Local News Headlines Archives for 2019-11

WJTN Headlines for Fri., Nov. 29, 2019

Wolfpack defeated Moriah second-year in a row to win State Class-D HS Football title...
The Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack defeated Moriah 47-6 in today’s State Public High School Class D championship game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.  The win the Wolfpack’s second title in as many years, and the win at the Carrier Dome was the second straight over Moriah.  Jon Swabik was Most Valuable Player of the game for Clymer/Sherman/Panama in the game broadcast on Media One station WJTN.  The Wolfpack jumped out to a 20-0 lead before half-time, and was never headed.  Congratulations to the Wolfpack!

Woman from Gerry arrested for allegedly transporting numerous drugs on CARTS Bus after she's found sleeping...
A Gerry woman has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of several kinds of drugs after she was found sleeping on a Chautauqua Area Rural Transit System bus late Wednesday.  State Police in Jamestown say they found the woman, 33 year-old Amanda Sendall, was sought on two outstanding warrants.  As she was being arrested... Troopers say they found Sendall in possession of three smoking devices containing methamphetamine residue... a spoon with meth residue... five suboxone strips... a bag containing several kinds of pills... including 22 acetaminophen and hydrocodone pills.  Sendall faces charges including four counts each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and possesssion of controlled substances by Ultimate users original container.  She was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

Celoron man arrested in Kennedy for alleged assault and imprisonment in Kennedy... 
A man from Celoron is jailed for allegedly assaulting a woman in her home in Kennedy in front of two young children.  State Police in Jamestown were called to the scene late Tuesday... and, troopers say they found the victim with a swollen eye.  Police say their investigation revealed that Andrew Holcomb kicked the victim in the face, barricaded the victim inside the home, and took her phone... which prevented her from calling 9-1-1 for help.  Prior to troopers arriving... they say Holcomb fled the scene in a vehicle that he took from another person without their permission.  Holcomb was arrested at his home on charges includien second-degree menacing... unlawful imprisonment... and, third-degree Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

Salvation Army in need of bellringers, donations for holiday season...
As you do 'Black Friday' shopping today... the Salvation Army hopes you'll drop some coins in the kettle.  Better yet, drop some dollars.  Major Kim Merchant of the Salvation Army in Jamestown reported that as of Wednesday, the campaign was already trying to make up ground.  Compared to last year, Merchant says they trail in fundraising by $6,000.  But, she adds they lost some days because Thanksgiving was late this year.  This year's goal for the Jamestown Salvation Army Kettle Campaign is $117,000.  In addition to accepting Apple Pay and Google Pay this year, the local campaign is going to have its first ever 24-hour kettle at the Lakewood Walmart on Dec. 13.  Merchant says an anonymous donor is matching up to $2,500 donated that day.  For more information... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108.

City man arrested in alleged Domestic Stand-Off...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for an alleged domestic incident which led to an hour-long stand-off with police on the city's weststside.  Jamestown Police were called to a Palmer Street address just before 3 p.m. Wednesday for a person who had unlawfully entered the basement of a home there.  Officers say the suspect, 29 year-old Wayne Snyder, Junior, had an order of protection to stay away from the home... and, tried to talk him out of the basement.  However... he refused, and he made several threats to harm himself.  However... he was later taken into custody without incident, and taken to the city jail on charges including first-degree criminal contempt... second-degree criminal trespass... and obstruction.

Reed says state's "liberal policies" are to blame as deficit tops $6-Billion...
New reports indicate that New York state is now facing a just over $6-billion budget deficit as officials begin work on a new spending plan for the next fiscal year.  Those reports show a $6.1 billion to $6.2-billion shortfall... and, that's raising a lot of red flags among both state and federal leaders.  Local Congressman Tom Reed puts the blame squarely on the state, and Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Reed says the Democrats "extreme liberal" agenda and big government spending.  Reed says it's causing people to leave the state, because they know that if this kind of spending continues, they're going to be left "holding the bag.  Cuomo recently gave a handful of reasons for what was first reported as a $3-Billion to $4-Billion spending gap in the current year's budget.  He did note Medicaid spending had increased... but, also said federal reimbursements were down.  Some have blamed President Trump and Congress for eliminating the State and Local Tax -- or SALT Deduction -- over 10-thousand dollars.  However... Reed says that that doesn't involve state -- but, federal taxes.  He adds about 98-percent of the people in his district are not affected by the changes to SALT. 

State announces date for Summer Camp registration...
Winter hasn't officially begun but New York state officials are already urging families to start thinking about summer camp.  Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says online registration for the agency's 2020 summer camps opens on Jan. 26.  Parents are encouraged to register early since some weeks fill up quickly.  The department operates four residential camps.  They are Colby in Saranac Lake, Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor, Camp Rushford in Caneadea and Pack Forest in Warrensburg.  The camps offer weeklong programs in conservation education for children ages 11 through 17.  Activities include fishing, bird watching, fly-tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering and hunter safety.  One week of camp costs $350 per child. 



WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 27, 2019

Three city residents recently arrested for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine in Jamestown have now been indicted on federal charges...  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced a federal grand jury returned the indictment today against 35 year-old Richard Kinsey, Junior, 23 year-old Brandi Whitford  and, 39 year-old Terrence McRae.  Kennedy says all three face charges of narcotics conspiracy.  In addition, he says  Kinsey and Whitford are also charged with using and maintaining a drug-involved premises and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Kennedy says McRae is charged with possession with intent to distribute meth and, possession of a firearm to further drug trafficking.  All three have been arraigned, and are being held pending further court action. 

It's been a busy past 24-hours for new State Senator George Borrello....  

The former Chautauqua County Executive was finally seated following the November 5th election late Monday.  That means, for the first time since last March, the 57th State Senate District has a representative in Albany.  Borrello replaces the retired Cathy Young.  Borrello calls it an "incredible honor..." adding that this mean's "I can begin my Senate responsibilities even as I continue to assist with the transition efforts in the County Executive’s office."  He adds that Young's office staff, which has remained in place, has been a big help.

Borrello says it's been a busy past 24-hours with going to Albany, and signing his oath, then being seated.  He says he's already signed onto a number of bills.  He's also drafting his first piece of legislation, the "First Employee's Tax Credit," which is designed to help sole proprietors hire their first employee.  Borrello says celebratory swearing-in ceremonies in the district and Albany will be scheduled and announced near the end of the year.  

With being seated in the Senate, Borrello has now officially resigned as Chautauqua County Executive, and turned the reigns over to County Attorney Stephen Abdella as Acting County Executive.  He's back in Mayville now to help with the transition.  The county legislature now has 45-days to receive a recommendation on a replacement for Borrello to serve at Interim Executive until next Fall's election.  That recommendation will be made by the county's Republican Committee.

A major decline in demand in big-rig truck market has led Cummins Engine Company to decide to cut some 2,000 workers by the end of the first-quarter of 2020...  

In the on-line publication "Business Insider," Cummins Spokesman Jon Mills confirmed a significant decline in orders that began in October.  However, Mills say the drop in orders for the Columbus, Indiana-based company started sooner -- and hit harder than expected.  Cummins is the largest maker of Class-8 truck engines with a huge plant just outside of Lakewood that employs upwards of 1,700 people.  Mills also confirmed that Cummins told shareholders last week of a plan to increase profitability amid the trucking downturn, and, that employees have now been notified.  But, it's not yet known where the cuts will be made.  We have a call into Mills for direct comment.

While he had urged city lawmakers to delay action on resuming the annexation process in Falconer, incoming Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist doesn't feel slightly by Monday night's vote to do so...  

Sundquist was among those who spoke prior to the vote and, asked for a delay until after he takes office.  However, the Democrat says he understands this only re-starts the process with no final commitment.

Sundquist says he takes "no offense" with the council's decision, which came near the end of a two-hour long voting session.  During the public comment portion of the meeting, incoming Falconer Mayor Jim Jaroszynski urged lawmakers to hold off on a vote until he and Sundquist take office and can talk and hopefully work something out.  Jaroszynski replaces the retiring Jim Rensel, who decided not to seek another term in office.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi welcomed the elected representatives from Falconer and Ellicott to council chambers. 

A Democratic Congresswoman from Michigan has now reversed course after announcing that she backed censuring President Donald Trump instead of impeaching him....  

Representative Brenda Lawrence was a guest on a Michigan talk show and, said at that time that she didn't see an impeachable offense.  The initial stance was not a big surprise to local Congressman Tom Reed, who says he's been hearing more and more Democrats saying they don't support the move.

At the same time, Lawrence felt Mr. Trump should be censured for his inappropriate actions in asking Ukraine for help in investigating a political rival.  However, there is some question over whether the Congress can censure a president.  This afternoon, Lawrence issued a statement reversing her initial statement, and says she now supports impeachment.  In the meantime, the House Judiciary Committee is to take over the impeachment probe next week and has scheduled a December 4th hearing on the matter.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 26, 2019

Jamestown city lawmakers have approved three resolutions that restart the process of annexing four acres of land in the village of Falconer owned by the Board of Public Utilities.....  

The votes came after lengthy discussion by the city council and Mayor Sam Teresi, and more than half-an-hour of comment by the public.  After the meeting... Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce insisted the vote is not binding.

In-coming City Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and Falconer Mayor-elect James Jaroszynski, both urged lawmakers to hold off on a vote... but, Dolce says this puts the new administrations in better position to make a final decision on the matter.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the three resolutions allow the state environmental review to begin, the city accepting lead agency status... and, the council moving ahead on the process itself.  Mayor Teresi spent about 35-minutes outlining the city's case for re-starting the process, and addressing the criticisms of the BPU, and the city by taking the initial action two years ago.  A public hearing will have to be held within 40-days of last night's approvals.

Sundquist and Jaroszynski were among several people who spoke regarding the proposed annexation at the beginning of the meeting.  Among them were Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin, and Ellicott Councilman Dan Heitzenriter.  None of the other speakers spoke in favor of annexation.

City lawmakers have unanimously approved a new budget for next year that cuts Jamestown's tax rate... and, restores more funding to the Prendergast Library....  

City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says he was pleased to see lawmakers compromise on use of $150,000 in savings expected on the city's prescription drug program.

The current year's budget included just $50,000 for the financial-strapped library.  A couple of people spoke at the beginning of the meeting, urging lawmakers to restore at least some funding to the library.  At-Large Councilman Andrew Liuzzo initially proposed putting the entire $150,000 towards the library.  However... that amendment was defeated.  City officials say the final budget will reduce the tax rate from Mayor Sam Teresi's proposal by 16 to 18-cents per thousand full value.

A Fredonia man has been arrested for allegedly producing child pornography over the past year....  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 24 year-old Dustin Post was charged by criminal complaint with production of child pornography.  Prosecutors say State Police received a complaint about Post back in August about a possible sexual offense on a minor.  They says the parents of an 8 year-old involved told them that Post -- a family friend -- had sexually abused the child in the Summer of 2018.  Kennedy says the complaint also alleges that Post -- this past Summer -- video-recorded his abuse of a 12 year-old girl and, in 2018, received images of a third victim -- an 11 year-old girl -- via Snapchat.  He says Post faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine if he's convicted.

The less fortunate in Jamestown will be able to get a hot pizza today at The Salvation Army courtesy of Little Ceasars Pizza....  

The  companies "Love Kitchen," a big-rig pizza kitchen on wheels, will be at the 83 South Main Street location, beginning at 10 AM.  Little Ceasars Spokeswoman Ann McGraw says their truck will serve about 225 peple while at the location.  The company started up the "Little Caesars Love Kitchen" in 1985... and, McGraw says they have fed more than 3-million people in all 50 states and four Canadian provinces. 

The National Comedy Center's second year of operation is off to a great start... given the figures compiled by the center for it's first 15-months of operation....  

Those are the feelings of Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says they "feel great" about having more than 66,000 people come through the doors.  Gunderson adds that the first three months of their second year are much better than the first three-months they were open in 2018.

Gunderson says their consultant, AECOM, was also pleased with the numbers, adding it's had a record, positive impact on lodging and sales tax figures since the Center opened.  She says visitors from all 50 states were reported in the first four-months of operation and, she says those people have become "ambassadors" to the center and Jamestown.  Gunderson says -- on average -- those people will tell 10 to 12 others about their experience.  She says, the one area they need to work on, is drawing more people from Chautauqua County.  So far, just under 89-percent of their visitors are from outside the county.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 25, 2019

A man from Ripley is jailed after allegedly damaging property, and preventing multiple people from leaving a home early last weekend during an incident in the town of Ripley....  

Sheriff's deputies were called to the undislosed scene just before 3 PM Saturday and, found 34 year-old Edwin Munson hiding inside the home.  Officers were told that Munson had broken one of the victim's property, and kept them from leaving in the presence of "several young children."  A Sheriff's Department K-9 was deployed to help find Munson,who is charged with third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child.  He was taken to the county lock-up pending arraignment.

New York State Police have identified the two bodies found in a burning Allegany County home as the parents of a teenage boy charged in connection to their murder...  

Troopers say both 67 year-old William S. Larson-Senior and, 50 year-old Lisa Larson, -- of 8472 Courtney Hallow Road in the town of Clarksville -- were found inside by first responders last Thursday.  Officials say 17 year-old William J. Larson, junior,  was arraigned on two counts each of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, both are felonies. The Buffalo News reports Larson-junior spent at least two weeks at the home with the bodies inside after they were reportedly shot to death.  State Police confirmed the identities of the victims on Sunday. The teen is being held in the Erie County Youth Services Center on 50-thousand dollars cash bail.

In addition to getting him ready to take office on January 1st, Jamestown Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist's transition team will be helping him chose five new department heads and appoint nearly 40 people to various boards and commissions....  

During last Friday's announcement of his transition team, Sundquist noted that they will be very busy with that task leading up to Inauguration Day, on Wednesday, January 1st.  He says current department heads who are not leaving at the end of the year are being asked to re-apply for their positions.

Among the department heads, Sundquist will have to find a new Director of Development, and City Clerk.  The Democrat says he's hopeful that he will be able to release those appointees prior to Inauguration Day.  However, he says there is a limited amount of time before the start of the new year.  Sundquist says he's hopeful they can let City Council know who is being appointed a few days prior to the Inauguration and re-organizational meeting so they can be released. 

The new location for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is already working very well in the few weeks they've been open at their new location in downtown Jamestown....  

Those are the feelings of Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum, who says the move to Third and Main Streets has worked very well for them, and their downtown members.  Tranum thanked the Gebbie Foundation for making the space available to them.

Tranum also praised his staff for helping to make a "very quick" move from the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College to the new location.  Several local political, business and industry leaders were on hand for the official opening and Open House last Friday at 300 North Main Street.  They included Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise , who says it's great to have them just "down the street" from where his offices are located.  The Chamber is leasing the space from the Gebbie Foundation, which bought the former bank building nearly a year ago.

A wet and late spring had farmers concerned about what kind of year 2019 would be, but it turned out pretty well for growers of major crops in this area.... 

Dan Steward, a consultant for the Western New York Crop Management Association, says corn silage is one area that was surprisingly good.  While there weren't many 'bumper yields', the quantity was OK, and the quality 'pretty good.'   Farmers in this region also grow a lot of hay and alfalfa, and Steward says the delayed spring affected those crops too.  There wasn't enough time to get the usual fertilizer on some fields, leading to a smaller first cutting, but many growers made up for that in the second, third, and even fourth cuttings. As Thanksgiving approaches, some farmers still have crops waiting for harvest, mainly soybeans and grain corn.  A few more days of fair and dry weather would help advance those harvests. 

Since opening in August of 2018, the National Comedy Center has drawn just over 66,000 people through it's doors, the large majority coming from outside Chautauqua County.....  

That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson, who says "we are very pleased with our attendance to date, which is fully on track to deliver the economic impact projected.  Better yet, 85-percent of our visitors report being ‘likely to return’."  Gunderson says, at the same time, the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum two blocks away, was visited by a record of just over 47,000 people.  Spokespeople say during that time, there were 95,502 "unduplicated" people that visited both locations.  She says 88.7-percent of the 66,044 people who visited the Comedy Center in it's first 15-months of operation from all 50 states, and 18 different countries.  Gunderson says this data from consultant AECOM is released as reports from Chautauqua County and the City of Jamestown show that county lodging revenue and city sales tax revenue just reached all-time record highs in 2019.  AECOM reports it typically takes at least three years for destination/drive market attractions such as the Comedy Center to achieve stabilized projected attendance.


WJTN Headlines for Sun., Nov. 24, 2019

Nat. Comedy Center Attendance figures released...
Since opening in August of 2018... the National Comedy Center has drawn just over 66,000 people through it's doors... the large majority coming from outside Chautauqua County.  That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says "we are very pleased with our attendance to date, which is fully on track to deliver the economic impact projected.  Better yet, 85% of our visitors report being ‘likely to return’."  Gunderson says... at the same time... the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum two blocks away, was visited by a record 95,502 people.  She says 88.7-percent of the 66,044 people who visited the Comedy Center in it's first 15-months of operation from all 50 states, and 18 different countries.  Gunderson says this data from consultant AECOM is released as reports from Chautauqua County and the City of Jamestown show that county lodging revenue and city sales tax revenue just reached all-time record highs in 2019.  AECOM also says "significant attendance growth for the National Comedy Center is anticipated for Year 2 and Year 3 based on data trends"  AECOM has indicated that it typically takes a minimum of three years for destination/drive market attractions such as the National Comedy Center in Jamestown to achieve stabilized projected attendance.

Chautauqua County Chamber holds Grand Opening for new Jamestown location...
The ribbon has been cut on the new, downtown location for the Jamestown headquarters of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Local political, business and industry leaders gathered Friday afternoon for the grand opening of the county Chamber's headquarters at 300 North Main St.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer and Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier Executive Director Todd Tranum says they're "thrilled" to be back downtown.  Tranum says they've worked hard to create new partnerships with other organizations to share services and consolidate, and this is an example of that.  The Chamber is leasing the space from the Gebbie Foundation... which bought the former bank building nearly a year ago.  Gebbie Executive Director Greg Edwards says they're happy to see the chamber at what they consider a "strategic location" in the downtown area.  Others on hand for the ribbon cutting included Jamestown Mayor-Elect Eddie Sundquist... and, Congressman Tom Reed's local representative, Alison Hunt.  Both the chamber and MAST were previously located in the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College.

Sundquist announces Transition Team, and four public input sessions before Inauguration...
Jamestown's mayor-elect is "closing the books on the past... and, looking forward to a bright new future."  With that... the National Comedy Center's Tom Benson announced Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist has assembled his transition team and announced a series of public input meetings to begin the process.  During a press conference at the Comedy Center... Sundquist said there are four areas he's focusing on so he can hit the ground running on Inauguration Day on Jan. 1.  He says his top priorities in his first term will be: creating a city for the future, strengthening housing initiatives and supporting neighborhoods, tackling the city's financial burdens, and creating government efficiencies.  Sundquist also announced something that has never been done before by an incoming city administration.  There will be four public input sessions at four Jamestown city schools... starting on Thursday, December 5th at Jefferson Middle School.  That will be headed up by his Economic and Business Development Subcommittee.  Other meetings will be held through mid-month.  The subcommittee's each include four people with strong ties to the community.

Sundquist asks City Council not to act on restarting BPU Annexation Case until after he's taken office...
Jamestown's Mayor-elect says he has asked the City Council to postpone any vote on the annexation of the four-acres of land in the village of Falconer until after he take's office.  During this morning's press conference... Eddie Sundquist was asked about the Board of Utilities' recent vote to re-start the legal process of acquiring the land the BPU's Dow Street Substation into the city to save money.  He says he's asked them to hold off on action, and will ask them to do so again at the next Council meeting.  This past August... the state's Fourth Appellate Division ruled in a 2-to-1 decision to dismiss the lawsuit because the city failed to file it's initial suit in a timely manner.  Opposing the move is the village of Falconer... town of Ellicott... and, the Falconer School District.  They say losing the property would be a $7.8-million loss on the tax roles.  However... the city says it would save them more than $330,000 a year in taxes.

Allegany Co. Teen arrested for alleged murder of two people found dead in Clarksville fire...
A Clarksville teenager faces two felony counts of second-degree murder after two bodies were discovered in a burning home early Thursday morning.  State Police say 17 year-old William Larson, Jr. was found on the scene of the fire at Courtney Hallow as firefighters were attempting to extinguish it, but he left the scene prior to their arrival.  He was taken into custody as a person of interest last night... and, was arraigned this morning on two additional felony counts of first-degree manslaughter and sent to the Erie County Youth Services Center. He's being held on $50,000 cash bail.  State Police say they are still working to positively identify the victims and their cause of death. The incident remains under investigation. 


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 21, 2019

New York State Police are investigating a suspicious deadly fire in Allegheny County this morning, resulting in three school closings.... 

Troopers responded to a structure fire at 84-72 Courtney Hallow in the Town of Clarksville at 12:45 AM.  Police say the fire was contained and at least two bodies were found inside the residence.  In a lengthy Facebook post, the Cuba Police Department announced their assistance in the investigation with State Police, adding, "We are asking that all Cuba residents shelter in place and do not answer your doors. If you must go about your business please do so with extra caution. If you feel that there is someone at your door or on your property who doesn’t belong there do not answer or let them in call 911 immediately.  Our goal is to ensure that all Cuba residents are safe".  Portville, Cuba-Rushford and Bolivar-Richburg announced their schools closed are closed Thursday for security reasons.   Troopers say this is an on-going criminal investigation and updates will be provided at a later time. 

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has unanimously voted to resume the annexation of about 4 acres of land it's Dow Street Substation in located on in the village of Falconer....  

The BPU released a copy of the board resolution last night, noting that all nine members voted to go ahead with the proceedings.  Back in August... the city's first attempt to annex the property was dismissed on a technicality by the Fourth Department Appellate Division.  The Court ruled the city’s original proceeding was untimely because the case had to be brought by the city within 30 days of the complaint being filed with the Chautauqua County Clerk's Office.  The BPU's request must now be taken up by the City Council.  The BPU also approved a resolution hiring the same attorney that handled the original case to handle the new one.

Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, four-year contract with the county's largest employee union that includes pay hikes... but, will cost employees more on their health insurance...  

The legislature voted 19-to-nothing last night in Mayville to approve the contract with Civil Service Employees Association Local-6300.  County Executive George Borrello was pleased to see a new agreement ratified before he leaves county government for the State Senate.

The contract includes a 50-cent per hour wage increase -- retroactive to last July 1st and, includes three-percent wage increase for the next three years.  It also includes a "higher-deductable" health insurance plan for workers.  That was important to Sheridan legislator Terry Neibel, who says it's good to do what you can to hold down those costs for the taxpayers.  The contract was ratified Tuesday night by a comfortable margin by the CSEA rank-and-file.

The city of Jamestown has now sent out bid specifications on two new pumper trucks for the fire department that are part of the city's 'Smart City Capital Investment' program....  

Deputy Fire Chief Sam Salemme showed the media -- and Mayor Sam Teresi -- what the new trucks would be included on the new trucks Wednesday afternoon.  Salemme says they're excited because the new trucks will be safer and easier for firefighters to use... including lower hose beds.

Salemme says there is a 'clean-cab' part of the new trucks will allow crew members to respond in a cleaner area -- free from material that may cause cancer or other illnesses.  He says total cost for both pumpers will be about $900,000.  Teresi says the idea is to increase safety for both property owners and firefighters.  Teresi says that will hopefully cut health care costs, and keep firemen on the job.  In addition, Salemme adds they're just about ready to send out specs for a 300-thousand dollar refurbishing of Ladder Truck-#1 at City Hall.  He says total program will be $1.2-million.

New York is taking a look at how its first experiment with early voting went in a quiet election year....  

Elections officials are still reviewing data... but, say it appears New York City and several counties saw slightly higher turnout this year compared with 2015.  The legislature held a hearing Wednesday on the initiative.  The state Board of Elections says over 256,000 people cast their ballots before Election Day between October 26th and November 3rd.  New Yorkers have raised concerns about costs, the roll-out of electronic voter rolls and the location of early voting sites.  Counties could apply for grants of $14 million for electronic poll books and $10 million for early voting.  A new law also allowed voters take off time from work to vote on Election Day.

European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland says he "followed the president's orders" to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine...  

Sondland was a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.  Local Congressman Tom Reed received updates during Wednesday's testimony into Mr. Trump allegedly holding up aid to Ukraine in exchange for evidence of wrongoing by a political opponent.  Reed insisted that he still hasn't seen or heard anything impeachable.

Sondlund told the House Intelligence Committee that he and his colleagues did not want to involve the president's personal attorney in diplomacy efforts with Ukraine, but they were told to by the president.  Trump later insisted that he wanted "nothing" from Ukraine and declared that impeachment hearings should be brought to an end.  The president read from handwritten notes when speaking to reporters on the White House lawn nearly an hour later than his scheduled departure for Texas.

New York's senior U-S Senator is strongly objecting to a reported plan by Major League Baseball to restructure the minor league baseball system, with as many as 42 teams losing their Major League affiliation....  

Democrat Charles Schumer says -- if that happens -- the move could leave four New York cities without baseball by 2021.  Schumer is calling on MLB to full consider the gravity of such a decision on those communities.

Schumer says news reports earlier in the week revealed that MLB is planning to strip those organizations of their affiliations and reassign them to compete in a newly-formed, lower-caliber independent league, called the "Dream League."  Schumer says the four communities that would be impacted are Batavia, Binghampton, Auburn and Staten Island.  He says the proposal is "startling confounding and upsetting to say the least."  He adds that three other teams would have their organizations re-structured under the plan.  Schumer is hoping to contact Baseball Comissioner Rob Manfred -- a native upstater -- about the plan because of what it would do to New York.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 19, 2019

A North East, Pennsylvania man faces multiple charges -- including felony fleeing a police officer and Driving Under the Influence -- following an early moring vehicle pursuit.  

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Officers say they attempted to stop a vehicle speeding on Mann Road in the Town of Mina just after 2 AM today... however, the operator increased his speed and pursuit continued into the Town of Ripley and eventually west into Pennsylvania.  Deputies say Pennsylvania State Police and North East Police were notified to assist as the suspect continued toward the town... eventually stopping in a driveway on Side Hill Road.  The man reportedly fled on foot as additional officers arrived at the scene.  Deputies's K-9 Link was deployed on a scent to track the suspect... and, he was later found near an area of out buildings hiding in the upstairs area.  Identified as 27 year-old Brett Bisbee... he was taken into custody by P-A State Troopers without further incident.  Deputies say the Sheriff's Office will file charges in New York at a later date. 


The Jamestown City Council will vote next week on the 2020 budget totaling about $36.5-million that will include a slight tax rate decrease.

 That's because lawmakers have decided to apply a $150,000 in savings from the city's self-insurance plan to the budget...which was at Jamestown's constitutional taxing limit.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the reduction would put the city at just over 98-percent of the tax limit.

However... the budget's tax levy would still be up slightly from the current year.  Lawmakers also discussed the possibility of restoring some funding to the Prendergast Library... which is to receive $60,000 from the city next year.  That was brought up by Councilman Andrew Liuzzo... who said it would be a "good gesture."  Dolce said that would be a possibility... but, noted that Library Director Tina Scott said the only way to restore their state funding would be for the city to restore it's former share of $350,000.   Lawmakers will vote on the 2020 budget plan at next week's voting session.

The counting of absentee ballots is over... and Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas has been re-elected to a second term.

Rosa defeated Republican challenger Shaun Heenan 1660-to-1601.  Rosas says he is looking forward to serving the community for another four years.

Republican County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says the election results should be certified later this week, possibly on Friday.

New York is taking a look at how its first experiment with early voting went.  The Democratic-led Legislature is holding a Wednesday hearing on the start of early voting in New York this month.  

New York introduced its new system in a quiet election year, ahead of the 2020 presidential contest.  New Yorkers raised concerns about costs, the roll-out of electronic voter rolls and the location of early voting sites.  The state Board of Elections has said over 256,000 people cast their ballots before Election Day between Oct. 26 and November 3rd under early voting.  It's unclear just what impact early voting had on turnout.  Some experts say early voting could be just another option for voters who otherwise would have turned out on Election Day.

A new program geared towards giving rural parts of the United States a fairer shot at getting federal funding for economic development and infrastructure projects is being proposed by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

 Gillibrand was at Jamestown Community College Monday afternoon to announce that she is proposing the "Rebuild Rural America Act..." which would include $50-billion over 10 years in funding to boost rural projects.

Three regional officials were among those attending the press conference at the Weeks Reception Room at JCC... including Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Economic Development Board Executive Director Richard Zink... who praised the move.  Chautauqua County Deputy Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says sometimes... rural communities just need some help developing their main streets, and update their community's zoning laws.  Gillibrand was introduced at the event by JCC President Daniel DeMarte.

A 20 year-old man is in custody for an alleged "Swatting" prank in which he reported a shooting incident in the town of Westfield that never occured... 

Sheriff's officers say they -- along with Westfield and State Police -- responded to a home on Pigeon Road last Saturday night on a report of an armed person being involved in a shooting.  However... once officers arrived... they learned that the subject in question was not there.  He was located at another location in the village of Westfield.  Police went there, and made contact with the subject who was alleged to have had the weapon.  Their investigation showed that there had been no shooting, and the subject was unarmed.  Further investigation showed that this may have been a "Swatting" prank.  No one was injured... and, no charges have been filed.  However... the investigation into the false report is on-going.

Two Jamestown residents face various charges following an emergency call hang-up investigation Saturday night.

 City Police responded to 11 Broadhead Avenue about 10 PM for an open 911 call with yelling in the background.  Investigation revealed a male at the home -- 29 year-old Marcus McAfee -- allegedly had an active arrest warrant out of the city police department.  Police say McAfee allegedly tried pulling away while being placed under arrest... and, his mother -- 46 year-old Carolyn Shinsky-Bush -- attempted to interfere with officers and was also charged with resisting arrest. McAfee was also reportedly found with a small quantity of methamphetamine.  Both were held pending arraignment. 


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 18, 2019

Flames have extensively damaged an older home on Jamestown's southside that left an occupant and one firefighter hurt... 

City Fire Battalion Chief Chris Dahlgren says firefighters were called to 52 McKinley Avenue about 9 PM Friday.  Dahlgren says a passerby called in the alarm and, crews found a lot of fire on arrival.

Dahlgren says the lone occupant at the time was already outside when crews arrived but, that person was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for evaluation.  He says, due to the duplex's older construction, fire got into the walls, and it took a while to get the flames out.  He says there was fire damage through-out the home on the first and second floors, as well as the attic,so the damage was "pretty significant."  Dahlgren says one firefighter was taken to UPMC Chautauqua for treatment and evaluation.  Two pets perished in the blaze.  He says an off-duty shift was called into assist.  Dahlgren says the cause remains under investigation.

Today is the day the Chautauqua County Board of Elections will begin counting absentee and affidavit ballots for the November 5th Election....  

We have learned that the count in the Jamestown City Council Ward-One race will begin at 2:30 this afternoon.  Right now,  incumbant Republican Brent Sheldon has a seven-vote lead over Democrat Tim Smeal.  There are 70 outstanding absentee ballots and, if they are all returned, Republicans would have an 11 vote edge in those ballots.  The race will decide the balance of power on the council, which would be 5-to-4 Republican -- if Sheldon holds on to win.  In the north county, there are 123 absentee ballots in the Dunkirk Mayor's race, where incumbant Democrat Willie Rosas leads Republican Shawn Heenan by 48 votes.

Nearly 90-percent of Jamestown High School faculty and staff have supported a "no confidence" vote on JHS Principal Rosemary Bradley.....  

The secret vote, taken last Thursday, was approved by 86-percent of the Jamestown Teachers Association members at the High School.  In a printed release from the JTA, President Stephanie Sardi called the November 6th fight involving five students a "tipping point" that led to the vote.  Sardi also noted "a lack of trust and support for teachers, as well as poor interpersonal relationships between Dr. Bradley and her staff."  She says staff also noted several other concerns during the meeting, including a "lack of consistancy in dealing with student behavior and lack of proper consequences for poor student behaviors."  The association notes that the vote is "non-binding and is meant to express discontent with administration to the school board."  Additional concerns will be presented at the next Jamestown School Board Meeting on Tuesday, December 3rd at 6 PM at Jefferson Middle School. 

A north county man has been arrested for alleged trafficking narcotics following a lengthy investigation by Dunkirk Police and agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force....  

Task Force members say they executed a search warrant at 47 East Second Street in Dunkirk last Friday night and, arrested 32 year-old Alex Diaz Torres.  Police say Torres was taken into custody without incident and, was being held pending arraignment on charges of third-degree criminal possession and, third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  Anyone with information on any illegal drug activity is asked to contract the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 664-2420 or the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force at 483-8477.

Plans are moving ahead for about $1.3-million in improvements for the Fredonia Opera House....  

That from Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis, who says the village board recently hired a Buffalo architectural firm to begin planning work for the project.  Among the items -- says Davis -- is a new marquee, something that hasn't been a part of the building in over 60 years.

Other improvements include new windows and remodeling the restrooms.  Davis says the funding for the project is part of a $2.5-million grant from New York state that was announced in October 2018.  He expects work on the project to begin sometime in 2020.

The joy and power of a handwritten letter were the focus of a Saturday program at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown....  

The guest speaker was Clay Bizindine, a Cincinnati based author and consultant who advocates for pen and paper.  The event included the reading of some historic letters and a 'writing time' for those in attendance to write to men and women serving in the military overseas.  Susan Rowley of the Blue Star Mothers will include those notes in this year's Christmas care packages.  Saturday's program was presented by the Jackson Center, in conjunction with the Joseph Dwyer Veterans Peer to Peer Program and Heritage Ministies.


WJTN Headlines for Sat., Nov. 16, 2019

Jamestown duplex fire injures resident, firefighter and kills two pets...
Flames have extensively damaged an older home on Jamestown's southside that left an occupant and one firefighter hurt.  City Fire Battalion Chief Chris Dahlgren says firefighters were called to 52 McKinley Ave. about 9 p.m. Friday.  Dahlgren says a passerby called in the alarm... and, crews found a lot of fire on arrival on the first and second floors.  Dahlgren says there was also heavy smoke throughout the building.  He says the lone occupant at the time was already outside when crews arrived... but, that person was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for evaluation.  He says, due to the duplex's older construction... fire got into the walls... and it took a while to get the flames out.  He says there was fire damage through-out the home.  Dahlgren says one firefighter was taken to UPMC Chautauqua for treatment and evaluation.  Two pets perished in the blaze.  He says an off-duty shift was called into assist.  Crews were at the scene until about 3 this morning.  Dahlgren says the cause remains under investigation.

Jamestown High School teachers overwhelmingly vote "no confidence" in JHS principal...
Nearly 90-percent of Jamestown High School faculty and staff supported a vote of "no confidence" in JHS Principal Dr. Rosemary Bradley this past Thursday.  In a statement released by the Jamestown Teachers Association... President Stephanie Sardi called the November 6th incident involving two fights in the school a "tipping point" that led to the vote.  Sardi also noted "a lack of trust and support for teachers, as well as poor interpersonal relationships between Dr. Bradley and her staff."  The association noted that the 86-percent vote is non-binding and is meant to express discontent with administration to the school board."   Additional concerns will be presented at the next Jamestown School Board Meeing at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at Jefferson Middle School. 

City woman arrested during drug bust on Crossman Street...
A city woman is jailed for alleged drug trafficking following a raid at her home on Jamestown's northside early Thursday morning.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro... and Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces were assisted by the department's SWAT Team in executing a search warrant at 115 Crossman St. just before 6 a.m., and, they arrested 36 year-old Wanda Torres.  Samuelson says Torres was allegedly found in possession of 27-grams of cocaine, and 35-grams of marijuana.  He says investigators also allegedly found cash proceeds and drug paraphernalia.  Samuelson says Torres was later arraigned on charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, sent to the county jail.

Westfield man arrested for allegedly holding person against their will and harassing them...
A Westfield man has been arrested for allegedly harassing another person... and, holding them against their will Friday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of a physical altercation on Finley road in the town of Portland about 9:30 a.m., and, leaned that 30 year-old David Zapata allegeldy grabbed and dragged the victim throughout the residence.  During the altercation... deputies say Zapata did not allow that person to leave the home.... and, he later took a .22-caliber rifle from the residence and went into the wooded area behind the house.  Officers say K-9 "Drake" was deployed into the wooded area and was able to locate the long gun that was allegedly used in the incident.  Zapata was arrested without further incident... and taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

Adoptees soon to be able to obtain certified Birth Certificates in New York state...
Adoptees can soon obtain a certified birth certificate under a new law passed by the Democratic-controlled Legislature.  Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law Thursday. The law is set to take effect Jan. 15.  Under the current law, adoptees must go before a judge to request access to their birth certificate.  Advocates who have fought for 20 years for New York's law say access isn't always guaranteed.  The National Conference of State Legislatures says about half of states still require a court order. Some critics worry about privacy rights of birth parents.

Near record numbers of people expected to travel during upcoming Thanksgiving holiday...
Planes, trains and automobiles will be on move this Thanksgiving... with more than 55-million travelers expected.  That from AAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey with the group's Western and Central New York Office.  Carey says this will be the second highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000.  She says the biggest reason for the increase is the economy... and, more people are working.  Carey says that means they have the money to travel, and visit more family and friends.  While the vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations... Carey says there will also be a big increase in air travel.  She says they're expecting air travel to increase by nearly 5-percent... with more than 4-million people flying during that time period.  Carey says AAA expects the worst day to travel will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 



WJTN Headlines for Fri., Nov. 15, 2019

Jamestown School Board official, Superintendent, clarify districts actions taken in wake of recent fight at JHS...
The first formal action has been taken regarding last Wednesday's fight that prompted a lockdown at Jamestown High School.  That from School Board President Paul Abbott.... who -- after a discussions with district Superintendent Bret Apthorpe -- held a special meeting to clarify the Nov. 6 incident.  In a printed statement... Abbott commended the actions faculty at JHS took in response to the altercations between five students.  Apthorpe says three students, who were supposed to be in class at JHS, reportedly walked through the school looking for two other students.  He says the fight was premeditated and related to events off-campus.  Abbott, a retired Lieutenant with the Jamestown Police Department, says, "the point of our... meeting was to look at this incident and try to improve as a district in order to avoid these types of events in the future."  Apthorpe says "all students involved, if found guilty of the charges at a superintendent hearing, will receive the maximum legal consequence."

Convicted Felon in Jamestown arrested following domestic for being found with Assault Rifle...
A Jamestown man has been arrested during an alleged domestic incident for allegedly being a convicted Felon in possession of an assault rifle.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers investigated a complaint of a domestic incident at 427-1/2 Lincoln St. about 11 a.m. Wednesday... and, found that 53 year-old Barth Riley had threated a family member, and recovered an AR-15 Rifle at the scene.  Riley was jailed pending arraignment on charges of second-degree domestic harassment, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Jamestown man being treated after accident in tree stand in Cattaraugus County...
Authorities had to rescue a Jamestown man who reportedly lost his balance, and, was found suspended on his tree stand in Cattaraugus County earlier this month.  State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger Bob Rogers says he was called to a wooded area off Hotchkiss Road about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 5... and found the 22 year-old hunter hanging with his feet on the seat of the stand, and his upper body attached to the stand.  Rogers says the unidentifed man had lost his footing while using the climbing tree stand and his foot got caught on the unit, but, that kept him from falling.  A member of the Chautauqua County Tech Rescue team and Rogers used a harness to stablize the man to avoid possible trauma from being suspended.  They soon after got the man safely to the ground... and, he was taken to a local hospital for treatment and further evaluation.

Reed standing by Trump as formal impeachment hearings begin...
The second day of public impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump's handling of foreign policy with Ukraine resume this morning... but, local Congressman Tom Reed says nothing changed with Wednesday's first day of testimony.  The Corning Republican was asked Thursday about former Ukrainian Ambassador Bill Taylor's testimony that Gordon Sondland told a staffer that Trump cares more about the investigations of Joe Biden than Ukraine.  Reed says it's nothing but hearsay... and, there's no impeachable offense.  He says even if what's been alleged took place, he doesn't see anything that "warrants this impeachment."  Reed defended the President... adding that Trump is "legitimately" pursuing an inquiry into corruption by Biden... and his son, Hunter, who was put on the board of Ukraine's gas company several years ago with no experience in the natural gas business.  Public impeachment hearings in Washington will continue today. 

Three hurt -- now identified -- from crash on State Thruway involving State Plow Truck and Tractor-Trailer...
An Ohio man was seriously hurt, while two local men suffered minor injuries when a tractor-trailer struck a State Thruway plow truck from behind on Interstate 90 in the town of Portland.  State Thruway Police were called to the scene in the eastbound lanes about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, and learned the plow truck was in the right lane, doing snow and ice removal with it's amber emergency lights on when it was struck.  Troopers say the driver of the big rig, 49 year-old Marvin Stacy of Springfield, Ohio, was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he's now in stable condition.  Police say the driver of the plow truck, 26 year-old Alex Buss of Westfield... and, his passenger, 36 year-old Brant Henning of Sherman, were taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for evaluation. The State Police Accident Reconstruction Team was called in... and the right lane of I-90 in Portland was closed several hours for clean-up work.  Charges are pending.

AAA says near record travel expected for Thanksgiving holiday...
Some 55-million Americans will be traveling by cars, planes, and trains this Thanksgiving holiday... and, that's one of the biggest numbers ever.  That from AAA Western and Central New York Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey... who says the volume will be among the highest since AAA began tracking Thanksgiving travel in 2000.  She says the biggest reason for the increase is the economy.  With more people working, she says more people have more money in their pocket, and many want to travel this year.  While the vast majority of holiday travelers will drive to their destinations... Carey says there will also be a big increase in air travel... with about 4-million expected to fly this year.  She says AAA expects the worst day to travel will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 

City's Christmas Tree harvested, put up at Tracy Plaza...
The city of Jamestown's official Christmas Tree is now in place on Tracy Plaza after it was harvested from a business on the city's eastside yesterday morning.  Mayor Sam Teresi says this year's tree didn't have far to go, as the 50-foot Colorado Blue Spruce was cut down in front of the former Migliore Funeral Home at 415 East Fourth Street.  Teresi says more than 3-thousand LED lights will adorn the tree once it's been trimmed... and, will be lit at the start of the Dec. 6 Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration.  He expressed his appreciation to the new owners of the Migliore building...  Dr. Kenneth and Miranda Erickson, who have opened up a chiropractic office there, for making the donation. 



WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 14, 2019

Four people were arrested early Wednesday morning during simultaneous drug raids in the city of Jamestown, one that uncovered a quantity of fentanyl....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces, along with Ellicott Town Police, executed search warrants at both 58 East Cowden Place, and 21 Hazard Street , about 4:30 AM.  At 58 East Cowden, police found a quantity of crystal methamphetamine, and a 22-calibur rifle.  Samuelson says they arrested both 47 year-old Ryan Robertson, and 43 year-old Dennis Annis on drug possession charges, and Robertson was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon.  At 21 Hazzard Street, Samuelson says police found quantities of crystal meth, cocaine, and fentanyl.  Both 29 year-old Craig Van Hook and 27 year-old Kirsten Martinez were arrested on drug possession charges, and Van Hook is accused of trying to flush some of the drugs down a toilet.  Martinez also faces five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  All four were sent to the city jail pending arraignment.  If you have any information on alleged drug trafficking, call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS. You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.

State Senator-elect George Borrello agrees that spending cuts need to be considered by state lawmakers in the wake of a projected 3 to 4-billion dollar budget deficit.....  

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently noted that balloning Medicaid spending has been a "major problem..." and is the culprit creating the shortfall.  Borrello says the problem, though, is with the program itself, which spends the most of any Medicaid system in the country.

Cuomo is considering a number of budgetary maneuvers to address the shortfall before the end of the current fiscal year next March 31st.  A recent state comptroller's report says the governor should provide more specifics on the shortfall and his administration's response as soon as possible.  Borrello says he's concerned that this may lead to a push for a "Single-Payer" health care system.  The Cuomo administration is blaming the shortfall on costly long-term care, increasing enrollment, less federal funding and payments to financially distressed hospitals.

The ribbon has been cut on a new gift shop that has offcially opened in downtown Jamestown, close to the National Comedy Center and Jamestown Brewing Company....  

Mayor Sam Teresi, and officials from the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce were on hand to help open Dot's Gift Boutique at 111 West Third Street.  It's the former U-S News location.  Co-owners Micki McCray, and her sister Julie Wooten, began looking into going into business about two years ago and, Micki says the name comes from their grandmother.

Micki says they were joined by her husband, Weber-Knapp President Rex McCray, and daughter Shannon in getting started.  She says they offer a range of well-known and unique brands and designs -- including one of a kind jewelry, hand-made accessories, and colorful household items.  Micki McCray says they've already been open about three weeks, and the reception has been "very good."  Dot's is open 10 AM to 5 PM Monday's through Friday's, and 11 AM to 4 PM on Saturday's.  Their phone number is 489-3003.

Snow and icy conditions are snarling traffic and closing or delaying schools in parts of the Northeast and South....  

The National Weather Service says the snow total had surpassed 10 inches at the Buffalo airport Tuesday morning.  Rochester will eventually be digging out from a similar amount. Northern New England was expected to get between 7 inches and 14 inches of snow.  Numerous vehicle accidents were reported, as well as school closings and delays in western New York.  The South also felt the chill with light snow blanketing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.  Warming centers opened in the city, where temperatures fell into the low 20s.  Some West Tennessee schools were closed, and about 20 school systems delayed opening across north Alabama.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 12, 2019

The latest round of early Winter weather reached the Jamestown-area late last night with freezing rain and sleet turning into all snow....  

This storm moved in from the west by early afternoon... starting as rain.  Late yesterday... Forecaster Dave Zaff in Buffalo noted we may get a couple of inches of Lake Effect snow during the day today.

In fact... it'll be January-like cold... with a high today of only about 22 to 23-degrees in Jamestown.  The low tonight will be in the low to mid-teens.  Zaff says we won't be above freezing again until Thursday... when the forecast high is 37.  We'll be in the mid-30s most of the remainder of the week.

Chautauqua County officials are prepared for the "start of Winter."  

That from County Executive George Borrello in the wake of that Winter Storm Warning that ran through early this morning.  Borrello says their Department of Public Facilities was ready to go yesterday morning with snow plowing and salting operations.

With that winter storm bringing up to 9 or 10 inches of snow to the area, Borrello is urging area residents to be prepared... with the items you need like a snow brush... water, and blankets in case you get stuck somewhere.  If you must travel in an area not yet plowed out... Borrello says make sure you carry a cell phone.

A north county man is facing major charges after an investigation into a domestic incident on Wisteria Drive in the village of Fredonia last Friday....  

Fredonia Police say the female victim suffered apparent stab wounds and was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.  An investigation by police led to the arrest of Leon Lidlow on charges of second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, criminal possession of a weapon.  Lidlow was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.  He was later released by the assigned justice to the supervision of probation with an order of protection issued for the stabbing victim.

There were several local ceremonies and services to mark this Veteran's Day around the Jamestown area Monday....

Taps was played with the church bells at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in the background at Third and Main Streets in Jamestown at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the end of World War One.  Jamestown-area veteran's organizations... including the Ira Lou Spring Post #149 took part in the traditional rifle volley.  Post Commander David Joy says it's important to remember the sacrifices of our military veterans.

Joy was happy the weather was good... and, there was a good turn-out of residents, and other veterans.  Several members of the Jamestown High School Marching Band were on hand to play the National Anthem.  After the brief ceremony... members took part in a church service at St. Lukes, and then another service at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says application fees for the State University of New York and City University of New York systems will be waived for veterans and their spouses....  

The Democrat announced the new measure this past Sunday.  He says he hopes this change will allow veterans and their families to "take the next steps in adapting back to civilian life."  The SUNY and CUNY systems require applicants to pay a fee ranging from $50 to $65.  The Board of Trustees for both CUNY and SUNY will include resolutions to implement the change at their next board meetings. 

New York City-area Congressman Peter King says he will not seek re-election in 2020....  

The 14-term Republican says in a Facebook post Monday morning that the "prime reason" behind his decision was the commute.  He's represented parts of Long Island since 1993.  The 75-year-old King says he and his wife want "flexibility to spend more time with our children and grandchildren."  He is the former chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. 


WJTN Headlines for Sat., Nov. 9, 2019

Amish girl seriously hurt when commercial truck strikes hatch-back vehicle near Conewango...
An Amish girl is being treated at a Buffalo hospital for a serious leg injury after the car she was riding in near Conewango just after Noon today collided with a commericial truck.  State Police in Jamestown confirm the girl was riding with six other people in the hatch-back vehicle.. which was northbound on Route 83.  Troopers say it appears the truck hit the hatch-back from behind.  The 10 year-old girl was flown to Oshei Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while two other children in the vehicle were taken to Brooks Hospital in Dunkirk.  The driver of the truck was treated for a minor injury.  State police say traffic tickets are being issued... but, the investigation is continuing.

Borrello joined by D.A. Swanson, and police chiefs to call for repealing criminal justice reforms...
State Senator-Elect George Borrello is pushing for a special session of the State Legislature to consider repealing the criminal justice reforms that take effect next Jan. 1.  Borrello has the bi-partisan support of Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson, County Sheriff Jim Quattrone and local police officials, who raised concerns about the reforms and the impact on public safety during a news conference today in Mayville.  Borrello says bail reform will wind up sending more criminals back on the streets because bail will no longer be allowed to be set for more than 400 criminal acts.  Swanson says he and many other D-As across the state are concerned about the lack of state funding when it comes to changes in discovery laws... condensing the time for mandatory sharing of evidence to 15-days.  Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says the reforms will lead to many changes in the way drug investigations are carried out because information about informants will have to be shared.  Police Chiefs David Ortolano of Dunkirk and John Bentley of Lakewood-Busti also participated in the news conference, along with Assemblymen Andy Goodell and Joe Giglio.

Republicans across state also expressing outage at Bail Reforms...
Republicans and law enforcement authorities across New York are decrying the overhaul to the state's bail law that will go into effect at the beginning of next year.  Their comments on Thursday deepened the political battle surrounding the implementation of changes to the state's criminal justice system.  State Senator Sue Serino says lawmakers rushed to reform and "failed to consider the very real danger that these sweeping changes will have on communities."  The bail law that passed earlier this year is expected to lessen the number of people held in jail while awaiting trial. 

Chautauqua County Democratic Chairman admits reforms have serious flaws, calls for better work on dealing with cases involving the poor who commit non-violent crimes...
Republican's lack of willingness to try and work with State Legislature Democrats is what led to the liberal overreach of criminal justice reforms in Albany.  That from Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green... who agrees the reforms are "seriously flawed."  However... Green says the current system hurt the poor who commit non-violent and non-Felony crimes.  He says a person with no money had no way to get out of jail, and it has led to loss of jobs, and hurt families.  Green says one way to help the situation is to better fund the District Attorney's office to help provide both "speedy discovery, and speedy trials."  He says "poor people in Jamestown and Dunkirk particularly were arraigned and given a later court appearance date with bail for minor non-violent crimes."  He argues that bail "was high enough to ensure that non-violent criminals would cool their collective heals in the county jail because they didn't have the cash to make bail."

Reed on hand to cut ribbon on new Chautauqua Center in Jamestown...
Congressman Reed was on hand for the ribbon-cutting on the new Chautauqua Center in the city of Jamestown's medical corridor.  The Corning Republican was joined by other officials... including State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and County Executive Geroge Borrello late Thursday afternoon.  Reed says the Center... located at 107 Institute Street... will improve the quaility of care in the Jamestown-area.  He says the center will be able to see 200 patients a day... and he believes that integrated care model will serve them well.  Officials say the center will help "area residents with primary care needs."  The center is federally-funded... and, officials say it wouldn't have been possible to open without federal and state grants.

Reed also visits Fredonia Place to talk with seniors...
Earlier in the day Thursday....  Congressman Reed spoke about the future of social security and Medicare with a group of seniors at Fredonia Place.  During the visit... Reed said he is inspired by the seniors, who have "a lot of wisdom," and are concerned about such programs as Medicare.  The Corning Republican says there are several issues that need attention in Washington, but he says the impeachment inquiry has been taking center stage.  While at Fredonia Place... Reed took a tour of the facility and met with the owners and staff. 



WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 8, 2019

The immediate Jamestown-area is seeing some of it's first significant Lake Effect Snowfall of the season so far through later this morning.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we got a quick shot of snow about mid-afternoon Thursday as a cold front passed over the area.

Mitchell says the snow may be heavy at times early this morning.... but, should pretty much come to an end by noon.  However... he says that colder air will stick around through the early part of the weekend... with temperatures about 10 to 15-degrees below normal until Sunday.  

It took about half-an-hour to come about... but, passions exploded over the Impeachment Process during a town hall meeting with local Congressman Tom Reed in Falconer last night....

More than 30 people attended the town hall... one of many hosted by Reed during his tenure in the House of Representatives.  The Corning Republican reiterated his position that President Trump has not commited an "Impeachable Offense" over his dealings with Ukraine -- over the objections of some in the audience.

Reed also turned the tables... noting that former Vice-President Joe Biden admitted to holding up aid to Ukraine in an effort to get an allegedly corrupt prosecutor removed from his position.  One person asked if the whistleblower should be identified... Reed said they should be protected.  However... he added that at some point, he wished the person would come forward to tell their story.

Earlier in the day Thursday....  Congressman Tom Reed spoke about the future of social security and Medicare with a group of seniors at Fredonia Place.  During the visit....  Reed said he is inspired by the seniors.

The Corning Republican says there are several issues that need attention in Washington, but he says the impeachment inquiry has been taking center stage.

While at Fredonia, Reed took a tour of the facility and met with the owners and staff. 

The Buffalo-based bio-pharmaceutical company that's building a major manufacturing facility in the town of Dunkirk is reporting significant third-quarter loses.  However... Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says... while it's a concern... it has not interfered with the company's plans to build a large manufacturing facility just outside the city of Dunkirk.  Borrello believes there may be two reasons for the $34.8-million loss.  The first is changes to how 403-B injectable drugs are dispensed.

Borrello adds that production could also be an issue.  The Associated Press says Athenex issued the report Thursday morning, adding that the company lost 45-cents per share during that period.  Athenex, which produces an anti-cancer drug, has lost just over 6-percent in the past year.  Athenex's report says the company posted revenues of $19.4-million in the three-month period from July through August.  Borrello adds the company is on-track to open it's north county production facility next July.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

Difficulties with soil conditions has forced a delay in finishing construction on the Harrison Street Bridge over the Chadakoin River in Jamestown for another month.  The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities updated the multi-million dollar project yesterday morning and, says the replacement was originally scheduled to last about five months.  However, additional construction was required to properly form replacement bridge foundations and, it's now slated for opening in late December. Officials say the contractor is prepared to work through the cold, but extreme winter weather may impact the project further.   As a reminder, Harrison Street between Foote Avenue and Main Street is still closed to  thru-traffic during construction and a detour has been posted at Foote Avenue and Main, 2nd and 4th Streets.  There's also a separate truck detour.  (**Additional details are available on the Chautauqua County's website under Public Facilities.

The city of Dunkirk is looking for a new design to the seawall that was damaged during last week's storm that brought heavy wind and rain.  The announcement was made by City Public Works Director Randy Woodbury during Wednesday's Common Council meeting.  Woodbury says the wall should be redesigned so that it can handle a high wind event like the one that happened on Halloween.

Woodbury says the city has hired engineers from Greenman-Pedersen, who have suggested a $7-million project that would involve building segmented, off-shore breakwaters around the wall to protect it.  However, Mayor Willie Rosas says the city needs to find the necessary funding to be able to use that project.  Woodbury says the engineers have recommended barricades for temporary protection until repairs can be made. 


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 7, 2019

A fight involving several students at Jamestown High School led to an emergency lockdown for a couple of hours Wednesday morning.  

Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to 350 East Second Street about 10:30 AM for a reported fight inside the school.  Samuelson says two juveniles -- who were actively involved in the altercation -- were detained... and, will likely face charges.  He says police are reviewing surveillance video and charges are pending further investigation.  No one was hurt in the incident.  On the Jamestown school website... district officials said the "emergency lockdown has been activated at Jamestown High School for the safety of our students.  All students are safe."  

A Jamestown man already wanted by police has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of two stolen guns, and several stolen credit cards.  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers stopped a vehicle shortly before Noon on Willard Street -- near Barrows -- and found the driver, 24 year-old Daniel Sansom -- was sought on an outstanding warrant.  A search uncovered two stolen hand-guns in a backpack from a burglary on Arlington Avenue Tuesday.  Officers also found the credit cards... which belonged to three different people.  Samuelson says Sansom was also allegedly found with a small quantity of crystal methamphetamine, and prescription medications.  He was arrested on several charges... including two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, five counts of fourth-degree criminal possesion of stolen property.  He was jailed pending arraignment... and, additional charges are expected.

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says he could be seated as soon as two-weeks from now as the region's new State Senator.  

Speaking on WJTN yesterday morning... Borrello says they have to wait for Board of Elections certification.  The Irving Republican says he will continue being county executive until then because he wants to make sure his office is ready for the move first.

Once he moves onto the State Senate... Borrello says County Attorney Stephen Abdella will be Acting County Executive, as laid out in the County Charter.  He says a more recent local law allows the county legislature to vote on an Interim Executive put forth by the county GOP.  Once he gets to Albany... Borrello says he would like to being work on what he calls the "First Employee Tax Credit..." which would help sole proprietors grow their business by making their first hire.  He says his first task, though, is to work with other lawmakers to get rid of some of the Justice Reforms passed by Majority Democrats that would allow "cashless bail" in New York state.

Jamestown Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist says he will soon form a transition team to begin working on his move to Tracy Plaza next January 1st.  

That after Sundquist won Tuesday's election. Sundquist stressed a need for bi-partisanship to move the city forward.

Sundquist will replace the retiring Sam Teresi... who decided earlier this year to not seek another term in office.  The Democrat says he will begin assembling his transition team to work with the Teresi administration to make sure everything runs smoothly.  He adds that they will then begin building his administration team.  Wilfong was gracious in defeat... and, congratulated the new mayor during his concession speech at the Doubletree Hotel Tuesday night. 

There will be a new mayor in the village of Fredonia beginning next January 1st.  

Voters elected Republican Trustee Doug Essek, over incumbent Democrat Athanasia Landis.  Essek says he is looking forward to taking over as mayor.

Dr. Landis says she was bitterly disappointed by the outcome... saying there were potential voters who were "afraid of my accent... and, of "who I am."  She says they "got their wish."  Essek will be working with three Democrats on the Fredonia Village Board, including two incumbents.

 Local Congressman Tom Reed will be hosting a town hall meeting in the village of Falconer later today.  

The Corning Republican will host the hour-long session... giving constituents the opportunity to ask questions, and comment on current issues facing the 23rd Congressional District and nation.  The town hall will be held at the Ellicott Town Hall on South Work Street in Falconer beginning at 5:30 PM.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 6, 2019

Here's the latest, unofficial Election Day results..... more info available at the Chautauqua County Board of Elections website.... 

You can now call him State Senator-elect.  Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello was the winner in Tuesday's election to find a replacement for the retired Cathy Young.  Final, district-wide vote totals were not available last night, but Borrello won in Chautauqua County 20,445 to 7,700 for Democrat Austin Morgan.  During his acceptance speeh at GOP Headquarters, Borrello said it will be hard to fill Young's shoes -- but he'll do his best.

Borrello wound up with 72-percent of the vote in Chautauqua County, while Morgan got 28-percent.  Those numbers mirror what happend in the district, where similar numbers were reported with 80-percent of the vote counted.  Borrello says his goal in Albany is to hit the road running and, make sure the 57th District's values are represented in Albany.  According to the Associated Press,  tallies in all 215 precincts are 41,410 for Borello and 16,454 for Morgan.

Democrats have held onto the mayor's office in Jamestown,  but may have lost the City Council.  Democrat Eddie Sundquist won the Mayor's race with 2,519 votes to defeat Republican David Wilfong, who received 1,959.  At Democratic headquarters last night, Sundquist said he was pleased, and humbled by the support he received during the campaign.

Sundquist will replace the retiring Sam Teresi, who decided earlier this year to not seek an unprecidented sixth-term in office.  Wilfong was gracious in defeat and, congratulated the new mayor during his concession speech at the Doubletree Hotel, and pledged his support.  Libertarian long-shot candidate, At Large Councilman Andrew Liuzzo, was a distant third last night with 574 votes.  Sundquist ended up with just under 50-percent of the vote.

Right now... Republicans hold a slim 5-to-4 majority on the City Council after Republicans Grant Olson and Jeff Russell won seats.  Olson unseated incumbant Democrat Maria Jones in Ward-Five, 495-to-397.  Russell won an at-large seat with 2,483 votes.  Incumbant Republican Kim Ecklund received the most votes -- 2,721.  The third seat was won by Democrat Tamu Graham-Reinhardt with 2,173 votes.  In Ward-One, though, incumbant Republican Brent Sheldon holds a slim, 7-vote lead over Democrat Tim Smeal.  That race will come down to absentees.

It was a clean-sweep of races in the town of Busti and Village of Lakewood on Election night, as Village Trustee Randy Holcomb won the mayor's race over Acting Mayor Ted McCague.  Holcomb received 517 votes to McCague's 375.  He acknowledged long-time Busti Republican Chairwoman Nel Tarbrake who was key in getting him involved as a high schooler.

Holcomb says he was very pleased to see running mates Ellen Barnes, and Rich Fischer also win seats on the village board.  He says that means there will be five registered Republicans governing the village starting next year.

In Busti, Republican Jesse Robbins was elected to a third-term over Democratic challenger Rudy Mueller.  Robbins received 1,170 votes to Mueller's 982 tallies.  In addition to Robbins, Republican Jim Andrews was elected, along with newcomer Paul Gustafson to the town board.

In other races from Election Day, Republicans will continue their hold on the Chautauqua County Legislature, with some newcomers being elected.  Republican Bill Ward won a three-way race for the District 18 seat.  Ward received 854 votes to incumbant Cornerstone Party member Martin Proctor's 441 votes.  Rick Syper was third with 205 tallies.  IN District 6, Republican Thomas Harmon upset incumbant Democrat Kevin O'Connell, 855-to-789.  

There will be a new mayor in the village of Falconer, as Democrat James Jaroszynski won over Republican Carm Catanese, 229-to-121.  In Fredonia, incumbant Republican Athanasia Landis was defeated by Democratic Village Board member, Doug Essek, one-thousand-251 to one-thousand-113.

In the Town of Carroll, former Town Supervisor Russ Payne won over incumbant Laura Smith, 691-to-466.

New York's beleaguered Republican Party is seeing a decreasing number of registered voters....  

The latest state Board of Elections data shows the state's GOP has seen a drop of over 18,000 Republican active voters since November 2016.  Meanwhile, New York has about 2.6-million active Republicans as of November 1st.  Meanwhile, nearly 6 million active voters are registered as Democrats in New York -- an increase of over 270,000 voters from 5.6-million in November 2016.  Democrats now represent 50.4% of New York active voters.  Roughly 3.2 million of New York City's 4.7 million voters are Democrats, who are increasingly gaining ground in suburban counties once considered Republican strongholds.  Turnout numbers on Tuesday could indicate how tough of a road Democrats and Republicans running for Congress will face in 2020.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 5, 2019

Three people were hurt in a two-car crash at a town of Busti intersection Monday afternoon....  

Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the scene at Howard Avenue and Baker Street Extension shortly after 3 PM and, found that a southbound vehicle on Howard ran the stop sign at the intersection with Baker and, struck a westbound car on Baker.  Officers say the second vehicle, operated by a 70 year-old Jamestown man, rolled over from the side impact.  It landed back upright.  The man and his wife and, the other driver, a 56 year-old woman from Russell, Pennsylvania, were all taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  All three suffered non-life threatening injuries.  The unidentfied woman was charged with Failure to Stop at a stop sign..

Chautauqua County election officials were generally pleased with the way early voting went in the county.  That from Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram...

Abram says a total of just over 3,800 voters participated and, very few problems were reported.  Voting will be from 6 AM to 9 PM today  at all 50 polling locations in Chautauqua County.  Abram reminds voters in West Ellicott that there will be a change in a polling location. Voters are now voting at the Resource Center, rear entrance, 200 Dunham Avenue.  More information is available at VoteChautauqua dot-com.  We will also have coverage tonight on WJTN after the polls close at 9 PM.

There are several major local races today... with three candidates vying for the mayor of Jamestown....  

With incumbant Sam Teresi retiring at the end of the year... Eddie Sundquist will have the Democratic line on the ballot.  Current County Legislator David Wilfong is the endorsed Republican candidate and, At-Large City Councilman Andy Liuzzo is running on the Libertarian line.  All nine City Council seats are also up for a vote tonight.  Elsewhere, current Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is on the ballot but, as a candidate for the 57th State Senate seat.  The seat was vacated earlier this year with the retirement of long-time Republican lawmaker, Cathy Young.  Opposing Borrello is Freedom Democrat Austin Morgan.

The entire County Legislature is also on today's ballots, with all 19 seats up for a vote.  There is also an election for mayor and two village board seats in the village of Lakewood.  Republican trustee Randy Holcomb is opposing Democratic Deputy Mayor Ted McCague in the mayor's race.  There is also a supervisor's race in the town of Busti with incumbant Republican Jesse Robbins being opposed by Democratic Town Councilman Rudy Mueller, as well as the four board seats.

The Jamestown City Council heard from three more departments during last night's review of Mayor Sam Teresi's 2020 budget proposal....  

However, the biggest news about the spending plan came later in the meeting when Comptroller Joe Bellitto reviewed potential savings on prescription drug costs, and potential manufacturer rebates.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they could see as much as a $357,000 savings.  However, Dolce says they are looking more realistically at $150,000.

Dolce says the third-quarter sales tax figure will be a gauge towards whether to move ahead and, cut $150,000 out of next year's budget.  Right now, the $36.6-million spending plan includes a slight tax levy increase and, no increase in the tax rate.  The city is currently at it's constitutional taxing limit.  Lawmakers reviewed the Public Works, Parks and Comptroller's budgets for next year.

After more than five decades... Chadakoin Park on Jamestown's northside has received a new name and, it was unveiled yesterday morning....

The families of the late Isabelle Jackson and, Lula and Vivian Taylor, joined Mayor Sam Teresi to unveil the first sign for the new Jackson-Taylor Park sign on Washington Street at it's main entrance.  A resolution officially renaming the park was unanimously approved earlier this year by the City Council.  Council President Marie Carrubba says it speaks to the respect and love the community had for all three.
Isabelle Jackson was an administrator and counselor for more than 30 years at Jamestown Community College, while Vivian and Lula Taylor served in city and Chautauqua County government for more than 20 years.  Their grandson, Michael, followed his grandfather as Ward-Three Councilman and, says naming the rejuvenated park after all three is appropriate.

A Jamestown man was arrested following a domestic violence investigation early Saturday morning..... 

City Police responded to a residence on Chapman Street shortly before 10 AM and, learned 32 year-old Travis Spencer allegedly head-butted an unidentified victim several times in front of a child.  Officers say Spencer is also accused of violating an Order of Protection and, was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.  He faces charges including harassment, aggravated family offense, first-degree criminal contempt and endangering the welfare of a child. 

Toddlers now have to be placed in rear-facing car seats under a new law in New York...

The law came into effect at the start of November.  State officials say New York must ensure young children are protected in the event of a crash or sudden stop.  The law applies to all children under the age of two.  State officials advice against buying used child safety seats that could be expired or missing parts.  Drivers should also get car seats checked at safety events or a local fitting events to ensure children are properly restrained in cars.

In Chautauqua County, the next Child Safety Seat Check is this Saturday, November 9th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, at the Ashville Fire Department.  For more information, contact Peter Ambrose at 679-5584.


WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 4, 2019

A smokey fire in the service area of a northside car dealership in Jamestown kept city fire crews busy late last Saturday night and early Sunday morning....  

Fire Battalion Chief Chris Dahlgren says crews were called to Dave Warren Chrysler-Jeep at 1001 Washington Street shortly after 10:30 PM when a passerby saw smoke coming from the roof, and called 9-1-1.

Dahlgren says firefighters laid one hose-line from a hydrant across Washington Street to attack the flames.  He says they were able to deal with the service using the hose but, had to get the the upstairs fire through the attic area of the building.  Dahlgren says fire damage was confined to a small area, near the service area.   He says an off-duty shift was called to the scene to assist.  Dahlgren says no one was hurt, and, crews were at the scene about six hours.  He adds that Dave Warren himself, and two others from the business were on hand to help the firefighting effort.  The cause appears accidental.

Less than 40 National Grid customers in Chautauqua County were still experiencing power outages late yesterday from the two-day high wind and rain storms of late last week... 

Chautauqua is one of 11 upstate counties that have had States of Emergency declared in the wake of last Thursday night and Friday mornings wind storms that struck the region.  Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the declarations early Friday as heavy rains and high winds caused flooding and power outages throughout most of the state.  Cuomo says the extreme weather caused nearly 60 roads closures across the state and, left more than 240-thousand buildings or homes without power.  The Governor deployed 200 members of the National Guard to assist localities with response and clean-up operations.  Here in the county, there were several evacuations in the Sunset Bay Area of Lake Erie, and, there was shoreline damage in the Dunkirk and Fredonia areas.

The unveiling of the new "Lance Corporal Aaron Swanson Memorial Highway" in Lakewood was a bittersweet day for his family, friends and fellow members of the U-S Marines.... 

Route 394 in the village was officially renamed in Swanson's memory late last week, and it was attended by several people.  Retired State Senator Cathy Young told Swanson's family that renaming the road was a fitting tribute to his memory.

Several members of Swanson's unit in Afghanistan were also on hand.  One, Sergeant Alex Andrest, manned their combat vehicle with him, except for the February day in 2011 that Swanson was killed by a roadside bomb.  Andrest had fond recollections of Swanson as a friend and fellow solider... and, a man whose mechanical abilities came in handy when their vehicles needed work done on them.  Local Blue Star Mothers Chapter President Sue Rowley was also on hand... and, related the story about presenting Swanson's family with their "Gold Star" banner when his body was returned stateside. 

A Jamestown area man is charged with criminal mischief after allegedly damaging property at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Lakewood late last week... 

Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the scene at 350 East Fairmount Avenue about 3:30 PM Friday on a report of a man damaging property belonging to the store and, arrested Devin Smith.  Smith was later searched and, found in possession of three hypodermic needles.  He was also charged with criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument, and issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court at a later date.

A woman who has worked as an administrator in recent years in the Sherman Central School District has been named as the new superintendent for the Pine Valley School District....  

The district reports the school board has approved a 3.5-year contract with Bryna Moritz-Booth, beginning December 1st.  Board President Jeffrey Chase says Booth "has an outstanding record of administrative experience – having served in a multitude of roles with amazing outcomes for students.  Her energy and commitment to the Pine Valley school community, coupled with her educational leadership and willingness to engage stakeholders, will serve 
our students and community well."  Booth worked in Sherman the past decade and, has been Pre-K-through-12 Principal and Director of Special Education since July of 2016.  Booth attended Pine Valley from Kindergarten through 8th grade.  She says she's excited about returning to the district that "formed so much of who I am."

A credit ratings agency says the lack of a plan for toll increases on the New York State Thruway, and on the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in the Hudson Valley, could endanger the road's bond rating and borrowing costs....  

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Moody's Investors Service is suggesting that tolls will have to go up by 2022.  A moratorium on toll increases on the thruway and the bridge is set to expire at the end of 2020.  The Thruway Authority could need an additional $53-million to cover its costs by 2022.  Current Governor Andrew Cuomo has used $2-billion in settlements from Wall Street firms to bail out the authority.  The authority hopes to save $300 million on bridge debt through refinancing.


WJTN Headlines for Sat., Nov. 2, 2019

Rt. 394 in Lakewood named in honor of Marine Corp. killed in Afghanistan...
A permanent legacy has been established in the village of Lakewood for a member of the armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.  Retired State Senator Cathy Young was back in town Friday to help with the renaming of Route 394 in the village to the "Lance Corporal Aaron M. Swanson Memorial Highway..." giving him that legacy.  Young first introduced legislation last year to rename a portion of the highway after Swanson.  A colleague of Young's picked up sponsorship of the measure this year... along with local Assemblyman Andy Goodell.  Goodell says he didn't know Aaron... but, knew about his love of his community and, favorite activities... such as playing football, working on cars, and being in the Boy Scouts.  Young and Goodell helped unveil a model of the Lance Corporal Aaron M. Swanson Memorial Highway sign that'll go on Route 394 during the dedication ceremony at the Lakewood American Legion Friday afternoon.  Several local, state and county officials were on hand... and they were joined by several members of Swanson's unit in Afghanistan.  Swanson was killed on February 7 of 2011 by a roadside bomb during combat operations in Helmend Province in Afghanistan.

County Executive says most of Thursday night-Friday morning storm damage in the north county...
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he is reaching out to state and federal officials following the high winds that have caused extensive damage along portions of the Lake Erie shoreline.  County Executive George Borrello says the high winds, with gusts over 60 m.p.h., have caused a lot damage.  Among the worst hit areas, he says, is the city of Dunkirk, where emergency services staff are working on the issues that need to be addressed.  Borrello says the wave action from the high winds caused "significant" damage to the sea wall along Lakefront Boulevard and some "minor" damage to the newly renovated City Pier.  The county official says he is reaching out to state and federal officials to look into possible disaster assistance... for damage to sea walls and other breakwater systems.  The National Weather Service reports that wind gusts reached 61 m.p.h. near Fredonia, 54 m.p.h. at the County airport in Jamestown and 53 m.p.h. at the Dunkirk airport.  Both the High Wind and Lakeshore Flood Warnings have been lifted. 

Severe weather impacting much of Upstate NY Region...
More than 240,000 customers were without power in New York and a driver swept away by flood waters was found dead after a night of heavy rain and wind gusts of up to 70 m.p.h.  State officials say the unidentified driver was traveling through a flooded area in the Herkimer County town of Norway on Thursday night and was swept away after leaving his vehicle.  The body was recovered Friday.  Police in the nearby village of Dolgeville deployed a boat in fast-running water to rescue six people from a home.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that several hundred people were evacuated around the state because of high waters.  The Journal News says a 9-year-old girl suffered fractures when a tree fell on her while she was trick-or-treating Thursday in New Rochelle.

Jamestown political leaders aware of fake door hanger political signs, but, still trying to determine who put them up...
Political signs falsely claiming that apartment rents will increase in the city of Jamestown if residents vote for Democratic candidates in the election are being denounced by both Republican and Democratic Committee Chairmen.  The local campaigns are trying to determine who committed what is considered a campaign violation.  Democratic Chairman Jim Walton tells use that he was alerted to the "door hanger" campaign flyer by a relative.  The sign falsely claims that Democratic leaders in the city have proposed a landlord tax on each apartment in Jamestown.  The signs also incorrectly state that landlords may raise rent as much as $30 a month and there could be inspections inside city apartments.  City Republican Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon wasn't aware of the matter until he was contacted by the Post-Journal about the matter.  Sheldon says no Republicans were involved as far as he knows.  The flyers do not identify who was responsible.

City man arrested for sex offense in city, and town of Busti...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a juvenile victim in the city of Jamestown and Town of Busti in early September.  Sheriff's officers were called to investigate a suspicious situation jointly with the Jamestown, and Lakewood-Busti Police Departments.  Deputies say the investigation showed that 37 year-old William Morse had in an inappropriate relationship with the juvenile victim.  Morse was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City, and Busti Town Courts for one count of forcible touching and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Gerry man arrested for head-butting another person during domestic incident...
A man from the Town of Gerry was arrested for allegedly harrassing a person during a domestic incident on Wednesday. State Police responded to a residence in Gerry.... and, learned 50 year-old Robert Gardner made intentional contact with the unidentified victim about four times... including head-butting the victim.  Gardner was taken into custody for second-degree harrassment and sent to the County Jail.



WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 1, 2019

All of Western New York remains under a High Wind Warning through 1 this afternoon.  

Chautauqua and Erie counties are also under a Lakeshore Flood Warning for the same time period.  The Lake Erie shoreline is bracing for its second round of strong winds in less than a week and the wind event on Sunday caused some damage along the waterfront in the city of Dunkirk.  Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says winds will be stronger in this latest event, with wind gusts of 60 to 65 MPH possible.

Hitchcock says the damaging winds will also cause more wave action on Lake Erie, with southwest winds pushing the water to the shoreline, and causing some shoreline erosion as well.  No major damage or incidents were reported in the Jamestown area overnight, but There are power outages around the area.  National Grid reports about 600 without power in Chautauqua County and nearly 600 in Cattaraugus County.  NYSEG has about 200 customers in the dark in Chautauqua County and about 70 in Cattaraugus County.

A Buffalo-area man was seriously hurt and one person died a car crash in the Cattaraugus County town of East Otto Wednesday afternnoon.  

Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley responded to the crash -- with passengers trapped inside the vehicle -- on East Otto-Springville Road about 4:30 PM.  Officers say 56 year-old Terry Francis of Tonawanda reportedly lost control of the car and veered off the east shoulder of the roadway.  The vehicle continued along a ditch for several hundred feet before going airborne over a creek... and, coming to rest in the embankment on the other side of the creek bed.  Officers say Francis was flown to the Erie County Medical Center... while, an unidentified passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.  East Otto-Springville Road was shutdown for several hours after the accident for scene re-construction.  Deputies say the investigation is on-going.... and, no charges have been filed at this time. 

Chautauqua County is in the top-five counties for percentage of voter turn-out for Early Voting's first-time in New York State.  

That from County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green... who says more than 2,400 people had cast ballots at the three polling locations by mid-afternoon Thursday.  Green says only two other counties had a higher percentage of eligible voters taking part.

Green says he expects to see total voter turn-out exceed 2,500 by the end of the day.  He says both he and Republican Commissioner Brian Abram are happy with what they've seen.  Green adds that you can still vote early each day through Sunday... and, he says all you have to do is go to one of the three polling sites, and present your driver's license or other ID.  Voting runs 10 AM to 6 PM again today at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood... The County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk... and the Board of Elections in Mayville.  Hours will be from Noon to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday.  For more information... go on-line to VoteChautauqua.com

Chautauqua County residents taking part in Early Voting this week are getting a glimpse of what voting may look like in the future.....  

Those are the feelings of Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green... who says the electronic poll books they are now using will be used from here on... starting with next years presidential primaries.

However... Green says when someone signs in... the electronic poll book will be used to find you name quickly... and, get you the correct ballot to be used to cast your ballot.  For Election Day next Tuesday, though, the current poll books will be used one last time.

A pair of prominent Democrats in New York state are endorsing local Democrat Eddie Sundquist in his run for mayor of Jamestown.... 

In a printed release late Thursday... Sundquist's campaign said he's received the full backing of Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul... and, U-S Senator Charles Schumer.  Hochul says Sundquist "is the leader the city of Jamestown needs to keep up the momentum of economic growth."  Schumer says “Jamestown is experiencing development that it hasn't seen in decades, and I firmly believe that Eddie Sundquist is the best possible candidate to build upon this momentum." 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegeldy being seen dragging a woman he had been ordered to stay away from along a street in West Ellicott....  

Ellicott Town Police say they were called to the scene on Frederick Boulevard Wednesday... and, found that the suspect, 29 year-old Mark Watson, was detained by Lakewood-Busti Police at the scene.  Police say Watson was caught after leaving the home through a window.  He was arrested for second-degree criminal contempt, and take to the county jail pending arraignment.



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