News Headlines for Sat., June 24, 2017

Man sought on warrant arrested in Jamestown after 3-plus hour stand-off with Police...
A man sought by police on a warrant for parole violation in Jamestown is jailed after allegedly arming himself with a knife... and, holing up in an upstairs room on the city's southside.  Jamestown police say they responded to a distubance call at 242 McKinley Ave. shortly before 11 a.m. Friday... and, found the suspect, 27 year-old Alberto Acevedo, had fled the scene.  However... they soon after learned Acevedo had fled the scene to 131 Baker Street.  Officers and Jamestown SWAT Team members were called in... and, Acevedo allegedly armed himself with the knife and went up stairs.  The JPD Crisis Negotiation Team was called in... but, after just over 3 hours... the SWAT Team was able to get inside... and, capture Acevedo about just before 2:30 p.m.  He was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for evaluation... and, is now being held in the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
Goodell says State Legislature leaves Albany without approving Sales Tax extenders... including one for Chautauqua County...
The state legislature will be returning to Albany again soon to deal with unfinished New York state business... including the need for tax extenders to be granted for 53 counties -- including Chautauqua.  That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who says the current session ended Thursday without renewing New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio's "control" of the city's school system.  Goodell says Assembly Democrats tied mayoral control to the renewal of sales taxes in the various counties... and that led to a stalemate.  On Friday... he said he was on his way home Thursday when his phone rang... and, he was initially called back.  He says about 100 miles into the return trip, he was again called and state officials said "oh, nevermind."  Goodell expects the state legislature to return Albany, possibly in a few weeks after the Fourth of July holiday.  He says they can't afford to not approve the extenders because of the impact on the counties... many of which are controlled by Democrats.  Chautauqua County needs approval of an additional one-percent tax... with half-a-percent split with local towns, cities and villages. 
 
 
Cuomo disappointed about unfinished business -- including measure regarding statute of limitations on molestation cases...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's disappointed state lawmakers have ended their session without loosening the statute of limitations for molestation to give victims more time to report abuse.  The bill would have given victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers. It also would have created a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits.  Victims now have until they turn 23 to sue, but supporters say it often takes far longer for victims to report their abuse.  The bill was supported by the Assembly and Cuomo, but never got a vote in the Senate. It faced strong opposition from the Catholic Church and other institutions.
 
 
Jamestown man, Eddie Sundquist, announces run for Congress...
A Jamestown man will be among several candidates who want to take a shot at running against incumbant Republican Congressman Tom Reed in 2018.  Eddie Sundquist has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination... and, says he's excited about running.  The Chautauqua County man says it's time to have a Congressman who keeps their promises.  Sundquist says it seems like the 23rd Congressional District is the "land that time forgot," and Reed has not kept his promises.  Sundquist is a practicing attorney with offices in Jamestown and Olean.  He says among the major issues in the campaign, agriculture, the environment and health care.  He says there are a number of area residents who are on Medicaid... or are low to middle income... and, can't get insurance, or afforable insurance.  Sundquist says he will embark on a listening tour, visiting all 11 counties in the district... and, he wants to hear about "real issues" from the people of the region. 
 
 
Green likes Sundquist as candidate...
Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says he's excited about the announcement of Eddie Sundquist running for Congress.  Green says the Jamestown man has a lot of energy and is eager to run.  He also talked about the need for possible opponents to Reed announcing early... adding that candidates now have to raise "$2-million to $3-million to run..." and, that "doesn't happen in a month or two."  Green says he likens the 28 year-old Sundquist to a "young Bobby Kennedy."
 
 
Asian Carp found in Chicago waterway near Lake Michigan...
A live Asian carp has been discovered in a Chicago waterway about nine miles from Lake Michigan.  Federal and state officials tell The Associated Press a commercial fisherman netted the silver carp below the T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam.  The fish was 28 inches long and weighed about 8 pounds.  Silver carp are among four Asian carp species threatening to invade the Great Lakes, where scientists say they could compete with native species and devastate the region's $7 billion fishing industry.  This is the second time a live Asian carp has turned up beyond an electric barrier network 37 miles southwest of the city that's designed to keep the invasive fish from reaching the lakes.  
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

A Chautauqua County man will be among several candidates who want to take a shot at running against incumbant Republican Congressman Tom Reed in 2018. 

 

Eddie Sunquist of Jamestown has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and, says he's excited about running.  Sundquist says he came back to the area and, felt the region was the "land that time forgot, here." 

 

He says we've been given promises by current Congressman Tom Reed that "were never kept."  Sundquist is a practicing attorney with offices in Jamestown and Olean.  He says among the major issues in the campaign, agriculture, the environment and health care. 

 

Sundquist says there are a lot of people in the district who are low-to middle income, or on Medicaid, and can't affort health coverage otherwise.  Sundquist says he will embark on a listening tour, visiting all 11 counties in the district and, he wants to hear about "real issues" from the people of the region.

The chairman of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee says he's excited about the announcement of Eddie Sundquist running for Congress.  Chairman Norm Green says the Jamestown man has a lot of energy and is eager to run.  He says Sundquist has a "campaign staff that's already up and running."  He says the 28 year-old is "young Bobby Kennedy" like.  Green says Sundquist is beginning his campaign early because it takes time to raise the $2 to $3 million that is necessary to run for Congress.


It was a night of "firsts" at Chautauqua Institution last night as the nearly 300 members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2017 got their diploma's during the annual graduation. 

 

It was the first event to be held in the new Chautauqua Amphitheater.  That fact was not lost on many of the speakers during JHS Commencement starting with Principal Mike McElrath who asked the graduates to "think about it" because the Amp is built to last the next 100 years.  He called that "quite a first." 

 

Commencement Speaker Chris Olsen a member of the JHS Class of 1982 also told graduates that they were now "a part of history" at the institution.  Olsen urged them to embrace their legacy and do great things like many of the people who have appeared at Chautauqua and, who came from Jamestown. 

 

He says he's gotten to know many members of the Class of 2017 and, he likes their future and, made one prediction:  One of them will be there in 35 years, and addressing the Class of 2052.  Olsen says the graduates that everything they "need to know to succeed in life" they learned in Jamestown" including the values of hard work and persevering.



The lawyer for a Buffalo school board member who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama and his wife says a state Education Department hearing for the lawyer's client is "all a charade." 

 

Dennis Vacco says the hearing Thursday in Albany is "a subterfuge to get at Carl Paladino in retaliation for his intemperate remarks" in a Buffalo alternative weekly last December.  Vacco is a former New York attorney general. He says the derogatory remarks Paladino submitted to Buffalo's Artvoice were "low and unfortunate," but nonetheless constitutionally protected. 

 

The hearing is being held to determine whether Paladino disclosed confidential school board business when he released information on teacher contract negotiations.


Republicans in the U-S Senate finally revealed details about their health care plan but, many are saying it has a tough road ahead. 

 

The measure dismantles much of former President Obama's health care law.  It would cut Medicaid, and erase tax boosts that Obama imposed on high-earners and medical companies to finance expanded coverage. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says the Senate needs to take action because the current system is not working for many Americans because many of the ObamaCare exchanges are collapsing.  Reed says he has yet to have anyone at his Town Hall meetings say the Affordable Care Act is working "perfectly" and, solving their problems. 

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly pushing for a vote on health care next week.  However some Senate Republicans still have concerns.  House Republicans passed a plan earlier this year.


Two more big names have been added to the line-up of comedy in Jamestown and Chautauqua Institution the week of July 31st through August 6th. 

 

That from National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson who says Lisa Lampanelli will appear on Satuday night, August 5th, at 9 PM at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.  Gunderson tells us Lampanelli is a contemporary star referred to as the "Queen of Mean" who is a cross between Don Rickles and Archie Bunker. 

 

In fact Gunderson says Howard Stern says Lampanelli is a "true original" who steals the show each time.  The other name added will be part of the week on Comedy at Chautauqua Institution.  Gunderson says W. Kamau Bell is well known on CNN. 

 

Bell, who is a stand-up comedian also hosts the program "United Shades of America" program which is an emmy nominated show.  Gunderson says tickets are on sale now for Bell's appearance at Chautauqua but, tickets for Lisa Lampanelli don't go on sale until next week. 

 

She says National Comedy Center members will be able to buy them Tuesday on-line at www.LucyComedyFest.com and, the general public will get their crack at tickets a week from Thursday.  You can also call the Comedy Center at 484-0800.

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WJTN News Headlines

Flames have heavily-damaged the former two-story shoe store that was part of the former Arcade Building on North Main Street in Jamestown. 

 

However crews were able to prevent serious damage to the main structure next to the railroad tracks in the heart of the city.  Jamestown fire crews were called to the scene between First Street and Brooklyn Square about 4:18 PM Wednesday

 

Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says first-arriving crews at the scene found heavy smoke coming from the buillding. He says they found heavy fire on the southeast corner of the building, and they extended hand lines and Falconer's aerial truck was called in because Jamestown's was out for repairs.  Harvey says it took about 30 to 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control. 

 

He says no one was hurt and, no one was inside the structure.  Harvey adds that a machine shop behind the structure was not involved in the blaze. 

 

Harvey says they called in an additional 10 firefighters and a shift commander along with Falconer and Kiantone crews.  The cause is under investigation.


The Jamestown High School Class of 2017 will make history tonight when their hold their commencement exercises in the new Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution. 

 

Some 311 members of the graduating class will accept diplomas during the ceremony which begins at 7 PM.  This year it's being held on a Thursday as opposed to Friday as the institution continues preparations for their first event Saturday night. 

 

Class Advisor Tony Dolce says the students are excited, and have been on "pins and needles" in anticipation of being part of the opening for the new Amp.  Dolce says each class has it's own charactoristics and, are about equally diverse. 

 

He says he tries to meet and get to know each class member he says he has had many in his Government class or as a coach.  JHS Class of 1982 member Chris Olsen who is a producer and attorney in Los Angeles will be the Commencement Speaker. 

 

Principal Mike McElrath says Olsen is a "proud and highly successful JHS alum and I'm certain his message will be well-received by students and audience members alike."


The more than 300 Jamestown High School Graduates are set for their commencement and, will hear from a number of speakers during tonight's graduation. 

 

Among them will be Class President, Bradley Brown.  Brown says he and fellow class members are "excited" about being the first event ever at the new Amphitheater adding that it will be a special occasion for them. 

 

Brown will be joined on the stage by other students including Class Valedictorian Kelly Emerson who will be attending Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, where she plans to go into pre-med. 

 

Salutatorian Madison Card plans to attend the University of New Haven, and major in Forensic Science.  As for Brown he plans to attend the SUNY College at Fredonia where he'll be in pre-med.


A one-time candidate for governor of New York who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama and his wife may be booted off the Buffalo School Board. 

 

A hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday in Albany over whether wealthy developer Carl Paladino disclosed confidential board business.  State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is set to hear testimony on a petition filed by other school board members seeking Paladino's removal. 

 

They say Paladino publicly disclosed information about teacher contract negotiations discussed in closed-door sessions.


The search continues for a missing Westfield man who hasn’t been seen since June 12th. 

 

Westfield Police are asking the public for it's help in finding 31-year-old Patrick Thompson of Clark Street.  He was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute, with a missing person report being filed the following day. 

 

Police believe Patrick may be distraught and may want to do harm to himself.  There have been some searches for him including one that was held last night near the Chautauqua Gorge.  However Westfield Police say there haven't been any signs of his whereabouts.  Anyone with information is asked to call them at 326-3375.


While he generally has a good relationship with the media local Congressman Tom Reed is very outspoken about comments made by a national news anchor following last week's shooting that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others. 

 

Scott Pelley of CBS News said following the shooting, "It's time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted." 

 

Reed called Pelley's comments "despicable" and "lacking in basic human decency."  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media Tuesday afternoon, Reed stated that Pelley doesn't deserve to be working in a newsroom any longer because of a "reckless attitude towards human life."  Pelley officially ended his tenure as CBS Evening News anchor last Friday.

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WJTN Headlines

The proposed developer of Jamestown's Sheldon House has withdrawn it's plan to purchase the location at 9 Falconer Street for new office space. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports today that Lynn Development President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Spain stated in a news release that they will no longer be trying to acquire the Sheldon House for their corporate headquarters.  Lynn Development is currently located at 301 East Second Street. 

 

Spain expressed disappointment saying the latest Appellate Court decision against the Zoning Board of Appeals granting of a variance for the proposal was "unexpected."  He adds that "we respect the decision and would find no honor in continuing this effort at the ongoing expense of our beloved community college.  Therefore Lynn Development Inc. will acquiesce for the greater good."


Legislation co-sponsored by area State Senator Cathy Young that would provide $6.9-million dollars in flood recovery funds for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties has cleared both houses of the state legislature. 

 

However it still needs the backing of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the bill would help cover the costs from flash flooding that occurred in July of 2015. 

 

Horrigan says it's part of a package that also includes funding help for victims of the severe shoreline flooding along the Lake Ontario Shoreline.  He praised Young for staying with the effort to get the local counties relief help.  The flash floods caused about $2.1-million in damage across multiple municipalities in Chautauqua County. 

 

The damage did not meet the requirements for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.  The funding is part of a $90 million package to assist upstate individuals, small businesses and local governments still dealing with damage from flooding and other natural disasters since 2007.  Horrigan says its now up to the Governor to sign or veto the bill later this year.


Chautauqua County's Congressman is not saying what his position is when it comes to carrying a gun for personal protection following last week's shooting in Washington during a GOP baseball game practice. 

 

Corning Republican Tom Reed's western New York colleague, Chris Collins, said Monday that he will carry a gun while traveling in his district.  Reed was asked about the issue during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media Tuesday afternoon. 

 

He says security in general has been discussed with his staff, with the need to make sure that "we learn from the tragic events of last week."  Reed did say that he remains a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. 

 

He also indicated that he hoped the tragedy would bring House members closer together adding there is a "uniqueness in many of the friendships" he has formed with fellow members of Congress. 

 

Chris Collins first indicated last week that he would be carrying a gun after the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others during the Republican baseball team practice last week in Alexandria, Virginia.

 


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have dropped slightly from last week to just under $2.50 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge report says the price is down just over a penny to $2.49.6 per gallon.  AAA says that's also about 5-cents less that one year ago. 

 

The Fuel Gauge says prices at the pump dropped in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, on average by 4 cents on the week.  However it says gas prices vary significantly, by a range of 43 cents, from state to state. 

 

Nationally AAA says motorists can find gas prices less than $2.24 a gallon at 56% of gas stations nationwide.  That's well below today’s national average gasoline price of $2.29 cents a gallon.


Jamestown Police are on the look-out for a man who allegedly drove up to an eastside welding business and, stole a piece of equipment Tuesday afternoon before driving off. 

 

Officers say the unidentified man pulled up to Welder's Supply Company at 47 Winsor Street about 4 PM and grabbed the equipment from the garage and, drove off in his tan-colored, 1990s Honda Accord.  If you have any information on the theft contact Jamestown Police.


There were some hardships, but Great Lakes researcher and SUNY College at Fredonia professor Sherri Mason was able to successfully complete a 15.5 miles swim on Chautauqua Lake on Monday. 

 

Dr. Mason tells us the swim, from Lakeside Park in Mayville to Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron, was going well before she encountered some challenges in the southern basin of the lake, and she ran into windy and rainy conditions which produced choppy waves. 

 

She credits her team for helping her complete the swim especially her two kayakers who kept her motivated for finish the swim.  She completed the swim in 10 hours and 37 minutes.  She is gearing up for a swim across Lake Erie on August 19th.

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WJTN Headlines

A Great Lakes researcher accomplished an impressive feat, swimming the 17 mile length of Chautauqua Lake. 

 

Sherri Mason, who is the chair of SUNY College at Fredonia's Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, swam the length of the lake in just over 10 hours Monday morning.  WGRZ-TV reports Mason undertook the aquatic marathon to raise awareness about protecting fresh water sources. 

 

Mason says Monday's swim is practice for a planned 12.5-mile (20.11 kilometer) swim across Lake Erie in August.  She is fundraising for the swim through a personal GoFundMe page.


Falconer's mayor is again urging the Jamestown City Council to call-off the proposed annexation about 4 acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities for the Dow Street Substation into the city. 

 

Jim Rensel pointed out to city lawmakers that no one among the nearly 30 people who spoke during last Monday night's public hearing in Falconer supported the proposal.  He says that included a handful of residents from Jamestown who also spoke against the proposal. 

 

Rensel says judging by the public hearing "it doesn't appear as though you have any support for it."  Rensel added that the Jamestown School District would be benefitting from the annexation because it would also receive a payment in lieu of taxes on the property located at the city line. 

 

He said it was curious that no one representing the school district spoke at the hearing.  The City Council and, the Falconer Village and Ellicott Town Boards held the hearing last week on the proposal which would save the Board of Public Utilities about $325,000 in tax payments to the village, town, Falconer school district and the county. 

 

No council members responded, and we were unable to reach City Council President Greg Rabb last night for comment.


An Adirondack region manufacturer of scenic components has been awarded a 2.9-million dollar contract to create scenic art for exhibits in the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo late Monday announced the contract with Adirondack Studios of Washington County will provide for the fabrication and installation of those components.  Cuomo says Adirondack creates the scenic and themed environments experienced in venues that range from theme parks to casinos, museums, live shows, retail and public art. 

 

He says with this contract the comedy center continues to make progress toward its targeted opening in 2018.  Cuomo says "The National Comedy Center, once completed, will boost the local economy and spur job creation for Western New York, while creating a world-class cultural hub for visitors and residents alike."


A strong cold front crossed the area this past Sunday night, bringing some severe weather late Sunday afternoon and evening. 

 

It also spawned some wind damage and localized flash flooding.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there were several reports of thunderstorm related wind damage across the area. 

 

There was a report of a possible tornado about two miles east-southeast of Frewsburg.  Hamilton said Monday the weather service is still checking out that report. 

 

But the weather service late Mondaysaid they have not been able to get anyone down to check the scene yet.  Forecasters, though, add that all the information points to "straight-line" wind damage.


Phone and Internet scams continue to be a major concern for local law enforcement officials and, they are finding that scammers have developed another tool to add their arsenal of deception and theft. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says local phone exchanges are now being used by some scammers who are trying to get your money and identity.  Gerace says they are able to do this through the use of new computer software that can be researched on the Internet. 

 

While it's virtually impossible for law enforcement to get the victim's money back in most cases, Gerace says it's still important to report such crimes.  He says if nothing else they can "stop the bleeding." 

 

However in most cases the money given to the scammers is gone.  In the most recent IRS Scams they found most were coming from Pakistan.  Gerace says he believes the best way to fight this type of crime is by educating the public.


The city of Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program will run a week longer this year at five different sites where free lunches will be served to the children who take part. 

 

Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the program begins it's seven-week run next Monday, June 26th at 11 AM.  Ciesla-Hanley says that's a later starting time and, adds the program will run until 5 PM at each location. 

 

She says they'll run through Aug. 11 at Allen Park, Lillian Dickson Tot Lot, and three elementary schools Lincoln, Ring, and Fletcher schools.  Ciesla-Hanley says the program is free of charge and, the free lunches will be served to all children through the Jamestown YMCA and the St. Susan's Center from 12:30 to 1:30 PM each day. 

 

She adds that while the playground program is limited to children ages 5 to 13 children up to 18 years of age can get a free lunch at the playground nearest them if they need one.  However they need to sign up the day prior to get one. 

 

Ciesla-Hanley adds they have a new Playground Program Recreation Leader this year Katrina Kerkendall who is a Jamestown Community College graduate.  For more information on the program, call the Recreation Office at 483-7523.

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WJTN Headlines

Severe storms roar through Chautauqua County, Warren Co. reports two possible tornadoes.

There were some trees and power lines knocked down but, no serious damage was reported in Chautauqua County from severe storms that raced through the area yesterday afternoon and early evening.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say most of the problems were in the Frewsburg and Ashville areas.  However no severe damage, nor injuries were reported. 

 

Several trees were reported down in the Frewsburg-area.  There were preliminary reports of a couple of possible twisters in Warren County, Pennsylvania between 4 and 5:30 p.m.Sunday, according to the Warren Times-Observer.

 



U-S Senator Charles Schumer is calling for federal help in the fight against opioid addiction in New York. 

 

Schumer is asking the Drug Enforcement Agency to provide the state with one of four special heroin enforcement teams being formed to combat the problem. 

 

The four teams are specifically dedicated to counteracting heroin trafficking and are sent to states that report heroin as the highest drug threat. 

 

The Democrat says New York's heroin overdose death rate increased by 30% in 2015.  New data show there was an average of four overdose deaths a day in New York City alone last year.  That was double the rate two years earlier.

 

New York City also is a major distribution hub.  Overall 24 New York counties are considered High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.


With the necessary funding now in place it's full-speed ahead on completing the new National Comedy Center on Jamestown's westside by Spring of 2018. 

 

Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says the approximately $30-million project is is "a good spot" right now as the outside work on the new entryway and, a connecting structure between the former Board of Public Utilities' Storage Building, and Gateway Train Station is being completed. 

 

He says they "finished up" the funding with a $5-million grant from Empire State Development Corporation, and $3-million from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.  Gunderson says she and the Comedy Center Board of Directors are especially grateful to the foundation community in Jamestown which really stepped up and has supported the project which began with an August 2015 ground-breaking. 

 

She says the indoor work will involve a lot of coordination between firms that will put up the exhibits including Cortina Productiions which is a major exhibit producer.  Gunderson says they have done work in such places at the College Football Hall of Fame. 

 

Gunderson says she and Board President Tom Benson who is also chairman of the project "couldn't be happier" with the progress they have made.  She made her comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


In state government news New York lawmakers are entering their final week of work in Albany and control of New York City schools remains the top issue. 

 

Meanwhile, bills to protect the environment, crack down on heroin- and opioid-dealing and bar alcohol in movie theaters hang in the balance.  Another piece of high-profile legislation would extend the statute of limitations to allow molestation victims to sue for potentially decades-old abuse.  The session is scheduled to end Wednesday

 

The state law giving Mayor Bill de Blasio control of his city's schools expires at the end of the month unless lawmakers vote to renew it.  Last year, they extended the policy by a single year. De Blasio and other Democrats want a longer extension this year, but Senate Republicans are skeptical.


The headquarters of 'Filling the Gap' a group of corporations associated with the Resource Center has been named in honor of Mike Felice. 

 

The Felice Corporate Center on Fairmount Ave near the 6th Street Bridge was officially dedicated on Friday afternoon.  Mike Felice spent more that 30 years volunteering for The Resouce Center and the corporations, right up 'til the time of his death in the fall of 2016. 

 

The Resource Center's Chief Executive Officer, Denise Jones, says Mike Felice always "led with his heart" in everything that he did.  Mike's widow, Laura, says the family became committed to the Resource Center when Jennifer, their youngest daughter, began to receive services from the agency, and he loved what TRC did for his daughter. 

 

Professionally, Mike Felice was the manager of radio stations WKSN and WHUG for many years.


The summer festival season was fully underway over the weekend with two major events in the Jamestown area. 

 

At St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, hundreds of people flocked to the 35th annual 'Yassou' Festival.  The church's Parish Council President, Tim Anderson,  says the festival is about more than Greek food, music and dancing it's about community, and showing what the church is all about. 

 

Anderson adds 'Yassou' is a major fundraiser for the church.  Meanwhile, the Fluvanna Community Historical Society held its second annual 'Fluvanna Fest'.  Spokesman Richard Keefer says they are all about a community 'coming together' as well.  More than 80 people ran or walked in the Fluvanna Fest 5K a large increase from last year.

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News Headlines for Sat., June 17, 2017

Neighbor to Sheldon House says he's "very, very pleased" with Appellate Court decision annulling ZBA approval of variance for sale...
A neighbor to the Sheldon House in Jamestown says he's "very, very pleased" with a court verdict annulling the Zoning Board of Appeals' granting of a variance for the property in 2016.  Paul Leone tells Media One Group News that the move is "good for the neighborhood..." because it doesn't allow Lynn Development Group to develop business offices inside the structure at Falconer Street and Lakeview Avenue.  The State Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Department ruled late Friday in favor of Leone and three others who appealed a lower court ruling.  They argued a number of points... but, the Appellate Division specifically stated that the city and Lynn Development did not provide evidence of "an undue hardship" in making it's ruling.  The property would be sold to Lynn Development for $240,000 contingent on the variance being approved.  Leone -- who declined to go on tape -- and the other neighbors say they want the property to remain residential
 
 
Chautauqua announces cancellation of Aretha Franklin Concert on opening night for new Amp; Leno to now appear June 24...
Health concerns have led Artha Franklin to cancel next Saturday night's concert scheduled to open the new Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution.  The announcement was made in an on-line letter from Chautauqua's President.  Michael Hill also announced that legendary stand-up comedian... and, retired Tonight Show host Jay Leno will replace Franklin on the Amp stage.  Hill says Aretha Franklin's doctor has now ordered her to not travel over the next few weeks per doctor’s orders.  She was to perform in Chicago this weekend... and, had already cancelled that out.  He says -- if you are seeking a refund -- call the Chautauqua Ticket Office at 1-888-688-1960.  Hill adds that the Institution will not sell additional tickets for opening night unless it receives cancellations from current ticket holders.
 
 
House extensively damaged in Westfield-area fire...
Firefighters from more than a half dozen departments battled a blaze that heavily damaged a home in the town of Westfield Thursday afternoon.  Westfield firefighters responded to the blaze at 7578 Martin Wright Rd. around 3:30 p.m., and, got mutual aid from Brocton, Ripley, Portland, Mayville, Dewittville, East Dunkirk, and Sherman.  There are reports that no one was home at the time of the blaze... but, two dogs perished in the fire that caused extensive damage to the one story structure.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene to determine a cause. 
 
 
Prendergast Library Director says decision to sell artwork spurred by funding loss...
The Prendergast Library's board of directors has agreed to move foward on selling some 40 pieces of artwork in it's possession to raise money to keep the Jamestown institution financially viable.  Library Director Tina Scott says it was a "very difficult" decision... but, one that had to be made in light of funding losses in recent years... not the least of which was a $250,000 cut in funding from the city.  Scott says the board has been reviewing the situation for the past two years... and, adds there's even a question whether the library can properly care for the artwork... which she says really has not been done the way it should be for about 30 years.  The maintenance issue was settled for a short time with an offer from Jesse and Cathy Marion of Houston, Texas in December of 2015 for $60,000 if the board would hold off on auctioning off the paintings.  Scott says the art to be sold will be those items bought with funding left in the will of Mary Prendergast... and from the Packard Estate.  Scott says the artwork will be sold by Sotheby's Auction House in New York City in the near future... and, adds the library will receive 100 percent of the proceeds.
 
 
Food Bank of WNY cuts ribbon on new, facility, truck in Chautauqua County...
The Food Bank of Western New York has a new, expanded location... and, vehicle to deliver food to more than 50 food distribution points across Chautauqua County.  Food Bank Communcations Director Christine Schick says they're excited to have cut the ribbon on their new distribution center on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road in Falconer.  Schick says both moves will allow them to "expand their footprint" here in Chautauqua County to meet increased demand for their services.  She says -- until this year -- the Food Bank had been providing about 1.2-million pounds of food annually to families across the county.  However... she says that amount rose to 2-million pounds this past year... and, the growing need required a new facility... and, delivery truck.  Schick says they also unveiled their new, 26-foot long "Partners Fighting Hunger Truck..." which includes a lift-gate.  She says it will allow them to increase the amount of food they can haul each time by 22-hundred pounds.  Schick says the Food Bank appreciates all the support of several local foundations and community sponsors who helped make the purchase possible. 
 
 
Jacobson named UPMC Chautauqua WCA Volunteer of the Year... 
A woman who has been volunteering in UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital's Occupational Therapy Department has been named as the hospital's 2016 Volunteer of the Year.  That from Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth DeRosa... who says Maria Jacobson epitomizes what their volunteer's are all about.  DeRosa says Jacobson was recognized during the hospital's annual "Volunteer Recognition Luncheon" yesterday at the hospital's main campus... after being selected by staff for the award.  DeRosa says Jacobson works hard in putting patient packets together, filing, and helping to clean patient rooms.  She says employees have written that Jacobson is "a joy to have around..." and, has a great relationship with the patients she works with, and she encourages patients to visit with their therapy dog.  DeRosa says they currently have 102 volunteers at UPMC Chautauqua WCA... who put in a variety of hours and days putting in time at the hospital.  If you are interested in volunteering... you can contact Elizabeth DeRosa at 664-8224 for more information.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Ongoing funding issues especially what comes from the city of Jamestown has led the Prendergast Library's Board of Directors to decide to sell much of the library's artwork. 

 

That from Library Director Tina Scott who says the board made it's unanimous deicision yesterday about two years after the board initially started the process.  Scott says the art to be sold will be mainly what was bought using funding left in Mary Prendergast's will and from the Packard Estate. 

 

She says there are also 10 paintings they've acquired over the years that would also be part of the auctions.  Scott says there are about 40 pieces of artwork that will be sold by Sotheby's Auction House in New York City in the near future. 

 

Scott declined to give details of the sale involving Sotheby's but, says the library should receive between $1.1-million and $1.6-million dollars for the art.  She says the decision was a "very difficult" one from the board. 

 

However she says given a $250,000 cut the past year from the city, and other staff and funding cuts the board had little choice.


Firefighters from more than a half dozen departments battled a blaze that heavily damaged a home in the town of Westfield Thursday afternoon. 

 

Westfield firefighters responded to the blaze at 75-78 Martin Wright Road around 3:30 PM and, got mutual aid from Brocton, Ripley, Portland, Mayville, Dewittville, East Dunkirk, and Sherman. 

 

There are reports that no one was home at the time of the blaze but, two dogs perished in the fire that caused extensive damage to the one story structure.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene to determine a cause.


JPD officials release drowning victim's name.

The city man who died late Wednesday afternoon in what appears to be an accidental drowning in Jamestown's Chadakoin River has now been identified.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says that a woman had called 911 just after 3 PM, saying she was with 47 year-old Dennis Plummer when he went into the water to try and cool off and, slipped under the water a short distance from shore near Winsor and Harrison Streets. 

 

Samuelson says the county's Dive Team was also called in.and, found the man a short distance away in more than 10-feet of water.  Samuelson says it's a tragic way to begin the Summer season adding that they aren't sure if Plummer knew how to swim or not. 

 

While the current can be strong in some parts of the river he says the depth can be an issue, too especially at that location. 

 

Samuelson says it goes from several inches deep to several feet very quickly.


A Jamestown man has been arrested on Felony court warrants during a raid on an upstairs apartment on the city's eastside. 

 

Jamestown Police say members of the city's Metro Drug Task Force executed the warrants at a home at 45 Bush Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  They arrested 28 year-old Roberto Figueredo on the warrants for third-degree assault, and second-degree conspiracy. 

 

Police add they allegedly found Figueredo in possession of a quantity of marijuana and, he was arrested for unlawful possession.  Figueredo was arraigned in city court... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


Chautauqua County Republicans have endorsed a "strong and full slate" of candidates for this Fall's election. 

 

That from County Republican Committee Chairman David Wilfong who says the panel met recently to endorse county-wide and county legislature races.  Wilfong says they are enthusiastically backing Legislator George Borrello for county executive, and Larry Barmore again for County Clerk.  He adds they also endorsed candidates for all but three legislature seats. 

 

Wilfong says they include several Jamestown-area Republicans starting with one in the Lakewood-area.  In District-10, P-J Wendel is running for re-election.  Wilfong himself is running again in District-11. 

 

He says Elizabeth Rankin will run again in District 12.  He says there are changes in District-14, where Dan Pavlock is running in place of Mark Tarbrake, who is moving from the district.  Also John Davis running in District-16, replacing Ron Lemon, who is not running again. 

 

Wilfong says they've had to find new candidates in three legislative districts including District-#6 which will now have Silver Creek's Gary Cerne running in Borrello's place.  Others endorsed include Kevin Muldowney in District-1 Robert Scudder in District-2 and, Terry Neibel in District-5. 

 

Current Legislature Chairman David Himelen of French Creek was endorsed in District-18 along with former Chairman Jay Gould in District-17.

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A 47 year-old man died late yesterday afternoon in was appears to be an accidental drowning in the Chadakoin River on Jamestown's eastside. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says that a woman had called 911 just after 3 PM, saying that the man she was with had gone into the water to try and cool off and, slipped under the water a short distance from shore near Winsor and Harrison Streets. 

 

Samuelson says the county's Dive Team was also called in and, found the man, now identified as Dennis Plummer a short distance away in more than 10-feet of water.  He says police are still notifying relatives because the unidentified man is reportedly from the Buffalo-area. 

 

Samuelson says they're not sure if the man knew how to swim or not.  While the current can be strong in some parts of the river he says the depth can be an issue, too especially at that location.


Two Jamestown residents face obstruction charges in connection with a drug investigation on the city's eastside late Tuesday. 

 

City police say they were called to the scene at 928 East Second Street for a warrant check for 33 year-old Anthony Camarata and 25 year-old Ashley Havle.  Officers say they gained access to the residence and, began searching for the pair. 

 

Police say they found both hiding under some blankets in a closet.  Both were arrested on warrants issued by Chautauqua County Drug Court and, second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.  Both were taken to the city lock-up pending arraignment.


One congressman says he's going to start carrying a gun in public. Others want beefed-up security at town hall meetings.  

 

Wednesday'sshooting of a top Republican while he was practicing for a congressional baseball game has jolted lawmakers.  It also highlights their vulnerability when they are in public.  Only the leaders of Congress get security details.  Rank-and-file members do not. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says "his thoughts and prayers" are with the people who were shot and wounded during a baseball practice in Virginia where House Majority Whip Steven Scalise was wounded.  However, as for security Reed's Communications Director Samantha Cotton would only says "the safety of constituents and our team members is a priority, but as a matter of office policy we do not discuss the specifics of how we secure our district offices or public events." 

 

However another Republican Congressman, Chris Collins of Clarence, says he is going to start carrying a gun in public.  In addition to Scalise two members of the Capitol Police were injured along with a congressional aide and a lobbyist.

 



Local Congressman Tom Reed is part of a group of lawmakers trying to bridge the "skills gap" in the United States that has helped keep 9-million Americans unemployed in recent years. 

 

A day ago Reed was among a bi-partisan group of House members who introduced the federal Leveraging and Energizing America's Apprenticeship Program or LEAP Act.  Reed is a co-sponsor along with California Democrat Linda Sanchez. 

 

Reed says if all the current "skilled labor" jobs were filled 5-million of those people could be employed and, he says they want to show support for the apprenticeship programs across the country.  He says the proposal involves a two-tiered tax credit program that will help encourage people to get into a local apprenticeship program. 

 

He says a $1,000 tax credit is available for apprentices over the age of 25 and, $1,500 for those under 25.  Reed says the idea is to help people who are looking for work to get into an apprenticeship program to learn a skill that will get them employed.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have fallen about 5-cents a gallon this week to slightly over $2.50 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says it follows the trend of most places in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region where prices fell except for the Washington, D.C. area.  AAA says the price is also lower than it was last year at this time.  The EIA reports gasoline inventory levels above year-ago levels. 

 

Overall compared to a year ago, gas prices are mostly reminiscent of last summer.  With comparable gas prices to last summer, consumers may feel encouraged to drive more ultimately leading to an increase in demand, which could help dip into the supply levels.  Nationally AAA says the price is also cheaper $2.34 cents a gallon than it was a year ago.


A Jamestown man has been honored by a nationally-known weight-loss program for losing just over 85-pounds and, changing his life. 

 

Dennis Bechmann was recently awarded the 2016 King award for Taking Pounds off Sensibly or TOPS during it's annual state conference near Syracuse. 

 

Bechmann says he had finally got tired of "huffing and puffing" and weighing as much as 354 pounds.  He says he learned by "word of mouth" about TOPS local chapter #721 that meets at Holy Trinity Church. 

 

Bechmann says the great part about TOPS is you get a lot of support from fellow members who hold you accountable but, not in any negative way.  He says he needed knee replacement surgery but, the two doctors he worked said he needed to lose weight first for the surgeries to be successful. 

 

It was then that he started looking for the best way to lose weight and keep it off.  Bechmann says the Jamestown chapter of 57 members is one of the largest local TOPS groups in New York state, and they meet every Thursday at Holy Trinity with weigh-ins starting at 8:30 AM

 

For more information about TOPS go on-line to www.tops.org.

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A Jamestown-area businessman has been indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury for using improper sales procedures, and improperly filing tax returns. 

 

District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the grand jury handed down the 20-count indictment late Mondayagainst owner Kenneth Asel of Ken Asel R-V's in Gerry.  Swanson says the allegations include four counts of third-degree Grand Larceny one count of second-degree forgery two counts of Criminal Tax Fraud and thirteen counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing. 

 

Swanson says the indictment was the result of a lengthy investigation by the D-A’s office it's Crimes Against Revenue Program Investigation Unit, state Police and, others.  He says the allegations surround Asel’s business practices at Ken Asel R-V’s between March of 2012 through August 2015. 

 

He was arrested on a warrant and, arraigned.  Bail was set at $5,000 cash... $10,000 property bond.


The Deputy U-S Attorney General says he will "defend the integrity" of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. elections. 

 

That from Rod Rosenstein to a Senate Committee Tuesday morning in the wake of comments by President Donald Trump that he may fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is now investigating the alleged manipulation of last year's Presidential election. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't believe what the president tweeted about Mueller has "any voracity."  Reed adds that if there is nothing there it's time to "move foward."  He says he wants Mueller to "get to the bottom of what's going on" for the benefit of everyone namely the American people. 

 

U-S Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Rosenstein that she believes it would be "catastrophic" if special counsel Robert Mueller were fired based on the tweet by President Trump.


Legislation has again been introduced in Congress that may help officials get a better handle on the overabundance of nutrients that have led to excessive weed and algae bloom growth in Chautauqua Lake. 

 

That from local Representative Tom Reed who says the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act uses tax credits to develop technology that boosts the use of biomass and, recover manure resources a problem that is seen on Chautauqua Lake. 

 

Reed says it would allow the tax code to allow for people to develop and invest in that technology.  Reed says the idea is to support current and, new emerging techologies that will eventually "stand on their own" commercially.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


New York state has hosted its first ever demonstration of a driverless vehicle on public roads. 

 

During Tuesday's test drive in Albany two engineers rode in the vehicle for about six miles. State officials say the engineers monitored the ride at all times to ensure safety. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the demonstration as a "major milestone" in the development of a technology that he says is the "next frontier" in transportation. 

 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also took a test drive in the vehicle.  She said driverless cars offer "tremendous potential" for improving traffic safety.


With little more than a week left in the legislative session, some state lawmakers and community advocates are renewing the push for legalized recreational marijuana in New York state. 

 

State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes are joining with advocates organized by the Drug Policy Alliance Monday afternoon to announce reintroduction of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. 

 

Past efforts have stalled in legislative committees.  The bill would establish a legal market for marijuana in New York and tax and regulate it like alcohol. 

 

The lawmakers say the potential tax revenue stream is considerable since it's estimated that New Yorkers spend 3-billion dollars a year on marijuana. 

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has been dubious about legalizing weed beyond limited medical use of non-smokeable forms.

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A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania man was killed last Sunday night when his motorcycle crashed into a truck that was turning into a parking lot on Route 6 in Brokenstraw Township. 

 

State Police in Warren say the motorcycle operated by 42 year-old Andrw Blauser was westbound about 8:30 p.m. when the eastbound truck crossed it's path.  Troopers say the truck driven by 33 year-old Ashlyn Auflick of Youngsville was turning into a lot for a local business. 

 

Police say Blauser was pronounced dead at the scene while Auflick and her two child passengers sustained minor injuries.  No charges have been filed but, the investigation is continuing.


A Cassadaga man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a child under the age of 11 in the town of Charlotte earlier this year. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say they concluded an investigation involving 32 year-old Steven Morris, Junior of 7392 Hall Road into an incident back in April of this year.  Deputies say Morris was arrested on a warrant issued out of county court on one count each of first-degree criminal sexual act and, predatory sexual assault against a child. 

 

Officers say Morris was arraigned in county court and, sent to the county jail on $150,000 cash bail $300,000 property bond.


Comments were spirited at times during last night's public hearing on the proposal by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to annex about 4-acres of land used for it's Dow Street Substation from the village of Falconer. 

 

The session was attended by just over 200 people at the Falconer Middle and High School Auditorium.  The first person to speak was School Superintendent Steve Penhollow who says a projected loss of nearly $154,000 in tax revenue would mean cutting three full-time teachers. 

 

He says that's a "significant loss of opporunities in a rural school district" and he urged officials to "really look at that."  One resident of the village, Carmella Catanese opposed the plan which she called a "tax shift" by taking money away from the village, town of Ellicott, and the Falconer School District. 

 

A couple of other people called the city and it's BPU's proposal nothing more than a "money grab."  The proposal would save the BPU about $325,000 in taxes paid to the school district, town, village, and county. 

 

Under the city and BPU's payment in lieu of tax agreement plan city government and the school district would split about $158,000.


Perhaps the most contentious moments of the hearing came during the presentation by Jamestown's special legal counsel Kathy Bennett who outlined the reaon's for annexation. 

 

Bennett discussed the savings the city would see, and said it would lead to lower utility rates.  She also said the Jamestown Fire Department would be able to better provide fire and emergency protection for the electric substation because it's a trained, full-time deparment with a nearby fire hall. 

 

She says the Falconer Fire Station is closer, but, she says Jamestown stations are fully-staffed, "24/7" while Falconer, which has a volunteer department, does not.  That did not sit well with several members of the Falconer Fire Department, who were in the audience and, several village residents.  Department Second-Lieutenant Tyler Stimpson says Jamestown has 55 firefighters but, they have 80-plus more volunteers many of whom are amply qualified as EMTs. 

 

The lawyer for the town and village Petra Zaffrom also argued that the annexation should not go forward because unlike the city contends the BPU property does not adjoin the city line except for a very small piece of it at Tiffany Avenue.


A Jamestown man is jailed for allegedly harassing two people outside the Northwest Arena last Saturday afternoon with a knife. 

 

City police were called to the scene at 319 West Third Street shortly before 4 PM and, talked with the two victims who said 46 year-old Brian Livingston had threatened the pair with a knife.  Officers say they found Livingston later at his home and, arrested him.  He was arraigned on two counts of second-degree Menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


A record-breaking blast of summer-like weather has hit New York and other parts of the Northeast. 

 

The National Weather Service says New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport recorded a sweltering 97 degrees on Monday, breaking its 1973 record of 95 degrees.  New York's LaGuardia Airport reached 95 degrees, topping its 1988 record of 92 degrees. Central Park tied its previous record of 93 degrees, set in 1973.  It was a little cooler on Long Island, where Islip reached 91 degrees, topping its 1988 record by 3 degrees. 

 

Here in the immediate Jamestown-area the temperature topped out at 86 degrees and, an air quailty alert was in place until 10 last night.  Meteorologist Joe Pollina says the heat is being caused by a large high pressure system over Bermuda that's pumping heat and humidity into the area.

 

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WJTN Headlines

A Buffalo-area man is accused of vehicular assault after he allegedly backed his car unsafely, and struck a man walking on Route 20 in the town of Ripley last Saturday night. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene of the car-pedestrian just after 11 PM and, found that the car was operated by 61 year-old Rory Stevenson of Angola, was involved in the accident.  Deputies say Stevenson's car struck 43 year-old Matthew Vogt of Buffalo, seriously injurying the man. 

 

Officers say Vogt was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for what were described as "life-threatening injuries."  Deputies say Stevenson faces several charges including second-degree vehicular assault backing unsafely uninspected motor vehicle and, several others.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.


A town of Arkwright couple has been arrested for allegedly hosting an underage drinking party on their property early last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to a residence on Miller Road shortly after 12 Midnight last Saturday on a report of the party taking place.  On arrival deputies say they observed several youths under the age of 21 on the property drinking alcohol. 

 

Officers say they spoke with Michael and Diane Rafan, both 53, and, determined they were in charge of the property and the party.  Deputies charged both Michael and Diane Rafan with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a minor. 

 

In addition they say a 17 year-old male youth was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.  All subjects are to appear in Arkwright Town Court at a later date.


A much-anticipated public hearing on the proposed annexation of five-acres of land owned by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in the village of Falconer at the city line is set for tonight. 

 

The session will begin at 7 PM at the Falconer Central School Auditorium, and will be hosted by the Jamestown City Council, Falconer Village Board and Ellicott Town Board.  During this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said anyone from the three municipalities can speak at the hearing. 

 

The proposal involves shifting the 4 to 5-acres of land the BPU's Dow Street Substation is located on to being in the city where it would not have to have taxes paid on it.  This would mean a loss of tax revenues from that land to the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott and the Falconer School District. 

 

However Teresi says there have been some misconceptions about what's being proposed.  The biggest being that the city is trying to annex the entire village.  Teresi says that's not the case it is a small piece of property at the city line, and will help keep electric rates low.


A bill under consideration in New York's legislature would give banks the ability to temporarily freeze the accounts of older adults when they notice activity uncharacteristic of a person's normal spending habits. 

 

The measure is intended to combat financial abuse and fraud aimed at elders.  New York's Office of Children and Family Services says financial fraud costs the state's seniors an estimated $1.5 billion per year. 

 

It might also help people like Roseann Keiles, of Long Island.  Her 82-year-old mother was tricked into giving thousands of dollars before a local banker alerted the family that something was wrong. 

 

The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate in March, but has faced resistance in the Democratic-led Assembly and hasn't been scheduled for a vote.


The investigation into a fire late last Friday that destroyed a single-family home in the town of Carrol just outside of Frewsburg is continuing. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that Frewsburg firefighters were called to the Lightner home just before 5 PM and, found the building and attached garage on fire.  Assistant Fire Chief Dan Sisson tells the paper the home on Wigren Road was "fully engulfed" on arrival and, that it took about an hour to bring the flames under control. 

 

Frewsburg fire crews were joined at the scene by Frewsburg, Busti, Kennedy, Falconer, Kiantone, and Russell, Pennsylvania fire companies. 

 

No one was hurt.  The cause is under investigation but, apparently started in the garage area.


It was a terrific first day for the newly-rebranded "Jamestown Public Market" in downtown Jamestown last Saturday morning and afternoon. 

 

The public market is actually the name for the original farmer's market that was held in Jamestown in 1878.  Market Manager Christina Breen says they had a very good turn-out for their first attempt at a Saturday market after holding the past several year's on Thursdays. 

 

Breen says they went with a Saturday because several people, many of whom live downtown, told them that a weekday even around the lunch-hour did not work as well as a weekend might.  She says they wanted to create more "vibrancy" on the weekends for people in the area. 

 

The market takes place in the 200-block of Cherry Street between West Second and Third Streets.  She says they had about 10 vendors for the first day.  The Jamestown Public Market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through early Fall. 

 

For more information, call the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation at 664-2477 or go on-line to Jamestownrenaissance.org


There was a giant celebration at the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown Saturday night. 

 

A huge cast performed songs from two dozen musicals to mark the theater's 80th anniversary and Norm and Helen Merrill were honored for 50 years of volunteer work.  Helen Merrill has directed 48 shows at the Little Theater, and she thanked all the actors and actresses who took part in those shows. 

 

Little Theater President, Bob Ostrom, announced a new curtain and fly system, air conditioning and other improvements for the Little Theater... thanks to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and local foundations.

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WJTN Headlines

Nearly three dozen people had to be treated for nausea and difficulty breathing late Thursday morning after a refrigerant spilled in the upper floors of the old Furniture Mart Building on Jamestown's westside. 

 

That from Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey who says they received a call about a woman having trouble breathing at "The Connection" Call Center on West Second Street just after 10:30 a.m.  Harvey says they sent a rescue unit but, soon after found several others getting sick. 

 

He says they transported 11 to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital while three others took themselves.  Harvey says 19 others were treated, then released at the scene.  Harvey says the coolant known as "Propylene Glycol" spilled out as a work crew was off-loading about 200-gallons of the fluid from the Furniture Mart's HVAC Unit. 

 

He says the fluid called "Propylene Glycol" spilled onto a floor.  He says it's similar to anti-freeze.  The county's HazMat Team was called in to help clean-up the material.  Crews are still at the scene this afternoon and, the building remained evacuated until it could be cleaned up.


A city woman is jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking cocaine and marihauna from an apartment on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say they arrested 42 year-old Brandy McBride during a raid at 248 Buffalo Street about 5:45 AM Thursday after getting nuisance complaints from neighbors. 

 

Officers and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force found McBride along with two other women and five young children between the ages of one-month and 10 years inside an apartment.  Police say they also found about 9 grams of powder cocaine 6-and-a-half grams of marihuana and, several pieces of drug paraphernalia, a quanity of cash and a canister of "CS gas" which is illegal to possess. 

 

McBride was arrested on charges including second and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and five counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Anyone who may have information on the illegal drug trafficking in the Jamestown area is asked to contact the JPD Tip line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477 or the departments Tips 411 app.


The first major event in Chautauqua's new Amphitheater will be two weeks from last night on Thursday, June 22nd, for the Jamestown High School graduation. 

 

That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications, Jordan Steves Wednesday. The Institution wanted to have a 'temporary Certificate of Occupancy' earlier this month but, it's not in hand yet.  In the meantime Steves says programming staff is having to wear hard-hats and work vests inside the Amp. 

 

That Certificate of Occupancy is expected in the next week.  Steves says the biggest 'hiccup' has been a manufacturing delay at the Nebraska company making the new benches.  They won't all be done in time but an area firm,  Fancher Chair in Falconer is saving the day by making several temporary benches for them. 

 

Individual tickets for the first major entertainment event in the new Amp,  Aretha Franklin on June 24th are completely sold out.


The Fancher Chair Company in Falconer that Chautauqua Institution has turned to for help in getting several thousand feet of temporary benching in place was first contacted about the situation a week-and-a-half ago. 

 

Fancher's President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Henry says Chautauqua officials said they had a delay in the order and, worked out the details about design within about three-days.  Henry says they mainly manufacture solid-wood chairs. 

 

However he says they do benches on occasion.  Henry says they had asked to be considered for the initial project but, didn't hear back about it.  However he says they are making many of the chairs that'll be used in the new Amp during the coming season.  He says their 140 employees have "really stepped up" to get the project done in time.


Work is now underway to finalize Chautauqua County's application for the $20-million dollar, Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Grant competition. 

 

A public forum was held Wednesday night at the Carlson Community Center in Mayville.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says about 75 people turned out for the meeting, including a number of local officials many who spoke about their projects including the new wasterwater treatment plant in Dunkirk. 

 

Horrigan says at this point, 13 projects have been identified for the application that is due later this month.  He says the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester is working with the county and local governments to finalize the application. 

 

Horrigan says they got "some additional input on opportunities" Wednesday.  He adds the application is due on June 28th.  Chautauqua County is one of six finalists in the competition.  There's no word on when a final decision will be made.

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WJTN Headlines

It's not Congressional Republicans but, Democratic policies the past 30 years that have made it more difficult to do business and, has driven people from New York state. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed who pushed back Wednesday against criticism from Governor Cuomo and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi about the need to defeat them in 2018.  Reed said Cuomo's comments clearly show that he is eyeing a run for the White House in 2020.  However he says the polices of Cuomo and his late father, Mario, have caused the exodus of businesses and people seen in recent years. 

 

In addition Reed says it's led to a loss of representation in Washington since the 1980s.  At that time New York had 35 members of Congress but, that number has now fallen to 27.  He adds two more may be lost after the next Census. 

 

Cuomo and Pelosi told hundreds of union members at a Manhattan rally Tuesday that New Yorkers can play a key role in returning the House of Representatives to Democratic control.  Reed says he's been pushing "pro-growth" policies to grow jobs and population in the state.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he likes what he's seen so far of President Trump's pick to head up the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

 

House Republicans say they didn't have advance notice of Trump's choice of Christopher Wray.  He's a former Justice Department official who was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's personal lawyer during the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation. 

 

Reed says he doesn't know much more about Wray at this point but says Wray has a lot of experience with the U-S Attorney's Office, and the Justice Department.  Reed says he's very eagar to look more at Wray's resume and, record. 

 

He says he's hopeful that the Senate will move quickly to confirm the appointment.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


A former mayor of Cassadaga has announced she is running for Chautauqua County Clerk this Fall. 

 

LeeAnn Lazarony is currently the resource coordinator for the Dunkirk City drug treatment court and also has in the past worked in that same capacity for the Jamestown drug treatment court.  Lazarony says she believes her experience in the court system and as a mayor for eight years is a major asset. 

 

She says she has worked in the court system for about 15 years.  If elected, Lazarony says among her goals is to provide a "professional, non-political, customer friendly" county clerk's office. 

 

She is seeking the Democratic nomination and would run against incumbent Republican Larry Barmore.


Four people have been arrested and, Jamestown police seized a number of stolen items including a hand-gun and shot-gun during two separate raids in the city Monday. 

 

Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson confirms today that officers executed a search warrant at an apartment about 10:30 AM at 108 Crescent Street after being tipped about stolen property inside.  They reportedly found items including a 12-gauge shotgun, laptop computers and a large machete. 

 

In addition police say they found a quantity of methamphetamine, and arrested two people.  They say 52 year-old Bernard Philbrick, Junior and 25 year-old Kyle Lewis face weapons and drug possession charges.  During the investigation, police learned that the stolen property was taken from a nearby home at 117 Crescent Street and, they arrested 37 year-old Misty Harkins there on an outstanding bench warrant. 

 

A second raid occured several hours later at 1063 East Second Street on a report of a person with a weapon.  They later arrested 27 year-old James Blue, and seized a 40-calibur pistol.


For the seventh week in a row gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the price is up just 2-tenths of a cent per gallon but, is still just over $2.55  a gallon.  AAA says New York is one of four states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region where prices remained flat from last week. 

 

Every other state in the region is seeing prices drop as much as three cents.  Nationally gas prices have fallen moderately in most states following a week of all-time high gasoline demand.  The price of a gallon of gasoline increased one cent this week to $2.38 from last week; however, the price at the pump in 30 states has fallen as much as 4-cents. 

 

The moderate decline in gas prices is typical following a long holiday weekend.

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WJTN Headlines

The first of three Erie, Pennsylvania men accused of car-jacking a vehicle, and stealing a truck in the Dunkirk-area about two years ago has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. 

 

Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 21 year-old Michael Gonzalez-Colon was recently convicted of carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.  He was then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Vilardo. 

 

Prosecutors say Gonzalez-Colon and the two co-defendants rode stolen ATV's in Erie and, road them to Dunkirk in July of 2015... and, shortly after arriving in Dunkirk, the ATV's were seized by police.  Without transportation they then assaulted two people in the vicinity of Robin and Second Streets and, stole their car at gun-point.  They also stole a pick-up truck.


A city man is jailed without bail and, a teenaged boy is also in custody for allegedly trafficking crystal methamphetime on Jamestown's north and east sides. 

 

City police say they were called to the area of Dearborn Street late Monday morning on a report of 19 year-old Joshua Verrett being spotted walking there.  Verrett was wanted on several oustanding city court warrants and, police say they found the Bishop Street man with a 17 year-old on Dearborn Street. 

 

Officers say they arrested Verrett without incident and, during the arrest, allegedly found a quantity of crystal meth and, two digital scales in his possession.  Police say the 17 year-old was also found in possession of a small amount of crystal meth in his possession. 

 

Verrett was arrraigned on charges including Felony third-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and, the 17 year-old was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession.


The Jamestown School District can now move forward on hiring 10 new staff members four of them teachers for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. 

 

The school board unanimously approved formally adding the posts during last night's meeting.  Interim School Superintendent Silvia Root says she's pleased to be able to move forward on filling these positions.  Root says funding for the positions is included in the new, $80-plus million dollar budget. 

 

Root says she believes this is "the beginning of meeting students needs, and being able to support it.  Root says the positions include two English Language Learner teachers two ESL paraprofessionals two school counselors and two elementary teachers.  There will also be one new music teacher and, one school psychologist. 

 

Root says the district should be set once those people are hired.  However she says the district did leave some financial "room" for the new superintendent to possibly fill two other positions once he or she is hired. 

 

The school board also approved the final canvass of the May 16th budget, and school board vote.  The spending plan was approved 505-to-106.


Governor Andrew Cuomo and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi say New York's eight Republican members of Congress must be defeated in 2018. 

 

Pelosi and the Democratic governor told hundreds of union members at a Manhattan rally Tuesday that New Yorkers can play a key role in returning the House of Representatives to Democratic control.  Cuomo said New York's Republican Congress members don't represent the state's interests. 

 

He called them "political pawns of the ultra-conservative puppet masters in Washington."  While it's not uncommon for Democrats to criticize Republicans, Cuomo's remarks come amid speculation that he may seek the White House in 2020.  Corning Republican Tom Reed is one of those House members being targeted.


A Great Lakes researcher and SUNY College at Fredonia professor is preparing to swim the length of Chautauqua Lake later this month in preparation for a longer swim across Lake Erie. 

 

Sherri Mason has announced that she will attempt the 15.5-mile journey during the week of June 19th.  She says that the idea began as a swim across Lake Erie, but she was encouraged to do a "trial swim" first of at least 10-miles.  Dr. Mason has been in training for the swim for nearly a year. 

 

Initially the focus of the swim was on the problem of plastics pollution, but the message has become a larger one because of the Trump Administration and the push for changes in environmental policy.  Mason says it's a matter of how important fresh, clean water is to us in America, and the entire world. 

 

No specific date for the Chautauqua Lake swim has been set.  It will begin at Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron and conclude at Lakeside Park in Mayville.

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WJTN Headlines

Jamestown city officials and residents of a northside neighborhood are expressing disappointment over a state decision to not fund an approximately 12-to-13-million dollar housing project. 

 

City Council Housing Committee Chairwoman Marie Carruba expressed her feelings after some residents spoke during last night's committee meeting.  Carrubba says she's heard from other people in the area where the Jackson-Spring Housing Development was to be built. 

 

She says the problem with the eight dilapitated and condemned homes there is not going away because the city can't afford to do them all.  They were to be replaced with 36-units developed by a Buffalo-area firm, NRP working locally with Citizens Opportunity for Development and Equality also known as CODE. 

 

CODE and the developer had applied for a second-time for funding through the state Office of Housing and Community Renewal for the funding and, housing credits.


Two Kennedy men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of narcotic drugs following a vehicle stop on the city of Jamestown's northside. 

 

City police say a pick-up truck passed a marked JPD Cruiser on West 10th Street shortly before 1 PM last Saturday afternoon and, the operator, 21 year-old Dyllan Ownbey, was pulled over.  Officers say Ownbey was smoking a marijuana cigarette in plain sight, and he was found to be driving the truck with an expired inspection sticker. 

 

Police ordered both Ownbey and his passenger, 23 year-old James Albro from the vehicle.  They say they found 15-grams of marijuana, 5.5-grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, and point-3 grams of Fentanyl. 

 

Both were charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one count each of unlawful possession of marijuaua.  Both were jailed with bail to be set.


A Cattaraugus County man is jailed on $25,000 bail for allegedly trafficing narcotic drugs in the Randolph area following a raid on his apartment. 

 

Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office say they executed a search warrant at 106 Hall Avenue and found 27 year-old Scott Fairbanks with six bags of Heroin packaged for sale.  They say they also found a small amount of marijuana, along with drug paraphernalia and scales. 

 

Fairbanks faces charges including third-degree Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He also faces three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Fairbanks was arraigned and sent to the Little Valley lock-up.


Local Congressman Tom Reed was in the majority of the House of Representatives who voted recently for the Reduction of Regulatory Burdens Act that pulls back on some regulations regarding the dumping of pesticides. 

 

Reed says the act, which amends what's commonly called the Clean Water Act would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency or a state from requiring a permit under the "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" for discharging of pesticides through a pipe or tunnel. 

 

The bill establishes exemptions from this prohibition which Reed feels are "reasonable."  Opponents of the move say the move "guts" clean water and clean air rules but, Reed says it's intended to eliminate duplicity, and overly burdensome regulations on businesses and individuals. 

 

Congress earlier this year approved the "Midnight Rules Relief Act" which simply allowed lawmakers to reject multiple rules under the Congressional Review Act. 

 

The Reduction of Regulatory Burdens Act was approved prior to President Trump announcing the U-S was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.



The county's application for the $20 million-dollar New York State Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition is coming together and among the 10 projects in the application will be two involving the village of Fredonia and the city of Dunkirk. 

 

Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis spoke about the two projects Monday and pointed out that they are involved in talks regarding the wastewater treatment plant in Dunkirk.  Landis says an agency is working with them on that project. 

 

She adds there's also the ongoing effort to find one location for both community's police departments and courts.  Dr. Landis says there may be some complications involving the shared police and courts facility because of a state mandate and, circumstances are more complicated. 

 

She says police cars can currently go outside the area they primarily serve.  Chautauqua County is among six finalists seeking the $20-million dollar grant and there's a June 30the deadline for the applications.

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WJTN Headlines

A Ripley man was killed last weekend when he apparently fell from the tractor he was using, and got pinned underneath it. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Sulpher Springs Road in the town of Mina about 5:20 PM Saturday on a report of the man being pinned under the vehicle.  When they arrived, deputies say they found 57 year old Edward Schwab underneath the tractor.  However, EMS workers were unable to revive him and, Schwab was pronounced dead at the scene.

 


A Cassadaga Man was seriously hurt when his motorcycle struck a deer and he was ejected on the Stockton-Cassadaga Road in the town of Stockton last Saturday night. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the operator, 47 year-old Daniel Gloss, was westbound just after 11 PM when the crash occured.  Deputies say Gloss was unable to avoid the deer and, struck it and was thrown from the bike. 

 

They say Gloss was treated at the scene by Cassadaga and Stockton fire rescue crews and, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of his injuries.


With the exception of some rain Sunday morning there was great weather last weekend for the return of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament to downtown Jamestown. 

 

That from Tournament Director Michael Bird with the Jamestown Post-Journal.  The local newspaper, along with the Dunkirk Observer and, the Warren Times-Observer headed up the effort to bring the Macker back to Jamestown for the first time in several years. 

 

Bird says they expected some issues Sunday but, none was insurmountable. Bird says they got 200 teams for the tournament which was a good number for the first year back.  He says the response was very good and, overall there was a lot of good sportsmanship. 

 

The Media One Group was a Media Sponsor for the Gus Macker Tournament.  Bird says 20% of the proceeds will go to the Alex Foulk Foundation to support the "Fresh Start" initiative.  He adds that several other groups including the Jamestown Key Club and, Honor Society and, local elementary schools will all benefit from the tournament.


Chautauqua County is finalizing it's application for a 20-million dollar local government consolidation award from New York State. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan, who high-lighted the work of his Regional Solutions Commission during last Friday's County Executive Breakfast hosted by the Chautuaqua County Chamber of Commerce at Chautauqua Golf Club. The commission chaired by County Legislator George Borrello, had identified 10 projects that would receive money from that award.

 

Horrigan says the application is due by the end of June and, state leaders will then make a decision among the six finalists for the funding.  He says that would help the county realize the 15 focus goals of the county's 2020 Comprehensive Plan. 

 

Horrigan adds that having the county on solid financial footing was one of those when it was first drawn-up.  He says being able to cut the tax rate by 74 cents over the past six years has helped greatly.


New York is pushing a major clean energy job initiative in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from an international pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced $1.5 billion-dollars for renewable energy projects such as wind, solar arrays, hydro and fuel cell to advance a state goal of achieving 50% of electricity from renewables by 2030.  Cuomo says the investment will produce 40,000 clean energy jobs by 2020. 

 

The announcement follows Trump's Thursday decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement to reduce U.S. polluting emissions by 1.6 billion tons by 2025.  Cuomo and Democratic governors in Washington and California denounced the move and pledged to uphold the commitment.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says his state will continue to abide by the Paris climate accord regardless of President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the landmark 190-nation agreement to reduce carbon emissions. 

 

Cuomo says that the Republican president's decision is "reckless" and harmful for the nation and the planet.  He says he will use executive orders to ensure the state does not abandon its efforts to boost renewable energy while reducing emissions tied to climate change. 

 

Cuomo also says he and the governors of California and Washington state will lead a new alliance of states supporting the Paris agreement.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also vowed to use executive orders to ensure his city continues to "honor the goals" of the climate deal.


Republican Governor Phil Scott says Vermont is joining a coalition of states, including New York that have committed to upholding the Paris climate agreement despite President Trump's decision to leave the historic international pact. 

 

The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed by the Democratic governors of California, New York and Washington after Trump's announcement Thursday.  The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island also announced Friday that their states would be joining the alliance. 

 

Scott says Vermont is a leader in environmental policy and natural resource management.  He says the president's decision to withdraw the country from the agreement only strengthens the states' commitment and makes their work more important.


A cold storage facility could still be coming to the city of Dunkirk and, the north county city's elected official says he couldn't be happier. 

 

Mayor Willie Rosas confirms that a meeting involving the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency the city of Dunkirk and, Fieldbrook Foods was held on Thursday and the former Edgewood warehouse on Roberts Road is now being considered as a possible site for the Great Lakes Cold Storage facility. 

 

Rosas says that while no final decision has been made, he is pleased that a city based site is in the running. Earlier this year Dunkirk's Zoning Board of Appeals had approved a location for the project between Central Avenue, Fairview Avenue and Main Street Extension, but local residents in the area of site had threatened a lawsuit.  That had led the company and Fieldbrook Foods to consider a site at the Chadwick Bay Industrial Park in the town of Sheridan.   

 

Rosas says no decision has been made yet because they haven't gotten a commitment yet from the developer.


Pennsylvania's state Senate is unveiling legislation to overhaul retirement benefits for future state government and public school employees in hopes of getting it to Governor Tom Wolf's desk this week. 

 

 A first committee vote was scheduled for last night... just hours after the legislation became public.  Pennsylvania's two big pension systems face a roughly a $60-billion dollar projected debt.  Senate Republicans have tried unsuccessfully for four years to end or reduce the traditional pension benefit for future state and school employees in favor of a 401(k)-style benefit. 

 

This bill would create a hybrid plan, and make the second pension overhaul in eight years.  Actuaries say it wouldn't reduce near-term pension obligations for the state and school districts.

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News Headlines for Sat., June 3, 2017

Horrigan updates State of County, talks about accomplishments during county Chamber appearance...
He still has seven months left in office... but, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan tell county business leaders that indicators show "all the arrows are pointed in the right direction" for the county.  Horrigan addressed the county's Chamber of Commerce at the Chautauqua Golf Club for the final time as executive yesterday morning.  Horrigan presented an updated version of his State of the County Address... then fielded a series of questions.  He was asked what he felt was his biggest accomplishment.  Horrigan says it was forming "consensus" on a number of issues facing the county... adding we're not arguing about "silly things..." and are getting things done.  Horrigan says "everyone has good ideas..." and, the key was to listen... compromise and move forward.  As for his biggest challenge... the Bemus Point Republican pointed quickly to the local Heroin and Opioid Drug Crisis.  He says strides have been made in law enforcement and the judicial system... but, adds the addiction part has been difficult.  Horrigan did point to the fact that UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital has been able to get the funding in place to start long-term treatment in the Jamestown-area... and, improvements have also been made in the north county.
 
 
Horrigan says former Chautauqua County Home is doing well...
Perhaps the most controversial issue faced during County Executive Vince Horrigan's lone-term as executive was the February 2014 sale of the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  After several months of discussion and debate... the county legislature voted to sell the Dunkirk facility to VestraCare for $16-million by a 13-to-5 vote.  Horrigan says it was a "very difficult" process... especially having to face the fears of residents, and their families.  He says care for the elderly is  "deeply personnal..." but, he says it's "doing well," and their rates have not increased.  Horrigan... adds though... that owning a nursing home was not a primary function of government... and, says the home was a drag on the county's finances.  He says the combination of the sale... and, boosting the county's sales tax an extra half-a-percent to 8-percent has helped the county bring the tax rate to 41-cents per $1,000 below the average in Western New York.  
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested as part of major bust in late April...
A Dunkirk man wanted in connection with a major drug bust in the city back in April has been located and arrested by police in the north county.  Dunkirk Police arrested 27-year-old Christian Maestre at 172 King Street around 7 p.m. last Thursday.  Officers say Maestre was wanted on a warrant charging him with one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminal sale.  The charges stem from an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Dunkirk Police that led to a raid at 51 East 2nd Street on April 28th.  Task Force members seized a large quantity of cocaine and more than $171-thousand dollars in cash from alleged drug sales.  Maestre was arraigned in City Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.
 
 
Lakewood mayor explosing possible community chamber in village...
An effort is underway to create a new "community" chamber of commerce in southern Chautauqua County.  Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri has been discussing the possibility of a new chamber specifically for merchants in the village.  Birritierri recently discussed the idea with Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum and other chamber leaders.  She says she first thought about creating a local Merchants group because retail is such a big part of the village's economy... including the only mall in the Jamestown-area.  Birritierri says it made sense because there are about 50 members of the county Chamber of Commerce from Lakewood.  However... she says there is a slight obstacle in that Lakewood does not currently have it's own community chamber.  She says Tranum and other Chamber officials met with Birritierri during the recent ribbon cutting for the new Lakewood Diner on Chautauqua Avenue. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown-area man has been indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on 20-counts for allegedly being in possession of child pornography.  

 

Ellicott Town Police say they arrested 51 year-old George Ciancio of 107 Westminster Drive in West Ellicott on a County Court warrant last February following a several month-long, joint investigation with the FBI.  

 

Officers say Ciancio faces 10 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and, 10 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.  Ciancio is free on bail.

 

 

A Jamestown woman was arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly selling illegal drugs during a raid at a home on the city's northside.  
 
Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were joined by members of the state Police C-NET Team in executing a search warrant at 11 West 10th Street shortly after 5 AM.  Samuelson said yesterday that agents arrested 48 year-old Searcy Fields as part of their ongoing investigation into the sales and trafficking of illegal narcotics in the city.
 
Samuelson says task force members also found quanitites of heroin and "crack" cocaine inside the residence and, also seized a small amount of cash and scales.  He says Fields was taken into custody without incident and, adds she is charged with third-and seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  
 
She was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.  If you have any information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown contact the Task Force confidentially at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  Or contact them via their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
A north county woman is being treated for serious injuries after her car went off Route 5 in the town of Sheridan yesterday afternoon and, slammed into a tree.  
 
Sheriff's officers were called to the scene, near the junction with Newell Road just after 12:30 PM.  Deputies say a nearby neighbor and another motorist pulled the woman Chun Pandak of Irving, from the wreckage.  
 
Officers say that prevented more serious injuries.  Officers say Pandak was taken by Alstar Ambulance to a landing area and, she was then flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.
 
 
A fatal accident involving an Amish horse and buggy late last year in Clymer has led four local fire departments to donate a miniature Amish buggy to the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village in Ashville.  
 
Safety Village Director Terri Kindberg says she happened to come across the scene of that accident and, says it left an impression she'll never forget.  Kindberg says the buggy will now be part of the safety courses they teach at the village regarding traffic that moves slowly.
 
Kindberg says she and Safety Village Board President Sheriff Joe Gerace serve on the county's Traffic Safety Board and, she says the idea of adding an Amish buggy to their curriculum has been discussed for a while now.  
 
She says Panama Fire Chief Vern Sheldon, Junior knew the man killed in the Clymer accident and, called her about the idea to get the ball rolling.  The chiefs of all four communities Panama, Sherman, Clymer and Ashville have large Amish populations.  Each was represented during the unveiling of the miniature buggy Wednesday night at the Hewes Education Center BOCES in Ashville. 

 

 

 

An investigation into a stabbing that occurred Saturday afternoon in the area of East 4th Street and Park Avenue in Dunkirk has resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old man.  

 

Dunkirk Police have charged Christopher Cancel-Vazquez of South Zebra Street with first-degree assault after allegedly stabbing a 33-year-old male from Dunkirk in the lower abdomen during an argument.  Cancel-Vazquez fled the scene, but was picked up Tuesday on an arrest warrant.  

 

The victim was treated at Brooks Memorial Hospital... and, was later flown by helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.  Cancel-Vazquez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail on 50-thousand dollars cash bail.

 

 

Chautauqua County's two airports picked up nearly $1.2-million dollars in federal funding.  
 
That from U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand who announced late Wednesday that both airports would share in 17-million dollars being provided to 36 airports in New York state.  County Executive Vince Horrigan, who was pleased to get the news, says the County Airport near Jamestown will receive just over 816,000 of those dollars.
 
Horrigan says Jamestown actually received two grants with a smaller one to remove an obstruction and refurbish the taxiway.  In addition Horrigan says the Dunkirk Airport will receive $437,000 in funding.  
 
He says that'll be used to repair runway and taxiway surfaces and, study removal of any obstructions to air traffic.  
Senator's Schumer and Gillibrand announced that more than $17 million in funding would go to the upstate area. The largest award 2.4-million dollars will go for projects at the Greater Rochester International Airport in Rochester.
 
 
A Jamestown man involved with private sector management and finance for three decades has been named the new Vice-President for Finance and Administration at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  
 
Fredonia President Virginia Horvath says Michael Metzger will assume his new duties at Fredonia on July 3rd.  Metzger is currently Vice President and Strategic Advisor for Blackstone Advanced Technologies in Jamestown... a position he has held since 2014.  
 
In previous positions Horvath said Metzger was president of Blackstone Business Enterprises from 2010 to 2013 the Chief Financial Officer for Acu-Rite Companies from 1985 to 2010 and, he worked at Bausch & Lomb from 1976 to 1984.  
 
Horvath says Metzger quote  "brings a range of experiences in operations management, including in the not-for-profit and government sectors."  Metzger says he's "honored to accept the position" adding that, "it's been a dream of mine to be part of the rich tradition of this exceptional educational institution."
 
 
Legislation newly introduced in Albany aims to stamp out school lunch shaming.  
 
The proposal announced Wednesday by state Sen. Liz Krueger and Jo Anne Simon would require schools to ensure all eligible students are signed up for free and reduced-cost school meals.  The bill would also prohibit schools from singling out students whose families fall into school lunch debt by assigning them extra chores or giving them alternative meals.  
 
The sponsors of the bill say there's no statewide policy for students who can't buy their lunch. They say that too often students are stigmatized and shamed if their families fall behind on school lunch payments.

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WJTN News Headlines

A Buffalo man living in Jamestown and accused of trafficking large quantities of crack and powder cocaine now faces federal charges in the case following his arrest locally.  

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has formally announced that 38 year-old Odessin McBride was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine.  Kennedy says the charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $2,000,000 fine.  

 

Federal prosecutors accuse McBride of distributing both cocaine and crack cocaine in the Jamestown area.  Police and local Drug agents surveilled McBride allegedly selling cocaine and, they obtained a search warrant for McBride’s Sampson Street home.  

 

Special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, working with officers from the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, raided McBride's home on May 19th and, found him and his wife, and their 4 year-old child inside.  

 

Police also recovered cash, four digital scales, and a shrink-wrapping machine in the kitchen.  They also allegedly found scales, baggies, a razor blade, and a quantity of cocaine sealed in shrink-wrapped plastic bags buried in the ground outside the home.  A detention hearing was held in Buffalo Wednesday afternoon. 

 

 

Western New York and Chautauqua County are both winding up an unusually wet month of May and, it's looking like a rainy start to June as well.  
 
That from National Weather Service Forecaster Dan Kelly in Buffalo. who says they have a weather observer in Jamestown. who reports higher than usual rainfall for May.  Kelly says that follows a rainier than usual April.
 
Kelly says, in Buffalo they has received 6.35-inches for the month of May as of Midnight Tuesday night which is the seventh-highest amount for the city since records have been kept.  As for the immediate future he says we'll remain somewhat rainy through the coming weekend.  
 
Kelly says another round of thunderstorms moved through the area late yesterday more are expected towards the end of the week on Friday.  Kelly says there's a 50-50 chance of rain through early next week with temperatures slightly below normal.  Our complete forecast is coming up.
 
 
Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial kick-off to Summer but, Chautauqua County's top-elected official used it to kick off his first-ever "100 Days of Summer Safety" campaign.  
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan discussed the program at the end of last week's County Legislature meeting talking about how great the Summer season is here.  However he says it seems like every year there is at least one tragedy that occurs. Horrigan, who also headed up the local chapter of the American Red Cross for about 12 years says he wants to try and prevent that.
 
To that end Horrigan says he's working with the county Department of Health and Human Services on a program that includes boating, and motor vehicle and bicycle safety and so on.  He says it can only take a moment for tragedy to strike.  
 
Horrigan says he's tentatively scheduled a press event for next week with a focus on water safety.  Horrigan says one focus there will be on making sure that children have life jackets on when boating. 

 

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain steady as the Summer driving season demand kicks in.  

 

That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report, which ways the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel remains just over $2.55 this week.  Triple-A says the price is down about 2-tenths of a cent for the week.  

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that New York state's average price is now $2.51 a gallon.  Elsewhere across the Northeast the growing demand for gasoline has pressured pump prices.  

 

Nationally the average is now $2.37 cents, one-cent more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and five cents more than a year ago.  The latest Energy Information Administration's report says rising gasoline demand has resulted in dropping gasoline inventories across the country.  

 

Last week U.S. demand for gasoline jumped to the highest level this year, while inventories dropped by 800,000 barrels. 

 

 

When Congress resumes it's 115th session next Tuesday there will be less than two months to go before the current session ends for lawmakers in August.  
 
That means action needs to be taken on a number of big ticket items that need to be addressed before then. Local Congressman Tom Reed says the big item currently is in the Senate which is working on a new Health Care bill.  
 
The House acted on the American Health Care Act earlier this Spring but, the Senate has yet to.  After that, Reed says there's the president's 4.1-trillion dollar budget proposal.
 
However there is some Republican opposition to the president's proposal which would add defense spending but, cut or eliminate several domestic social programs.  
 
Reed says there's also the issue of the nation's accumulated, 20-Trillion deficit and, President Trump's administration has already indicated the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling before they leave for Summer recess.  
 
He says the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's" caucus he belongs to is already looking at common ways to deal with that issue.
 
 
A Buffalo-area woman who died of her injuries suffered in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident last weekend in Cattaraugus County has now been identified.  
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley now say that 33 year-old Dawn Krol died after her ATV crashed on Eastland Road in Yorkshire, just after 7 PM last Sunday.  Officers say Krol was unconscious and not breathing when they arrived.  
But, she was already receiving CPR and, was rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville.  She was then taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo where she later died from her injuries.  
 
Krol was a high school math teacher in the Pembroke School District in Genesee County.
 
 
Two north county men are in the Chautauqua County Jail for allegedly committing an armed robbery Tuesday morning in the village of Fredonia.  
 
Fredonia Police were called to a location on Cushing Street at about 2 AM where the victims were able to provide a description of the suspects.  Police say they were later seen in a vehicle, fleeing the neighboorhood at a high rate of speed.  
 
Further investigation led to the arrest of 31-year-old Steven Glenn of Fredonia and 18-year-old Norman Geddis, Jr. of Dunkirk.  A search of the vehicle led to the recovery of two loaded handguns and, several items of stolen property.  
 
Glenn and Geddis were arraigned and jailed on two counts each of first-degree robbery and, three counts of criminal possession of stolen property.  They also face one count each of criminal use of a firearm, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  
 
Geddis is being held on $150,000 cash bail, while Glenn is being held without bail. 
 
 
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly throwing her cane into the front window of a downtown bar and eatery late yesterday morning.  
 
City police were called to The Pub about 10:45 AM on a report of the woman hitting, and damaging the window at the 209 North Main Street location.  Officers say 53 year-old Tammy Stevenson of West Eighth Street apparently left before police arrived.  
 
However they say she was found near Prendergast Avenue and, was arrested.  City police say the window which was found with several cracks on it will cost more than $1,500 to replace.  
 
Officers say Stevenson is charged with second-degree criminal contempt a Felony.

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WJTN News Headlines

It's an announcement that could be historic in the effort to revitalize downtown Jamestown.
 
Those are the feelings of Mayor Sam Teresi as he introduced Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul late Tuesday morning to announce the 10 projects approved for about 10-million dollars in funding through the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  
 
She says one-million dollars will be going to a major project to redevelop the former Key Bank Building at East Second and North Main Streets.
 
Hochul adds that the biggest award, 2.4-million dollars is going to the major project to renovate the former Ramada Inn on West Fourth Street into a Hilton Doubletree Hotel.  In addition, Hochul says the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts which hosted the event, will receive 1.5-million dollars of the funding for upgrades.  
 
The Robert H. Jackson Center on East Fourth Street will also be getting 1.5-million dollars.  The Jamestown Brewing Company project on West Third Street will receive $830,000.  
 
Five other, smaller projects are receiving between $265,000 to $670,000.
 
Elected officials from Chautauqua County and the state were on hand for the final DRI announcement and, call the funding awards for the 10 projects "great news."
 
State Senator Cathy Young congratulated Jamestown adding that downtowns have taken major hits in recent years with changes in retailing and other sectors.  However Young says cities that are able to "reinvent" themselves have been able to survive and thrive.  She says the DRI can make a big difference.
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the idea of making Jamestown a destination is very much a part of what's taking place.  Goodell says it begins with the proposed National Comedy Center which is scheduled to open next year on West Second and Washington Streets.  He credited Director Journey Gunderson and Board President Tom Benson with leading the effort to turn a concept into a reality.  
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan thanked Hochul and other state leaders for helping Chautauqua County so much after the closing of the Con-Agra plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia a few years ago resulting in 600 jobs being lost.

 

 

A Buffalo-area woman has died of her injuries suffered in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident last weekend in the Cattaraugus County Town of Yorkshire.

 

Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley are not identifying the 33 year-old Clarence woman.  However officers say she was riding the ATV on Eastland Road just after 7 PM Sunday when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say the victim was unconscious and not breathing when they arrived.  But, she was already receiving CPR and, was rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville then the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo where she later died from her injuries.

 

 

A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania man is being treated for a possibly serious head injury after his All-Terrain Vehicle crashed at a Pittsfield Township intersection late Monday afternoon.

 

State Police in Warren say the unidentified 66 year-old man was riding the ATV near the intersection of State Route 27 and Hamilton Road about 5:30 PM when he lost control and, was thrown from the vehicle.  

 

Troopers say the man landed on the roadway and, was taken by ambulance to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Police are investigating whether alcohol may have been involved in the accident.

 

 

The Jamestown Jammers begin their third-season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this week and, final preparations for the season opener are being made.
 
Opening night is Thursday at Russell E. Diethrick Park and, Team and Business Manager Anthony Barone says players started coming into town this past weekend to begin preparations.  Barone says it's a short time to get his players introduced to each other and, start practicing.
 
Barone says they've been working for the first two years to get the product in place and, to get the team to be a focal point in the community.  He says they see that coming together now and, adds they're seeing an increase in ticket and sponsorship sales.  
 
Barone says the Jammers 2017 roster is shaping up nicely especially with returning veterans.  He says they include Catcher Chris Connelly Outfielder Skylar Valentine and, infielder Ben Brookover.  Barone says Connelly will be Team Captain this year.
 
 
U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer says President Donald Trump is coming up short on security for states and cities by proposing to cut hundreds of millions of dollars for anti-terrorism efforts.
 
The New York Democrat said Monday "it makes absolutely no sense" to reduce the money when terrorism remains a looming threat.  The White House has said over $1.9 million-dollars budgeted since 2013 hasn't gotten spent.  
 
Schumer's office says it can take time for cities and states to actually get and spend the money, but that doesn't mean they haven't allocated or don't need it.  
 
Trump is seeking new spending on border security but cuts in some other security efforts, including two counterterror programs for cities and states.  Schumer says they'd shrink by 25%, to $800-million.

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WJTN Headlines

The investigation is continuing into an early morning fire Monday that destroyed a vacant house on the city of Jamestown's southside. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 274 Prospect Street shortly before 5 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says they found heavy fire coming from the structure on arrival. Sigular says it took some time to bring the flames under control because the building was unstable. 

 

He says the roof eventually collapsed and, the Department of Development was called in.  Sigular says there was one neighboring structure that sustained some minor damage mainly paint blistering.  Sigular says the structure was unstable. and, crews remained on hand to douse hot spots. 

 

He ways officials decided to tear-down the building by late morning and, an emergency demolition was ordered.  No one was inside the building when crews arrived and, no services were on inside. 

 

No firefighters were hurt.  An off-duty shift of 10 firefighters and a shift commander were called in to assist.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with in possession of a quantity of powder cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's eastside last weekend. 

 

City police say a patrol pulled over the vehicle operated by 38 year-old Anthony Cunningham, Junior shortly before 10 PM last Saturday near 105 East Fifth Street for a violation.  Officers say they found that Cunningham was driving with his driver's license suspended. 

 

During further investigation they allegedly found the cocaine.  Cunninghman allegedly resisted arrest, and fled from the scene.  However police found him a short time later and, he was arrested. 

 

They say Cunningham faces several charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance aggravated unlicensed operation and resisting arrest.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


There was a threat of rain at the beginning of the day Monday but, the weather cleared enough to allow several Memorial Day Parades and commemorations to take place locally Monday. 

 

The first parade of the day in the immediate Jamestown-area was in the town of Busti where the Southwestern Middle School Band performed.
 

The Middle School Band was also joined by the Southwestern High School Marching Band for the parade along with several area fire departments, and civic organizations.  Local Pastor Lee O'Brien was keynote speaker in Busti and he recognized the nation's fallen heroes. 

 

He says they came from all walks of life but, shared several qualities including courage and self-lessness.  He says including the Revolutionary War millions have died overseas and here at home.  However O'Brien says people continue to step forward and say "I'll serve." 

 

O'Brien noted that Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day" and began following the Civil War in the mid 1860s.  He says familes began decorating the graves of those who were lost in the war.


While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect. 

 

Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed.  More than 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War-Two. 

 

That's down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren't personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. 

 

Allison Jaslow is a former Army captain and Iraq War veteran.  She says the country's "lost sight of what the day's supposed to mean."



Lawmakers in lots of states get paid extra if they hold leadership posts or oversee important committees. 

 

But few state legislatures have a bonus system as extensive as the one in New York's state senate.  Nearly all 63 state senators take home stipends nicknamed "lulus" that add between $9,000 and $34,000 to their wages. 

 

That stipend system has now drawn new scrutiny following an investigation revealing that eight senators were getting bonuses reserved for committee chairmen, even though they held no such positions.


In New York state government news, lawmakers will break for a week and the state's highest court takes up assisted suicide. 

 

The Legislature returns June 5th for the final three weeks of the session.  One item on the to-do list is a bill that raises the minimum age of marriage to 17.  Currently, New York allows children as young as 14 to marry with judicial and parental consent.  

 

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case filed by three New Yorkers with terminal illnesses who want the right to request life-ending medication from a physician. 

 

Meanwhile Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign legislation allowing Uber and Lyft to begin picking up passengers upstate in late June, just in time for the July 4 holiday.


Pennsylvania State education officials have given the green light for an educational institution to provide low-cost instruction for nine northwestern including Warren lacking a community college. 

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education last week approved plans by the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania to enroll students in the fall in a partnership with Gannon University in Erie.  The college has been offering limited courses during the summer. 

 

The college is neither an online nor a brick-and-mortar institution but aims to curb costs with video conferencing technology linking faculty to students at places such as libraries or community education centers. 

 

Officials call it the first "community college-like" institution north of Interstate 80 providing "affordable and accessible education opportunities" for Warren, Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter and, Venango counties.

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News Headlines for Sat., May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend underway, with biggest holiday travel weekend expected since 2005...
Today will be a major travel day for many Western New Yorkers as they hit the highways or the airports.  Regional AAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says more Americans will be traveling this year than 2016... and, adds that AAA projects that it will be the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.  Carey says they expect about 39.3-million Americans to travel at least 50 miles this weekend, about one-million more than last year.  With many people hitting the highway this weekend, Carey says its a good idea to get your vehicle checked out before heading out... even with todah's high-tech cars.  She says most of their roadside calls are for dead batteries... flat tires, and keys locked in the car.  Carey says it's also important to carry an emergency kit.  While many of us do it during the winter, it's still a good idea during the summer months.  Last summer in New York State, AAA answered nearly 300,000 roadside calls.
 
 
Road construction suspended on state highways over Memorial Day Weekend...
Repair crews on New York state highways are taking a break over the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Road and bridge construction projects on state highways will be suspended now through 6 a.m. Tuesday.  State officials say some work may continue behind concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.  Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year.  
 
 
Chautauqua Co. Office for Aging Director sounds concern over Senior Program funding levels in federal budget proposal...
The 2018 federal budget plan proposed by President Trump will have a negative impact on senior citizens across the U-S -- and, Chautauqua County.  That from County Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos... who says "direct funding" for programs in the Older Americans Act have not been touched.  However... Spanos says there are other programs that help seniors in the area that are either being cut dramatically... or completely.  She says one is the Senior Employment Program which helps them be retrained... a program they depend on to suppliment what little Social Security they receive.  Spanos says many just like to keep active... or lost a job and need to be retrained.  She says the program is run through the Department of Labor for a total of 20 hours a week for each person.  Another service on the chopping block... says Spanos... is Medicare Insurance Counseling.  She says it's one of the very few places seniors can go to get an unbiased look at the best plan for them.  She says while some brokers say they are impartial... they get a commission from one of the companies.  Spanos made her comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Co. Legislature approves application for CDBG funding for proposed expansion at Castelli Cheese...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved an application for state funding to support the expansion of a new cheese-producer that's been up an operating in Blockville since last September.  Lawmakers in Mayville unanimously okayed the application for Castelli America to receive up to 750-thousand dollars in Community Development Block Grant funding from the state Office of Community Renewal.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says this is great news for a "well-established" company.  Horrigan says Castelli was first interested in the plant because of it's potential for growth and capacity.  The former AFA Foods location was owned by Empire Specialty Cheese... but, the company -- which moved to Blockville from Cattaraugus County -- was unable to make a go of it.  Horrigan is still looking into the final numbers... but, adds Castelli is looking to add about 50 jobs with the expansion.  Horrigan says Castelli is a strong employer that has been around since 1892.  If the CDBG funding is approved... the Chautauqua Regional Economic Development Corporation will create a "deferred loan" fund for the expansion project.
 
 
Fredonia man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a child...
A Fredonia man is jailed without bail for allegedly sexually abusing a child in the village of Fredonia.  Sheriff's deputies joined with Fredonia Police to arrest 58 year-old Carmello Hernandez at his Temple Street home late yesterday morning.  Officers say Hernandez is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse... and, second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.  After Hernandez was located and arrested... police say he was found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance.  Hernandez was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

President Trump has proposed an "aggressive budget" for 2018 but, the review of the 4.1-Trillion dollar spending plan is just getting underway.  
 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee the chamber's main financial committee.  The Corning Republican says the president's priorities "make sense."  
 
However, the budget is already facing strong head-winds from Democrats and some Republicans.  There are deep cuts to several anti-poverty programs including an 800-billion dollar cut to Medicaid over the next 10 years.  
 
Reed says lawmakers need to help the poor, but do it in a more efficient manner.
 
There is also a larger-than-expected cut of 192-billion dollars in the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance program also known as SNAP which provides food stamps to the poor and elderly.  There are also cuts to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP.  
 
Reed acknowledges that there are some "high-poverty" areas of his district that would be affected.  But, he wants to see if Congress can find better ways to help people out of "generational" poverty.  Reed made his comments during his weekly media telephone conference call.
 
 
The Central New York teacher and coach who has announced he's seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional seat currently held by Corning's Tom Reed is one of several potential challengers for that post.  
 
That from Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green who says Rick Gallant is one of "5 or 6" people looking to run in November of 2018.  
 
Green says the Democratic National Committee is urging those who are interested in running to announce as soon as possible.
 
Green says that Tom Reed's ties to President Trump, and the Republican Party, may have sparked the interest in contesting Reed.  He says there are some who feel there's "an opportunity here."  
 
Gallant has been a teacher and coach for the past 17 years in the Corning-Painted Post School District.  There's no word on whether Lakewood Democrat John Plumb is interested in pursuing a rematch.  
 
Plumb lost to Reed last November with the incumbant receiving about 58 percent of the vote.

 

 

Waterfront property owners along Lake Ontario's New York shoreline have been braced for more flooding as high winds returned to the region yesterday.  

 

The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning until early this morning for a 90-mile stretch of shoreline from where the Niagara River flows into the lake to the Rochester area.  Forecasters say winds gusting to 30 mph Thursday afternoon and evening produced high waves that could cause flooding in some areas.  

 

A sand-bag levy in Olcott in northern Niagara County reportedly failed early last evening.  Lakeside residents and business owners have been dealing with high water levels and flooding for several weeks, placing tens of thousands of sandbags around homes and buildings.

 

 

Two years of work has produced a newly-revamped website for the city of Jamestown and, it's more "user" and "constituent" friendly.  
 
That from Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley who is also the city's webmaster.  Hanley says the idea was to clean-up the site's design and, make it easier to navigate.  
 
Hanley says it's easier for the city to keep updated and, now includes a fully-functional "search" feature.
 
Hanley says the new site is set-up to cut searches to just "one or two clicks."  He adds that also makes the city's new site "mobile friendly, and easier to use on all devices.  
 
Hanley adds there's also a new location that lists "vital" information that's easy to find and use.  He says the new site was initially in response to a report by the public service agency "SeeThrough - New York" which was critical of the old site.  
 
While it's newer he says there is no change in the website address.  It's still http://jamestownny.net/ 
 
 
A north county woman with an extensive background in human resource work in the private sector is now officially Chautauqua County's new Human Resources Director.  
 
Fredonia's Jessica Wisniewski was unanimously confirmed at Wednesday night's County Legislature meeting after two lawmakers who were part of the search committee spoke glowingly about her credentials.  
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan introduced her to the legislature and, says she's currently Human Resources Manager at Precision Abrasives.
 
Horrigan says Wisniewski will replace the retiring Joe Porpiglia on June 30th because Precision needs a little more time to find a new H-R manager.  Wisniewski thanked lawmakers for their vote of confidence and, is excited about her new post, and, says she's really felt "welcomed."  
 
She has been with Precision Abrasives since 2013.  Search committee members Ron Lemon of Frewsburg, and Paul Whitford of Jamestown praised Wisniewski's credentials which stood out among the seven candidates they interviewed for the position.  Horrigan says her impressive background in the private sector will be a "great asset to the county."

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Several fire companies remained at the scene of a structure fire late last night at a well-known restaurant in the village of Bemus Point.  

 

Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say crews were called to the Hare 'n Hounds Inn at 64 Lakeside Drive shortly after 9 last night.  Smoke and fire were reported in the area.  

 

Maple Springs crews were initially called in for mutual aid and, later Ellery Center, DeWittville, Ashville, and Lakewood were called in.  No injuries have been reported.  The extent of damage was still being assessed.

 

An overnight fire now blamed on arson has destroyed a vacant house, and damaged another home, and two vehicles on Jamestown's southside.  
 
Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says crews were called to the scene at 213 Barrett Avenue shortly after 2 AM Wednesday and, found heavy fire and smoke coming from the structure.
 
Harvey says it took about an hour to bring the fires under control.  He says fire damage was heavy to the house at 213 Barrett, while it appears 209 Barrett is salvageable.  He says three families with a total of 14 people are being helped by the local Red Cross because 209 Barrett is not habitable right now.  
 
He says 10 off-duty firefirefighters were also called in and, he says they all did a very good job with a challenging situation for 10 firefighters initially responding.  
 
Harvey says fire crews were at the scene until about 6 AM and, investigators were called to the scene.  No one was hurt.
 
A measure that would help local governments consolidate with the municipal neighbors has been approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature by a wide margin.  
 
Lawmakers in Mayville approved the legislation to assist government dissolutions, 17-to-1.  Hanover Republican George Borrello who chairs a county task force on dissoluton and consolidation praised the measure offered by Sheridan's Terry Neibel.  Borrello says, due to the county's efforts, three of four recent dissolutions have been approved. 
 
Niebel says the legislation that would offer up to $50,000 in help with unanticipated costs for towns and villages that decide to dissolve, or consolidate services.  He emphasized that this measure was not intended to "encourage" municipal dissolutions after CSEA-Local-#807 President Bonnie Peters took the idea that dissolutions save money to task.  
 
She cited that was not the case when the village of Seneca Falls dissolved a few years ago into the town of Seneca Falls.  Earlier Dunkirk Democrat Robert Bankowski earlier said he was a supporter of the initiative but, last night, after Peters spoke, said he would oppose the measure.  It still passed overwhelmingly.
 
A city man is jailed for allegedly robbing another Jamestown man at knife-point Tuesday afternoon and, taking cash and property from the victim.  
 
City officers were called to scene in the area of East Sixth and Spring Streets about 2:45 PM and, were told by the victim that he had been robbed.  Police say the suspect in the robbery, 46 year-old Daryl Coleman, and another man fled the scene before they arrived.  
 
However, officers located both men a short time later on Prendergast Avenue and, allegedly found Coleman in possession of one of the items reported stolen.  He was arrested for first-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  
 
He was also accused of violating his parole.  Coleman is being held in the city jail pending arraignment. 
 
A drug raid on the city of Jamestown's northside has led to the arrest of a city man and, seizure of a quantity of crack cocaine.  
 
City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested 30 year-old Warkim Keys during the raid conducted at 2 PM Tuesday at 1002 North Main Street.  Task Force members were assisted by the Jamestown Police SWAT Team and, found Keys in a neighboring front yard.  
 
The crack cocaine was found in Keys' apartment.  Keys was arraigned on charges including third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and, was sent to the county lock-up without bail.
 
 Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown is asked to contact the task force at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also send a tip to their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
The United Veterans Council of Jamestown is putting out an appeal for help in placing flags at Lakeview and nearby cemeteries.  
 
This year's Cemetery Chairman, Joe Paladino, says volunteers can meet at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery at 6 PM Thursday.  There'll be a brief ceremony, and then small flags will be passed out.
 
Paladino says they had the largest group of volunteers ever last year, and they hope for more this year.  Hugh Golden, the Business Manager at Lakeview, says veterans' graves have been pre-marked to make finding them easier.  
 
He adds, when the work is done, the display is something to behold with 1,200 flags at Soldier's Circle alone.  No pre-registration is required, just go to Soldier's Circle at Lakeview Cemetery Thursday at 6 PM.
 
A teacher and coach in the Corning, New York-area has announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional District seat in 2018.  
 
Painted Post resident Rick Gallant says he has "devoted his life to educating young people and serving our communities.  I look forward to taking that work ethic and focus to Congress to ensure our children have a bright future, and to bring good jobs to our district."  
 
Gallant has been a teacher and basketball coach in the Corning-Painted Post School District the past 17 years.  He says incumbant Republican Tom Reed is voting "in lock-step" with President Donald Trump and his party.  
 
Too often he says Reed has said one thing here at home and voted another way once he's in Washington.  He says it's time for a representative who will deliver more than "lip service" to the district.
 
The first-ever NCAA Division-Two Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament at Diethrick Park in Jamestown was a huge success, and featured some outstanding baseball.  
 
That from Jamestown Jammers Manager Anthony Barone who was involved with the event which was hosted by top-seeded Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Mercyhurst Coach Joe Spano wanted to hold the tournament here because the park was available, and a top-notch facility.  Barone says they "hit a home run" with the five-day event.
 
West Chester University from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area won the tournament over Winston-Salem State from North Carolina in Monday's title game.  Barone says while the Atlantic Region tends to be "pitching heavy" there were 27 home runs hit in the tournament.
 
 He says there was a lot of talent for the nearly one-dozen pro scouts on hand in Jamestown to see.  Barone says Mercyhurst and, most of the other schools involved brought plenty of fans, too.  He says aside from some rain on Sunday there were no problems.  
 
With the win, West Chester University advances to the Division-Two College World Series in Grand Prairie, Texas.
 
Dunkirk Police have located a 16-year-old runaway from Auburn who may have traveled with another runaway who died last Saturday at Brooks Memorial Hospital.  
Police Chief David Ortolano says a patrol located the teen, identified by Auburn Police as Morgan Eppinger, around 7 AM Wednesday.  She had disappeared from the Cayuga Center May 15th, around the same time as 17-year-old Destani Williams.  
 
Williams was brought into the hospital in Dunkirk where she later died from an apparent drug overdose. The medical examiner is still awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine a cause of death.  
 
Ortolano says Eppinger has been turned over to the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.  

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's directed state law enforcement officials to step up security and patrols at high-profile locations across the state after an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England.  

 

The Democratic governor says the state is increasing security at airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.  At least 22 people were killed and dozens of others were injured late Monday in the blast at the Manchester Arena.  

 

In a statement Cuomo called the explosion "an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings." 

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WJTN Headlines

State Police in Cattauraugus County says authorities have found a Franklinville area girl safe and sound, after she was allegedly abducted early yesterday morning near Shady Lane in the town of Lyndon.

 

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the child 12 year-old McKenzie Wilson and the two teenaged suspects who allegedly took her were found shortly before 5 PM Tuesday in the town of Farmersville. 

 

Troopers say McKenzie was allegedly abducted about 5 AM and, an AMBER Alert was issued.  State Police say the primary suspect was identified as 18 year-old Joshua Monette and, the other was 16 year-old John Harvey.  Troopers say given the circumstances they believed the girl's well-being was in jeopardy. 

 

The three were reportedly in a stolen, red Chevy Silverado truck that had reportedly left the Lyndon area.  But, again McKenzie Wilson has been found safe, and sound.  State Police will only say the investigation is continuing.



A Jamestown man faces several felony charges after allegedly breaking into a northside home early yesterday morning and, threatening the victim with a hand-gun. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Prendergast Avenue about 2 AM and learned that 41 year-old Miguel Angel Ramos-Flores had burglarized the home and, then threatened the women there with a gun before fleeing.  Officers say the woman had an order of protection against Ramos-Flores. 

 

Police found him near Spring Street and, he tried to run off before being captured.  Officers say he gave them a false name while being arrested. 

 

Ramos-Flores was arraigned on two counts of second-degree burglary, and one count each of first-degree aggravated criminal contempt, and second-degree menacing.  He was sent to the county jail without bail.


A number of minors were arrested late last week after state Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers found 30 to 40 people partying at a large bonfire in the Chautauqua Gorge. 

 

DEC officials say rangers were patrolling the area about 11 PM last Friday when they spotted about 30 parked cars along the State Forest area.  The rangers hiked into the woods and, spotted the people near a large bonfire, with alcohol and garbage scattered about the area. 

 

They contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department for assistance and determined that most of the partygoers were under the age of 21.  Rangers say the alcohol at the scene was collected and disposed of.  They also allegedly seized one-pound of marijuana.  Several summonses were issued and, the pot was turned over to Sheriff’s deputies, who arrested one person.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is expressing his condolences to the people of England following the suicide terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande show in Manchester. 

 

Reed opened his weekly telephone conference call by saying the attack now being claimed to have been carried out by the Islamic State group was a "horrific" act that defies description. Security has been beefed up at many locations in the United States and, while that's a good move Reed says we need to maintain our American ideals where people can be secure yet free to live as they want. 

 

The Manchester attack left 22 people dead and sent young concertgoers fleeing, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.  Teenage screams filled the Manchester Arena just after the explosion Monday night, and members of the audience tumbled over guardrails and each other to escape.


New York farmworkers are hoping a legal challenge might tip the scales in their favor after years of protesting a state law that prevents them from unionizing. 

 

Nearly 100 advocates and migrant workers rallied at the Capitol Tuesday against a loophole in state law that prevents them from organizing for better working conditions and overtime pay.  Longtime opponent New York Farm Bureau has blocked efforts to change the law, arguing small farms cannot afford the higher labor costs and strikes that might ensue. 

 

The New York Civil Liberties Union last year filed a lawsuit challenging the law as unconstitutional.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, have said they would not seek to defend the law.  The Farm Bureau has filed a motion for the lawsuit's dismissal.


There have been some basic inaccuracies in assertions made during the early stages of the annexation process Jamestown is undertaking to bring four-acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities from Falconer into the city. 

 

That from both Mayor Sam Teresi and City Councilman Tony Dolce following Monday night's meeting.  Several Falconer residents attended, and a couple spoke at the beginning of the session. The petition was approved by the BPU back in January and, Dolce says that was the first-step of a 10 step process. 

 

He says one inaccuracy was over a comment that the city talked with Falconer officials in 2004 about a possible deal to use facilities in Falconer, or Celoron to help coverage issues if a fire station had to be closed.  Dolce was on the panel at that time, and says he was not aware of any such discussions. 

 

Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve Vanstrom said such discussions never went anywhere.  Teresi says taking that small piece of property that "it owns..." and, give it access to city services will "relieve some pressure on electric rates."


A Jamestown man sought on five arrest warrants has been arrested after police spotted him mowing a yard in the downtown area of the city. 

 

Jamestown police say they spotted 27 year-old Robert Yates mowing the grass in front of 128 Water Street just before 11 AM Monday and, patrol officers went to arrest him.  However they say Yates saw them and ran off. 

 

Police say they saw in run into his home, and they set up a perimeter.  They were allowed inside by a woman who lives with Yates, and he was find hiding in the attic under a blanket.  Yates allegedly resisted arrest but, was taken into custody and, is being held pending arraignment.

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**AMBER ALERT**

State Police in Cattauraugus County have issued an AMBER Alert for a girl who has allegedly been abducted near Shady Lane in the town of Lyndon.  Troopers say the child... 12 year-old McKenzie Wilson, is a white female, about 5-foot-6 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds.  Police say she has blond hair and blue eyes.  Troopers say there are two suspects, who they believe are both armed and dangerous.  Police say the first is 18 year-old Joshua Monette, a white male who is about 6-foot-2 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.  He was late seen wearing a camouflage jacket, blue jeans, boots and black shirt.  He has short black hair and brown eyes.  The other suspect is identified as 16 year-old John Harvey... another white male.  They were reportedly in a stolen, red Chevy Silverado pick-up truck with the New York license plate number CXA5836.  They were last seen traveling southeast on road possibly heading for Allegany Mountains.  If you have any information on the abduction, call state Police in Machias as 1-866-NYSAmber or dial 9-1-1.


WJTN Headlines

There have been opportunities for the city of Jamestown to take advantage of it's "neighborly" relationship with the village of Falconer to save money and, not have to go through the annexation of land. 

 

Those were the feelings of one of several residents on hand during last night's City Council voting session about a plan to take the land used for the Board of Public Utilities's Dow Street Substation.  Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve VanStrom told lawmakers that when the city was looking at closing fire stations there was an offer to use Falconer and Celoron facilities.

 

However VanStrom says the plan never moved forward to a vote.  City resident Doug Champ feels city lawmakers have already made up their minds because Jamestown is desperate for revenue. 

 

Champ argued that council has already made up it's minds, and last night was "nothing more than a rant session."  Ellicott town resident Tom Koss told lawmakers that the annexation process was simply a "money-grab."


There were some inaccuracies and misconceptions voiced during last night's meeting but, it's understood that emotions would run high on the annexation issue. 

 

That from Acting City Council President Tony Dolce who has been chosen by city, town and village officials to chair a public hearing on the matter on June 12th.  Dolce says the three boards would later vote individually on the proposal.  He says one inaccuracy was over the fire station matter which occured in 2004.

 

Both Dolce and Mayor Sam Teresi say they certainly want to maintain "good neighbors" to the town of Ellicott, and village of Falconer.  Teresi says "no final decision" has been made on the annexation plan. 

 

Teresi also says there has been inaccuracies about what is to be annexed.  He says people have told him they understand it is residential property or, industrial property or the business district.  He says no it's property the BPU owns on the Falconer-Jamestown City Line.  More later today.


There were no injuries but, traffic on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott was down to one-lane for nearly two-hours Monday morning on Airport Hill when fire broke out in a tractor-trailer rig. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Gerry and Fluvanna fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 7:30 AM.  Fire crews reportedly had the blaze in the empty trailer out fairly quickly. 

 

A tow vehicle was called in and, the scene was cleared just after 9:30 Monday morning.



State Police will be teaming up with local law enforcement to carry out the annual "Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket" campaign that is now underway in Chautauqua County. 

 

Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office will be part of the enforcement campaign that strongly encourages the use of seat belt and child safety seats.  While it's a small percentage, Gerace says there is still a group of motorists who refuse to buckle up.

 

New York was also among 24 states participating in a Border to Border enforcement campaign, during which law enforcement will set up safety belt checkpoints along highways connecting neighboring states. 

 

That enforcement detail ran Mondayafternoon and evening.  Buckle Up New York continues until June 4th.


A Brocton man is facing weapons-related charges following a large fight at a Dunkirk bar last weekend. 

 

Dunkirk Police, with assistance from other law enforcement agencies, broke up the large brawl outside the Halas Hotel Bar on East Second Street early last Sunday morning.  Police Chief David Ortolano says an investigation led to the arrest of a 29-year-old man.

 

Ortolano says Camacho is charged with second-degree criminal possesion of a weapon and, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third-degree.  He was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail. 

 

Ortolano says the investigation is continuing and there's the possibility that further arrests will be made.


Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was to be in Jamestown yesterday morning for an announcement regarding the projects to be funded in the city's portion of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 

 

However Governor Cuomo's office says she's been called to the southern shore area of Lake Ontario due to the state of Emergency that's been declared due to the flooding in that region.  The governor Monday announced 10-million dollars in state funding is available to assist eligible local municipalities that have been impacted by the recent flooding along the Lake Ontario coastline. 

 

The new investment program will support flood recovery efforts, including repairs to flood walls, roads, sidewalks, and culverts.


Ellicott Town Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says the problem with drug trafficking is now bigger than the town itself can handle and that's why they need to get an officer back on the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 

 

Ohnmeiss made his comments during a recent press conference about a recent, major drug bust in the village of Falconer.  Ohnmeiss said they were seeing a "definate" increase in drug trafficking, and use, in the village and surrounding town.

 

Ohnmeiss says they started assigning an officer to the task force two days a week until they realized that person needed to be full-time.  Even then, he says that officer said the situation was getting "too big" to handle. 

 

Ohnmeiss says it would cost another $40,000 to bring on a full-time, probationary officer so one could be dedicated to the task force.  He urged residents to speak up if they're going to get town officials to fund the position. 

 

Ohnmeiss and, Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings both agreed that you can "manage" the drug trafficking problem but, you'll never eliminate it.


Ellicott town lawmakers did not make the final decision to pull an officer off the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says it was a couple of situations stemming from a decision in June of last year when the town board moved to keep their new budget under the state's property tax cap.  McLaughin says an officer with the police department retired and, the decision was made to not fill that position.

 

McLaughlin says a recent news story said the town had "taken away funding" for the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  However he says they never "funded" the task force.  They provided an officer to assist the task force especially with the fact some drug traffickers were moving out of Jamestown, and into the nearby town, and it's villages. 

 

He says the police force makes up 66.3% of the town budget and, adds that grant funding for such staffing is minmal.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' plan to annex the property the BPU's Dow Street Substation is located on into the city will be the subject of a public hearing in Falconer next month. 

 

Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says they have received word that the hearing will be held at Falconer Central Middle and High School on Monday, June 12th at 7 PM.  McLaughlin says he and members of his town board will be on hand for that hearing. Dolce was reportedly agreed to by all panelists to moderate and chair the meeting where members of the public can come and voice their feelings and concerns about the move. 

 

McLaughlin says the town stands to lose $32,000 in revenue if the property is awarded to the city.  He says the biggest loss will be to the Falconer School District especially in town's that won't have a voice in the process.  McLaughlin says those include Ellington, Ellery, Poland and the town of Carroll that have areas that are part of the Falconer district. 

 

He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group Stations.


Two Panama residents had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after the motorcycle they were riding crashed on Route 474 in the town of North Harmony last Saturday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the bike, operated by 35 year-old Leroy Boutelle, was traveling just after 3 PM with a passenger when he lost control on a curve, and it left the roadway.  Deputies say the two-wheeler went into a grassy area, and went down. 

 

They say Boutelle and his passenger, 27 year-old Emma Boutelle, were both taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, for non life-threatening injuries.  Leroy Boutelle faces a charge of operating out of class.


A Jamestown man is in the city jail after leading police on a foot chase Saturday afternoon. 

 

Police received a call about a shoplifting complaint from the North Main Street 7-11 just before 1 PM.  The suspect 20 year-old Tyler Manelick was located by a New York State Police Patrol Vehicle and was told to stop walking. 

 

Manelick ran off and, the officer pursued him.  Manelick was caught by officers on the corner of West 5th and Lafayette Streets.   Manelick was arrested on charges including Petty Larceny and 2nd Degree obstructing governmental administration and taken to the city lock-up.  While in the jail Manelick provided a false name and was additionaly charged with False Personation.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has announced the next  County Director of Human Resources. 

 

Horrigan has selected Jessica Wisniewski for the post.  Wisniewski has served as the Human Resources Manager at Precision Abrasives since 2013. She has also held management and senior-level positions at Cott Beverages and GEICO. 

 

Horrigan says "her impressive background in the private sector will be a great asset to the county and I am excited to welcome her to our team."  Wisniewski’s appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Chautauqua County Legislature. 

 

If approved at the legislature meeting on May 24, Wisniewski will begin her position on June 30, 2017.  She will replace current director Joseph Porpiglia, who will be retiring at the end of June.



Vice President Mike Pence urged graduating students at a Pennsylvania college to become leaders and cited President Donald Trump's leadership as an example.

 

Pence told hundreds of graduates and their families Saturday at the Grove City College commencement that they also need courage, because "leadership brings both honor and opposition."  Grove City is a private, Christian liberal arts college about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. 

 

Pence cited Trump as an example of perseverance to applause from the crowd.  Pence told graduates to inspire those around them, since people follow those they respect and aspire to service rather than selfish ambition.  After his address, Pence stood on the platform and shook hands as each graduate passed after being handed their diplomas.

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WJTN News Headlines

An Olean man has been arrested for allegedly selling Heroin and Fentanyl in the Cattaraugus County city in recent weeks.  

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Olean Police say they arrested Curtis Frink earlier this week following an on-going investigation.  Task Force members say Frink is specifically accused of selling fentanyl to another person in the town of Randolph last November.  

 

Authorites say he is charged with one count each of third-degree criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance and, he was arraigned in Conewango Town Court.  

 

Frink was then sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.

 

All but a handful of school budgets put before voters in New York state have passed, including several that exceed the state's cap on property taxes.  
 
That from the state School Boards Association... which reports that voters defeated just five of the 676 budgets proposed by school boards around the state on Tuesday.  That's a 99.3% approval rate.
 
School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer says even districts that exceeded the spending cap did fairly well in their votes.
 
Of the five districts that rejected their 2017-18 budget proposals one was in Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County. Kreamer says they tried to exceed the state's tax cap but, were unsuccessful.  
 
Kreamer adds that residents in the Pittsford District, near Rochester also rejected their budget plan.  They and Hinsdale were the only two in Western New York.  Kreamer says the results in one district are too close to call.  
 
The new budgets include an average tax levy increase of about 1.5%.  Boards can put failed budgets before voters again June 20th or adopt a contingency budget that doesn't raise taxes.
 
The trapeze-artist wife of daredevil Nik Wallenda is planning her own stunt high above Niagara Falls.  
 
Five years after Nik Wallenda walked over the falls on a high wire, aerialist Erendira Vasquez Wallenda plans to dangle by her teeth from a helicopter as it flies over Niagara Falls.  The Niagara County Legislature late Tuesday approved a resolution setting aside $35,000 for the act.  
 
It's planned for June 15th, the fifth anniversary of Nik Wallenda's televised 1,800-foot tightrope walk from the New York side of the falls into Canada.  
 
Five members of the famed Wallenda circus troupe fell from a high-wire in Sarasota, Florida, in February while practicing an eight-person pyramid.  Nik Wallenda avoided falling by grabbing a wire.  Everyone survived.
 
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services and the Village of Brocton announced Thursday that the boil water order in effect since this past Monday for all customers served by the Village of Brocton water supply is now lifted.
 
The affected area included the Village of Brocton, all Town of Portland Water Districts and that area of Pomfret west of Shorewood Country Club. Water samples collected on May 16 and 17 from the affected areas show that the water is safe to drink and use for all other purposes.
 
The Village had a major water main leak on May 15 that was repaired the same day but due to a loss of pressure in the system, a boil water advisory was placed into effect as a precaution.
 
For more information, please contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Local Authorities would like anyone in the area dealing with the issue of unauthorized use of a credit card to contact their local police agency.  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police found a credit card skimmer placed inside a gas pump at the Mobil Gas Station located on the corner of East Fairmount Avenue and Southwestern Drive this past Monday.  
 
Anyone that paid at the pump with a credit card is advised to check your bank acccount for any fraudulent use. The operators of the station say the skimmer fundamentally disabled the pump, and they are not sure anyone was scammed.  The pump involved has been fully repaired. 

 

Six people have been arrested in the town of Hanover on drug related charges.  

 

Just before 2pm Wednesday members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Swat Team executed a search warrant at 12211 Alleghany Road.  

 

Upon entry officers say they found 21 grams of uncut Fentanyl, cocaine, concentrated cannabis, suboxone, scales, a large amount of currency, one rifle, and packaging materials.  

 

22 year old Adam Mox, 23 year old James Hurley, 21 year old Nicholas Shambo, 21 year old Amber Roush, 22 year old Joy Sprague and 22 year old Mikayla Miller all face third and fourth degree Criminal Possession of a controlled substance charges.  Other charges are expected at a later date.    

 

This investigation is a portion of a larger investigation into several overdoses, two of which were fatal in northern Chautauqua County.   All six were arraigned and sent to the county jail.  

 

Authorities ask anyone in the community to call and report suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods to 363-0313.

 

A Jamestown man is awaiting arraignment after police had to fish him out of the Chadakoin River early yesterday morning.  

 

Jamestown Police report that 41 year old James Houser of Falconer allegedly stole a 30 pack of beer from the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Brooklyn Square just before 3:30am.  Officers were alerted and able to locate Houser at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Institute Street with the case of beer.  

 

Officers say Houser then threw the case of beer into the Chadakoin and Jumped in after it.  Officers were able to retrieve both Houser and the beer from the river.  Houser faces a number of charges including Petit larceny and Tempering with physical evidence.

 

Two upstate New York breweries have been declared the winners of the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge.
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday evening that Brewery Ommegang outside Cooperstown and the Roscoe Beer Co. in Sullivan County tied for first place after a blind taste test held in Manhattan.
 
More than 70 breweries signed up to participate in the contest, and more than 42,000 votes were cast online. Ommegang and Roscoe were among the five finalists.
 
The others were the Genesee  Brewing Co. in Rochester, Prison City Pub and Brewery in Auburn, and Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood in western New York.
 
The panel for Wednesday's taste test included Cuomo, chef Mario Batali and other noted food critics, chefs and restaurant owners.
 
Authorities say a man has been charged with driving drunk in the parking lot of the New York State Police Academy.
 
State police say an off-duty trooper reported a suspicious person Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot at the academy located at state police headquarters in Albany. Troopers say they watched a man exit his vehicle and lay down in a grassy area behind the academy.
 
Troopers conducted a field sobriety test on the man and then took him to the trooper station at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany, where a breath test revealed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.28 percent.
 
The legal limit for driving in New York is 0.08 percent. The 49-year-old man was ticketed for aggravated driving while intoxicated.
 
A Sinclairville man is in the county jail on drug related charges.  
 
At 10:20pm Wednesday the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Swat team entered 6221 Route 60 in the town of Charlotte with search and arrest warrants for 55 year old Timothy Harrison.  
 
Authorities allegedly seized 49 grams of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine, and 172 grams of Marijuana, scales and a large amount of U.S. Currency.   Harrison is charged with one count of 3rd degree Criminal sale of a controlled substance.
 
He was arraigned and taken to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail pending further court action. It’s expected Harrison will face additional felony charges once the investigation has concluded.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

It was a near-record warm day across upstate New York and Chautauqua County Wednesday but, no records were set in the region.  
 
That from Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service who says a breeze off Lake Erie prevented any record in Buffalo yesterday.  However Hamilton said late in the day that there was a new record for the day set in Watertown with an 83-degree reading.
 
Buffalo got to 81-degrees yesterday but, the breeze prevented any further movement.  Here at our Media One Group studios in West Ellicott we reached 85-degrees late yesterday afternoon.  
 
Hamilton says we'll see some more unseasonably warm weather through this afternoon until a cold front comes through the region.  He says we'll likely see some showers and thunderstorms by late this afternoon and, that will help keep temperatures from getting above 80.  
 
By tonight we'll be into the mid-50s for an overnight low.  We may reach the mid-60s on Friday.
 
Some of the best players in NCAA Division-Two baseball will be at Russell E. Diethrick Park in Jamestown for the next five days.  
 
That from Jamestown Jammers Manager Anthony Barone who says Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania was awarded host school for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Touirnament which begins this morning.  Barone says he was contacted earlier this year by Mercyhurst Coach Joe Spano about hosting the seven-team tournament.
 
Barone says the first game of the day begins at 11 AM and, that features Seton Hill against Sheppard College from West Virginia.  However he says Millersville and Shippensburg will play in the 7 PM game and, Millersville brings "a ton of people" with them.  
 
Barone says Mercyhurst has hosted the tournament before at UPMC Park in Erie.  However that's more difficult to do now because the Erie Seawolves at now a Class-AA Team whose season is already underway.  
 
Again games begin at 11 this morning. Tickets will be available at the ball park it's $10  for a day-pass and, $30 for the entire tournament.
 
Two Dunkirk residents now face federal charges in connection with a major cocaine and "crack" cocaine trafficking case in the north county.  
 
With that Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased to see that federal prosecutors have taken over the case involving the pair who were charged after a drug raid in the city last month.  Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced late Tuesday that 49-year-old Minerva Maestre and, 23-year-old Hector Mercado-Torres of Dunkirk were arrested after a raid at 51 East Second Street on April 28th.  
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the Drug Enforcement Agency took over the case because of the amounts of drugs and money involved.
 
Ortolano says several family members were involved in the case which led to the seizure of nearly $172,000 in cash proceeds from alleged drug sales.  Kennedy says Maestre and Mercado-Torres have been charged by complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine; and maintaining a drug involved premises. 
 
A new audit from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development agency for failing to meet more than half of the reporting requirements for its highly touted tax credit and job creation programs.  
 
The scathing report released Wednesday criticized Cuomo's Empire State Development Corporation for sidestepping accountability and transparency.  Auditors found 27 of 57 outcome reports weren't finished and 93 of 152 program reports were never completed.  
 
The latest annual report on START-UP NY was issued 91 days late and 12 programs totaling over $500 million in state funds weren't reported on at all.  
 
DiNapoli says in most cases the agency didn't explain why reports were missing.  The agency disputes the findings and says it has worked to comply with reporting requirements.

 

The annual Chautauqua County Music Teachers' Spring Festival is this Saturday, at 7:30 PM at the State University College at Fredonia.  Frewsburg Central School Band Director, Alicia Laska, the Festival and Site Coordinator, says Chautauqua Institution is not available this year.
 
The festival involves some 800 young musicians from around the county, and will have the same format as in past years and, that's why they went with Fredonia's field house as the venue.  'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' will be the finale again this year.  
 
Members of the public are invited to go to the festival.  Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased through the CCMTA  or SUNY Fredonia websites, or at the door.  
 
Parking will be available in nearby college lots.  In order to make use of the Fredonia Fieldhouse, the festival was moved up a couple of weeks this year.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

With no tax increase and, some positions and programming being added back into the final budget a 2017-18 spending plan for the Jamestown school district was easily passed Tuesday in a light turn-out. 

 

District residents approved the 84.9-million dollar budget, 509-to-106.  Interim School superintendent Silvia Root says she appreciates the support the people who came out gave the spending plan. The proposition to lease-purchase six buses at a cost of up to $780,000 we also approved overwhelmingly, 498-to-109. 

 

Root says it's "unfortunate" that such elections and budget votes get "overlooked" but, she's pleased with the large margin of support.


Voters in the Southwestern Central School District easily approved a 27.3-million dollar budget Tuesday. 

 

District officals say the new spending plan which includes a 0.5% tax increase was adopted 242-to-59.  School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says there are mainly spending increases in the technology, and instructional areas of the budget.

 

Donahue says the district is also retaining all teaching and staff positions.  An up to $372,000 transporation proposition to purchase two full-sized buses and, one 42-passenger wheelchair bus was approved 256-to-59.  Three people Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden ran unopposed for three school board seats.


In Falconer... residents approved a no-tax increase, 22.6-million dollar, 2017-2018 budget plan handily yesterday, 261-to-69.  School Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the budget holds the line on spending and, retains current staffing and teaching levels. 

 

Penhollow thanked local state legislators for working to get them more state aid, helping keep taxes down. In addition to the budget... Penhollow says voters also approved a 22.9-million dollar capital project, 251-to-78 to make safety and maintenance upgrades. 

 

They also include an all-weather field, and track and fire alarm service upgrades.  Newcomer Jennifer Olson was leading vote getter in the school board vote with 221 tallies.  Board incumbant Tom Frederes was second with 211 votes while incumbant Cathy Kimball was third with 208 votes.  That means final results won't be known until the vote canvas is taken.

In other school district votes last night a 15-million dollar budget was approved in the Bemus Point School District, 149-to-46... while a $200,000 bus proposition was also approved.  Board incumbants Tina Hall and Bethany Seastrum were both re-elected, running unopposed.

In Frewsburg... the 2017-18 Budget was approved with 142 yes votes...while 83 residents voted against the proposition.  A bus purchase was also approved, 151-to-75.  Larry Lodestro was voted onto the school board with 201 votes while Jason Ruhlman was second with 194 and, Thomas Fenton was third with 189 votes.

A nearly 10-million dollar budget was adopted in the Sherman Central School District, 113-to-41.  A second proposition to purchase two school buses for up to 267-thousand dollars was adopted, 116-to-38.  Colleen Meeder was re-elected to the school board with 127 votes.


Two alleged drug traffickers are under arrest after an apartment in the village of Falconer was raided by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Monday afternoon. 

 

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they received information during a recent "Targeted Enforcement" Detail in the Prendergast Avenue corridor about the operation at 19 South Work Street in Falconer.  Snellings says they were assisted by other agencies in seizing a large quantity of cocaine cash and, a stolen pistol that was loaded.

 

Snellings say they arrested 38 year-old Demario Chatmon and 39 year-old Damien Thomas during the raid.  He says the amount of cocaine seized totaled about three-quarters of a pound.  Snellings adds that they also found just over $21,000 in cash and, a loaded 9-millimeter pistol allegedly stolen in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

 

Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohnmeis says drugs are an increasing problem in the town and villages of Falconer and Celoron.  Ohnmeiss expressed his disappointment over having to pull out of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force due to town budget constraints. 

 

Chatmon faces a Felony charge of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, both he and Thomas are charged with third-degree criminal possession.


A weekend spike in overdose deaths has led to new warnings from western New York health officials. 

 

The AP reports that Erie County saw eight suspected fatal overdoses over the weekend while Chautauqua County also is reporting deaths in recent days.  Erie County's health commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, says the deaths appear to have resulted from various drug combinations of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.

 

She says the fentanyl being seen in the county is increasing in potency.  During last weekend's "Fresh Start" Fund "Rockin' for Recovery" event in Jamestown Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz says this has become a major concern.

 

Here in Chautauqua County authorities say the recent overdoses have been concentrated in the northern part of the county, including in the city of Dunkirk and village of Fredonia.  At least two people have died and other victims were revived.


Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey has been sentenced to home confinement, and to pay 54-thousand dollars in restitution for stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says the 85 year-old Frey was recently convicted of wire fraud involving a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and his supporters by stealing campaign contributions.  Kennedy says he was sentenced to six-months home confinement by U-S District Judge Richard Arcara and, was ordered to pay the restitution. 

 

Frey was Dunkirk mayor from 2003 through June of 2012... and, was accused of devising and executing a scheme to defraud the co-owners of a Dunkirk hotel, and the owner of a food production company in Dunkirk by inducing them to make contributions to his mayoral and other political campaigns. 

 

After receiving checks from these people Frey simply spent them for himself, rather than depositing the funds into a campaign or official account.  Those totalled $54,361 dollars.  He also refused to disclose those contributions.

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WJTN Headlines

Local authorities are warning anyone that may be using heroin to not use heroin obtained from the northern part of Chautauqua County. 

 

The Post Journal reports that a number of heroin related overdoses in the county have police on alert for possible tainted mixes of the drug.  The Southern Tier Drug Task Force along with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deparment and Fredonia and Dunkirk police are investigating multiple overdoses that occured in the northern part of the county this past week. 

 

Two people died while other victims were revived with Narcan.  Police have not determined if substances like fentanyl were mixed with the Heroin.  Authorities are waiting on analysis. 

 

Police remind residents that any drug that is being purchased on the street, whether the dealer is known or not, may be contaminated with substances that cause the heroin to be much more potent.  Authorities are asking members of the community that may have knowledge of anyone that may be involved in distributing heroin or any other narcotics to contact them at either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.


Five people  two of them incumbants are running for three, full-time seats on the Jamestown School Board in today's board election and budget vote. 

 

One of the incumbants is seeking their second, full term on the panel.  Shelly Leathers was first appointed to the board to fill a vacancy in 2013, and won her first election in 2014.  Leathers says she and her entire family are Jamestown graduates and, she feels the schools are the "center of the community" and, can be a draw to the area.
 

The other board incumbant is third-term member Paul Abbott who is currently board president.  There is a former board member who is running again this year after being off the panel for a few years.  Christine Schnars spent 25 years on the board, and, she says things have gotten better the past couple of years, and she wants to be part of the effort to improve the distirct. 

 

One of the newcomers running for the Jamestown school board is Frank Galeazzo who is originally from Peekskill, New York.  Galeazzo says he worked in education before being hired at the Board of Public Utilities nine years ago. The other newcomer is local Baptist minister Fannel Leeper who grew up in the area and, is a 1967 JHS graduate. 

 

Leeper says she's concerned over the drop-off in the number of African-American students who graduate from Jamestown.  Jamestown school district residents are also voting on an 84.9-million dollar budget that includes no increase in the tax levy and, adds about 10 positions back after the district received a one-million dollar hike in state aid for 2017-18. 

 

Today's board vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.

All school districts locally will be holding budget votes and, school board elections.  In the immediate Jamestown-area the Southwestern School District will have the earliest vote start today.  Residents will decided on a 27.36-million dollar spending plan beginning at 7 AM

 

Voting this morning continues until 9 AM then will resume between 2 and 9 PM tonight.  There are three people running for three board seats.  They are Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden.


A state of Emergency has been issued for the village of Brocton, the town of Portland and a portion of the town of Pomfret that receives village of Brocton village water. 

 

Brocton Mayor Richard Frost says a water main break occurred early Monday morning on Central Avenue near Smith Street, prompting the action.  A boil water advisory has been issued. 

 

Bill Boria of Chautauqua County's Department of Health and Human Services says boiling the water kills bacteria and other organisms that could be present. It's anticipated the boil water advisory will be lifted by the end of the week.


A New York state lawmaker wants harsher penalties for causing harm to police animals. 

 

Republican Senator Cathy Young of Olean held a news conference in Albany Monday to promote legislation that would create a new felony offense for intentionally causing serious physical injury to a police work dog or police work horse.  Her measure also would increase the offense of killing a police work dog or police work horse to a class D felony. 

 

The bill is named Mitchell's Law for a Jamestown Police Department German Shepherd that suffered life-threatening injuries while apprehending a murder suspect last November.  The bill has passed through a Senate committee and has been added to the upcoming floor calendar.


Despite new US economic sanctions against North Korea the communist nation test launched another missile early Sunday that's being called a "serious challenge" to international peace and security. 

 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in strongly condemned the north's test-launch as a "clear" violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.  Local Congressman Tom Reed has expressed his growing concern over North Korea and hopes over the long-run, the sanctions approved by Congress will work.

 

Reed says we are now "at a critical point" where the north's nuclear ambitions are "coming to a head."  He's hopeful that China will be able to wield more influence in the matter.  The Corning Republican says he would like to see a "regime change" in North Korea but, not by use of outside forces. 

 

The North Korean missile test launch reportedly had the missile travel about 430 miles before landing in the western waters of the Sea of Japan.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Among the nation's financial elite who have helped shape the school-choice movement in recent years, Michael Bloomberg tops the list of New York's political contributors. 

 

The former three-term New York City mayor appears in an Associated Press analysis of the contributions of people who have given at least 100-thousand dollars to school-choice statewide ballot campaigns around the country. 

 

Bloomberg, who championed charter schools as mayor, has over the past decade donated $1.8 million to ballot measures and political action committees that focused primarily on school choice.  That included $490,000 in support of a failed 2016 effort to expand charter schools in his home state of Massachusetts. 

 

Bloomberg declined to comment on his support of the Massachusetts ballot initiative, or whether he favors vouchers or other choice programs beyond charter schools.


If you are looking for work or a career change the 2nd Annual Warren County Job Fair is this Wednesday from Noon to 7pm. 

 

The Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry have teamed up with Quickstaff Contigent Workforce Solutions for the event.  John Papalia with the Chamber says there will be 15 businesses on hand and participants should come ready to interveiw. 

 

Papalia says Chautauqua County residents are also urged to come down and participate in the fair. The 2nd Annual Warren County Job Fair is this Wednesday from Noon to 7pm at the Warren Days Inn, 210 Ludlow Street. Find out more information at WCCBI.ORG.

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WJTN Headlines

A Warren, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and, he and his passenger are accused of being in possession of three kinds of illegal drugs during a traffic stop in Jamestown. 

 

City Police say a car, driven by 55 year-old Dennis Denardi, pulled from the curb directly in front of a patrol car on West Seventh Street at Lafayette Street just after 2 PM Saturday.  Officers say Denardi appeared to be under the influence of drugs and, later admitted to smoking marihuana, and using crack cocaine. 

 

His passenger, 27 year-old Johnee Thompson, was asked to get out of the vehicle and, a State Police K-9 sniffed out drugs in the center console area and, found 4.3-grams of cocaine, 5.2-grams of "crack" cocaine, and, 9.5 loose oxycodone pills inside. 

 

Denardi faces charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance while Thompson is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession.  Both were being held pending arraignment on Sunday.


Jamestown Police seized quantities of Methamphetamine, Heroin and prescription pills during the latest "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" detail on the city's northside early last weekend. 

 

Officers say they and state Police conducted a vehicle stop early last Friday evening at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street and, arrested two city residents.  Police say the vehicle allegedly had inadequate tail lights. 

 

They say the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 55 year-old Chris Byrne and 28 year-old Heather Caylor.  Both are charged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession and, Unlawful Possession of marihuana. 

 

Byrne was also charged with operating a vehicle with inadequate tail lamps.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.


Drug Awareness and Prevention Week in Chautauqua County kicked off last Saturday afternoon with a special speaker and concert in Jamestown. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan welcomed an indoor and outdoor crowd for the program highlighted by a special performance by local pop star "Brielle" at Shawbuck's restaurant.  Horrigan said the local drug crisis has been a "terrible epidemic" that's brought people together from across the region. 

 

He says what's become the county's major drug forum will be held this Tuesday at Chautauqua Inns and Suites in Mayville. The featured speaker for Saturday's event was Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz who is also the only New York member of a national task force of executives and mayors dealing with the issue. 

 

Polencarz says the numbers nationwide, and in Erie County peaked in 2014-15.  In the US he says just over 54,000 people died nationally in 2015, more than died in car crashes that year. 

 

However Polencarz says a multi-faceted approach in Erie County helped slowing the number of overdose dealths last year.  He and Horrigan spoke prior to the Brielle "Rockin' for Recovery" event.


A Bemus Point man faces menacing and sexual abuse charges after allegedly pointing a pistol at several people during an altercation at a location in Greenhurst early last Saturday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 30-41 Route 430 about 1:30 AM for a report of a man with a weapon.  Deputies say they found the suspect 46 year-old Blake Davis of Dutch Hollow Road, had fled the scene following the altercation. 

 

Officers say they later found Davis at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital being treated for minor injuries.  He was arrested on three counts of second-degree menacing, third-degree sexual abuse and, harassment.  David was arraigned in Ellery Town Court, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicott Town Police.


It's shaping up as a "huge week" of comedy in Chautauqua County and the Jamestown-area during the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and, Week-6 at Chautauqua Institution. 

 

That from National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson who says there are now three headliners for this year's Comedy Festival with the addition's of stars Kevin James and Robert Klein.  They'll be appearing during the August 3rd through 6th event. 

 

Gunderson adds that's not likely the end of big announcements. The week-long program on Comedy at Chautauqua begins on July 30th and, will feature an appearance of Lewis Black, among others.  Gunderson says tickets for the Kevin James and Robert Klein shows in Jamestown go on saleTuesday on line at Lucycomendyfest.com  or call 484-0800. 

 

Kevin James will appear the second night of the festival, Friday, August 4th, at the Northwest Arena, while Robert Klein, a comedy legend will appear on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night, August 5th.  Comedic star Jim Gaffigan appears to open the festival on Thursday, August 3rd.


Former President Bill Clinton told graduating students at their commencement that they must decide whether ``our common humanity is more important or our differences matter more.'' 

 

Clinton spoke Sunday at the ceremony for Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, about 40 miles west of Syracuse.  Clinton, who received an honorary degree, focused his remarks around diversity, saying it was a strength but that the differences between people were vastly outweighed by what all people share as human beings. 

 

He told students they didn't need an America that focused more on ``us and them'' instead of trying to expand the definition of who fell in the category of ``us.''  Clinton told the graduates there were no permanent victories or permanent defeats, only lives of ``permanent possibilities.''


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be the commencement speaker at West Point's graduation this month. 

 

The U.S. Military Academy said Tuesday that Mattis will speak at the ceremony for the Class of 2017 on Saturday, May 27.  The retired four-star Marine general became the 26th defense secretary on Jan. 20, hours after President Donald Trump was sworn in.

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News Headlines for Sun., May 14, 2017

Two arrested during "Targeted Enforcement" program vehicle stop in Jamestown...
Jamestown Police seized quantities of Methamphetime, Heroin and prescription pills during the latest "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" detail on the city's northside early last weekend.  Officers say they and state Police conducted a vehicle stop early last Friday evening at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street... and, arrested two city residents.  Police say the vehicle allegedly had inadequate tail lights.  They say the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 55 year-old Chris Byrne and 28 year-old Heather Caylor.  Both are ahcarged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession... and, Unlawful Possession of marihuana.  Byrne was also charged with operating a vehicle with inadequate tail lamps.  Both are jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
Another "Targeted" action results in three drug-related arrests...
Three city men are jailed following another "Targeted Enforcement" patrol in the Prendergast Avenue area of Jamestown for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetime.  City Police say a patrol vehicle pulled over the car at the intersection of Strong and Fulton Streets -- in the general area of Prendergast -- about 8 p.m. last Thursday.  Officers say they saw the vehicle had committed a traffic infraction.  Once they pulled over the vehicle... they found the alleged Meth, and a hypodermic needle, inside.  The three men... identified as 24 year-old Robert Wappat, 30-year-old Martin Wenzell, and 28 year-old Casey Saeger... were arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  All three are being held pending arraignment.
 
 
"Rockin' for Recovery" draws good crowd, pushing drug awareness in Jamestown...
Drug Awareness and Prevention Week in Chautauqua County kicked off last Saturday afternoon... with a special speaker and concert in Jamestown.  County Executive Vince Horrigan welcomed an indoor and outdoor crowd for the program... highlighted by a special performance by local pop star "Brielle" at Shawbuck's restaurant.  Horrigan the local drug crisis has been a "terrible epidemic" that's brought people together from across the region.  He says what's become the county's major drug forum will be held this Tuesday at Chautauqua Inns and Suites in Mayville, beginning at 9 a.m. to see how they can work to get their "arms around this terrible problem."  The featured speaker for Saturday's event was Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz... who is also the only New York member of a national task force of executives and mayors dealing with the issue.  Polencarz says the numbers nationwide, and in Erie County peaked in 2014-15.  In the U-S... he says just over 54,000 people died nationally in 2015 -- more than died in car crashes that year.  However... Polencarz says a multi-faceted approach in Erie County helped slowing the number of overdose dealths last year.  He and Horrigan spoke prior to the Brielle "Rockin' for Recovery" event.
 
 
Man with a gun arrested in Greenhurst...
A Bemus Point man faces menacing and sexual abuse charges after allegedly pointing a pistol at several people during an altercation at a location in Greenhurst early this morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 3041 Route 430 about 1:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of a man with a weapon.  Deputies say they found the suspect... 46 year-old Blake Davis of Dutch Hollow Road... had fled the scene following the altercation.  Officers say they later found Davis at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital being treated for minor injuries.  He was arrested on three counts of second-degree menacing, third-degree sexual abuse... and, harassment.  David was arraigned in Ellery Town Court, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicott Town Police.
 
 
National Comedy Center announces James and Klein to appear for Lucy Comedy Festival...
There will be three headliners for this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown... with two more well-know comedians... one a legend... being added to the August festival's line-up.  That from National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson... who announced this morning that Kevin James and Robert Klein will appear during the August 3rd through 6th event.  Klein is a legend that many comedians have patterned themselves after.  Gunderson says one of those was Jay Leno... who appeared in Jamestown a couple of years ago.  Klein has been doing stand-up comedy for more than four decades... and, will appear on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night, Aug. 5, while James will appear the night before at the Northwest Arena.  Tickets for both shows go on sale next Tuesday, May 16.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

The effects of toxic substances on veterans will be the subject of a town hall meeting in Frewsburg on Saturday.  Bob Lewis, President of the local Vietnam Veterans chapter, says one of the critical issues is the long term effect of the Agent Orange, a defoliant used in Vietnam.
 
The problems caused by burn pits for current veterans will also be discussed, as well as benefits availalble to those who've been affected by toxic substances. Two nationally recognized experts will be in attendance.  
 
The town hall meeting will be at the Frewsburg American Legion from 2 to 4:30 Saturday.  Veterans, their family members, and the public are all welcome to attend. 
 
A Fredonia-area man has come forward to announce that he is running as a Democrat for Chautauqua County Executive.  
 
However Mike Ferguson is well-known in the county in both the sports management and radio broadcast industries.  Surrounded by family and friends in front of the county Courthouse Ferguson said that he wants to further develop the industrial parks that got a jump-start by former Executive Mark Thomas when he supported the construction of "spec" buildings in the parks.  
 
He also talked about dealing with quality of life issues such as the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic.  He called the drug problem a "three-headed monster."
 
Ferguson also talked about the need for Clean Water in the county and, the need to protect resources such as Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake.  As for new initiatives he says he wants to work to make Chautauqua County a "hub" for organic farming as a way to reinvigorate that industry while complimenting the local grape and wine industries.  
 
Ferguson will face Town of Hanover Republican, George Borrello this November unless there are primaries.

 

A group of 20 attorneys general, all Democrats, is calling for the appointment of an independent special counsel to continue the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.  

 

The group led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called Republican President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey during the ongoing investigation a "violation of public trust."  

 

The group, which also includes New York's Eric Schneiderman said in a Thursday letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that only the appointment of an independent special counsel "with full powers and resources" can begin to restore public confidence.  

 

Those signing the letter also include the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

 

Jamestown fire investigators are still looking into the cause of small fire that left a lot of smoke and water damage inside a vacant home on the city's southside yesterday morning.  
 
Jamestown firefighers were called to the scene at 70 Hazeltine Avenue about 10:15 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews found a lot of smoke coming from the house on arrival.  Finson says a crew went inside, and found the fire, and got it out quickly.
 
Finson says there wasn't much fire damage and that was mainly to the living room-dining room area of the house.  He says the building had reportedly been vacant for some time.  
 
No injuries were reported and an off-shift was called in.  The Board of Public Utilities is still warning of discolored water in that part of the city this morning because fire hydrants had to be opened.
 
A two-vehicle accident involving a car and tractor-trailer in the town of Gerry forced the closing of Route 60 just north of Kimball Stand to Sinclair Drive early Thursday morning.  
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the accident was called in about 5:40 AM after the big rig was struck by the car and, went off the road, and took down some guard rails when it tipped over.  
 
Dispatchers say the tractor-trailer spilled it's load, and clean-up was completed about 10:15 yesterday morning. The unidentified truck driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital with minor injuries.  
 
We have no word on the driver of the car.
 
The investigation is continuing into a robbery that took place late Tuesday night at a Dunkirk convenience store.  
 
Dunkirk Police indicate that officers responded to the incident at the ROBO Mart at the corner of Central Avenue and 5th Street.  
 
A store clerk told police that a male with a slender build entered the store and displayed what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money.  The clerk complied, and the suspect then left the store.  
 
Anyone with any information on the incident is being asked to call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266 or their confidential tip line at 363-0313.
 
New York car manufacturers can now apply to test driverless cars on public highways.  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the state will begin accepting applications from companies looking to test or demonstrate autonomous vehicle technology as part of a year-long pilot program authorized by lawmakers this year.  
 
The vehicles will have to comply with state and federal safety standards and have a $5 million insurance policy in place.  During testing on public highways, a person holding a valid driver's license must be in the driver's seat.  
 
The companies will submit reports on the tests to the commissioner of motor vehicles before March 1st of 2018. Democrat Cuomo says the program is a step toward making New York "the epicenter of cutting-edge technology and innovation."

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News Update for Thur., May 11, 2017

Ferguson announces run for Chautauqua County Executive on Democratic line...
A Democratic candidate from the Fredonia area has now come forward to announce that he is running for Chautauqua County Executive.  However... Mike Ferguson is well-known in the county on both the sports management and radio broadcast industries.  Surrounded by family and friends in front of the county Courthouse... Ferguson said that he is a Democrat that's much in the mold of the last Democratic County Executive -- Mark Thomas -- who was another Fredonia-area resident.  Ferguson says he wants to further develop the industrial parks that got a jump-start by Thomas when he supported the construction of "spec" buildings in the parks.  Ferguson also wants to make Chautauqua County a "hub" for organic farming as a way to reinvigorate that industry.  
 
 
Vacant home on Hazeltine Avenue damaged by fire...
Fire caused a smokey mess inside a vacant home on Jamestown's southside this morning.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 70 Hazeltine Ave. about 10:15 a.m., and, Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says firefighters found a lot of smoke coming from the house on arrival... and, the windows were blackened.  He says there was no fire visable from the outside.  Finson says crews were able to get inside... and, found a small blaze in the back of the house.  He says they had the flames put out quickly.  However... he says there was smoke and water damage through-out the house... which had reportedly been vacant for some time.  No injuries were reported and an off-shift was called in.  Finson says the cause of the fire is under investigation. 
 
 
Route 60 closed several hours this morning after accident...
A two-vehicle accident involving a car and tractor-trailer in the town of Gerry forced the closing of Route 60 just north of Kimball Stand to Sinclair Drive this morning.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the accident was called in about 5:40 a.m. after the big rig went off the road, and took down some guard rails when it tipped over.  A car was also reportedly involved.  Dispatchers say the tractor-trailer spilled it's load, and clean-up was completed about 10:15 this morning.  The unidentified truck driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital with minor injuries.

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WJTN News Headlines

Route 60 has just been shut down as of 5:40 AM by the Chautauqua County Sheriff due to an accident between Sinclair drive, and Kimblestand. We will have further information as it becomes available.

 

A Silver Creek-area man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  

 

Agents with the Task Force say they arrested 36 year-old Franklin Kettle of Irving at his home just after 3 PM Wednesday on an outstanding Chautauqua County Court warrant.  Police officials say Kettle allegedly sold quantities of powder cocaine to an agent and, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  

 

He was arraigned in county court and, sent to the jail in Mayville.  

 

Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking is asked to contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.

 

New York's Court of Appeals has upheld a state law that allows for permanent suspension of drivers licenses for repeat drunk drivers.

 

A unanimous opinion from five of the state's highest court judges Tuesday affirmed that the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner has the authority to refuse to relicense drivers who have had their licenses revoked due to drunk driving.  

 

Three individuals challenged the laws when they were denied new licenses after the mandatory waiting periods to reapply. The ruling by Judge Michael Garcia noted that the individuals are not "entitled to relicensing" after the time period and relicensing is under the commissioner's discretion.  

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo applauded the decision, saying his administration has "zero tolerance" for chronic drunk drivers whose reckless actions put themselves and others at risk.

 

The 84.9-million dollar, 2017-18 budget plan is one of two propositions on the ballot in the Jamestown School District next Tuesday.  
 
Voters will also decide on an up to $780,000 proposition to buy six new buses as part of a five-year lease-deal.  Director of Business and Financial Services, Vern Connors, says this allows them to maximize state transporation aid, up to 95% 
 
Connors says the proposition is part of the Jamestown district's seven-year plan to replace buses in the district.  He says this is the second-year of propositions to do so.  Connors says it's not so much mechanical problems with the buses they have, but "body fatigue" that causes buses to fail state inspection.  
 
He says that's due to the region's harsh Winters, and the use of road salt.  Connors says the school board agreed that the seven-year program was needed to provide the fleet needed to transport students.  
 
Next Tuesday's vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.
 
A two-story home in the town of Gerry was destroyed by flames Tuesday that also damaged an adjacent garage.  
 
Gerry Fire Chief James Miller tells the Jamestown Post Journal that his department was called to the scene at 20-92 28 Creek Road about 12:30 PM.  On arrival Miller says they found the home fully-engulfed in flames.  
 
He says he immediately called for mutual aid companies and, shortly after arrival the roof of the building collapsed.  Chautauqua County fire investigators were called to the scene to help determine the cause and, found a fire in a coal stove had spread to the chimney and later the residence.  
 
Gerry was assisted at the scene by crews from Fluvanna, Ellington, Sinclairville, Kennedy and Ellery.  The local Red Cross assisted the lone occupant, who managed to escape the fire.
 
Jamestown city officials and community leaders Wednesday afternoon gathered in front of Diethrick Park to celebrate the city again being named a "Tree City-USA" for Arbor Day.  
 
Officials accepted a special banner that will be hung on Tracy Plaza from the Arbor Day Foundation and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  This year City Arborist Dan Stone says they honored two men who have been big supporters of that effort.  
 
Stone says he's worked on several projects with retired city Parks and Recreation Director Russ Diethrick, and Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Director Randy Sweeney.
 
Stone and Mayor Sam Teresi praised both men adding that Sweeney was instrumental in obtaining $65,000 the past several years to help plant dozens of trees in different parts of the city.  Teresi also commended the Park's Department's 15 full-time employees who work to maintain the 550-acres of parkland and 13,000 trees in the city.  
 
Two "Purple Prince" Crabapple Trees were planted during the ceremony, in honor of each man.  Stone adds the city also received it's seventh consecutive Tree City USA Growth Award for progress made by its community forestry program. 

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain steady this week but, nationally prices have been declining for the past eight days.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the local price is holding at $2.55 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.  Like most parts of the country, AAA says drivers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are seeing regional gasoline supplies surpass demand.  

 

New York held it's place on the list of the country’s top 10 most expensive markets at $2.53 a gallon.  Other states saw prices remain stable or experienced small fluctuation.  

 

Nationally The Fuel Gauge says prices have been falling steadily, with the current average price falling 4 cents from last week to $2.35  a gallon.  Last week, 46 states saw prices drop, some by at least 9 cents with prices remaining steady in other parts of the country.  

 

The trending decline is due to an unseasonable glut of gasoline in the U.S. market, record high refinery production rates, moderate demand, and a recent drop in crude oil prices.

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WJTN Headlines

A man and a woman from Jamestown are jailed without bail following a domestic incident on the city's southside allegedly involving a gun and, where police allegedly found several kinds of illegal drugs. 

 

Jamestown police were called to the scene at 248 Forest Avenue just before 9 PM Sunday on a report of woman being threatened by a man with a shot-gun earlier in the day.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says one of the suspects 32 year-old Todd Dalton came outside to meet officers.

 

Samuelson says in addition to the shot-gun and air gun police also found a digital scale with powder residue on it, and plastic baggies to package drugs for sale.  Officers then allegedly found a small quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine, 43 grams of marijuana, and several prescription pills. 

 

Both Dalton and 32 year-old Jacqueline Delo were arrested on several charges including eight counts each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

 

Samuelson says the shot-gun had apparently been stolen from another city home Saturday.  Both Dalton and Delo were arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.


No one spoke during last night's public hearing on the Jamestown School District's 84.9-million dollar, 2017-18 budget proposal that's up for vote next week. 

 

The spending plan includes no tax increase thanks in large part to major cuts and belt-tightening in the district the past several years.  However with one-million additional dollars in state aid the district is able to do some hiring, and set aside some additional reserves. 

 

Director of Business and Financial Services Vern Connors adds they also want to do some important projects. Connors says the new budget also includes about 10 new hires namely some teaching positions that had to be cut in previous budgets.  A couple of school counselors are also going to be hired. 

 

With no dissenting voices last night, Connors says he feels pretty good about the new spending plan and, adds that the district has only had to raise taxes one year over the past 12 years.  Next Tuesday's budget vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.


In the wake of three local town halls in his Congressional District Corning Republican Tom Reed is trying to clear-up what he says is "misinformation" about the recently approved American Health Care Act. 

 

Reed said Tuesday that the biggest misconception about the new law is that people with "pre-existing" conditions will be kicked-off their current health care or be priced out of the market.  He says that will not be the case adding that he's in that situation with a son who has Type-One Diabetes.

 

Reed says there's also misinformation about what's going to happen to New Yorkers, and others who are part of the "Essential Health Plan."  That's available to low-income earners who aren't eligible for Medicaid. 

 

Reed says that program, which covers 400,000 state residents remains in place.  However he says funding could be an issue and, he understands there may be some issues with that. 

 

But he says the state should have the ability to prioritize funding for that.  Reed also says there will be no changes to Medicare under the American Health Care Act.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with local media.


The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County held steady for the second straight month to close out the first quarter of the year but, March's jobless numbers are much better than a year ago. 

 

That from State Labor Department Analyst John Slenker who says the rate remained at 6.1-percent in March the same as it was in February.  The jobelss rate was 7.1% in March of last year. 

 

Slenker says the available workforce in the county was 55,500 which was up slightly from February and, there were more people working. Slenker says job gains were seen in leisure and hospitality which gained 100 over the month and start of the year. 

 

He says a number of factors are playing into the leisure and hospitality increases as you see seasonal businesses starting to get ready for Summer by hiring workers.  Slenker says professional and business services were also up for the month while manufacturing held steady from month to month. 

 

However, he says those are down 300 for the year due mainly to some losses in the north county area.


Unemployment numbers in Cattaraugus County showed some significant improvement in March falling from 7.2% in February to 6.3% in March. 

 

The labor Department's John Slenker says it was 6.5-percent in March of 2016.  Slenker says the job count was down by 100 to 31,500. 

 

However, he says that number is steady from the start of the year. Slenker says there was some upward activity in financial activities and, professional and business services which were both up by 100. 

 

However he says leisure and hospitality was down 200 as the ski season wound down.


Legislation that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician is again before state lawmakers in Albany. 

 

Supporters of the bill include several New Yorkers who lost loved ones to painful terminal illness.  They plan to meet with lawmakers Tuesday at the state Capitol.  The bill would require two physicians to certify the patient's illness is terminal. 

 

Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.  The measure has been introduced before but hasn't received a vote. 

 

Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has proper safeguards.  Opponents worry the measure would be abused. 

 

Colorado, Washington, Vermont, California and Oregon already have current laws allowing people to request life-ending medication from a physician.



Fredonia village board members have hired a new village attorney and he will be working on a part-time basis.  

 

Monday night, the Village Board approved the appointment of Todd Thomas of Jamestown by a 4-to-0 vote.  Thomas succeeds Sam Drayo who announced his retirement late last year after serving the village for 48 years. 

 

Mayor Athanasia Landis says she is very pleased to have Thomas on board. Thomas says he is looking forward to beginning his new role and, working on the challenges the position brings. 

 

Thomas, who begins his new duties immediately, will be paid an annual salary of 40-thousand dollars.


Too much water on Lake Ontario from recent flooding has put many charter fishing businesses on hiatus, while recreational boating is on hold until conditions improve. 

 

Run-off from weeks of rainy weather has pushed the lake to near-record levels, and lakeshore erosion caused by high winds has deposited trees, large logs, docks, tires and lawn furniture in the water along the lake's southern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River. 

 

Jerry Felluca, who runs charters out of Hamlin, west of Rochester, likens the conditions to a minefield.  The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports  that many charter captains have had to cancel or reschedule trips because marina docks and parking lots are still under water. 

 

Most motor boat and sailing enthusiasts have been prevented from launching their vessels because of hazardous conditions.

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WJTN Headlines

Two people have been arrested during a raid onJamestown's eastside Monday afternoon for allegedly trafficking several kinds of narcotics. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided Apartment-#37 at 305 East Fifth Street about 1:45 PM.  Samuelson says they were joined by the state Police C-NET Team in the raid which yielded quantities of crystal Methamphetime, cocaine, marihuana, and, cash. 

 

He says investigators also arrested 32 year-old Mark Maio and 18 year-old Mariah Snyder on several drug related charges.  Samuelson says both are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, fifth-degree criminal possession.  Both are also charged with criminal possession of marihuana.  Maio faces other charges as well. 

 

With it's proximity to the Prendergast Avenue area he says this was also another "targeted" action in that area of the city.  Both are being held pending arraignment.  If you have information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.

Temperatures dropped to the freezing early yesterday and this morning. 

 

The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing a Freeze Warning until 9 this morning in Chautauqua County.  Forecaster Dave Zaff of the Weather Service's Buffalo office said Monday that an upper level low pressure system has brought unseasonably cool air to the area and, was around another night. 

 

Zaff says temperatures away from Lake Erie were expected to drop to around 30, and maybe the upper 20s in some areas.  Zaff says once things warm up today temperatures will begin warming up slightly.  Early morning temperatures Monday reached 32 at the County Airport in Jamestown and 35 at the Dunkirk Airport.


Governor Andrew Cuomo is now launching his county-wide Shared Services Initiative and, it requires each county across the state to have its Chief Executive Officer create and chair a Shared Services Panel. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's ready to comply with the requirement that's part of the state budget and the local panel will be holding its first meeting today in Mayville.

 

Horrigan says they will discuss the initiative and create a plan for the county using a $50,000 grant that the county received to do the work.  He says he will likely include initiatives that were included in the county's application for the state's Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition. 

 

Chautauqua County is one of six local governments that's competing for the $20-million dollar prize.  The county's Shared Services plan must be submitted to the County Legislature no later than August 1st.


How the new American Health Care Act deals with Planned Parenthood and pre-natal care led to some heated exchanges durling last Saturday's town hall meeting in Busti hosted by Congressman Tom Reed. 

 

Reed left no doubts about where he stood saying he does not support the organization.  One of the sharpest exchanges involved a woman who supports Planned Parenthood and, says the organization is needed because it provides pre-natal care, and other important services.
 

Reed says that the bill only addresses health insurance.  He says there needs to be a conversation further down the road about health care, and how that's delivered in the United States. 

 

Back to the health care bill Reed says he wanted to wait until the revised score on the final, amended proposal came out from the Congressional Budget Office.  However he says leadership wanted to go forward at that moment. 

 

The American Health Care Act was approved last Thursday by the Republican-controlled House, 217-to-213. 

 

Reed says that he did read the final bill unlike a few of his fellow members of Congress admitted.

New York state is accepting public comment on new learning standards that replace the Common Core. 

 

The revised standards will be presented to the policy-making Board of Regents Tuesday and public comments are being accepted until June 2nd.  State education officials released the standards last week following a two-year process that included gathering input from the public, educators and experts. 

 

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the revised standards include substantive changes while maintaining the rigor of the Common Core, which outlines what a student should be able to do in each grade. 

 

New York and most other states adopted the Common Core standards to improve college readiness, but they became part of broader backlash against testing and teacher evaluations.  The Regents are expected to adopt the new standards in June.

A 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish caught in Lake Ontario this spring sets a new state record for that species. 

 

State environmental officials say Eric Scordo of Watertown caught the 38-inch catfish on Lake Ontario in Jefferson County on April 29. He used just a nightcrawler as bait.  The catch breaks the 2002 record by nearly 2 1/2 pounds. 

 

The previous record channel catfish was caught in Brant Lake in Warren County.  Scordo submitted details of the catch as part of the Department of Environmental Conservation's Angler Achievement Awards program.

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WJTN Headlines

While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week, local Congressman Tom Reed says he did.

 

Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti last Saturday morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people. 

 

Reed favored the original bill which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it. The majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first. 

 

One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  With the House vote Reed says he hopes the U-S Senate will hold a vote on the bill sooner "rather than later."

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York." 

 

State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage and, cut up to $6.9-billion dollars in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo says Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business. 

 

New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

 

Cuomo says that could force state taxpayers to pick up the cost, but supporters say it will lead to reduced taxes at the county level.


The Republican health care overhaul remains a work in progress and, many states are planning for big changes that could swell the ranks of the uninsured and hit them with higher costs. 

 

The changes contained in a bill that passed the U.S. House last week are welcome in some states that want more autonomy but are causing alarm in others that embraced former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.  During his Town Hall meeting in Busti Congressman Tom Reed says he favors phasing in a "per capita" program versus the current "static" one.

 

The angst is especially true for states that expanded Medicaid and face the potential loss of billions in federal dollars such as New York.  The current GOP plan would undo the mostly federally funded Medicaid expansion. It provided coverage to about 11 million newly eligible low-income Americans. 

 

The plan also would allow insurance companies to charge far higher premiums on older Americans and some people with pre-existing conditions.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says local governments should share resources to ease tax burdens that could increase under federal tax proposals. 

 

Late this week Cuomo ceremonially signed a bill allowing for counties to create plans to reduce property taxes by consolidating government programs or sharing equipment in Long Island.  The plan requires the top county executive to bring together local elected leaders and come up with a plan that would require public approval. 

 

Democrat Cuomo argues that many villages, cities, towns and counties could save money by pooling their purchases or cooperating to make duplicative services more efficient. 

 

Cuomo says the plan is "more critical than ever" to ease property taxes in light of President Trump's tax proposal that could end the federal deduction for state and local taxes.


Jamestown is one of eight upstate New York communities chosen to take part in the new, 5-million dollar Graduate-to-Homeownership Program to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the pilot program late last week which he says it being made available to eight of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative communities.  City Development director Vince DeJoy says the program provides mortgage and loan assistance.

 

DeJoy says he's not sure of the timetable to start the program yet.  He does say the program will be part of an overall incentive effort to intice young people to become first-time home buyers in Jamestown and elsewhere upstate.  DeJoy says they are also working with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell to provide a property tax abatement for grads who come back and fix-up a formerly condemned home. 

 

Governor Cuomo's office says the program is being launched in Geneva to compliment it's "Finger Lakes Forward" program to boost the economy.  In addition to Jamestown and Geneva  the cities of Elmira and Oswego in Central New York are also part of the Graduate-to-Home ownership Program.


A north county man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman early Saturday morning in the village of Silver Creek. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at an address in the village for a physical altercation just after 12 Midnight.  Deputies were joined by local Emergency Management crews who transported the woman to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Officers say they arrested 22 year-old Jerrod KIrtley on one count of second-degree assault.  Kirtley was arraigned and sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail.


A crackdown on underage drinking and illegal alcohol sales in New York has led to more than 100 arrests and the seizure of more than 125 fake IDs.  Over five weeks this spring, law enforcement officers directed undercover, underage decoys to visit more than 640 liquor stores, convenience stores and bars to test illegal alcohol sales. 

 

More than 180 of the businesses made illegal sales.  In addition state Department of Motor Vehicle officers cracked down on minors attempting to buy alcohol, making 112 arrests.  The numbers were released late last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

The governor says underage drinking can have lifelong consequences and that his administration will take action against young people who seek to obtain alcohol as well as businesses willing to sell it to them.


New Yorkers can raise a glass to their favorite craft brewery in a statewide competition this week. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo urges people to cast their votes online at taste.ny.gov.  The five breweries with the most votes will be invited to the Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge event in New York City on May 17th

 

A panel of judges will decide the winner.  Seventy breweries are participating in the competition, which is being held during American Craft Beer Week starting May 15th.  New York's craft brewing industry has been expanded through a series of legislative and economic incentives including the creation of the Farm Brewery License in 2012. 

 

There are now 321 craft breweries in New York, up from 50 in 2011.

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News Update for Sat., May 6, 2017

Nearly 200 pack Busti Fire Hall for Reed Town Hall; health care bill dominates discussion and debate...
While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week... local Congressman Tom Reed says he did. Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti late this morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people.  Reed favored the original bill... which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However... the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it.  Reed says he didn't take a position until the final text came out.  It appeared the majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan... while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first.  One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  Reed says... with the House vote... it's time for the Senate to do it's work.  At several points in the town hall... Democrats and Liberals dominated the debate.  At one point... a Trump supporter, and an opponent exchanged words, and Reed stepped in to calm the situation before it went any further.  Reed began the day at a town Hall in Dunkirk... and, finished up with one in Hinsdale.
 
Cuomo criticizes GOP Health Overhaul...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York."  State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage... and, cut up to $6.9-billion in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo late Friday said Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business.  New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the slim majority of House members who voted for the American Health Care Act yesterday afternoon and, is calling it a "great victory" for the American people.  

 

Reed says "we are finally on the path to fixing our broke and broken health care system."  The Corning Republican says the new Health Care plan "upholds protections for pre-existing conditions and, the expansion of Medicaid which help our most vulnerable populations."  He says the bill will also provide much needed property tax relief for New Yorkers who are unfairly forced to foot the bill for Medicaid.  

 

Reed adds, "we care about giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions while providing promised tax relief for middle-income families and small business owners."

 

A plea agreement has allowed the Jamestown man to avoid trial for beating and stabbing his wife and step-son to death in early December of 2015.  
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says some "back-and-forth" involving the judge... prosecution and defense lawyers led 53 year-old Allen Witruke to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in the deaths of Catherine Witruke and Eric Washburn.  
 
Swanson says the manslaughter charges stem from each side's psychiatric experts determining that Witruke had an "extreme emotional disturbance" when the homicides occured.
 
Swanson says Witruke was facing the start of jury selection for his trial next Tuesday.  With the plea Witruke faces 10 to 20 years in state prison on each count of first-degree manslaughter.  
 
He's to be sentenced on August 22nd.  Swanson says members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Civil Division were executing an eviction order at Witruke's home at 235 Barrows Street on December 8th of 2015, when they discovered Catherine Witruke, and Eric Washburn's bodies.  Allen Witruke was arrested in Olean later that same day.
 
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says it has put two major cocaine drug traffickers in jail following a two-month long investigation in the Dunkirk area.  
 
Task Force members say they arrested 26 year-old Michael Pacheco and, 29 year-old Fred Santiago early Tuesday evening.  
 
Agents say they arrested Pacheco at a location on Vineyard Drive in the town of Dunkirk and found him with 4.5-ounces of cocaine in his possession.  A short time later Task Force members raided the residence at 80 Lincoln Avenue in the city of Dunkirk.  
 
They arrested Santiago during the raid and, seized about 28.5-ounces of cocaine  with a street value of about $50,000.  They also seized $46,000 in cash, postal money orders, scales, and other materials.  
 
Both men are charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Pacheco is in the county jail on $150,000 cash bail while Santiago is being held with no bail.  
 
Additional State and Federal charges are pending, and more arrests are expected.  Dunkirk Police assisted along with other departments.  
 
Anyone with information about the sale of narcotics should contact the the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.
 
New York's second-in-command helped to kick-off the first meeting of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council as it gears up for Round 7 of Governor Andrew Cuomo's chief economic development program.  
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul addressed members during the meeting held at the State University of New York College at Fredonia Thursday.  Hochul says it's not "a given" that the funding would be included in the new state budget that was approved by state lawmakers last month.
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan, one of the REDC members, says the process has helped a number of projects in Chautauqua County over the years, but there is still a critical need for funding, with projects such as moving ahead with the North County Water District, and providing sewer around Chautauqua Lake.  
 
Yesterday's meeting was the first one for University President Dr. Virginia Horvath as the Council's co-chair. Besides Horrigan, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is also a member of the Western New York REDC.  
 
A total of 10 regional councils are competing for a share of the $800-million dollar pot. 
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is touting a big jump in public education spending.  
 
The Democratic governor traveled to a school in Queens on Wednesday to celebrate a $1.1 billion dollar increase in school funding.  Overall the state will spend a record $25.8 billion on public education under the budget approved by Cuomo and lawmakers last month.
 
Cuomo says the investment recognizes the importance of public education, which he says creates economic opportunities and allows New Yorkers of all backgrounds to pursue the American dream.  Cuomo also announced a new round of awards for top teachers.
 
Sixty teachers from around the state will each receive stipends of $5,000 for professional development.  Applications and nominations are due later this month.

 

The most visable fund-raiser for Jamestown's larges soup kitchen is underway and, the need for the serves of the St. Susan's Center have been never greater.  
 
That from Executive Director Jeff Smith, as the 19th annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign kicked-off yesterday morning at the Board of Public Utilities.  Most of the campaign's sponsors gathered to rally support for the effort which raised just over $18,000 last year.  
 
Smith says, without the support of the community they wouldn't have been able to provide just over 467,000 meals the needy the past four years.
 
Smith says they've provided meals for well over 30,000 individuals during that time.  He says they appreciate the support of the BPU in running the "Cents for St. Susan's" program each year.  
 
Smith says there's been no slow-down in the need this year thanks in part to a record-setting January.  The major sponsor this year is KeyBank which is joined by National Fuel Gas and, Northwest Savings Bank as sponsors.  
 
The Media One Group is again a media sponor.  The bright yellow canisters for people's change will be out at local stores, banks and restaurants through July 4th.
 
'Help Portrait Chautauqua' will be held at the Resource Center on Dunham Avenue near Celoron this Sunday.
 
The event is organized by the Southwestern Central School Photography Club and local professional photographers. Mark Kirsch, who teaches photography at Southwestern, says it's an opportunity for ANYONE to get a professional portrait taken for FREE.
 
The hours will be 11 AM to 2 PM Sunday, at the Conference Room at the rear of the Resource Center's building.  Kirsch says help with hair will be available at the site, and the framed pictures will be ready the same day.  There is no cost, and no obligation.  

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three people on Jamestown's westside were arrested during a raid later Wednesday morning for allegedly trafficking Crystal Methamphetime in the presence of young children.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and, members of the state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant at 510 West Sixth Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  
 
Inside, Samuelson says they found drugsm, three adults and two children, ages 3 and 10.
 
Samuelson says task force members arrested 27 year-old James Blue, 31 year-old Lakeia Boyd, and, 23 year-old Sheldon Harper.  Police say all three are charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  
 
They add that Boyd was also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child as she is the mother of the two children found inside.  Anyone who may have information on the illegal trafficking of drugs can contact the Task Force's  Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips, that's 483-8477.  
 
The two small children are safe and are staying with a relative. 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested after police found a large amount of marihuana and cash inside an attic apartment on the city's northside in the neighborhood of another recent pot bust.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says agents with the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and, state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant in the apartment at 839 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 5 Wednesday morning.  Samuelson says they were able to enter the apartment with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.
 
Samuelson says they also arrested the man inside the apartment identified as 19 year-old Armando Jenks.  He says Jenks was taken to the city jail where he currently is awaiting arraignment.  Investigators were also assisted by K-9 Units from Jamestown Police, state Police, and Lakewood-Busti Police.  
 
Another major marihauna bust recently took place at 853 Prendergast Avenue where another man was shot and killed earlier this year.  
 
Anyone who may have information on the illegal sales and trafficking of drugs can call the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips that's 483-8477.  You can also leave a tip on the JPD Tips 411 App.
 
New York state lawmakers are gaining momentum in a measure to expand medical marijuana coverage to those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.  
 
Currently medical marijuana in New York can only be used to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease.  The New York Daily News reports  the Democrat-controlled Assembly approved a measure that adds PTSD to the list of state-approved ailments that doctors can prescribe medical marijuana as treatment.  
 
The bill will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate.  The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, says there's evidence that medical marijuana is effective in treating PTSD.  New York launched its medicinal marijuana program last year. 
 
Local non-profit leaders, professionals, and people who deal with poverty every day met last night to brainstorm ideas on how to deal with poverty in the city of Jamestown.  
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County was selected to administer the Empire State Poverty Reducation Initiative a state program that Jamestown and 15 other communities are taking part in.  One of the people heading up the local effort is United Way Community Impact Coordinator Krista Cammerata.
 
Cammerata was the leader of a group dealing with Jobs and Job Training.  Other groups dealt with Public Assistance, Early Education and, Transportation.  Cammerata says better connecting young with potential or actual job opportunities is key adding she heard a lot about the need for more internship opportunities.  
 
She says another key is getting people trained for the right job that might be or will be available is also important.  The Center for Regional Governance in Rochester is helping to develop a program that will be implimented using one-million dollars from the state.  Cammerata says CRG will help produce a report on last night's session.
 
 
New York public school students are sitting this week for the second round of Common Core tests.  
 
Students in grades three through eight across the state's 700 school districts began the first of three days of math testing on Tuesday. The students took English language arts assessments in March.  For the past two years, at least 20% of eligible students have opted out in protest of the annual assessments that are required by the federal government but, opposed by many parents and teachers as unfair and unnecessary.  
 
State education leaders have responded by including fewer questions and giving students more time to complete them.  About 39% of students who took the math assessments last year scored in the proficient range.  About 38% scored proficient in English.

 

Congress is "very close" to having the votes needed to pass new health care legislation, and there could be a vote today.  
 
That from House Republican leaders last night.  Local Congressman Tom Reed said Tuesday that the GOP was one or two votes shy of the 218 needed to pass the measure.  However the GOP lost an influencial moderate Tuesday when Michigan's Fred Upton announced he was opposed to the way the new proposal deals with pre-existing conditions.  
 
In New York, though, Reed says the pre-existing issues are not as much in play as elsewhere. Reed says, if the votes are there, the new American Health Care Act will be voted on.  Upton worked with with the Congressional Republican Leadership on an amendment that would provide 8-billion dollars over five years to help people with those conditions pay premiums.  
 
With that now settled he is on board.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed will be holding three town hall meetings this Saturday, May 6th and, two of them will be held in Chautauqua County.  
 
Reed's Communications Director Samantha Cotten says the first will be held at 9 AM the West Dunkirk Fire Department in Dunkirk.  The fire hall is located on Willow Road.  
 
Cotten says the second wil be held at the Busti Fire Department located on Mill Street at the five-corners beginning at 11:30 AM.  
 
Congressman Reed's final town hall meeting will be held at the Hinsdale Fire Department in Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County beginning at 2 PM.  
 
All town halls are open to the public and, were heavily-attended earlier this year.  Reed says "we choose to hold town halls because we believe in responsive and accessible government.  I look forward to a respectful conversation and finding common ground so that we implement fair changes to benefit all of those in our region."
 

 

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WJTN Headlines

The Trump Administration and Congressional Democrats are verbally sparring over who won in the 2017 budget battle. 

 

However the western Southern Tier faired pretty well in the new spending plan which runs through September. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says a number of programs and projects under threat in the 2018 spending plan are included in this year's budget deal including the Great Lakes Initiative. President Trump has proposed cutting funding for the Great Lakes Initiative by 97% in the 2018 budget blueprint. 

 

However Reed believes this appropriations bill will help prioritize what will be funded in the 2018 bill.  He says that should "bode well" for the 23rd Congressional District.  He adds that funding for the Appalachin Regional Commission was at least continued at 2016 levels 

 

But he says the ARC was given an additional 20-million dollars for the year.  President Trump touted the budget deal declaring: "This is what winning looks like."  Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says they did find 347-million dollars to begin work on the border wall.


A New York program that allows court-ordered therapy for thousands of seriously mentally ill people will expire next month if the Legislature doesn't renew it.   

 

Advocates say research supports making the 18-year-old policy permanent, but opponents say involuntary psychiatric treatment violates rights and stigmatizes the mentally ill.  More than 4-thousand New Yorkers are treated annually under Kendra's Law, which passed in 1999 after Kendra Webdale was pushed in front of a subway train by a man with untreated schizophrenia. 

The Fredonia native died in the attack. 

 

The measure  proposed by State Senator Cathy Young has been temporarily reauthorized twice, but New York lawmakers have balked at making the law permanent.  The Republican-led Senate this week passed a bill to make the law permanent, and it is now up for consideration in the Assembly.



Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency to free up resources to help communities hit by flooding along the Lake Ontario's southern shore in western New York. 

 

The Democratic governor says Tuesday a state response team has been created.  It consists of the National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police and Monroe County Sheriff's Office. 

 

Cuomo says equipment including generators and pumps will be made available to suburban Rochester towns where wind-driven floodwaters have been affecting hundreds of homes.  The National Weather Service has issued flood watches and warnings for Lake Ontario's southern and eastern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River.


The numbers are in and arrests from the non-Fred Fest celebration in the village of Fredonia were down from last year's event and, that pleases Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers. 

 

The village's top police official says they have compiled the figures from the three-day event that wrapped up late Saturday night and there were signs of improvement. Fredonia Police announced changes in the way they were handling the event last week.  Among the changes, police used body cameras for the first time and they promised that the arrests would be posted on the department's Facebook page. 

 

Meyers believes the changes helped to make a difference and he is hopeful the weekend event will eventually fade away though he says that wasn't the case this year. 

 

For those who are wondering, Meyers says they will be posting the names of all 67 people were arrested on Facebook.


New York lawmakers are questioning the cost and motives of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to bail out three aging upstate nuclear reactors. 

 

Members of the Assembly used a legislative hearing on the subsidies Monday to question state energy officials about the need for the state subsidies, which will cost ratepayers up to $7.6-million dollars over 12 years.  Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money will ensure the plants continue to operate and prevent greater reliance on fossil fuels as the state shifts to renewable energy. 

 

At Monday's hearing state officials said that while $7.6 billion is the top estimate, the subsidies are likely to cost energy consumers far less as the plan proceeds.  Projections now indicate the average electricity consumer will pay about $2 more per month.


The new Lakewood Diner on Chautauqua Avenue in the village held it's official grand opening this morning. 

 

The diner has actually been open for a few months now but, the downtown eatery held it's official opening today with village officials, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce on hand.  Morgan Hetrick and his wife, Sara, bought the former Mindy's Place as one of seven buildings he recently purchased. 

 

Morgan Hetrick says they decided to fill the void when the previous owner decided to close.  He says they have a lot of good, hearty dishes but, have several healthful ones as well. Hetrick says they still specialize in different kinds of pancakes and, other breakfast specials. 

 

Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri says she was sad to see Mindy's close but, adds the Hetrick's have created a terrific, new restaurant to get great coffee, and a variety of breakfasts and lunches.  Morgan Hetrick says they are open seven days a week from 7 AM to 2 PM and, he says business is picking up after a lull over the Winter months.


An effort to ban the declawing of cats in New York is back before lawmakers. 

 

Legislation to prohibit the procedure for aesthetic purposes has been introduced in the Senate and Assembly.  Supporters include animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians who say declawing a cat is inhumane since it involves the amputation of a cat's toes back to the first knuckle. 

 

The state's largest veterinary association opposes a ban, however, arguing that the procedure should remain a last resort for felines who won't stop scratching furniture or humans.  The bill failed to get a vote last year. 

 

 On Tuesday supporters including the Humane Society and several veterinarians who oppose the procedure plan to lobby lawmakers at the state Capitol.

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Fire has destroyed the Trillium Lodge in Cherry Creek. 

 

The Jamestown Post Journal reports that around 100 firefighters from 14 companies battled the blaze Monday afternoon. The initial call was sent out at 5:45pm for the report of "smoke with flames showing".   

 

Firefighters faced some unique challenges including the possibility of electric lines coming down across Main Street in Cherry Creek and nearby propane and gasoline tanks at Noco Energy.  The Trillium Lodge was closed on Mondays.


No major problems have been reported due to yesterday's severe thunderstorms that passed through the Jamestown-area. 

 

However there were some downed trees and power lines.  At one point late Monday afternoon National Grid reported about 700 customers in Chautauqua County were without power. 

 

Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service says it was a fast-moving storm with gusty winds. With a cold front having passed through the region Mitchell says cooler air from Canada is moving in and, we'll be cold and damp for the next several days. 

 

After a wetter than normal March and April Mitchell says that trend is continuing into the month of May.  So far he says we've seen the rainfall deficits from last year "completely erased." 

 

Mitchell says it appears that Thursday and Friday will be the days where the rainstorms will be more likely and, we won't see much in the way of drier weather until the middle of next week.


Two Jamestown brothers have been indicted on federal drug charges for allegedly trying to traffic a large amount of Methamphetime and, maintaining a "drug-involved" premises. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late Monday that a federal grand jury had returned a three-count indictment against 32 year-old Beau Jones and, his 30 year-old brother, Matthew.  Kennedy says both are charged with one count each of narcotics conspiracy possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Meth, and maintaining a drug-involved premises. 

 

Assistant U-S Attorney Laura Higgins, who is handling the case, says both men were arrested last December 1st after a shipment of more than 360 grams of methamphetamine was mailed to Beau Jones’ home at 70 Colfax Street.  Shortly after the delivery Higgins says Beau Jones was arrested during a vehicle stop and, the parcel containing the meth was discovered in the backseat of his vehicle. 

 

She says Matthew Jones was arrested later that day during a separate car stop.  A safe was found in the trunk of his car containing another approximately 80 grams of Meth.  Higgins says the charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of 10-million dollars.  Both men were arraigned Monday and are being held without bail.


A Westfield man is being treated for serious injuries after his motorcycle crashed about mid-evening Sunday on Route 20 in the town of Ripley. 

 

State Police in Fredonia say a trooper's marked patrol car was passed by the motorcycle which was traveling at a high rate of speed just after 9 PM on a double-solid line.  Trooper's say the 45 year-old operator then failed to negotiate a slight curve in the road and ,struck a guiderail. 

 

The unidentified man was then ejected from his motorcycle and came to rest in a field adjacent to the roadway.  He was flown to a Youngstown, Ohio hospital where he is listed in critical condition.  The State Police investigation into this accident is continuing.


Five people including two incumbants are running for three seats on the Jamestown School Board in the May 16th school board elections. 

 

The district has announced the candidates, who received at least 100 valid signatures on petitions they've circulated.  The incumbants include current Board President Paul Abbott, and Shelly Leathers. 

 

Current Board member Thomas Pope has decided not to run for re-election.  Abbott says he "enjoys the opportunity to be involved in decision-making" that has a positive impact on the district, and it's students.

 

In addition to Abbott and Leathers a former board member and president Christine Schnars is running for the board again.  Schnars served on the panel for 25 years until she ran unsuccessfully for re-election a few years ago. 

 

There are also two newcomers running for the school board May 16th.  They are Fannell Leeper who along with her daughters are JHS alumni.  She is retired from The Resource Center.  The fifth candidate is Frank Galeazzo who is currently Information Services Manager at the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  He is also a member of the Jamestown City Council P-T-S-A.


The Excelsior Scholarship, New York's new, free tuition program could be a real boon for students at Jamestown Community College. 

 

JCC's Vice-President for Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, Kirk Young, says a significant number of current students fall under the $100,000 income cap.  Young is quick to add that JCC's popular USA scholarship will still be needed. 

 

The USA program offers free tuition to the top 20% of area high school graduates who choose JCC. Given a choice between USA and Excelsior, Kirk Young says some students might take the USA scholarhip, which, unlike Excelsior has no residency requirement. 

 

This is the time that many high school seniors are making college decisions, but he says full detail on the new state scholarship won't be available until sometime later in the month.  The Higher Education Services Corporation is handling the new Excelsior Scholarship.  Links to their website are available at SunyJCC.edu.


Increased recycling, greater reliance on renewable energy and less use of copy paper have saved New York state government nearly 20-million over five years. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office released a list of savings Friday that it says are the result of efforts to reduce the state's environmental impact.  Since 2011 the state has reduced its use of copy paper by 35%. 

 

It's also increased the recycling of debris from transportation projects, invested in greater renewable energy and expanded its use of recycled products.  Cuomo says the state is "leading the nation" by reducing state government waste and saving tax dollars while it protects the environment.


A hunting accident early yesterday morning in the town of Cherry Creek sent a teenager to the hospital for treatment of a birdshot wound. 

 

State Police in Jamestown say they wre called to the scene on Pickup Hill Road about 6:30 AM.  Troopers say two parties were turkey hunting in the vicinity of each other on private property at which time one party allegedly fired at a turkey.  Police say part of the discharged round struck a member of the other hunting party in the torso. 

 

Troopers say the 17 year-old victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.  The shooter has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.


New York is giving more than one-million dollars to a group of farms in an effort to boost the state's Grown & Certified program. 

 

The money is available through the Environmental Protection Fund and will be split among 29 farms.  The state program assures consumers the food they're buying is local and produced by farms enrolled in an environmental management program. 

 

Orleans County in the Finger Lakes region is getting the lion's share of the funding. Ten farms will split nearly $415,000, while six farms in Saratoga County will divvy up $223,000. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Friday to coincide with Earth Week. The hope is to help more farmers adopt green practices.

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly theatening a woman, who had an order of protection against him, with a paintball gun last weekend. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Chandler Street shortly before 9 PM last Saturday and, learned that 40 year-old Grant Monroe, Junior had gone to the residence and threatened her.  Officers say their investigation led them to another house on the southside where they found and arrested Monroe. 

 

Police found that he had been convicted of a domestic violence charge within the preceeding five-years.  He was arrested for Aggravated Family Offense,  a Felony and, three counts of first-degree criminal contempt, another Felony.

 

Monroe was also charged with second-degree menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

A Sinclairville man faces burglary and other charges after he allegedly entered a building in the village and, removed property that didn't belong to him. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 26 year-old Peter McTaggart following an investigation into the incident late last week.  Deputies arrested McTaggert without incident and, charged him with third-degree burglary, petty larceny, and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 

 

McTaggart was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $30,000 cash bail.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is moving it's Spring Water Main Flushing program to mornings and afternoons beginning a week from today. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers say officials with the Water Division worked for the past 8 to 10 months to come up with a plan that's less disruptive and, works better for the utility and it's customers.  Leathers says one of the main considerations for the change was the safety of their workers.

 

Leathers says they initially looked at doing the flushing in two shifts from 7 AM to 9 PM each weekday.  However, he says they finally decided on an 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM time period.  Leathers says the only difference will be when they start the flushing next weekend in the village of Falconer. 

 

He says that will remain an overnight flushing program starting this Friday, April 28th with some pre-flushing work.  Leathers says that runs through next Sunday afternoon. 

 

The new schedule will begin on Monday morning, May 1st on Jamestown's eastside.  Leathers made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs. 

 

A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies. 

 

In this case it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. 

 

It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.


U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York says he has spoken with President Trump about a U.S.-Canada trade dispute involving dairy products. 

 

Schumer said Sunday that he is working with the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other stakeholders to develop a plan to tackle the issue that has left dairy farmers in Wisconsin and New York without a market for their product. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says there are some ways right now that lawmakers can address the issue. Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including "ultra-filtered" milk that compete with the U.S. product. 

 

Reed says, long-term the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to deal with dairy and, with the wine industry.  He says both need to be involved in any discussion of NAFTA. 

 

Reed made his comments during a recent conference call with Southern Tier Media.  Schumer says the new policy "violates our agreements and hurts our farmers."


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says an investigation by his office found hundreds of vehicles had been sold to consumers without disclosing serious safety issues. 

 

Schneiderman says he has reached settlements with 104 car dealerships around the state that sold vehicles without telling customers about recalls for defects such as unintended acceleration and steering or brake loss.  Under the settlements, dealers are required to follow a set of guidelines to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls. 

 

Each dealer will also pay a $1,000 fine to the state.  The attorney general's office says consumers can check the recall status of any vehicle by entering its Vehicle Identification Number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website .


New York state is investing 112-million dollars in federal funding into several dozen projects intended to enhance bicycle and pedestrian transportation. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced the projects late this past week.  They include new and improved sidewalks, trails and bike paths, crosswalks, safety upgrades at traffic intersections and expanded public transportation services around the state.  The money will pay for up to 80 percent of the work. 

 

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money is "critical" to expanding transportation options that are healthier for people and better for the environment.


Facing huge deficits, Pennsylvania could become the first state to allow both its casinos and lottery to take its games online. 

 

It's a quest for money from new and younger players.  The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering allowing Pennsylvania's licensed casinos to control new online gambling sites.  It's legal in just three states, including New Jersey. 

 

Meanwhile Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wants to expand the lottery's reach to cyberspace.  Just four states allow that.

 

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 29, 2017

Major drug bust in Dunkirk leads to five arrests, and seizure of more than 100 grams of "crack" cocaine, and more than $170,000...
A major drug bust in the city of Dunkirk has led to five arrests... and the seizing of a large amount of "crack" cocaine, and, more than $170,000 in cash.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided the house at 51 East Second Street shortly before 10 a.m. Friday... and, arrested four of the five suspects.  Task Force members say they arrested  47 year-old Minerva Maestre... 23 year-old Hector Mercado-Torres... 17 year-old Eriberto Corraliza... and, 18 year-old Angelica Cullinan.  Agents say the raid and arrests were based on a seven-month long investigation... where they allegedly found the residence was being used by several people for storage and sales of crack cocaine.  During the raid... task force members say they found 118.5 grams of crack... and, just over $171,000 in cash.  While the raid was being conducted... they arrested 24 year-old Pedro Corraliza, Junior as he arrived at the residence.  He is charged with one count each of Felony criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance.  All five were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.  Task Force members are also on the look-out for 32 year-old Jason Rosas-Rodriguez... and, 27 year-old Cristian Maestre... who are being sought on similar charges.  Anyone with information on their whereabouts can call the Tier Task Force at 1-800-344-8702 or 363-0313.
 
 
RecruitNY Volunteer Fire Weekend underway...
About a dozen fire departments across Chautauqua County will be holding open houses both today and tomorrow as part of the annual "Recruit-New York" Weekend.  That from County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone... who says they're among the nearly 500 departments across the state that'll be hosting such events this weekend.  Leone says the Firemen's Association of the State of New York -- or FASNY --- started the effort a few years ago in an effort to recruit more volunteers to fill their ranks, because those numbers continue to decline.  After many years of decline... FASNY says the annual Recruit-NY weekend has helped add more than 20,000 people to the ranks of fire departments across the state.  Leone says there is still a need for volunteers in Chautauqua County and he encourages those who are interested to attend the local open houses.  The fire departments taking part include Falconer, Fluvanna, Gerry, Kennedy, Kiantone, and Lakewood.
 
 
Young gets $100,000 grant for Jamestown's new Veteran's Memorial Park...
To help the city of Jamestown fullfill it's mission of honoring local veteran's with a completed memorial park... State Senator Cathy Young announced Friday a $100,000 grant to help finish the project.  Young was joined by other local officials and veteran's groups as she unveiled an oversized check for that amount for the on-going effort.  The Olean Republican says it's time to complete the park... which honors veterans of all wars and conflicts.  She also honored the more than 130 groups that have raised more than $300,000 to help construct the memorial park.  Young recalled that the project was started in 2011 under the leadership of late Jamestown Veteran's Council President Ron Cotton.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi expressed his appreciation for the grant... and, the community effort to get the Veteran's Memorial completed.  He especially praised the Veteran's Memorial Commission for it's efforts.  The grant will help complete installation of two new signs for the park... finish relocating six historic monuments from the old Veteran's Park... and, put in a new, nine car parking lot.
 
 
County Chamber's State Leg. Breakfast focuses on new State Budget...
While there were some new, big-ticket items for Chautauqua County in the final state budget... there were some others that lawmakers had to fight to keep in the 2017-18 spending plan.  That from State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who say those item will help local businesses and business owners.  Young and Goodell both took part in yesterday morning's State Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the county Chamber of Commerce, in Lakewood.  Young says they were able to protect a $4.2-billion in tax reform measures.  She also pointed out a number of smaller, Worker's Compensation laws and regulations designed to cut some of the bureaucracy for employers.
 
 
Young, Goodell, voice opposition to state Constitutional Convention...
Many people in Chautauqua County have clamored over the years for a New York state constitutional convention.  However... "be careful of what you wish for."  That from the area's state legislators... who says holding one in the current political climate in Albany could be "devastating" to the state.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who adds it could also cause the "death nell" for the upstate region.  Young says there would be three delegates elected from each Senate District.. and, then 15 "Super Delegates..." which she says would give the New York City-Metro Area full control of the convention.  Young warns that politicians, and lobbyists will have a chance at those seats.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell adds that he often hears from more conservative groups and advocates about the need for constitutional changes to such areas as gun rights.  However... he too warns against a constitutional convention.  However... they did speak in favor of an amendment on the ballot that would strip pension rights from lawmakers convicted of crimes, such as corruption.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Eight people were arrested during and following a drug raid in a troubled neighborhood on Jamestown's north side early yesterday morning.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force the state Police C-NET Team, and the JPD SWAT Team executed a search warrant at 853 Prendergast Avenue about 6 AM.  
 
Samuelson says investigators found several people and about three-quarters of a pound of marihuana inside.  He says there was also just over $3,500 in cash.
 
Samuelson says all five suspects found inside the home, 39 year-old Angel Ortiz-Rodriguez, 41 year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez, 23 year-old Steven Eliel-Rodriguez, 20 yer-old Telly Ortiz, Junior and, 23 year-old Joshua Stam were each arraigned and sent to the county jail.  
 
The other three arrested outside the residence have been identified as 20 year-old Eileen Rodriguez, 31 year-old Hector Montanez, and, 47 year-old Duane Sikes.  If the 853 Prendergast address sounds familiar, Samuelson says that's where a man was shot and killed last June.
 
Samuelson says pot trafficking is also still an issue in the city.  Anyone with information on any illegal drug trafficking in the city is asked to call the Task Force at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477 or use the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
A Dunkirk man has been arrested in Mayville for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in the north county city over the past several months.  
 
Task Force members say they arrested 28 year-old Angel Tirado Lopez of East Fifth Street Wednesday on a Dunkirk City Court warrant.  Agents say Lopez was arraigned in city court on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminial sale.  
 
Task Force members say he was then sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail pending further action of the court.  
 
Authorities continue to ask the public to report suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods by calling 1-800-344-8702 or 363-0313.  Police say all calls are kept confidential.
 
The county legislature has approved a resolution to begin the process of renewing the county's additional 1% sales tax.  
 
Lawmakers in Mayville unanimously approved the measure without much fanfare during Wednesday night's monthly meeting.  The intial home rule legislation approved by the state legislature in 2015 has helped plug a 6-million dollar "structural deficit" in the county budget.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says this is the first-step in the process.
 
Horrigan says the additional tax which makes the county's overall sales tax 8% plugs the hole in the budget, and also allows the county to take advantage of additional hotel capacity, and special events such as the LECOM Health Challenge PGA Web.com tounament at Peek 'n Peak.  
 
This year's LECOM Challenge was also awarded $75,000 in occupancy tax money to help put on the July event.  
 
The county's Director of Planning and Economic Development, Kevin Sandvige, says it's part of growing the tournament budget to 2.5-million dollars.
 
Beer-maker Labatt says it will relocate its U.S. headquarters from its current location in Buffalo to another Buffalo building, which it's restoring in a partnership with the owners of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills.  
 
Labatt USA said Wednesday it will be the anchor tenant at the nearly 100-year-old former manufacturing plant in the city's Cobblestone District.  Along with its 56 employees, Labatt will have space for a restaurant and pilot brewery where beer drinkers will be invited to taste and influence new beer development.  
 
The 70,000-square-foot building was recently purchased by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which plans a mix of retail, commercial and residential space.

 

The Fredonia Police Department is making some changes in how they will be handling "illegal activities" during the weekend formerly known as "Fred Fest."  
 
"Fred Fest" was a Spring party that occured in and around the SUNY College at Fredonia.  That from Police Chief Brad Meyers who announced the changes prior to the unsanctioned event that gets underway today and, continues through Saturday.
 
Fredonia Police will also be posting the arrests on the police department's Facebook page.  The "non-FredFest" event has been a major headache for police and Meyers hopes that the advance notice of the changes will help curb the number of arrests.
 
About 100 people were on hand for last night's annual Volunteer of the Year reception to help honor 16 people for their outstanding volunteerism in the Jamestown-area.  
 
The program was hosted by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at the Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown.  The volunteers were named by their organization for the efforts from mentoring at-risk children, to delivering hot meals to local Seniors.  United Way Executive Director Tori Irgang says the volunteers also come from a variety of backgrounds.
 
Each of the United Way's member agencies select a volunteer but, in some cases chose two because it's hard to select just one.  Among those honored at last night's event were Leroy Trice with Chautauqua Adult Day Care  Jean Shiffer and Sherwood Martin from the American Red Cross Misty Johnson and Clark Poppleton with Family Service of the Chautauqua Region and,Marie Carubba with The Resource Center.

 

A New York community college president who was recorded disparaging an alleged victim of sexual assault has retired, just before a vote to consider firing him.  

 

Niagara County Community College says James Klyczek notified the board of trustees of his retirement shortly before a special meeting Wednesday evening in which the trustees were to decide whether to remove him as head of the two-year college located north of Buffalo.  

 

In a statement... the board's president called Klyczek's reported words and actions inconsistent with the college's values.  WKBW-TV of Buffalo aired a recording in which Klyczek is allegedly heard calling a middle-aged woman who reported being sexually assaulted near the campus library "too stupid to follow (her) instinct."  Klyczek doesn't have a public phone listing and couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

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WJTN News Headlines

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved leasing several acres of land at the former Roblin Steel location in Dunkirk to store wind turbine parts for projects in three northern Chautauqua County towns.  
 
Lawmakers last night approved the $60,000 lease with BNSF Logistics, 15-to-4.  During discussion prior to the vote Hanover's George Borrello again voiced his opposition to the projects mainly because they are so heavily-taxpayer subsized.  Borrello also accused the companies involved with throwing money around to divide communities to get what they want.
 
Dunkirk legislator Robert Bankowski supported the move, which would take place in his district.  Bankowski says the move may help spur further development at the former Roblin Steel location which is also a brownfield site.  
 
Most legislature members agreed with Bankowski but, some were sympathic to residents who spoke prior to the vote and, urged others to vote against the proposal.  
 
One of those was Jamestown's Chuck Nazzaro who says it's "not always about the money."  Nazzaro says he listened with his heart adding that $60,000 is not going to "make or break this county budget." 
 
Members of the public sounded off for nearly an hour before last night's vote on the wind turbine storage facility with several again opposing the projects in Arkwright, Villanova, and Cassadaga.  
 
One of them, Patricia Greenstein of Cassadaga thanked legislators Nazzaro, Scudder and Borrello for opposing the lease deal in committee.  Greenstein says she's concerned about the fact that BNSF is a subsidized company and, the lease will be paid for with taxpayer money.
 
Others also voiced concern over the fact that the county and towns and school districts won't realize the money they should be with a 150-million dollar-plus project.  However, the extra $300,000 is critical to those entities.  
 
That from Arkwright Supervisor Fred Norton, who says he's been involved directly with the project the past 11 years.  Norton says it's especially important to the local schools.  
 
Other residents on hand also voiced environmental and health concerns with the projects... which combined will produce more than 100 wind turbines.  Each individual project has been approved by the local boards involved.

 

The city of Jamestown is in "pretty good shape" as far are revenues coming in for the first quarter of the year.  
 
However there are some concerns about expenses, namely due to several retirements planned in the city Police Department.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, who recently told city council members that first quarter Payments in Lieu of Taxes from the Board of Public Utilities were, collectively slightly above budget projections.  
 
As for expenses he says they're looking at about $22,000 in overtime from the fire department from last month's rash of arson fires.
 
The biggest concern, though, on the expense side, is the city is being hit by six retirements in the Police Department and, some of those have already taken place.  Bellitto says the city budgeted $80,000 for those.  
 
However he says it's going to cost $378,000 when they all retire.  Bellitto says they will recoup some of that money later in the year... but, they're not yet sure how much. 
 
Two Democrats in the New York state legislature say the state should be required to release the state tax returns of any president who hails from New York state.  
 
The measure does not mention President Donald Trump by name, but it comes after the New York City Republican refused to release his tax returns during his successful run for the presidency last year.  
 
The requirement would apply to anyone holding high-level elected office, including the presidency, who has filed a New York state tax return.  It would not be retroactive.  
 
Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan and Assemblyman David Buchwald of Westchester County plan to formally introduce their legislation Thursday.  Hoylman also has proposed requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the New York ballot.
 
 
The new National Comedy Center in Jamestown is getting some federal help in making the "national-scope" comedy attraction a reality.  
 
That from Local Congressman Tom Reed, who has announced that he's secured New Market Tax Credit financing to help complete the project.  Reed says that financing will provide 4.8-million dollars in "net funding" for the center. The Corning Republican says he's very pleased to see this finally happen.
 
Reed says comedy is a "true art" that brings smiles to so many people and, he says being part of bringing the project to it's conclusion is "something we're excited about.  He praised comedy center officials led by Board Chairman Tom Benson have done a great job sheparding the project and, he looks foward to the final product and, the jobs created and entertainment provided.  
 
In a printed release Tom Benson said "we are grateful for the tremendous hands-on approach that Congressman Reed and his staff have provided over the past several years."  With this funding mechanism in place Benson says they can now make "this catalytic economic development project a reality."

 

Gas prices in Chautauqua County are continuing their upward trend this week with the price up about 6-cents for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price is up from just over $2.49 last week to just over $2.55 this week. The Fuel Gauge says the state of New York is among the top-10 most expensive gas markets in the U.S. with an average price of $2.52.  Nationally the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $2.42, which is an increase of 13 cents over last month.

 

Lake Ontario's rising water is furthering New York Congressman Chris Collins' push for the repeal of an environmental plan adopted late in President Barack Obama's administration.  

 

The U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission approved Plan 2014 as a way to improve environmental conditions along the lake and the St. Lawrence River by letting water levels rise and fall more naturally.  But the Republican congressman says it's causing damaging flooding along the shoreline.  

 

As of Wednesday, the Lake Ontario water level is about 20 inches above average.  The commission says the rainy April is the cause, and that the levels would be about the same with or without Plan 2014.  

 

Collins and fellow New York Congressman John Katko have written to President Donald Trump urging him to pull out of the binational agreement.

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WJTN Headlines

The bi-partisan "Problem Solver Caucus", co-chaired by local Congressman Tom Reed has announced it will support a 2017 budget provided it is a "clean bill" without any ideological riders. 

 

Reed and fellow co-chair Josh Gottenheimer a New Jersey Democrat made the announcement late Monday as lawmakers were returning to Washington from their Easter Break. 

 

Reed says the move which would avoid a government shut-down, was approved by more than 75% of the 40-member group. Reed adds that lawmakers "must always put country over party when it comes to governing in Washington, D.C."  He says that's why the Problem Solvers Caucus was formed and, adds that it's important to "close the ideological divide and prove that we are true representatives of the people." 

 

He says the caucus has, collectively decided against putting a number of likely divisive items in this year's plan.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Lawmakers in Lakewood had to make several cuts to get the final, 2017-18 budget inside the state's two-percent property tax cap and, that's left the village with little wiggle room over the next year. 

 

That from Mayor Cara Birritierri who says she was disappointed that money she had budgeted to try and continue progress made in the village over the past year was cut out.  Birritierri voted against the final, 4.4-million dollar spending plan and, says there is only $2,000 left for planning work. Birritierri says that'll be a wellness event in the village. 

 

The final budget increases the tax rate by 19-cents per thousand assessed value from $7.15 per thousand to $7.34.  Birritierri says the village has been looking into a joint gas-fueling station with the Southwestern Central School District to save money on gas by purchasing it wholesale.  

 

Monday night's budget vote was 3-to-2.  The new budget had to be approved by May 1st.

 



Interstate 86 between Panama and Sherman was closed for several hours overnight Tuesday in the town of North Harmony after fire erupted in a tractor-trailer hauling chickens destroying both the cargo and the big rig. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's dispatchers say deputies, and Ashville and Panama fire crews were called to the scene just west of Exit 7 shortly after 11 PM Monday and, found the trailer fully-engulfed in flames. 

 

Dispatchers say the unidentified driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  There were no other injuries.  I-86 westbound from Exit 7 to Exit 6 was closed until about 6:15 Tuesday morning while the scene was cleared.  The cause of the blaze is continuing to be investigated.


A big announcement about tax reform is expected later today by President Trump who has said little since he announced the news last weekend. 

 

Tax Reform is one of the handful of major items on Trump's plate as he tries to score some significant victories leading up to his 100th day in office.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he too is looking forward to today's expected announcement.  However the Corning Republican deferred to the White House on details.

 

Reed has talked a lot about business and corporate tax reform.  However those proposals would reportedly do away with programs such as the New Market Tax Credit and others. 

 

Reed says those will be reviewed on an on-going basis but, adds he has pushed "keeping what works" including the New Market Tax Credit.  Federal lawmakers began work in earnest on reforming the nation's 70-thousand page Tax Code after they were unable to approve a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The American Health Care Act has not yet made it to the House floor for a vote.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and Public Facilitie's Director George Spanos have announced the list of county highway and bridge projects for 2017. 

 

Horrigan said Tuesday that work will include bridge/culvert replacements and rehabilitation, drainage projects, general maintenance, surface treating projects and paving.  In addition to Consolidated Highway and Pave New York funds he says they were able to pick up some extreme winter program funding.
 

Since work will be getting underway very soon Horrigan is reminding drivers to give work crews a break.  He says leave a little extra time so you can slow down in the work zone, and keep workers safe. 

 

He says residents can get more information about the projects by calling the Department of Public Facilities at 661-8400.


The New York state Senate has passed a new collection of bills aimed at battling the state's increasing rates of opioid and heroin abuse. 

 

The Senate late Monday passed eight bills designed to prevent heroin, opioid and synthetic drug use that lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have declared a statewide crisis. 

 

Six measures target the use of synthetic or designer drug mixers such as fentanyl that escape criminality in current laws.  Two more bills would promote coordination among health-care providers and would notify prescribers when an individual has suffered an overdose. 

 

New York officials say the number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010. The number of heroin-involved deaths in 2015 was five times the number in 2010

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WJTN Headlines

City lawmakers will begin the process of annexing about five-acres of land used by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for it's Dow Street Substation next week. 

 

Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman last night discussed three resolutions the city council will act on at next Monday night's voting session.  She says the BPU initiated the steps earlier this year by petitioning the city to annex the property. Fiore-Lehman says the first resolution will accept that petition, and a short-form environmental assessment form.

 

Fiore-Lehman says the SEQR Resolution will call for the city to be lead agency for the annexation effort.  She says legal papers will then be served on the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott, and in 20-days, the city will publish a notice of annexation in the Post-Jouirnal with a date for a public hearing involving all three municipal boards.  Those boards will then vote on whether to allow the annexation to go through. 

 

Fiore-Lehman says they expect the village and or town boards to reject the plan.  At that point, she says the city will apply to the state Appellate Division to decide whether the move would be in "the overall public interest."


The first public input session on where to devote Jamestown's annual allocation of federal funding to support low and middle-income projects in the city will be held this afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says city Development Director Vince DeJoy will host the first session on Jamestown's 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will begin at 5 PM in City Council Chambers.  He says the public is encouraged to attend and, ask questions and offer ideas for a draft program. 

 

Teresi cautions, though, that in his 2018 budget Blueprint... President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with the CDBG program.  However... he adds it's just a proposal at this time, and they are proceeding ahead with the process.  Again... tonight's meeting begins at 5 PM.


At last word, a 9-year-old Jamestown girl was still in serious condition at a Buffalo hospital after she was reportedly hit by a pick-up truck early Sunday afternoon in the city's eastside. 

 

City police say the truck pedestrian accident occured about 12:30 PM on Falconer Street  near Bowen.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson confirms the girl was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital, where she was in serioius condition. 

 

Police are not identifying the girl, nor the driver involved.  Samuelson says the girl reportedly ran onto the street, and was stuck by a red-colored pick-up truck.  No charges have been filed.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's leading a bi-partisan effort to make legislation that strengthens rural hospitals in the United States permanent. 

 

The Corning Republican introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.  Reed says it's geared towards helping provide support for the many hospitals in his 23rd Congressional District that are highly-dependent on Medicare reimbursements.

 

In recent years, Reed says the legislation has been temporary and, hospital leaders sit on the edge of their seats waiting to see if new legislation will be enacted.  This time around, though, he is optimistic that there are some members of the U-S Senate that will help them get the measure passed. 

 

Reed says he's been in contact with several rural hospitals about the need for a permanent measure... including UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  The Jamestown hospital is one of those local hospitals that are "low-volume, Medicare dependent" faclities across the Southern Tier Districts.  Reed made his comments during a recent media call.


It's not too late to seek tax filing help from New York state. 

 

State tax officials have extended the hours of their Income Tax Call Center through the filing deadline Tuesday.  The deadline is Midnight tonight.  Tax assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at (518)-457-5181. 

 

The state tax department has handled more than 321,000 calls related to tax return filing and refunds. Officials expect to answer about 30,000 more calls Monday and Tuesday.


The general construction season is already underway on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution especially with the 41.5-million dollar Amphitheater project moving to it's final stages. 

 

However there will also have to be some road work done leading to and from the new Amp due to heavy truck traffic since the end of the 2016 season.  Communications Director Jordan Steves says many of the main roads will need to be re-paved before the new season begins.

 

Steves says there is also new or newer equipment going into the new Amphitheater including ecoustical, sound and other systems.  He adds there will be a new camera system installed in the Amphitheater to record lectures that will be put on line, or archived after they have taken place. 

 

Steves also told our Dennis Webster late last week that the new Amp will be ready for the June 24th start to the season.

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly theatening a woman, who had an order of protection against him, with a paintball gun last weekend. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Chandler Street shortly before 9 PM last Saturday and, learned that 40 year-old Grant Monroe, Junior had gone to the residence and threatened her. Officers say their investigation led them to another house on the southside, where they found and arrested Monroe. 

 

Police found that he had been convicted of a domestic violence charge within the preceeding five-years.  He was arrested for Aggravated Family Offense, a Felony and three counts of first-degree criminal contempt another Felony. 

 

Monroe was also charged with second-degree menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

A Sinclairville man faces burglary and other charges after he allegedly entered a building in the village and, removed property that didn't belong to him. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 26 year-old Peter McTaggart following an investigation into the incident late last week. 

 

Deputies arrested McTaggert without incident and, charged him with third-degree burglary, petty larceny and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 

 

McTaggart was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on 30-thousand dollars cash bail.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is moving it's Spring Water Main Flushing program to mornings and afternoons beginning a week from today. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers say officials with the Water Division worked for the past 8 to 10 months to come up with a plan that's less disruptive and, works better for the utility and it's customers.  Leathers says one of the main considerations for the change was the safety of their workers.

 

Leathers says they initially looked at doing the flushing in two shifts from 7 AM to 9 PM each weekday.  However he says they finally decided on an 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM time period.  Leathers says the only difference will be when they start the flushing next weekend in the village of Falconer. 

 

He says that will remain an overnight flushing program starting this Friday, April 28th with some pre-flushing work.  Leathers says that runs through next Sunday afternoon. 

 

The new schedule will begin on Mondaymorning, May 1st on Jamestown's eastside.  Leathers made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs. 

 

A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies. 

 

In this case it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. 

 

It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.


U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York says he has spoken with President Trump about a U.S.-Canada trade dispute involving dairy products. 

 

Schumer said Sunday that he is working with the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other stakeholders to develop a plan to tackle the issue that has left dairy farmers in Wisconsin and New York without a market for their product. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says there are some ways right now that lawmakers can address the issue. Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including "ultra-filtered" milk that compete with the U.S. product. 

 

Reed says, long-term the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to deal with dairy and, with the wine industry.  He says both need to be involved in any discussion of NAFTA. 

 

Reed made his comments during a recent conference call with Southern Tier Media.  Schumer says the new policy "violates our agreements and hurts our farmers."


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says an investigation by his office found hundreds of vehicles had been sold to consumers without disclosing serious safety issues. 

 

Schneiderman says he has reached settlements with 104 car dealerships around the state that sold vehicles without telling customers about recalls for defects such as unintended acceleration and steering or brake loss. 

 

Under the settlements, dealers are required to follow a set of guidelines to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls.  Each dealer will also pay a one-thousand dollar fine to the state. 

 

The attorney general's office says consumers can check the recall status of any vehicle by entering its Vehicle Identification Number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website .


New York state is investing $112 million in federal funding into several dozen projects intended to enhance bicycle and pedestrian transportation. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced the projects late this past week.  They include new and improved sidewalks, trails and bike paths, crosswalks, safety upgrades at traffic intersections and expanded public transportation services around the state.  The money will pay for up to 80 percent of the work. 

 

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money is "critical" to expanding transportation options that are healthier for people and better for the environment.


Facing huge deficits, Pennsylvania could become the first state to allow both its casinos and lottery to take its games online. 

 

It's a quest for money from new and younger players.  The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering allowing Pennsylvania's licensed casinos to control new online gambling sites. 

 

It's legal in just three states, including New Jersey. Meanwhile Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wants to expand the lottery's reach to cyberspace.  Just four states allow that.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 22, 2017

Warren County Emergency Dir. confirms tornado touch-down in Youngsville, PA...
A small tornado that touched down in a rural part of central Warren County, Pennsylvania has now been confirmed by the county's Emergency Services Department, and the National Weather Service.  That from Warren County Emergency Services Director Todd Lake... who toured the area near Yankee Bush and Follet Run Roads Friday morning.  Lake says the initial calls came in shortly before 8 p.m. last Thursday night.  The National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania first reported possible sightings late Thursday.  Lake says he and his deputy director -- Scott Rose -- surveyed the area... and found a path of damage of about 3/10s of a mile.  He says a few trees were taken down, and the roof was torn off a home.  He says there were people inside the home that had the roof torn off it.  But... none of the residents were hurt.  He adds a rabbit pen took a ride... but, the rabbits were okay.  Lake says power crews from Warren had to replace a couple of utility poles as well.  Forecaster Kevin Fitzgerald with the National Weather Service in State College says the Warren area was the hardest hit by the storm.
 
 
State A-G's urge Trump adminstration to not cut federal drug treatment funding...
The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs.  A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies.  In this case... it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul.  It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.
 
 
Four city residents arrested for alleged drug trafficking on northside...
Jamestown police have arrested four people during a drug raid at a home on the city's northside yesterday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson told us Friday morning that the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided the residence at 17 Norwood Avenue just after 9 a.m., where suspected Heroin sales were taking place.  He says they were still processing the scene and suspects late into the morning.  Samuelson says other narcotics were also found.. including Heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription pills.  He says the Jamestown Police SWAT Team also helped police with the raid... and, they arrested 28 year-old Andrew Bennett for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia... 55 year-old David Hare for Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance.... and, 58 year-old Patricia Bargy faces a Felony criminal possession charge for Meth... and, seventh-degree possession for having the prescription pills.  Samuelson says the fourth person... 28 year-old Destiny Franze-Hare... is charged with four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance after she was spotted leaving the scene in a vehicle just prior to the raid.  Officers did stop and impound the vehicle.  A separate search warrant was obtained for the vehicle... and, investigators found Meth, prescription pills and LSD inside.  All four suspects were in the city jail awaiting arraignment.  
 
 
City woman arrested for allegedly having large amount of cocaine in her possession...
A Jamestown woman is jailed without bail for allegedly being in possession of a large amount of cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's northside Thursday night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol spotted the car... operated by 45 year-old Cindy Frank... shortly before 9 p.m., crossing the center line near the intersection of Lakeview and Euclid Avenues.  Officers say they stopped the vehicle, and spotted a large package containing 6.6-ounes of the narcotic drug in plain view... and, Samuelson says they're happy to get that amount of the drug "off the street."  He says the cocaine is worth about 12-thousand dollars on the street.  He says Frank was arraigned on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... meaning it was packaged for sale.  Again... if you have any information on alleged drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or their Tips 4-1-1 app.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
 
 
City man arrested earlier Thursday for drug possession in earlier traffic stop...
A Jamestown man is being held in the county jail after allegedly being found in possession of several types of illegal narcotics during an earlier traffic stop in the city Thursday night.  Jamestown Police say they stopped a vehicle on Myers Avenue about 6 p.m. for a traffic infraction.  Upon further investigation... they found that a backseat passenger... 40 year-old Richard Riley... was in possession of 29 grams of powder cocaine... about two-grams of heroin... and, one gram of methamphetamine.  He was also found with more than 2 grams of marijuana.  Police add that they also seized an "imitation pistol."  Officers say Riley is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a  controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was arraigned Friday morning... and, sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Green says county Democrats may have a County Executive candidate announcement in May...
Now that a Republican has announced his candidacy for Chautauqua County Executive... when will a Democrat announce they are entering the race?  Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says they have "identified" a possible candidate... but, says he will wait until May for an announcement.  Green says -- to him -- it's a "little too early" to announce right now.  Green, who did not want to identify the individual at this time, says voters get wary of politics this early in the season.  The Chairman says there's a lot of interest in politics this year... and, says he hopes that translates into more candidates running for office because there are over 200 local and regional elections coming up.  Hanover Republican George Borrello announced his candidacy earlier this week.  Incumbent Republican Vince Horrigan announced earlier this year that he was not seeking a second term.
 

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WJTN News Headline

Drug agents in Jamestown were concluding a drug raid at a home on the city's northside when we talked with Captain Samuelson this morning shortly after 10 AM.  Samuelson says they found several people inside the home at 17 Norwood Avenue where suspected Heroin sales were taking place. Samuelson says they don't have an exact amount of Heroin that was seized by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, he says charges are pending against the occupants.  Again... if you have any information on illegal drug sales... call the JPD Tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 

WJTN News Headlines

Intense storms hit Warren County, Pennsylvania Thursday evening.
 
Kevin Fitzgerald with the National Weather Service in State College says there were multiple reports of a funnel cloud just before 8pm.
 
Fitzgeral says at this time there are no reports of damage.  Fitzgerald said that the investigation will begin today to determine if a tornado touched down.
 
Fitzgerald says that the Warren area was the hardest hit by last night's storm. The storm was less intense as it travelled east.  
 
Listen to the Full Interview with Kevin Fitzgerald on Facebook at Radiojamestown. 
 
In the next few days, the first candidate to enter the race for Chautauqua County Executive says he will be releasing details of a ten-point plan for "elevating Chautauqua County."  
 
Hanover Republican George Borrello announced his candidacy on Wednesday afternoon in Silver Creek. 
 
Borrello says there are jobs available in the county but, he says employers who need the workers are finding it difficult to fill the openings.  He says there are "hundreds of openings through-out the county" but, many don't have the skills or the understanding of how business places operate.  
 
Borrello is the first candidate to announce his entry into the race.  Incumbent Republican VInce Horrigan is not seeking a second term this fall.
 
Cellular One will again have a presence in the Greater Jamestown-area after a few years away and, the cell phone provider is officially opening it's two new local stores this weekend.  
 
CellOne District Manager Melody Madigan says the new stores are located on Foote Avenue in Jamestown and, Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood.  Madigan says they've had a very good reception to a recent "soft opening" and, adds they're excited about Saturday morning's Grand Opening.
 
Madigan says Cellular One has a number of optimal plans on their 4G LTE network, that include 50 gigabite capabilities which provides high-speed connectivity for music, information and movies.  
 
She says the Grand Opening will be held at the Jamestown store at 720 Foote Avenue on Saturday morning at 10:30 AM.  She says both stores have hours of 10 AM to 7 PM Mondays through Saturdays.  
 
Madigan says the event is free and open to the public and will include demonstrations, giveaways and refreshments.

 

New York State's second-in-command brought an update on the Athenex project with her when she appeared in Irving yesterday afternoon.  
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke to the Hanover Chamber of Commerce about the state budget, was asked by after the presentation about the $200 million project and when construction will begin.  While no groundbreaking date has been set, Hochul confirmed that the funding has been released for the project.
 
Hochul says because the funding has been released, the company can begin the process of securing contractors for the project.  
 
Regarding the State Budget, the Lieutenant Governor says the new college tuition free program will benefit Western New York, including the SUNY College at Fredonia.  She says it's important to let residents know that's now available.  
 
Hochul says the budget also helps address such problems as aging infrastructure, rising prescription drug costs, and riding sharing in Western New York.
 
A city man is jailed after allegedly leading Jamestown police on a short foot pursuit when they tried to arrest him on a bench warrant on the city's eastside.  
 
Jamestown police say officers were called to a suspicious situation at Water and King Streets just after 2 AM Thursday and, checked on the two people there.  Police say one was identified as Shawn Beardsley who was wanted on a bench warrant out of City Court.  
 
However, when officers tried to arrest Beardsley he ran from them.  He was caught after a short foot chase and, charged with second-degree obstruction.  He was also held on the bench warrant.
 
New York state is devoting another $200 million to fight the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse.  
 
Budget legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will send $145 million to community providers for things like residential treatment beds and outpatient services.  Another $6 million will fund the use of the heroin antidote naloxone.  
 
Cuomo says the state is focused on prevention, treatment and recovery statewide. New York officials say the number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010.  
 
Meanwhile, the number of heroin-involved deaths in 2015 was five times the number in 2010.
 
New York is pouring new state funding into its public defense system, which is so beleaguered the poor have often had limited representation or none at all.  
 
Lawmakers this month approved the statewide caseload caps and money for counties to pay for legal services for defendants who cannot afford to hire their own.  The state will reimburse counties for the improvements in indigent defense coverage based on plans developed by the independent Indigent Legal Services office.  
 
State officials estimate 250-million dollars in costs when the funding is fully implemented in 2023.  Executive director of the New York State Defenders Association Jonathan Gradess says the state will also determine new caseload caps based on national recommendations.  
 
Public defenders say they are hopeful the changes will encourage broader reforms to the system.
 
When federal lawmakers return to Congress from their two-week Easter Recess next week, they'll have just days to approve a bill that would fund the federal budget and prevent a government shutdown.  
 
However, New York's senior US Senator says good progress has been made on a final, 2017 spending plan.  
 
Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer says he's one of the four leaders in both houses negotiating a final plan that includes critical funding for entities such as the carrier at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown.
 
Another crucial funding item for 2017 is the Community Development Block Grant program which benefits both Jamestown and Dunkirk.  As for 2018, though, Schumer says everything is cut except for defense.  
 
He says it's most hard to believe that Cancer research would be cut by upwards of 5-billion dollars.  Schumer made his comments during a press conference at Southern Tier Distilling in the Stoneman Industrial Park in the town of Busti.  He says "if the president leaves it to the four leaders, I think we can avoid a government shut-down." 

 

The Buffalo Sabres have fired general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma after the youthful team missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.  

 

Owner Terry Pegula made the announcement Thursday after spending the past two days holding season-ending meetings with Murray.  Murray had completed his third full season as GM, and was responsible for overseeing a top-to-bottom rebuilding project in Buffalo.  

 

Bylsma just completed his second season.  After finishing 35-36-11 last season, the Sabres took a step back this past year.  They went 33-37-12 and finished last in the Atlantic Division standings.

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WJTN Headlines

A North County legislator announced plans this afternoon to run for Chautauqua County Executive and, he received the backing of a number of big name Republicans. 

 

Hanover Republican George Borrello made the announcement in Silver Creek and was introduced by the man he hopes to replace.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he wouldn't leave the office for retirement without knowing that someone like Borrello was ready to run. 

 

Borrello has been a legislator since 2010 and says he's ready to do more. Among those backing Borrello's bid for County Executive is local Congressman Tom Reed who says to him, Borrello "respresents all of us." 

 

In addition State Senator Cathy Young, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell were among those on hand for the announcement.  Borrello's campaign theme is "Elevating Chautauqua County."


New York's senior U-S Senator is calling for the federal government to help provide crop insurance for malt barley growers in all upstate New York counties. 

 

Democrat Charles Schumer was at Southern Tier Distillery, next to Southern Tier Brewing, in the town of Busti late Wednesday morning to make the announcement. 

 

Schumer says the move will help local farmers and, the state's booming craft beverage industry.  He says right now there's not enough malt barley because the insurance is only available in four counties.

 

In fact officials at Southern Tier Distilling say they use about 4,000 pounds of barley a month for their growing product line which will soon include bourbon.  Schumer says the state now ranks third in the craft distilling business and fifth in craft brewing and, says that fact boost's New York's tourism industry. 

 

He says no new law is needed.  He says it needs the authorization of the U-S Agriculture Secretary.  However he says President Trump's new secretary has not been sworn in yet.


Senator Schumer is praising President Donald Trump for his promise to find a solution to a trade dispute with Canada that has left dairy farmers in New York and Wisconsin without a market for their product. 

 

During a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday Trump said that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that."  During his stop at Southern Tier Distilling Schumer blamed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a new "protectionist" dairy pricing policy. 

 

He says it's especially hurt the "ultra-filtered" milk industry. Canada has not imposed any new import taxes on the protein liquid concentrate.  However the government there has been able to get their milk producers to sell it cheaper than it's American counterpart. 

 

Schumer says this is one area where he will certainly work with the Trump Administration on.  In fact he says he's much closer to Trump's view on trade than he was Presidents Obama and Bush.  When he was a member of Congress Schumer voted against the North American Free Trade deal.


A town of Carroll teenager faces several charges, including Felony grand larceny after allegedly stealing a car in the town of Kiantone, and driving drunk when the car crashed on Water Street. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene just before 6:30 Monday morning and, found the 17 year-old male had fled the scne, leaving a 15 year-old girl there alone.  Deputies say the boy had taken the car from a Frewsburg home without permission.  He was located at another residence in Frewsburg a short time later, and physically resisted arrest. 

 

Deputies say they took the 17 year-old to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he allegedly fought with police again and, struck a deputy in the face.  The 17 year old was later arraigned Kiantone Town Court on the charges which also include Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a child in the vehicle and, sent to the county jail without bail. 

 

The teen will appear in Carroll Town Court at a later date.  Officers say charges regarding incident at UPMC Chautauqua WCA hospital are pending.


New York is awarding more than $13 million to help law enforcement agencies combat gun violence. 

 

The money will go to 20 police departments in the 17 counties participating in the state's Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative.  The counties report 83% of the violent crime outside of New York City. 

 

A dozen counties received funding to specifically target gun violence. Those are Albany, Erie, Monroe, Westchester, Onondaga, Suffolk, Nassau, Schenectady, Orange, Niagara, Oneida  and Dutchess counties.  Five others were awarded grants to target aggravated assaults.  Those are Ulster, Chautauqua, Rockland, Rensselaer and Broome counties.


They couldn't  be outside but Jamestown Community College's Earthfest drew a big noontime crowd to the Hamilton Collegiate Center Wednesday. 

 

Emily Olds, a co-president of the JCC Earth Awareness Club, said 'sustainability' was a common theme among many of the exhibits and vendors. Emily is a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science at JCC.  She would like to see more people get connected to the environment in ways as simple as community gardening by expanding those garden bed to grow more. 

 

The Earth Awareness Club puts on Earthfest each year as part of its celebration of Earth Day.  Exotic animals, a petting zoo and music were also a part of this year's event.


New York's education commissioner has scheduled a hearing to decide whether one-time candidate for governor Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo school board. 

 

The June 22nd hearing in Albany will focus on a complaint by other school board members that Paladino violated policy by disclosing information that was discussed in executive session.  Paladino says information he disclosed was a matter of public interest and that efforts to remove him are retaliatory. 

 

School board members and community groups have been calling for Paladino's removal since he wrote that he wanted to see former President Barack Obama dead of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama living with a gorilla in Africa. 

 

Paladino, who was involved in President Donald Trump's campaign, says his comments weren't meant for publication.

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The Jamestown School Board has approved the basics of an 84.9-million dollar budget for 2017-18 that will go before the voters next May 16th. 

 

The board last night approved the spending plan which includes no tax increase and, adds necessary personnel and, helps the district replenish it's reserve funds.  Interim School Superintedent Silvia Root says the district got just over one-million dollars more in aid from the final state budget and, says that's a "good problem." 

 

Root says they'll now work with the board meeting students needs better. Root says they initially agreed to add eight teachers and staff in the previous budget draft.  However she says that number could be as many as 12 depending on what the board decides on. Two Middle School Counselors a School Psychologst and, a Behavior Specialist will also be considered. 

 

School Board President Paul Abbott was pleased with the budget but, also voiced concern about "overcorrecting" after years of having to slash spending and staff.  He says financial staff believe the level of spending is sustainable. 

 

A public hearing on the proposed spending plan will be held on Tuesday, May 9th, at Persell Middle School and, the public vote on the budget will be Tuesday, May 16th.


An alert McDonald's employee led police in Erie, Pennsylvania to the suspect in a Cleveland slaying that was recorded and posted on Facebook. 

 

Henry Sayers, the manager of the Harbor Creek restaurant, says that Steve Stephens pulled up to the drive-thru Tuesdaymorning and ordered a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets and french fries.  He says the attendant recognized Stephens, who was wanted in Sunday's slaying of a retired Ohio man, and called 9-1-1. 

 

Prior to that Erie Police said they received dozens of tips and, here in Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department got a couple of them. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says they received a tip on Stephens but that too was unfounded. 

 

The McDonald's owner tells the Erie Times-News that workers tried to "buy some time for the cops" and told Stephens his order of fries was delayed.  He says Stephens replied he had no time to wait and drove away. 

 

State police gave chase.  Authorities say Stephens stopped his car on the eastside of Erie and, shot and killed himself.


The city of Jamestown's proposed annexation of five-acres of property in Falconer owned by the Board of Public Utilities is not equitable to all parties involved and, that's why the town of Ellicott and two other entities are opposing the move. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says he, Falconer Village Mayor Jim Rensel, and Falconer School Superintendent Steve Penhollow have met several times regarding the proposal involving the Dow Street Substation since it was first announced.  McLaughlin says they all agree the move would provide no benefit to their residents.

 

In addition McLaughlin says they have agreed on hiring legal counsel to represent all three entities during the annexation process and, any court proceedings that would be involved.  He says they hired the Harris-Beech law firm shortly after city officials initially announced that they were investigating the possibility of annexing the land. 

 

McLaughlin says the biggest loss of tax revenue for Ellicott, Falconer, and the Falconer School District would be to the school district.  McLaughlin says the estimated loss would be about $165,000 to $170,000 a year.


Adjustments are being made to the village of Lakewood's proposed 2017-18 budget which Mayor Cara Birrittieri says reflect's "an incredibly difficult fiscal year." 

 

Birritierri  filed the just over 4.4-million dollar spending plan earlier this month with the village clerk's office.  She says the village has lost 2-million dollars in assessments and, all departments are requesting increases in spending for the new year. 

 

Birritierri says her proposal includes a tax rate of $7.72 per thousand assessed value which is a 57-cent per thousand increase.  She says it'a "about as bare bones as possible, without eliminating essential village services and important community needs." 

 

A public hearing on the spending plan was held a week ago and, a vote is slated for next Monday night.  The budget is due by May 1st.


Local Congressman Tom Reed used Tax Day 2017 to again tout the need for federal tax reform and, revealed some proposals he's looking at some suggested by constituents. 

 

The Corning Republican says one of the biggest hassles with taxes is the time it takes to itemize returns.  However Reed says he's hearing a lot of positive feedback on the idea of expanding the standard deduction to reduce the number of filers who itemize from 30 to 5-percent.

 

Reed says many people have also talked about the need to lower the tax burden and, he says he would like to see the number of brackets reduced to an expanded zero-percent along with three others at 12, 25% and 33%.  He says that would be a "positive thing." 

 

Reed also says streamling deductions including real property taxes, and education is an idea worth looking at.  Reed says it's time to bring the tax code into the 21st Century. 

 

He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Governor Andrew Cuomo reports earning $400,000 on his federal tax return for 2016. 

 

The Democratic governor made his tax returns available to journalists Tuesday afternoon, revealing a sharp increase in royalties from his 2014 memoir "All Things Possible."  The nearly $168,000 Cuomo accrued from his gubernatorial salary is boosted by $218,000 from the book and some investment income. 

 

The returns show Cuomo donated $20,000 to HELP USA, a charity for the homeless he founded decades ago.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and her husband reported just under $368,000 in income on their returns. 

 

They will owe $3,700 to the federal government and $1,700 to the state.  Hochul is married to William Hochul, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York.  They donated $21,000 to charities last year.


Gas prices in the Jametown-area are holding steady this week but, nationally the price has hit a new high for 2017. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the local price this week is down fractions of a penny but, remain just over $2.49 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The Fuel Gauge says the national price is now up to $2.41.  That's two-cents more than last week and, 12 cents more than one month ago. 

 

AAA says the national average has now increased for 20 consecutive days, and pump prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week.   The national increase was most prevalent in the East Coast region where refiners wrapped up seasonal turnaround resulting in significant prices increases last week.


New York state officials are warning residents of the dangers of wildfires. 

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced earlier this week that higher-than-normal temperatures and seasonal winds could heighten the risk of wildfires this spring.  The state has banned open burning through May 14th.  Brush fires often are a problem in the spring as rising temperatures and dry grass can create potentially dangerous situations. 

 

The governor's office says crews have recently responded to reports of fires in Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Essex, Herkimer, Orange and Saratoga counties.  Cuomo's office says residents can prepare for possible brush fires by inspecting their home's exterior, removing dead leaves or vegetation and keeping a working hose connected to an outdoor faucet.

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WJTN Headlines

City lawmakers will begin the process of annexing about five-acres of land used by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for it's Dow Street Substation next week. 

 

Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman last night discussed three resolutions the city council will act on at next Monday night's voting session.  She says the BPU initiated the steps earlier this year by petitioning the city to annex the property. Fiore-Lehman says the first resolution will accept that petition, and a short-form environmental assessment form.

 

Fiore-Lehman says the SEQR Resolution will call for the city to be lead agency for the annexation effort.  She says legal papers will then be served on the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott, and in 20-days, the city will publish a notice of annexation in the Post-Jouirnal with a date for a public hearing involving all three municipal boards.  Those boards will then vote on whether to allow the annexation to go through. 

 

Fiore-Lehman says they expect the village and or town boards to reject the plan.  At that point she says the city will apply to the state Appellate Division to decide whether the move would be in "the overall public interest."


The first public input session on where to devote Jamestown's annual allocation of federal funding to support low and middle-income projects in the city will be held this afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says city Development Director Vince DeJoy will host the first session on Jamestown's 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will begin at 5 PM in City Council Chambers.  He says the public is encouraged to attend and, ask questions and offer ideas for a draft program. 

 

Teresi cautions, though, that in his 2018 budget Blueprint President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with the CDBG program.  However he adds it's just a proposal at this time, and they are proceeding ahead with the process. 

 

Again tonight's meeting begins at 5 PM.


At last word a 9-year-old Jamestown girl was still in serious condition at a Buffalo hospital after she was reportedly hit by a pick-up truck early Sunday afternoon in the city's eastside. 

 

City police say the truck  pedestrian accident occured about 12:30 PM on Falconer Street  near Bowen.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson confirms the girl was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital, where she was in serioius condition. 

 

Police are not identifying the girl, nor the driver involved.  Samuelson says the girl reportedly ran onto the street, and was stuck by a red-colored pick-up truck.  No charges have been filed.


Police across the region are among the dozen's in a four-state area on the look-out for a Cleveland, Ohio man who may have been in the Erie, Pennsylvania area Monday morning after he allegedly shot and killed an elderly passerby yesterday. 

 

Cleveland Police say 37 year-old Steve Stephens then posted a gruesome video of the killing on Facebook.  Stephens is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of Robert Godwin, Senior Sunday afternoon. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says people should be aware that Stephens maybe somewhere in the area. Sheriff Gerace says police reported they had traced a "ping" from Stephen's cellphone early this Monday morning from Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania which is just east of Erie, and at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 86. 

 

Police are also urging police and residents in Indiana and Michigan to be on the lookout for Stephens who they say should be considered armed and dangerous. 

 

If you believe you may have seen the suspect, or his vehicle, call 911 immediately.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's leading a bi-partisan effort to make legislation that strengthens rural hospitals in the United States permanent. 

 

The Corning Republican introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.  Reed says it's geared towards helping provide support for the many hospitals in his 23rd Congressional District that are highly-dependent on Medicare reimbursements.

 

In recent years Reed says the legislation has been temporary and, hospital leaders sit on the edge of their seats waiting to see if new legislation will be enacted.  This time around, though, he is optimistic that there are some members of the U-S Senate that will help them get the measure passed. 

 

Reed says he's been in contact with several rural hospitals about the need for a permanent measure including UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital. 

 

The Jamestown hospital is one of those local hospitals that are "low-volume, Medicare dependent" faclities across the Southern Tier Districts.  Reed made his comments during a recent media call.


It's not too late to seek tax filing help from New York state. 

 

 

State tax officials have extended the hours of their Income Tax Call Center through the filing deadline Tuesday.  The deadline is Midnight tonight

 

Tax assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at (518)-457-5181.  The state tax department has handled more than 321,000 calls related to tax return filing and refunds. Officials expect to answer about 30,000 more calls Monday and Tuesday.


The general construction season is already underway on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution especially with the 41.5-million dollar Amphitheater project moving to it's final stages. 

 

However there will also have to be some road work done leading to and from the new Amp due to heavy truck traffic since the end of the 2016 season.  Communications Director Jordan Steves says many of the main roads will need to be re-paved before the new season begins.

 

Steves says there is also new or newer equipment going into the new Amphitheater including acoustical, sound and other systems.  He adds there will be a new camera system installed in the Amphitheater to record lectures that will be put on line, or archived after they have taken place. 

 

Steves also told our Dennis Webster late last week that the new Amp will be ready for the June 24th start to the season.

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WJTN Headlines

Police are investigating a shooting on Jamestown's east side. 

 

The Post Journal states that several reports of gun shots were received shortly after 3pm Sunday regarding a shooting in the area.  No injuries were reported and the investigation continues.


Fire Crews were busy fighting a fire in the town of Portland this morning. 

 

Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that the Brocton Fire Company was called to 8142 Route 380 just before 3 o'clock this morning.  The fire started in a garage and spread to a nearby home. 

 

There is no word of any injuries.  Crews are still on the scene. 

 

We will have more information when it becomes available.

 



A former Congressman who was one of the 'fathers of the superfund' the national program to clean up environmental hazards will speak at the Robert H. Jackson Center on Tuesday. 

 

The Center's Director of Development, Marion Beckerink says Love Canal in Niagara Falls inspired John La Falce to action in 1980. 

 

Tuesday's Legal Education Seminar will also take up the 'Forbes Case', a 1927 lawsuit in which Robert H. Jackson represented the Forbes family farm. Jackson proved it was contaminated water from Jamestown that caused the outbreak.  

 

Tuesday's continuing education seminar is designed primarily for lawyers, but others are welcome.  Contact the Robert H. Jackson Center for additional information.


A Celoron man faces several charges after leading several area police agencies on a vehicle pursuit in the city of Jamestown and the town of Ellicott early last Saturday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers say a patrol spotted a vehicle driven by 36 year-old Michael Newman, commit several traffic violations in the city shortly after Midnight.  Deputies say they tried to stop the vehicle but, Newman began fleeing, and the pursuit began. 

 

Officers say they were assisted by Jamestown Police, State Police, Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti Police before Newman's car crashed in the town of Ellicott.  Deputies say Newman was allegedly driving drunk, and had a DWI conviction within the past 10 years. 

 

He was arraigned on charges including Felony DWI and, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, failure to comply.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court and, sent to the County Jail with no bail.


A Bemus Point woman was hurt when her car was struck from behind and, pushed into a ditch on Route 474 in Ashville last Saturday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 60 year-old Susanne Rollman had slowed to make a turn onto Magnolia Avenue shortly after 3 PM when her car was struck.  Deputies say Rollman's vehicle was rear-ended by a car driven by 25 year-old Christopher Hewes of Ashville. 

 

Rollman was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment of her injuries.  Officers say Hewes was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while his driving privileges were suspended in New York State. 

 

He was issued tickets for second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, following too closely.


Some higher education experts question whether New York's first-in-the nation free college tuition plan should be a model for other states. 

 

They say the plan, which covers tuition at public colleges for students whose families earn  $125,000 or less, offers the least assistance to the neediest students, whose tuition is already covered by other aid. 

 

There are also concerns that it doesn't pay for costs beyond tuition, such as room and board, which can account for about two-thirds of the total state tuition bill.  And there has already been much debate about a requirement that graduates stay in the state for as many years as they received the benefit. 

 

Free college proponent Bernie Sanders says that despite such concerns New York deserves credit for leading the way on the issue.


A Jamestown woman is accused of endangering three children after police checked on her well-being last weekend and, found drugs and drug paraphernalia near those children. 

 

City police were called to 713 Newland Avenue on a report of a distraught woman and, found 35 year-old Vanessa Braun in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and, the paraphernalia.  The items were allegedly on a bed within reach of the children. 

 

She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance criminally using drug paraphernalia and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The rain held off for a few hours and, that allowed the city of Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt to go off without a hitch last Saturday morning. 

 

That allowed hundreds of children and their parents gathered in Allen Park for the chance to find 3-thousand chocolate eggs and, some other prize eggs.  During our annual broadcast on WJTN Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley told our Andrew Hill they were thankful the rain held off.

 

Ciesla-Hanley says the Parks and Recreation Department begins planning for the Easter Egg Hunt in early January including gathering the donations and the candy they'll be using. 

 

This year's egg hunt was special because it fell on what would have been late WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle's 91st birthday.  His wife, Kathy, donated some prizes for special eggs that were found.  Jim broadcast for many years from the city's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park. 

 

The family of the late Mark Hess again donated the main prizes for the gold and silver egg winners.

Children at the annual Easter Egg Hunt were able to find pretty much all of the 3-thousand chocolate eggs and just over 30 prize eggs in about 20 minutes Saturday.  Those who found the Golden Eggs say they found them pretty quickly. 

 

Sophia Semyenova found the Golden Egg in he 5 to 8 year-old catagory she didn't know what she won but, immediately took it to our Andrew Hill. For finding the Golden Egg Sophia won a $100 gift card for Wal-Mart. 

 

The Silver Egg which had a $50 gift card was found by Izzy Walsh.  In the 9-to-12 year-old catagory the Golden Egg was found by Alexander Simpson, while the Silver Egg was found by Joe Trinci.


Speculation that Governor Andrew Cuomo is plotting a run for president grew louder this week after a high-profile appearance with Hillary Clinton and a state budget that some observers say reads like a map to the White House. 

 

The second-term New York Democrat appeared with Clinton to celebrate passage of one of his budget's major achievements, a first-in-the nation free tuition plan for students from middle-class families. 

 

Other measures in the budget include juvenile justice reform and middle-class tax breaks.  Some experts say that by focusing on middle-class angst Cuomo is positioning himself as a centrist in the mold of Clinton who supports social policies championed by progressives like Sanders. 

 

For his part, Cuomo sidesteps questions about his political future and says he is focusing on his job as governor.

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News Headlines for Sat. Apr. 15, 2017

City holds 70th Easter Egg under cloudy skies, but no rain...
The city of Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt was held -- outdoors -- this morning after recent forecasts predicted rain and thunderstorms this morning.  However... rain predicted held off, and the hunt went off as scheduled.  The Media One Group was one of the sponsors of the event... which was held on what would have been late WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle's 91st birthday.  The Golden Eggs were found by Alexander Simpson of Jamestown in the 9-12 year-old catagory, and Sophia Semyenova of Sinclairville found it in the 5-8 year-old group.  Silver Eggs were found by Joe Trinici (9-12), and Izzy Walsh (5-8). 
 
Lakewood man seriously hurt in Motorcycle-Car Accident...
A Lakewood man had to be flown to an Erie, Pa. hospital after his motorcycle crashed into a car yesterday afternoon on a road in the Frewsburg-area.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Frew Run Street shortly after 3 p.m., and, found that the motorcycle's operator was unable to negotiate a curve in the road.  Deputies say 52 year-old Anthony Barto's two-wheeler then struck the oncoming vehicle... operated by 51 year-old Karen Davis of Frewsburg.  Officials say Barto was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of his injuries.  Davis was not hurt.
 
Goodell critical of use of reserves, borrowing in state's 2017-18 budget...
The new budget adopted by the New York state legislature last weekend is "balanced..." but, it relies heavily on borrowing and use of reserve funds.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says state leaders had to take about $2-billion out of it's reserve funds to balance the $153-billion spending plan.  Goodell says it's not a good practice... and, that's why he voted against the debt service part of the budget.  Goodell says he feels they wouldn't have had to do that if previous legislatures had been more fiscally prudent.  Like the man he replaced in the Assembly... Bill Parment... Goodell railed against the state's on-going practice of "back-door borrowing" through it's various authorities and agencies.  He says most of that $10.5-billion in borrowing for this budget should have to be voted on by state residents.  Goodell adds that using the $2-billion in reserve funding leaves the state with about $5-billion in those accounts.
 
"Little doubt" that new Chautauqua Amphitheather will be ready for 2017 season...
There is now "little doubt" that the new, $41.5-million amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution will be ready to go for the start of the 2017 season.  That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications Jordan Steves... who says the main public pieces of the project are now in place just over two months before the season begins.  Steves says the concrete in the "bowl" of the Amp is now finished, and the ceiling is being framed in.  During an on-site interview with our Dennis Webster... Steves explained that the new stage has been framed up... and, the sub-floor is in place.  However.. he says that the "Back of the House" area was "significantly behind" at one point.  Right now, though, the contractor is back on schedule.  Steves add the institution expects to have it's programming people in the facility by sometime next month.
 
Cattaraugus County woman convicted of homicide on Heroin overdose death...
A Cattaraugus County woman will spend 1 to 3 years in state prison after being the first person to be successfully prosecuted there for selling heroin to a victim that led to an overdose death.  Sentencing for Chelsea Lyons of Olean was reported by the Olean Times-Herald... and, says Lyons was accused of selling heroin laced with Fentanyl.  The sentence is a combination of several felonies... including criminally negligent homicide.  Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman says Lyons then pleaded guilty... and with that waived her right to appeal. 
 
Some 130-plus J-C Penny stores slated for closure get last minute reprieve...
J-C Penney has now announced that it is delaying plans to shutter 138 stores -- including one in the north county -- amid a surge in shoppers making final visits.  Penny's spokeswoman Daphne Avila told CNBC Thursday that "ever since the company announced its store closure list, those stores have seen better-than-expected sales and traffic."  The influx of last-minute shoppers prompted the chain to postpone store closings until July 31.  The J-C Penny in the D-and-F Plaza in Dunkirk was among the stores slated to close.
 
Upstate Community College to lay-off all cafeteria staff and replace with vending machines after current school year...
The entire cafeteria staff at an upstate New York community college will be laid off and replaced with vending machines at the end of the school year.  The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that nine full-time and three part-time workers will lose their jobs in June at the Orange County Community College.  Students say they'll miss the staff members and the fresh food.  The Orange County Community College Association, a nonprofit that runs the cafeterias, says in an email to students that the change follows a deficit last year of more than $150,000 in food-service operations.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A man is jailed after Jamestown police caught him for allegedly speeding on his dirt-bike on the city's northside early Thursday afternoon.  

 

Jamestown Police say an officer observed the motorcycle which was operated by Fermin Rodriguez-Robles traveling at a high-rate of speed, and weaving through traffic on Washington Street shortly after 12 Noon.  Police say they first spotted the two-wheeler near West 22nd Street, and tried to stop the dirt-bike but, Rodriguez-Robles fled the area.  

 

He was finally located on West 18th Street where he was arrested on charges including unlawfully fleeing police... reckless operation speeding  and, operating without a license. Rodriguez-Robles was held pending further court action.

 

"It's in there..." that's what Jamestown city officials are being told about 2.5-million dollars in funding they were promised to help the city's bottom line, and further consolidation and cost-cutting efforts.  
 
That from city Mayor Sam Teresi who says his office has been in touch with state officials who say the money is in the final, 153-billion dollar state budget approved late last weekend. Teresi says that's very good news.
 
Teresi says 1.5-milion dollars will go towards launching an alternative Supplimental insurance program for city retirees who are on Medicare for their primary insurance.  City officials expect to begin that program later this year.  
 
He says they're also expecting to get one-million dollars in transitional aid for further restructuring.  Teresi says they're also looking to possibly take advantage of the added 2.5-billion dollars to upgrade water infrastructure this year.  
 
Otherwise Teresi says they're thankful that General Municipal Aid was NOT cut in the 2017-18 budget.  
 
He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" on the Media One Group stations.
 
Fire crews in the north county had to deal with a bizarre situation late Wednesday afternoon when a man got pinned against a tree in Dunkirk.  
 
City Fire Captain Gary Katta says they were called to 95 King Street at about 4 PM and, found that the man, who was trying to cut down the tree, was stuck between a limb, his ladder, and the tree trunk.  
 
Katta says they needed help from the city's Public Works Department and, National Grid to free the man who was about 15-feet above the ground.  
 
He says it took more than an hour to free the man who was then flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. The victim has not been identified.
 
Law enforcement agencies are continuing to investigate the possible hacking of the computer system at one of the largest hospitals in upstate New York.  
 
Officials at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo say the hospital's computer system was taken down Sunday after a virus was detected. Hospital officials say the information and technology department "immediately commenced a thorough assessment and analysis of the situation. "  
 
The officials say all facility operations are continuing and haven't been interrupted, although the medical staff was forced to use paper forms to conduct business, access to medical records was on hold and the email system was down.  
 
ECMC has been in contact with the state police and the FBI about the matter.  The hospital's website was back up by Thursday morning.

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed doesn't run for re-election until next year but, his 2018 fund-raising effort is already off to a record start.

 

 An official with the Corning Republican's campaign effort says Wednesday that Reed took in $585,282 during the first-quarter of 2017.  

 

Political Director Nicholas Weinstein says the increased number of donors, and funding "represents the support for Tom's common sense agenda.  A strong start like this after another decisive re-election victory in November gives us the resources to continue highlighting Tom's record of caring, practical leadership."  

 

Reed himself says "it's an honor to represent the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Western New York in Congress.  The generosity of our supporters and the trust they’ve placed in us to deliver on our promise of smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced government regulation, is humbling."  

 

Weinstein noted that more than 75% of Reed's donations came from individuals and hundreds of new grassroots supporters have committed to supporting Reed's campaign.

 

Hillary Clinton says she hopes the free college tuition plan approved by New York state lawmakers last week will lead other states to follow suit.  

 

The former Democratic presidential nominee rallied with Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City for a ceremonial bill signing of the scholarship for poor and middle class students.  

 

Clinton hailed the plan as a progressive victory and applauded the initiative from Democrat Cuomo, who is mentioned as a possible contender for the White House in 2020.  The scholarship covers tuition at state universities for in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less.  

 

Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit and repay the money as a loan if they take a job elsewhere.

 

The 100th anniversary of the New York State Police has been commemorated at the upstate site where the first group of troopers began their training.  

 

State Police Superintendent George Beach-the-second  and Troop D Acting Commander Captain Mark Lincoln led Tuesday's ceremony at the Cavalry Club in Manlius, near Syracuse.  They dedicated a state historical marker honoring the centennial of the creation of the state police in New York.  

 

On April 11, 1917, Gov. Charles Whitman signed a bill into law that established the New York State Police as a full-service law enforcement agency.  Two months later, the first state troopers began their training at the National Guard camp in Manlius.

 

When training was completed in the fall, 232 troopers set out across the state on horseback to being regular patrols.

 

City officials have a back-up plan in place again this year if rain or some other inclement weather interferes with Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt. 
 
That from Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley who says the hunt for children up to age 12 begins at 10:30 AM Saturday at Allen Park.  Ciesla-Hanley says if the weather is too cold or wet they will move everything indoors.
 
There is a 60% chance of rain forecast for Saturday though it will be unseasonably warm.  Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have 3,000 chocolate eggs hidden for the hunt and, they again have Gold and Silver prize eggs this year sponsored by the Hess Family.  
 
She says the Golden Egg prize is a 100-dollar Wal-Mart gift card while the Silver Egg prize is a 50-dollar card.  
There is also two prizes being provided by the Child Advocacy Program.  
 
Ciesla-Hanley says if it the Egg Hunt is held outside the Easter Bunny will be brought into Allen Park to start the egg hunt at 10:30 Saturday morning.  For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 483-7523.
 
The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood opened as usual yesterday morning after a small fire erupted in a ceiling vent unit above the Sears store on the north end of the mall.  
 
Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene on Fairmount Avenue around 9 AM.  However they also found the fire was pretty much out on arrival.  
 
There was no damage nor injuries reported.  Sears also opened as usual Wednesday morning.

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WJTN News Headlines

Two deputies with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department have been recognized state-wide for their quick and decisive actions that saved the victim of a motorcycle accident.  
 
State Senator Cathy Young was in Mayville yesterday afternoon to present Liberty Medals to officers Jason Beichner and Christopher Howlett for saving the life of 28 year-old Derrick Desch last November on Route 83 near South Dayton.
 
Young says Desch lost most of one leg in the crash and Beichner and Howlett applied tourniqeuts to stop the bleeding in Desch's severed leg.  She also presented both with copies of a resolution commending both for their actions and, approved by the State Senate.  
 
Both Sheriff Joe Gerace and County Exeuctive Vince Horrigan praised the deputies for saving Desch's life. Gerace said he was "beaming with pride" and, adds that his deputies strive to help and protect others every day.  
 
Beichner spoke for himself and Howlett and, first thanked Desch's family which began providing first aid before they arrived. 
 
Most of the additional in state school aid put into New York's final, 2017-18 budget will do towards 'basic' or what's called "transitional aid."  
 
That from Executive Director Tim Kreamer with the state School Boards Association.  Kreamer says their group is pleased to have a budget in place, one that move towards funding public education the way it needs to be.
 
Kreamer says the added funding is about half of what they wanted and, he says some will "not be happy" with that. He says the school boards association was concerned on two fronts before the budget was approved.  
 
The first was over the fact that "policy" items held up the final spending plan which put more 'hands' into the budget mix.  Kreamer says the School Boards Association was also concerned when the budget extender was approved by the legislature, because that ran until May 31st.  
 
That meant districts might have had to put out estimated spending plans for the May 16th budget votes.
 
Officials with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown say they're very pleased to see their 5-million dollar funding request is included in the final New York state budget.  
 
The money is actually part of  Governor Cuomo's 500-million dollar "Buffalo Billion-2" initiative backed by the Empire State Development Corporation. 
 
Among those other things is to use the money to leverage other funding to get the money they need in place to pay for the approximately 30-million dollar effort which officials hope will be completed by early 2018.  
 
Benson admits the whole state budget experience has been kind of surreal but, adds they're thankful to State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell for their strong support of the funding measure.
 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is throwing his support behind a bill that would boost federal resources to prevent and combat synthetic opioid addiction.  

 

The New York Democrat announced his support for the legislation Tuesday in Rochester, where he says there have been increases in crimes, overdoses and deaths from opioids and synthetic counterparts. He also make the announcement Tuesday afternoon in Schenectady another area hit hard by the opioid epidemic.  

 

Schumer says the bill sponsored by fellow Democrat Edward Markey of Massachusetts aims to stop the flow of synthetic opioids from Mexico and China.  The measure would provide federal agents with screening devices, laboratory equipment and facilities for detection of synthetic opioids flowing across the border.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says the "partisan hostility" surrounding the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch is of concern because it could undermine public confidence in the apolitical nature of the judicial system.  

 

Roberts spoke Tuesday at an upstate New York college a day after Gorsuch was sworn in by President Donald Trump at the White House.  

 

The appearance in Troy was billed as a conversation with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson.  

 

When Jackson asked about the "extremely partisan" confirmation process, Roberts said politics don't carry over into the court's decision-making. 

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WJTN News Headlines

A collision involving two pick-up trucks in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ellicottville has left an elderly Niagara Falls man dead.  

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say one of the trucks operated by 21 year-old Ryan Holmes of Henrietta, New York was northbound on Route 219 about 5:15 yesterday morning when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say Holmes' pick-up crossed the center line and struck an on-coming truck, driven by 90-year-old Charles West.  Officers say West was pronounced dead at the scene while Holmes was taken to the Erie County Medical Center near Buffalo for treatment of his injuries.  

 

The Cattaraugus County Accident Reconstruction Team was called into investigate at this time.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

It's a long-shot but, Chautauqua County now has the same exact number of registered Republicans as Democrats.  
 
That from County Elections Commissioner Norm Green who says the numbers were updated in the county back on April 1st.  After having a majority for the past eight years Green says the number of local Republicans increased to 26,057.  
 
He says that's the same number as Democrats have in the county.  Green says Democrats held the edge while President Obama was in office.
 
Green says state Election Law requires each of New York's 62 county boards to set it's official enrollment totals by party each April 1st.  
 
Fellow Elections' Commissioner Brian Abram also said he "can't imagine the odds of the Republicans and Democrats of being absolutely tied for 2017."  
 
Both Green and Abram say Chautauqua County is a "competitive county, where any candidate can win any election."  
 
After the Democrats and Republicans the next largest registration is for the Independence Party which has 4,719 members followed by Conservatives with 1,904.  The number Independent voters is just over 18,000.  The county now has 77,628 registered voters.
 
New York's free tuition for middle class students does have one-string attached: Students must stay in the state after graduation or else pay back the benefit.  
 
That from Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday who says that requirement was added to protect the state's investment in a student's education by ensuring they don't take advantage of free tuition and then leave New York.  
 
The tuition initiative, which Cuomo says is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less.  Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit.
 
If they take a job in another state they must pay the money back as a loan.  Republican lawmakers pushed for the requirement during closed-door state budget negotiations.
 
The American worker has become a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge.  
A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job. They are also helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.  
 
Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.
 
A program being offered through Massachusetts' workers compensation system provides expedited hearings to resolve disputes with insurers over medication.  Ohio is cracking down on doctors who fail to follow best practices in treating injured workers.  New York's workers compensation board will allow insurers to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.
 
State Senator Cathy Young says there are several aspects of the new state budget that will help her 57th District and Chautauqua County.  
 
One of the key items for the county is inclusion of 5-million dollars in economic development "gap funding" for the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Young says it's part of the "Buffalo Billion-2" legislation an intiative pushed by Governor Cuomo.
 
Young says she also made sure that the Mitigation Fund she started last year to help local communities affected by the closing, or mothballing of "coal-fired" power plants, was included.  She says 45-million dollars has been set aside to help plug the gap in revenues coming from the NRG Plant in Dunkirk.  Young adds that would be extended from 5 to 7 years... if needed before the new, natural gas-fired plant's in place.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a stolen hand-gun during a traffic stop early yesterday morning on the city's southside.  

City police say they pulled over the vehicle at the corner of Prospect and Barker Streets about 4:45 AM for multiple vehicle and traffic violations.  During the course of the traffic stop officers say they found the gun inside the vehicle.  

 

They say a records check indicated the gun had been reported stolen in the city back on March 19th.  

 

Police say 20 year-old Karee Rizzo-Walker and 19 year-old Sharef Corley were arrested without incident.  Both were arraigned on charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, criminal possession of stolen property. Rizzo-Walker and Corley were then sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Sunday morning's arrests come on the heels of Jamestown's first drive-by shooting reported since several late last year.  

 

Jamestown police were called to the scene at 6 West 12th Street about 3:30 AM Friday on a report of multiple shots being fired into the house.  The Post-Journal reports the JPD Captain Bob Samuelson said that the people inside were likely "targeted."  

 

Samuelson says they don't have an exact number of shots being fired and, adds the occupants were "not cooperative" with the investigation.  He says the motive is being looked into but, he says it was likely the result of some kind of dispute, or an altercation.  

 

Samuelson also says there were several children living inside when the incident occured.  

 

If you have any information on the incident... call the JPD Tips line at 483-8477 or leave an anonymous tip via their Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

The Falconer native under arrest in western Pennsylvania after allegedly starting more a dozen arson fires in the Jamestown-area is also accused of crimes in nearby Warren County, Pennsylvania.  
 
That from State Police in Warren who say 19 year-old Jonathan Young of Kennedy is charged there with Felony burglary and motor vehicle theft, as well as loitering and prowling at night. Young's most noteworthy crime was allegedly setting the fire that destroyed half-a-block of residential and business property in Falconer.  Mayor Jim Rensel says residents were stunned by Young's arrest and, the accusations against him.
 
The Warren Times-Observer reports that Young apparently committed the crimes there on March 26th as he fled New York after setting several fires including five within a three-hour period on March 24th and 25th in Jamestown.  
 
State Police say Young is first accused of breaking into a garage in Pine Grove Township and stealing a car there.  He was finally caught on March 28th in Butler County, Pennsylvania for allegedly breaking into a vacant house in Slippery Rock and, trying to set fire to it.  Young was arraigned and, is being held in the Butler County Jail on $75,000 cash bail.
 
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings say investigators from his department went to Butler County about mid-week last week after learning that Young had been arrested.  
 
Snellings say the local charges were filed as a detainer against Young and, include two counts of second-degree Arson and nine counts of third-degree arson. There was also a fifth-degree arson charge for setting fire to a construction debris pile in Jamestown in the early morning hours of March 25th.
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and state legislative leaders agreed on a 153-billion dollar, 2017-18 budget plan early last weekend.  
 
The Democratic governor said the proposal includes $1.1-billion dollars more in school spending, the authorization for Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and free college tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less.  
 
The budget was due by April 1st but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on final details.  Lawmakers must still approve the compromise.  
 
The spending measure also includes $2.5 billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades.  The final issues to be nailed down include a proposal to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. Cuomo says that reform was a top priority for Democrats.
 
The natural gas boom that's hammered coal mines and driven down utility bills is now hitting nuclear power plants.
 
That's spurring nuclear power plant owners to press lawmakers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania for a financial rescue. Their multi-billion-dollar energy company owners say they want the same preferential treatment given to renewables, like wind and solar.  
 
Opposition to a so-called nuclear bailout is uniting rivals and the natural gas exploration industry.  The potential for a hit to utility bills is drawing pushback from the AARP and manufacturers.
 
The dairy group that has run the popular Milk Bar at the New York State Fair since 1952 says it's pulling out because of funding issues with the Cuomo administration.  
The non-profit New York State Dairy Exhibits, Incorporated tells The Syracuse Post-Standard  that it won't run the Dairy Products Building at the fairgrounds in the town of Geddes.  
 
Group leaders say the move comes after the state only came up with half of the $90,000 subsidy that was supposed to cover expenses for running last year's Milk Bar.  
 
The state kicked in the funding after the group announced before the fair's opening that it planned to double the price of a cup of milk to 50 cents because it was losing money on the operation. The state money prevented the price from being raised for the first time since 1983.

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News Headlines for Sat. Apr. 8, 2017

City police investigating alleged drive-by shooting on Jamestown's northside...
Jamestown police are investigating the first drive-by shooting reported in the city since several occured late last year.  City police were called to the scene at 6 West 12th Street about 3:30 a.m. Friday on a report of multiple shots being fired into the house.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson tells the Post-Journal that the people inside were likely "targeted."  Samuelson says they don't have an exact number of shots being fired... and, adds the occupants were "not cooperative with our efforts" to investigate.  He says the motive for the incident are being looked into... but, he says it was likely the result of some kind of dispute... or an altercation.  Samuelson also tells the paper that there were several children living inside the home when the incident occured.  If you have any information on the alleged shootings... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.... or leave an anonymous tip via their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
State Budget agreement reportedly reached by Cuomo and legislative leaders...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and state legislative leaders have agreed on a 2017-18 budget plan.  The Democratic governor said the proposal includes $1.1-billion dollars more in school spending, the authorization for Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and free college tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less.  The budget was due by April 1st... but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on final details.  Lawmakers must still approve the compromise.  The spending measure also includes $2.5-billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades.  The final issues to be nailed down include a proposal to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  Cuomo says that reform, which was a top priority for Democrats, is one of his top accomplishments.
 
 
Young frustrated by delay in budget agreement, says lawmakers were already close at mid-week...
With last night's agreement on a state budget... work is underway to get lawmakers back to Albany to approve final remaining bills in the spending plan.  State Senator Cathy Young told us late this week that the sticking points remained "Raise the Age..." and school aid.  The Olean Republican thought they had an agreement earlier in the week regarding a measure that would increase the age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years old, but that was before the mid-week breakdown in budget talks  Young says they supported raising the age... but, wanted measures to make sure youthful offenders were "held responsible" for their crimes.  Young was also concerned about state aid for schools, especially foundation aid. 
 
 
Falconer demolition work completed on buidlings, West Main St. now open!...
Demolition work is complete... and, the portion of West Main Street in front of the buildings destroyed in the massive fire from late last month in Falconer has been reopened.  The good news comes from village Mayor Jim Rensel... who says what was left of the structures from 29 to 39 West Main came down late last Thursday night.  Rensel says, though, there was still debris from the site to deal with... and, clean-up was completed on the road before the road was re-opened about 10:15 a.m. Friday.  One lane of West Main Street was closed for a while today while the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities installed new utility poles and power lines in front of the West Main Street location.  The street was closed between the four-corners with South Work Street and Davis Street since the March 22 blaze occured.  Officials this week announced that the fire was set by accused serial arsonist Jonathan Young... a native of Falconer.
 
 
Rensel says work continuing on finding new locations for burned-out businesses in Falconer...
One of the five businesses burned out of their locations in the March 22nd fire has already begun the process of relocating to another address in the village.  In fact... Mayor Rensel says Better Life Nutrition is going to be moving into the former Tasta Pizza building on East Main Street -- just a few blocks away from their previous location.  He says the owner of that building sought out the nutrition business owners... and, helped to get them started moving into that space.  Rensel also praised the owners of the buildings that were heavily damaged in the first... Art Bailey and Jim Gronquist, Junior.  He says both made themselves available to all necessary meetings they had about the fire, and getting the building's torn down. 
 
 
Schumer, Reed voice support for U-S Airstrike on Syria...
There is bi-partisan support being voiced over Thursday's "limited missile strike" on a Syrian airfield in response to the Assad government's alleged chemical weapons attack on his own people.  Late Friday afternoon... U-S Senator Chuck Schumer released a statement on the military strike... saying that "making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do."  However... Schumer added that "It's incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it."  Local Congressman Tom says the "use of weapons of mass destruction where innocent civilians, including women and children are killed, cannot go unchecked unless we risk the unfettered escalation of such weapon's use in the future around the world."  Reed says "it's the right thing to do..." but, adds diplomatic efforts also need to continue.
 
 
City of Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt set for next Saturday morning...
The city of Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park celebrates a milestone this year... the event a week from today will be the 70th in the city's history.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the egg hunt will be held at 10:30 a.m. on April 15 in the upper area of the park... and, will be for all children 12 years of age and under.  Ciesla-Hanley adds it's also a free event that is put on with the help of several community sponsors.  She says there'll be three age-group areas for the youngsters up to age 12 will hunt for the chocolate eggs.  Ciesla-Hanley adds that the Media One Group of radio stations is also again a sponsor.  She also says the Hess Family will again provide prizes for the children who find the Gold and Silver Eggs during the Hunt.  Ciesla-Hanley says they have all 3-thousand filled eggs stuffed for next weekend... thanks to local Girl Scout Troop-#20029... who did it all in one hour.  She says the Easter Bunny will arrive by Fire Truck to start the event next Saturday, April 15.  In case of inclement weather... she says the egg hunt will be moved indoors to the Allen Park Ice Rink.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three people are jailed after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and, with a one-month old child inside a home on Jamestown's northside.  

 

City police say Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force members raided a home at 130 Euclid Avenue about 9:30 AM Thursday.  Officers say they found 39-year-old Steven Kent and 43-year-old Ashley Burkes, both of Jamestown along with James Williamson inside.  

 

Police say they also reportedly found a quantity of Meth, and the infant child.  Kent and Burkes have been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Burke was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and, Williamson with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

 

All three were sent to the county jail with bail to be set. The child was turned over to Child Protective Services. Anyone with information of the trafficking of illegal drugs in the Jamestown area is asked to contact the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

April "Rain showers" gave way to some April "Snow Showers" overnight. 
 
That from Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says we are under a Winter Weather Advisory through 2 PM today.  Thomas says colder air will moved in during the late evening dropping the ovenright low to about 30 to 32 degrees.  He says the rain we got yesterday was turning as the mercury dropped.
 
Thomas says we won't see a lot of snow accumulation in the immediate Jamestown-area unless you're at one of those higher elevations.  He says generally the lower snow totals will be along the Lake Erie shoreline.  
 
Thomas says while the ground and other surfaces are warm enough to melt the snow there will be enough in some places to cause slippery conditions.  He says there will also be some accumulation in those area.  
 
Thomas says the snow will begin tapering off by early afternoon.  He adds it'll get back into the mid-40s on Saturday... and, by Monday... we'll see the low to mid-70s.
 
The State Senate has gone home and, the Assembly is likely to follow after budget negotiations broke down in Albany Wednesday night.  
 
Chautauqua County's Assemblyman, Andy Goodell, a Republican says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo stood firm on a few issues after he got much of what HE wanted in the budget extension approved earlier in the week by the legislature.
 
He adds that Foundation Aid for public schools, and how much money should go to charter schools remain unresolved due mainly to teacher's union opposition to funding for charters. Goodell says the governor proposed a significant increase for charter school funding.  
 
He says he thought there was fundamental agreement on raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18... but problems emerged in the details 
 
The local Assemblyman said it is likely there will be increased aid for New York college students, but the plan for free tuition will not be part of final agreement.  
 
The members of the legislature probably won't be back in Albany for a couple of weeks.  
 
Goodell says the stress will be particularly bad for downstate lawmakers from high cost of living districts as the state legislature does NOT get paid until the full budget is done.
 
There is still no final deal on a $150-billion, 2017-18 state budget plan.  
 
That after negotiations on a handful of items... including non-budgetary ones... broke down late Wednesday night. Governor Andrew Cuomo says several outstanding issues remain namely three in particular.
 
However Cuomo does say passage of the budget extender this past Monday keeps state government operating.  
 
It also approved funding for economic development and construction projects for the entire year.  Cuomo says quote "that's important."  Due to the lack of an agreement education aid, Cuomo says state aid runs for local school district will use a 3.9% increase in funding under the executive budget.  
 
The governor indicated that aid figures will be adjusted once a final budget agreement is reached. 

 

After holding steady in recent weeks gas prices in the Jamestown-area have climbed about two-cents a gallon this week.  

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says locally the price is up 2.1 cents to just over $2.48 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  

 

Nationally AAA says the average price is up 4-cents a gallon to $2.33 a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says that's one-cent more compared to one month ago and 27 cents more than the same date last year.  National gas prices have increased six of the last seven days.

 

Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that's halted the export of their milk to Canada.  

 

At issue is a U.S-Canada dispute over what's called "ultra-filtered milk," a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. Until recently it had entered Canada duty-free from the United States.  

 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports  that Canadian dairy farmers objected, resulting in Ontario and other provinces applying import taxes.

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WJTN Headlines

A man from the Jamestown-area has been arrested for allegedly setting 12 local arson fires including five during a several hour period late last month on the city's northside. 

 

In addition City Police Chief Harry Snellings says 19 year-old Jonathan Young a Falconer native is also accused of setting the huge fire that destroyed nearly a half-block area of West Main Street in downtown Falconer. 

 

During a Wednesday press conference Snellings said Young was arrested in Butler County, Pennsylvania last Tuesday, March 28th on unrelated arson, auto theft, and burglary charges.

 

Snellings says city police received a call from the Butler County Jail Monday saying that they had an arson suspect in their facility they believed was from the Jamestown-area.  However they say Young had no identification on him when he was arrested and, he gave them several false names. 

 

Jamestown Police investigators were in Pennsylvania Tuesday, meeting with state Police in Butler County and filing the local charges as a detainer to make sure Young is held for extradiction.  Snelling says Yong is being held in Butler County on $75,000 bail pending further court action.

Perhaps the most stunning announcement was the fact that Young has also started the blaze at 29 to 39 West Main Street in Falconer. 

 

There was a lot of speculation about that blaze including the possibility that a Methamphetime Lab had exploded.  There had also been a rumor that the fire might have been intentionally set. 

 

The first fire Young is accused of setting was on March 2nd at 621 East Sixth Street which was an occupied apartment.


The mayors of Jamestown and Falconer were at yesterday afternoon's press conference to personally express their thanks to police and fire personnel for all they did to protect the public, and make an arrest in the case. 

 

Jamestown's Sam Teresi says he normally doesn't get involved in police press conferences but, says he was compelled this time by the severity of the crimes involved. 

 

Teresi says what happened was more than a property crime. Teresi says there was also a lot of concern over the fact that fire personnel including EMT's were stretched to the limit. 

 

Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel thanked all the mutual aid departments that responded to Falconer.  Rensel says they had somewhere between 200 and 300 firefighters at the scene.  He also thanked fire investigators for all their "hard work." 

 

Thankfully Rensel says no one was seriously hurt in the blaze which was called in just after 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 22nd.  The effort to tear-down the remains of that fire are continuing.


Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says if he's convicted Jonathan Young faces a lengthy stay in state prison on the charges leveled against him. 

 

Swanson says that includes the two second-degree arson counts for the West Main Street fire in Falconer and, the one at 621 East Sixth in Jamestown.  He says the counts for the two homes that were occupied including the Falconer apartments each carries 5 to 25 years in jail. 

 

Swanson says the penalties on the third-degree arsons in the vacant and condemned homes are because no one was inside the homes and, no one else was hurt in any of those fires.


Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says there are some other arson fires in vacant homes including Tuesday's on the southside that were not allegedly set by Jonathan Young.

 

The home at 206 Charles Street was heavily-damaged by flames Tuesday. Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at about 6:45 AM... and, found the blaze had a good head start. Fortunately.. no one was hurt in that blaze.


State budget negotiations have collapsed after members of the state Senate left Albany. 

 

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said he will call his members back when and if there is a deal with Assembly Democrats and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. The budget was due by Saturday

 

Lawmakers on Monday passed a two-month extension of the old budget to ensure the vital functions of government continue.  Just moments before the Senate left members of the Assembly announced they would stay in the hopes of striking a deal. 

 

However State Senator Cathy Young blamed Assembly Democrats on reneging on what the Senate felt was a final deal.  Lawmakers won't get paid until they pass a budget. 

 

The Legislature is scheduled to return to Albany in late April.  The breakdown in talks is a defeat for top lawmakers and Cuomo, who has long criticized late budgets as a sign of government dysfunction.


While there were reports of an agreement on a final state budget being worked out... the rank and file members still didn't have a lot of details. 

 

We reached Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who represents Chautauqua County, late yesterday morning.  He says only a portion of the bills that make up the final budget had actually been printed.

 

But, Goodell a Jamestown-area Republican  say no details have been released on the more controversial issues so far including Uber and Ride-Sharing and, the "Raise the Age" proposal. 

 

He says the State Senate passed four of the budget bills late Tuesday night and, the Assembly was to take up the bills late yesterday.  He remains frustrated about the process, much of it done behind closed doors.


Despite a Democratic "talk-a-thon" as some are calling it in the U-S Senate... it appears Republicans will be moving ahead with a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. 

 

If it takes a vote on allowing a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes so be it.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed who doesn't have a vote but, has been discussing the situation with some Senators.

 

Reed says "we need to get Gorsuch appointed to the Supreme Court" and, adds that he's calling on the Senate to "expedite" the matter.  The highest court in the land has been dead-locked in recent months on more controversial matters following the untimely death of conservative judge Antonin Scalia.


The state Department of Environmental Conservation says New York hunters killed about 214,000 deer in 2016, up about 5 percent from 2015. 

 

That includes an estimated 109-thousand adult bucks a 10 percent increase from 2015  and 105,000 antlerless deer. 

 

The numbers are preliminary estimates.  The DEC says final harvest numbers are expected later this month as the agency updates its harvest calculation system.  Annual deer and bear harvest reports are posted on the DEC website 

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News Bulletin for Apr. 5, 2017

(**Alert)Jamestown-area man under arrest in PA for arson in Butler County also charged with 12 local arson fires in Jamestown, and massive fire in Falconer from Mar. 22...
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly setting 12 local arson fires... including five during a 24-hour period late last month on the city's northside.  In addition... City Police Chief Harry Snellings says 19 year-old Jonathan H. Young is also accused of setting the huge fire that destroyed nearly a half-block area of West Main Street in Falconer.  Snellings say Young was arrested in Butler County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, March 28th, on unrelated arson, auto theft, and burglary charges.  He says the suspect faces two counts of second-degree Arson, nine counts of second-degree Arson, and one count of fifth-degree Arson.  Snellings says City Police received a call from the Butler County Jail this past Monday... saying that they had a suspect in their facility they believed was from the Jamestown area charged with arson.  However... they said that when Young was arrested on March 28th... he had no identification in his possession and gave authorities several false names.  He's being held in Butler County on $75,000 bail... pending further court action.  
----
 
Jamestown police investigators were in Butler County Tuesday to formally file charges against Young there as a detainter.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the second-degree arson charges are for the two occupied buildings that were set on fire... incluing 29 to 39 West Main Street in Falconer.  The other was for an occupied apartment at 621 East Sixth Street in Jamestown, which was the first fire Young is accused of setting on March 2.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

It's now been an even dozen arson fires in the city of Jamestown since early January after investigators determined that someone set the fire at a vacant, southside home early yesterday morning.  
 
Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 206 Charles Street about 6:45 AM and, found the blaze had a good head start. Finson says they found a lot of fire near the back side of the structure.
 
Finson says firefighters pulled two handlines to protect the structure and, then two others to battle the blaze in the back.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the flames under control.  
 
Finson adds there was a lot of fire damage mainly to the back part of the house. There was smoke and water damage throughout the house. Finson says the good news is, they prevented serious damage to the neighboring home.
 
Finson says crews were at the scene nearly two hours.  An off-duty shift of nine firefighters and a shift commander was called in. Finson says no services were hooked up to the house.
 
There is a new concern that needs to be addressed before the tallest structure destroyed in the March 22nd fire in downtown Falconer can be completely torn-down.  
 
That from village Mayor Jim Rensel who says contractor George Patti had to cease work Tuesday afternoon on the three-story brick building on West Main Street because of the threat at least part of a wall coming down on a single-story building to the east.  
 
Rensel says the shorter building was did have some water damage from the fire but, was not affected by the fire.
 
Rensel says crews had been making good progress up to that point and, two walls of the three-story building had been torn down.  However he says the contractor is also concerned about vibration caused by the demolition work damaging the one-story structure.  
 
Rensel says George Patti is currently trying to put measures in place to protect the other building, and resume demolition tomorrow. 
 
The March 22nd fire devastated the nearly half-a-block area from 29 to 39 West Main Street.  Some people and firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation but, no one was hurt in the fire and partial building collapse.
 
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

 

The contractor’s heavy use of a fire hydrant in the Village of Falconer has caused discolored water both in the village and on the northside of Jamestown.  Board of Public Utilitie's Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the discolored water is safe but, adds it may take another few hours this morning to clear.

 

New York lawmakers say they've reached agreement on a new state budget which is just over four days late now.  

 

However Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says there's no deal and no need to rush. Cuomo says a two-month budget extension passed Monday ensures government will continue to function and that it could be a few weeks until a final budget is worked out.  

 

Lawmakers have another reason to seek quick resolution: They won't get paid until the budget passes.

 

One of the major items that's blocked passage of a final New York state budget is a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  
 
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell has concerns about "Raise The Age..." and, how it would impact local courts.  He says the legislation backed by state lawmakers from New York City doesn't take into account the significant differences in the court system between upstate and downstate.
 
Other differences include the number of secured juvenile detention centers.  Goodell says there is currently only one that serves most of Western New York and, that's an hour-and-a-half away in Buffalo.  
 
Supporters say that New York is one of only two states that prosecutes all youths as adults when they turn 16. The other state is North Carolina.
 
Jamestown school board members will vote later this month on an $83.8-million budget for the 2017-18 school year that adds eight more employees but, includes no tax increase.  
 
That from interim School Superintendent Superintendent Silvia Root after the board last night reviewed a second-draft of the proposal with Business Manager Vern Connors.  Root says the district has to move forward with a spending plan that doesn't include final state aid figures.  
 
That's because the state budget is late.  However, she says they're fairly confident the amount will be somewhere between the governor's proposal, and the legislature's.
 
Connors told board members that the district is in "pretty good financial condition" due mainly to the district winding up with a $2.8-million surplus in the 2015-16 budget.  He met last week with Root and Board President Paul Abbott and Vice-President Patrick Slagle and, agreed to no more staff and teaching cuts.  
 
Root says she's proposing to add seven more teachers, and one school psychologist next year.  However she's quick to add that all depend's on the public vote on May 16th.  
 
The school board will vote on a final budget at it's April 18th meeting. 

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Early Morning Fire

We are working on details of a fire at 206 Charles Street on the city's southside this morning.

 

Our Brian Papalia was at the scene and spoke with members of Jamestown Police Department about this incident and had information for us available. We will have further information as it becomes available so stay tuned to the website and to our stations for further updates..

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown Police Department has received numerous tips from the public since last last week when they released video survillance of a man they believe may be connected to a recent rash of arson fires.  
 
That from Police Chief Harry Snellings who says they released the video with the hopes of getting more people to come forth with information on 11 fires in vacant and condemned homes since early last January. Nine of those occured within a four-day period from March 22nd through 25th....
 
JPD released the video from the first of five arson fires on Friday, March 24th just after 11 PM at 650 East Sixth Street.  The video shows a person walking out from the rear of the home and then proceeding to walk down the street towards Winsor Street and then to walk up Winsor Street.  The person appears to be of thin build and is wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  
 
Snellings says they're moving quickly with the investigation because they don't want any leads to dry up.
 
Snellings says anyone who may recognize or know who the suspect is in the video is asked to contact the JPD Tip Line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  He says you can also leave a tip on the Tips 411 App.  
 
This information will also be forwarded to Crime Stoppers at 867-6161, where tipsters can be eligible to receive a reward.
 
City police are still not releasing the name of the Jamestown man who died in an apartment fire early Sunday morning on the city's southside.  
 
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says they have officially ruled the blaze accidental.  
 
Snellings says they are not yet identifying the 39 year-old man who lived in the upstairs apartment at 119 Myrtle Street because they have not been able to reach everyone in his immediate family yet.
 
City Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a neighbor called in the alarm after smelling smoke in the area.  Salemme says crews were called to the scene shortly after 1 AM Sunday and, found light smoke coming from the apartment.
 
 A neighor said they believed someone was still inside the apartment, and firefighters soon after found the man inside.  The victim later died at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.
 
New York state will avoid a government shutdown after lawmakers approved a two-month stopgap spending plan.  
 
The short-term budget passed late Monday was introduced by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo after he and lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a one-year budget.  The budget was supposed to be approved by Midnight last Friday but negotiations over the more than $150 billion spending plan bogged down over juvenile justice reform, education spending and an affordable housing tax credit for New York City.  
 
Lawmakers won't get paid until they pass a budget.  Cuomo's short-term spending plan runs through May 31st..
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's frustrated by the lack of action over a final budget which is now four-days late.  
 
Goodell, and other state lawmakers spent the weekend in Albany but, were not able to take any action on spending bills. The Jamestown-area Republican told us yesterday that three-way agreements were apparently reached on several bills but, they never made it to legislators' desks.
 
Governor Cuomo announced late Sunday that due of the inability of both houses to reach agreement, he would offer up an extender bill to keep state government functioning until May 31st. 
 
New York is expanding its non-traditional addiction treatment support services throughout the state.  
 
Governor Cuomo has announced that $2.65-million-dollars will go toward establishing community coalitions and peer engagement programs in each of the state's 10 economic development regions. The primary goal is to help individuals and families in crisis navigate the treatment system.  
 
The initiative ensures there are at least two peer engagement specialists available in each region.  These specialists will be either in recovery from a substance use disorder, have a loved one in recovery, or have lost a loved one to addiction.
 
The Jamestown City Council has approved an agreement with a Buffalo-area construction firm to build two pre-fabricated pedestrian bridges to be part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.  
 
Lawmakers approved the measure at last week's voting session with Union Concrete and Construction for just under $1.6-million. One will run under the Washington Street Bridge while the other will connect the area behind the Gateway Train Station to Panzarella Park.
 
The city is also seeking about $400,000 in Urban Development Acton Grant funding to pay the matching cost for the project which will cost about $2-million.
 
The Allen Park Women's Club celebrated its 75th anniversary with a dinner Monday night at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
 
City Parks Manager, John Williams, used the occasion to unveil plans for a three sided 'play hut' to be built over the old sand box at Allen Park.
 
Williams says they'll need to raise about $14,000 to build the hut.  Today has been declared 'Allen Park Women's Club Day' in Jamestown. 

 

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has died in a fire that erupted in his second-floor apartment early Sunday morning on the city's southside. 

 

Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a neighbor called in the alarm after smelling smoke in the area.  Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 119 Myrtle Street shortly after 1 AM and, found light smoke coming from the apartment.

 

Salemme says Alstar ambulance rushed the man to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  The dog also perished in the fire. 

 

Salemme says crews contained the fire to the kitchen-area, and had the blaze out fairly quickly.  He says a cooking fire in the kitchen started the blaze. 

 

Crews were at the scene until about 2:15 AM.  He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The man's identity is not yet being released.  Salamme says there were no working smoke detectors inside the apartment.


A Kennedy man died early last weekend after his home caught fire following a problem with the heating furnace. 

 

Chautauqua County Fire Investigators add, though, that they are still looking into a final cause of the blaze at 3967 Sprague Hill Road.  Dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 9:30 AM Saturday

 

Firefighters say they found 60 year-old William Caldwell unresponsive inside the residence.  Fire rescuers rushed Caldwell to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

 

Kennedy firefighters were joined at the scene by Ellington, Gerry, Randolph, Fluvanna, Frewsburg and Kiantone Fire crews.


Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a two-month extension of the last state budget to avoid a government shutdown after he and state lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a new spending plan.

 

Cuomo says he has assurances from leaders of the Senate and the Assembly the stopgap spending plan will pass Monday. Negotiations bogged down over education spending and a juvenile justice reform sought by Democrats that would raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.

 

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says a temporary budget will buy lawmakers time to come to agreement. The temporary budget would extend current spending levels and not include Cuomo's plan to make state college tuition free for middle-class students.


It's not going to happen overnight but, the United States' tax code needs major retorm to allow the nation to compete in the global marketplace. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed during an appearance late last week at Jamestown Electroplating on Water Street.  The Corning Republican says work is underway on trying to lower the "Marginal" Corporate Tax rate from 39%to about 20% or less which was set the last time the code was reformed in 1986.

 

Reed says the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's Caucus" he co-chair's with New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottenheimer has written a letter to the Trump Administration saying they want to work as a block with them on tax reform, and infrastruture issues. 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says those are critical to further keeping and adding jobs to the region. 

 

Reed says having the "Problem Solver's Caucus" on board with tax reform and infrastructure is important, because that's 20 Democrats who have generally agreed to work on those two issues.


U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging President Donald Trump to veto a resolution that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits. 

 

The New York senator and 46 other Senate Democrats have signed a letter calling on Trump to "tell us whose side he's really on."  The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share information. 

 

But critics say the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies. 

 

Schumer says if Trump signs the resolution, consumers "will be stripped of critical privacy protections in a New York minute."


Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says he'd support changing Senate rules to bypass Democratic opposition and confirm Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. 

 

During an appearance at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference last Friday Toomey also said Democrats have never said Judge Neil Gorsuch  ignored or misapplied the law in cases before him. 

 

Toomey last year backed a Republican refusal to consider then-President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the high court opening. But Toomey says this is different.  A Senate confirmation vote is expected later this week. 

 

Unless 60 senators support Gorsuch, Republicans would have to change Senate rules to allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority vote in the 100-member Senate.  Getting to 60 votes would require six more Democrats to back Gorsuch.


Two women have been charged following a vicious fight in the town of Stockton in late March involving a crow-bar and sawzall. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Victoria Miller and 23 year-old Karen Miller got into the brawl about 5 PM on Sunday, March 26th at a home on Railroad Avenue. 

 

Deputies say Karen Miller allegedly pushed and hit Victoria Miller in the face, causing red marks.  Officers say that Victoria Miller then grabbed a sawzall and started swinging it at Karen Miller, scratching her legs and wrist. She then allegedly grabbed a metal crow bar and hit Karen Miller in the arm.

 

Deputies say Victoria Miller was charged with third-degree assault and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Karen Miller was charged with second-degree harassment and scheduled to appear in Stockton Town Court at a later date.


Two organizations are teaming up to host a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser this Tuesday night at Jamestown Community College that also high-lights the issue of pay equity. 

 

The American Association of University Women and the Jamestown Community College Student Senate are hosting the dinner at the Week's Reception Room beginning at 5:30 PM

 

JCC Student Senate President Preston Ross says students will pay $5with I-D while men will pay$10 and, women$8.
Ross says the money raised from this event is also going to be staying local as well and helping to benefit our community to benefit the Salvation Army.

 

This Pay Equity Day Spaghetti dinner is being put on by the AAUW in conjunction with the JCC Student Senate and it is open to the public at the Weeks reception room on the JCC Campus from 5:30 to 7 PM on Tuesday night.


A well-known Jamestown-area doctor who has been practicing medicine for more than 50 years in the Jamestown-area has been named as UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital's "Physician of the Year." 

 

The Post-Journal reports that Dr. Robert Scott was given the award during the annual Doctor's Day Luncheon at the hospital.  He started practicing medicine in Jamestown in 1973. 

 

Scott says he wasn't expecting the honor but, adds he's "happy to accept it."  He attended medical school at Cornell University, and did his residency at the University of Pennsylvania.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 1, 2017

NYS budget late, lawmakers hope to have final agreement early next week...
The New York state legislature has blown through a budget deadline... but, top lawmakers say they'll work through the weekend to pass a new state spending plan.  Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan told reporters late Friday that there is broad support for increased tuition assistance, permitting Uber to expand upstate and new funding for the state's aging water systems.  Disputes remain, however, over proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16-and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.  Top lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo had hoped to pass the more than $150-billion dollar spending plan before a new fiscal year began Saturday.  Cuomo announced early Saturday that if lawmakers can't agree on a budget by the end of the weekend he will propose extending current spending levels.
 
 
Reed talks tax reform with local officials, business leaders at Jamestown Electoplating...
Tax reform should be a bi-partian issue because it affects all Americans.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who talked about efforts to make the U-S Tax code simpler and fairer at a Jamestown manufacturer yesterday morning.  Reed met with local elected and business leaders at Jamestown Electroplating on Water Street to discuss a proposed 20-percent reduction in the federal Corporate tax, and other reductions to relieve the tax burden on individuals and businesses.  As a member of the House Ways and Means Comittee... he says it's important to hear from everyone that's affected so they can put a tax policy in place "that encourages the making of products and job growth in the U-S."  Reed says they hope to have a tax reform package in place by early 2018.  It would be the first such reform since 1986.  He met earlier with Jamestown Electroplating Owner and President Chase Churchill... and, the head of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, Todd Tranum, who says local manufacturer's need a "fair chance to complete globally..." and, that would happen with tax reform.
 
 
Puerto Rican man arrested on warrant for Sexual Assault in Dunkirk...
A man from Puerto Rico has been arrested in Dunkirk on a Felony sex-related crime on that island nation.  Police Chief David Ortolano says officers assisted U.S. Marshals early Wednesday morning in the arrest of 31-year-old Jonathan Figueroa-Martinez on Lincoln Avenue.  Ortolano says Figueroa-Martinez was found inside an apartment at 76 Lincoln Avenue after police checked several locations for him.  He says that Figueroa-Martinez was taken into custody without incident... and, he's being held in the Chautauqua County Jail pending extradiction.
 
 
Head of Meals on Wheels in Jamestown-area says elimination of CDBG program would not impact local program, but, other possible cuts could...
Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-area would not be impacted by the proposed elimination of the federal Community Development Block Grant program... but, there are other proposed cuts that could severely impact the program.  That from Meals on Wheels Director Barrie Yochim... who says they served a record 154,000 meals over the past year.  In addition... Yochim tells us they face the likelyhood of having to create a "waiting list" for seniors and other shut-ins who get their meals because demand is continuing to rise... and, the financial resources are down, or stagnant.  He says they are feeding more people than they ever have over the past 17 years.  Yochim says they've seen steady increases in demand of about 10-percent each of the past six years.  While the CDBG funding is not an issue locally... he says they are concerned about possible sequestration... and, other -- across the board cuts -- averaging about 16-percent.  He says 50 to 55-percent of Meals on Wheels's funding comes from county, state and federal sources.  Yochim says their annual budget now runs between $1.6-million and $1.7-million... and, any cut in funding would be devastating.  Yochim made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.  
 
 
Jamestown Jackals make PBL Playoffs, play Sunday...
The Jamestown Jackals have made the playoffs in the Premier Basketball League.  Team owner, and coach, Kayla Crosby says they finished the season fourth in the league with 10 wins and 7 losses... and will play an away game at Rochester Sunday afternoon.  Crosby says a victory Sunday against the Razorsharks would set the team up for at least one more playoff game next Wednesday, April 5, at Jamestown Community College.  Jamestown would play the winner of the game between Ohio and Kentucky.  Jamestown lost by 12 points to Rochester in the final regular season game last weekend.  Crosby says they've been reviewing video all week, and planning some surprises for Rochester.
 

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LOCAL NEWS

News Headlines for Sat., June 24, 2017

Man sought on warrant arrested in Jamestown after 3-plus hour stand-off with Police... A man sought by police on a warrant for parole violation in Jamestown is jailed after allegedly arming him...

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