning has been ruled "accidental" by Chautauqua County fire investigators.
 
At 1:30 a.m., Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the Falconer Fire Department -- along with five others -- responded to an alarm at the high school.  The Sheriff's Office says on arrival, responding fire companies found heavy smoke inside the school.  A short time later, investigators say the blaze was found in the custodian work shop area in the basement.  Sheriff's officers say the flames were quickly extinguished and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called.  The fire was contained to a plastic garbage can inside this custodian work shop area.  Following investigation, the blaze was determined to be accidental due to a spontaneous combustion of mineral oil saturated cotton rags confined in a plastic garbage can.  There was no fire damage seen to the building. Calls into School Superintendent Steve Penhollow to update the situation were unsuccessful Thursday.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly bilking Chautauqua County Public Assistance out of just over $3,200 in SNAP -- Food Stamp benefits...  
 
Sheriff's officers say an investigation showed that 61 year-old Patricia Gray of West 11th Street failed to notify the county's Department of Health and Human Services of income within her household.  Deputies say Gray was arrested for third-degree Welfare Fraud, Grand Larceny and first-degree using a false instrument for filing.  Gray was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.  To report cases of suspected Welfare Fraud, call the fraud hotline at 1-800-388-5365.
 
 
 
Two Jamestown women were arrested for allegedly shoplifting with children in their care at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood last Tuesday night...  
 
On arrival, Lakewood-Busti Police located 45 year-old Tonya Diblasi and 44 year-old Dawn O'Shell.  Diblasi was allegedly found in possession of several controlled substances and to be stealing with a young child in her care.  O'Shell was found in possession of marijuana and was also with a young child.  Both suspects were charged with petty larceny, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Diblasi was additionally charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of controlled substance outside user's original container.  They are scheduled to appear in Busti Town Court at a later date. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 15, 2018

A fire that broke out in the basement of Falconer High School earlier this morning has been deemed "accidental" following an on-scene investigation... 
 
At 1:30 a.m. the Falconer Fire Department along with other area fire departments responded to a fire alarm at the high school. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says on arrival,  responding fire companies dealt with a heavy smoke issue inside the school. A short time later, the fire was found in the custodian work shop area in the basement. Sheriff's Officers say the fire was quickly extinguished and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called. The fire was investigated and found to be a contained to a plastic garbage can inside this custodian work shop area. Following investigation, the fire was determined to be accidental due to a spontaneous combustion of mineral oil saturated cotton rags confined in a plastic garbage can. No fire damage to the building was observed.
 
 
 
It's already that time of year again, when those pesky potholes pop up on area roads and highways, causing problems for drivers and highway crews alike...  
 
While we have seen some extreme weather conditions this winter, Chautauqua County Public Facilities Director George Spanos says it doesn't appear to be any worse than usual. What makes potholes pop up?  Spanos says you can blame it on the freeze-thaw cycle.  He says it stresses pavement by expanding and contracting and, it causes the asphalt to break-up.  Spanos says county highway crews are responding to reports of the pesky potholes, but they can only make temporary repairs until the asphalt plants open in April.  He encourages the public to report any major potholes on county roads to the Chautauqua County DPF dispatcher at 716-661-8401.
 
 
 
The 31st annual President's Day Winter Festival in Mayville will again be held at Lakeside Park and, include a number of activities through late Sunday afternoon...
 
That from Mayville/Chautauqua Chamber President Sally Andriaccio, who says the festival kicks into high gear late Saturday morning and includes several "family-oriented" activites.  Andriaccio says the annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-off will run starting at 2 p.m. Saturday and the annual fireworks display will be held in the park at 8 p.m. Saturday.  For more information on the President's Day Winter Festival, call the chamber at 753-3113 or go online to dmarsala@chautauquachamber.org
 
 
 
The Ice Castle for this year's President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville is nearly finished and crews are taking steps to preserve it for the weekend in light of a forecast of warmer temperatures...
 
That from Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce President Sally Andriaccio, who says construction of the Ice Castle is about 90% complete.  Andriaccio said Wednesday that, given how solid the ice blocks are, it should be okay through Sunday.
 
Andriaccio says the insulated blankets they're using on the castle helps in two ways-- it holds in the cold and keeps out the rain, which tends to be the ice castle's biggest enemy.  She says the crew has also been "slushing" the castle, which helps strengthen the bond between the huge blocks of ice.  Overall, she says the ice castle is pretty good sized compared to the last one they had.  Andriaccio says nearly 1,000 blocks of ice will be used to make the ice castle, which features an "Ice Seat" for picture takers.  This year's castle will be officially lighted at 6 p.m. this Friday to start the festival.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's "gravely concerned" about the federal government borrowing nearly one-trillion dollars to support additional non-military spending in the budget agreement reached late last week...  
 
Corning Republican Tom Reed says the agreement reached in the U.S. Senate allowed spending caps to be taken off a number of areas, including defense spending.  It also added another $300-billion in non-defense spending.
 
Reed says he traces the problem back to last year's Presidential budget... which did include an increase in military spending.  However, he adds that the House and Senate both approved an additional $61-billion for the military, which he says set the stage for this year's increases.  He says it's easy to broker a deal when "you're spending other peoples money."  Reed says the changes just "didn't add up in a responsible way..." and that's why he voted against the final bill.  He made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
The budget proposed by President Donald Trump on Monday would slash funding for food assistance for low-income Americans... 
 
Under the Trump budget proposal, the USDA would substitute packages of "shelf-stable" food, such as pasta, cereal and canned goods, for about half of the value of the SNAP benefits.  Hunger Free America's Joel Berg says that -- combined with other program changes -- would reduce the overall SNAP budget by $213-billion over ten years, 20-billion more than Trump proposed cutting it last year.
 
The administration says supplying packages of government-selected food would reduce costs through bulk purchasing.  However, the recent bipartisan budget agreement makes passage of the cuts to SNAP unlikely.  Still, Berg is concerned that the proposal could serve as an opening for Congress to reduce funding for the food program by a smaller amount, which he says is bad because they have already been cut twice.  He points out that 41-million Americans-- including two-million New Yorkers--struggle against hunger every day.  Berg says in two weeks Hunger Free America will travel to Washington with low-income people and other hunger advocacy groups to ask Congress to spare SNAP from any further budget cuts.
 
 
 
Several "legacy society" awards will be handed out during next Monday night's Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner in Lakewood and a member of the Media One Group family is one of them...  
 
Officials say they'll be honored outstanding contributors to the local sports scene during the annual event.  One of them, the James A. Sharp Legacy Award, will be given to our own Dennis Webster.  The Ted Olson and Bill Present Legacy Wards for outstanding Jamestown High School student/athletes will be given to Andrew Pumford, and Allie Stockwell.  Next Monday night's inductees include Fran Sirianni, Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas, and Phil Young.  The dinner begins with a hospitality hour at 5 p.m. at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
 
 
 
The ribbon was cut late yesterday morning at the new on-site Health and Wellness Center in the Jones Memorial Health Center in Jamestown...  
 
The "MyHealth @ Work Center" is available to UPMC Chautauqua WCA employees that are in need of medical services -- at no cost.  UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital Medical Director of Occupational Services, Dr. Todd Jacobson, says those services include treatment for minor illnesses and health coaching referrals. 
 
Jacobson adds that an employee can stop in during their break or even after work hours for an appointment.  He says the goal of the MyHealth @ Work Center is to administer services to employees without them having to miss work, or go to the emergency room.  Jacobson says they want to keep their people healthy as possible all year-long.  Jacobson says the clinic is available to all UPMC employees in the system.  Additionally, there are MyHealth centers located in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania for employees as well. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 14, 2018

It appears President Trump's $1.5-billion infrastructure program will primarily be paid for by the states and localities and that's causing some concern among members of Congress...  
 
One of them is Junior New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who says the federal government would only pay $200-billion of the $1.5-trillion plan.  Gillibrand says, the way it's set up, only certain communities and states would be able to take part.
  
Trump has said his proposal is a "common sense," bipartisan plan that every member of Congress should support.  But, Gillibrand says it's not helpful when you're expecting local governments to pick-up 80-percent of the costs.  A key Republican, Congressman Chris Collins from the Buffalo area told the Buffalo News that he had concerns about whether the $200-billion in federal spending could possibly spur an additional $1.3-trillion in infrastructure investment nation-wide.  He indicated that it is a first step in the process.
 
 
 
President Donald Trump again is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support for cleanups of some iconic U.S. waterways...  
 
His proposed budget would slash Environmental Protection Agency funding for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay restoration programs by 90-percent.  It would kill all EPA spending on programs supporting other waters including San Francisco Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Puget Sound.  The administration made a similar attempt last year, but Congress refused to go along.
 
 
 
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, and the family of a fallen deputy are getting a lot of support from police and fire agencies from across the region...  
 
Veteran Sheriff's officer Michael Seeley passed away last weekend at the Cleveland Clinic after a bout with Leukemia.  Undersheriff Charles Holder, who is helping to organize a processional following Seeley's funeral, says the department has received a number calls from across the county and from other parts of the state.
 
In addition to the Sheriff's office and State Police, several local police agencies took part in Monday's escort on Interstate 86 from near Findley Lake to Jamestown where the 44 year-old Seeley's funeral will take place Friday.  A number of fire departments also took part in the procession, including the Bemus Point Fire Department where Seeley had been a member.  Visitation for Seeley will take place this Thursday from 1-4 and 6-9 p.m. in the Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown.  The funeral will follow on Friday at 11 a.m.  in the First Lutheran Church.
 
 
 
The property for the new Athenex pharmacutical manufacturing plant in northern Chautauqua County is now being cleared and work will begin in earnest once the weather breaks this Spring...  
 
That from County Executive George Borrello, who says the bidding process is underway for the project on Route 5 in the town of Dunkirk.  Borrello says he expects work to begin on the 300,000 square-foot facility later this year, with completion expected in mid-2020.
 
Borrello says he has been staying in touch with company officials on the project's progress.  The Dunkirk Observer is reporting that a pre-bid meeting was held last week at Jamestown Community College's North County Center Training Facility and, that bids will be received now through February 20.
 
 
 
A large group of parents, grandparents and students filled the auditorium at Bush Elementary School for a special performance during the Jamestown School Board meeting Tuesday night... 
 
Kathy Brunco's music students sang three songs framed around what makes "Bush School a happy place to be" . Included in the performance-- a rendition of "Happiness" by Charlie Brown.
 
Students also used sign language while they sang "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. Additionally, the board approved a gift resolution. Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says a Wurlitzer Upright piano was donated to the district's music department on behalf of Carol Montgomery Drake. 
 
 
 
A Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania man was arrested following a traffic stop on Interstate-86 for allegedly possessing a controlled substance on Friday...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 27 year-old Chad Carlson for a traffic violation.  During the stop, Carlson was found to be in possession of a Vicondin pill for which he did not have a prescription for.  He was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Carlson is scheduled to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date. 
 
 
 
A Kennedy man is accused of drunk-driving on a revoked license and possessing a controlled substance in Jamestown Monday evening... 
 
Shortly before midnight, city police for performed a traffic stop in area of Buffalo Street and Blackstone Avenue on a vehicle for switched plates and failure to maintain a lane. Officers say the vehicle was not registered nor insured. During the investigation, the driver, 36 year-old Adam Paxton was determined to be operating the vehicle in an intoxicated condition on a revoked license for a previous DWI conviction and without proper interlock device. Officers also located a quantity of cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. He was taken to city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
 
A strong fourth-quarter for sales tax in Jamestown allowed the city to exceed it's quarterly projections for last year, as well as exceed it's total year's projections by nearly 2-percent...  
 
That from City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce, who says Jamestown received just over $1.5-million for the final quarter of 2017, which was just over 6-percent more than what they got in the fourth-quarter of 2016.  He says for the year, they were up nearly 2-percent.  Dolce adds the total sales tax for last year was also nearly 4-percent more than was taken in for 2016, in which the city brought in about $5.87-million.  The city also budgeted $6-million in sales tax revenues for the current year.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 13, 2018

 
Two city officials have determined that the Jamestown Local Development Corporation is a separate, not-for-profit organization that can set and approve it's own by-laws...  
 
A one-week review of the situation by City Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman, and City Clerk Todd Thomas was in response to questions about whether the by-law changes approved late last year were done legally and properly.  Thomas says, while the City Council approves the JLDC's Certificate of Incorporation, the corporation itself votes on by by-laws.
 
The JLDC was established by the city in 1981, but had existed under those by-laws for 35-plus years.  The question was raised by new Councilman Andrew Liuzzo who questioned why the mayor was given the power to act on appointments by three local organizations if their representative no longer lived in the city.  Liuzzo was also concerned about changes in the JLDC by-laws which allows for funds to be used for infrustructure upgrades.  An informal proposal has been introduced to use the JLDC to purchase the Board of Public Utilities' wastewater treatment plant to raise about $16-million to do extensive upgrades of city infrastructure.  
 
 
 
One student has been expelled, and two others have been removed from Jamestown Community College's residence life program following last month's alleged sexual assault at a residence hall on the city campus...  
 
JCC Vice-President of Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, Kirk Young, says the college made the moves after JCC officials and Jamestown police determined the victim was not a JCC student, nor a resident of the residence halls.  Young says they learned that a breach of residence hall security occured the night of January 29 when the incident occured.  He added Monsday that -- "as of this afternoon, JPD has advised JCC officials that it is now at a point in its criminal investigation that JCC can resume its investigation into this incident."  JCC officials say they believe the situation was an isolated incident and that the campus community and residents are not at risk.
 
 
 
More details have been released about how New York state would change it's tax code in response to federal tax reform...  
 
State Budget Director Robert Mujica announced the plans Monday as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's 30-day budget amendments.  Mujica says the proposed Employer Compensation Expense Tax that would be optional for employers, but would provide a chance to get a bigger tax deduction.
 
The budget director also announced plans to expand charitable contribution options, creating health care and education funds so people who itemize can claim those contributions on their federal tax return.  Changing the tax code was one of three-steps Cuomo had outlined in fighting the effects of federal tax reform on state taxpayers.  New York is one of several states that filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the tax plan.  
 
 
 
New York state's legislative budget hearings are routinely marathon affairs - up to 13 hours...  
 
That gives New York some of the most drawn-out budget discussions in the nation.  Some advocates are asking whether there's a better way.  Despite similar grumbling over the years in several states, and moves to include remote testimony via computers and video, there is little evidence any have succeeded in solving the problem.  At least one good-government group, Common Cause New York, suggests allowing more meetings, with each of them more focused with more public comment.  New York state law requires public hearings on the governor's budget proposal. 
 
 
 
There is a new Deputy Democratic Elections Commissioner in Chautauqua County who is also the county's first-ever Latino election's manager...  
 
Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says Luz Torres is a Dunkirk resident who has been the Board of Elections Spanish Language Interpreter and has directed poll site operations in Jamestown and other parts of the south county.
 
Green says Torres replaces Doris Parment, who was forced to leave the board due to illness.  He says Torres is also bi-lingual, which he says is important to have.  Green says it's required both by the state and federal governments now to provide all ballots and information in both English and Spanish because more than five-percent of the population is Hispanic.  Green says Torres has worked for Chautauqua County since 2011.
 
 
 
As mentioned, Luz Torres replaces Doris Parment, who had been number-two Democrat Elections Commissioner for more than 10 years...  
 
Norm Green says Parment's had a recent illness, and was forced to retire from her job... and, is now trying to figure out how to pay her ever-mounting health care costs.  Green says a fund has now been established in Mayville for her. Green says Doris Parment has been "our neighbor, our friend and has lived in our community for the past 55 years."
 
 
 
Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says the four-year graduation rate in Jamestown has increased from 81 to 89 percent for students that aren't "economically disadvantaged."  However, he says there's been a six-percent decrease in rates for disavantaged students...  
 
Statistically, Apthorpe says 3-out-of-4 Jamestown students live in poverty. Athorpe says in order to improve graduation rates for those at a lower advantage, more needs to be done. He says a meeting to discuss options will be held in March, with local community and business leaders.  Apthorpe adds that he and the Board of Education are "very committed" to turning these results around in the 2018-19 school year. 
 
 
 
A Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania man was arrested following a traffic stop on Interstate-86 for allegedly possessing a controlled substance on Friday...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 27 year-old Chad Carlson for a traffic violation.  During the stop, Carlson was found to be in possession of a Vicondin pill for which he did not have a prescription for.  He was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Carlson is scheduled to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 12, 2018

An Ashville woman is accused of drunk driving after she was involved in a one-car crash on Route 380 in the town of Stockton late last Saturday night...  

 
Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene just after 11:30 p.m. and identified the driver as 21 year-old Taren Grover.  Following a short investigation, deputies say they found Grover was operating her vehicle in an intoxicated state.  Officers say Grover was taken into custody, and later released on appearance tickets for DWI, Aggravated DWI and, moving from lane Unsafely.  She will appear in the Town of Stockton Court at a later date.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he is "extremely disappointed" with last week's verdict in the Justin Haffa trial...  
 
The 22-year-old man from Cheektowaga was found not guilty in an indictment on three counts, including attempted murder, in connection with an incident in which he allegedly attacked a sheriff's deputy in the Town of Pomfret in September 2016.  Gerace says although there is no such thing as a "perfect case," he feels that because of television, juries often expect to have a perfect case presented. Haffa was found guilty on a lesser count of third-degree robbery.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson told us that he felt a lack of evidence led to the not guilty verdict.
 
 
 
The first meeting of an arbitration panel set for later this morning to begin work on breaking the current impasse between the city of Jamestown and it's policemen's union has been called off...  
 
In an e-mail yesterday, Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley said the arbitration hearing has been called off "indefinintely."  No reason was given.  Mayor Sam Teresi told the city council it's past two meetings that representation had been selected for the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association, and the city.  The Kendall Club PBA's most recent contract with the city expired on December 31 of 2015; it filed paperwork for arbitration last year. 
 
 
 
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer who gained widespread praise for helping save the life of another man in 2013 has passed away following a brief battle with Leukemia...  
 
The Post-Journal reports that 44 year-old Michael Seeley of West Ellicott, who had been a Sheriff's deputy, firefighter and dispatcher, died last Friday night at the Cleveland Clinic.  The paper says Seeley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last August.  He underwent a bone marrow transplant in November after his sister, Jennifer Scolton, was found to be a match.  However, the transplant didn't take hold, and he was readmitted to Cleveland Clinic last month.
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's top budget official says the Democrat wants to separate the state's tax rates from the federal rates to keep New Yorkers from a $1.5-billion income tax increase...  
 
Budget Director Robert Mujica told lawmakers during Thursday's joint Senate and Assembly budget hearing on taxes that Cuomo plans to detail the proposal in an amendment to the spending plan he released last month.  Mujica testified that Cuomo's move would decouple the state tax code from the federal government's to restore deductibility many New Yorkers stand to lose under the new federal tax overhaul.  The Republican-controlled Senate passed a similar plan last month.  During the four hour hearing lawmakers also questioned state officials about new taxes and fees included in Cuomo's $168-billion budget proposal.
 
 
 
While at the Boy's and Girl's Club on Friday, State Senator Cathy Young said the Senate had taken steps to blunt some of the negative effects of the federal tax changes on New Yorkers...
 
Young, who is chair of the Finance Committee,  says the Senate action addresses one of the issues regarding deductions. She says example, if standard deduction--on a federal level-- makes sense for you, you can still now take state deductions on property taxes, childcare deductions and others. Young expects the governor to include these changes in his '30 day budget amendments'.  Otherwise, the senator says the budget process has been relatively routine, so far.  She reiterated the Senate's view that the deficit in budget due April 1st is around $1.7-billion, not $4.4 billion, as the governor has claimed.  
 
 
 
The investigation is continuing into the fire that heavily-damaged the back portion of a single-family home on Jamestown's eastside early last weekend...  
 
City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 31 Flagg Avenue shortly after 3 p.m. Friday and adds they were able to get water on the blaze pretty quickly.
 
Coon says it took about 15 minutes to knock down the blaze and fire damage was confined to the back of the structure.  He says there was noderate damage elsewhere. Coon says the family was not home at the time, but says the fire sent two cats, and a dog scurrying.  He says the cats were found okay, but the puppy got loose outside, and the family is still looking for him.  Coon says the family is being helped by relatives as they secure the house.  He says no injuries were reported.  Coon says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist at the scene.
 
 
 
Republican state lawmaker Brian Kolb has dropped out of the race for New York governor...  
 
The Assembly Minority Leader said Friday that he decided he doesn't want to sacrifice time with his family in order to mount a long campaign.  His decision leaves two Republicans in the race: state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.  Kolb has been GOP Minority Leaders the past several years.  He is a resident of the city of Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes.  Early in his campaign Kolb acknowledged the challenges of defeating Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking a third term in the November election.  Democrats have a 2-1 advantage in party registration in New York. 
 
 
 
If you see a giant fish with a snout like a canoe paddle, New York state wildlife officials want to know...  
 
The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to report paddlefish sightings. The primitive fish, related to sturgeon, can get up to 6 feet long or more.  Native to southwestern New York, paddlefish disappeared from the state over a century ago due to dams and pollution.  They're now protected.  The state started stocking them in 1998 in the Allegheny Reservoir, Chautauqua Lake and the Conewango Creek.  Two have been caught in the Jamestown area in the last two years. 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Feb. 10, 2018

Fire damages back part of Flagg Ave. home in Jamestown...
Jamestown fire investigators are still looking for the cause of a blaze that heavily-damaged the back portion of a one-family home on the city's eastside Friday afternoon.  That from Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon... who says crews were called to the scene at 31 Flagg Ave. shortly after 3 p.m.  Coon says they were able to use an "aggressive attack" to push the flames back.  He says crews got the flames under control in about 15 minutes.  He adds there is severe damage to the back of the structure, and moderate elsewhere.  Coon says the family was not home at the time... and, there were no human injuries.  He adds three pets also survived... but, two cats had to scurry to other parts of the home... while a puppy got out.  Coon says the family was still looking for the pet.  He adds the family is being helped by relatives as they secure the house.  The cause remains under investigation.  Coon says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in... and, crews were at the scene for just over two hours.
 
 
Stockton man arrested for alleged rape...
A Stockton man is being held on $75,000 bail after allegedly raping another person followinng an investigation at a location on Route 380 in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's deputies say they were looking into reports of "suspicious activity" at the address... and found that 34 year-old Leland Breese had sexual intercourse with a victim without their consent.  Officers say a warrant was issued for Breese's arrest by a Stockton Town Judge on a charge of first-degree rape.  Deputies arrested Breese at a Jamestown home in Friday... and, he was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court.  Breese was sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested for alleged robbery in Hanover...
A north county man is being held on $30,000 bail after Sheriff's deputies received a report of an alleged robbery that occurred on Route 5 in the Town of Hanover.  Officers say an investigation determined that 20 year-old Melwin Berrios of Dunkirk had forcibly taken property from a victim, while being aided by two other suspects.  Berrios was arrested on Thursday and committed to the Chautauqua County Jail. 
 
 
Sheriff's Deputies dies after brief battle with Leukemia...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer who gained widespread praise for helping save the life of another man in 2013 has passed away following a breif battle with Leukemia.  The Post-Journal reports today that 44 year-old Michael Seeley of West Ellicott... who had been a Sheriff’s deputy, firefighter, and dispatcher... died last night at the Cleveland Clinic.  The paper says Seeley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last August.  He underwent a bone marrow transplant in November after his sister, Jennifer Scolton, was found to be a match.  However... the transplant didn't take hold, and he was readmitted to Cleveland Clinic last month.
 
 
Apthorpe says graduation rates climbing for more affluent in Jamestown district...
While the New York State high school graduation rate edged above 80-percent in 2017... it remained steady at 76 to 77-percent the past three years in the Jamestown school district.  However... School District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says the four-year graduation rate has increased from 81 to 89 percent for students that aren't "economically disadvantaged" as compared to a six-percent decrease in rates for disavantaged students.  He says there are two different "stories" happening here.  One is they have phenominal college prep programs for students, but, student achievement for children living in poverty is "getting worse."  Apthorpe says that he and the Board of Education feel that they "have to do something different" to turn the negative trend around.  He says Jamestown School district will be holding a meeting with community and business leaders in March to discuss ways to implement a change to improve student graduation rates that involve community partnerships.  
 
 
Teresi to make presentation on DRI Progam at NYCOM Conference in Albany...
Several mayors from across the state -- including Jamestown's Sam Teresi -- will be on hand in Albany for next week's state Conference of Mayor's annual Legislative conference.  Teresi... who is past President of NYCOM... says the three day program begins on Sunday afternoon... and, runs through Tuesday.  He says he'll be among the headliners this year... along with the mayor's of Olean and Glens Falls.  Teresi says all three have won Downtown Revitalization Initiative awards the past two years... and adds they'll talk about how to apply for the award... along with the process.  He adds that Governor Cuomo has already announced there will be another round of DRI Funding this year.  Teresi says made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Reed votes against House appropriations bill...
The federal government was back up and running again this morning after a short shutdown that lasted just over five-hours.  Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed a two-year spending plan, but local Congressman Tom Reed was not on board.  The Corning Republican says he had concerns about what he calls "out-of-control" government spending.  Reed says the spending plan will add to the national debt... something he has opposed since he was elected in 2010.  Reed did support increasing military spending, but didn't support this plan.  He says he voted for a package to fully-fund the military to make sure they had the resources they need that was "fiscally-responsible."  Reed says that plan was paid for... but, this is not.  The website www.govtrack.us says that Republican Chris Collins, and Democrats Brian Higgins and Louise Slaughter, all voted in favor of the measure.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 8th, 2018

 
The Jamestown-area and part of Western New York could see up to a foot of snow between now and late Sunday as another Winter storm is moving into the region,  starting this morning...  
 
That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, who said late Thursday that a "warm frontal boundary" for the storm will move into the region as we head through the morning hours.  Mitchell says we'll generally see between four to eight inches of snow through the overnight Saturday.
 
Mitchell says we'll see another two to four inches during the day Saturday and, a chance of snow on Sunday.  However, Mitchell says we may also see some rain and freezing rain during the afternoon on Sunday.  He says it's going to depend on where the "frontal boundary" sets up for the latter part of the weekend.  Right now, Mitchell says no warnings or watches that have been issued due to the snow amounts expected.  But, he says that could change. 
 
 
 
One of the candidates seeking the Democratic nod to run for the 23rd Congressional election this Fall was in Chautauqua County about mid-week to visit and talk issues...  
 
Linda Andrei is from Tompkins County... which is in the far eastern part of the district.  Andrei is the only physician in the race and says she believes one of the most important issues facing the nation is health care.
 
Andrei says many people have come to the realization that health care is really of primary importance; not just for each person individually, but our economic system.  Andrei was born and raised in New York City.  She feels that the district is very diverse and one approach won't work for each county.  Andrei was campaigning in the backyard of Eddie Sundquist, an attorney from the Jamestown area, who is also among the candidates who hope to have a chance to run against incumbent Republican Tom Reed.  A Democratic primary will be held on June 26 of this year.
 
 
 
The Buffalo area man -- originally from Falconer -- found not guilty on multiple charges in connection with an attack on a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy in September 2016 may not face prison time...  
 
That from County Public Defender Ned Barone after a jury in Mayville Wednesday acquitted 22-year-old Justin Haffa of Cheekowaga on charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery and aggravated assault on a police officer.  He was found guilty of third-degree robbery, which Barone had requested for the trial.
 
Barone says while the third-degree robbery conviction carries a prison sentence of 2 1/3 to seven years it's possible Haffa may not face prison time because it's considered a "non-violent Felony."  He says "we're very happy with the outcome."  Barone had requested the lesser third-degree robbery charge, also considered by the jury.  Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley will hand down the sentence on April 2.
 
 
 
A 25 year-old woman faces several charges after a K-9 Officer allegedy found controlled substances in her vehicle during a traffic stop in Ashville early Thursday morning...  
 
Sheriff's Officers say they stopped a vehicle on Route-394 operated by Bridget Putman, of Falconer, for a traffic violation.  A license check showed Putman's driving privileges were revoked in New York State.  Following a search by K-9 Link, she was found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.  She was is to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date. 
 
 
 
A new member of the Jamestown City Council is seeking some changes in the way the panel and city deal with making appointments to three public-private agencies...
  
This week, At-Large Councilman Andrew Liuzzo told fellow lawmakers that the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, should be able to directly appoint representatives to the JLDC.  In additon, Liuzzo is also asking for city officials to get appointments to lawmakers sooner, citing the more than 40 appointments at last month's re-organizational meeting.
 
Councilman Tony Dolce says the groups are represented on the JLDC, unless their chairman or director is not from the city.  In that case, they have typically substituted the name of someone who lives in the city.  Mayor Sam Teresi ultimately recommends members to the panel.  But, he asked for City Corporation Councsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman, and City Clerk Todd Thomas, to prepare a legal report for next Monday night on making appointments to the JLDC.  During a nearly two-year review, the JLDC and city officials worked on updating the corporation's Certificate of Incorporation, and by-laws.
 
 
 
New York state is providing $55-million in funding to improve emergency communications across the state...  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that two grants will be awarded to counties statewide and to New York City. The Democrat says the funding will enhance the abilities of local governments to expand their communications systems and assist police, fire departments and other first responders.  The grants are administered by the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. 
 
 
 
A Clymer woman was arrested following a car crash in the town of Busti for allegedly driving while intoxicated early last Saturday morning...  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police say they were called to scene on Wellman Road just just before 3:00  On arrival, officers located a black pick-up truck rolled over on it's side with the operator -- Amanda Dallas -- out of the vehicle uninjured.  Dallas was additionally charged with DWI-per se, Speeding and failure to use designated lane.  She is to appear in Busti Town Court at a later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 8, 2018

A former Falconer resident accused of trying to kill a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer during a traffic stop in September of 2016 in the town of Pomfret has been acquitted on three of the four charges against him...  
 
The jury in the trial of 20 year-old Justin Haffa, most recently of Cheektowaga in Erie County, New York, found him guilty of third-degree robbery in the case.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson was disappointed in the outcome because he felt the evidence was there.
 
The most serious charge was first-degree attempted murder.  Swanson acknowledged that this has become on on-going issue for his office.  He says they did have a chance to talk with the jury afterwards, and he says it seems that some jurors now have unrealistic expectations of prosecutors. 
 
Swanson says the jury did indicate that they couldn't convict Haffa on the first-degree robbery charge because they weren't able to recover the knife he allegedly used in the attack on Deputy Sara Cunningham.  Haffa did admit to police that he was high on drugs when the incident occured, but said he never intendend to kill Cunningham.  He faces 2.6 to seven years in State Prison when he's sentenced sometime in April.
 
 
 
It was a packed house during last night's legislative public hearing regarding the Jones-Carroll Landfill held by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Frewsburg High School's auditorium... 
 
Local residents and elected officials took to the podium to share their feelings about the latest proposal by Sealand Waste. Chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature P.J. Wendel noted that the construction of a new landfill is not necessary. 
 
In a similar fashion, County Executive George Borrello spoke his opposition to the landfill on behalf of the executive branch. Local residents expressed their exhaustion in fighting against the landfill. Others spoke of safety concerns regarding traffic and water quality. The permit-proposal by Sealand Waste for the landfill has been in dispute for almost 14 years. 
 
 
 
Congressional members have been working together on a plan to at least fund the federal government through March 23 and possibly two years...  
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who say's he's confident that a government shutdown will be averted this time around.  The Corning Republican says he feels the Senate has given serious consideration to the funding bill that passed the House Tuesday night and they were included in the two-year plan.
 
The Senate approved the plan Wednesday afternoon, and he feels they'll avoid the possibility of a shut-down at Midnight tonight.  Reed says there was bi-partisan support for many of the provisions contained the House bill.  At this point, Congress will have to rush to pass a budget measure in both chambers before the Midnight deadline.
 
 
 
The state's high school graduation rate edged above 80 percent in 2017, but black and Hispanic students graduated at much lower rates than white students...  
 
New York state education officials say black, Hispanic and white students all made small gains in the four-year graduation rate, but a 20-point gap exists between white students and their minority peers.  Data released Wednesday shows the overall June graduation rate was 80.2 percent.  That's up from 79.7 percent in 2016.  Students in poorer urban districts also continue to lag behind. 
 
 
 
Officials at Jamestown Community College plan to sell more excess property the college has near it's main campus on Falconer Street on the city's eastside...  
 
The college is asking the city council for permission to sell eight acres of the approximately 50 acres it acquired from the Coan Family five years ago at 2835 Curtis Street Extension.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says JCC had planned to use the home on the land for an Alumni House and reception location; however, he says the plans changed.
 
Dolce says there's also a single pole-barn also located on the property, which JCC officials are asking $300,000 for.  Council President Marie Carrubba is also a member of the JCC Board of Trustees... and, says -- though -- that using it for college activities didn't work out.  She says the facility would require some work first because it doesn't have a sewer hook-up.  The property, which is located in the town of Ellicott, has a septic system.  Both the city council, and the Chautauqua County Legislature must approve the sale because both are sponsors of the college.
 
 
 
A defense lawyer is attacking the credibility of the government's star witness in the trial of a former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo...  
 
Attorney Barry Bohrer on Wednesday defended longtime Cuomo confidante Joseph Percoco by highlighting lies and crimes committed by the government's key witness, Todd Howe.  Howe and Percoco were close friends for three decades before Howe pleaded guilty to multiple crimes and began cooperating with prosecutors against Percoco.  Percoco has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted over $300,000 in bribes from an energy consultant and two real estate developers.  Bohrer began his cross examination by asking Howe if he is an honest man.  Howe said he is today.  But, he admitted to years of dishonesty and crimes.
 
 
 
A Cattaraugus County woman faces several charges -- including a couple of Felonies -- for alleged Welfare Fraud...  
 
Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 42 year-old Linda Tally is accused of falsely claiming another person was living in her household, which resulted in her fraudulently receiving just over $3,411.  Tally, who turned herself in last Monday, faces felony charges of third-degree welfare fraud and grand larceny and four counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.  She is to appear in Olean City Court next Tuesday morning. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 7, 2018

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday morning... 
 
That from the National Weather Service office in Buffalo's Dan Kelly who says the Southern Tier may see between four and eight inches of snow throughout the day. Kelly says that snowfall today will be wet and heavy in comparison to lake effect snow. 
 
Kelly says the bulk of snowfall will be late-morning on with an inch per hour expected. Additionally, travel conditions will be difficult during the morning and evening commutes. Kelly urged drivers to take caution and allow for extra time to reach your destination as snow-slick roads could cause slippery spots and reduced visibility of a quarter-mile or less.
 
 
 
A resident's group that's opposed to re-opening of the former Jones-Carroll Landfill in the town of Carroll is hosting a joint legislative hearing with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Sealand Waste tonight in Frewsburg...  
 
Town Supervisor Jack Jones, Junior says the Carroll concerned Citizens will hold the meeting at 6 p.m. in the Frewsburg High School auditorium, to outline it's opposition to the latest proposal by Sealand Waste to obtain permits to operate the Jones-Carroll landfill.  The Carroll Town Board approved a local law in 2007 that bans any new landfills from being located in the town. 
 
 
 
The House of Representatives has released a spending plan includes priority legislation co-sponsored by local Congressman Tom Reed...  
 
Reed says the bill, will fund the federal government through March 23, temporarily preventing another shutdown.  The legislation includes the extension of four health care programs which Reed says are critical to his district.  They include two programs for Medicare Dependent and Low Volume hospitals.
 
Reed says another one of the programs is the Special Diabetes Program.  The Corning Republican, who co-chairs the Diabetes Caucus with Democrat Diane Dugette, has been working to ensure that program was also prioritized.  Reed says the program will continue for two more years to help all Americans, including the Native American population.  He adds the plan would fully fund the nation's military through the end of this year.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
The state is getting closer to a goal of providing broadband internet to every corner of New York by the end of this year...  
 
That from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was in northern New York late last week to announce the start of the third and final round of the program bringing access to high-speed internet.  The Democrat announced in Plattsburgh that nearly $210-million dollars in state funding will provide more than 120,000 homes, business and institutions with broadband, closing the final gap.  The program was launched in 2015.
 
 
 
An arbitration panel will begin meeting in Jamestown next week to begin work on ending a two-year impasse between the city and it's policement's union...  
 
Mayor Sam Teresi says the three-member panel will begin meeting next Monday morning, February 12 at 10 a.m. to begin work on imposing a contract on the city and the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association.  Teresi told City Council Monday night that the union's most recent contract with the city expired at the end of 2015 and, it filed paperwork for arbitration last year.
 
Teresi says each side has named it's representative for the panel.  He says the city will be represented by City Clerk Todd Thomas, who is also an attorney by trade.  The Kendall Club will be represented by Albany Attorney John Crotty.  The third and neutral member of the panel is a long-time, state arbitrator Howard Foster of Buffalo.  If the first day doesn't produce a final resolution, Teresi says there will be a second day of arbitration talks on Tuesday, February 13.  In New York state, only public safety contracts for police and fire unions can go to arbitration.
 
 
 
The Post-Journal reports the motion was made by Public Defender Ned Barone last week in the re-trail of 20 year-old Justin Haffa, who is accused of attacking and trying to kill Sheriff's Deputy Sara Cunningham on September 11 of 2016...  
 
At issue is a reported conversation between Cunningham and District Attorney Patrick Swanson about a follow-up visit she had with her doctor after the incident, which occured on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret.  That conversation took place between the first and second trials.  Barone made several motions regarding potential Brady violations, which were denied by Judge David Foley.  The newspaper reports Foley expressed concern with how the prosecution represented itself. Jurors return today as summations begin. 
 
 
 
A lobbyist testifying at the bribery trial of a former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he helped arrange a consulting job for the aide's wife with a client who needed help from the state...  
 
Todd Howe testified Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against ex-aide Joseph Percoco, his longtime friend.  Howe started the day talking about how he helped arrange the job for Percoco's wife.  Percoco has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted $300,000 in bribes to help three businessmen get favors from the state.  Prosecutors say Percoco and Howe used the word "ziti" as code to refer to bribe payments.  Howe pleaded guilty to crimes including bribery and corruption and is testifying as the government's chief witness.  Percoco's lawyer says Howe is lying to get leniency instead of decades in prison.
 
 
 
There are more New Yorkers than ever are signed up for health coverage under the state's health insurance marketplace...  
 
State health officials say 4.3-million New Yorkers are now enrolled through the marketplace following the end of open enrollment on Wednesday.  That's an increase of 700-thousand from 2017.  Of the total 4.3 million, nearly 3-million are signed up for Medicaid.  Another 740,000 are enrolled in the state's Essential Plan for low income individuals.  More than 253,000 people are covered by a qualified health plan, and more than half of those received some financial assistance. 
 
 
 
New York's Marist College has revoked an honorary degree it awarded to former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly in 2001...  
 
Marist's trustees cited accusations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in a statement about O'Reilly posted Sunday on the college website.  O'Reilly was fired from Fox in April.  The New York Times reported in October that he had reached a $32-million settlement with a former Fox analyst over sexual harassment allegations.  O'Reilly has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 6, 2018

A city man is in custody on Felony arson charges after turning himself into Jamestown Police Monday morning.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson, who says 31 year-old David Wright faces two counts each of second-degree arson and second-degree criminal mischief...
 
Samuelson says the charges come after Jamestown Police and Fire Departments' arson investigators determined the cause of two separate fires -- the first at 12 Mount Vernon Place in November 2017-- and, the second at 24 Philips Street on January 19.  He says the joint investigation showed both were intentionally set.. and, that Wright set them.  Wright reportedly lived at both residences at the time of the fires.  He was being arraigned late yesterday morning and, will be sent to the county jail pending further court action.
 
 
 
A Westfield woman is accused of prostitution in her home for several months late last year...  
 
Sheriff's Deputies say they arrested 35 year-old Amy Figueroa of Nichols Avenue after they looked into "ongoing suspicious activity" from last September through December.  Officers say they arrested her without incident just before Noon Monday.  Deputies say Figueroa was issued an appearance ticket for Westfield Village Court for prostitution and will appear in court at a later date and time.
 
 
 
The city of Jamestown now has a state-approved program in place that allows local residents to buy vacant or condemned properties to fix up and live in and save on property taxes...  
 
City Development Director Vince DeJoy told City Council members last night that the city's 11-year Property Tax Abatement Program is now up and running, and people can apply on-line, or in person.  DeJoy says the person buying the home must also live in it.  He says the on-line, or hard copy form will ask the homeowner a series of questions about their plans for the property.
 
During the first year of home ownership, DeJoy says there would be no taxes paid to the city or chautauqua County.  After that, the taxes paid will steadily increase through the 11th year.  Mayor Sam Teresi says realistically, they're hoping that they may have two or three such projects undertaken each year to help get properties back on the tax roles and lessen the city's cost for demolitions.  He adds, though, that not all vacant and condemned properties in the city are going to be "candidates" for this program.
 
 
  
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he feels optimistic that New York state may take some action to allow institutions of higher learning to taylor their training programs for local industry...  
 
County Executive George Borrello says, in talking with local industrial leaders during his business visits in the county, he's learned that workforce training is the biggest issue they face right now.  Borrello adds that he brought that up to a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration; he says they are looking into that.
 
Borrello says he met earlier with officials at both Jamestown Community College and the SUNY College at Fredonia about tayloring their programs and found their hands are tied by requirements of the state's Board of Regents.  He says it got their attention, especially when he noted that SKF officials said it happens in other states where they do business.  Borrello has now visited 30 businesses in the first 30 days of his administration.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce presented its annual 'Salute to the Finest' awards Monday night...  
 
The 'Pride of Jamestown Award' went to the Babe Ruth World Series Committee.  the group has brought 16 World Series events to Jamestown since 1980, with another one set for August of this year.   Accepting the award was Vice-President and Public Relations Director Kim Eklund.  The 'Community Service Award' went to John Williams, the City of Jamestown's Parks Manager; he's had a twenty year career with the city.
 
The James Prendergast Library was given the 'Service to Humanity Award.'  Director Tina Scott was particularly grateful, as the library has faced some difficult times.  Crown Street Roasting was named New Business of the Year.  Justin Hanft of the Education Coalition was named Young Business Leader of the Year.  Forte' received the Restaurant of the Year Award.  Anderson Precision Tool, a 125 year old business in Jamestown, was recognized as Manufacturer of the Year.  Honest John's Pizza and Wings was named Business of the Year.  The awards were presented at Shawbucks Restaurant.  
 
 
 
Bon-Ton Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection...  
 
The department store chain filed Sunday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware.  Several dozen retailers including Toys R Us, and Payless ShoeSource, have filed for reorganization over the past year as shoppers abandon traditional stores.  Bon-Ton has been hurt by shoppers' changing behavior, and its $1-billion in debt gives it less flexibility to invest in stores and online.  The company, which operates 260 stores -- including one in Lakewood -- saw holiday sales at established stores fall 2.9%.  However, the company says its stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms will operate as usual during the restructuring.
 
 
 
The comments continue to go back-and-fourth about the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Routes 20 and 60 in the north county town of Pomfret.  Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis says there have been a high number of crashes at that busy intersection and the data backs the need for a change....
 
Dr. Landis says engineers with the state Department of Transportation indicate that the use of raised medians along with the roundabout would eliminate the need for left-hand turns, which she says is the main cause of the crashes.  Landis says data shows left-turns-- not speed-- is at issue with vehicles going to and leaving businesses.  Not everyone is on board with use of a roundabout, including some of the businesses at the intersection.  A trustee, Doug Essek, launched an online petition drive opposing the roundabout.  The State DOT announced in late January the released of a report on the project and a public comment period that will last about two weeks.
 
 
 
A woman living at a farm in the Cattaraugus County town of Ashford that was the scene of an animal seizure earlier this year has been arrested for animal cruelty...
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 60 year-old Connie Lipka faces five counts of cruelty to animals -- an unclassified misdemeanor and five more cruelty counts that are Class "A" misdemeanors.  Deputies say an investigation by the Sheriff's office and Cattaraugus County SPCA found that Lipka failed to provide sufficient food, clean water, and shelter for her five goats.  The animals were surrendered, and taken for evaluation and medical treatment.  Officers say the arrest occured late last week after a nearly month-long investigation.  Others animals were seized from the property last month.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 5, 2018

A Jamestown man has been arrested on several Felony charges following a domestic violence incident late last week on the city's westside...  
 
City police were called to the scene at a location on West Fourth Street about 8 p.m. last Friday and found that 56-year-old Randy Harrington, Senior allegedly threatened and restrained a female victim.  Officers say there was also a valid order of protection for Harrington to stay away from the victim.  Police found Harrington and he was arrested without incident.  He is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal contempt, Aggravated Family Offense, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and third-degree menacing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
 
A New York state Surpreme Court Judge has dismissed the case of an out-of-state company looking to build a cellphone tower in the village of Lakewood...  
 
In a printed release last weekend, Mayor Cara Birritierri noted that Judge Frank Sedita agreed that Up State Tower lacked the standing to challenge local laws regarding the siting of such towers.  The case began in June of 2016 when the village board adopted a Local Law regulating the siting of cell towers, which was designed to limit commercial towers to property that would have minimum impacts on the community.  It also puts the responsibility for paying the cost for evaluating the necessity of the towers, and their proposed heights, on the developer.  Late last month, Birritierri says Judge Sedita resoundingly rejected the challenges by UpState Tower to the Village's local laws, and dismissed the case.
 
 
 
Leaking water from snow melt at the end of January has damaged the console of Chautauqua Institution's nearly 111 year-old Massey Memorial Organ...
 
However, officials at Chautauqua Institution say no other parts of the organ were damaged and, a replacement for the console should be in place in plenty of time for the 2018 season.  That from Chautauqua's Communications Director, Jordan Steves, who says a routine inspection late last month revealed the leak had gotten into the console's four Ivory keyboards.
 
Steves says their experts were on scene last Friday and Saturday.  Steves says they are still trying to determine the cause of the leak; he says their personnel, contractors and engineers will look further into the matter, and take steps to make sure "this doesn't happen again."  The 1907 Massey Memorial Organ is at the heart of the institution's amphitheater, which was recently rebuilt.  The organ was in storage backstage for the Winter when the leak occured.  The organ's last full restortation was in the 1990s.
 
 
 
The attempted murder trial of a Buffalo-area man is facing a potential mistrial over whether the prosecution in the case turned over information to the defense...  
 
The Post-Journal reports the motion was made by Public Defender Ned Barone yesterday in the retrial of 20 year-old Justin Haffa, who is accused of attacking and trying to kill Sheriff's Deputy Sara Cunningham on September 11 of 2016.  At issue is a reported conversation between Cunningham and District Attorney Patrick Swanson about a follow-up visit she had with her doctor after the incident.  After the defense rested in the case, Judge David Foley said that he would rule on a motion for a mistrial on Monday.
 
 
 
A second Chautauqua County native was among the 200-plus graduates honored last week from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy...  
 
The State Police press release also lists 24-year-old Dalton Walsh of Stockton, who has been assigned to State Police Troop "C" in the Binghamton area for his 10 weeks of training.  He'll join Jamestown Police Chief, Harry Snellings son, Sean, in training there.  During a recent interview, Walsh said it's a "great honor" to be a state trooper.
 
Walsh says he "looks forward" to 'selflessly serving' the people of New York state to on the job and moving up the ladder in the State Police ranks'.  Before joining State Police, Walsh was an officer for two years with the Secret Service, and he had been assigned to the White House.  Walsh and the other new troopers will begin their field duty on Monday.
 
 
 
Two teenagers from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly hosting a loud party on the city's eastside early last Saturday morning and becoming combative with police...  
 
City police were called to the scene at 321 Allen Street shortly after 1 a.m. for a complaint of loud music coming from the building. Officers say they made contact with 19 year-old Lastar Farmer, and a 16 year-old girl who claimed responsibility for the party.  However, as people were leaving the party, officers say the teens became disorderly, and were yelling and disturbing others.  Both females were arrested for unnecessary noise and jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
 
A new study aims to shed light on the weather phenomenon that's behind many of Buffalo's most epic snowfalls...  
 
Researchers at the University at Buffalo will focus on lake-effect snow from the past in hopes of better predicting it in the future as the Earth warms.  Lake-effect snow occurs when cold winds flow over warmer water - in this case, the Great Lakes - fueling intense bands of moisture that can quickly dump feet of snow on a single location.  U.B. researchers are developing tools to look at whether snowfall was heavier 10,000 years ago, when the Earth was warmer.  They'll seek clues in hydrogen atoms found in the remains of ancient leaves buried at the bottom of ponds and lakes.
 

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News Update for Sat., Feb. 3, 2018

Snowmelt damages keyboards on Chautauqua Institution's 1907 Massey Organ...
Water from melting snow has damaged one of the world's largest outdoor pipe organs -- the 111-year-old Massey Memorial Organ -- at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.  However... officials say they expect to have it's console restored in time for the 2018 season at the summer arts and religious retreat.  The 1907 Massey Memorial Organ is at the heart of the institution's amphitheater, which was recently rebuilt.  President Michael Hill says a routine inspection this past week revealed that a leak from melting snow permeated a protective covering and made its way into the organ's wooden console and its four ivory keyboards while the unit was stored backstage.  Chautauqua Spokesman Jordan Steves tells Media One Group News today that they've had their experts in to to look at the keyboards, and, begin work to replace them.  However... he says the organ's pipework and other systems were unaffected.  More on this story Monday.
 

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News Headlines for Sat. Feb. 3, 2018

Gunderson says Comedy Center very excited to get Berman archives...
The head of the National Comedy Center says they are excited to have received another archive from one of comedy's most-prolific stand-up comedians.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they officially took over the archives of Shelly Berman... who died last Sept. 1 at age 92... in California this past Wednesday.  Gunderson says the best part of getting Berman's artifacts is they're like a "mini time-machine."  She says the archives include memories of the "last 70 years of American comedy..." including stand-up, theater, and television.  Gunderson says there are a "few notable" items included in the archives... such as the stool that Berman used when he was on tour... and, another is his two "gold" records.  That includes the first album to ever win a grammy.  While it's still to be determined... Gunderson says the National Comedy Center is excited to display Berman's gold records in their "awards and distinctions area."  The National Comedy Center is to open its doors during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August. 
 
 
Snellings proud of son graduating State Police Academy -- and with honors...
The son of Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings is at the top of the class among the just over 200 graduates of this year's New York state Police Academy.  Chief Snellings was in Albany Wednesday for his son, Sean's graduation.  It's the first step towards his formal training and assignment.  Harry Snellings says the graduation was a "great event..." and he is very proud of him.  He says Sean was also tops in two other areas...he was also there for the presentation of his Troopers shield on Tuesday.  The elder Snellings says Sean also topped his class in marksmanship, and physical fitness training.  Chief Snellings says Sean had been considering a police career for a few years... but, actually had been working in banking in the Buffalo-area when he finally decided to make the change... and, the opportunity presented itself.  He says Sean considered the Jamestown Police Department... but, finally decided he wanted to be a state Trooper.  Snellings says Sean will now move onto his 10-weeks of formal training with the State Police at Troop "C" in Binghampton.  After that... he'll be assigned to another barracks in Troop "C." 
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly threatening another person...
A Jamestown man is jailed for damaging property property, and allegedly threatening to kill another person during a domestic incident last Thursday afternoon.  City police were called to 51 Glasgow Ave. shortly before 4:30 p.m. for an earlier incident reported at 54 McKinley Ave.  Officers say investigation found that the suspect -- 41 year-old Frank Bindics, Sr. -- was additionally in violation of a Order of Protection.  Bindics was charged with first-degree criminal contempt, felony aggravated family offense... fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harrassment.  He's being held in City jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
Apthorpe feels all State School Aid should be foundation -- or discretionary...
It's time to give local school districts the funding they need according to the state aid formulas... and, get the politicians out of it.  Those are the feelings of Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe... who says it's nice that Jamestown is getting a $4.1-million increase in aid.  However... Apthorpe says -- given his experiences with several districts over three decades -- the western New York region gets the short end of the stick.  He says he doesn't mind other districts having "equestrian" programs... but, don't ask for state funding for it.  He says children in New York state have a constitutional right to a "sound, basic education..." that includes reading, writting and arithmatic.  Apthorpe says he supports the idea of making all state aid foundation aid that local schools can use as they see fit. 
 
 
Jamestown native has front-row seat for Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day...
A Jamestown native was among the throng of thousands on hand early yesterday morning when Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa.  Betsy Wolfe now lives in Dallas, Texas, and is the daughter of John and Margie Fuchs of Jamestown.  Betsy says she was able to get VIP passes... which allowed her to have a front-row view of the show.  She says it was very cold... but, not overly Wintry.  She says there was just a little snow falling at times, but, it was very cold.  Wolfe traveled to Punxsatawney Thursday... and, having a VIP Pass... was able to have a picture taken with Phil.  She arrived at Gobbler's Knob about 3:30 this morning... and, spoke with our Dennis Webster shortly before 7:30 when Phil's prediction was read.  He did see his shadow... meaning six more weeks of Winter.  While the crowd was vocal... Wolfe says it was well behaved. 
 
 
Dunkirk Dave predicts early Spring...
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania's famous groundhog emerged from his burrow yesterday morning and predicted six more weeks of winter.  But despite sub-zero windchills, Dunkirk Dave had a different outlook...he apparently didn't see his shadow and predicted an early spring.  The announcement was made by Lieutenant Govenor Kathy Hochul who made a special visit to the Dunkirk area to attend the event held each year at the home of Dunkirk Dave's handler Bob Will.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 2, 2018

 
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says unfunded mandates continue to be a concern for county officials from across the state...  
 
Borrello is back from the annual New York State Association of Counties conference in Albany.  He says one of the biggest issues are the costs that will be associated with Raise the Age, the increase in the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  Borrello says the biggest concern is about who will be paying the tab.
 
Another concern is the impasse between the State and the Seneca Nation of Indians.  Borrello says NYSAC passed a resolution, urging the state to move as quickly as possible to resolve the impasse.  This was Borrello's first conference as county executive and called it a great experience. He was one of 17 county executives attending the meeting that was held in Albany.
 
 
 
A new institution in Jamestown dedicated to the art and legacies of comedy has received the archive of modern stand-up comedian Shelley Berman...  
 
The National Comedy Center announced Thursday that they received the gift from Shelley Berman's wife, Sarah, on Tuesday.  The archive was collected and stored in Berman's office and contains photographs, scripts and rare footage and audio of his work in stand-up.  Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says it includes television and comedy-writing work spanning from the 1940s to the 2010s.  Artifacts also include two of Berman's albums and the trademark stool, which he used on-tour during his routines.  Gunderson says the National Comedy Center is honored to be the institution to house Shelley's archive. The center is to open it's doors during the 2018 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August. 
 
 
 
Another 200-plus troopers have joined the ranks of the New York State Police...  
 
A graduation ceremony was held Wednesday at the Empire State Plaza in Albany for 208 new members of the state police.  It was the 206th class to graduate from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy in Albany.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at the graduation ceremony and state police Superintendent George Beach, II welcomed the graduates to the ranks.
 
 
 
The $23-million expansion project at UPMC Chautauqua WCA is being supported by a$ 26.4-million grant awarded by the state Department of Health in March of 2016... 
 
Operations Director Cecil Miller says the General Contractor is LeChase Construction from the Buffalo-area, which has been involved in several health care projects through the years.  Milller adds, though, that several of the sub-contractors are local.  
 
Miller says there was also a goal -- because state funding is involved -- to have 30% of the expansion projects contracts go to women and minority-owned businesses; he says they are "very close" to that goal right now.  He adds that the out-patient and emergency parking lot will remain closed for about another year, but adds their free valet service has been working out well.
 
 
 
Progress is being made as the TLC Health Network and Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk continue the process toward a merger of the two health systems...  
 
That from Michael Hughes, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff for Kaleida Health.  Hughes says TLC has achieved a major milestone and is exiting bankruptcy.  He says that enabled the hospital based in Irving to sign a management agreement. Hughes says work continues on a new facility for Brooks Memorial at a location off Route 20 in the town of Pomfret.  He says they have selected a construction manager and are going through some of the preliminary construction planning.  Hughes says they anticipate the merger between TLC and Brooks within a few months.  
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated almost three-times the legal limit on Wednesday...  
 
State Police say they responded to a complaint of an erratically-driving vehicle and pulled over 50 year-old Michelle Hilton on State Route 430 in Greenhurst.  Troopers say Hilton provided a breath sample of 0.21 and was additionally charged with possession of marijuana after Troopers found a pipe in her coat and a canister of marijuana inside her vehicle.  Hilton is scheduled to appear in the town of Ellery Court on a later date to answer the charges. 

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News Bulletin for Thurs., Feb. 1, 2018

(News Bulletin)National Comedy Center receives Shelley Berman Archives...

A Jamestown institution dedicated to the art of comedy has received the archive of modern stand-up comedian Shelley Berman. The National Comedy Center announced they received the gift from Shelley Berman's wife Sarah on Tuesday. The archive was collected and stored in Berman's office and contains photographs, scripts... and rare footage and audio of his work in stand-up... television and comedy-writing spanning from the 1940s to the 2010s. Also included in the archive are two of Berman's albums and the trademark stool... which he used on-tour during his routines. Executive Director of the National Comedy Center Journey Gunderson says the National Comedy Center is honored to be the institution to house Shelley's archive. The National Comedy Center is slated to open its doors during the 2018 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August.  We talk directly with Gunderson tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 1, 2018

An apparent equipment failure triggered a just over day-long power outage that affected nearly 1,500 National Grid Company customers in the towns of Chautauqua and Ellery...  
 
That from National Grid Spokesman Dave Bertola, who says the outage began about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday at a substation in the town of Chautauqua.  Bertola says crews restored power about 10:30 Wednesday morning. The Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services is reminding those affected by the outage to check their homes for any burst water pipes or flooded basements due to sump pump failures.  Director John Griffith is also urging residents to look out for the possibility of electric shock due to electrical contact with water. 
 
 
 
Finding emergency shelter was important to National Grid Company once Tuesday's outage occured around the northern end of Chautauqua Lake...  
 
Customers affected were in the Hartfield, Dewittville, Maple Springs and Ellery areas... who lost their electricity just before 10 a.m. Tuesday.  American Red Cross Spokesman Jay Bonafede says volunteers helped to staff a warming station in Mayville.  Bonafede says they were contacted by the county Office of Emergency Services to provide the centers.  He says one person spent Tuesday night at the shelter, and two additional people checked in Wednesday morning. 
 
 
 
The state plans to provide every inmate with a free computer tablet from a Florida-based company that provides services to prison systems...  
 
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says Wednesday that the approximately 51,000 inmates in 54 prisons will be eligible to receive one of the portable personal computers being provided to the state by Miami-based JPay Inc. at no cost to taxpayers.  DOCCS officials say the tablets will come pre-loaded with educational material.  However, the devices won't be able to access the internet.
 
 
 
Emergency rooms across Chautauqua County-- and the nation-- have been very busy in recent weeks with people who have come down with the flu, or are showing flu-like symptoms...  
 
That from UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital Medical Director of Occupational Services, Dr. Todd Jacobson.  Dr. Jacobson says they've especially seen an uptick in the number of cases coming through their doors over the past two to three weeks. 
 
Jacobson says this year's flu is the H3-N2 strain of the virus, which is the worst seen in the past 10 to 15 years.  He says the early signs can be similar to a cold, but he says this will be accompanied by a fever.  Jacobson says it starts with a cough, sore throat, and muscle and head aches with a 100 to 101-degree fever.  He says this strain of the flu is especially a problem for the very young, and the very old among the population.  He says if you -- or a loved one -- are exhibiting such symptoms, contact your family doctor.
 
 
 
Prevention can play a big role in determining whether or not you end up with the flu this season...  
 
First of all, Dr. Todd Jacobson says -- if you haven't received one yet -- you can still get the flu shot.  While it's only been found to be 30% effective this year in combating the flu virus, Jacobson says it can help lessen the severity of the flu.  He adds there are a few other things you can do, including wearing a surgical mask.
 
Jacobson says surgical masks can be found in several places, namely drug stores.  He says taking Tamiflu during the early stages of the flu can also help lessen the virus's severity.  While there have been shortages of Tamilflu in some places across the United States, Jacobson says it has not been an issue around the Jamestown-area.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman has been following developments in the wake of a train striking a dump truck in Virginia that was taking members of the House Republican Caucus to a retreat...  
 
House member Tom Reed was NOT on the Amtrak Train, which was traveling to West Virginia shortly after Noon Wednesday.  He tells CNN that he's been in contact with members of the caucus who were on the train, adding that "all reports are the situation is under control" and, there were "no reports of serious injuries" on the train.  However, one person in the truck died.  Reed was back in the 23rd District, speaking from Ithaca.
 
 
 
Education leaders from across New York made their case Wednesday for more money from the state next year...  
 
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and New York City Chancellor Carmen Farina are among those who testified before a joint legislative hearing on Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal.  Also scheduled to appear were leaders of the biggest teachers unions, as well as superintendents or representatives from the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers school districts.  Cuomo has proposed a $769-million increase in school aid.  That's less than the Board of Regents' recommendation for a $1.6-billion bump.  Other groups say even more is needed. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 30, 2018

Snow and generally more wintry weather returned to the Jamestown-area overnight following a January thaw that sent temperatures into the 40s last weekend...  
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Winter Weather Advisory until 1:00 this afternoon for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie Counties.  That from Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the Weather Service's Buffalo office-- who says will not be Lake Effect Snow-- so everyone will get about the same amount. However, he says the greatest amounts of snow will fall across the Southern Tier with storm totals of three to five inches.  
 
 
 
The city of Jamestown has it's share of problems and challenges, but is "sound and getting stronger every day"...  
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi to start his annual State of the City message last night.  Teresi again again did not read through a laundry list of accomplishments of the past year and run down a list of initiatives for 2018.  However, he did urge the City Council to help his administration pursue a list of 59 major goals and objectives in the new year.  Teresi also called on lawmakers to avoid getting caught up in the efforts of the city's naysayers, who carry and spread the attitude that Jamestown is the "little city that couldn't".
 
Teresi referred lawmakers to his 2017 report of accomplishments and the report on goals and objectives.  He says one of the goals in 2018 is to continue to effort to use the Jamestown Local Development Corporation to purchase the BPU's wastewater treatment plant to raise $15-million to $16-million to launch a major capital infrastructure and equipment investment program.
 
 
 
During last night's formal voting session, the City Council approved hiring a Mayville construction company to do the first-phase of emergency repairs to front part of police headquarters on East Second Street...  
 
Lawmakers unanimously approved having Mayor Teresi contract with Empire Development for the nearly $115,000 project.  
 
 
 
Property owners in the city of Jamestown are responsible for their own snow removal and keeping the sidewalks clear of snow in front of their homes...  
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who responded to concerns voiced by Public Works Director Jeff Lehman about the fact some sidewalks were not cleared following the latest Winter storm.  Teresi says it's been in the city code since 1923 when residents decided they didn't want the taxpayers to foot that cost.  He says the city does do some sidewalk maintenance downtown, once they've done the plowing their are required to do.
 
Teresi adds that residents are also required to keep the snow they clear from getting into the street, or the city's right-of-ways, as well as the sidewalks.  He says there are more than 200 miles of sidewalks in the city and adds that he asked Lehman last year for an analysis of how much it would cost to keep those sidewalks clear, including number of new employees and salaries and new equipment needed.  Teresi says it would cost more than one-million dollars to do.
 
 
 
Jamestown Police are investigating a report of a sexual assault that allegedly occured early yesterday morning in the residence halls at Jamestown Community College...  
 
City police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators are looking into the matter, which occured about 4 a.m. at the location at 525 Falconer Street.  Samuelson says they have so far determined that this was NOT a random act.  They are currently interviewing several students, and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 483-7537 or anonymously at 483-TIPS (8477).  You can also contact their Tips 411 App.  Poice say all tips will be kept confidential, and no other information will be released.
 
 
 
A man from Lakewood was sent to the county jail for allegedly driving while ability impaired by drugs over the weekend...  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police say they were on patrol on East Fairmount Avenue when they saw a vehicle cross the center line and, pass through a steady red light early Saturday morning. Officers identified the driver as 30 year-old Erik Morrison.  Further investigation revealed Morrison was driving while under the influence of drugs, had a suspended driver's license and an order of protection from the front seat passenger.  One officer also found multiple controlled substances in the vehicle.  Morrison faces several charges including two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, first-degree criminal contempt and DWI-A drugs.
 
 
 
It appears that the State Department of Transportation intends to continue with plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Routes 20 and 60...
 
One Fredonia village trustee voiced his opposition to the project during the most recent village board meeting.  Trustee Doug Essek has launched a "change.org" online petition and, he's encouraging village residents to sign it.  Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis, who supports the roundabout project, contends that it's not a village issue -- but, one that the state is handling.  However, she does favor the project.  Essek feels other options need to be explored before any final decisions are made.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 29, 2018

A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly selling and distributing methamphetamine and suboxone in the presence of her young children on the city's eastside...  
 
Jamestown police say members of the city's Metro Drug Task Force and Jamestown Police SWAT Team raided the home at 154 Falconer Street just after 4 p.m. last Thursday and, arrested 31 year-old Amanda Penhollow.  Police say Penhollow's five children (all under the age of 8) were inside with her.  Investigators found quantities of Meth, and suboxone, along with several hypodermic needles, and drug paraphernalia.  Police say Penhollow was arraigned on charges of fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was then sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
 
The retiring Rick Huber has been the person at the fore-front of the local war on Heroin and Opioid drug addiction, but his reach wasn't limited to Chautauqua County...  
 
That was made clear during last Friday's retirement reception for one of the leaders at the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.  Among those praising his work was local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who presented a commendation to Huber for the hundreds of lives he has touched, and impacted. 
 
Huber was also recognized by Congressman Tom Reed's office.  The head of Reed's local office, Jackie Phelps, thanked him for his tireless work.  In addition to honoring Huber, the Mental Health Association also dedicated one of it's meeting rooms in his name.  Association Board Chairwoman Carm Micciche made the announcement before a vail was taken off the plaque naming that room.
 
Micciche then read what was on the plaque "Welcome to Rick's Place... dedicated in 2018 in honor of Rick Huber."  She then told Huber that MHA staff loves him and to enjoy his retirement.
 
 
 
In New York state government news, lawmakers are preparing for a busy week of hearings on school spending, environmental protection and public safety...  
 
Members of both the Senate and Assembly have budget meetings scheduled Monday through Wednesday focused on different aspects of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's $168-billion budget proposal.  On education, the governor wants to increase school spending by $769-million to $26-billion overall.  Meanwhile, a proposal to tweak state tax laws to save taxpayers $1.5 billion is moving to the Assembly after it passed the Senate. 
 
 
 
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut say they plan to join together to sue the federal government over the Republican-led federal tax overhaul...  
 
Democratic Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Dannel Malloy of Connecticut and Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Friday that they will team up to take the Trump administration to court over the federal tax plan that's expected to cost taxpayers in their states billions of dollars.  Malloy says he expects other states to join the lawsuit.  There's no word on when it will be filed.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says the effort is well-underway to find a new commercial air carrier for the County Airport near Jamestown, but they are looking for the right carrier...  
 
County Executive George Borrello says it's disappointing to see Southern Airways leave Jamestown, but he says they were little more than "an unreliable taxi service to Pittsburgh."  Borrello says that's because there was no "inter-connectivity" with the Pittsburgh Airport.  He says having commercial air is still very important to the county.
 
Borrello says it would be nice to have a carrier that still would fly into Pittsburgh.  However, he says he would be just as happy with Detroit, mainly places local residents can't drive to easily.  Borrello says he would also like to see a flight to Albany at some point.  But, he says the hub is not as important as being able to easily connect with the major airlines.  Borrello would not give specifics, but did say the county is talking with new air carriers who have never served Jamestown before and few have "inter-connect" deals in place between regional air carriers, and major airlines.
 
 
 
Well-known local chef Charlie Vullo's 'Italian Wedding Soup' won this year's Souper Bowl soup competition...
 
 
Vullo made the soup for the Lakewood American Legion, which hosted this year's Souper Bowl on Sunday.  Around 300 people attended this year's Souper Bowl, the seventh annual.  It benefits UMPC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Nine restaurants and caterers took part in this year's Souper Bowl. Elegant Edibles took second  place.  Gametime Sports Bar and Grill was third.  The Media One Group of radio stations organizes the event, with the cooperation of Maplevale Foods and the Shults Auto Group.
 
 
 
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on federal health officials to dispatch a flu surveillance team to New York as the number of cases increases...  
 
The Democrat announced his request to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday.  Schumer says a surveillance team could help local health care workers and state health officials by studying the spread of the illness, identifying the particular strains involved, and assessing the impact on the state's overall population.  Schumer says a CDC team could help the state "break its fever" by assisting the public health efforts already underway in the state.  According to the senator's office, more than 5,200 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with the flu this season and the number of new cases went up by 54 percent last week.
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 27, 2018

Jamestown mother of five arrested for alleged drug possession and dealing...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly selling and distributing methamphetime and suboxone in the presence of her young children on the city's eastside.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and Jamestown Police SWAT Team raided the home at 154 Falconer Street just after 4 p.m. Thursday... and, arrested 31 year-old Amanda Penhollow.  Police say Penhollow's five children... all under the age of 8... where inside with her.  Investigators found quantities of Meth, and suboxone, along with several hypodermic needles, and drug paraphernalia.  Police say Penhollow is charged with fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was jailed pending arraignment. 
 
 
Sherman man arrested on Child Porn charge...
A Sherman man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of child pornography after allegedly luring a young girl into his apartment, and showing her an inappropriate picture.  State Police in Jamestown say 65 year-old Peter Baker is accused of luring a 10 year-old girl into his apartment by offering her $20... and, then showing her the picture on his phone.  Troopers acted on a complaint by the girl's mother, and obtained asearch warrant for the apartment.  State Police say they found the images of child pornography inside.  Troopers say Baker went to the State Police barricks with his attorney, and was processed on charges of possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child... and, Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He was issued appearance tickets for Sherman Town Court.
 
 
Rick Huber honored during retirement reception at MHA Monday afternoon...
A local man who has been the passionate leader of the effort to free people from drug addiction was honored Friday afternoon by the organization he helped build up.  New Program Director for the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, was honored during a special program at the MHA's Water Street headquarters in Jamestown.  More than 100 people were on hand to praise Huber, and thank him for all that he's done.  Current MHA Chief Financial Officer Jenny Rohrer read several employee comments.  Rohrer says one employee wrote that there wasn't a day that went by when Rick didn't have a positive impact on an MHA staff member, client, or family member.  Several others spoke... including local attorney, and Vice-Chairman of the Mental Health Association's Advisory Board, Dale Robbins.  Robbins said the occasion was more about the people Huber helped kick their addiction to Heroin and other Opioids.  Huber thanked those on hand for the honor... and, said he was humbled by the recognition.  He also praised the people he worked with at MHA... who he says will continue to carry on the good work of the Association. 
 
 
Two Dunkirk men arrested for alleged possesion of drugs, including Ecstacy...
Two north county men were arrested after being found with a large quantity of a psycho-active drug and marijuana during a traffic stop in Falconer yesterday.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over a vehicle on County Route 380 and identified the driver as 25 year-old Jordan Kujawa and his passenger as 24 year-old Dylan Anzalone-Rosario.  While talking with Kujawa... Troopers say they smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  A search revealed a container with 8-grams of ecstasy capsules... a bag of ecstasy capules and a bag with marijuana.  Both men are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  They are being held in Chautauqua County Jail without bail. 
 
 
Young pushes replacement of X-Lite Guardrails in the state, work is underway...
The State Department of Transportation has already begun removing potentially deadly X-Lite guardrail products on state highways across New York.  That's the result of efforts by local State Senator Cathy Young and a local resident to get the guardrails replaced on roadways across New York and other states.  Fredonia-native Hannah Eimers was killed in a crash in Tennessee in November 2016 that involved the X-Lite system.   At a transportation budget hearing late Thursday... Young urged DOT Commissioner Paul Karas to now move on helping local communities get rid of the X-Lite products.. and, she is introducing legislature to do a follow up study.  Karas says they're not sure about how widespread the use is of X-Lite guardrail products on local roads... but, adds that if legislation is approved to authorize a study, they will do it.  He says of the 43 X-Lite Guardrails in place... 16 have already been taken down with the rest being removed later this year.  
 
 
Apthorpe talks about school safety in wake of 11 shooting incidents already in 2018...
This past week's shooting incident at a Kentucky school was the 11th one this year nationally to occur on school property.  Such instances years ago were considered rare, and shocking.... but, not anymore.  It still shocks school officials... and, is the "most stressfull part of the job."  That from new Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who says there are two parts to school safety now.  One is the physical part... which involves locked entry ways to make sure people who enter are allowed to be there.  The other part of that is working with local police on safety, and gun-involved incidents.  Apthorpe says the other part of it is the psychological and emotional aspect of safety.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 26, 2018

A Falconer man is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of methamphetime, and drug paraphernalia at an apartment in a local hotel...  
 
Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and JPD SWAT team-- along with Ellicott Police, State Police C-NET team and the FBI-- raided an apartment at the Budget Inn at 2 East Main Street for alleged Meth sales.  Once inside, Police say the SWAT team found the suspect, 35 year-old Ryan Percey, and a 15 year-old boy.  Investigators say they found several items of drug peraphernalia, and hypodermic needles and, a quantity of meth.  Percey was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, criminally using a hypodermic instrument and endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court and sent to the County lock-up.  The 15 year-old was not charged.
 
 
 
While drug trafficking and issues related to addiction remain a problem in Jamestown, the rate of violent and property crimes in the city were down last year.  That from Jamestown Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings, who provided city lawmakers with year-to-year and five-year Part-One Index Crime Rates at this week's Council work session... 
 
Snellings says the Part-One Violent Crimes include murder, and non-negligent manslaughter, forible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.  He says the property crimes included burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.  Snellings says he's not sure exactly why the numbers are down, but acknowledges that drugs -- and drug related crimes -- remain a problem.  He says some of the crimes don't fall along traditional Part-One crimes.  Of note, Snellings says the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters fell from four in 2016 to two last year and, the number of robberies fell from 47 to 31.  He says the full report can be viewed at the city's website.
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken steps to make it easier for New Yorkers to get the influenza vaccine as the flu epidemic continues to spread across the state...  
 
The Democrat signed an executive order Thursday that allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to people ages two to 18.  The order suspends a state law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer vaccines to anyone under age 18.  The governor also ordered the Department of Health to expand the state's influenza public service advertising campaign to target areas of New York hit hardest by flu.  State health officials say the number of reported flu cases rose over the past week to 7,779 laboratory-confirmed cases, with 1,759 New Yorkers requiring hospitalization.  That's up from 1,606 hospitalized the previous week.
 
 
 
The Sherman Central School bus driver whose quick actions prevented serious injury -- or worse -- to about a dozen students when their bus caught fire -- has received a commendation from county lawmakers...  
 
The legislature last Wednesday night presented the commendation to David Tenpas for his quick work to get students off the bus as it caught fire the morning of Thursday, January 4.  The acknowledgement came from legislators David Himelein and Christine Starks.
 
Sherman School Superintendent Mike Ginestre says at the first sign of the problem occured on Parker Road near Mayvllle, Tenpas took action.  Tenpas credited a motorist who was following the bus because he wasn't able to see the problem developing in the back of the vehicle.  Once he was alerted, he got the children off the bus quickly.  Another bus came by and picked up the students within a few mintues.  Ginestre says the bus was extensively damaged, the cause is still being investigated.
 
 
 
As the dialogue continues between the Dunkirk City School District and the city over re-establishing a school resource officer's position in the district, two members of the Dunkirk Common Council say they want to see the district make the move...  
 
First Ward Councilman Don Williams and Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Civiletto discussed the matter Thursday, Williams says the move is ultimately up to the school board.
 
Civiletto, a former teacher, says it's important for the district to have an SRO.  He says every school he's taught at has had one.  Civiletto says in addition to helping with safety, SRO's are often able to help students going through difficult circumstances.  Last week, Mayor Willie Rosas indicated that the city provided the district with more information about the cost of using a city police officer and was waiting to hear back from the district.  
 
 
 
New York will continue to provide Medicaid benefits to people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children - no matter what officials in Washington do with the program that protected them from deportation...  
 
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by former President Barack Obama protected certain immigrants from deportation.  But, President Donald Trump decided to stop DACA. What happens to those in the program is now under discussion in Washington.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that New York won't stand by while some 42,000 state residents impacted by DACA lose health care.  Cuomo also supports extending state college financial aid programs to students without legal status.  He has supported that initiative, called the Dream Act, for years.  There's strong opposition in the Republican-led state Senate.
 
 
 
The man who put the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County at the fore-front of the battle against the local Heroin and Opioid drug crisis will be honored today on his retirement...  
 
The association will host a special recognition and program for Rick Huber at it's location on Water Street in Jamestown.  Huber has been a leader at the organization the past 16 years.  He has been both outspoken, and a key figure in the fight.  The reception begins at 3 p.m. and the program starts at 4:00. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 25, 3018

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has approved a payment in lieu of tax agreement for one of the developers of several, large wind turbines in the north county...  
 
That doesn't sit well with a a few residents in the towns of Arkwright and Villanova, and the Cassadaga-area who voted their displeasure at last night's County Legislature meeting.  Fredonia's Mark Twitchell says it's time for lawmakers to take a stand like the Oswego County Legislature did.
 
County Executive George Borrello agreed with much of what the residents said and believes there is a way for the county to deal with limiting wind development in the county.  Right now, he says there is no local law to prevent developers from "going around the county" and to the state to get support.  He adds the Cuomo administration, right now, is providing heavy support to such projects. The four people who spoke--including Twitchell-- say the turbine projects are already driving down property values. 
 
 
 
The search is continuing for a new Chief Executive Officer of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.  County Executive George Borrello says he is currently looking for a replacement for Kevin Sanvidge who left the post at the end of December.  Borrello Wednesday updated us on the process...
 
Borrello says he is not in a rush to fill the position, but says he also realizes he must eventually make an appointment.  He says he hopes to have someone in place by March because there are a number of areas he wants to move forward on -- and needs an IDA director to do it.  Borrello, who began his duties on New Year's Day, is reaching out to the county's business community by attempting to visit 100 businesses in 100 days.  As of now, he has visited 27 businesses in the county so far.
 
 
 
Many strides have been made, but more work needs to be done to help the millions of Americans with Diabetes...  
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed was in Jamestown late Wednesday to hold a roundtable discussion with Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetics and their relatives, about their stuggles and successes with the disease.  Reed, whose 17 year-old son Will, has Diabetes, says the back-and-forth helped renew his fight against the disease.
 
Reed discussed improved health insurance coverage under the U-S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Omni-pod insulin pumps.  Reed co-chairs the Congressional Diabetes Caucus and believes there work has helped push down the cost of insulin.  He believes they were able to get prices to move downward just by asking questions about why the price for insulin was as high as it was.  Reed also talked about the Special Diabetes program, which is a $150-million research program at the National Institute of health focused on prevention, treatment, and finding a cure for Type-1 Diabetes.  Wednesday's program was held at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital's Diabetes Treatment Center.
 
 
 
A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection and threatening a female victim with a knife an in upstairs apartment yesterday evening...
 
City police responded to the apartment at 222 Winsor Street shortly after 5 p.m. for a reported physical domestic dispute. Investigation revealed that 45 year-old Robert Barr threatened the victim with a knife and, additionally held her down by applying pressure to her neck while on top of her. Officers say it was additionally determined there was an order of protection for Barr to stay away from the residence. He is being held in city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's chief of staff says the Democrat expressed surprise when a former top aide told him about his financial dealings after a 2016 law enforcement raid on the aide's home...  
 
Linda Lacewell testified Wednesday at Joseph Percoco's trial that Percoco spoke to Cuomo by phone.  She says Percoco was explaining some of his financial dealings when Cuomo asked, "What?"  Since Cuomo is unlikely to testify, Lacewell may be as close to Cuomo as witnesses will get at the trial.  Opening statements were Tuesday at the trial of Percoco and three businessmen accused of paying him over $300,000 in bribes to help them get what they needed from the state.  Percoco has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer says he did not commit a crime.
 
 
 
Jamestown School District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe addressed the "fairness" of Governor Andrew Cuomo's state aid distribution during Tuesday night's board meeting at Jefferson Middle School...  
 
During his Superintendent's Report, Apthorpe compared reading the "nuances" to reading the "fine print" in Cuomo's $168-billion budget address.  Apthorpe also expressed his disappointment in the governor's proposal in what he called "disappointingly below inflation."  Additionally, he neccessitated the "fair distribution of funds for quality education for all children."  While the proposal is not final, Apthorpe remains "hopeful" that state legislators will help as Cuomo's begins negotiations on a final budget.  He said board members will be connecting with local officials to advocated for their support. 
 
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown area are up four-cents this week to $2.75 for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel... 
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report, which says the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had a nearly 500,000 barrel draw on gasoline inventory. The 53-million barrels in total is typical for this time of year. Prices at the pump on average is $2.54-cents per gallon nationally, which is only a penny more than last week. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 24, 2018

An accidental fire has heavily-damaged the upper portion of a two-story home near Frewsburg...  
 
Frewsburg Fire Chief Nick Niles says crews were called to the scene at 1205 Bunce Road around 12:30 yesterday afternoon.  Niles says a passerby called 911 shortly after the residents had left the home.  He says there was a lot of smoke when they arrived.
 
However, Niles says fire did break out once crews got inside, and the home was opened up.  He says it took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Niles says the 35 to 40 firefighters on hand were able to confine the flames to the upstairs area.  He says there was a lot of water damage to the first-floor of the home.  Niles says mutual aid was called in from Kiantone, Busti, Kennedy, Gerry and Lakewood.  He says the last companies on scene left about 5:00.  No one was hurt in the fire.  Niles says while the cause appears accident, it remains undetermined at this time.
 
 
 
Fire damage was confined to the basement area of a home in the city of Dunkirk late Monday afternoon...  
 
Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says they were called to the scene at 28 St. Hedwig's Avenue about 4:20.  Edwards says that crews responded to a report of smoke coming from the basement, and found flames in the back side of the basement and put the flames out quickly. Edwards says there were no injuries.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
 
 
 
An overheated chimney stove pipe is the apparent cause of a fire late Monday night that's damaged a town of Gerry home...  
 
Chautauqua County Fire investigators say Gerry fire crews were called to the Jonathan Easton home at 2642 Gerry-Ellington Road about 9:30.  Gerry was assisted at the scene by Falconer, Fluvanna, Ellery Center, Sinclairville and Ellington fire crews in getting the fire out.  The Fire Investigation Team was called in and determined the fire was accidental due to the overheated chimney pipe, which caught nearby combustible materials on fire.  They says the flames then cause the house rafters to catch fire.  No injuries were reported.
 
 
 
It's been a nightmare past couple of weeks for the Jamestown Public Works Department with equipment break-downs at a time they were trying to clean-up from the most recent snowstorm...  
 
DPW Director Jeff Lehman and Equipment Manger Pat Monahan discused the matter with the City Council's Public Works Committee Monday night and later told the full panel that several pieces of old equipment were out-of-service for some time.
 
During his report later in the meeting, Mayor Sam Teresi noted that this is why his administration is looking at selling the Board of Public Utilities' Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.  Teresi says the JLDC would issue bonds to create a funding source to raise about $16-million for such purchases.  He says it's time to stop "wasting taxpayer dollars" on equipment that should have been replaced "a long time ago."  The proposal was brought to the City Council last month by the city's Bond Counsel Kenneth Bond of New York City as a way to raise capital to make improvements at the Wastewater Treatment plant, and other city infrastructure.  A fund would also likely be created to stabilize taxes.
 
 
 
The Ellicott Town Board will hold a special meeting this Thursday to approve five members for the new, joint Zoning and Planning Board...  
 
That from Town Clerk Mike Erlandson, who says the meeting will be held at Noon Thursday.  The action comes after the town board approved dissolving the planning committee with the zoning panel.  Lawmakers made the move to avoid duplicative meetings for businesses and others that had to go before both panels previously.
 
In addition, Erlandson says Celoron residents will have the chance to pay their town, and County property taxes in the village next weekend.  He will be at the village hall to take tax payments on Saturday, January 27th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m..
 
 
 
Moderates from both sides of the political aisle were key to ending the brief government shut-down and may be pivotal in preventing another one in early February... 
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs, met for an hour-and-a-half last weekend to discuss different proposals to address the issues, including an agreement over improved border security, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program better known as DACA.
 
Reed says the group of Senate moderates, called the "Common Sense" group, numbers about 20 in all.  The Corning Republican says he will continue to be a voice for the Problem Solvers on "the right..." while co-chair Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, will do so on the left.  Reed says that an agreement on DACA may not be that far away.  He says there are at least a few in the hard-right Conservative Freedom Caucus who are now willing to discuss the matter.
 
 
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County celebrated a major victory last night, getting the ball "over the goal-line" in the 2017 General Campaign...
 
That's General Campaign Chairwoman Jane Cleaver-Becker after it was announced that the United Way had easily surpassed it's $1.325-million goal in the effort.  Becker says it took a big effort to reach the goal, and she says both United Way staff and hard-working volunteers made it happen.
 
There was a "football theme" to this year's United Way Celebration, which was held at Jamestown Community College's Sarita Week's Reception Room in the Arts and Sciences Building.  Becker says they were very pleased to have about 300 new donors to this past year's campaign.  More on that later today.  The United Way supports more than three-dozen programs at about 20 member agencies.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 23, 2018

A new member of the Jamestown City Council is expressing concern that former Council President Greg Rabb will head up two important city panels and co-chair another in the new year...  
 
Republican Andrew Liuzzo says Rabb finished fifth in last November's City Council at-large races and was not re-elected.  Liuzzo says he believes there are people in the community who don't want Rabb to serve on any panel because he was defeated.  He again pushed for better transparency with city government.
 
Liuzzo says Rabb was just elected chairman of the Board of Public Utilities and chairman of the Jamestown Local Development Corporation for 2018.  He was also named co-chair of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission, a panel he co-chaired when he was on City Council.  Acting Council President Tony Dolce says just over 1,900 people voted for Rabb.  He adds that the appointments are Mayor Sam Teresi's to make, but he gives them to council in advance of a vote, and if they have any questions or concerns about them to bring them up. 
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official is continuing to visit businesses across the county, trying to reach 100 of them in 100 days...  
 
Last Thursday, County Executive George Borrello visited a company with plans to build a plant in the town of Dunkirk by 2020. Borrello took a tour of the Athenex headquarters in Buffalo, and the company's plant in Clarence.  He says plans remain on track for the construction of a much larger manufacturing facility near Route 5 in Chautauqua County.
 
Borrello says he continues to make progress in reaching a major goal he first announced during his election campaign.  He has now visited 24 business and, he says most have repeated a sounding theme.  They have positions available, but not enough qualified applicants.  Borrello is beginning his fourth week on the job.  The Irving Republican has also been discussing a number of other issues, including last week's release of Governor Andrew Cuomo's State budget proposal.
 
 
 
The New York state Democratic Party has launched an advertising attack on the new federal tax law...  
 
The new campaign announced Monday comes at the direction of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said he'll urge Congress to repeal the law.  The new tax code enacted by Washington Republicans caps at $10-thousand dollars a deduction for state and local taxes.  That deduction is especially popular in high-tax states such as New York, where Cuomo says many taxpayers face big tax increases.  The television and online ad campaign is intended to launch a public effort to scrap the law.  Cuomo says the federal changes may force the state to restructure its own taxes to reduce the effect of the increases.  He's also vowed to challenge the new tax code in court.
 
 
 
The impact of the federal tax overhaul may lead some school budgets being rejected this Spring...  
 
That's a very real concern for the New York State School Boards Association in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal for 2018-19.  That from Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer, who says the governor is proposing a payroll tax that would be deductable in the wake of the federal changes.  While most people will enjoy still being able to deduct their state and local property taxes up to $10,000, there are some who will lose out, and see school budget votes as a way to take out their frustration.
 
Kreamer says the public votes will be held in May and, a super majority to approve a budget that exceeds New York's property tax cap.  He adds that the organization is looking further into Governor Cuomo's proposed "work-arounds..." including setting up charitable donations for people to support public education.  However, Kreamer says establishing those may cause more confusion for voters. 
 
 
 
People purchasing first-class stamps at the local post office to mail a card, or a letter are paying one-cent more today... 
 
That from Buffalo Regional Spokeswoman Karen Mazukiewicz, who says the new rate of $0.50 per stamp took effect this past Sunday. Mazurkiewicz says that wasn't the only change, adding that the price for postcards also went up a penny and, some packaging products went up three to four percent.  She says this will likely be the only increases you'll see in 2018 because their increases usually take effect in January of the new year.  Mazurkiewicz adds that they can only raise prices within the Consumer Price Index.  Under federal legislation in 2006, she says the U-S Postal Service can increase it's rates once a calendar year to help cover it's costs.  
 
 
 
Chautauqua Striders Mentoring program is looking to expand their school-based mentorships to districts outside of Jamestown... 
 
That from Elementary and Middle School Coordinator Mary-Ann Mason, who says that they're looking to expand more into the south county to work with students in Falconer, Bemus Point and Southwestern.
 
Mason says that their main focus is the Jamestown Public Schools because they have the most kids. However, they do have a north county office in Dunkirk. At the high school level, Mason says Striders takes pride in their tutoring mentors as well as their Life Skills programs in select skills including a program for bi-lingual students. For more information on the Striders Mentoring Program or how to become a mentor, listen to our "Community Spotlight" program online at MediaOneGroupRadio.com
 
 
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Flood Watch for ice jam flooding across western New York through this evening...  
 
That from Forecaster Steve Welch in Buffalo, who says that includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties until 7:00.  The weather service says rainfall during the watch period will averages around a half inch. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 22, 2018

 
An Ohio man is accused of providing the firearms used to fire off errant gun shots at targets on Chautauqua Lake Sunday morning...  
 
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on the lake -- near Sea Lion Drive -- about 9:30 on a report of "ammunition rounds coming over the ice in a reckless manner."  Officers say they located 20 yer-old Matthew Michael of Brook Park, Ohio along with the others.  Some ice fisherman made the complaint.  Deputies found that Michael owned the weapons involved and he was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment.  He was issued appearance tickets for Chautauqua Town Court.
 
 
 
Fire has extensively damaged a two-story apartment house on Jamestown's eastside and the cause remains under investigation...  
 
City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to the scene at 24 Phillips Street about 9:30 last Friday night.  Sigular says crews found fire coming from the rear of the first floor when they arrived.  Sigular says it took about 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control and all the tenants were out when crews arrived.  However, Sigular says two cat perished in the blaze.  He says the house is not "habitable" right now and it's too early to tell whether or not it will be torn down.  Sigular says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist.  Sigular says a woman living in one of the apartments passed away earlier in the day.
 
 
The animal protection group Farm Sanctuary says 24 pigs have been removed from a Cattaraugus County farm where officials say they were kept in inhumane conditions... 
 
The rest of the 72 found were removed later.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were initially called to the scene at 5119 Folts Road in Ashford last Tuesday, and then returned last Saturday.  Deputies say the pigs were owned by 56 year-old Gerald Nason, Junior.  Farm Sanctuary said Friday that it collaborated with the Cattaraugus County SPCA on last Tuesday's rescue.  The organizations worked together on a 2002 case at the same farm involving 125 neglected pigs.  Nason faces eight counts of cruelty to animals, and was jailed on one-thousand dollars bail.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's business community apparently views Governor Andrew Cuomo's  proposed 2019 budget as a mixed bag. That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum...
 
On one hand, Tranum says the budget continues to emphasize job readiness, something he says the chamber continues to support. But, a major concern is the governor's proposal to shift to a pay roll tax to counter the effects of federal tax reform on workers across the state. He says this will place "an additional administrative burden on employers, and in some cases, may create cashflow issues."  He says "at some point" they'll get a break on taxes, but, they're also going to have to "front" some money.  Tranum says the chamber is still researching the effects of the governor's budget and will be reaching out to area state lawmakers to voice their concerns about the proposed state spending plant. 
 
 
It took four ballots, but Jamestown lawyer Eddie Sundquist got most of the votes on the last ballot to win the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee's endorsement for Congress...  
 
County Democratic Chairman Norm Green says Sunquist got 59% of the vote at Saturday's meeting to beat out six others.  Green says Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano was second, and Max Dell Pia of Owego was third.  Also nominated were Linda Andrei of Ithaca, Rick Gallant of Corning, Ithaca's Ian Golden and Charles Whalen of Geneva.  He says "the endorsement process for the county Democratic Committee leads to the June 26 primary where rank and file Democrats will have the opportunity to weigh in, and finalize the party's candidate to run against Tom Reed in November."  Green says it was a "great process" with more than 100 people taking part.  He says the county committee is now "honor bound" to continue to work for Eddie up to the primary. 
 
 
A discount bakery outlet located on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood for more than two-decades has moved and is slated to open this morning at a new location in West Ellicott...  
 
The Strohmann Bakery Outlet recently closed at it's location next to Davidson's Restaurant.  Regional Manager for Strohmann's, Stephen Freeze, says they're ready to go at their new location at 707 Fairmount Avenue in the Fairmount Plaza.
 
Freeze says they feel fortunate to find another location on Fairmount Avenue that's not far from their previous location.  He says they had narrowed the choices down to two, after their previous location got sold by the Davidson family, which owned that property.  Freeze says they "scrambled" to find a new location because they wanted to remain on Fairmount Avenue.  He says they'll be back to their full compliment of employees for the new location.  In addition to the full-line of Strohmann products, he says they'll also carry Entemann's cakes,  Thomas's English Muffins, and Sara Lee to name a few.
 
 
An international company looking to expand it's operations in Dunkirk in the coming year was one of the focuses of Mayor Willie Rosas' annual State of the City message late last week...  
 
A capacity crowd was on hand Friday afternoon for the speech.  Rosas says the major project is being proposed by Dunkirk Special Metals and he says if successful it will mean more jobs.
 
Following the meeting, Rosas said the city's Development Department is working with state and county officials to make the expansion happen.  Among his other goals, he says they include working with surrounding communities through shared services.  Rosas is taking up a challenge that Governor Andrew Cuomo made recently in his budget message.  Rosas also spoke about the many festivals and other activities that took place in the city during 2017, including a two-hour long air show.  Rosas announced there will not be another air show in 2018, but indicated there are plans for something much bigger.

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 20, 2018

Tenants escape flames in Jamestown apartment house fire...
The investigation is continuing into an early weekend fire that's extensively damaged a two-story apartment house on Jamestown's eastside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to 24 Phillips Street about 9:30 p.m. Friday.  Sigular says crews found fire coming from the rear of the first floor when they arrived... and, they knocked down the fire in about 15 minutes.  Sigular tells us the home is currently uninhabitable.  Sigular says all the tenants were out when crews arrived.  However... he says two cat perished in the blaze.  He says it's too early to tell whether or not the house will be torn-down.  Sigular says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist.  There is no cause yet for the blaze.  Sigular says a woman living in one of the apartments passed away earlier in the day.
 
 
Long-time Maple Grove Coach Curt Fischer resigns amid disagreements with parents, school officials...
One of the region's top high school coaches has left the district where he has coached almost exclusively for the past quarter of a century.  Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School Varsity Football... Basketball... and, Girl's Softball Coach Curt Fischer has led his teams to five state titles.  But... the Falconer native tells Media One Group News that he resigned during Thursday's Bemus Point School Board meeting... but, adds it's a decision he did not want to make... adding he'll have "Dragon in my heart forever."  He says there have been so many great players, parents and people he has met down through the years.  However... Fischer says it's too bad "that things changed."  Fischer says a problem with a "few parents" over the past two years -- mainly with girl's softball -- was allowed to fester... and, the situation came to a head in recent weeks.  Fischer had been Girl's Softball Coach the past nine years... and was head boy's basketball coach the past 13 seasons.  He was emotional when talking about leaving the school... and, decided it was best for his family -- especially his two children -- who are both in high school.  Curt Fischer has been acclaimed as one of the best coaches in modern times in Chautauqua County... and, will be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame next month.
 
 
Bemus Point School District responds for Fischer decision with printed statement...
We were unable to reach Bemus Point School Superindent Mike Mansfield directly... but, he did issue a joint statement with School Board President John Novotny.  Mansfield says "Curt Fischer asked for and was granted an unpaid leave of absence from his position of varsity boys basketball coach. The leave was approved at our January 8th Board of Education meeting."  Since that time... Mansfield says Fischer told the district that he is resigning as basketball coach.  As for his position as Football Coach... he says "all athletic coaching positions are posted annually and the District appoints all athletic coaches on an annual basis."  He says no decision has been on a football coach.  Mansfield adds that the district "deeply appreciates" Fischer's commitment, and wishes him well in the future.
 
 
Two people arrested in Jamestown during illegal narcotics investigation...
Two men are jailed after an investigation by drug agents in Jamestown for allegedly found a large quantity of methamphetamine  during a traffic stop Wednesday night.  Officers say they were investigating the trafficking of meth coming into the city when they stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Allen and King Streets.  Further investigation revealed that the driver... 26 year-old Zachary Witherwell of Youngsville, Pennsylvania.... was in possession of one half-ounce of crystal Meth and drug paraphernalia.  Witherwell was also found in possession of Clonazepam and was subsequently charged.  Officers say his passenger -- Jacob Motherwell of Jamestown -- became disorderly and began using vulgar language towards officers... creating a disturbance.  He's also accused of fighting with officers, and refused to get into the police car.  He was additionally charged with obstructing governmental administration. 
 
 
Kreamer says state school districts need at least double the amount of aid increase Cuomo is proposing...
There is a 3-percent increase in school aid in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018-19 budget proposal.  However... very little of it can be used as local districts want to spend it.  That from New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer...  who says.. when you peel back the layers... the $769-million increase is more like a 2.3-percent increase.  He says schools actually need about $1.5-billion to just meet projected expenses in the coming year to cover transporation, salaries, security, and pay bills in general.  Kreamer says what the Governor proposes for education funding is a starting point.  It's now up to the Assembly and State Senate to review the governor's proposal... and, come back with their own budget plans.  He says early indications are that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie also believes the increase is not enough... while Senate Majority Leader John Flanigan is "embracing" the Governor's increase.  The budget is due April 1.
 
 
Reed blames "extremists" on both sides for government shut-down...
Extremists on both sides of the political aisle are to blame for the federal government shut-down... which began at Midnight last night.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who calls the shut-down "unfortunate."  He adds that -- "I am deeply disappointed these extremists, who are refusing to compromise, have prevailed.  I want to assure people that I will not stop working until a solution is found."  In the meatime... Reed says his offices will remain open, accessible and able to help as many people as possible with the things they need such as social security checks, Medicare, or veterans issues."  In Washington... he says he will continue to work out the details of a bipartisan solution.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 19, 2018

A 74 year-old man from Jamestown man has died from apparent smoke inhalation in an overnight fire early Thursday morning blamed on a space heater...  
 
Acting City Fire Battalion Chief, Lieutenant Tim Glenn says crews were called to the scene at 21 Carey Place shortly after 1 a.m. and says they found flames coming from the upper part of the structure... and, they found Patrick Reilly unresponsive in his room.  Reilly was pulled out of the room, and later died at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Glenn says firefighters were able to get the flames out fairly quickly and, they determined the cause to be the electric space heater the man was using that was too close to combustables.  
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018-19 proposed budget increases state school aid by 3% or about $769-million...  
 
However, when you "peel back" the layers of the spending plan, there's really not enough to cover the anticipated increase in costs to educate children in the state.  That from New York State Schools Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer, who says it's really about a 2.3% increase.
 
Kreamer says the other issue is the way the state doles out "catagorical" aid, which means the money must be used for that category.  He says when you look at that,  most of that nearly $800-million is already spoken for. He says what the Governor proposes for education funding is a starting point.  However, Kreamer says early indications are that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie also believes the increase is not enough, while Senate Majority Leader John Flanigan is "embracing" the Governor's increase.  The budget is due April 1.
 
 
 
Most Chautauqua County schools will benefit from Governor Cuomo's proposed 2018-19 budget.  In fact, all but three will see increases in their state aid if the budget is adopted as is...  
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell's office released school runs for the county late yesterday and the overall increase is nearly $9.5-million.  The runs show that Jamestown will get the biggest increase -- $4.1-million -- but, about $3-million of that will be for building and building reorganizational incentive funding.  The next biggest bump in aid goes to Dunkirk, which would get nearly $1.5-million more in 2018-19.  Bemus Point is next with another $937,000.  However, there are three districts who will see reductions, led by Frewsburg, which is seeing a $139,000 cut.
 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed was among House members in a slim majority that voted in favor of the short-term Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded after Midnight tonight...  
 
Reed today says Congress is "working to govern on behalf of the American people."  He says the vote funds essential programs such as the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the next six years. Reed admits that -- overall -- it's only good for the next four weeks, but does include the CHIP funding.  Reed says he still wants to begin work to put at least a one-year funding deal put together.  Ideally, he says he would like to see a two-year deal like the one negotiated a few years ago between Democrats and the GOP.  DACA is reportedly not part of the Congressional resolution.  Senate Democrats are vowing a filibuster unless there's a deal to protect around 700,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S. as children and stayed illegally.  Reed is calling on Senators from both sides of the aisle to support a sensible solution.
 
 
 
A Brocton man has been arrested for allegedly violating the state's Sex Offender Registry Act...  
 
Sheriff's officers say they took 44 year-old Victor Martinez into custody yesterday afternoon following an investigation that began last month.  Deputies say Martinez is a registered level-3 sex offender, who allegedly failed to comply with the terms of the registry.  He was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court and sent to the Chautauqua County jail on $15,000 bail/ $30,000 property bond.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested following a traffic stop after she was allegedly found in possession of two controlled susbstances Wednesday evening...  
 
City police say they stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Newland Avenue and Prospect Street for a traffic violation shortly after 7:00.  Officers say the driver, 37 year-old Kristen Nelson, was found to be driving on a suspended license.  Further investigation revealed Nelson also had a quantity of methamphetamine and unprescribed suboxone in her possession.  She was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and failure to stop at stop sign. 

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News Bulletin for Thurs., Jan. 18, 2018

(**Bulletin)Elderly man dies from early morning fire in his apartment in Jamestown...
An elderly man has died from smoke inhalation after fire broke out early Thursday in an apartment on Jamestown's northside.  Acting City Fire Battalion Chief Tim Glenn says crews were called to the scene at 21 Carey Place shortly about 1:15 a.m., and, says they found flames coming from the upper part of the structure.  Glenn says fire was visable from the rear second-floor, and crews got inside.  He says they found the man unresponsive in his apartment and he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.  Glenn says the man's identify is not being released at this time... and, may be later by City police.  He says firefighters were able to get the flames out fairly quickly... and, they determined the cause was an electric space heater being placed too close to combustables.  Fire damage was confined to the man's room.  Glenn says the victim's body was taken to the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.  He says crews were at the scene until about 7:30 this morning... and an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in.  No firefighters were hurt in battling the blaze.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 18, 2018

A bi-partisan panel co-chaired by local Congressman Tom Reed has released it's recommendations for using up to one-trillion dollars to build a 21st century infrastructure network in the United States...  
 
Reed says the "problem solver's" caucus has reached consensus on a set of policies to serve as the basis for a plan to address what he calls a "dire need" to rebuild and responsibly invest in the nation's infrastructure.  The Corning Republican says that includes both "traditional" and "non-traditional" infrastructure.
 
Reed says the problem solvers created the "infrastructure working group," co-chaired by fellow new york republican John Katko, and Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Esty, who met with over 100 outside stakeholder organizations, the administration, and leaders in congress, to develop bipartisan concepts to move an infrastructure plan forward.  He says the nation needs to come up with a "dedicated, modernized user fee-based system" to pay for infrastructure needs.  Reed's co-chair on the problem solver's panel, new jersey democrat Josh Gottheimer, echoed those sentiments.  Gotthemer says "we can't keep kicking this problem down the road."
 
 
 
Business tax savings in new york state from the federal tax overhaul could be offset by new state businesses taxes proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2018-19 budget...  
 
That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who says it's part of the governor's plan to raise an additional one-billion dollars to help offset a projected $4.4-billion shortfall in the new spending plan.  goodell says he opposes the the moves, which would raise about $300-million for the state.
 
Also in response to federal tax reform, goodell says the governor is proposing two ways to reduce higher-wage earners tax liability.  He says one way is through charitable contributions by establishing funds to support non-profit entities. He says the second method is to limit higher income earners liability is to install a payroll tax, which would be submitted through the employer.  He says state taxes paid that way are deductable under the federal tax reforms.  Goodell says lawmakers in albany are still waiting to get more information on the governor's proposal.  He says, with all the sifting lawmakers will have to do, it may make it difficult to meet the budget's April 1 deadline.
 
 
 
Governor Cuomo was heckled during his state budget address to lawmakers by a New York City-area legislator unhappy with Cuomo's education spending plan...  
 
Democratic Assemblyman Charles Baron, of Brooklyn, stood up during the Democratic governor's speech in Albany Tuesday to call for higher taxes on millionaires to support public schools. Cuomo told him to listen to the speech before criticizing it.  Baron also interrupted the governor during his State of the State Address two years ago.  Cuomo is vowing to fight back against Washington Republicans with a state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding. 
 
 
 
The county aiport near Jamestown is the only one of 19 that did not receive an essential air service waiver for their U.S. Department of Transporation subsidy, but most of the others also did not reach the required passenger numbers...  
 
Those airports include the regional locations in Bradford and Franklin, Pennsylvania.  According to The Altoona Mirror in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the DOT noted that the Jamestown location is "76 miles away from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and 61 miles from the Erie International Airport.  That access, the government concluded, makes it unlikely that Jamestown's passenger numbers, identified at 4,408 in the 2016 fiscal year, will increase enough to put the airport into compliance with program requirements."     
 
 
A Dunkirk man has been arrested for robbery and assault following a three-month long investigation in the north county city...  
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says officers located the 37-year-old suspect at his residence on Lincoln Avenue around 4 a.m. yesterday.  Ortolano says he was found hiding in an unexpected place---a washing machine.  Fernando Martinez, junior is accused of forcibly taking an undisclosed amount of cash from an individual and causing physical injury to the victim on November 8 of last year.  Ortolano credits the work of his department in not giving up on the case because the "bad guys" will sometimes do what they have to to avoid arrest.  Martinez is facing second-degree robbery and third-degree assault charges.  He's being held in the city lock up until his arraignment in Dunkirk City court.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested following a traffic stop after she was allegedly found a controlled substance and hypodermic instruments on the city's eastside yesterday morning...
 
At 9:00, city police say they conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Lindwood Ave and Martin Road on vehicle operated by 27 year-old Brittany Hitchcock. further investigation revealed hitchcock was in possession of a quantity of heroin and several hypodermic needles. She was taken to city jail without incident. Officers say the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 17, 2018

The regional air carrier that's been providing commercial air service at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown has packed up and left the airport after it's federal subsidy was pulled...  
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed confirmed the news yesterday afternoon during a conference call with Southern Tier Media.  The county and Southern Airways Express were as part of an announcement about two weeks ago that the U.S. Department of Transportation was terminating funding for its Essential Air Service program.  While the situation improved in recent weeks, Reed says Southern never achieved the required average of 10 passengers a day.
 
We were unable to reach County Executive George Borrello Tuesday afternoon.  Local officials have been working with Reed and, the state's two U.S. Senators on the matter.  At last count, Reed says Southern had just under two passengers a day.  The county was receiving about $2.1-million annually that allowed Southern Airways to provide flights from Jamestown to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Reed is confident another carrier will be found.
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a $168-billion state budget plan that eliminates a $4.4-billion deficit while increasing spending on public education and New York City subways... 
 
Cuomo, a Democrat, says he also will recommend changes to the state tax code to soften the blow of the new federal GOP tax overhaul.  The major change is a shift to a payroll tax where employers would withhold $5.00 in wages out of $100 in wages that the employer can deduct.
 
At the same time, Cuomo says the state would retain an income tax for other means of income, such as dividends, and what's called "passive" income.  However, he says the capping of the state and local property tax deduction at $10,000 is a larger problem and he urged lawmakers to work with him on finding solutions.  He is proposing $1-billion in new revenues to help cover the projected deificit.  Cuomo is also recommending a new surcharge on opioid prescriptions to fund the fight against addiction.
 
 
As Governor Andrew Cuomo gets ready to deliver his budget message in Albany today, a former candidate for governor has announced he is launching a new campaign to help homeowners fight for fair property taxes...  
 
Philanthropist and businessman Tom Golisano calls it, "Tax My Property Fairly".  In announcing the campaign on Facebook Tuesday morning, Golisano also indicated that he plans to launch a class action lawsuit on behalf of upstate taxpayers.
 
Golisano says the campaign features a new web site, TaxMyPropertyFairly.com.  Golisano unsuccessfully ran for governor three-times as an independent candidate.  He is no longer a state resident, having moved to Florida in 2009.  Golisano still owns two homes in New York, having successfully challenged the assessment of the properties.  He is also the former owner of the Buffalo Sabres.
 
 
 
So far, no final cause has been determined in last Sunday's massive fire that destroyed a multi-story mixed use building in downtown Falconer. However, Chautauqua County Fire investigators say it's not believed to be suspicious...  
 
The county's Fire Investigation Team released results of it's investigation late Tuesday morning.  Team members interviewed several people, including tenants, and looked at parts of the third-floor that had not yet collapsed.  They determined that the fire started in the attic area of the building.  In addition, they say during the course of the investigation, it was learned three cats were in an apartment on the second floor of the building that didn't suffer much fire damage.  Using a ladder truck, they were able to break out a window and safely rescue the three cats inside.
 
 
 
For only the second-time in it's history, the Jamestown City Council will be led by a woman... 
 
Marie Carrubba says she looks forward to serving in the coming year.  Carrubba was elected as head of the nine-member council at last week's re-organizational meeting.  The Democrat says, given the work over the past year, 2018 is shaping up as another busy year.
 
Carrubba says working to expand the city's declining tax base will be a priority in the coming year and will include trying to get dilapitated homes and properties back onto the tax rolls.  However, she says that can't be the sole focus.  Carrubba says she'll also talk with department heads to look for more cost savings.  Among the people congratulating Carrubba after the meeting was the council's first female president, Dr. Lillian Ney.  Ney served as City Council President for two years, 2004 and 2005.
 
 
A city man is jailed after allegedly threatening another man with a kitchen knife last Sunday night on Jamestown's eastside...  
 
City police were called to the 600-block of Spring Street shortly before 8 p.m. on a report of a person with a weapon.  Officers say they were told on arrival that a fight broke out between 42 year-old Ismael Rivera-Pena and another man at the scene.  Police say Rivera-Pena allegedly armed himself with the knife, and assumed a fighting stance with the other man.  Rivera-Pena was arrested for second-degree menacing, and was being held in the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
A Jamestown woman faces several charges including three counts of endagering the welfare of a child following a domestic incident yesterday evening... 
 
City police responded to 124 Anderson Street and, found that 46 year-old Joy Ryen allegedly held the victim down while attempting to cover their mouth. Officers say her actions occurred in front of three small children. She was additionally charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and criminal obstruction of breathing. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 16, 2018

There was a daring, top-story aerial rescue during the beginning of Sunday afternoon's fire that destroyed a residential-commercial building on West Main Street in Falconer...  
 
That from Falconer Mayor, and Fire Department spokesman Jim Rensel, who says one of the three aerial trucks that responded to the blaze at the Falconer Vac-Shop building made the rescue from a third-floor apartment. The alarm initially went out about 11:55 a.m.,  Rensel says the four people rescued and seven others who lived in the upstairs apartments, all got out safely.  The dozen or so fire deparments that responded ended up making a defensive attack with the aerial trucks because it wasn't safe enough to get inside.  Rensel confirms there was a roof collapse while battling the blaze.
 
There is still no cause yet for the fire and West Main Street remains closed off from Phetteplace to Work Street in Falconer.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  No one else was hurt.  The building at 15 West Main is owned by long-time Falconer businessman, Brian Nelson.  
 
 
 
A traffic stop in Dunkirk late last Saturday afternoon resulted in the discovery of over four pounds of pot in the vehicle and led to three arrests on drug related charges...  
 
Dunkirk Police say they observed a vehicle being driven by 32-year-old Jessie Melendez of Dunkirk at West 5th and Swan Streets fail to stop at a stop sign.  At the time of the traffic stop, an officer observed a large quantity of high quality marijuana packaged in large, clear plastic bags in plain view on the rear floor of the vehicle.  Melendez and two passengers, 31-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez and 34-year-old Luis Sanchez -- both of Dunkirk -- were each charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the 2nd degree.  Melendez was also charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to stop at a stop sign and unsafe tires.  The marijuana had an approximate street value of $8,000.
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to unveil his proposed 2018 budget later today and the New York Democrat has hinted that it may include proposed changes to the state's tax code...  
 
Those changes would come in the wake of the passage of new, federal tax reform.  During a visit to Dunkirk earlier this month, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul noted that -- with the likely capping of the State and Local Tax deductions, the Cuomo administration was looking at ways to respond.
 
One Congressman who voted for the tax bill was local Representative Tom Reed, who says the state needs to cut it's tax burden.  However, Cuomo has indicated that some type of tax shift is needed to help soften the blow of the federal tax overhaul, which puts a $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction for property taxes.  The state is also looking at a $4-billion deficit.
 
 
 
New York lawmakers want to know if a new state initiative aimed at reducing property taxes is working as intended...  
 
A provision in the state budget directs local officials around the state to convene panels to study ways their counties, towns, cities and villages could save money by sharing services and consolidating programs.  The idea of the program, supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is to reduce the local tax burden by eliminating layers of bureaucracy and encouraging more efficiency.  Thirty-four counties have completed the process so far. 
 
 
 
The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was celebrated Monday afternoon in Dunkirk with the theme: "The Power of Love, Building Bridges... Tearing Down Walls" at the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Luncheon held at the Dunkirk Moose Lodge...  
 
Buffalo School Board President Doctor Barbara Seals Nevergold was the guest speaker.  Nevergold spoke about a speech Dr. King delivered in Buffalo in 1967 and, how the message still applies today.  The lifelong educator says that when it comes to dealing with new challenges, it's important to identify the problems.  But, Nevergold adds that it's important to recognize the successes.  She says it's easy to get "mired down" in the problems that come up, but she says there have also been many successes to celebrate.  The committee also presented the Janice D. Slaton, Esquire Scholarships.  One of the winners was Destiny Paredes, a student at Jamestown Community College's Dunkirk Campus.  A record of just over 170 people turned out for the luncheon.
 
 
The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy was celebrated in New York's capital Monday and, other places in the state...  
 
A free public program was held Monday morning in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, near the state Capitol, featuring a performance by Grammy and Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday.  Speakers included Lola Brabham, the acting state civil service commissioner, and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson.  The holiday events also will include a march to a nearby King Monument and an Albany City Hall carillon concert.  Jamestown's annual celebration was held last Sunday at Immanuel Baptist Church.
 
 
 
The New York Police Department says detectives are looking into a man's claim that disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer threatened to stab him during an irate interaction in a Manhattan restaurant...  
 
Police say Jamie Antolini filed a complaint Friday.  He says he was having dinner January 2nd, when Spitzer came in and became angry at hearing Antolini praise someone Spitzer has fought with.  The NYPD says Antolini accuses Spitzer of threatening him with bodily harm and making statements that he would kill him.  Spitzer spokeswoman Lisa Linden says there was an argument started by a restaurant patron, and that Spitzer initially ignored his remarks.  She said at no time did he make any threats.  Spitzer resigned in 2008 amid revelations that he had sex with prostitutes.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 15, 2018

Falconer mayor says village will rebound after latest devastating blaze in downtown area...
A major fire that broke out just before Noon yesterday in the village of Falconer has destroyed another large, residential-commercial building in the heart of the downtown area.  It's the second fire within the past 10 months on that part of Main Street.  A dozen fire companies were called to the scene of the Falconer Vac-Shop building at 15 West Main St. at 11:55 am Sunday.  Falconer Fire Department Spokesman, and Mayor Jim Rensel says all 11 tenants got out safely.  Rensel says they were being taken care of, temporarily, in the Falconer Central School building.  That shelter was needed in the wake of temperatures in the low to mid-teens.  Those frigid temperatures also made it difficult for firefighters on the scene.  The building... which housed the Falconer Vac-Shop... is believed to be a total loss.  Rensel says two other businesses were there... including a hair salon that had been burned out of the other blaze last March at 29-34 West Main.  He calls it a "tough situation."  Rensel says one firefighter suffered a knee injury... which he hopes is minor.  The fire was deemed under control about mid-afternoon... but, several fire crews remained at the scene to douse hot spots.  No cause has yet been released.  Several fire companies... including Jamestown, Lakewood, and Frewsburg joined Falconer at the scene.  West Main Street has been closed between Phetteplace... and Work Streets.  
 
 
New County Executive on hand to support Falconer in wake of second major fire in 10 months...
The second major fire in the village of Falconer is "very sad to see."  That from new Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello... who praised firefighters for their efforts in battling the blaze in Sunday's frigid conditions.  Borrello says there's still plenty of work to do... but, he's confident fire officials will find out what happened.  Mayor Jim Rensel says a tenant inside the building called in the alarm after smelling smoke and fire inside.  Borrello offered Mayor Rensel whatever help the county can... and, praised the county's on-going mutual aid program for a strong turn-out by firefighters.
 
 
BPU reports wide-spread discolored water due to Falconer fire...
The major fire in the village of Falconer has caused systemwide discolored water in the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' service area.  That from BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... who says the heavy hydrant use stirs up the water.  Robbins adds the BPU's electric line department had to cut power on Main Street in Falconer from Tiffany Avenue to Homestead to permit firefighters to battle the fire safely.  It was restored about mid-afternoon.
 
 
Teresi says, despite troubling and unresolved shooting and stabbing incidents, major crimes are down in city...
With a number of shooting incidents... and, one stabbing death in late 2017... public safety remains at a premium in the city of Jamestown.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the situation is getting better, but, adds that city police need to have better cooperation from the public in a few cases.  Teresi says he understands why some people may not feel safe... but, adds the crime rate will never be zero.  At the same time... he says an improving economy will help advance that.  He says that has helped "calm" the major crime numbers in the city.  Teresi adds, though, that better law enforcement first needs to have better citizen concern and involvement.  That's why he is pleased to have Chief Harry Snellings back on the job for another four-years.  He says Snellings has worked hard to impart the need for solid evidence, and witness assistance to his officers.  City police have been frustrated by not getting cooperation in a few shooting incidents, and the fatal stabbing late last year.  Snellings has carried the dual position of Police Chief and Public Safety Director for nearly the past eight years.  
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested after alleged DWI Accident...
A minor two-car crash in the north county has led to the arrest of a Dunkirk man for allegedly driving while drunk.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of the two-car accident at Route 5 and Temple Road in the town of Dunkirk last Friday afternoon... and, found that 33 year-old Bradley Ross was driving while he was in an intoxicated state.  He was arrested for DWI, following too closely, uninspected motor vehicle, and, Aggravated DWI with a .18 BAC or higher.  Ross was issued appearance tickets for Dunkirk Town Court at a later date.
 
 

 

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News Bulletin for Sun., Jan. 14, 2018

(**Alert)Another major fire in Falconer destroys commercial-apartment building near scene of last year's major blaze...

A major fire that broke out late this morning in the village of Falconer has destroyed another residential-commercial building in the downtown area.  It's the second fire within the past 10 months on that part of Main Street.  Crews were called to the Falconer Vac-Shop building at 15 West Main Street on a report of smoke and fire in the upper floors of the building.  Falconer Fire Department Spokesman, and Mayor Jim Rensel says the 11 people living in the upstairs apartments were evacuated safely... and no one was hurt.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  Dozens of firefighters are at the scene... and, officials are urging motorist to avoid that area today.  West Main Street has been closed between Phetteplace... and Dow Streets.  

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 13, 2018

Winter Weather returns to western Southern Tier...
It is a picture post-card Winter day in the western Southern Tier after several inches of snow fell across the area last night and overnight.  The National Weather Service reports between the snow pretty much ended in the Jamestown-area early this morning... but, not before dumping 7 to 8 inches of new snow.  The snow ended early this morning, and the Weather Service discontinued our Winter Storm Warning about mid-morning.  The temperature... which was about 54 early yesterday here at our Media One Group studios in West Ellicott... fell to the mid-30s by early afternoon... then into the upper teens last night.  The temperature rose to about 12 this morning... and, will drop to near zero overnight tonight.  It'll remain very cold through Sunday night.
 
 
State to provide $5-million in snowmobile grants, Chautauqua Co. to get $218,000...
More than $5-million has been awarded to communities in New York state for snowmobile trail maintenance and grooming.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding Thursday and designated the weekend of February 2-5 as a free snowmobiling weekend for out-of-state and Canadian residents.  The Democratic governor says the state is providing $4 million in grants for snowmobile trail maintenance, a 15 percent increase from last year.  The grants support more than 10,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails.  Chautauqua County will receive abot $218,800 in funding... which comes from snowmobile registration fees. 
 
 
Local businesses, soup kitchen to be impacted by Sam's Club closing...
Individuals and businesses looking for bargains on bulk-items have been flocking to the West Ellicott Sam's Club store after Thursday's sudden announcment that it'll be closing in two-weeks.  Several local businesses... often times restaurants... buy items at Sam's to save money.  The St. Susan's Soup Kitchen in Jamestown also buys several items 2 to 3 times a week for it's operations.  Director Jeff Smith adds that Sam's has also been "incredibly generous" in donating items to the center... such as additional food items, paper products, and cleaning supplies.  Smith says he and his staff are going to have to make alternative plans to deal with issues such as buying additional milk... paper towels... and other items because Sam's Club was convenient to their operation.  As for the 115 people who will soon be laid-off... Smith says they are certainly welcome to come by the center for a hot meal when they need it.  We heard that cars were lined up along Fairmount Avenue in a couple of directions yesterday... and, people were also lined up around the building on Fairmount Avenue to get inside after the warehouse store... which was closed Thursday.
 
 
Teresi re-appoints Snellings as police chief, director of Pubic Safety...
The man who has served the dual role of Jamestown Police Chief and Public Safety Director for nearly the past eight years will remain chief for another four-years.  Chief Harry Snellings... a more than 21 year JPD veteran... was confirmed by the city council this past week after being appointed by Mayor Sam Teresi.  Teresi says his relationship with Snellings goes back to when the chief was first with the department in the late 1990s... and, went along with Snellings on a patrol "ride-along" when he first became mayor in 2000.  Snellings became a Sergeant in the early 2000s... then Lieutenant and head of the JPD SWAT Team before being appointed as Chief. Teresi says Snellings is definately "in the mold" of Teresi's past appointees to the post... William MacLaughlin and Rex Rater.  He says he's "very thankful" that Snellings agreed to one more term in office.  Snellings has been credited for leading the way on Jamestown's crack-down on drug-trafficking in the city.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 12, 2018

A spokesman for a members-only warehouse store that's been part of the retail landscape in West Ellicott the past two decades is confirming that the local Sam's Club store is closing at the end of the month...  
 
The word comes from Corporate Communications Director Philip Keene in an e-mail Thursday afternoon.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin calls it a "sad" day for the town.  McLaughlin spoke with Sam's Club's Northeastern Governmental Affairs Director... who confirmed the closing will take place on January 26, and there are no future plans for the location.
 
The West Ellicott Sam's Club is one of 63 being closed nationwide, with three others in New York state.  McLaughlin says there are two in the Rochester-area and one is in Syracuse.  In a note to USA Today, Sam's Club President and Chief Executive Officer John Furner said they've decided to "right-size" their fleet.  McLaughlin says he did not receive a reason for the closings.
 
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The Sam's Club at 720 Fairmount Avenue was closed without warning Thursday, with many employees finding out they weren't working when they arrived.  A flyer in the door said the store would be reopening this morning at 10:00.  Some employees referred to it as a "going out of business" sale.  
 
 
The expected closing of the Sam's Club store is a tough economic pill for the region to swallow and efforts are underway to find another retailer down the road to go into the location...  
 
Ellicott Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says he can confirm that "no major retailers" have approached the town about possibly locating here -- right now.  He adds that, while there are no plans right now, the town is not out of the running for an e-commerce location down the road.
 
In addition to McLaughlin, State Senator Cathy Young says she is "alarmed and disheartened to learn of the sudden impending closure" of the local Sam's Club.  In a printed release Thursday afternoon, Young called it a "devastating blow to the store's employees and their families and to our area."  She adds that she has already heard from small business owners, including restaurants, who are very concerned about where they will buy bulk items for their businesses.
 
 
A Flood Watch remains in effect for parts of Western New York... 
 
Along with a Winter Storm Warning that takes effect at 1:00 this afternoon.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the warning is in place until 1 p.m. Saturday.  Ansuini says another shot of arctic air will pushing into the area by early this afternoon.
 
Ansuini says the early morning temperatures may get into the low 50s before the bottom drops out later in the day.  Total snow accumulations of five to 10 inches and ice accumulations of around two tenths are possible.  Difficult driving conditions are expected for tonight through Saturday morning.  The Flood Watch remains in effect through tonight.
 
 
 
The ice jamming situation improved later in the day Thursday in the village of Silver Creek and along Walnut Creek where ice jams were forming...
 
Route 5 was closed Thursday morning, but re-opened from Main Street to Parkway Avenue by late afternoon.  Silver Creek Fire Department Public Information Officer Jeff Griewisch says much of the large jam that concerned officials had cleared into Lake Erie, but they are still monitoring the situation.
 
Griewisch says they had a reduced number of crews in the village, but are ready if crews need to spring into action.  Local and county emergency management officials are also keeping a close watch in the Sunset Bay area where there are indications of potential flooding present.  Residents in Sunset Bay are being encouraged to prepare to evacuate in the event that flooding does occur.
 
 
State officials say 19 local governments across New York are splitting nearly $10 million for consolidating... 
 
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state funding through the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit has gone to towns that have dissolved a village within their boundaries.  Three other municipalities that completed a village dissolution at the end of last year will also start to receive the annual tax credit benefit. 
 
 
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he thinks new City Council President Marie Carubba will be a "terrific" Council President...  
 
Carubba was approved 8-1 this past Monday night as new head of the panel, replacing Greg Rabb, who was not re-elected to office last November.  Carubba is a ward council member, and says she's looking forward to serving.  Teresi says Carubba has always had the city's best intentions at heart.
 
Teresi says everytime someone asked Carubba to stand up and be part of an important committee, or other task or assignment, she doesn't say "no".  Carrubba was previously chairwoman for the council's Housing Committee and she head's up the main office for Southern Tier Living Environments, Incorporated.  She is one of five women who are on city council the next two years.  She is joined by fellow Democrats Maria Jones, Vansssa Weinert and Vickeye James... and Republican Kim Ecklund.
 
 
There's a slight improvement in the number of boats requiring decontamination to remove invasive species around New York's Lake George...
 
The Post-Star says a report by the Lake George Park Commission finds 17% of the boats inspected there in 2017 required the procedure, compared to 18% the year before.  The report says a total of 6,684 boats have received a free decontamination since the program began in 2014.  The most prevalent invasive species found is a plant called Eurasian milfoil, which has also been a problem in Chautauqua Lake.  The number of boats with zebra mussels more than doubled.  The commission's executive director, David Wick, attributes that to a large number of boats coming from Saratoga Lake.  He says experts are working to address that issue.

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News Alert for Thurs., Jan. 11, 2018

Word is SAM's Club in West Ellicott will be among stores closing...
A members-only bulk sales store that's been part of the retail landscape in West Ellicott the past two decades is reportedly closing it's doors at the end of the month.  Media One Group News has learned through several sources at the SAM's Club store at 720 Fairmount Ave. will be closing on Friday, Jan. 26.  Rumors began circulating earlier this morning when the store abruptly closed for the day.  A flyer in the door said the store would be reopening tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.  Some employees referred to it as a "going out of business" sale.  However... the store manager would not comment on that... and, directed us to SAM's Club headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.  One year ago... parent Wal-Mart Corporation announced the closing of more than 100 stores... including some SAM's Clubs... over the next year.  
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SAM's Club has been a major property taxpayer in both the town of Ellicott and village of Celoron.  But... today's news has caught town and village officials by surprise.  We do have calls into Elicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin, and Celoron Mayor Scot Screckengost.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 11, 2018

There will be a threat of ice jam flooding for portions of Western New York, including Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties now through Friday night...
 
That's the word from Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service.  He says a Flood Watch will run from 10 this morning through late Friday night.  Hitchcock says ice jam flooding can happen very quickly. About a half inch of rainfall is possible during the watch, but Hitchcock doesn't expect any general flooding.  He adds though that residents living near a creek need to keep an eye on that creek both Thursday and Friday.  The threat of ice jam flooding will ease by Friday night as cold air returns to the area.
 
 
 
Preparations are well underway in the north county to deal with any potential ice-jam flooding that could occur with the arrival of a January thaw...  
 
That from Chautauqua County's Emergency Services Director John Griffith, who says much of the prep work is taking place in the village of Silver Creek and other areas of the north county.  Griffith says the county's Public Facilities Department already has a "long-arm" excavator working to break up the ice in Silver Creek.  Still, he says residents should pay attention to all broadcasts, and other emergency alerts.
 
Griffith says he's been in touch with other agencies and says additional resources are available should be needed.  He says those include the state Department of Homeland Security.  He says county officials will continue to monitor any developments during the watch and will assist should flooding develop.  
 
 
 
Two people people were sent to the hospital when the driver of a mini-bus lost control of the vehicle and it crashed through a guard rail and rolled down an embankment in South Valley...
 
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at the intersection of Bone Run and West Perimeter Roads shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday.  Officers say the driver of the Corvus Bus and Charter vehicle, 55 year-old Louis Gagliardo of Olean, lost control of the vehicle as he approached the intersection and the bus rolled onto it's side as it went down the embankment.  Deputies say Gagliardo, and a bus monitor, 57 year-old Tracy Treadway of Cuba, were taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  A four-year-old who had been picked up for pre-school was not hurt.  Gagliardo was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.
 
 
 
Investigators believe a medical emergency may have been the reason the driver of a car in the town of Charlotte Tuesday morning crashed into a ditch and snowbank...  
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace says fire rescuers and police found the driver, 65 year-old Charles Troutman of Randolph, dead inside the vehicle after putting out a fire inside the car.  Gerace says they believe the fire was not suspicious. The Sheriff's Ofice reports their 911 center was notified by a passerby of a vehicle on fire off the road in a ditch on Mill Creek Road shortly after 9:00.  Sinclairville Fire responded initially and put out the fire.  The Sheriff's Office and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team found that Troutman was dead when they arrived.  Gerace says the accident is still under investigation.
 
 
One city firefighter was injured during a fire that broke out in a two-family home early yesterday morning... 
 
That from Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson, who says the firefighter was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment after he got some debris in his eye. He says crews were on scene just before 1 a.m. and were quick to stop the blaze. Finson says no other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is believed to electrical in nature. 
 
 
Fieldbrook Foods Corporation in Dunkirk has issued a voluntary recall of 20 cases of the Tops brand of Orange Cream Bars and 320 cases of the Meijer Purple Cow brand Orange Cream Bars...
 
Officials say that's due to the possibility that the product may be contaminated with Listeria.  The recalled Top's Orange Cream Bars were sold in Tops retail stores located in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont.  The recalled Purple Cow Orange Cream Bars were sold in Meijer retail stores located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.  No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
 
 
The director of a propane gas trade group says it hasn't received any complaints of alleged price gouging during the recent cold spell, despite claims by New York state officials that prices may have been inflated...  
 
Shane Sweet with the New York Propane Gas Association says propane prices typically are higher in winter, but he says any increases are "nothing close to price gouging."  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that he was launching an investigation into extended delays in delivering propane to customers and possible price gouging during the recent cold spell. 
 
 
Village lawmakers in Fredonia have approved a resolution for engineering work to install an emergency waterline replacement to eliminate the problem of discolored drinking water on portions of six streets...  
 
Trustees earlier this week unanimously approved the resolution to have O'Brien and Gere Engineering of Syracuse to handle the design work for the project.  That from Mayor Athanasia Landis, who says the next step is is for the firm to put together a design for the project.  The total cost of the service is not to exceed $153,000. Dr. Landis says once the design work is completed, then the village can go out to bid.  She says the process will take about a year to complete.  The village is optimistic that it will be able to received an emergency loan through the state.
 
 
New York lawmakers want to know how much money the state is making off daily fantasy sports...  
 
A committee of the state Assembly met Wednesday in Albany to review the status of the online games and their impact on the state's finances.  Two years ago, lawmakers passed new regulations for daily fantasy sports to resolve concerns that daily fantasy sports companies were engaging in false advertising and illegal gambling.  The Legislature also imposed new fees and taxes on the industry.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 10, 2018

A Cattaraugus County man has been killed in a fiery, one-car crash on Mill Creek Road in the village of Sinclairville...  
 
Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly after 9:00 Tuesday morning and found a car in the ditch, and Sinclairville firefighters putting out a fire that had erupted in the vehicle.  Deputies say 65 year-old Charles Troutman of Randolph was found dead inside the vehicle, and was determined to be the only occupant in the car.  Officers say the accident is still under investigation, but nothing appears suspicious.
 
 
One person was reported hurt when a mini-bus slid off Bone Run Road and down an embankment in South Valley -- near the Cattaraugus-Chautauqua County line -- yesterday morning...  
 
Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say Frewsburg and Kiantone fire crews were called to the scene near West Perimeter Road shortly after 7:00.  They say there were three people on board the mini-bus and one passenger had to be treated for injuries.  Dispatchers say State Police in Jamestown and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's office were also called to the scene.  More information is to follow.
 
 
 
Jamestown Public Schools held their first board meeting of the new year last night at George Washington Middle School... 
 
During his Superintendent's Report, Bret Apthorpe talked about Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address. He says the governor usually spends more time during his hour-and-a-half presentation on education. However, this year came up short.
 
Apthorpe mentioned two initiatives the governor did discuss during his presentation including an increase in funding for Pre-K programs up $15-million in high needs areas. Apthorpe says there are about 400 students and growing in the Jamestown area in the Pre-K program. Additionally, Apthorpe mentioned Governor Cuomo wants to create a new certification for teachers in computer science called "Smart Start". He says the program would benefit students looking to get a head start on their educational careers in computer science and engineering. 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's optimistic that commercial air service from the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown will continue after January 16...  
 
However, Reed says it's up to Southern Airways Express to work with the county to up it's daily passenger numbers to at least the average of 10 as required for funding from the federal Essential Air Service program.  Reed took part in a conference call with County Executive George Borrello and others on the matter last week.
 
Reed says it's key for Southern Airways to make the commitment, and begin working towards building ridership before the U.S. Department of Transporation agrees to continue the $2.1-million annual subsidy to the air carrier.  At the same time, he declined to talk about how long any extension might be, because they want to ensure Southern will try to deliver on it's promises.  Borrello says he's pushing for Southern Airways to "base" a plane at Jamestown, which would allow for 6 and 7 a.m. flights out of Jamestown.  He says that would allow them to talk with major carriers about getting connecting flights.
 
 
 
Congressional leaders says they're encouraged by what they heard from President Donald Trump at a bi-partisan White House meeting on immigration, and a continuing resolution to keep the government operating...  
 
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump's "tone was very good" and that it was "encouraging that the president seems open to a narrow deal" to protect immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.  Local Congressman Tom Reed was not part of Tuesday's discussions, but says an agreement on DACA in exchange for stepped up border security was discussed by the bi-partisan Problem Solver's Caucus he co-chairs.
 
January 19 is when the current Continuing Resolution to fund the government runs out.  Reed says he also believes that there's a chance at comprehensive immigration reform, but adds it will not likely be part of the continuing resolution.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Western New York media.
 
 
 
One of the Democrats seeking the nomination to run against incumbant 23rd District Congressman Tom Reed has picked up the backing of a former Fredonia mayor...  
 
Jamestown attorney Eddie Sundquist says former mayor Steve Keefe is backing him in the run for the nomination.  Keefe made the announcment in an e-mail to supporters, and comes just ahead of the January 20 vote to decide the endorsement of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee.  In the e-mail, Keefe says he's met most of the candidates, and listened to their ideas, but he says Sundquist stands out.  Keefe also says at last report, Sundquist was also the top fund-raiser in the race.
 
 
 
More than three-dozen appointments were approved by the City Council at Monday night's reorganizational meeting and former Council President Greg Rabb will remain on two panels in the new year...  
 
Mayor Sam Teresi appointed Rabb as a citizen member of the Board of Public Utilities, which Rabb had served as council president in recent years.  Teresi says the position opened up when Tyler Case resigned from the BPU and accepted an appointment to the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.
 
Teresi named current BPU member Martha Zenns to replace Case, and that opened up another citizen member vacancy.  He says cohesion was important for the BPU because of several issues before the board over the next year or two, including efforts to annex BPU property in the village of Falconer used for the Dow Street Substation.  Rabb's appointment to the BPU runs through 2021.  He will also serve again on the Planning Commission.  Teresi says it's not unusual for former Council members and mayors to be appointed to boards and commissions after serving their elected terms.  Council approved Teresi's re-appointment of City Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings. 
 
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are almost a penny lower this week -- to $2.70 -- for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel...  
 
AAA's weekly gas price report says that despite artic temperatures, there haven't been any real fuel supply issues in the region.  Similarly to last year, AAA says that New York is among the top-10 most expensive gas prices in the country.  At this time last year, prices at the pump were $0.15 less at $2.55 per gallon.  On the national front, prices have held steady at $2.49 per gallon for nine straight days.  According to the EIA, end of the year gains were significant for crude oil with prices the highest at a year's end since 2013. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 9, 2018

 
Women now make up the majority of the Jamestown City Council and one of them is the new president of the council...  
 
Democrat Marie Carubba was elected to head-up the panel during last night's reorganizational meeting at City Hall.  She thanked fellow members for their votes of confidence, adding that she is both "honored and humbled" to be chosen.  Newcomers Vanessa Weinert, a Democrat and Andrew Liuzzo, a Republican, were also sworn-in.  She spoke to them and the returnees.
 
Carubba announced committee assignments and Republican Tony Dolce will again chair the Finance Committee, while Democrat Vickeye James will head up the Housing Committee Carubba previously chaired.  Democrat Maria Jones will again chair the Public Safety Committee and another Democrat, Tom Nelson, will replace the retired George Spitale as chairman of the Public Works Committee.  She also called on council members on other city boards and commissions to report back regularily to provide additional transparency into city matters for all residents. 
 
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is moving quickly with the Jamestown Airport's commercial air carrier to develop a plan to keep it's federal subsidy, with an eye towards self-sustainability...  
 
Borrello says he was surprised by the news a week ago today that the U-S Department of Transporation will end the $2.1-million subsidy to Southern Airways Express on January 16.  He says they're working right now for an extension.
 
Borrello they are working with Southern to have at least one Jamestown "based" airplane that would allow the airport to provide an early flight at 6 or 7 a.m. weekdays.  He says that would allow for "inter-connect" flights with bigger carriers that same day because you will have gone through security, and baggage check in Jamestown.  In addition to not having to check-in your luggage, you would also not have to go to the bigger carrier's ticket window to check in.  He made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
One man was taken to the hospital with minor injuries following a four-vehicle accident in the Town of Kiantone early Saturday morning... 
 
Sheriff deputies say 28 year-old Craig Vanhook was northbound on Route 62 when he lost control of his vehicle and swerved head-on into a semi-truck operated by 35 year-old Christopher Powers. Deputies say two other Semis were involved while trying to avoid the collision. Powers was treated at the scene and released and Vanhook was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment. Vanhook was charged with driving while intoxicated, and DWAI-drugs. He is to appear in Kiantone Town court at a later date. 
 
 
 
A Celoron man has been arrested for allegedly threatening people with a sword while standing outside his home Sunday afternoon...  
 
Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene at an undisclosed location in the village shortly before 1 p.m. and arrested 37 year-old Philip Gardner on two counts of second-degree menacing and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  Gardiner ws arraigned in Ellicott Town Court, and sent to the county jail on $1,000 cash bail.
 
 
A pair of checks from the Johnson Foundation in Jamestown will go a ways in helping the local Salvation Army run many of it's programs this year...  
 
That from Salvation Army Major John Merchant, who says they received the checks from the fouindation as it's 20 year trust has come to an end.  Merchant says the $286,000 in funding will help cover their operating costs above and beyond the Red Kettle Campaign.
 
Merchant says they use both the trust fund, and the annual Red Kettle Campaign to pay for their costs each year.  However, he says their rental assistance program will either be cut back, or discontinued after the Kettle campaign came up about $11,000 short in 2017.  Merchant says the Red Kettle Campaign, through the end of 2017, brought in just under $102,000.  The goal was $112,000.  Merchant adds, though, that the Salvation Army accepts donations year-round, and you can send a check to the organization at 83 South Main Street in Jamestown.  
 
 
There may still be some lake effect snow in the area this morning, along with some slick-spots...  
 
However, the temperature will continue to climb during the next couple of days before reaching 50 by late week.  Lake effect snow started back up about 7:30 yesterday morning and dropped about two inches in some places by late afternoon.  Meterologist Steven Welch with the National Weather Service in Buffalo by we'll really see the warm-up by Wednesday and Thursday.
 
 
 
Two people were hurt -- but, not seriously -- in a two-car accident blamed at least in part on snow-slicked roads on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret Monday morning...  
 
State Police in Fredonia are investigating the crash, which was reported near Camp Gross about 8:00.  Two people were reportedly hurt, and had to be freed by fire crews at the scene.  The Fredonia and Cassadaga Fire Departments responded to the crash along with the County Fly-Car service.  State Police in Fredonia say they didn't have any further details at this time.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 8, 2018

Chautauqua County's new executive has already been able to visit several local businesses on way to visiting 100 in his first 100 days in office. And, the results so far have been interesting...  
 
Irving Republican George Borrello visited Rand Machine Products in Falconer last Friday afternoon and came away impressed by what he saw.  Borrello says they -- and most of the other six -- are looking to grow their business.  He adds there are hurdles, though.  The main one being lack of the necessary workforce.
 
Borrello says he hopes to begin working on the workforce issue sooner rather than later.  He says Rand Machine is looking to increase both job numbers and product output to serve it's several nationwide market.  Those also include work that's classified for the defense department.  It's website says Rand Machine is a leading custom machining manufacturer serving customers in the construction, industrial, automotive, electronics, medical, oil and gas, furniture and and other industries.  Borrello made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
A man from Bemus Point arrested locally last August on several drug-related charges has now been indicted on federal charges by a grand jury...  
 
U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior in Buffalo has announced that 42 year-old Gary Hannold, Junior was indicted on seven charges for trying to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and suboxone.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.  Prosecutors say Hannold was stopped in Sherman for a traffic violation last August 11 and when he stopped, he allegedly threw his backpack -- which was found with packed drugs -- into the nearby weeds.  Hannold is being detained pending further court action.  
 
 
A Jamestown man faces several charges following an alleged domestic violence incident and later, a drunk-driving accident...  
 
City police were called to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital just before 10 a.m. last Saturday to speak with the victim of the incident at 233 Sprague Street.  Officers spoke with the victim, who said 37 year-old Brian Morath had punched her in the face several times, then dragged her around the home by her hair.  She says Morath pulled much of her hair out.  During the investigation, police say they were called to a property damage accident at 211 Front Street, in which Morath's car crashed into a tree.  He was later arrested at his home for second-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.  Morath was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Chautauqua County late last week to deliver a presentation on Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address...  
 
Despite the sub-zero wind chills, Hochul appeared in Dunkirk for the presentation, with the top concerns including the impact of the federal tax reform measure will have on the state.  She says they are looking at ways to buffer the effects of the reform, which caps the deductability of local property taxes.
 
Governor Cuomo did proposal a potential move from a personal income tax towares a payroll tax to soften the blow.  Hochul also indicated that Cuomo administration officials were trying to work out a plan to allow New Yorkers to continue the State and Local Tax -- or SALT -- deduction without a cap or increasing that cap.  Without that, she says New York will be hurt. 
 
 
The Lieutenant Governor's visit was hosted by Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello...  
 
Rosas was pleased with the large crowd that filled the conference center at the Clarion. While he didn't agree with everything in the governor's State of the State, Borrello says he was delighted by the update Hochul provided on Athenex and NRG.  He says he believes that things have been taking place "behind the scenes" to especially get the Athenex project rolling.  The new county executive says he hopes to learn more about status of Athenex in the coming days.
 
 
 
A town of Portland man has been arrested for allegedly growing marijuana in his Webster Road home...  
 
Sheriff's officers say they were investigating a situation at the home about 4:30 a.m. last Thursday when they say they found 31 year-old Ryan Dudek running a cannabis growing operation.  Dudek was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and a public health law charge of growing of the plant known as cannabis by an unlicensed person.  Dudek was issued appearance tickets for Portland Town Court at a later date.
 
 
If you're looking to get rid of your Christmas Tree in the city of Jamestown, the annual pick-up of discarded trees will begin today...  
 
City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the department will begin pick-up, weather permitting.  Ciesla-Hanley says the trees will be taken for recycling and residents should place their tree on the terrace between the street and sidewalk and if possible, to keep visible should a large snowfall occur.  She adds that all trees should be removed from plastic bags, lights and tree stands should be removed.  If you have any questions, call the city Parks and Recreation Office at 483-7573.

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 6, 2017

National Weather Service continues Wind Chill Warning, issues new Winter Weather Advisory...
The extremely low wind chills will continue into most of the weekend, along with some of the lake effect snow.  The National Weather Service says our Wind Chill Warning remains in effect until 7 AM Sunday... and there is another Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 7 o'clock tonight.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock of the Weather Service Office in Buffalo says you'll need to dress warmly when venturing outside... and, limit your time outside.  He says wear layers with a little space between them, and leave little exposed skin.  While the dangerous wind chills will continue through early Sunday... Hitchcock says there is some light at the end of the tunnel.  A warm up will begin on Sunday... as the mercury begins rising into the 30s by Monday and Tuesday.  By Wednesday... we could see the lower 40s.  Hitchcock says overnight wind chills on Sunday will run from 10 below to 25 below zero. 
 
 
County's Health and Human Services Director advises residents to protect themselves in extreme cold...
The head of the Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Deparment is urging residents to protect themselves when they go outside with another day of dangerously cold wind chills forcast.  Director Christine Schuyler says frostbite can occur within minutes in these bone-chilling conditions... which are expected to range from 20 to 30-below zero at times.  She says if you don't have to go outside, don't.  Especially if you are among the very young... or very old.  Schuyler says they are most suseptable to the cold.  She adds that frostbite causes a loss of feeling, and a white or pale appearance in the extremities... such as toes and fingers.  She says the skin will feel unusually firm or waxy.  If the symptoms are detected... she says get medical help immediately. 
 
 
Code Blue Warning issued for county...
With temperatures in the single digits through this morning and afternoon... Chautauqua County has also issued a "Code Blue Warning" because the temperature has fallen below freezing.  That means people seeking shelter can do so at several locations across the county... and, some were open last night and will be today.  Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says you can get help through the Sheriff's Office by calling 9-1-1... and, they will get you to a warming center.  There are several at local libraries in the Jamestown-area.  Schuyler says the hours today at the Prendergast Library are now to 4 p.m., and, you can contact the other libraries for their hours.
 
 
Bemus Point man indicted on federal drug charges...
A Bemus Point man has been incidicted by a federal grand for allegedly trafficking several types of illegal drugs after he was stopped on is motorcycle in Sherman last August.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior in Buffalo announced late this week that 42 year-old Gary Hannold, Junior was indicted on seven charges for trying to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and suboxone.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.  Prosecutors say Hannold was stopped in Sherman for a traffic violation last August 11th... and, when he stopped... he allegedly threw his backpack in the nearby weeds.  Deputy found suspected Crystal Meth that was packaged... as well as marijuana, a clear vile containing cocaine, 10 packets of Suboxone, a digital scale, a bag with unused small plastic bags, U.S. currency, two cell phones, a New York State motorcycle license plate, and numerous other items.  Hannold is being detained pending further court action.  
 
 
Hochul visits Dunkirk with follow-up State of State message...
Despite the sub-zero wind chills... New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul traveled to the city of Dunkirk to deliver a presentation of Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018 State of State proposals.  Among the top concerns is the impact the federal tax reform will have on the state.  Hochul says the state is looking at ways to buffer the effects of the measure, signed into law by President Trump last month.  She says the Governor believes something has to be done, so New York has to look at "something to restructure our income tax system.  Hochul indicated after the presentation that Cuomo administration officials were trying to work out a plan to allow New Yorkers to continue the State and Local Tax Deduction without a cap... or increasing that cap.  Without that, she says New York will be hurt.  Hochul did bring some encouraging news to the city, indicating that 2020 will be a "transformative year" for the area, with the opening of Athenex and the repowering of the NRG plant in Dunkirk.  The extreme weather didn't keep a large crowd from turning out for Friday's presentation.
 
 
Humane Society issues Winter Safety tips for pets...
The Chautauqua County Humane Society is reminding residents to keep their furry friends in mind during these frigid wind and snow conditions.  Community Relations Director Brian Papalia suggests keeping cats inside as they can freeze quickly in cold weather.  However... if  you pet goes outside, Papalia says to stay with them.  After you go back inside... Papalia says to check your pet's paws and undersides for ice as sson as possible to prevent frostbite.  Additionally... to prevent any animal-related tragedies, he says to bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting the engine in case an outdoor cat took shelter under the vehicle. For more information on how to keep pets safe... visit their website at www.spca-pets.com.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 5, 2018

The National Weather Service is continuing a Winter weather advisory through early Saturday morning...  
 
As the lake effect snow continues to fall in the region, Forecaster Heather Kenyon from the Buffalo office says we may see up to 8-inches of the white stuff by Saturday.
 
Kenyon adds that a Wind Chill warning will be in effect through Sunday morning as Northwest winds continue to blow through the area.  She says they'll continue through much of the weekend... and, will drop to 20 to 30-below zero at times.  Kenyon says the high today will only be in the low single digits.  In addition, she says to make sure to keep covered up because frostbite is possible within 30 minutes. 
 
 
 
Sherman school officials are praising a school bus driver whose quick actions prevented serious injury or worse to a bus full of students that caught fire near Mayville Thursday morning...  
 
School Superintendent Mike Ginestre says the unidentified driver's training led to students being taken off the vehicle as it was traveling along Parker Road shortly after 7:00.  Ginestre says the driver acted at the first sign of trouble, and evacuted the bus before flames broke out. He says that another school bus that was in the area came to pick up students within three minutes.  He says the children were then taken right to school.  Ginestre says students on-board were aged between kindergarten and high school seniors.  He adds that the cause of the fire is still under investigation, while officials thanked the driver, head of the bus garage and, firefighters from the Sherman Fire Department for their amazing work and training in keeping the kids safe. 
 
 
While it was highly-political, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says Governor Cuomo's annual State of the State Address was a "great speech" that ended on a good note...  
 
Teresi was in Albany for the governor's annual address... and, says it was a "more traditional" speech compared to the past few when the governor went out, and delivered speeches in different parts of the state.  He says he was "heartened" by Cuomo again boosting current regionalism efforts to cut costs to localities.
 
Teresi says there is also real support for the governor's call to sue the federal government over the recently approved GOP Tax Overhaul bill.  He says caping the State and Local Tax deduction up at $10,000 will be harmful to state residents, including Jamestown.  Teresi is hopeful that the strategy will "moderate the impact" of some items in the tax plan.  Teresi say he believes the tax reform measure will actually drive more deficits, increase interest rates and drive more inflation.  He says that will have a direct, negative impact on state aid to schools and municipalities.
 
 
Local State Senator Cathy Young is blasting Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address, in which she says he "laid out a very liberal, New York City-focused agenda"...  
 
Young issued the printed statement late Wednesday... saying that -- in a year in which the state is facing a significant budget gap -- there is no room for wish-list items for "narrow political interests."  The Olean Republican says it's "crucial" that infrastructure investment and economic development dollars are distributed equitably, strategically and to regions of our state that need the greatest stimulus.  She says the GOP will oppose any efforts to unfairly favor one region over another or runs counter to the values of the majority of upstate voters.
 
 
 
 
Underperformance by it's essential air carrier the past three years may lead to termination of the program at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown on January 16...  
 
County Airport Manager Ron Almeter says the U.S. Department of Transportation has told Southern Airways Express that it is ending it's EAS program that day because the airline has not been averaging the 10 daily passengers it needs to keep the program going.  Almeter says Southern got a preliminary order back in late September, and a final order in late December.
 
Almeter says the county, along with Southern Airways and others, are appealing the ruling on the $2.1-million annual subsidy so that some operational changes can improve ridership.  He says one of those is again basing one plane at the airport.  Southern Airways contracted with the DOT, and Chautauqua County, to provide service starting in 2016.  However, Almeter says the air carriers the past three years have only met two-thirds of it's ridership standards.  In the past, the county has worked with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to keep the service in place.
 
 
 
A city man was arrested after police allegedly found him in possession of methamphetamine in the parking lot of a convenience store on Jamestown's southside Wednesday afternoon...  
 
City police say they were investigating a suspicious situation in the parking lot of the 7/11at 321 Hazeltine Avenue when they found 31 year-old Brandon Smith operating a vehicle on a suspended license.  It was determined through further investigation that Smith was also in possession of a quantity of Meth, and he was arrested.  He faces charges of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator... and, felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 
 
 
 
A Sherman couple has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child at a laundromat in the village early last month...  
 
Sheriff's officers say 42 year-old Mike Barringer and 33 year-old Hollie Petroff were with their 5 year-old daughter at the laundromat when Barringer allegedly was seen helping Petroff and their daughter over a wall separating the laundromat and a locked storage facility. Deputies say he also climbed over the wall and committed criminal mischief in another storage unit.  They add Barringer and Petroff slept inside the locked storage area overnight with their daughter.  In addition to the endangerment charge, Barringer was also charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal mischief. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 4, 2018

New York state will sue the federal government over the recently enacted Republican tax overhaul...
 
That from Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who says the state will challenge the new law on the grounds that it's unconstitutional and, violates states' rights.  Cuomo, a possible presidential contender, announced plans for the lawsuit during Wednesday's State of the State Address.
 
The federal overhaul caps the former tax eduction for state and local taxes at $10,000.  The full deduction had been especially popular in high-tax states like New York.  Cuomo says the change is unfair and could raise some families' taxes by as much as 25 percent.  Cuomo says he will encourage Congress to repeal the tax law, and will consider other changes in state taxes to reduce the burden of the new federal tax law in New York.
 
 
 
In addition to the plan to sue the federal government over the GOP Tax Overhaul the governor also talked about a potentially major overhaul of the state's tax system...  
 
He says he would like to see the state start moving away from a personal income tax based system and, one that's based on payroll.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says, though, there were no real details offered. However, Goodell says he was pleased to see the Governor say that he supported moving forward with middle-class income tax cuts.  He says those will result in the lowest tax rate since the 1940s.
 
 
A Jamestown teenager is jailed after allegedly stabbing a father and son during an argument this past New Year's morning in the town of Kiantone...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 17 year-old Justice McBride on New Year's Day following the incident, which was reported shortly before 3 a.m. Monday at a location on Peck-Settlement Road.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says McBride is charged with Felony first and second-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Swanson says all three knew each other, and one of the victims was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, where he's in stable condition.  The other victim was treated at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, and later released.  Troopers say Jamestown Police assisted in the investigation.  McBride was arraigned, and sent to the County Jail in Mayville pending a preliminary hearing.
 
 
 
The city man recently sentenced to 25 years in state prison for shooting and killing his estranged wife in November of 2016 is now appealing the sentence... 
 
Keith Robbins was sentenced by Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley after a plea deal was reached last October for first-degree manslaughter in the death of Sheri Robbins.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that while Keith Robbins waived his right to appeal on most aspects of the case, he can still appeal.  But, at the same time, Swanson believes the appeal will "go nowhere."  Swanson says it's not unusual to see an appeal, even if the defendant has waived his or her right to an appeal.  He adds the process could take up a year, possibly longer.  He says whoever defends the appeal will next send him the proper documentation, and his office will respond.  
 
 
 
Jamestown Public Schools' Superintendent Bret Apthorpe is reminding parents that as temperatures continue to drop, student safety remains his top priority...
 
Apthorpe says the district has received donations of winter accessories for students. Should you know of a child in need of warm gear, he says to contact officials. He noted that officials understand that most of the city district's students walk to school and, also reminded parents about the district's "cold weather policy."  He adds that from this point to a wind chill of 25-degrees below zero, the National Weather service issues a Wind Chill Advisory.  Anything lower is a Wind Chill Warning.  Ultimately, Apthorpe says it's the parents' decision to send their children to school in any conditions. 
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown area remained steady with the cost per gallon of regular, unleaded fuel $2.71... 
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report which says motorists in mid-atlantic and northeast states are paying more on the week than last year by about $0.22. Nationally, the gas price average is the most expensive seen at the start of a new year since 2014. Triple-A says high volumes of holiday travelers drove gas prices up five-cents on the week to $2.49 per gallon. For current gas prices along your travel route, visit AAA.com/Mobile. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 3, 2018

 
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's looking to also work to help reform the state's Welfare Program so that people can retain benefits while gaining meaningful employment...
 
During his first term in office, the Jamestown-area Republican began working on the issue, because the rules actually discourage many recipients from working lower, entry-level jobs because they lose all their benefits.  He says, if the state can get it's arms around the program better... it will help both recipients and taxpayers.  In Chautauqua County, about half of the entire local tax levy, or about $30-million, goes to pay for the local Medicaid program.
 
 
Local wind chills are expected to be about -15 this morning and with that, Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe is reminding parents and students about the district's "cold weather closing policy"... 
 
In a press release, Apthorpe noted that officials understand that most of the city district's students walk to school, and with that, parents should make sure that children are dressed warmly.  He adds that from this point to a wind chill of 25-degrees below zero, the National Weather service issues a Wind Chill Advisory.  Anything lower is a Wind Chill Warning.  However, he says temperature is one of "many variables" they consider in closing schools.  Apthorpe says he makes the final decision by about 5:30 a.m. most school days but, he says the final decision always lies with the parent and guardian if they are concerned about the child walking in frigid conditions.  To find if the schools have issued a school closing, follow Superintendent Apthorpe's Twitter @JamestownSupt. 
 
 
 
State police say one person has died and one is seriously injured after several crashes involving numerous vehicles on the snowy New York State Thruway east of Buffalo...
 
Troopers say all lanes are blocked between Exit 50 and Exit 48A at Pembroke going into the evening rush hour Tuesday.  Trooper Michael Cassella in Albany says 15 to 25 cars and 10 tractor-trailers were involved in a series of collisions starting shortly before 2 PM Tuesday.  He says weather was a contributing factor. 
 
 
 
It was bitterly cold most of the time but, skiing conditions on the slopes at Peek 'n Peak couldn't have been better this past holiday weekend...  
 
That from General Manager Brad Gravink, who says the Clymer-area resort was as busy as expected.  Gravink says all of their facilities were busy during both Christmas and New Years.  He adds they now have plenty of good snow.
 
Gravink adds that they're in the works of building the train park and should be fully open on Thursday. Current skiing conditions at the Peak include a packed-powder surface with 23 groomed and open trails... and, a deep base. For more information on snow sport conditions or information on booking a trip visit their website at PKnPK.com
 
 
A Falconer man is facing a felony criminal mischief charge following a domestic incident early Monday morning...  
 
Ellicott town police say they responded to a domestic disturbance call just before 12:30 AM.  Officers say 32 year-old Ronald Wilson allegedly destroyed property inside a residence and was disorderly.  Wilson was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief.  He was arraigned and remanded to County Jail pending a preliminary hearing and court appearance.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Jan 2,2018

Director of Emergency Services John Griffith is asking for Chautauqua County residents to clean off their mailboxes when clearing snow near their homes.
 
He says that emergency services have had difficulty reading house numbers and that by clearing off mailboxes, crews will be able to see house numbers easier from the road. 
 
 
There is a new executive in Chautauqua County as Irving Republican George Borrello was sworn-in during a special ceremony in Mayville yesterday afternoon. 
 
Borrello thanked everyone who helped him during the campaign, many of whom were in attendance at the County Courthouse.  He says he's ready to hit the ground-running today and pledged to work with the county legislature, all 1,200 plus county employees, and resident, to improve the area.
 
During his remarks after being sworn-in, Borrello singled out the man he succeeds Vince Horrigan, for laying the ground work for what he's hoping to do.  Borrello's "Elevating Chautauqua" platform has 10-points, which include boosting economic development, and continuing work towards stemming the Heroin and Opioid Drug Crisis in the county.  He adds that Borrello says he's already begun visiting the 100 businesses that he plans to go to in his first 100 days in office. 
 
Borrello was elected last November over Fredonia Democrat Mike Ferguson receiving 63-percent of the vote. 
 
 
Chautauqua County's new Executive was not the only elected official sworn-in in Mayville yesterday, as Gerry Republican Larry Barmore received the oath of office from County Court Judge David Foley. 
 
Barmore now begins his second, four-year term in the position.  He also thanked his supporters who were on hand and noted that running for county-wide office is "very difficult".
 
Barmore has been praised for being able to move the Clerk's office forward at a time where several retirements left positions open that he had to fill.  He had to replace almost half of the people in the office. 
 
Barmore is also credited, along with Jamestown officials, for finding a new and better location for the Jamestown Department of Motor Vehicles Office.  He defeated Democrat LeeAnn Lazarony in last November's election.
 
 
The Chautauqua County Legislature begins it's 2018 session in Mayville this afternoon and will likely have a new chairman. 
 
Lakewood-area Republican Paul Wendel has been tapped by the GOP Caucus to head up the panel this year.  His selection will be acted on during today's 4 PM meeting. 
 
Wendel says he's honored to have the Republican's backing and looks forward to continuing to work with new Executive George Borrello, who he says has "a great vision for Chautauqua County."  Wendel spent the past year as the Legislature's Majority Leader for the GOP.  He was Assistant Majority Leader the previous two years. 
 
 
A man from Ohio is facing driving while under the influence charges for allegedly driving a snowmobile while intoxicated in the town of Chautauqua early yesterday morning. 
 
Sheriff's officers say they made contact with the operator of the snowmobile identified as 33 year-old Douglas Emery of Ashland just before 3 AM.  Emery was found to be intoxicated and taken into custody. 
 
Deputies say he refused a breath test and was held at the Chautauqua County Jail on pre-arraignment bail.  He is scheduled to appear in court at a later date and time. 
 
 
There are now four states in the U-S that require employers to give workers paid time off to care for a new baby or a sick loved one. 
 
New York joined California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island in the move.  But local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the Paid Family Leave Law appears to be a mixed-bag for New Yorkers. 
 
The program is funded by employee payroll deductions, but Goodell says employers also wind up paying for health insurance and other items, too.  He adds that there's only a benefit to two certain groups of people.
 
The new benefits will apply to about 6-and-a-half million private-sector workers in New York and, will be phased-in over the next four years. 
 
In 2018, state officials say workers will be able take up to eight weeks of paid leave and, receive 50-percent of their average wage up to a cap weekly cap of $652.  When the phase-in is complete in 2021, they'll be able to take up to 12 weeks at two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
 
 
A convicted murderer whose prison break captivated the nation says he uncovered a way to escape from another maximum-security facility in New York. 
 
But, this time David Sweat said he detailed the plan involving a makeshift tool to corrections officials, asking for extra weekly visits from his girlfriend in exchange. 
 
Sweat and another inmate, Richard Matt, escaped from New York's Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015.  They were caught after three weeks.  Matt was shot and killed. 
 
In an interview with The New York Times, Sweat said he told corrections officials how he would break out of New York's Five Points Correctional Facility.  He says officials transferred him to a different prison about 90 miles away and didn't grant any perks.  State corrections officials confirmed Sweat provided details on possible "security vulnerabilities."
 
 
A Tidioute man was sent to the hospital following a single-car accident in Warren County, Pennsylavnia Monday afternoon. 
 
State Police in Warren say the crash occurred as 54 year-old Douglas Sager was traveling near the intersection of Market Street with Jackson Street in Conewango Township just after 3:30 PM.  Troopers say Sager's vehicle struck a crossing signal pole and struck a traffic light pole causing the light to lose power. 
 
Multiple airbags were deployed in Sager's vehicle.  He was taken to Warren General Hospital for suspected minor injuries.  Troopers were assisted on scene by the Warren Volunteer Fire and Conewango Police Departments.

 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 1, 2018

Happy new year!

 
 
 
It's a brutally cold morning and, get ready for some more lake effect snow...
 
However, the parts of Chautauqua County that have been buried by several feet of snow in the past week won't see that much through early Tuesday.  Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says a Wind Chill Advisory ends at 10 this morning and, we are now under a Winter Weather Advisory through 4 a.m. tomorrow. Hitchcock says wind chills will be in the range of 10 to 20 below zero through mid-morning today.  That trend isn't going to be changing much through the week.  After a slight warm-up Tuesday and Wednesday, Hitchcock says we'll be back into the single digits for a high on Thursday.  He adds Friday will be even colder, adding we'll be hard pressed to reach zero during the day and, we'll be well below zero heading into Saturday.  
 
 
 
A working sprinkler system inside an apartment on Jamestown's southside held a bathroom fire in check...
 
...and prevented major damage to the building.  City Fire Lieutenant Tim Glenn says crews were called to the scene at 262 Forest Avenue shortly after 8 PM last Saturday and, they found flames coming from the second-story bathroom area.  Crews got the flames out within minutes.  Glenn says investigators found that combustibles too close to a hot water tank triggered the flames.  An off-shift was called in to assist.  No injuries were reported.  Fire damage was confined to the bathroom area.  Firefighters were at the scene until shortly before 11 PM.
 
 
 
Reducing the city of Jamestown's personnel costs may be the best way to get the city out of the financial hole it has found itself in the past couple of years. 
 
Those are the feelings of new, at-large City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo, who says he understands that there collective bargaining agreements involved.  However, Liuzzo says the city should be negotiating from the stand-point of a city that no longer has 45,000 people with most of them working.
 
Liuzzo says engaging in new talks could bring down the costs in areas from health insurance, to actual salaries.  City officials have said that lay-offs cannot be considered because 'Impact' payments would have to be paid to the Police, Fire and other unions that have minimum staffing clauses.  Liuzzo says he would also like to see more work done to provide long-term help for addicts caught up in the area's Heroin and Opioid Abuse crisis.  On the treatment side, work has begun on a new, long-term treatment facility at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital that will provide longer treatment periods for people trying to beat addiction. 
 
 
 
It's a new year and a new start for Chautauqua County with the swearing in of new County Executive George Borrello. 
 
Borrello says he has been working feverishly to get ready to hit the ground running prior to today.  His Inauguration is set for 1 p.m. today at the County Courthouse in Mayville.  County Clerk Larry Barmore will also be given the oath of office for the second time by County Court Judge David Foley.  Meantime, the County Legislature's annual re-organizational meeting, during which the entire legislature will be sworn-in, will take place tomorrow at 4:00.
 
 
 
A Sherman man was injured when he was thrown from his snowmobile as he pulled off a trail and in front of a car in the town of Chautauqua late last Friday night. 
 
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly on the Stockton-Hartfield Road after 10 p.m. and, found that 35 year-old Gregory Auge was crossing the road -- off Snowmobile Trail 4-E -- when he failed to yield to the car.  Officers say the driver of the car, 33 year-old Joshua Luce of Forestville, was eastbound when the crash occured.  Deputies say Auge was thrown from the sled and, was treated before being taken to a nearby hospital.  
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Sheriff's officers are reminding all snowmobilers to be cautious when they are out riding and to make sure you are paying attention to the signage that is placed on the trails by the snowmobile clubs.  Riders are also asked to use extra caution when crossing any roadway.
 
 
 
One person was hurt, but not seriously, when his car struck a jacknifed tractor-trailer on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman early last Friday night. 
 
Sheriff's officers say the big-rig, operated by 62 year-old Covic Ismet of Lakewood, Ohio, was westbound shortly after 8 p.m. when the tractor-trailer skidded on the snow-slicked road, and jacknifed into the median.  Deputies say the car, driven by 59 year-old Robert Blake of Copley, Ohio was right behind the vehicle, and could not stop.  Officers say the car then crashed into the back of the trailer.  Blake was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of minor injuries.  The crashed forced the closing of the westbound lanes on I-86 for a short-time while the scene was cleared.  No charges have been filed.
 
 
 
Two people from the Jamestown-area have been arrested for allegedly shop-lifting items from the Lakewood Wal-Mart Super Center last last week. 
 
Lakewood-Busti Police add that one of the suspects, identified as 50 year-old Miguel Rivera-Morales, had previously been issued a notice of restriction to stay off the Fairmount Avenue property.  Officers say he stole some items and was arrested along with 52 year-old Lillian Lebron-Guzman.  Police say she was allegedly found with several items, including pet food and cutlery that she did not pay for.  Morales is charged with third-degree burglary, while Guzman was charged with petty larceny.
 
 
 
A woman with developmental-disabilities who became the face of local fund-raising efforts for The Resource Center passed away during 2017. 
 
Resource Center Community Relations Director Steve Waterson told us last November that Silver Creek's Laurel Hoteling died at the age of 54 at a Buffalo-area hospital.  Waterson says she had been struggling with health issues for the past year or so.
 
Waterson says Laurel was born with Downs Syndrome, but her parents -- Wayne and Elaine -- elected to "mainstream" her as much as possible. She became well-known for being the inspiration for "Laurel Run," which was named in her honor.  However, she was unable to attend this year's event.  Waterson says Wayne Hoteling called him with the news last November 13.
 
 
 
An Ashland, Ohio man is facing DUI charges for allegedly driving a snowmobile while intoxicated in the Town of Chautauqua early this morning.
 
Deputies say they made contact with the operator of the snowmobile--identified as 33 year-old Douglas Emery-- just before 3:00. Emery was found to be intoxicated and taken into custody. Deputies say he refused a breath test and was held at the Chautauqua County Jail on pre-arraignment bail. He is scheduled to appear in court at a later date and time. 
 
 
 
An Irving teen was arrested New Years Eve for allegedly threatening to kill a person with a knife in Silver Creek.
 
Sheriff's deputies say the incident occured on Babcock Avenue in the Village. Further investigation revealed 18 year-old Nathan Zaczor displayed a pocket knife at an individual and threatened to kill the person. Kaczor was taken into custody and charged with second-degree menacing. He is to appear in Silver Creek court at a later date.
 
 
 
 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Dec. 29, 2017

The lake effect snow machine has died down for the moment but, more is on the way. 
 
In addition don't expect any break from the frigid temperatures until into the early part of 2018.  That's the word from Meteorologist Dave Thomas of the National Weather Service in Buffalo. 
 
Thomas says temperatures will remain below normal for the next several days.
 
In addition, Thomas says we are not done dealing with lake effect snow.  A Winter Storm Watch has been issued from this afternoon through Sunday morning. 
 
Thomas says the next round of lake effect should be mainly along the Lake Erie shoreline and will start up during the daylight hours today.  The affected areas will include Ripley, Westfield and Dunkirk.  Storm totals of 12 to 20 inches are expected from this afternoon through much of Saturday.
 
 
The Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club and several other clubs in Chautauqua County opened their trails for the season yesterday.
 
That from Membership Coordinator Matthew Terrill, who says that despite a great lake effect snowfall in Mayville, groomers are out clearing trails.
 
Terrill says snow banks at road crossings are a major concern because some are 6-feet high, or taller making for a dangerous drop off for snowmobilers.  With current conditions, he recommends that more advanced snowmobilers come out to visit the area through the weekend.  Otherwise, he says ride with caution. 
 
Snow may be hiding branches or fallen trees some spots.  The trail to Busti is the only one not open.  For the latest information on the over 400 miles of trails in the county,  Terrill says to visit ChautauquaSnow.com
 
 
A city man accused of stangling and punching his girlfriend during a domestic violence incident on Jamestown's southside late Thursday morning. 
 
Jamestown Police were called to the area of Barrows and King Streets about 10 a.m. on a report of a domestic incident.  When they arrived, officers say they spoke with the unidenfied victim, who told them that her boyfriend had choked and punched her several times during an argument. 
 
The boyfriend, identified as 34 year-old William Bean was found by police a short time later and arrested for third-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing. 
 
Officers also ran a background check on Bean and, found he had been convicted in a previous domestic violence incident within the past five years and, he was also charged with aggravated criminal contempt.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
There is just a narrow window to pre-pay your January property taxes in Chautauqua County so they can be written off on your federal tax return for 2017. 
 
However, acting County Executive and Attorney Steve Abdella, who says the county late Wednesday issued 2018 tax warrants to local tax collectors, says check with your local tax tax collector first.  Abdella says you can also mail in your payment, but he says check the county's website first.
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an emergency order last Friday, which allows local tax warrants to be issued so property owners can pre-pay their town, city and county taxes that come due in January. 
 
However, Abdella says you can't pre-pay your village or school taxes, which come later in the year.  Again, to find your tax liability go online to Chautauqua.NY.US/349/RealPropertyTax
 
Abdella adds that property tax payers should also consult with a taxing professional regarding the deductability of property taxes and, what method you should use to pay.
 
 
State officials say enrollment in health plans through New York's official marketplace has reached more than 4-million people.  That exceeds last year's enrollment by 700,000. 
 
The deadline for 2018 enrollment in a Qualified Health Plan is January 31st.  After that, individuals can enroll only if they have a life event such as loss of coverage, marriage or birth of a child that qualifies them for a special enrollment period. 
 
Enrollment in Medicaid, Child Health Plus and the Essential Plan continues throughout the year.  For information or to enroll in a health plan, visit the New York State of Health Marketplace online.
 
 
A special "New Year's" fundraiser for the Chautauqua County Humane Society will be held this coming Sunday night at La Familia Restaurant on the ground's of Chautauqua Institution. 
 
Chef Berk Lindquist says they'll be hosting the first-ever "Tucks and Tails" New Year's Eve "black-tie" event.  Lindquist says he got together with Humane Society Director of Communications Brian Papalia and others to create the event, half the proceeds of which will go to the Humane Society.
 
Lindquist says they'll serve hors 'deuvres from 8 to 9 p.m. Sunday, then begin serving from several food stations.  He says there will be a Beef Wellington carving station, along with seafood and Salmon.  Lindquist says there's also going to be desert, with a Chocolate Fountain, along with a cash bar and live music with space for dancing. 
 
There will also be a Midnighttoast included in the price.  The cost is $75 a person and $150 per couple.  There are also accomodations available for people not wanting the drive following the event.  For more information, call Berk Lindquist at La Familia at 357-2002.
 
 
The Chautauqua County Legislature last January unanimously approved a new chairman during it's organizational meeting. 
 
Republican David Himelein of Findley Lake succeeded "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.
 
Himelein also says he will strive to keep property taxes as low as possible.  Republican members of the legislature chose Paul "PJ" Wendel of Lakewood as majority leader and, Democrats selected Jamestown's Chuck Nazzaro as minority leader.  More on this weekend's "Year-end" Community Spotlight program.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Dec. 28, 2017

The eastern ends of Lakes Erie and Ontario in New York state have been getting pouned by lake effect snow the past three days and, have produced some impressive snowfall totals. 
 
Officials in communities near both lakes are asking residents to avoid driving on local roads so crews can remove 4 to 5 feet of snow that has fallen since Christmas Day.  Heavy, lake-effect snow is being blamed for causing crashes and stranding vehicles in Chautauqua and, Oswego Counties. 
 
Officials in the town of Boylston in the Tug Hill Plateau area say people should stay off local roads so plow drivers can make traveling safer. 
 
 
The lake effect snow continued to pile up late yesterday in communities across the Chautauqua Ridge. 
 
So far, there's been more than 40 inches of the white stuff in Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County.  But, there's even more snow on the ground in the village of Mayville.  That from Mayor Marty Bova, who tells us they had nearly four-feet on the ground yesterday morning but, we understand that's now about 5-feet of the white stuff. 
 
The village had problems with its sidewalk plow Tuesday.  Bova says they are renting one while repairs are being made.  He says their Bobcat broke down, and they had to get one from Southern Tier Trailer. 
 
Bova says they rented one from Southern Tier, and tried to play catch up yesterday.  Bova says it looks like a Winter wonderland, but the mayor hopes the current lake effect snow event ends soon.
 
 
Snow continued to fall late Wednesday in Erie, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas that already have seen a record amount of snow over the past few days. 
 
The National Weather Service office in Cleveland says at least an additional 5 to 10 inches are expected through Wednesday
 
The storm brought 34 inches of snow on Christmas Day, an all-time daily snowfall record for Erie.  Another 24.5 inches fell by Tuesday night, bringing the total since December 23rd to more than 62.9 inches. 
 
 
A Connecticut woman is being treated for non-life threatening injuries after losing control of her car, and it crashed into a guard rail on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman. 
 
Sheriff's officers say 20 year-old Alicia Cavazos of Hartfield was traveling on the highway just before 6 a.m. Wednesday, when she lost control on the snow-slicked road, and, the vehicle struck the guard rail.  She was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for evaluation and treatment.
 
 
A former corrections officer at a state prison facility in Brocton has been charged with raping an inmate. 
 
State police say 41-year-old James Beam, Junior of Silver Creek, was also charged with several counts of official misconduct.  Troopers say Beam was charged after an investigation into an unlawful personal relationship with an inmate while working at the Lakeview Shock Incarceration Facility. 
 
Police say Beam was issued an appearance ticket at the direction of the county district attorney's office.  He's scheduled to appear in Portland Town court next month. 
 
 
State financial leaders are projecting as much as a $4-billion budget deficit in New York state heading into next year. 
 
However, a local state legislator says it's still too soon to tell.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the annual spending plan is based on a number of assumptions. 
 
Goodell says if the state keeps spending in line like it has in recent years, the deficit won't be that big.  However, he says a lot will be determined by what the state does if the Trump Adminstration decides to halt the Medicare Expansion in the Affordable Care Act.
 
Goodell says that one plus is the way the stock market has been going, with it now over the 24,000 level.  He adds that how bonuses are paid out will also be critical.  The state legislative session will begin next week with Governor Andrew Cuomo's state of the State Address.
 
 
Winter weather has hindered the Salvation Army of Jamestown from reaching their goal of $112,000 through the annual Red Kettle Campaign.
 
However, despite the $11,000 shortfall, Captain Kim Merchant says that there is still time to help.
 
Merchant says that they raised $101,000 through the campaign. She says they added almost 100 more families and children in need to help this year. 
 
Merchant hopes that those who "have" will realize there are many who do not. Additionally, Merchant says that those looking to donate can write checks to the Salvation Army through New Years' Day.
 
If they don't meet the goal this year, Merchant says that they may have to cut services such as rental assistance for families who need help paying their rent. 
 
Donations can be sent to the Salvation Army of Jamestown at their 83 South Main Street address or call 664-4108.
 
 
 

Gas prices in the Jamestown area have dropped by about four cents to $2.71 for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel.

 

That from AAA's weekly gas price report which, says gas inventories in the East Central region have increased by 1.2-million barrels on the week despite an increase in driving demand.

 

AAA says that prices were 26-cents cheaper at this time last year with a gallon of gasoline priced at $2.47 On the national front gas prices jumped by 2-cents to $2.44.

 

AAA says the increase at the pump could reflect the increase in driving through the holiday season.

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Dec. 27, 2017

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting, and seriously hurting a two-month old child on the city's southside. 
 
City police were called to the scene at 98 Myrtle Street about 5 a.m. Tuesday and, found that the child had been taken initially to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Officers say following a brief investigation, they arrested 30 year-old Rory Davis, Junior for second-degree assault and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. 
 
Police say the child was transferred to Children's Hospital in Buffalo, where the infant is is "very serious condition."  Davis is being held pending arraignment in City Jail.
 
 
The lake effect snow that has buried parts of the western Southern Tier, including Chautauqua County, will ease up through the morning. 
 
However, we'll be seeing bitterly cold temperatures the next two nights.  That from Meteorologist Steve Welch with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, who says our Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in place until 6 p.m.tonight, especially to the north and west of Jamestown.
 
By late yesterday,  Welch says Perrysburg, in Cattaraugus County had received 32-inches of snow from the Christmas snow event.  Mayville was also getting above the one-foot mark, along with the Dunkirk-Fredonia area. 
 
We had a couple of lake effect bursts yesterday in the immediate Jamestown-area, which brough about 3 to 4-inches of snow into last evening.  Highs today will only make it into the low teens and, lows tonight and, Thursday night will be in the low single-numbers.
 
 
Forecasters say a Christmas storm dumped a record amount of snow on the Pennsylvania city of Erie and surrounding areas. 
 
The National Weather Service office in Cleveland says the storm brought 34 inches on Christmas Day a new all-time daily snowfall record for Erie. 
 
And another 19 inches fell before dawn Tuesday, bringing the total to 53 inches the greatest two-day total in commonwealth history.  The previous record was the 44 inches that fell in Morgantown in March 1958. 
 
The city of Erie issued a snow emergency, citing "dangerous and impassable" roads, and asked residents to stay off city streets until the snow stops and roads can reopen.   
 
State police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are urging people to avoid travel, citing poor visibility and deteriorating conditions.
 
 
There were several strides made in Chautauqua County during the four-years Vince Horrigan was county executive. 
 
However he is also quick to say that others including the county legislature, helped him solve problems.  Horrigan noted during his last appearance as executive on our "Community Spotlight" program that he was most proud of the fact that during his tenure government was fairly non-partisan.  He says that helped the county made some good strides in economic development.
 
Horrigan adds that the legislature was able to move forward on a number of fronts, starting with the decision to sell the County Home in Dunkirk and, increase the sales tax by half-a-percent to help plug a six-million dollar "structural deficit" in the county's budget. 
 
However, he says there were also a few disappointments, with the biggest was not being able to do more to deal with the local Heroin and Opioid Drug crisis.  Horrigan says the resulting growth in the county jail population has also been troublesome but, he believes the county will soon get it's arms around that issue.  
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo says a special task force created to crack down on illegal tobacco has seized more than $6 million worth of contraband cigarettes and cigars this year. 
 
The Democrat announced Tuesday that the $6.6 million seized in 2017 is $1 million more than what authorities hauled in last year.  The contraband included more than 1.5 million illegal cigars and 47,000 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. 
 
The state's Cigarette Strike Force also seized 134,000 counterfeit tax stamps and nearly $445,000 in cash.  Cuomo says the crackdown resulted in the arrests of 85 cigarette and tobacco smugglers who face more than $7 million in fines.  The governor directed the state Tax Department in 2014 to create the strike force to focus on illegal tobacco smuggling and sales.
 
 
A long-time radio newsman from New York City who also anchored WJTN's "Medical Journal" for many years, has died. 
 
Lou Adler died last Friday in Meridian, Connecticut at the age of 88.  His death at a nursing home, was confirmed by his daughter, Valerie Adler, who said he had Alzheimer’s disease.  Adler's program was heard daily on WJTN.
 
Adler's program covered the gamut of medical conditions, from headaches to transplants.  Adler was a 1952 graduate of the SUNY College at Fredonia and, began his radio career in New York in 1959 at WCBS-AM.  He worked for CBS as a reporter on radio and, briefly, on television before returning to radio in 1967 as an anchor when the station switched to a news format.  He became news director in 1971.
 
 
A vehicle struck and killed a horse in the town of Busti this past Monday night. 
 
The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that the crash occurred around 7:30 PM near the intersection of Kortwright and Big Tree Roads.  The paper says one person has reportedly been injured in the crash with unknown severity. 
 
A Chautauqua County road crew was called to move the animal from the road.  The horse was reportedly dead by the time the crew arrived.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Dec. 26, 2017

A Gerry man is jailed for allegedly holding his girlfiend and two children at gun-point during a brief stand-off early last weekend. 
 
State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 33 year-old Richard Sendall without incident following the incident, which began about 9:30 a.m. last Saturday on Wilson Road.  Troopers say the 31 year-old victim called in the complaint. 
 
State Police set up a perimeter and, Sendall surrendered.  The young children were located in good health, along with the woman.  Troopers say they seized loaded firearms from the Sendall residence.  They arrested him on several charges including second-degree assault, and unlawful imprisonment. 
 
While being booked, Sendall claimed he was having a medical emergency.  Troopers administered first aid and he was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment before being arraigned.
 
 
An Ashville man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting another person last weekend and, being found in possession of several guns. 
 
Sheriff's deputies say they were called to an undislosed location in the town of Harmony last Saturday night on a report of a person with a weapon.  Officers say they also found that 56 year-old Sean Reardon had thrown an object at another person during an argument, injuring them. 
 
Deputies further discovered that Reardon is a convicted felon and, is not allowed to have firearms in his possession.  Reardon was arraigned on charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, third-degree assault and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.
 
 
 
Two Brocton men are accused of assaulting two other people with a large tire and a BB-gun in the village early last weekend. 
 
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene in the village about 2 a.m. Friday, and found that a male victim had been shot in the face with the BB-gun.  Officers say they found that 31 year-old Justin Stalter and 23 year-old Daniel Gilbert started an altercation with the two victims. 
 
They accuse Stalter and Gilbert of first rolling the tire across the road and hitting a female victim, then fired the BB-gun at them.  Both victims were struck, with the male getting hit in the face.  He was treated for the wound. 
 
Stalter and Gilbert were arraigned on warrants for second-degree assault, harassment, and reckless endangerment and, sent to the county jail with bail to be set.
 
 
Infrastruture and development projects in the city of Jamestown will be receiving state funding in the latest round of funding from the western New York Regionial Economic Development Council program. 
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who says the largest allocation, $140,000 will go towards a $700,000 streetscape project on West Second Street.  Teresi says it'll take place between Washington and Jefferson Streets, between the Northwest Arena and National Comedy Center.
 
Teresi says the other $560,000 for the effort will come from a grant from the Gebbie Foundation.  He says the city and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation are also receiving an $80,000 grant for an update of the city's 12-year-old Urban Design Plan.  Teresi says most of the recommendations in the plan have been implemented. 
 
In addition, Teresi says there'll be a $100,000 grant to put together a new "City Market" where the Renaissance Corporation hold's it's indoor market to create a "year-round" market area in the city.  He made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group Stations.
 
 
Governor Cuomo is proposing new rules for online campaign ads to ensure voters know who is behind the content. 
 
The Democrat said early last weekend that on-line ads should be held to the same scrutiny as traditional campaign advertisements for print, TV and radio.  He wants lawmakers to approve rules requiring online ads to include the name of the group paying for the content. 
 
In addition, platforms like Facebook would be directed to maintain a public file containing greater information about campaign ads. 
 
 
Another aspect of the Tax Reform and Jobs Act that local Congressman Tom Reed likes is doubling the Child Tax Credit to 2-thousand dollars for each child. 
 
Reed says it's part of a two-part boost to American families.  The Corning Republican adds that the legislation will also bring "refundability" up to $1,400.  Federal officials say that means the credit could reduce your tax liability below zero and you would still be able to receive a tax refund. 
 
Reed believes that will help move more families out of poverty. The cut off for the tax credit would increase from $110,000 to $400,000 for married couples filing jointly.  However, the expanded credit ends after 2025.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

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News Alert for Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2017

(**Alert!!)I-86 being closed from Stow to Pennsylvania State Line....

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Dispatch is announcing that state DOT officials are closing all of Interstate 86 from Stow to the Pa. State line due to impassable driving conditions.  Dispatchers say the on ramp closing gates are being lowered at Sherman for I-86 due to the impassable road conditions.

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News Headlines for Sat., Dec. 23, 2017

Change-over from rain to snow begins, colder air on the way...
Our change-over from warm-up to a severe cool-down is underway... and, it's wrecking havoc on north county roads... especially the state Thruway.  Chautauqua County police dispatchers have sent a number of crews to the superhighway between Ripley and Portland due to a quick change over from wet, to icy conditions.  Officials say that'll be the case through the afternoon as colder air moves into the region.  There was also some snow with the colder air.  Generally... we'll see about 1 to 3 inches of new snow.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says we are under a Winter Weather Advisory through tonight... and, adds that cooler temperatures will be here for a while as a cold front crosses the region.
 
 
Gerace urges motorists to be safe during the Holiday Travel period...
The busy holiday travel period is underway with AAA forecasting that more than 107-million Americans will take to planes, trains, and automobiles now through Monday, January 1st.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says it's important that motorists think safety while traveling.  He says pay attention to weather conditions, buckle your seat belt, put down the phone, and don't drink and drive.  With challenging winter weather in the forecast... Gerace says it's important to make sure you vehicle is ready before hitting the highway.  He says people often wait until the snow has started falling to get their snow tires on... and, he says make sure your wiper-blades are in good shape. 
 
 
Cuomo signs measure to allow for pre-paying property taxes in wake of federal tax changes in 2018...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says taxpayers can soften the blow of the federal tax overhaul by paying some of their local property taxes now so they can deduct the payments from their 2017 federal taxes.  The Democratic governor signed an executive order late Friday allowing New Yorkers to pre-pay their 2018 taxes to local governments and schools by January 1st... and claim the deduction on their 2017 taxes.  The new tax code will cap the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000.  Some local governments and school districts may have to issue tax warrants or take other steps to accept early payments.
 
 
Horrigan pleased to see Cuomo propose initiative to deal with Blue-Green Algal Blooms in Chautauqua Lake...
Outgoing Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan is applauding Governor Cuomo's proposed, $65-million initiative to address algal blooms in several lakes across New York state... including Chautauqua Lake.  Cuomo made the announcement late Thursday in Syracuse.  He says the "toxic mats" pose a threat to tourism and health in areas around those lakes.  Horrigan says his administration has been working hard on ways to eliminate the mats that appear in late Summer on the lake... and, have been working on land management, and installed a closed-sewer system around the lake.  Cuomo says the algal bloom problem is "here and now."  He says the proposal is a four-step plan to tackle the issue... and, says it will be part of his state of the State Address and budget plan to be released next month.  Horrigan says the blooms are difficult to deal with once they begin sprouting up.  He says it's very different than dealing with invasive weeds... and, you need to keep working on closed sewer, and farm run-off issues. 
 
 
Rotary Club to sponsor exhibit at new National Comedy Center...
The Rotary Club of Jamestown is donating $20,000 to sponsor the "Comedy as a Tool for Social Progress" exhibit space in the National Comedy Center.  Marketing and Communication Manager Brian Distefano says the interactive video production is based on social change through comedy.  Distefano says you'll see stories like Lenny Bruce being arrested for using language that is now considered more acceptable on TV, and others.  He says the exhibit will be in the main part of the 35,000 square-foot museum.  He says that the Comedy Center is grateful for the donation by the Rotary Club of Jamestown, because they have a long history of supporting successful projects in the city.  For more information... visit www.nationalcomedycenter.org.
 
 
St. Susan's Center to be open for Christmas Dinner...
Jamestown's largest soup kitchen will be open again on Christmas Day this year.  Executive Director Jeff Smith says the St. Susan's Center will be open this Monday -- Christmas Day -- from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., serving a traditional Christmas dinner.  All are welcome.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Dec. 22, 2017

Three northwestern Pennsylvania residents were arrested on drug charges after drug agents allegedly found a large quantity of methamphetamine in a vehicle on the city's eastside Wednesday morning. 
 
Jamestown Police say an officer made a traffic stop at the intersection of East Second Street and Fourth Street.  During the traffic stop, officers were advised by dispatch that the operator of the vehicle, 26 year-old Kyle Hedderick of Union City, was wanted on a warrant out of Erie County, Pennsylvania. 
 
While arresting Hedderick, officers say they saw a container of suspected meth inside the vehicle.  The passengers were asked to get out, and police found what appeared to be a suspected one-pot meth bottle sticking out from a front seat.  The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and state Police C-CSERT teams were called in to assist. 
 
Police say a search warrant was obtained and inside the vehicle they found 4.3 grams of methamphetamine, 4 ounces of meth oil and drug paraphernalia
 
 
Two men have been arrested for allegedly shooting inside a home on Jamestown's southside early Wednesday evening and, endangering the people inside the residence. 
 
City Police Chief Harry Snellings says officers were called to the scene at 164 Barrett Avenue, near the corner with Cowden Place about 7:30 p.m. on a report of "shots fired." 
 
Snellings says they determined that there was a shooting incident, and arrested 35 year-old Douglas Beardsley, and 25 year-old Jarried Dean.  He says both face multiple charges.
 
Snellings says, while in jail, Dean was found to be in possession of two unprescribed Hydrocodone pills.  He adds that futher investigation showed that the firearm used in the shooting incident was stolen. 
 
Both men are being held in the city jail pending arraignment.  Snellings says the incident was not random but, was a targeted shooting.  
 
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Winter Weather Advisory through Noon today for the western Southern Tier. 
 
Forecaster Aaron Reynolds says a warm front moving across the area late yesterday brought some precipitation late last night. He adds there will also be some ice accumulation which could result in a difficult morning commute.  He says the biggest concern is for freezing rain,  which he says can cause problems you don't see until you're on top of it. 
 
The Weather Service says ice accumulations around one-tenth of an inch are expected and, urge drivers to slow down and use caution while on the road. 
 
 
Jamestown police now say more than one juvenile has been arrested in connection with an "implied threat" against the Jamestown Public Schools Thursday morning that led to a "lock-out" district-wide. 
 
That from City Police Chief Harry Snellings, who confirms the juveniles allegedly made the threat and, school officials were alerted by a concerned parent.  Officials then notified the School Resource Officer, who then contacted city police. 
 
Snellings says the lock-out started at 9:55 a.m. and, ran until 10:25 AM.  School officials say the lock-out occured out of an "abundance" of caution.  No one was hurt. 
 
During a district-wide lock-out, no one is allowed to enter any of the schools.  It's not known if the "juveniles" involved were students.
 
 
Governor Cuomo says he is proposing a 65-million dollar plan to address algal blooms in several lakes across New York state, including Chautauqua Lake. 
 
The Democrat made the announcement late Thursday in Syracuse.  Cuomo says algal blooms, which proved problematic for several areas this past Summer, pose a threat to tourism and health in areas around affected lakes.  He says it's a problem that is "here and now.  We saw it this year and we don't want to see it in the coming years." 
 
The governor said a four-step, $65 million plan to tackle the issue would be included in his State of the State address and budget proposal at the beginning of 2018. Cuomo's plan calls for a "focused effort" on 12 lakes considered to be most vulnerable to developing algal blooms. Chautauqua Lake is one of three in the western New York region that would get help.
 
 
County Legislator George Borrello is less than two weeks away from becoming Chautauqua County's next Executive. 
 
Borrello on Wednesday night received a commendation from the County Legislature for his work as a member of the lawmaking body since 2010.  The Irving-area Republican says he's proud of his accomplishments and is ready to get to work.
 
Borrello says he held his last face-to-face meeting with his transition team earlier this week and, he's looking forward to visiting with 100 local businesses in his first 100 days in office. 
 
Borrello says there will be a swearing-in ceremony at the Chautauqua County Courthouse on New Year's Day as he prepares to succeed Vince Horrigan who is leaving office for retirement.
 
 
 
The man who has been Jamestown City Council president for the past nearly 10 years says he will miss being part of the panel in the new year but, will continue to be active in the local community. 
 
At-Large Councilman Greg Rabb will be overseas when the council hold's it's re-organizational meeting January 8th... so he made some parting remarks at this week's year-end meeting.  Rabb thanked the community for his five-terms on council, and he thanked his colleagues on the panel for their hard work.
 
Rabb also thanked the city's department heads for their hard work and responsiveness to Jamestown's residents and, members of the City Council.  He also thanked Mayor Sam Teresi for his work and dedication to the city. 
 
Rabb says sometimes residents don't appreciate what Teresi does, but he thanked him for helping him find "a home" in Jamestown.  He also thanked retired City Financial Services Director, and Clerk James Olson, for his dedication and hard work on behalf of the council.  He reiterated how pleased he was that council worked towards concensus on all matters before them. 

 

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News Bulletin for Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

(**News Alert)JPS on "Lock-Out" this morning after "implied threat" made; one arrest made...
A Juvenile is in custody for allegedly making an "implied threat" against the Jamestown Public Schools this morning that led to a "lock-out" district-wide.  That from City Police Chief Harry Snellings... who confirms the juvenile allegedly made the threat on social media.  Jamestown School officials say the lock-out started at 9:55 this morning... and, ran until 10:25 a.m.  School officials say the lock-out occured out of an "abundance" of caution.  No one was hurt.  During a district-wide lock-out... no one is allowed inside any of the schools.  

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Dec. 21, 2017

Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a proposal to establish an agency to oversee Chautauqua Lake. 
 
By an 18-0 vote, legislators approved the proposed Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency with no discussion Wednesday evening. 
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan says it was one of his top priorities as he prepares to leave office at the end of the month. Any recommendations from the agency would have to be acted on by the legislature, including the possible formation of a district. 
 
 
A city man has been sentenced to seven years in state prison following his conviction for holding another man against his will while in possession of a gun last Spring. 
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 39 year-old Mark Diers was sentenced earlier this month by County Court Judge David Foley on one count of second-degree kidnapping.  In addition to the seven years in prison, Diers received five years post-release supervision. 
 
In addition, Swanson says another Jamestown man will spend 4-years in state prison for selling drugs.  The D-A says 38 year-old Scott Meachem received the term from Acting County court Judge Paul Wojtaszek for his conviction on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Swanson says he'll also spend two years in post-release supervision. 
 
Finally, a Forestville man will spend three to six years in prison for third-degree burglary and driving while intoxicated.  Swanson says 31 year-old Thomas Brewster received the sentence early this month in county court.
 
 
Final approval of the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act will "ensure" historic tax cuts for "hardworking Americans and launches a new era of economic opportunity, growth and job creation. 
 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed, after the House of Representatives, for the second time in two days, approved the tax reform measure.  Reed says it does keep, or enhances, some tax credit programs he believes will promote economic growth in his 23rd Congressional District.
 
Reed helped craft some of the proposal as part of the House Ways and Means committee, adding that he worked on such legislation for the past seven years.  He says "this is a once in a generation opportunity to transform our tax code and spark our economy.  Today we have opened the gates to a new wave of optimism and economic prosperity -- and I'm proud to be a part of it." 
 
Reed says the bill cuts tax rates on middle and working class Americans, doubles the standard deduction, doubles the child tax credit and, maintains the state and local tax deduction for income, sales, and property tax up to $10,000. 
 
 
Demonstrators chanted and protested outside the New York Stock Exchange to protest the Republican's tax overhaul, with more than a dozen people arrested after blocking the exchange's entrance. 
 
The crowd chanted, "Tax the rich, not the poor, we won't take it anymore" and "Kill the bill, don't kill us" as they gathered late Tuesday in New York City's financial district. 
 
They also held signs in the form of gravestones, saying things like "Died to help the rich get richer."  Some demonstrators then sat down in front of the exchange, and were arrested after police warnings. 
 
 
With the holiday season upon us, Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace is warning residents to be cautious of scams. 
 
Gerace says the Sheriff's Office has received multiple reports of recent telephone-based scams, including the "Grandparent Scam."  He says the Grandparent Scam usually involves a phone call from someone pretending to be a grandchild or relative in need of emergency assistance.  Scammers may also say that the "grandchild" has been involved in an accident or arrested. 
 
Additionally, Gerace says the scammers may pretend to be a lawyer, police officer or a judge, and direct the victim to money transferring services like Western Union.  They may also request that the victim purchase an iTunes card to make instant payment to "an attorney" or for bail. 
 
The scammers will use scare tactics to get the victims to comply.  If you receive a call like this, Gerace says hang-up and call the police if assistance is needed.
 
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is nearing it's general campaign goal of $1.325-million and, there is still time for residents to make "year-end gifts" to it. 
 
That from new United Way Director Amy Rohler, who says the effort is at 84-percent of it's goal.  Rohler anticipates wrapping up the campaign by the end of January, and praised the many United Way volunteers who help out with the campaign, and it's various divisions.
 
Rohler says the volunteers put forth a lot of work and energy to make the campaign a success.  She says the emphasis now is on individual "year-end" giving, as most workplace campaigns have now wrapped up. 
 
Campaign Chairwoman Jane Becker says the next few weeks are going to be critical.  Becker says "we hope to finish strong and we will not be able to achieve that without the support from our community." 
 
Rohler says 100% of every donation remains in Southern Chautauqua County to support 41 programs at 25 local agencies.  For more information, go on-line to UWayscc.org or call 483-1561.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Dec. 20, 2017

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail on three outstanding warrants after he was found hiding inside a home on the city's eastside Monday afternoon. 
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and members of the JPD SWAT Team were sent to 18 Hedges Street about 2 p.m. after being notified by a woman living there that some property was missing.  Samuelson says they then learned that 20 year-old Nyren Graham was spotted there.
 
Samuelson says they called in the SWAT Team to help locate Graham because the house was also the scene last October of a major drug raid that led to three arrests after three hand-guns, and 27-grams of cocaine was found.  He says Graham was wanted by police for a violation of his probation, and warrants for second-degree robbery and grand larceny.  He was arrested without incident and, arraigned before being sent to the county jail.
 
 
A residents group opposed to the re-opening of the former Jones-Carroll Landfill in the town of Carroll is meeting tonight in the wake of a new effort to buy the Dodge Road facility. 
 
Town Supervisor Jack Jones, Junior says the Carroll concerned Citizens will hold an informational session, press conference at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall to outline it's opposition to the latest proposal by Sealand Waste, LLC to obtain permits to operate the facility.
 
The Carroll Town Board approved a local law in 2007 that bans any new landfills from being located in the town.  Jones says the meeting by the concerned citizens is geared towards making sure everyone in the town knows what's going on and, that they need to voice their opposition to the proposal.  He says reopening the landfill to dump construction and demolition debris will destroy their water supply in Carroll, and Frewsburg. 
 
Jones says the state Department of Environmental Conservation opened up a 30-day comment period on Sealand's request for permits to re-open landfill.  He says comments will be accepted until January 12
 
 
The glitch in yesterday's House vote on a 2017 Tax and Jobs bill led to cancellation of a telephone conference call with local Congressman Tom Reed, who voted for the bill. 
 
The measure was adopted, 227-to-203 with all but 12 Republicans voting for it.  However, three provisions in the GOP's $1.5-trillion tax bill violate Senate rules and will likely be removed before that chamber votes on the measure. 
 
They allow those items to be passed in the Senate with a simple majority of 51-votes.  Officials say this means the House will have to vote again on the legislation this morning, once it's been amended and approved by the Senate.
 
 
The attorney for a local manufacturer's group has raised several issues with the city of Jamestown's proposed sale of it's wastewater treatment plant to the city's Local Development Corporation. 
 
Those include whether the city, and it's Board of Public Utilities, can make the transaction without a public referendum on the matter.  Edward Primo, who is based in Rochester, is representing the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.  He also argues that having the ratepayers paying off the $16-million being borrowed by the JLDC amounts to "double taxation."
 
On the need for a public referendum, Mayor Sam Teresi said in a taping for this week's "Community Spotlight" program that they are not talking about selling the "entire" wastewater treatment system. 
 
The proposal calls for just selling one "asset" the plant itself.  Teresi says it's a perfectly legal way to raise capital for the cash-strapped city.  He adds the Board of Public Utilities would continue to operate the plant.
 
 
A man from the village of Brocton was taken to the Chautauqua County lock-up on harrassment and resisting arrest charges Monday afternoon. 
 
Sheriff's Officers say they responded to the area of Central Avenue for a reported harrassment that had occurred.  After an investigation, deputies determined that 43 year-old Christopher Small made unwanted physical contact with a victim. 
 
As deputies tried to arrest him, Small physically resisted arrest.  After a brief struggle, officers were able to take Small into custody.  He was arraigned and sent to jail on 2-thousand dollars cash bail. 
 
 
The Salvation Army of Jamestown is had a very busy day Tuesday as families participating in holiday services including the Angel Tree program, picked up toys and food for Christmas. 
 
That from Captain Kim Merchant, who says they had some generous donations and anticipated helping more than 600 families this year. 
 
Merchant also says that the annual Red Kettle Campaign was ahead of their goal up until yesterday due to rainy weather conditions. 
 
Merchant says that while they're even with money raised last year she's confident the Salvation Army of Jamestown will reach their goal of $112,000 by December 23.
 
Merchant says the last day of the Red Kettle Campaign is this Saturday, December 23rd. However, donations can be made with a check by mail or dropped off to the Salvation Army at 83 South Main Street in Jamestown.
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week, with the cost of regular, unleaded fuel at 2$.75 a gallon.
 
That from the AAA's latest Gas Price Report, which says four states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region are paying some of the highest gas prices in the county, including Pennslvania, New York, Washington D-C and Connecticut.
 
However, prices did decrease on the week across the region.  The national average dropped three-cents to $2.43 per gallon, which is $0.12 cheaper than one month ago

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Dec. 19, 2017

City lawmakers have approved a resolution to begin the process of looking into the sale of Jamestown's wastewater treatment plant to the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.
 
In a unanimous vote, the City Council agreed to begin looking into a plan for the plant's "monetization, infrastructure and budget stablization."  Lawmakers heard several people during the earlier comment period raise many concerns over the proposal, which city leaders say would raise about $16-million to support capitol projects, and some operations.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says this is just the first-step of what will be a lengthy process.
 
Dolce says, unlike some residents stated earlier in the meeting, this is "not an 11th hour" resolution but, the start of a process in which the new City Council, the Board of Public Utilities, and the JLDC would all have to sign off on.
 
 
Several people some representing businesses or organizations spoke out earlier against the proposed sale of the city's wastewater treatment plan to raise needed money.
 
The two biggest concerns were that city lawmakers appeared to be rushing the process and, that there are still a number of unanswered questions about the move.  Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier Executive Director Todd Tranum says this move does not renew confidence in the business community.
 
Tranum noted that housing values have dropped in the city, based on what he and his family have paid for two homes in Jamestown, and then later took a loss on their sale. 
 
Local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Representative Dave Wilkinson, says they represent the 15 workers at that plant and, says they deserve some answers about a possible sale's impact.  Another business representative, Wayne Rishell, expressed a number of concerns -- including the fact there is no set price yet on the plant itself. 
 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly leading city police on a vehicle pursuit into the towns of Ellicott and Ellery early Monday  morning.
 
City police say they initially pulled over 21 year-old Damien Parisi for allegedly driving without his headlights on Camp Street near Hebner Street, about 1 AM.  However, officers say Parisi drove off through the city and, the two towns before being stopped on Route 430 near Bemus Point. 
 
JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says police deployed tire sticks to deflate the car's tires.  City police were assisted by Ellicott Town Police and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department. 
 
Parisi was allegedly found with a quantity of crystal Methamphetamine, and is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful fleeing and several other vehicle and traffic infractions.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
The Jamestown man convicted of shooting and killing his estranged wife during a domestic incident just over a year ago will spend the next 25 years in state prison.
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 37 year-old Keith Robbins received the sentence in county court Monday morning for first-degree manslaughter in the death of his 36 year-old wife, Sheri. 
 
Swanson says he's pleased with the term handed down by County Court Judge David Foley, because is spares the Robbins' children from having to testify in a trial.
 
Swanson says even if they were able to get a conviction for second-degree murder, Robbins still could have only received a 15 year-to-life sentence.  He called the case "heart-breaking" for Keith and Shari Robbins' 12 and 14 year-old children. 
 
Under the plea deal, Swanson says Robbins waived his right to appeal on most aspects of the case.  He says Robbins will also spend five-years in post-release supervision.  Robbins did not address the court prior to sentencing.  
 
 
The annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" national crackdown is already underway and, several local police agencies are involved.
 
That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace, who is the county's STOP-DWI campaign coordinator.  Gerace says his department receives funding from the state's "Stop DWI Foundation" to help cover their costs to put out extra patrols during such crackdowns.
 
State Police are also taking part in the campaign, which began last Friday and, continues through New Year's Day, Monday, January 1.  Besides sobriety checkpoints and patrols, troopers say they will be watching for distracted drivers, those who are not properly buckled up.
 
 
A city man has been jailed on a felony weapons charge after for allegedly displaying a firearm in Jamestown early Sunday morning. 
 
City officers say they responded to a report of a man displaying a firearm at another person in the area of 164 Barrett Avenue before fleeing in a vehicle. 
 
Police say a traffic stop was made after a car matching the description was found.  Officers identified the suspect as 30 year-old Shane Corrigan, who they accuse of being in possession of a loaded firearm.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
Planning for the 50th anniversary celebration of the 1969 Woodstock concert is already underway, and it's getting a big boost from New York state.
 
The Poughkeepsie Journal reports the Regional Economic Development Council awards announced earlier this week by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo include nearly $690,000 dollars for the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the site of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 
 
The three-day concert held in August 1969 drew more than 400,000 rock music fans to Max Yasgur's farm in the Sullivan County town of Bethel. 
 
Bethel Woods will use the state funding for the 2019 anniversary event, also planned as a three-day festival.  The 11-year-old, 15,000-capacity venue features a 4,500-seat amphitheater with a sloping lawn and a Woodstock museum.

 

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**News Bulletin - Mon., Dec. 18, 2017

(**News Bulletin) -- Robbins receives 25 years in prison shooting death of his wife in Nov. 2016...
The Jamestown man convicted of shooting and killing his estranged wife during a domestic incident just over a year ago will spend the next 25 years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 37 year-old Keith Robbins received the sentence in county court this morning for first-degree manslaughter in the death of his 36 year-old wife, Sheri.  Swanson says he's pleased with the sentence handed down by County Court Judge David Foley, because is spares the Robbins' children from having to testify in a trial....

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Dec. 18, 2017

The supervisor of a small town in Cattaraugus County and his wife, the town clerk-elect, have been struck and killed by a car.  In addition, the driver of the car has been arrested for vehicular manslaughter. 
 
The Post-Journal reports that Michael and Donna Phillips were walking to town hall on Route 353 and North State Street near Salamanca late Friday when they were hit by the car, driven by 27 year-old Kevin Donaldson, Jr. of Cattaraugus. 
 
Sheriff's officials in Little Valley say Phillips and his wife were both killed instantly.  No one in the car was seriously injured but, Donaldson is now charged with two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and one count of driving while intoxicated.  He was arraigned and jailed on $20,000 bail. 
 
Michael Phillips ran unopposed for re-election last month as Salamanca town supervisor.  Donna Phillips defeated incumbent Rosemary Shadden for town clerk by a vote of 117 to 41. 
 
 
The GOP tax reform plan that's before Congress was the major topic of discussion during local representative Tom Reed's three town hall meetings across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties on Saturday. 
 
The Corning Republican told the crowd in Kennedy and Silver Creek that such items as the State and Local Tax deduction or SALT, the medical expense deduction, and an increase in the children's tax credit have been included in the final tax bill, which was released last Friday.  Reed says with the final plan, most residents would not itemize their taxes.
 
Reed was asked by a couple of residents in Silver Creek if he had read the final tax bill and why it is being rushed to a vote next week.  He said he's read the many bills the GOP has worked on for the past seven years.  He says if they delayed a vote to allow "everyone" to read it, he doubts they would ever act on it.  During the town halls, Reed noted that a vote is expected in the House on Tuesday.
 
 
Residents during the Silver Creek session also brought up concerns about the national debt. 
 
One person stated that the federal tax bill would increase the debt instead of lowering it.  Reed said that growing the economy in addition to getting spending under control, is what is critical to solving the debt crisis.  He says the $3.8-trillion the federal government spends each year must also come down. 
 
Reed also talked about the repealing of Net Neutrality by the Federal Communications Commission, saying that law was outdated. The town hall meeting in Silver Creek was carried on Facebook Live. 
 
 
The Cuomo administration says it will award another $100-million to revitalize downtowns in New York state. 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding Friday in a preview of his 2018 State of the State address to be delivered next month. 
 
The state will give awards of up to $10-million to communities in each of New York's 10 economic development regions.  Nearly two years ago, Jamestown was among the first recipients of the funding, receiving $10-million for several downtown projects.
 
 
His work in sales for a former supermarket chain in western New York has helped retiring Chautauqua Region Community Foundation director Randy Sweeney raise the foundation's profile. 
 
However, Sweeney says the raised profile has helped make the Jamestown-area "the best place it can be."  He says the foundation had about 200 different scholarship and other funds worth about 30-million dollars when first arrived in 1997. 
 
That number has grown to about 750 funds and, $94-million.  Sweeney had been Vice-President of Sales at Quality Markets before moving to the foundation.
 
Sweeney will be replaced by outgoing United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Executive Director Tory Irgang on January 1st.  He says the transition has gone smoothly, adding that Irgang has a very good understanding and knowledge of the community.  He says that's important because the foundation has relationships with "hundreds of individuals."  Sweeney made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Residents of the Dunkirk City School District are calling for the reinstatement of a School Resource Officer following a recent incident involving the alleged stabbing of a Dunkirk school student. 
 
Parent Devin Freitas addressed the school board late last week, asking them to work quickly at reinstating the position.  He is calling on the school board to enhance safety in the District.  Superintendent James Tracy says the district is actively looking at possibly reinstating a SRO position. 
 
Tracy says funding does become an issue but, adds that the District is looking at ways to work around the cost factors.  The alleged stabbing was not reported to local police, or the media.
 
 
A Mayville man has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a motorcyclist and injuring three others in a crash last summer in Wyoming County. 
 
The District Attorney's office there says 29-year-old Joshua Huntress pleaded guilty late last week to aggravated vehicular homicide and assault. 
 
Prosecutors say Huntress had taken various controlled substances on July 9th and then attempted to drive from a motel in Warsaw back to Chautauqua County.  He was traveling on Route 20A in the town of Orangeville when his vehicle plowed into two motorcycles.  A passenger on one, a 66-year-old woman from North Tonawanda, died.

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Dec. 16, 2017

Two people killed in Salamanca car-pedestrian accident...
Two people were killed when they were struck by a car in the Cattaraugus County Town of Salamanca early last evening.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to the scene at the intersection of Route 353 and North State Street just after 5:30 p.m., and, found the two victims dead at the scene.  No identifies have been revealed.  Deputies say the driver of the car was not hurt... but, a passenger was taken to Olean General Hospital for unspecificed injuries.  Officers say the accident remains under investigation, and charges are pending. 
 
 
National Weather Service continues Lake Effect Snow Warning through this afternoon...
The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning through this afternoon for much of southwestern New York... including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  The Weather Service's Buffalo office issued the warning yesterday morning.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell says the Dunkirk-Fredonia and Silver Creek areas are getting most of the snow today.  He says northern parts of the county will received 2-inches of snow an hour at times before weakening and moving into the Jamestown-area later in the afternoon.  Mitchell says snowfall totals will vary widely depending on where the bands set up.  He says the Jamestown-area will see another 3 to 5 inches of snow before the system breaks up.  Winds have varied in some areas... but, will weaken through the afternoon after gusts reached 30-plus miles an hour last night and overnight.  The complete forecast is coming up.
 
 
One person found decreased in Fredonia apartment after fire...
An apartment fire at One Temple Square in the village of Fredonia has turned fatal.  Fredonia firefighters responded to a general fire alarm around 3 p.m. Friday.  Second Assistant Fredonia Fire Chief and Information Officer Kurt Maytum says... when crews reached the scene... they learned about the fire and were able to confined the flames to one room.  Maytum adds that's also when they found the victim.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team and a Chautauqua County Coroner were also called to the scene.  The name of the victim has not been released at this time.  Firefighters had to ventilate smoke from the building before residents could return to their apartments.  Fredonia firefighters were assisted by Dunkirk at the scene. 
 
 
Mayville man pleads guilty to causing death of motorcyclist last Summer...
A Chautauqua County man has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a motorcyclist and injuring three others in a crash last summer in Wyoming County.  The District Attorney's office there says 29-year-old Joshua Huntress, of Mayville, pleaded guilty late this week to aggravated vehicular homicide and assault.  Prosecutors say Huntress had taken various controlled substances on July 9th and then attempted to drive from a motel in Warsaw to Chautauqua County.  He was traveling on Route 20A in the town of Orangeville when his vehicle plowed into two motorcycles.  A 66 year-old woman riding on one of the motorcycles suffered fatal injuries.  The man she was riding with and the couple on the other motorcycle suffered serious injuries. 
 
 
Flu Season hitting south hard...
Health officials say the Deep South is among the hardest-hit regions of the nation so far this flu season.  In its latest update on influenza activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta identifies seven states reporting widespread flu activity, and all but one are in the South: Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Virginia.  The other state reporting widespread influenza activity is Massachusetts.  The Georgia Department of Public Health says this year's flu season is likely to be a rough one nationwide. 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Dec. 15, 2017

A vacant, two-story house on Jamestown's eastside had to be torn-down late yesterday morning after flames destroyed the structure during the overnight house fire. 
 
City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says firefighters were called to the scene at 320 Stowe Street about 3 a.m. Thursday.  He says they found a lot of fire coming from the upper floors and attic areas. 
 
Salemme says it took crews about two-hours to bring the flames under control, mainly due to safety issues.  He says they had to protect two nearby homes from exposure damage.  Salemme says there was some minor damage to one.
 
Salemme says no one was hurt in fighting the blaze and, an off-shift of 12 firefighters and a shift commander was called in.  He says firefighters were there until about 1 p.m. Thursday.  The cause is under investigation. 
 
 
A city man is recovering from a minor stab wound following an altercation involving two other men on Jamestown's southside Wednesday night. 
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the 21 year-old victim was stabbed during the attack in front of 125 Sampson Street shortly after 7:30 PM.  However, Samuelson says the victim was targeted.  He was treated at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for his wound. 
 
Samuelson adds the victim is not cooperating and, the two suspects are at-large.  If you have any information, call the JPD tips-line at 483-TIPS (8477).  You can also leave a message at their Tips 411 phone app.
 
 
Today is the last day of open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for 2018, a deadline even those with insurance should heed.
 
The open-enrollment window was cut in half this year and the federal budget for advertising it was slashed by 90-percent. But Scott Mulhauser, with Consumers for Quality Care, points out that despite efforts to repeal the program, it's still working.  And, it's important for everyone who needs insurance and those already in the marketplace to look at what's available.
 
With all the negative comments in the news about skyrocketing premium costs, some people may believe marketplace insurance is now simply unaffordable.  Mulhauser acknowledges that costs have gone up but, he adds subsidies have also gone up in some places.  Navigators are available to help consumers pick the right plan. 
 
Mulhauser adds that some policies may change their prescription plans, their co-pay or co-insurance requirements.  To enroll or change your plan in New York, you can go to NYStateofHealth.NY.gov
 
 
There would be no closure of West Second Street in Jamestown under the proposed expansion of the Northwest Arena in at the corner with Lafayette Street. 
 
That from Arena Board Co-Chairman Dave Leathers, who addressed city Council earlier this week about the city's proposed sale of that right of-way area to the Arena. 
 
Leather discussed plans for the addition, which would add office space, and a kid's zone area to the arena.  Mayor Sam Teresi reiterated what Leathers said and that is there would be no permanent closure of that part of West Second.
 
The City Council will vote next Monday on selling that small strip of the West Second Street right of way at Lafayette Street to the arena for the proposed expansion. 
 
However, Teresi and Leathers noted that the project is contingent on obtaining that property.  One the move has been agreed to, they say formal plans will go before the City Planning Commission for final site plan approval.
 
 
The annual Community "Holiday Haul" to benefit the St. Susan's Center in downtown Jamestown is underway and, collecting donations of food stuff and money through Saturdayafternoon. 
 
Jamestown Community College Athletic Director Keith Martin is back at the Jamestown Cycle Shop in Brooklyn Square for the event, which brings in food and other kitchen items to the St. Susan's Center.
 
Martin says they've set up the Jamestown Mattress Company truck in front of the Cycle Shop and, he says it was empty to begin with.  However things started picking up later. 
 
Martin says he'll be having members of various JCC sports teams and others on hand for this year's Holiday Haul.  He says he hope to raise more than the $14,000 in money they received last year. 
 
Martin says he'll be back at the Jamestown Cycle Shop today from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, will be back there again tomorrow from 7a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
 
The state Health Department says influenza is now prevalent in New York state, which means health care workers who haven't had a flu shot must wear procedural masks around patients. 
 
Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says everyone over 6 months old is encouraged to get a flu shot as soon as possible.  He says the vaccine is especially important for people at high risk of complications from flu, including children under 2, pregnant women and adults over 65. 
 
 
Flags at Dunkirk City Hall were lowered to half mast on Wednesday in memory of former Mayor Richard Frey who died at the age of 86. 
 
Frey served 10 years as the mayor of Dunkirk, from 2002 to 2012.  Officials say a Memorial Mass will be held Monday morning at 10 a.m. in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.  Calling hours will be held on Sunday from 1-6 p.m. at the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Dec. 14, 2017

Ten economic development regions in New York state are splitting $755-million in state funding. 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo made the annoucement at an event in Albany on Wednesday.  The money will support hundreds of local economic development efforts, including job training, subsidies for expanding businesses and funding for community organizations. 
 
Cuomo says this latest round of funding, along with others in the past, will be a critical point in the history of the upstate region.
 
This year's big winners in the Regional Economic Development Council awards include central New York, the Mohawk Valley, and, the Albany region, which each received more than $80 million.  Western New York received $68.8-million for a total of 112 projects, just over 20 are in Chautauqua County. 
 
Under Governor Cuomo, the state has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to the 10 regions based on economic development proposals they submit to the state.
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very pleased" to see 23 local projects receiving about $9.5-million in Regional Economic Development Council funding. 
 
Horrigan was not in Albany for the announcement, but says he was pleased with the variety of projects awarded and, adds that twice as many projects received funding this year compared to 2016.
 
The bigger dollar awards are mainly for sewer projects around Chautauqua Lake.  Horrigan says $5-million will go towards extending service through the town of North Harmony the the westside of the lake.  However, he says the county will still have to raise some additional dollars for that. 
 
Horrigan adds that another $1-million will go towards providing closed sewer services in the Chautauqua Heights area near DeWittville.  He adds that Sinclairville is getting one-million dollars for water system improvements there.  Improvements to the Jamestown Chadakoin River Watershed for the riverwalk project will be receiving just over $313,000.   
 
 
One person has died in a house fire that occured in eastern Cattaraugus County about mid-afternoon Tuesday
 
State Police in Olean were called to the scene on Cooper Hill Road in the town of Humphrey about 2:45 p.m. and, once fire crews had the blaze under control, they discovered a body inside. 
 
The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Cattaraugus County Fire Investigators say the fire appears accidental and, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene by the Cattaraugus County coroner.  The body will be examined by the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office in Buffalo for cause of death and identity. 
 
This is still an active investigation.
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week, with the cost of regular, unleaded fuel at $2.75 a gallon.
 
That from the AAA's latest Gas Price Report, which says that's about $0.36 a gallon more at this time last year. However... compared to one month ago, motorists are paying less for a gallon of gasoline.
 
Triple-A says with a 2.4-million barrel build the region sits at 58.4-million barrels. It's the largest amount of inventory carried since the beginning of September for the region. Nationally, prices at the pump are down $0.02 on the week at $2.46. According to the Energy Information Administration, demand is just under 9-million barrels per day for the second week in a row.
 
Looking ahead, AAA says that drivers can expect prices to decrease as the fall demand for fuel tapers off. 
 
 
Three men face drug-related charges after authorities attempted to serve a New York State Parole arrest warrant on New Road in the town of Dunkirk earlier this week. 
 
Officers from State Parole, Dunkirk Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office went to 3647 New Road to serve the warrant about 8 p.m. Monday
 
That from Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano, who says a search warrant was executed and that's when the illegal drugs were discovered and, two others Jonathan Linger, and Martin Wisniewski. 
 
Hawkins, who has a Fredonia address, has been charged with resisting arrest, second-degree obstructing governmental administration, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, unlawful possession of marijuana along with the parole arrest warrant. 
 
Linger and Wisniewski have both been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and, unlawful possession of marijuana. 
 
All three were arraigned in Sheridan Town Court and sent to the County Jail without bail. 
 
 
The commitment of Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Director Randy Sweeney to the Robert H. Jackson Center was honored during a special program Tuesday evening at the center. 
 
Sweeney will retire at the end of this year from the Community Foundation. But, Jackson Center co-founder Greg Peterson says Randy has played important roles at the Jackson Center, as well.
 
Sweeney says the Jackson Center, founded in 2001, showed him just how difficult it is to start and then sustain something new.  He says you "just can't snap your fingers." 
 
Tuesday's reception concluded with a Greg Peterson interview of Randy Sweeney, that will be posted on the Jackson Center's youtube page.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Dec. 13, 2017

The Lake Effect Snow machine cranked out a few inches of the white stuff by mid-evening last night and snowfall totals were getting near a foot in some places in western New York. 
 
By mid-evening last night, the National Weather Service reported about 10.5 inches in Perrysburg while Mayville was reporting seven to eight inches.  Forecasters are continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning for Chautauqua County through 7:00 tonight. 
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says there were a number of crashes Tuesday morning due to the heavy snow in spots.
 
Gerace says they have the "procrastinators that wait until we get a storm like this to get their cars equiped with snow tires."  He says drivers have to slow down and, give themselves more time to stop at intersections.  He adds make sure to buckle-up and when the snow is falling, use your headlights.
 
Yesterday's tricky conditions led to a tractor-trailer accident on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the crash occured shortly after 1 p.m. when the tractor slid off the road and into a ditch. 
 
Route 394 from Interstate 86 to Ramsey Road was closed a few hours while the scene was cleared.  The driver was taken to a local hospital for treatment. 
 
 
Voters in the Southwestern Central School District have approved a pair of propositions that will allow the next phase of renovations and upgrades to all district buildings. 
 
That from School Superintendent Maureen Donahue, who was pleased with the final vote on the $12.6-million  capital improvement project, which also includes a $1.3-million Energy Performance Project that will include outfitting all facilities with LED lighting.  She says work begins on the projects this morning. 
 
Donahue says there is also some infrastructure work that's part of the capital improvements, including electrical, heating and wastewater work.  She says there will be some outside improvements, such as a new roof for the elementary school building.  Vote totals were not available last night.
 
 
New York's junior U.S. Senator is pushing back against President Trump after calling on him to resign in the wake of renewed sexual misconduct allegations against him. 
 
White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders had promised to provide a list of eyewitnesses and evidence to exonerate Trump.  Trump Tuesday tweeted that Gillibrand would come to his office "begging" for campaign contributions and "do anything" to get them. 
 
Gillibrand said Trump's attack was a "sexist smear" to try and silence her.  During a conference call yesterday afternoon, the New York Democrat again called on Trump to resign over past allegations of sexual misconduct. 
 
Back to the rebuttals, nearly 24 hours after saying the White House would provide them to the media it released just two accounts.  One was about Trump allegedly groping a woman on a plane in the 1970s, the other that he behaved inappropriately in a beauty pageant dressing room.  However, they only cited news reports quoting eyewitnesses.
 
 
The joint conference committee on tax reform is quickly moving towards final reconcilation of a measure that can be voted on by both the House and Senate. 
 
However,  local Congressman Tom Reed says there is still a lot of misinformation out in the public about the measure, which he says will put $1,600 in the pockets of a typical family in his Southern Tier district. 
 
Reed says that's due to the doubling of the standard deduction on the basic tax form and he says that should save money for 99-percent of the residents in his district.  One of the biggest concerns in New York state is the future of the State and Local Property Tax deducton, which is taken out of the tax code. 
 
However, Reed says the provision he pushed for, to write-off property taxes up to $10,000, is in both the House and Senate versions.  He expects a vote shortly, possibly by the end of the week. 
 
 
A Jamestown woman faces second-degree assault for trying to stab a female victim Monday night. 
 
City police say they were called to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for a stab victim.  Investigation revealed at 38 year-old Rochelly Alvarez attempted to stab the victim with a knife, hitting and cutting the victim on her hands several times.
 
The victim sufferred minor lacerations. Alvarez was taken to city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
The Salvation Army of Jamestown is well on it's way to raising it's just over $100,000 goal for the annual Red Kettle Campaign this year. 
 
Captain Kim Merchant says the "kettle" drive seems to be holding its own and is at about the same place at last year at this time.  She says it's "wonderful" but, the Salvation Army still has 100 outstanding Angel Tree tags. 
 
The program ensures children in needy families get presents for Christmas.  Merchant adds there is still time to send in gifts, but the deadline is under a week away, December 18.
 
Merchant says there are 630 families receiving gifts through the program. Senior citizens participating receive food baskets with everything needed to make a Christmas meal, including Ham and Turkey, and all the trimmings.  She says the food baskets also include items to help people get through a few more days past the holiday season, such as soup and cereal. 
 
Merchant says you can drop gifts off at their front office between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m..  For more information, call 664-4108.
 
 
Upstate Republican state Assemblyman Brian Kolb says he will run for New York governor next year. 
 
The lawmaker from Canandaigua, has led the GOP minority in the Assembly for eight years and was first elected in 2000.  Kolb confirmed his plans Tuesday morning on Rochester's WHAM-1180 radio ahead of a formal announcement expected later in the day. 
 
Cuomo is considered a possible White House contender but says he plans to seek a third term in 2018.  Kolb has acknowledged that beating Cuomo will be a challenge. 
 
Cuomo is a prodigious fundraiser and his party has a big advantage in voter registration in New York.  Other potential candidates in 2018 include Democrat Stephanie Miner, the outgoing mayor of Syracuse; Republican businessman Harry Wilson; and Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco of Syracuse.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Dec. 12, 2017

Most of Western New York is now under a Lake Effect Snow Warning through 7 p.m. Wednesday, including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. 
 
That from the National Weather Service in Buffalo, which issued the warning early yesterday afternoon.  A general snowfall began last night and, will change to Lake Effect today.  By Wednesday night, Forecaster Jon Hitchcock in Buffalo says we may see upwards of a foot of new snow inland from Lake Erie.
 
Hitchcock says,  after about 2-inches of general snow overnight, and another 2 inches this morning, we'll see the Lake Effect machine start up, with enhancement from Lake Huron.  Due to that, he says the lake effect totals could be significant in some places. 
 
 
A proposal by the city of Jamestown to sell it's wastewater treatment plant to the city's Local Development Corporation to raise about $16-million in capitol for the city is meeting with some resistance. 
 
The proposal was discussed at the Finance Committee meeting last night and later at the City Council's work session.  Resident Greg Lindquist says he has serious concerns because the JLDC is the "lending arm" of the city, and that could jeopardize it's $3.3-million in lending funds.
 
Lindquist adds that while he wants lower property taxes, he doesn't want to see the city's future "leveraged" to accomplish that.  Executive Director Todd Tranum with the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier called the move a "reckless scheme " and, says their lawyer believes there would have to be a public vote on the proposal. 
 
Tranum also noted that state courts several years ago, struck down a similar move proposed for New York City.  City lawmakers were given a lengthy presentation at last week's meeting by Bond Counsel Kenneth Bond about the plan.
 
 
After the Manufacturer's Association noted that their legal counsel is looking at whether the city needs to hold a public vote on selling the wastewater treatment plant, council members were advised not to speak about the matter last night. 
 
City Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman noted that MAST Director Todd Tranum had brought up that their legal counsel was involved, and would be talking with the city soon.  She recommended against commenting at last night's meeting.  With that, council members moved on to other business on their agenda.
 
 
A lot of water was lost during last Saturday morning's major water main break in downtown Jamestown. 
 
That from Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins, who says the break was first discovered about 7 a.m. when water broke through the pavement at the intersection of Third and North Main Streets. 
 
Robbins says temporary repairs were made by late Saturday on the break, which also caused the Smith Avenue Pump Station to shut-down.  She says that caused low water pressure in the downtown especially the south side for several hours. 
 
Robbins says they received several calls about water in the street, and some flooded basements.  The water was reportedly running downhill from Third Street to Harrison Street in Brooklyn Square.  
 
 
The county lawmakers will consider a measure to create a new umbrella organization to oversee efforts to get funding to help with weed control on Chautauqua Lake. 
 
Legislature committees meet this week and, will consider creation of a Chautauqua Lake Rehabilitation and Improvement Agency.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the agency would then move forward on creating a "lake district". 
 
Horrigan says there are currently "many not-for-profits and other organizations" that peform weed management work and, other tasks.  However, he says there needs to be a "central agency" that has the ability to go out and get "dedicated funding" for their work. 
 
Horrigan says, given the difficulties on the lake this past Summer, the time is right.  He says he's talked to both lake property owners, and members of local lake organizations.  Horrigan says the proposal to creat the Rehabilitation and Improvement Agency will go before the Planning and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday
 
The full legislature meets for the final time in 2017 on Wednesday, December 20.
 
 
Voters in the Southwestern Central School District are voting today on a proposed, $12.6-million capital project to make several improvements and upgrades to all three educational buildings. 
 
School Supeintendent Maureen Donahue says there would also be upgrades to the district's bus garage.  Donahue says two parts of the overall project include new facilities or additions to the elementary school, including a cafateria addition.  She says there'll also be plumbing and heating work done.
 
An energy efficient lighting portion will be part of a $1.3-million Energy Performance Contract that's included in the referendum.  Donahue says most of the lighting fixtures will be retrofitted for LED lighting.  However, she adds some may be so old they can't be. 
 
Donahue adds that in the middle school, there would be upgrades to the athletic fields and, new student lockers.  She says the district wants to take advantage of 95% state aid for the construction work, and 90% for the energy efficient projects.  Voting today runs from 7-9 a.m. and, 2-8 p.m.in the high school auditorium.
 
 
A woman had to be flown to an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital with serious injurues after being dragged by a vehicle during a domestic dispute in Falconer early Sunday night. 
 
Ellicott Police say they responded to a report that a female victim had been struck by a car in the area of South Work and East Main Streets.  On arrival, officers found 38 year-old Shawn Arnold was involved in an argument with the 38 year-old victim.  During that, the victim tried to get into the vehicle Arnold was driving when he back up and dragged her a short distance. 
 
The victim then fell to the ground and he ran her legs over with his vehicle.  The woman was treated at the scene by Falconer Fire rescuers for several serious injuries and she was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center. 
 
Officers say Arnold left the scene, but was later found and arrested.  He was arraigned and sent to County Jail without bail.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Dec. 11, 2017

A woman had to be flown to a nearby trauma center after she was struck by a vehicle on Main Street in Falconer late yesterday. 
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff's dispatchers say Falconer fire rescue crews were called to the scene about 4:30.  The unidentified woman, who was walking at the time, was taken to a staging area to be flown to the hospital.  No other information was available Monday morning.
 
 
Four people suffered serious injuries when a Jeep Waggoner struck a skid-steer vehicle from behind on Route 430 in the town of Chautauqua early last Friday night. 
 
Sheriff's deputies say 33 year-old Larry Houser of Westfield was northbound in his Jeep about 5:45 PM when he came upon the Skid Steer, which was traveling in the same direction.  However, officers say the operator of the skid steer, 40 year-old John Weaver of Lineville, Pennsylvania, went to make a left turn into a driveway, and was struck from behind by Houser's Jeep. 
 
Deputies say Weaver was flown by Starlight to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  In addition, his passenger, 22 year-old John Baker of Mayville, along with Houser and his passenger, 28 year-old Tony Long of Mayville were all taken by ambulance to Hamot for their injuries.  No charges have been filed.
 
 
Despite a number of fiscal challenges, the city of Jamestown has been able to retain it's good credit rating for another year. 
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who recently reported to the city council that Standard-and-Poor's let them know last week that their rating remained an A-Minus.  Teresi adds that S-and-P also gave Jamestown a "stable outlook."  He says it helps not only the city borrow money at a lower interest rate, but the Board of Public Utilities also.
 
Teresi thanked Standard-and-Poor's for it's confidence in the city and thanked others on his administrative team for preserving their bond rating at an "A" level.  He specifically named four people, led by Comptroller Joe Bellitto, City Administrative Services Directors Todd Thomas and the retired James Olson and Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman.
 
Teresi says keeping a good bond rating in New York faces challenges, including never ending mandates handed down by New York state, and having to deal with the state's 2% property tax cap..
 
 
In New York state government news, Governor Andrew Cuomo has settled on a traditional state of the state address after shaking things up last year. 
 
The Democratic governor plans to deliver his speech before lawmakers in Albany on January 3rd, the first day of the 2018 legislative session.  Last year, following a period of tense relations with lawmakers, Cuomo took the state of the state on the road, with a series of speeches around the state. 
 
Cuomo will use the speech to lay out his agenda for 2018.  Meanwhile, Democratic Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda has introduced legislation to allow young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children to keep their driver's licenses after the federal program protecting them from deportation ends in 2018.
 
 
Temporary repairs were made by late Saturday on a major water main break in the heart of downtown Jamestown. 
 
Board of Public Utilities Water Division crews were called to the scene at the corner of Third and North Main Streets about 8 AM Saturday and found water flowing from the break. 
 
BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says they received several calls about water in the street, and a couple of flooded basements.  The water was reportedly running downhill from Third Street to Harrison Street in Brooklyn Square. 
 
Robbins says water pressure was very low in the city until repairs were made by the afternoon.  There was discolored water in the system through mid-day Sunday.
 
 
Governor Cuomo's office is defending the administration's hiring practices amid scrutiny by the FBI. 
 
The Albany Times-Union reports Friday that FBI investigators have questioned people who were hired to work for the governor, but who on paper were listed as working for other state agencies.  That's a move that makes the Democrat's staff and budget look smaller than they really are. 
 
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi confirmed Friday that the administration received a subpoena months ago and has cooperated by providing documents.  Azzopardi called the investigation a "charade."
 
 
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer wrapped up another tour late last week of New York's 62 counties with a call for greater federal help for the state's craft beer industry. 
 
The Democrat visited a Columbia County brewery to discuss efforts to add New York to a list of states eligible for a crop insurance program for farmers who grow malt barley.  Schumer says malt barley is a risky proposition in New York.  He says that giving New York farmers greater crop insurance options will encourage more farmers to grow it. 
 
Demand for locally grown malt barley is expected to increase as brewers look for local ingredients to use in their beer.  Friday's visit to Columbia County, east of Albany, makes this the 19th year Schumer has visited each of the state's counties.

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Dec. 9, 2017

BPU Water crews continue work to repair major water main break in downtown Jamestown...
Water division crews with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are still working at the location of a major water main break at the corner of Third and North Main Streets this morning.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says crews were called to the scene about 8 a.m.,  and found the street in that area flooded with water all the way to Harrison Street in Brooklyn Square.  However... BPU Robbins says water pressure in the City should be back to normal now.  She adds that water is expected to be discolored through the overnight, and in some cases, until Noon tomorrow.
 
 
Amiran presented County Chamber's Lydic Award at annual meeting...
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting in the city of Dunkirk yesterday afternoon.  As part of the annual meeting, the Chamber presented the annual Pam Lydic Coalition Builder award to Dr. Minda Rae Amiran.  The retired SUNY Fredonia English professor has been an active community leader, involved in such groups as the League of Women Voters and Literacy Volunteers of America.  Dr. Amiran says it's a great honor that she believes could go to so many others, but, she adds that she it grateful "for the recognition."  The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce also approved its Board of Directors during the meeting.  President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says 2017 was a strong year for the Chamber... especially in regards to building membership, and programs for members.  The new Chairman of the County Chamber Board is Brian Bugaj of Nestle Purina... and, Curt Anderson of Standard Portable is now Immediate Past President.  The rest of the slate of officers include Vice Chair Fred Johnson of Johnson Estate Winery... Treasurer Neil Frederick of Bush Industries; and Secretary Ann Abdella, Chautauqua County Health Network.  
 
 
Schumer visits 62nd county in NYS for another year...
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has completed another tour of all 62 New York counties with a call for federal assistance for the state's burgeoning malt barley industry.  The Democrat visited a brewery in Columbia County on Friday to urge U.S. agriculture officials to make New York eligible for special federal crop insurance for malt barley, a critical component in the production of craft beer.  The trip completes Schumer's goal of visiting each county in the state this year.
 
 
TRC Foundation dissolved into Community Foundation...
In an effort to strenghten its six funds... the TRC Foundation has been dissolved by The Resource Center... and it's assets have been transferred to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in Jamestown.  The move was jointly announced Friday morning by TRC President and Chief Executive Officer Denise Jones... and, Community Foundation Executive Director Randy Sweeney.  Sweeney says they had discussed the move with TRC officials for more than a year... and, he says the transfer was seamless.  He says it will relieve the TRC Foundation of having to pay out the cost to administer the funds.  In a press release... TRC Foundation Chairman Randy Ordines noted that the Community Foundation brings "a vast amount of experience in fund and investment management planned giving, and fund development.  Sweeney says the TRC advisory board would remain in place... and, still provide access and input on the funds.  He says those six funds include the TRC Foundation Fund... the Laurel Run Fund... and, the Kathy Seastedt "Look Good" Fund.  The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation holds nearly 750 funds... and, $94-million in assets.  The TRC Foundation transferred about $2.2-million to the Community Foundation to be administered.
 
 
Sexual Assault funds set aside in NYS...
New York state is investing $6.5 million in efforts to reduce sexual assault and offer help to victims.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Thursday.  It will support a total of 55 programs around the state, including rape crisis hotlines, counseling and therapy for victims, professional training for victim advocates and prevention campaigns in schools and on college campuses.  Cuomo says the money will give a boost to vital services and help reach more New Yorkers struggling with the aftermath of a sexual assault.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Dec. 8, 2017

The first major Lake Effect Snow event of the Winter is continuing in the Jamestown-area for a short-time more this morning.
 
The snow started coming early last evening and, continued through the overnight.  A Lake Effect Snow Warning continues for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties until 7 a.m. today. 
 
Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service's Buffalo Office said the lake effect snow fired up to the north late Wednesay and, by 6:00 last night, Silver Creek had a foot of snow on the ground. 
 
About three to four inches of snow was seen in the Mayville area early last evening.  The major lake effect snow band set up between Fredonia and Hamburg, just south of Buffalo during the day-time hours yesterday. 
 
Some places may see upwards of a foot to a 1.5 feet of snow by the time it ends in the Buffalo area tonight.
 
 
Chautauqua County snowplow crews are ready to go for the change-over to Winter Weather conditions and, all 30 pieces of equipment are ready to go. 
 
That from County Executive Vince Horrigan, who says he was at the Department of Public Facilities Sherman shop last night to see the crew's readiness.  Horrigan says they're set for whatever amount of snow we receive.
 
Horrigan says the 21,000 tons of salt sounds like a lot, but he says some of that salt goes to other local municipalities who go in with the county to purchase road salt in bulk from the state.  He says it's sometimes difficult to predict how much is needed because the county wraps up it's fiscal year needing a certain amount of salt, then needs to start the following year with a certain amount as well.
 
Horrigan says local motorists should make sure to give plow crews plenty of room to do their work, and slow down when they come upon a working plow on the roads.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
The Cockaigne Ski Center has now officially been sold to two local men who hope to rebuild the lodge and, have the ski area open in time for the 2018 season. 
 
That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell who is also the Jamestown area attorney for Adam Pirtz and Isaac Gratto.  Goodell tells the Jamestown Post-Journal that this is "great news for our county." 
 
A January 2011 fire destroyed the Austrian Pavilion lodge and, the ski resort opened 10 days later to finish the season but did not reopen thereafter. 
 
 
Deputies with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office will soon be driving in new vehicles that are of a different make and design and, so far reviews have been good. 
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace say the first of the new vehicles was put into service Wednesday and, he says the Chevrolet Impala vehicle they used the past more than a decade is being replaced. 
 
Gerace says Chevrolet has pulled the Impala from its line of police vehicles, so he decided on the Ford Inteceptor vehicles with a black and gold color.
 
Gerace says they had used a red and white color for the old Impala's for nearly 15 years.  He says they chose the Ford Interceptor for a number of reasons. 
 
One of those reasons is that it gives deputies more room for the equipment they carry, which now includes portable defibrillators and other EMT equipment.  Gerace says the red and white cars will continue to be used until the full conversion is complete.
 
 
The annual "Toys for Tots" program to provide new toys for children in needy families in Chautauqua County is going very well but, they still need items for one particular age group. 
 
The effort, supported by The Resource Center, has seen a flurry of activity in recent days but, one of the coordinators, Heather Brown, says they're into their final week of collecting toys in the area.
 
Brown says while they have a lot of toys for most age groups, they are in dire need of toys for teenaged boys.  She says they have some clothing and sport items but, not that much. 
 
Brown says they hand out toys for kids 0 to 17 years of age.  She says there are several local stores and restaurants that are collecting, as well as their headquarters in the Allied Alarm Building at 2020 Allen Street Extension.  She says that's where they'll be distributing toys starting on December 16 and, they can use volunteers for that. 
 
If you're interested in helping out, call Heather Brown at 661-1042 or go to The Resource Center's website for more information.
 
 
A man from Westfield faces charges following a motor vehicle accident in the town of Chautauqua for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs Wednesday afternoon. 
 
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of a single car crash near 63-98 Route 394 just after 3:30 PM.  On arrival, officers say 54 year-old Kevin Kelley was driving northbound when he left the roadway and, came to rest in a field.  A witness at the scene told officers that Kelley had been driving erratically prior to the crash. 
 
Following the investigation, Kelley was reportedly operating under the influence of drugs and he was arrested. Kelley was also found to be in possession of a controlled narcotic medication without prescription.  He was also charged with seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, as well as several traffic tickets.  He is to appear in court in January.
  
 
North county officials are disappointed by the news that Peebles on Vineyard Drive in Dunkirk will be closing next month. 
 
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he had first heard about the closing nearly a week ago.
 
The store is expected to close its doors on January 20.  About 10 associates work at the Dunkirk-area store. 
 
Rosas says he intends to work with incoming County Executive George Borrello to come up with a plan to bring new development to the area.  It's the second store to close in the Dunkirk area in less than a year.  JC Penney at the D&F Plaza also closed earlier this year.
 
 
The New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse could end up hosting more events year-round. 
 
The state said Wednesday that it's seeking a private company to book events at the fairgrounds and its planned expo center starting next summer.  Construction of the 136,000-square-foot expo center is expected to begin this month. 
 
The state's request for proposals seeks a contractor that would book at least 20 events in the expo center by the end of 2019.  Three of those events would also have to use other fairground facilities.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Dec. 7, 2017

A city woman is now listed in critical condition following a domestic violence incident on Jamestown's eastside Tuesday night in which her husband allegedly doused her with lighter fluid, and set her on fire. 
 
City police were called to the scene at 210 Thayer Street about 11:40 p.m. on a report of a domestic incident.  Officers say they found the victim, as well as the suspect identified as 37 year-old Luis Castro-Mojica. 
 
The unidentified, 27-year-old victim was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, then flown to the burn unit at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. 
 
Police say Castro-Mojica is charged with first-degree assault, and other charges are pending.
 
 
Western New York is in the midst of the first major lake effect snow event of the season. 
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties until 7 AM Friday.  Meteorologist Bob Hamilton with the Weather Service's Buffalo Office said the lake effect snow fired up to the north yesterday afternoon.
 
Areas north of Chautauqua Lake to Little Valley and southern parts of Wyoming County saw two to four inches. Hamilton says those same areas could see an additional three to six inches today, and another three to six tonight. He says Jamestown may see less than two inches in the next 24 hours.
 
Hamilton says the most affected areas will be north of Jamestown. Total snow accumulations of six to 11 inches are expected in the most persistent lake snows.
 
 
The Jamestown City Council will vote later this month to sell a small piece of West Second Street to the Northwest Arena for an expansion project for the facility. 
 
That after council members discussed a resolution to sell the property, contingent on the arena addressing seven to eight areas of concern. 
 
Some of those were brought up by Planning Commission citizen member Jeff Nelson, who spoke before lawmakers at this week's work session.  Nelson says the preliminary plans so far are rather incomplete.
 
At least one member of the city council echoed Nelson's concerns especially regarding traffic on the city's westside when major events like the recent Christmas Parade take place. 
 
While Nelson called for the proposal to be sent back to the planning commission for further discussion Mayor Sam Teresi noted that this measure is just on the sale, which is contingent on addressing the issues raised by the commission.
 
While the city council will vote on the sale at it's December 18 meeting, it was not stated when the planning commission will meet again on the project.
 
 
New York state lawmakers are back in Albany to discuss their plans for the 2018 legislative session, and they're already warning of difficult decisions in the months to come. 
 
Members of the state Assembly's Democratic majority gathered at the state Capitol Wednesday.  Senate Democrats held their own private meeting outside the building. 
 
Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx says federal funding cuts to health care programs, probably changes to the federal tax code and a projected $4-billion state deficit will likely force legislators to make tough choices when it comes to the state budget. 
 
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is also preparing for the new year, announcing Wednesday that he'll deliver his state of the state address on the opening day of the session January 3.
 
 
A conference committee of the U-S Senate and House of Representatives will now begin work on a final tax reform proposal now that the Senate has approved moving it to the joint panel. 
 
Some GOP lawmakers have been critical of the overall measure, but local Congressman Tom Reed says he's pushing hard for some items and, is willing to compromise on others. 
 
The Corning Republican says he continues to push to keep the local property tax deduction in place up to $10,000.  That's something here's heard a lot about from peple in his 23rd Congressional District.
 
Reed says while he's not a member of the conference committee he's been able to "wield" some influence as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. 
 
The House bill approved last month includes a deduction up to $10,000, but the Senate bill does not.  There's also been some concern over possible loss of tax credits to purchase health insurance from the New York Exchange. 
 
However, Reed says the legislation only repeals the individual mandate.
 
 
The governors of California and New York are mounting a final effort to derail the GOP tax plan, which they say would devastate their states and the national economy. 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Phil Murphy of New Jersey, all Democrats held a conference call with reporters to discuss the tax overhaul's impacts on their states. 
 
They're particularly upset with a provision that eliminates the deduction for state and local taxes.  Cuomo and Murphy said opponents are examining potential legal challenges to the tax bill when and if it is signed into law. 
 
Cuomo says he will call for its repeal as soon as it is enacted.  Brown said the immediate focus is on convincing Republicans to reconsider before approving the bill's final version.
 
 
After starting up an anonymous online bullying report form earlier this Fall, the Jamestown school board addressed the bullying issue in the school district again at Tuesday night's meeting. 
 
Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says the actions by the school and community are designed to provide a "safe climate" for students.
 
Apthorpe says since the beginning, 85 reports have been made and 33 have been deemed "material" by professionals, meaning legitimate bullying or harrassment events.  He says that it's reassuring that the reporting systems build connections between professionals and students to help work through their situations. 
 
Additionally, Apthorpe says that students have started an anti-"Bully Club" in the high school are currently reviewing apps that students can use on their phones to report instances of bullying.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Dec. 6, 2017

The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for most of Western New York from 7:00 this evening, through early Friday. 
 
That from Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the Weather Service's Buffalo office who says the prime areas for snow will be Northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus, and Southern Erie counties. 
 
A strong cold front crossed the area late yesterday with lake effect snow impacting the Buffalo metro area first before moving into the Southern Tier late tonight through Thursday.  Hitchcock says there is still a little uncertainty.
 
Total snow accumulations of 9 to 18 inches are possible in the most persistent lake snows causing travel to become very difficult at times. 
 
The greatest snow amounts will be across northern portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties and Southern Erie county.  We will continue to follow developments.
 
 
There is some bi-partisan movement being made towards getting a two-year agreement in place to fund the federal government's military and non-military operations. 
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who co-chairs the Congressional 'Problem Solvers Caucus' made up of both Republicans and Democrats.  Reed says that the Problem Solver's have reached a consensus on a two-year commitment, which he calls "responsible governing".
 
Reed says to him, the most important part of the two-year agreement in the bi-partisan caucus is that it adequately funds the military for the next two years.  Safety issues have arisen in the U.S. Navy with several fatal accidents with equipment over the past year. 
 
Officials say that's from the effects of budget cuts in recent years due to "sequesteration."  The Corning Republican says this agreement overrides sequestration.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
A city woman is jailed for allegedly assaulting a man during a domestic incident last Sunday on the city's eastside, during which she was holding a six-month old child. 
 
City police were called to the scene at 237 Crescent Street shortly after 7 a.m. on a report of a domestic violence incident.  When officers arrived, they were told that 21 year-old Toni Lynn Hubbard had grabbed the male victim by the throat, punched him several times and bit him on the arm. 
 
She's also accused of trying to push the victim down the stairs while holding the child.  They also learned the victim had a valid order of protection against Hubbard and, she was arrested on charges including third-degree assault, second-degree reckless endangerment and, criminal obstruction of breathing. 
 
 
All three entities involved would have to vote first to allow the city of Jamestown to sell it's wastewater treatment plant to the city's Local Development Corporation to raise roughly $16-million in "working capital." 
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi and the city's Bond Counsel, Kenneth Bond, during Monday night's presentation to the city council.  Bond says the move would give the city some latitude in what the money is used for.  However, Teresi says the three entities involved must first approve the move.
 
Bond says before the votes are taken, though, the city needs to develop a long-term plan for using the money that would be coming in, including funding some capital improvement projects, creating reserve funds, or to provide matching money for grants. 
 
Bond says the money would be raised when the not-for-profit JLDC goes out to bond for the purchase.  That money would "pass-though" to the city.  Teresi says user fees will likely cover the pay-back costs for the city.
 
 
The Salvation Army of Jamestown is almost one-third of the way to it's goal of $112,000 for it's annual Red Kettle Campaign. 
 
That from Captain Kim Merchant, who says the campaign is well underway... and, has already raised $35,000.  Merchant says they still have a ways to go but, adds they're optimistic about making goal, which she says is critical to their operation. 
 
The Red Kettle Campaign started just before Thanksgiving at a few locations and, Merchant says they are now using all 10 of their usual sites.  Merchant says they've again had to hire bell-ringers but, adds the number of volunteers for this year is starting to pick up as we get closer to Christmas and, the wrap-up of the campaign. 
 
If you would like to volunteer to man the kettles, Merchant says call Holly Eckstrom at their South Main Street headquarters at 664-4108.
 
 
Jamestown-area residents will soon be able to order groceries through an industry-leading grocery delivery service starting today. 
 
Wegmans-Buffalo Consumer Affairs Manager Michele Mehaffy says that the partnership between Wegmans and Instacart launched in June and is now expanding to the Wegmans in West Ellicott to provide a "seamless shopping experience".
 
Mehaffy says the most recent Wegmans to partner with Insta-Cart prior to West Ellicott was the store in Erie, Pennsylvania.  She says they have had a great success with Instacart so far. 
 
Mehaffy says the delivery option allows customers to use their Wegman's Shoppers Club card to get discounts on groceries without taking time to go to the store.  For more information, visit Wegmans.com/Instacart
 
 
A Brocton woman was arrested for an alleged Leandra's Law violation in the Town of Durkirk last Saturday evening.
 
Sheriff deputies say they were called to a business on Vineyard Drive to check the well-being of a female subject at 7 PM. On arrival, deputies say the the female subject left the area in a vehicle.
 
The vehicle was located and an investigation showed that the female subject--who was identified as 37 year-old Shannon Jusko-- was operating the vehicle while ability impaired by drugs.
 
There was also a child under the age of 16 year-old inside the vehicle, making the arrest a felony. Jusko was taken to the County Jail on bail.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Chautauqua County Court Judge has thrown out a lone manslaughter charge against the Sherman man accused of accidently shooting and killing his neighbor in a hunting accident last November... ...

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