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News Headlines for Wed., Dec. 31, 2014

Lake Effect Snow overnight means a "white" New Year's in Chautauqua County...

There is now a Lake Effect Snow Watch in effect for the Jamestown-area from tomorrow night through late Friday night.  That from the National Weather Service... which reports no watches and advisories at the moment.  However... snowfall overnight has been very-elevation dependant.  Snow plows are getting out... but, travel can be a bit tricky on this New Year's Eve, 2014.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the Weather Service's Buffalo Office says the lake effect snow will not be heavy... but, began to make it's presence felt last night.  Ansuini says accumulations were expected to be in the 2 to 3 inch range... with some blowing and drifting.  We had 4-and-a quarter inches here at our Media One Studios in West Ellicott at 6 a.m.  However... at lower elevations of the town... we've had reports of 2-and-three-quarters inches... and, just over 2 inches in Lakewood.  We also have a report of 2-inches in Cassadaga... and, no snow in Dunkirk.  Besides the blowing and drifting snow, wind chills will approach zero at times.

State Thruway to again off hot beverages on New Year's Eve...

Travelers on the New York State Thruway can take a break for free hot drinks on New Year's Eve.  The Thruway authority says tea and coffee will be offered at the 27 service areas on the highway from 11 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday.  This is the 44th year the beverages will be provided as authorities encourage drivers to stay sober and alert.

County to finalize sale of Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk today...

Chautauqua County officials plan to close on the sale of the County Home in Dunkirk to a Long Island firm that's been phasing-in over operations over the past several months today.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the home will now be called "Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center."  The County Home is a 216-bed skilled nursing facility, specializing in rehabilitation and long-term health care.  Horrigan says VestraCare first showed interest in buying the facility from the County in August 2013.  Although its first offer to purchase the County Home was voted down by the County Legislature in October 2013... it's second offer of $16 million was approved by the legislature in February 2014.

Deceased driver involved in two-vehicle accident with truck striking Lind Funeral Home identified...

Jamestown police have now identified the driver of the pick-up truck that struck another vehicle... then ran into the front of a West Third Street funeral home.  City police say 83 year-old Robert Woodmancy of Randolph suffered some kind of medical issue while driving his truck late Monday morning.  Officers say Woodmancy was involved in a two-vehicle accident before continuing on and hitting the Lind Funeral Home.  He was later pronounced dead at WCA hospital.  Police say three people inside the funeral home were treated for non-life threatening injuries.  The other driver refused treatment at the scene.

Teresi still looking for candidate to appoint to fill 6th Ward Council vacancy...

The search for a new Jamestown City Council member to replace one who moved from the Sixth-Ward to another part of the city is continuing.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says he's been talking to potential candidates to replace Councilman Paul Whitford... who resigned earlier this month.  Whitford was recently named to replace Paula DeJoy on the County Legislature.  Teresi hopes to name someone by early to mid-January.  He says there should be an appointment for council to vote on Jan. 26.  Whitford moved into the First Ward... which put him into the 13th County Legislature District.  Whitford was seated at the legislature's December meeting.  He addressed Council members at this past Monday night's meeting... thanking them for their dedication to serving the city, and the friendships he had built with them.

Dunkirk man arrested for allegedly running Meth Lab in north county city...

A Dunkirk man is facing charges after police investigated a report of a meth lab that was located in an apartment at 60 West 6th Street in the city of Dunkirk.  Police in the north county city say 46 year-old Angelo Bomasuto has been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.  The investigation was initiated after Dunkirk Police and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, with the assistance from Fredonia Police, received information that there was a meth lab in the lower apartment at 60 West 6th.  As a result... Dunkirk Police were able to obtain a search warrant from City Court... and, had the four unit apartment building evacuated around 9 p.m. Monday.  The State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team went to the scene Tuesday morning, executing the search warrant and gathering evidence.  Bomasuto was taken into custody Monday night on an unrelated charge according to police.  The investigation is continuing and further charges may be pending.  Dunkirk Police were also assisted at the scene by the Dunkirk Fire Department and the county's Hazardous Materials Team.


News Update! for Tues., Dec. 30, 2014

Randolph man identified as driver of pick-up truck that crashed into Jamestown funeral home Monday morning...

Jamestown police have now identified the driver of the pick-up truck that crashed into the front of a funeral home on Jamestown's westside late Monday morning... damaging the building... and, who later died.  City police say 83 year-old Robert Woodmancy of Randolph had some kind of medical issue when the accident occured near the intersection of West Third Street and Hall Avenue.  An employee at the Lind Funeral Home says they heard a loud crash shortly before 11 a.m., and, found the truck had slammed into the building... damaging an outer office, and a bay window in the building.  City police say Woodmancy later died at WCA.  Officers say the man's truck crossed West Third... and, struck a car... before hitting the building.  Three people in the funeral home were treated at WCA Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  The other driver refused medical treatment.

News Headlines for Tues., Dec. 30, 2014

Man suffered medical emergency, truck crashes into car, then funeral home in Jamestown...

The driver of a pick-up truck that crashed late Monday morning into the front of the Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown has died of an apparent medical issue.  City police say the man was westbound on West Third Street when he was apparently stricken by a heart attack.  Officers say the truck crossed into the eastbound lane and struck a car... then struck an outer office, and bay window at the funeral home.  An employee at Lind's says they heard a loud crash... and, found the truck had slammed into the building.  A 47-year-old employee was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment... along with a 72 year-old man, and 70 year-old woman.  Their injuries were reportedly minor.  The 83 year-old man driving the truck later died at WCA.  The 60 year-old driver of the second vehicle declined treatment at the scene.  No names have been released.  The employee we spoke with says one funeral had to be moved to a local church... but, there should be no other disruption in services, or calling hours.

Father and son involved in double-fatal car-pedestrian accident in Ellery were struck by a neighbor's car...

State police now say the driver of the minivan that struck and killed a father and son walking along a town of Ellery road was a neighbor of the victims.  Investigators tell The Buffalo News that the 65 year-old woman told them she didn't see 85-year-old Wesley Lutgen and his son, 52-year-old Benjamin, as they walked on the Maple Springs-Ellery Road.  Both men were killed in the Saturday night accident, which happened as they were walking the short distance from the home they shared to Wesley Lutgen's daughter's house for dinner.  State Police say both men were wearing dark clothing.  The driver was not charged.

City Council approves using $1.6-million in grant money to fund pedestrian bridges for Riverwalk project...

The Jamestown City Council has approved a two-million dollar project to build two pedestrian bridges that will connect the north and southsides of city's Rivewalk near the Board of Public Utilities' power plant.  Lawmakers last night voted unanimously to use $1.6-million in federal funding to pay for 80-percent of the project's costs.  Mayor Sam Teresi says those funds are being provided for the 'Jamestown Intermodal Transportation Project' through the state Department of Transportation.  Teresi says they hope to have the project out to bid by next Spring... with construction starting next Summer.  However... he says that's contingent on approval by the state's Department of Transportation.  Teresi says... once the project is drawn up... the DOT will first have to approve the design.  The bridges will link up with Panzarella Island at the BPU on Steele Street.  Teresi says the city will have to cover 400-thousand dollars of the cost.  But... he says those will be non-tax dollars that come from previous grant money.  Teresi adds there will also be some in-kind services provided by city workers.


Gould expected to be named again as Chautauqua County Legislature chairman at re-organizational meeting Friday...

The Ashville-area man who has led the Chautauqua County Legislature the past three years is being tapped again to head up the panel in 2015.  Republican Jay Gould has been named by the GOP Majority to be chairman again next year... and, is likely to be approved at this Friday afternoon's re-organizational meeting in Mayville.  Gould says he feels the panel had two significant accomplishments in 2014.  But... the biggest one was the sale of the County Home in Dunkirk.  As for 2015... Gould says the budget will be another big issue... along with a couple of others.  Those are overcrowding at the county jail... and, the future of the county's two airports.  Gould says that $6-million 'structural deficit' is a major problem that County Executive Vince Horrigan is trying to address with a special panel... but, will likely involve some program cuts.  Also during this Friday's meeting... Clymer-area Republican David Himelein is expected to be named Majority Leader again... while Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom will again be Minority Leader.

Minimum Wage set to increase on New Year's Eve in NY...

New York's minimum wage will rise from $8 to $8.75 an hour on New Year's Eve.  The wage could go up even more if lawmakers pass another increase in the 2015 legislative session.  Supporters of a higher wage are calling for a $10.10-per-hour minimum.  But... opponents say another wage hike could backfire by increasing labor costs and prompting employers to cut jobs.


News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 29, 2014

Two Bemus Point men dead after being struck by car in town of Ellery...

A tragic, car-pedestrian accident on the Maple Springs-Ellery Road last Saturday night has killed an elderly Bemus Point man and his son.  State Police in Jamestown say 85 year-old Wesley Lutgen... and, his 42 year-old son, Benjamin... were struck and killed by the vehicle while they were walking in the town of Ellery about 6 p.m.  Troopers say the eldery female driver couldn't see the men because they were wearing dark clothing at the time.  The driver was not hurt.  No charges have been filed.

Dunkirk man suffered medical emergency, car veers of Dunkirk Pier in fatal accident...

Dunkirk Police have now released the identity of the north county man who died after the vehicle he was driving crashed off the city pier into Lake Erie late Saturday night.  Police say 64 year-old Steven Kucmierz of Dunkirk suffered a medical emergency prior to the accident.  The vehicle crashed through the railing on the side of the pier and became submerged in the lake just before 10 p.m.  Dunkirk Firefighters... and, the Dunkirk Underwater Rescue Team entered the water... and, worked hard to free the man from the vehicle, which was badly damaged.  Kucmierz was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital... but, later died.  City units were assisted by Fredonia Police, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department... and, the county's WET and HAZMAT Teams.

Three hurt, one seriously, in I-86 crash in Cattaraugus County...

Three people were hurt... one seriously... in a one-car, rollover crash on Interstate 86 near Salamanca last Saturday morning.  Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say 21 year-old Danielle Morgan of Dundee, NY... was driving westbound in the town of Cold Spring just after 10 AM... when the car began drifting off the road.  Deputies say Morgan overcorrected... and, she lost control of the car.  Officers say the vehicle then struck the median barrier... and, overturned.  Deputies say two back seat passengers were ejected.  One passenger... Morgan's 16 year-old sister, Rachael... is in stable condition at the Erie County Medical Center with internal and back injuries.  Danielle Morgan and the other passenger... 17 year-old Walker Kapral of Bath, NY... were treated for minor injuries at WCA Hospital in Jamestown.  Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers were assisted at the scene by state Park Police... and, the Seneca Nation Marshall's offfice.

Dolce says new, Joint Task Force on Efficiency and Cost Reduction to meet in Jamestown next month...

The Jamestown City Councilman named to head up a new task force to look at ways the city and it's Board of Public Utilities can save money and be more efficient is hoping for an initial meeting in January.  Second-Ward representative Tony Dolce says the city's taking of a dividend payment from the BPU's surplus came to "a head" this year... and, led to the naming of the panel by Mayor Sam Teresi.  Dolce says city can legally request the "dividend" payment.  However... citizen members of the BPU have said it will hurt the utility in the long run... and, could lead to a rate increase.  Dolce emphasizes that city officials don't want that to happen.  He says everyone needs to avoid viewing this as an "us versus them" situation.  Dolce says the Joint Task Force on Efficiency and Cost Reduction is a chance for city and BPU officials to meet... and, see where efficiencies can be found.  In the past... he says such discussions led to the BPU to take over the city's sewer operations... and, garbage pick-up.  Dolce made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotight" program.

Town of Busti receives state Grant to help town facilities be upgraded, make to comply with ADA requirements...

The town of Busti has received a $50,000 state grant that'll be used to improve it's court... community and senior center... and town office building.  State Senator Cathy Young has announced the grant was approved by the State and Municipal Facilities Program for the Lakewood location.  Young says the grant will "result in a tremendous boost for the seniors who use the facility regularly, as well as for those appearing before the court."  She says it will provide residents with "greater availability" to needed services, resources, and community activities.  But... most importantly... the Olean Republican says the town’s facilities will now be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins adds that completing the new Busti court rooms... and, community-and-senior center is "vital" to the town's future.  He says the grant will allow the project to become "a reality."

Next top-10 story of 2014, sale of Chautauqua County Home...

We continue with our look back at the 10 top stories of 2014.  It was an easy one to forget after the final vote was taken... but, the Chautauqua County Legislature voted last February to sell the County Home in Dunkirk.  Lawmakers agreed to sell the facility to VestraCare of Long Island... after failing to muster the needed votes in late 2013.  This time... the 13 supermajority votes were there for passage.  Former Jamestown lawmaker Fred Larson cast what appeared to be the deciding vote.  Larson viewed the November 2013 elections as a "referendum" on the County Home... and, the clear majority of the voters wanted the home sold.  But... Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel didn't agree.  While he believes the County Home will never break even, Neibel feels it’s worth keeping in County hands.  He said he would rather subsidize people who have lived here their entire lives, and live in the home... then people who come from out-of-state to take advantage of New York's "generous" public assistance benefits."  However... supporters of selling the County Home didn't know whether they had enough votes until they were actually cast.


**Media One News Update: Crash near Salamanca

From the Media One Newsroom: The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department is reporting that 3 people were sent to the hospital following a one car accident on the Westbound portion of I-86 near Salamanca this morning.  Just after 10am 21 year old Danielle Morgan of Dundee, New York tried to correct the 2001 Ford Focus she was driving from leaving the road, when she lost control and the vehicle hit the median and overturned. Two passengers in the rear of the vehicle were ejected.  The driver and one passenger were taken to WCA with what appeared to be minor injuries. The second rear passenger was airlifted to ECMC in Buffalo for her injuries. The Catt. County Sheriff's department was assisted by the New York State Park Police  and the Seneca Nation Marshall's offfice. 

News Headlines for Fri., Dec. 26, 2014

Two families burned out of Willard St. home in Christmas Day fire...

A Christmas Day fire has extensively damaged the first-floor of a two-story apartment house in Jamestown... leaving two families at least temporarily homeless.  City Fire Lieutenant Donald Mowry says crews were called to the scene at 100 Willard St., near the corner with Allen, just after 1 p.m.  Mowry says the flames on the first floor had a good head-start... with smoke and heavy fire showing on arrival.  He says they pulled one hand-line... and, knocked the flames down in about 15 minutes.  However... he says the second floor sustained only smoke and heat damage.  He says both apartments were occupied when the blaze broke out.  Mowry says the residents of the first floor apartment were sleeping at the time... and, one had to be treated for smoke inhalation at WCA Hospital... while a firefighter was treated for minor burns.  Mowry says the first floor is uninhabitable due to the fire damage... and, services have been cut to the entire building.  The Red Cross is helping the victims.  The cause is under investigation.  Crews were at the scene just over two hours.

Car runs into pillar at Fredonia Rite Aid...

A car struck a pillar in front of the Rite-Aid store in Fredonia when the driver accidentally hit the accelerator pedal this past Tuesday morning.  State Police say 79 year-old Maxine Gens of Fredonia pulled into the Rite-Aid parking lot... and, saw a car backing out.  Police say Gens meant to stop, but instead hit the accelerator... and, crashed into a pillar at the front of the store.  Gens was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of an ankle injury.  Gens' son, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was not hurt.  No charges have been filed, and police say the building sustained no structural damage.

New York National Guard will conduct more than 11,000 military funerals by end of 2014...

The New York National Guard says its military honor guards expect to conduct 11,300 funerals for veterans of the Army and Air Force by the end of 2014.  Last year... New York National Guard Honor Guards provided funeral services for 11,585 families of military veterans.  Officials say the lower number for 2014 appears to be due to the decline in the number of World War-Two... and, Korean War-era veterans still living, as well as cutbacks following a temporary budget reduction in October 2013.  Under federal law..., any American who has served in the armed forces and wasn't dishonorably discharged is eligible for military funeral services.  Since being organized in 1999... the National Guard honor guards have participated in more than 100,000 military funerals across New York.

One of the last WWII veteran's who was at Pearl Harbor attack passes away...

Another member of the "Greatest Generation" has died in the Jamestown-area.  But... Joe Panebianco not only fought in World War-Two... he saw the events that triggered America's involvement.  The U.S. Navy veteran was serving on-board one of the ships anchored at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.  Panebianco passed away at Hultquist Place last Friday at the age of 96.  Panebianco was a Machinest 2nd Class on board the U.S.S. Trevor that fateful day.  He remembers getting ready for church... and running up deck-side where he saw a Japanese zero flying low over his ship... which was anchored in a cove... not far from the line of battleships that were attacked.  Panebianco says they were later ordered to search for Japanese subs and mines once the attack was over.  Panebianco talked in detail about that day on WJTN's "The Times of Your Life" in 1994 with other World War-Two veterans.  He re-told the story in 2011 on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day.  Panebianco later served during the war in the South Pacific.


News Headlines for Wed., Dec. 24, 2014

Jamestown police arrest two men for allegedly operating "portable" Meth Lab...

Two men are jailed on several drug-related charges after Jamestown police discovered a Methamphetime Lab... and, a quantity of the drug... inside a car.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers went to 16 West Cowden Place about 4:40 a.m. Tuesday to execute a warrant from another jurisdiction.  However... as officers approached the address... they spotted 34 year-old Aaron Phillips... and, 33 year-old Justin Meacham behind the residence, and outside the vehicle acting strangely.  Samuelson says they first checked on the car... then the duffle bag the two men had.  Samuelson says officers secured Phillips and Meachem... and, the vehicle for further investigation.  He says a search warrant was obtained... and, the vehicle and bag were searched by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  Samuelson says it's unknown if the pair were actually making Meth inside the vehicle... or moving it to another location.  He says the State Police CCSERT Team came in to search and clean the area's involved with the drug and materials.  He adds both men are being held pending arraignment on one count of Felony Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime... and, three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Police also uncover Meth Lab in north county... 
An investigation into a domestic incident in Fredonia led police to the discovery of a possible Meth Lab on Cushing Street.  Fredonia Police say that 33-year-old David Crawford, Jr. allegedly assaulted and held a female victim against her will at the apartment for several days.  The victim was eventually able to leave the residence... and, was assisted by a passing motorist who transported the woman to Brooks Memorial Hospital.  While conducting a search warrant stemming from the domestic incident, police discovered several chemicals and pieces of equipment commonly used for the manufacture of Methamphetamine. 

Christmas-New Year's Holiday Travel period underway; vast majority to go by car due to lower gas prices...

The Christmas-New Year's Holiday Travel period began yesterday... and, officials with the Triple-A say record numbers of people will be traveling to relatives and friends this year.  Triple-A East Central Spokeswoman Chelsea Pompeani says -- nationally -- 98.6-million people are expected to travel at least 50 miles during the holiday period.  Pompeani says the vast majority -- 90-million -- will be driving due to the lowest gasoline prices in about six-years.  She adds the travel period runs through Sunday, Jan. 4.  Pompeani says... before you leave on that trip to grandpa and grandma's... or you parents... you want to make sure you're prepared in case of an emergency.  She says having preventive maintenance on your vehicle is a good start.  This year... Pompeani says they're received a lot of calls for dead batteries... and, adds that if you're warranty has run out, it might be time to change it.  While gas prices are historically low right now... Pompeani says it's still a good idea to get the best gas mileage you can.  That includes avoiding long warm-ups on cold mornings... and, combining errands.

Gas prices down about 10-cents a gallon in Jamestown-area this week...

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have dropped another 10-cents this week... and, are now under $3 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the AAA's Weekly Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price has fallen from just over $3 last week to $2.90.5 this week.  AAA East Central says they based the average on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area.  Last year at this time... the price was just over $3.62 a gallon.  Nationally... the steady decline in gas prices this Fall is now longer than any period the AAA has previously tracked.  The national average price of gas is the longest consecutive streak on record.  Pump prices have fallen every day since Sept. 25 to today’s average... which is now about $2.37.  The best news for consumers is that the decline in the price at the pump has accelerated during the previous week.

High Wind Warning now in effect for Jamestown-area, beginning Christmas Eve night... 
A storm system will be bringing some unseasonably mild temperatures on this Christmas Eve... but, will also bring some strong winds to the area through Christmas Day.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a High Wind Warning from 8 p.m. tonight through 4 p.m. Thursday for portions of Western New York... including Chautauqua County.  Forecaster Bill Hibbert says a sharp cold front will bring strong winds... colder temperatures... and, a rain-snow mix tomorrow with temperatures between 35 and 40-degrees.  Hibbert says temperatures will warm into the 50s today.

State Agriculture leads report record sales year...

New York's farmers set record sales last year.  The state's cash receipts for crops, livestock and other raw agricultural products hit nearly $5.7 billion in 2013.  That's up from $5.5 billion the year before.  The numbers were calculated by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and were announced Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration.  More than half of the receipts were for livestock, dairy and poultry items, with the rest coming from the sale of crops such as corn, fruits and vegetables.

WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown woman in the county jail for allegedly holding up a Forest Avenue service station last Friday night with a toy plastic gun.  City police were called to the Kwik Fill-Red Apple store just before 10 PM for a reported robbery.  Upon further investigation... officers say the suspect displayed what appeared to be a hand-gun... and, demanded cash from the register.  Police say the woman ran off on foot... but, was located a short time later after a description was broadcast to other units in the area.  Officers say 25 year-old Kimberly Ballenger was found with the 'air-soft' pistol that looked like an authentic gun... and, proceeds from the crime.  She was arraigned on charges of second-degree robbery and second-degree menacing... and, sent to the county lock-up without bail.


In a long-awaited announcement, the Cuomo administration last week ruled that the potential health and environmental risks of fracking for natural gas are too great and not enough is known about them to allow it in New York.  In extending a "de facto" ban on using pressurized water and chemicals to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation underneath New York’s southern tier... the state’s Environmental Conservation Commissioner and Acting Health Commissioner was applauded by Debra Goldberg of the environmental law organization, Earthjustice. Goldberg represented the town of Dryden... which passed a zoning law banning fracking.  The Cuomo administration noted that a court ruling upholding that ban -- and the possibility of more local bans as a result -- significantly reduced the economic potential to be gained from moving forward with fracking.  Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says that existing studies raised concerns about high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or HVHF.  Governor Cuomo says he expects there will be lawsuits filed by interests that favor tapping into the reservoir of natural gas underneath the state.


A Siena College poll finds New Yorkers remain divided over hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.  The survey of registered voters found that 38 percent oppose fracking... and 35 percent support it.  The poll was conducted just before Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced a ban on the process.  Support for fracking was highest among Republicans and in suburban areas... and, lower among Democrats and residents in New York City and upstate.


Moviegoers in the state will now see public service announcements warning of the dangers of heroin use.  New York began airing the announcements in movie theaters across the state last Friday.  They will appear before select movies rated PG-13 or R through early January.  The spots include testimonials from recovering users who share personal stories about how heroin abuse affected their lives and families.  Governor Cuomo says the campaign is part of the state's larger effort to ``push back'' against heroin and prescription drugs.


A new restaurant will soon be added to the county Office for the Aging's Senior Dining Out Program.  Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says The Springs on Route 430 in Maple Springs will begin serving senior meals beginning January 1st.  Spanos says that will bring the number of eateries taking part to four.  She adds they started this program several years ago to compliment their Congregate Dining Program because "Boomers" are tending to like to eat out at restaurants instead of chruchs, or Senior Centers. Spanos says... if you want to take part in the program... you have to register with the Office for the Aging by calling the New York-Connects number.  That's 753-4582.  Spanos adds that the restaurants also have to prepare a specific Senior Menu that people can order off of.  She says the menu must meet certain dietary requirements to get funding for the program.  Participants can buy those meals for 3-dollars-50 cents.  In addition to The Springs... the other restaurants involved include Meeder's Restaurant in Ripley... the Green Arch in Brocton... and, the Cassadaga Shure-Fine.


State officials have proposed regulations for a medical marijuana program expected to start in 2016.  The rules have been posted on-line by the health department... and, will be published December 31st in the state Register  They will be subject to 45 days of public comments and possible amendments.  The Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo authorized the program under a law signed in July.  It authorizes patients with one of 10 diseases to be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug, which can be ingested or vaporized.


Upstate New York's new casinos won't open for a couple of years, but there are already plenty of winners and losers as the state follows through with its gambling expansion.  Big names such as Mohegan Sun, Caesars and Hard Rock didn't make the cut when a state panel picked three winning bids for casino licenses.  The projects chosen are Montreign in Sullivan County in the Catskills, Lago in Seneca County in the Finger Lakes and Rivers casino in Schenectady.  The panel opted not to award a license in suburban Orange County -- and disappointed many in the Southern Tier by passing over that region too.  The resort developments are projected to support more than 3,200 full-time jobs and generate 265-million dollars in taxes, along with 136-million dollars in licensing fees.


JHS Senior Brayton Lydell said it was like nothing he'd ever experienced before.  Two-hundred-seventy-five alumni joined with this year's 90th Jamestown High School Acappella Choir for the final Vespers Service of the season... Sunday at First Lutheran Church.  The church was filled to capacity... 1200 people.  Lydell, the President of this year's choir, called the experience bittersweet.  He said he was glad to have all that history in the room, but at the same time he realized that he and the other seniors in this year's choir had now become a part of that history.  Brayton Lydell is the son of the choir's director, Norm Lydell. 

News Update for Fri., Dec. 19, 2014

Horrigan announces new 800 number to help connect people with drug addictions to treatment, and other help...

Chautauqua County residents suffering from drug addiction now have a 24-hour a day -- seven-day a week number they can call for professional services to get the treatment they need.  County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Services Director Patricia Brinkman say the New York State HOPELine is a toll-free service that offers "help and hope" to those trying to break their addiction.  Horrigan says the confidential "one-stop" service came out of discussions by their "Action Teams" that were started up following the county's Drug Forum in March.  Horrigan says the phone number is 1-877-8-H-O-P-E-N-Y - or 1-877-846-7369.  He adds that HOPELine Services are multi-lingual... and, directed by Masters-level clinicians who are professional... well-trained, and knowledgable about all local, confidential services that include both in-patient, and out-patient.  Horrigan says this was the "best option" officials could find for anyone with addiction issues be they drugs... alcoholism... or gambling.  He adds that the county's Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Clinics are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Jamestown and Dunkirk.  The Jamestown number is 661-8330... while the Dunkirk number is 363-3550.

Spanos says seniors who haven't enrolled in Medicare still have time in Chautauqua County due to last month's Winter storm...

If you didn't have a chance to enroll in a Medicare program... or want to change plans... you still have time to do so in Chautauqua County.  That from county Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos... who says Chautauqua... Erie... Wyoming and three other counties were given special extensions because of last month's snowstorm that paralyzed parts of the region with 4 to 7 feet of snow.  Spanos adds, though, that while Open Enrollment has been extended through the end of the year... you cannot enroll directly through their office.  She says you have to call Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE.  Spanos says it may be worth your time to make the call because "plans have changed... " especially with Medicare Advantage.  She adds you should also check if you're have Medicare Part-D and your medications have changes.  Again... the Medicare Open Enrollment period for Chautauqua County has been extended through Dec. 31, due to last month's snowstorm that mainly impacted the north county area.  You can also go on-line to

World War-Two vet Costanzo receives French Legion Award...

Another honor was given this afternoon to one of Jamestown's most well-known, and decorated World War-Two veterans at the Vietnam Veteran's of America Post on Bigelow Ave.  State Senator Cathy Young was in Jamestown to present a medal to U.S. Army Cpl. Anthony Costanzo... honoring him as a member of France's Legion of Honor.  Young says the medal is given to only selected members of foreign army's for their help in keeping France free during times of war.  The Olean Republican says Costanzo was a member of the First Infantry Division that was the first ground force to fight the German's in North Africa.  Young says the Legion of Honor was first established by Napolean Bonaparte in 1801, and is the highest decoration in France.  Those members also include late General's Dwight Eisenhower... and, George S. Patton.  It's another in a long-line of awards and decorations given to Costanzo for his service in World War-Two.  He was inducted into the New York State Senate Veteran's Hall of Fame in 2011.

"Holiday Haul" needs big final day to reach goals...

Tomorrow is the final day of the second-annual Holiday Haul to benefit the St. Susan's Center in downtown Jamestown... and, there's still some room in the truck for food.  That from Jamestown Community College Athletic Director Keith Martin... who is camping out in the parking lot of the Jamestown Cycle Shop to raise money... and, food donations for the city's largest soup kitchen.  Martin began his three-day fund-raiser yesterday... and, says they've had a steady "trickle" of people stopping by.  But, he says they still have a lot of work to do by 3 p.m. Saturday.  Martin says they have a truck from Jamestown Mattress to place the non-perishable food items... such as canned food... pasta... and, spaghetti -- among others.  He also hopes to surpass last year's monitary donations of $9,000.  Martin says he's outside -- doing this -- because there are many people who are down on their luck... and, dont know where their next meal is coming from.  Again... Martin will be out accepting donations at the Jamestown Mattress truck at the Cycle Shop from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.



WJTN News Headlines

Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state... citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.  Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday that he is recommending a ban.  Cuomo says he is deferring to Martens and Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker in making the decision.  Zucker and Martens on Wednesday summarized the findings of their environmental and health reviews.  They concluded that shale gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing carried unacceptable risks that haven't been sufficiently studied.  Martens says the DEC will put out a final environmental impact statement early next year, and after that he'll issue an order prohibiting fracking.


Governor Cuomo's executive action to ban horizontal, hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- in New York state is "disappointing" news.  That from local Assemblyman Andy Goodell.  Goodell has been a solid supporter of fracking -- within strict environmental guidelines.  The Bemus Point Republican says it's a way to boost the state's economy, and make it more energy independent.  He adds he isn't sure Cuomo really looked at any of the "upsides" to responsible fracking. Cuomo received a long-anticipated report from Acting state health Commissioner Howard Zucker on the potential risks of high volume, hydro-fracking.  Zucker says he considered all the data that's been received... and, says there are "significant questions and risks... which as of yet are unanswered.  I think it would be reckless to proceed in New York until more authoritative research is done."  Environmentally... Goodell says boosting natural gas production would be a help reduce Greenhouse Gases.  He says legislative action to block the ban isn't likely because Cuomo would still be able to veto such action... and, there aren't enough votes -- especially in the Assembly... for an override.


Chautauqua County's representative in the state Senate says the governor’s decision to ban exploration of our natural gas resources is a "punch in the gut" to the Southern Tier.  Olean Republican Cathy Young says Cuomo has "a moral obligation" to explain to residents in the region how he will alleviate rural poverty.  The senator says families desperately need jobs and economic opportunity... not government handouts.  She also says that "recovering our abundant natural resources would have brought an economic boom not seen for more than 100 years."  She adds it would have brought good paying jobs, and, relief for overburdened local taxpayers.


The public is being asked for it's help in finding the man who allegedly robbed the Kwik Fill station on Foote Avenue Extention in the town of Kiantone Tuesday night.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies... along with Jamestown, Ellicott, and State Police... responded to the scene -- near the city line -- shortly after 7 PM.  Gerace says they're looking for a white male in his 20s who allegedly pulled a knife on the clerk, and, demanded cash before running off.  City police say the man was wearing a black-hooded jacket and blue jeans... and, was between 6-foot, and 6-foot-2 inches tall with a thin build.  Gerace says if you have information on the case... you can call 664-3100... or their Tips line at 1-800-78CRIME... that's 1-800-782-7463.  You can also go on-line to Wetip-dot-COM.


The athletic director at Jamestown Community College is ready to again camp-out at the Jamestown Cycle Shop in an effort to bring in food and monitary donations for the city's biggest soup kitchen.  Last year... Keith Martin spent three days in the cycle shop parking lot... and, raised 9-thousand dollars... and, 4-tons in food donations for the St. Susan's Center.  After such a great response... Martin said he had to do it again... and, the second-annul "Holiday Haul" begins tomorrow at 6 AM.  Martin hopes to do better this year, because the need is greater at St. Susan's.
In fact... St. Susan's new director, Jeff Smith, says they're averaging 350 to 400 meals served a day, Monday through Friday.  Smith adds the number is down slightly on weekends.  At the beginning of December... he adds they've already served a record 108-thousand meals this year.  While the need is great... Smith says the generosity of the community has been great as well.  Smith reminds residents that for each dollar donated to St. Susan's... they can buy 7-dollars worth of food from the Food Bank of Western New York.


It's a week before Christmas, and Toys for Tots needs more toys.  Terri Johnson, one of the coordinators for the annual drive says they have applications for toys for 2100 children at this point, 300 more than a year ago... and they could hit a record this year.  Anyone who wants to contribute a new unwrapped toy can place it in one of the many Toys for Tots barrels throughout the community today.  After that, toys can be taken to 'Toy Central' at the Gateway Center on Water Street from 2 to 5 PM Friday or all day Saturday.  The greatest need right now is toys for babies, teenagers, and boys 6 to 10 years old.  The Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots in Chautauqua County is coordinated by the Resource Center. 


There were a number of successes for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and, it's members in 2014... and, those were celebrated at yesterday's annual meeting.  Chamber members gathered at Moonbrook Country Club... just north of Jamestown... to look back on the past year.  Chamber President Todd Tranum says -- overall -- 2014 was a "great year...." During the keynote Address... the chamber got an update on efforts to create a National Comedy Center in downtown Jamestown.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... and, Board President Tom Benson gave a detailed talk about the project... which just received a 1.5-million dollar award from the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council program.  Tranum calls it a "significant" development project in the county.  Benson says an expert study they had commissioned shows the center will draw -- conservatively -- 122-thousand people in it's first year of existance.  Tranum says a new board member from Ralston Purina in Dunkirk was added to the panel for 2015.  Otherwise... he says the board's make-up is the same as 2014.


The county Chamber Wednesday also presented it's annual "Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award" to the man who founded two organizations that help Jamestown school student excel in the classoom... as well as athletics and the arts.  Ron Graham was the founder of the Chautauqua Striders in 1979... and, the Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in 1998.  Graham called receiving the award "a tremendous honor...." By the beginning of 2015... both the Striders and Infinity programs will be housed in the former federal building at Prendergast and East Third Streets.  Chamber President Todd Tranum says Graham's programs have had a profound impact on hundreds of youth in the Greater Jamestown-Area.  Tranum says the chamber believes those impacts will be lasting for many of those young people.  Graham thanked several people that helped him take a dream for both organizations... and, make it a reality.






WJTN News Headlines

Local police are looking for a man in his 20s who allegedly held up the Kwik Fill Store on Foote Avenue Extension in the town of Kiantone last night with a knife... and, fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the suspect entered the store about 7:05 PM... wearing a black hooded jacket and blue jeans.  Samuelson says the man was a white male, between 6-foot-and 6-foot-2 inches tall with a thin build.  He says city police were called to the scene to assist Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers.  Samuelson says the Sheriff's Department will release more details on the crime.  Anyone who may have information on this crime is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 664-3100.


Gas prices this last, full week before Christmas in the Jamestown-area have dropped another 10-cents a gallon from last week.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says prices locally are down from just over 3-dollars-10 cents a gallon... to just over 3-dollars a gallon.  In fact... some stations are showing a price of 2--99.9 for regular, unleaded.  The price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown area.  Nationally... the Triple-A says the average for retail gasoline is at it's lowest level in more than five years.  The average price in the U-S is now 2-dollars-55 cents per gallon.


A woman involved with the Warren High School Dragons Band Boosters has been accused of stealing 12-thousand dollars in funds from the booster's savings account the past four years.  State Police in Warren say they arrested 46 year-old Michelle Lee Bova of Warren Tuesday for allegedly taking the money between early 2009... and, this past September.  Troopers say Bova made withdrawls from the account that were not authorized... and, she's been charged with 16 counts of theft by unlawful taking.  Bova was arraigned... and, sent to the Warren County Jail on 30-thousand dollars cash bail.  If you have any information that might help police... they ask you to call State Police, or CRIMESTOPPERS.


Often the only way to bring about change is to expose what needs to be changed.  That was the lesson for nearly 150 Persell Middle School eighth-graders earlier this Fall in Jamestown.  They were part of the "Muckraking in Jamestown" project to show problems in the community.  Many of the students say blighted and delapitated housing... and, crumbling sidewalks are both an eyesore... and, a safety issue.  During a presentation to the City Council Monday night... student Sarah Reale says they took hundreds of pictures to bring to light those problems.
Graffiti was another prevailent problem the students photographed in the downtown area.  One student added the most common word they saw was Cheez... but, it was spelled C-H-E-E-Z.  He says it seemed meaningless at first... but, they later found it was the nickname for a combinaton of Heroin and Tylenol PM.  The students spoke as many of the pictures they took during their day in the downtown where shown on a screen in Council Chambers.  Eighth Grader Teacher Jayme Genco says the students really got into the lesson... which was based on the writtings of Jacob Ries... who highlighted slum conditions in New York City during the late 1800's.


The state Board of Regents has recommended a 2-billion dollar increase in state school aid in the 2015-16 budget.  The board, which sets education policy, says the recommendation approved Monday would drive more money to districts with the greatest needs and advance priorities like early childhood learning.  In all... the Regents recommend the state spend 24.4-billion dollars on education in the next fiscal year.  About 600-million would go to restore Gap Elimination Adjustment funding.  Lack of such funding has hurt Jamestown in recent years.


The 120-year-old Chautauqua Amphitheater needs an upgrade... but, it shouldn't be torn down to make way for a new facility when it can be saved.  Those are the feelings of Chicago's Brian Berg... a summer resident of the Institution... who with his wife... formed the group "Save the Amphitheater-dot-ORG.  Berg has become the voice of the opposition to the 30-million dollar project... which is slated to begin at the end of next season.  He say's it's a "great historic venue..." adding that Historian Jeff Simpson calls it the "heartbeat of Chautauqua...." Berg adds that several other preservation groups... including 'Preservation Buffalo-Niagara...' feel the same way he and his wife do.  The Cleveland native says groups from there to Pittsburgh, and Buffalo, now oppose tearing down the current Amp to make way for a new one.  Berg says the state Office of Historic Preservation is also on board... and, recently told Chautauqua to "pull back" and, scrap plans to demolish the structure.  Institution officials say, to keep the amphitheater where it is now, a complete rebuild is needed.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is continuing to work with local government officials to develop a plan to achieve long term tax savings through shared services.  He held another forum on the issue in Mayville late Monday... and a number of local mayors, supervisors and municipal leaders attended the session. Horrigan says the state is requiring a shared services plan as part of the process to continue the freeze in 2016.  He says they'll require a shared services plan to generate one-percent of the tax levy to then provide a rebate back to all STAR Eligible homeowners.  Horrigan expects local leaders to meet again sometime next spring.  He says the deadline to submit the plan is June 1st.


It's a move that "solidifies" top-calibur baseball's return to Jamestown next year.  The city council has approved transferring the lease for the new collegiate Prospect League baseball franchise to a Wisconsin-based sports marketing and entertainment business.  During a special meeting Monday night... lawmakers unanimously approved the new 5-year agreement with MKE Sports Entertainment... which has bought controlling interest in the Lorain, Ohio franchise from RS Entertainment.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says this the next move in bringing and keeping a franchise here. The new ownership group will be based in Jamestown... and, be called Jamestown Baseball, LLC.  The principals... including major partner Mike Zimmerman... were introduced during a press conference late last week.  Zimmerman's group -- which recently bought the Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League -- also has bought interest in the Prospect League's Kokomo, Indiana franchise.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the move was not a surprise... because RS Owner Kevin Rhomberg said -- with the move to Jamestown -- he would be losing a couple of investors he had in Ohio.


WJTN News Headlines

A six-member panel is recommending an incremental increase in the salaries for both the mayor... and, city council members in Jamestown.  The city's Salary Review Commission offered it's proposal to lawmakers at last night's work session.  It includes an 18-thousand dollar annual increase for the mayor from 2016 through 2019... and, a one-thousand dollar increase for each Council member... beginning in 2016.  Former Mayor Dick Kimball chaired the commission... and, says due to salary freezes... and, other reasons... many city employees now make more than the mayor now. Kimball says the last increase in the mayor's salary -- from 65-thousand to 72-thousand dollars a year -- was made in 2008.  However... he says the city council never acted on the proposal made in 2012.  As for city council... Kimball says that situation's been worse.  Their last raise was in 31 years ago to the current 5-thousand dollars a year.  If lawmakers approve... it would go to 6-thousand in 2016.  Committee chairs would receive another 500-dollars... while the Council President would get an additional one-thousand dollars.  If council approved for the "next" council and mayor... the mayoral increase would be 8-thousand dollars in 2016 to 80-thousand dollars a year. Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says debate is "warranted" on the salary issue... and, he expressed his desire to have a work session on the proposal sometime in January.


New York's governor says there is no agreement on a legislative pay hike because state lawmakers won't agree on campaign finance and ethics reforms.  Lawmakers have suggested returning to Albany for a lame-duck session this month to give themselves a raise.  They now make 79-thousand-500 for their part-time work, but haven't seen a raise in 14 years.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said on public radio's ``Capitol Pressroom'' Monday that any pay hike should be accompanied by campaign finance and ethics changes.  He says that so far, lawmakers have balked at the idea -- making the possibility of a special session less and less likely.  Cuomo has suggested limiting lawmakers' outside income, instituting broad public campaign financing and prohibiting lawmakers from accepting work from groups who do business with the state.


Two people accused of dealing Heroin in Warren County are off the streets after being arrested Monday night by the Warren County Drug Task Force.  The Warren Times Observer reports that Shauna Hanson and Shane Williams, both of Hemlock Road were arrested at seperate locations Monday evening and arraigned by video-conference before District Judge Daniel Miller.  Both were taken to the Warren County Jail with bail set at 35 thousand dollars.


A former Jamestown City Councilman is set to be appointed to fill a vacancy on the Chautauqua County Legislature this week.  Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom says he expects Paul Whitford's appointment to fill the Legislature District 13 seat to pass without opposition.  The Dunkirk Democrat says Whitford will replace Paula DeJoy... who resigned from the legsilature early last month because she was moving out of District 13. Ahlstrom says he's known Whitford through his previous dealings with labor and industry... and, Democrat affairs.  Whitford represented Ward-Six in Jamestown for the past seven years... but, he had to resign his seat because he moved to an address in the First Ward.  Ahlstrom says he believes Whitford will "fit right in" and work well with the Democrat caucus.  If approved by the legislature... Whitford will fill out DeJoy's term which expires at the end of next year.


A Lakewood man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside last weekend... and, stealing a number of items.  Jamestown police say they were called to the scene on West Cowden Place about Noon Saturday on a burglary complaint.  Further investigation led officers to find 22 year-old Dylan Abbey hiding inside another Cowden Place residence last Sunday morning.  Police say Abbey was arrested on several unrelated warrants... and, he was allegedly found with a number of items taken during the West Cowden Place break-in.  He was arraigned on several charges... including Felony second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county lock-up.


It's not perfect... but, Chautauqua County's Congressman says the 1.1-trillion dollar Continuing Resolution approved by the House and Senate late last week is a "step in the right direction."  Corning Republican Tom Reed was among the slight majority in the House that voted for the measure that prevents a partial-government shut-down.  Reed says there are a number of items in the bill he's "very happy" to see... including measures to restrict funding to further implement "Common Core" in public schools. Reed adds that there are also funding restrictions for the Internal Revenue Service... regarding targeting of groups -- be they conservative or liberal in nature.  He adds there are also funding restrictions on the proposed expansion of EPA navigable water regulations.  Reed says he would have liked to see "Common Core" repealed entirely.  However... it was approved in both the House and Senate... and, now goes to the president's desk.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


A project to renovate one of downtown Jamestown's historic bank buildings will allow a local, high-tech employer to move and expand in the city.  The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has also received a quarter of a million dollar award from the state to help upgrade the M-&-T Building at Third and Main Street as part of the 4-million dollar project.  Mayor Sam Teresi says it's another project funded by the state's Regional Economic Development Council program.... as well as state tax credits. Teresi says the M-&-T project includes moving Digitel from the Furniture Mart building to the M-&-T site so it can expand... and, keep 50 jobs in downtown Jamestown.  He adds the firm also plans to add between 15 and 20 jobs.  Teresi says M-&-T will also be leasing space back in the building... and, there will be another 10 to 15-thousand square feet of space for professional office or commercial use.  He says the state regional council program also approved a 338-thousand dollar award to CODE, Incorporated... to purchase property for a Greenway Project at East Second and Winsor Streets.  Teresi says it will be used to create a recreational area in the Appleyard Terrace area.  He made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program.






News Update for Mon., Dec. 15, 2014

Former City Councilman Whitford for be appointed to county legislature this week...

Chautauqua County lawmakers are set to fill a vacancy on the panel this Wednesday night when they hold their final meeting of 2014.  Minority Leader Keith Ahlstrom says he expects Jamestown Democrat Paul Whitford's appointment to fill the Legislative District 13 seat to pass without opposition.  Ahlstrom -- a Dunkirk Democrat -- says Whitford will replace Paula DeJoy... who resigned from the seat last month because she was moving out of District 13.  He says he's known Whitford for a number of years... and, believes he'll "fit right in" with the Democrat Caucus... and, the legislature.   Whitford represented Ward-Six in Jamestown for the past seven years.  Ahlstrom says Whitford's appointment might have come sooner... but, he wanted to finish up work as a council member on Jamestown's 2015 city budget.  If approved by the legislature... Whitford will fill out DeJoy's term which expires at the end of next year.

Lakewood man arrested for allegedly breaking into home in city's southside last weekend...

A Lakewood man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside last weekend... and, stealing a number of items.  Jamestown police say they were called to the scene on West Cowden Place about 12 p.m. Saturday on a burglary complaint.  Further investigation led officers to find 22 year-old Dylan Abbey hiding inside another Cowden Place residence last Sunday morning.  Police say Abbey was arrested on several unrelated warrants... and, he was allegedly found with a number of items taken during the West Cowden Place break-in.  He was arraigned on several charges... including Felony second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county lock-up.

Reed votes for Continuing Resolution, though it's "not perfect..."

It's not perfect... but, Chautauqua County's Congressman says the $1.1-trillion Continuing Resolution approved by the House and Senate late last week is a "step in the right direction."  Corning Republican Tom Reed was among the slight majority in the House that voted for the measure that prevents a partial-government shut-down.  Reed says there are a number of items in the bill he's "very happy" to see... including measures to restrict funding to further implement "Common Core" in public schools.  He's been opposed to the new school standards.  Reed says it also includes language to prevent infringement on Second-Amendment by the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.  He says the measure was approved in both the House and Senate... and, now goes to the president's desk.


News Alert! for Sat., Dec. 13, 2014

JPD identifies suspect in Meth. Lab explosion and fire...

Jamestown police investigators have now identified the man who was reportedly burned when an alleged Methamphetime Lab on the city's northside exploded late last month.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they identified 43 year-old Christopher Swanson during the course of interviews... and, other evidence found during the investigation.  Samuelson says Swanson was treated at a local hospital following the November 20th incident at 824 Prendergast Avenue.  He adds the suspect is at-large... and, they're asking for the public's help in the case.  He says Swanson is a white male... about 5-foot-8 inches tall... and 160 pounds.  Samuelson says he has brownish, blond hair -- ususally in a pony-tail.  If you have any information on Swanson's whereabouts... call the JPD tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.     

Four teens arrested for alleged arson fire on Jamestown's westside...

Four city teens have been arrested for allegedly setting fire to a vacant house on Jamestown's westside yesterday afternoon.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the blaze was called in shortly after 5 p.m. at 44 West Ninth Street... and, city fire crews saw fire and heavy smoke coming from the first floor on arrival.  He says they had the fire in the condemned home under control quickly... and, investigators say witnesses spotted the four youths leaving the home shortly before the first was called in.  Samuelson says two 16 year-olds who were allegedly involved face Felony arson and burglary charges.  A 14 year-old, and 13 year-old who were also allegedly involved were released to their parents... and, their cases will be petitioned to family court.


News Update for Fri., Dec. 12, 2014

City man arrested for allegedly trafficking a "significant" amount of Cocaine...

A man on parole has been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly selling and trafficking cocaine for the past month from an eastside residence.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force late this morning raided an apartment at 500 East Fifth Street... along with members of the JPD SWAT Team.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators arrested 42 year-old Luis Martinez after finding 3.8-ounces of powder cocaine hidden inside.  Samuelson calls it a "significant" amount of cocaine... which he adds had an estimated street value of $10,000.  He says Martinez is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  He's jailed pending arraignment.

Man arrested for alleged rape in October incidents with 15 year-old girl in Jamestown...

An Ashville man has been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15 year-old girl in the city of Jamestown.  Sheriff's officers say they began an investigation into allegations that 33 year-old Joshua Glover was have the relationship with the girl last October.  Deputies say Glover was taken into custody after a warrant was issued out of city court for his arrest.  Glover is charged with three counts of second-degree rape... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  Child Protective Services assisted police in the investigation.  The county's District Attorney... and, Child Advocacy Program were also involved in the case.

News Update for Tues., Dec. 9, 2014

NWS Forecaster says expect "persistant" snow from outer edges of Nor'easter...

A slow-moving, Winter storm is moving up the East Coast... and, will bring nearly a foot of snow to parts of Western New York.  However... it won't be a heavy snow.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll pretty much be on the perifery of this nor'easter.  Mitchell says we won't see heavy snow during that 48 to 72 hour time period.  Mitchell says the greatest amounts will occur over the higher elevations of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... with totals of 4 to 8 inches generally.  By late Thursday... some places may see about a foot of new snow.  The National Weather has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Friday for an area that includes Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  We'll have the latest forecast coming up shortly. 

No one hurt in Portland house fire; Red Cross helping families involved...

Flames have extensively damaged much of a two-family home on Route 20 in the town of Portland.  Portland Fire Chief Steve Burgeous says crews were called to the scene at 6384 Route 20 about 3:30 this morning... and, found heavy fire near the front of the house when they arrived.  He adds flames were showing through the windows.  Burgeous says the two families living there were able to get out safely.  But... he adds there was damage through-out the house, mainly to the front of the building.  However... he says there was smoke and water damage through-out the building.  Burgeous says it took some time to bring the flames under control because of the way the house was built.  He says the home was made of concrete, and, has a metal roof that kept the heat inside.  Burgeous says the Red Cross is helping the fire victims.  He adds that Brocton... and, Westfield firefighters were called to the scene... while Stockton was on stand-by.  Crews were at the scene about 5 hours.  The Chautauqua County FAST team was also called to the scene... and, investigators are still looking for the cause.

Hearing underway on raising minimum wage for workers who receive tips...

Restaurateurs and hoteliers plan to weigh in as a state board considers whether to mandate they pay tipped workers the standard minimum wage in New York.  The Wage Board is reviewing whether to eliminate the so-called tip wage of $5 an hour for food servers and $5.65 for hotel housekeepers.  New York law lets employers to pay them less than the state's $8 minimum wage... set to rise to $8.75 in January... provided tips make up the difference.  Hospitality industry groups say federal data show tipped workers average $11 an hour.  Workers say the law treats them as second-class employees.


WJTN News Headlines

Firefighters were at the scene of an overnight fire in the Town of Portland. Crews were called to a house fire at 6384 Route 20 just after 3:30 this morning.  There's no word on whether anyone was home at the time of the fire. Portland, Brocton, Westfield, Sherman, Stockton and the Chautauqua County FAST team are on the scene.  Fire investigators were called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.


The Northeast is bracing for a strong, slow-moving storm expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to a wide swath of the coast and at least a half-foot of snow to some inland areas.  However... it's not expected to bring much snow to the Jamestown area.  The National Weather Service says a storm moving into the northeast is threatening to bring 2 or more inches of rain to southern New England on Tuesday.  Flood watches are in effect in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Some coastal areas are also under high wind watches, with 60 mile-per-hour gusts possible.  Snowfall is expected to be minimal along the Interstate 95 corridor from Philadelphia to Boston, but winter weather advisories have been issued for parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  A Winter weather advisory  has been issued for our area from 4am Wednesday through 4am Friday.


Two people were hurt... but, not seriously... in a two-car crash on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony Monday morning.  Sheriff's officers say 27 year-old Cole Robbins of Falconer attempted to turn onto Route 394 about 9 AM... but, collided with an oncoming vehicle... driven by 75 year-old Janice Gernatt of Falconer.  Deputies say both Robbins and Gernatt were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries. No charges have been filed.


New York state's attorney general is seeking the authority for his office to investigate deaths at the hands of police following the public outcry over the killing of an unarmed Staten Island man.  A-G Eric Schneiderman, in a letter Monday to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, says that authority exists under New York law, has been used in the past, and is needed now because of the ``crisis of confidence'' in law enforcement.  The attorney general's authority would apply to cases after the executive order is signed and last until the state Legislature acts to permanently address the issue.


A new video contest gets underway on New Year's Day to see who can produce the best on-line videos that highlight what residents and visitors love about Chautauqua County.  County Executive Vince Horrigan... and, local tourism and business leaders... have announced the "I Love Chautauqua (or CHQ) Challenge."  During a press conference at the Chautauqua County Visitor's Bureau Monday afternoon... Horrigan noted that he had introduced the concept during his State of the County message earlier this year. Visitor's Bureau Executive Director Andrew Nixon says the contest involves making a "non-commercial" one-and-a-half to three-minute video of something a person... or group... likes about the county.  Nixon adds there will actually be 20 winners over four quarters of 2015.  Videos in each catagory with the most "likes" will win.   Nixon says the "first quarter" runs from January 1st until March 31st.  Winners in each of five catagories will receive 250-dollars each.  Those catagories include Living Here... Local Flavors -- featuring restaurants and argiculture... Outdoors and Recreation... Working Here... and, Arts, Culture, HIstory, and Education.  Nixon says all prize winners will also be eligible for a one-thousand dollar grand prize at the end of the final contest period.  For more information... go to the CCVB's Facebook page at facebook-dot-com/Tour-dot-Chautauqua... or call 357-4569.


Better defining who is eligible for Social Security Disability is one way to save the program from bankruptcy in 2016.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who says he's been named to the House Ways and Means Committee's Social Security Subcommittee.  Reed says he wanted to be on the panel after questioning Treasury Secretary Jack Liu (Lew) this past year on what the administration was going to do about the problem.  He says Liu didn't have an answer.  However... he says the White House now plans to fill the 20-percent funding gap by taking money from Social Security Administration funds. Reed says the Ways and Means Committee has addressed some issues... and, those ultimately led to a sting operation that took down a group committing SSD fraud in New York City.  He says Chairman Sam Johnson has led the way in that effort... and, trying to better define who can, and should be on it.  Reed says there are about 30-thousand people in the 23rd Congressional District who receive SSD.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone news conference with Southern Tier Media.


Jamestown's current mayor says he's lost a "lifelong friend..." and, his first boss.  Former Mayor Steven B. Carlson died last Friday in eastern New York following a battle with Cancer.  Carlson was 74.  He had formerly lived in the Albany suburb of Delmar... where he moved to in 1993 when he took a job with the state.  Current Mayor Sam Teresi say he first met Carlson while he was in high school in 1977 during a student debate... and, he later interned with Carlson.  Carlson later named Teresi to be his director of Development in 1988 before Teresi ran for mayor in 1999. Carlson was the mayor of Jamestown from 1976 to 1989... and, Teresi called him one of the city's "best ever."  Prior to that... Carlson served as the city clerk of Jamestown... and, the county clerk of Chautauqua County.  Carlson served on the Board of Public Utilities, the Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees... and, the Jamestown General Hospital Board for many years.  His funeral notice says one of Carlson's proudest moments was to host the King of Sweden, Carl Gustav, during his visit to Jamestown in 1976.  He moved to the Albany area in 1993... and, was a business specialist with the state Department of Economic Development.


State lawmakers in plan to review New York's efforts to curb homelessness.  Two committees of the state Assembly are scheduled to meet later today in Albany to discuss the problem of homelessness and the effectiveness of programs aimed at reducing the number of people without adequate housing.  The federal government estimates that there were more than 77,000 homeless people in New York state in 2013.


News Update for Fri., Dec. 5, 2014

Second fire at El Azteca Restaurant destroys building...

An apparent rekindle at the El Azteca Restaurant in Lakewood has destroyed the building.  Lakewood firefighters were called back to the scene on Fairmount Avenue just before 2 this afternoon.  Lakewood Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says the roof of the building was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival.  Hallberg says the blaze spread through the building quickly this time... and, fire crews had to take a "defensive posture."  Two aerial fire trucks... one from Lakewood... the other from Celoron... were pouring water on the structure late this afternoon.  The cause is under investigation... but, Hallberg says Sheriff's Department investigators had left the scene a short time before the call went out.
The initial fire at El Azteca was called in about 9:30 this morning.   Chief Hallberg says there was heavy fire coming out of the eastside basement window... going up the wall, and into the roof area when they arrived.  Celoron was called in to assist.  There were no injuries reported either time.  Fairmount Avenue in that area is again open.


Eleven, "one-pot" Meth Labs found in town of Busti trailer park...

An on-going, undercover police investigation has led to the discovery of 11 "one-pot" methamphetime labs in one-lot at the Bosco Trailer Park in the town of Busti.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and, Lakewood-Busti Police... say they investigated the former site in the trailer at Lot-#6 in the park late this morning.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says police were actually on scene - initially - last night.  Gerace says they were trying to find two suspects allegedly involved in the operation.  He says they went back this morning... and, determined there were 11 separate "Meth Cooks."  Gerace says warrants were obtained... and, each faces multiple counts of Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetime.  Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation... Gerace says they are not releasing the suspects names at this time.


News Alert for Fri., Dec. 5, 2014

Fire heavily damages part of Mexican Restaurant in Lakewood...


Flames have heavily-damaged the back portion of a Mexican restaurant on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood.  Lakewood fire crews were called to the Al Azteca Restaurant... which is located between the Post Office... and, Hospice Chautauqua County... about 9:30 this morning.  Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says there were heavy flames coming out of the eastside basement window... going up the wall... and, into the roof area.  Hallberg says they pulled a 2-and-a-half inch handline to initially knock down most of the fire.  Celoron was called in to assist.  No injuries were reported... and, the cause is under investigation. 


Fairmount Avenue in both directions between Chautauqua Avenue, and Winch Road, were closed while crews battle the flames.  That reopened a short time before Noon.  The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities also reports that water in Lakewood and West Ellicott will be discolored for the next 12 to 24 hours.

WJTN News Headlines

Authorities were called to an incident involving a man and woman in Pittsfield Township, Pennsylvania Thursday morning. State Police based in Warren were notified of a stabbing and shooting incident by Warren County 911 at 11:30am.  When police arrived to the scene on Taylor Lane they found 42 year old Angel McShane of Garland with a stab wound to her back and a male dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.   Mcshane was flown to Hamot Hospital in Erie for treatment.  The identity of the victim is being held pending notification of his relatives.  The investigation is continuing as an attempted murder/suicide.


Two men are now jailed after being formally charged in connection with a "one-pot" Methamphetime Lab that Jamestown police stumbled across while looking for another person in an unrelated case.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says one of the men arrested... 35 year-old Donald King... was a tenant of the basement apartment at 307 Allen Street.  Samuelson adds that 38 year-old Richard Dean was allegedly helping to "cook" the meth. Samuelson adds that charges are pending against a third person in the case.  Samuelson says officers went to the scene about 2:15 PM... and, smelled the meth while investigating the other case.  He says a search warrant was obtained.  The state Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team was called in to clean-up the location.  Both Dean and King were arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


One person has been arrested so far... but, several more are arrests are pending after the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a northside apartment house... and, found several illegal narcotics -- including Heroin.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they were joined by the State Police C-NET Team in executing a search warrant at 824 Cherry Street about 10:20 Wednesday morning.  Samuelson says they found several people inside... and, one, a 17-year-old male... has been charged with criminal possession of crack-cocaine... and, marijuana.  He says there were "5 to 6" other people inside the apartment when they arrived.  He says the amount of Heroin, crack-cocaine, and marijuana found is not being disclosed.  Samuelson says they also found a quantity of cash.  He says charges are pending against the others found inside.


Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased that a city man will be serving prison time after being sentenced in federal court after his conviction on drug and weapons charges.  A federal judge in Buffalo has sentenced 28-year-old Christopher Marcinkowski (Marr-sin-Cowski) to 6-and-a-half years in prison following his conviction for possession with intent to distribute cocaine... and, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Police Chief David Ortolano says his department continues to make stopping the illegal drug trade a top priority.... police put a lot of work into the case. Police say they found a marijuana grow operation inside the residence... along with a quantity of cocaine and drug packaging materials.  Ortolano says his department spent a lot of time on the case... which stemmed from their arrest of Marcincowski at his Columbus Avenue home in February of 2012.  During a raid on the house... Ortolano says they spotted the suspect tossing a sawed-off shotgun out of a second-story window.


Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York should consider better police training, body cameras on officers and other changes following a grand jury decision not to charge a white police officer in the chokehold death of a black man.  The comments came on public radio's ``Capitol Pressroom'' yesterday.


Two Cattaraugus County men have been indicted on charges stemming from the slaying of another man whose body was found at a scenic overlook along a rural road last summer.  However... both have pleaded NOT guility to the charges.  The District Attorney's Office says 28-year-old Gary Maull of Olean made his plea last week to second-degree murder in the killing of 54-year-old Lamont Clemons of Olean.  Prosecutors say 53-year-old Thomas Hall of Olean also pleaded NOT guilty to criminal facilitation and witness tampering for allegedly helping Maull.


State Senator Cathy Young was honored by The Resource Center today (Thursday) for her efforts in support of people with disabilities, and the centers where they often work.  The senator was given TRC's 'Community Action Award' in a presentation at the Mary Andrews Work Center in Dunkirk.  Young says the future of such centers is uncertain because of a movement to find jobs for the disabled 'out in the community...' Prior to her election to public office... Young worked for the Rehab Center in Cattaraugus County, an agency similar to the Resource Center.  In comments following the ceremony... the Senator said jobs 'out in the community' are only right for some people with disabilities.  See adds it's not 'realistic' for some.  Young says she'll continue to work for creative solutions when the legislature convenes in Janauary.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell was also given a 'Community Action Award' at the Resouce Center's Disability Awareness Awards earlier this Fall.


Federal energy regulators have approved a 700-million dollar pipeline project designed to ferry cheap Marcellus Shale natural gas from Pennsylvania into high-priced markets in New England and New York.  The project's backers said Wednesday the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval means the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline could be operational by next winter.  The lead partners are Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Partners and Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas.  Williams says Marcellus Shale gas is about half the cost of the Gulf of Mexico gas that typically reaches Boston and New York City.


There are still some tickets remaining for the annual Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular that's returning to Jamestown a week from this Saturday.  The unique program that combines ice skating... gymnastics... and, music... will be held at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Saturday, December 13th at 7 PM.  Arena General Manager Brian Cersosimo says the program will be video taped for play two times next February on ABC-TV. Cersosimo says among the world class figure skaters on hand will be Olympic Doubles Champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the most recent Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.  There will also be Simon (Suh-Moan) Bios... the top-ranked gymnast in the world.  County music singer Danielle Bradberry from "The Voice" will also perform.  Again... the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectatular program is Saturday, December 13th at 7 PM.  Cersosimo says there are still some tickets remaining.  For more information... call the arena at 484-2624... or go on-line to Jamestownarena-dot-COM.

WJTN News Headlines

The man who has represented Jamestown's sixth-ward for the past seven years will be stepping down as of next Monday because he's moving to a different part of the city.  Democrat Paul Whitford announced he will be resigning because he's completing his move to Harris Street in the first-ward.  Whitford says he's going to miss being on council... and, got emotional while talking about working with his fellow council members.  He singled out the longest serving member of the panel during his remarks. However... Dolce disagreed... saying he feels Whitford put "a lot" into being a councilman... especially regarding his expertise in labor and industry issues.  Council President Greg Rabb thanked Whitford for his "hard work" on council... and, thanked him for sticking around to get his "seven" budget hashed-out, and approved.  Rabb last night appointed Maria Jones to chair the Public Safety Committee... which Whitford chaired.  Mayor Sam Teresi will have to appoint another Democrat to that seat... and, council will have to approve it.


From one state champion to another... the Jamestown Red Raider Marching Band set the tone for Monday afternoon's rally to welcome home the school's State Championship Football Team. More than 200 people crowded Tracy Plaza for the event to honor the 2014 Class-AA Champion Red Raiders... and, their coaching staff.  The rally was hosted by Mayor Sam Teresi... who said -- yes, it's December 1st... and, yes, it was only about 32-degrees outside.  However... Teresi says what better day to celebrate two state championships. Teresi later issued a proclamation and presented the Key to the City to the football team.  He had earlier presented one to the marching band.  Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains praised the team, and it's coaches for not only winning... but, doing it the "right way."  Head Coach Tom Langworthy talked about the team's ascent to the state finals... saying their motto was "Unfinished business" after being knocked out in the Far West Regional by the eventual champion last year.


One of the JHS football captains ays the past three-plus years for most of them was a growing experience.  Wide Receiver Stephen Carlson was elected to speak for the team.  Carlson says they became a close-knit unit... that was united in one-goal... and, that was to win a state championship.  He says they had a team that "gave it their all every single day, because they loved this team."  Carlson adds they also had a vision of being where they are right now -- state champs.  Carlson thanked the school community for it's support... as well as that of the entire city.


It's a regular day of classes at the Randolph Central Schools today after a big weekend that featured the varsity football team's third-straight, state Class-D championship victory.  Second-year Head Coach Brent Brown says teams coaches never thought about a state title until their first 10 years ago.  Brown says to win three-straight is unbelievable. Brown says they also had a special group of talented players that have provided the leadership the past three years.  He says they lost a few Seniors from last years team... and, in a rematch against Chester... fell behind by 21 at half-time.  However... Brown says they made a few offensive, and defensive adjustments, and that helped fuel the comeback.  Senior Quarterback Bryce Morrison... who finally scored the winning touchdown late in the fourth-quarter, as the Cardinals came back to win, 48-to-41.  Brown says the team received a great reception at the Randolph Fire Hall when they returned from Syracuse Saturday night. 


It appears less and less likely that New York lawmakers will call a special session this month to consider giving themselves a pay raise.  Top lawmakers had floated the idea of convening a lame-duck session before the end of the year.  Lawmakers now make $79,500 for their part-time work.  They haven't seen a pay increase in 14 years.  Other topics mentioned as potential issues include a minimum wage increase, financial aid for students in the country illegally and disaster assistance for Buffalo following last month's snowstorm.  If called, a special session would likely be in the first half of the month before the holidays.  Spokespeople for legislative leaders say there have been no formal talks about calling lawmakers back into session.  The Legislature will start its 2015 session in January.


The decision by Middle East oil producers to keep production levels where they are signals a "structural change" in which we may see lower, and more stable gasoline prices for the long-term.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed... who says the decision by OPEC to keep production at 30-million barrels a day flew "under the radar" because it was announced late Thanksgiving Day.  Reed calls the decision -- in the wake of stepped up North American production -- "very exciting...."  Reed says Goldman-Sachs just released a report that estimates the downward price trend for gasoline saved American consumers about 75-billion dollars since this Summer.  The Corning Republican says that amounts to a "tax cut" that will help the economy.  Reed also believes the expanded production in this part of the world will hold prices down for quite some time.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.


A broad cross-section of sports is covered by the Class of 2015 for the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.  Among the inductees announced Sunday night is WJTN's own Jim Roselle.  Jim is being inducted as an honorary member of the hall for his time spent on the board of directors at the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys and Girls Club, and sports announcing work in previous years.  In addition to Jim... Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson says the 2015 class includes a little of everything. The induction banquet will be held on Monday, February 16th, at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  There are 10 inductees... including late Westfield area jockey Vincent Powers... who is being inducted under the newly-created Historical Catagory.  Anderson says Powers was America's leading jockey in 1908-though 1909... and, won the Kentucky Derby in 1909.  The Class of 2015 also includes pro football players Jehuu Caulrick and Chuck Crist... and coaches Bill Davenport, Jack Keeney, and Sherman's Mel Swanson... who is still going strong with more than one-thousand victories in girls and boys basketball.  For more information on the banquet... call Chip Johnson at 485-6991.


Winter is just around the corner... and, outdoor enthusiasts and event volunteers are being asked to take part in the setup for the next Warren County Winterfest.  Winterfest Spokesman Walt Atwood says they are looking for more volunteers to take part.  He says their next general planning meeting is tonight, December 2nd, at 7 PM at the Penn Soil office-and-Warren County Conservation District headquarters.  It's located in the Stone Building on the state Hospital Grounds in North Warren. 


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