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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

That from Mayor Cara Birritierri who says she was disappointed that money she had budgeted to try and continue progress made in the village over the past year was cut out.  Birritierri voted against the final, 4.4-million dollar spending plan and, says there is only $2,000 left for planning work. Birritierri says that'll be a wellness event in the village. 

 

The final budget increases the tax rate by 19-cents per thousand assessed value from $7.15 per thousand to $7.34.  Birritierri says the village has been looking into a joint gas-fueling station with the Southwestern Central School District to save money on gas by purchasing it wholesale.  

 

Monday night's budget vote was 3-to-2 with Republican board members Sue Drago, Randy Holcomb and, Ellen Barnes voting for the spending plan.  Birritierri and Democrat Ted McCague voted against it.  The new budget had to be approved by May 1st.

 



Interstate 86 between Panama and Sherman was closed for several hours overnight Tuesday in the town of North Harmony after fire erupted in a tractor-trailer hauling chickens destroying both the cargo and the big rig. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's dispatchers say deputies, and Ashville and Panama fire crews were called to the scene just west of Exit 7 shortly after 11 PM Monday and, found the trailer fully-engulfed in flames. 

 

Dispatchers say the unidentified driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  There were no other injuries.  I-86 westbound from Exit 7 to Exit 6 was closed until about 6:15 Tuesday morning while the scene was cleared.  The cause of the blaze is continuing to be investigated.


A big announcement about tax reform is expected later today by President Trump who has said little since he announced the news last weekend. 

 

Tax Reform is one of the handful of major items on Trump's plate as he tries to score some significant victories leading up to his 100th day in office.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he too is looking forward to today's expected announcement.  However the Corning Republican deferred to the White House on details.

 

Reed has talked a lot about business and corporate tax reform.  However those proposals would reportedly do away with programs such as the New Market Tax Credit and others. 

 

Reed says those will be reviewed on an on-going basis but, adds he has pushed "keeping what works" including the New Market Tax Credit.  Federal lawmakers began work in earnest on reforming the nation's 70-thousand page Tax Code after they were unable to approve a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The American Health Care Act has not yet made it to the House floor for a vote.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and Public Facilitie's Director George Spanos have announced the list of county highway and bridge projects for 2017. 

 

Horrigan said Tuesday that work will include bridge/culvert replacements and rehabilitation, drainage projects, general maintenance, surface treating projects and paving.  In addition to Consolidated Highway and Pave New York funds he says they were able to pick up some extreme winter program funding.
 

Since work will be getting underway very soon Horrigan is reminding drivers to give work crews a break.  He says leave a little extra time so you can slow down in the work zone, and keep workers safe. 

 

He says residents can get more information about the projects by calling the Department of Public Facilities at 661-8400.


The New York state Senate has passed a new collection of bills aimed at battling the state's increasing rates of opioid and heroin abuse. 

 

The Senate late Monday passed eight bills designed to prevent heroin, opioid and synthetic drug use that lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have declared a statewide crisis. 

 

Six measures target the use of synthetic or designer drug mixers such as fentanyl that escape criminality in current laws.  Two more bills would promote coordination among health-care providers and would notify prescribers when an individual has suffered an overdose. 

 

New York officials say the number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010. The number of heroin-involved deaths in 2015 was five times the number in 2010

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WJTN Headlines

City lawmakers will begin the process of annexing about five-acres of land used by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for it's Dow Street Substation next week. 

 

Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman last night discussed three resolutions the city council will act on at next Monday night's voting session.  She says the BPU initiated the steps earlier this year by petitioning the city to annex the property. Fiore-Lehman says the first resolution will accept that petition, and a short-form environmental assessment form.

 

Fiore-Lehman says the SEQR Resolution will call for the city to be lead agency for the annexation effort.  She says legal papers will then be served on the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott, and in 20-days, the city will publish a notice of annexation in the Post-Jouirnal with a date for a public hearing involving all three municipal boards.  Those boards will then vote on whether to allow the annexation to go through. 

 

Fiore-Lehman says they expect the village and or town boards to reject the plan.  At that point, she says the city will apply to the state Appellate Division to decide whether the move would be in "the overall public interest."


The first public input session on where to devote Jamestown's annual allocation of federal funding to support low and middle-income projects in the city will be held this afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says city Development Director Vince DeJoy will host the first session on Jamestown's 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will begin at 5 PM in City Council Chambers.  He says the public is encouraged to attend and, ask questions and offer ideas for a draft program. 

 

Teresi cautions, though, that in his 2018 budget Blueprint... President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with the CDBG program.  However... he adds it's just a proposal at this time, and they are proceeding ahead with the process.  Again... tonight's meeting begins at 5 PM.


At last word, a 9-year-old Jamestown girl was still in serious condition at a Buffalo hospital after she was reportedly hit by a pick-up truck early Sunday afternoon in the city's eastside. 

 

City police say the truck pedestrian accident occured about 12:30 PM on Falconer Street  near Bowen.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson confirms the girl was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital, where she was in serioius condition. 

 

Police are not identifying the girl, nor the driver involved.  Samuelson says the girl reportedly ran onto the street, and was stuck by a red-colored pick-up truck.  No charges have been filed.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's leading a bi-partisan effort to make legislation that strengthens rural hospitals in the United States permanent. 

 

The Corning Republican introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.  Reed says it's geared towards helping provide support for the many hospitals in his 23rd Congressional District that are highly-dependent on Medicare reimbursements.

 

In recent years, Reed says the legislation has been temporary and, hospital leaders sit on the edge of their seats waiting to see if new legislation will be enacted.  This time around, though, he is optimistic that there are some members of the U-S Senate that will help them get the measure passed. 

 

Reed says he's been in contact with several rural hospitals about the need for a permanent measure... including UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  The Jamestown hospital is one of those local hospitals that are "low-volume, Medicare dependent" faclities across the Southern Tier Districts.  Reed made his comments during a recent media call.


It's not too late to seek tax filing help from New York state. 

 

State tax officials have extended the hours of their Income Tax Call Center through the filing deadline Tuesday.  The deadline is Midnight tonight.  Tax assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at (518)-457-5181. 

 

The state tax department has handled more than 321,000 calls related to tax return filing and refunds. Officials expect to answer about 30,000 more calls Monday and Tuesday.


The general construction season is already underway on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution especially with the 41.5-million dollar Amphitheater project moving to it's final stages. 

 

However there will also have to be some road work done leading to and from the new Amp due to heavy truck traffic since the end of the 2016 season.  Communications Director Jordan Steves says many of the main roads will need to be re-paved before the new season begins.

 

Steves says there is also new or newer equipment going into the new Amphitheater including ecoustical, sound and other systems.  He adds there will be a new camera system installed in the Amphitheater to record lectures that will be put on line, or archived after they have taken place. 

 

Steves also told our Dennis Webster late last week that the new Amp will be ready for the June 24th start to the season.

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 26 year-old Peter McTaggart following an investigation into the incident late last week. 

 

Deputies arrested McTaggert without incident and, charged him with third-degree burglary, petty larceny and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

Schneiderman says he has reached settlements with 104 car dealerships around the state that sold vehicles without telling customers about recalls for defects such as unintended acceleration and steering or brake loss. 

 

Under the settlements, dealers are required to follow a set of guidelines to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls.  Each dealer will also pay a one-thousand dollar fine to the state. 

 

The attorney general's office says consumers can check the recall status of any vehicle by entering its Vehicle Identification Number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website .


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

It's a quest for money from new and younger players.  The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering allowing Pennsylvania's licensed casinos to control new online gambling sites. 

 

It's legal in just three states, including New Jersey. Meanwhile Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wants to expand the lottery's reach to cyberspace.  Just four states allow that.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 22, 2017

Warren County Emergency Dir. confirms tornado touch-down in Youngsville, PA...
A small tornado that touched down in a rural part of central Warren County, Pennsylvania has now been confirmed by the county's Emergency Services Department, and the National Weather Service.  That from Warren County Emergency Services Director Todd Lake... who toured the area near Yankee Bush and Follet Run Roads Friday morning.  Lake says the initial calls came in shortly before 8 p.m. last Thursday night.  The National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania first reported possible sightings late Thursday.  Lake says he and his deputy director -- Scott Rose -- surveyed the area... and found a path of damage of about 3/10s of a mile.  He says a few trees were taken down, and the roof was torn off a home.  He says there were people inside the home that had the roof torn off it.  But... none of the residents were hurt.  He adds a rabbit pen took a ride... but, the rabbits were okay.  Lake says power crews from Warren had to replace a couple of utility poles as well.  Forecaster Kevin Fitzgerald with the National Weather Service in State College says the Warren area was the hardest hit by the storm.
 
 
State A-G's urge Trump adminstration to not cut federal drug treatment funding...
The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs.  A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies.  In this case... it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul.  It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.
 
 
Four city residents arrested for alleged drug trafficking on northside...
Jamestown police have arrested four people during a drug raid at a home on the city's northside yesterday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson told us Friday morning that the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided the residence at 17 Norwood Avenue just after 9 a.m., where suspected Heroin sales were taking place.  He says they were still processing the scene and suspects late into the morning.  Samuelson says other narcotics were also found.. including Heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription pills.  He says the Jamestown Police SWAT Team also helped police with the raid... and, they arrested 28 year-old Andrew Bennett for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia... 55 year-old David Hare for Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance.... and, 58 year-old Patricia Bargy faces a Felony criminal possession charge for Meth... and, seventh-degree possession for having the prescription pills.  Samuelson says the fourth person... 28 year-old Destiny Franze-Hare... is charged with four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance after she was spotted leaving the scene in a vehicle just prior to the raid.  Officers did stop and impound the vehicle.  A separate search warrant was obtained for the vehicle... and, investigators found Meth, prescription pills and LSD inside.  All four suspects were in the city jail awaiting arraignment.  
 
 
City woman arrested for allegedly having large amount of cocaine in her possession...
A Jamestown woman is jailed without bail for allegedly being in possession of a large amount of cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's northside Thursday night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol spotted the car... operated by 45 year-old Cindy Frank... shortly before 9 p.m., crossing the center line near the intersection of Lakeview and Euclid Avenues.  Officers say they stopped the vehicle, and spotted a large package containing 6.6-ounes of the narcotic drug in plain view... and, Samuelson says they're happy to get that amount of the drug "off the street."  He says the cocaine is worth about 12-thousand dollars on the street.  He says Frank was arraigned on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... meaning it was packaged for sale.  Again... if you have any information on alleged drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or their Tips 4-1-1 app.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
 
 
City man arrested earlier Thursday for drug possession in earlier traffic stop...
A Jamestown man is being held in the county jail after allegedly being found in possession of several types of illegal narcotics during an earlier traffic stop in the city Thursday night.  Jamestown Police say they stopped a vehicle on Myers Avenue about 6 p.m. for a traffic infraction.  Upon further investigation... they found that a backseat passenger... 40 year-old Richard Riley... was in possession of 29 grams of powder cocaine... about two-grams of heroin... and, one gram of methamphetamine.  He was also found with more than 2 grams of marijuana.  Police add that they also seized an "imitation pistol."  Officers say Riley is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a  controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was arraigned Friday morning... and, sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Green says county Democrats may have a County Executive candidate announcement in May...
Now that a Republican has announced his candidacy for Chautauqua County Executive... when will a Democrat announce they are entering the race?  Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says they have "identified" a possible candidate... but, says he will wait until May for an announcement.  Green says -- to him -- it's a "little too early" to announce right now.  Green, who did not want to identify the individual at this time, says voters get wary of politics this early in the season.  The Chairman says there's a lot of interest in politics this year... and, says he hopes that translates into more candidates running for office because there are over 200 local and regional elections coming up.  Hanover Republican George Borrello announced his candidacy earlier this week.  Incumbent Republican Vince Horrigan announced earlier this year that he was not seeking a second term.
 

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WJTN News Headline

Drug agents in Jamestown were concluding a drug raid at a home on the city's northside when we talked with Captain Samuelson this morning shortly after 10 AM.  Samuelson says they found several people inside the home at 17 Norwood Avenue where suspected Heroin sales were taking place. Samuelson says they don't have an exact amount of Heroin that was seized by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, he says charges are pending against the occupants.  Again... if you have any information on illegal drug sales... call the JPD Tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 

WJTN News Headlines

Intense storms hit Warren County, Pennsylvania Thursday evening.
 
Kevin Fitzgerald with the National Weather Service in State College says there were multiple reports of a funnel cloud just before 8pm.
 
Fitzgeral says at this time there are no reports of damage.  Fitzgerald said that the investigation will begin today to determine if a tornado touched down.
 
Fitzgerald says that the Warren area was the hardest hit by last night's storm. The storm was less intense as it travelled east.  
 
Listen to the Full Interview with Kevin Fitzgerald on Facebook at Radiojamestown. 
 
In the next few days, the first candidate to enter the race for Chautauqua County Executive says he will be releasing details of a ten-point plan for "elevating Chautauqua County."  
 
Hanover Republican George Borrello announced his candidacy on Wednesday afternoon in Silver Creek. 
 
Borrello says there are jobs available in the county but, he says employers who need the workers are finding it difficult to fill the openings.  He says there are "hundreds of openings through-out the county" but, many don't have the skills or the understanding of how business places operate.  
 
Borrello is the first candidate to announce his entry into the race.  Incumbent Republican VInce Horrigan is not seeking a second term this fall.
 
Cellular One will again have a presence in the Greater Jamestown-area after a few years away and, the cell phone provider is officially opening it's two new local stores this weekend.  
 
CellOne District Manager Melody Madigan says the new stores are located on Foote Avenue in Jamestown and, Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood.  Madigan says they've had a very good reception to a recent "soft opening" and, adds they're excited about Saturday morning's Grand Opening.
 
Madigan says Cellular One has a number of optimal plans on their 4G LTE network, that include 50 gigabite capabilities which provides high-speed connectivity for music, information and movies.  
 
She says the Grand Opening will be held at the Jamestown store at 720 Foote Avenue on Saturday morning at 10:30 AM.  She says both stores have hours of 10 AM to 7 PM Mondays through Saturdays.  
 
Madigan says the event is free and open to the public and will include demonstrations, giveaways and refreshments.

 

New York State's second-in-command brought an update on the Athenex project with her when she appeared in Irving yesterday afternoon.  
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke to the Hanover Chamber of Commerce about the state budget, was asked by after the presentation about the $200 million project and when construction will begin.  While no groundbreaking date has been set, Hochul confirmed that the funding has been released for the project.
 
Hochul says because the funding has been released, the company can begin the process of securing contractors for the project.  
 
Regarding the State Budget, the Lieutenant Governor says the new college tuition free program will benefit Western New York, including the SUNY College at Fredonia.  She says it's important to let residents know that's now available.  
 
Hochul says the budget also helps address such problems as aging infrastructure, rising prescription drug costs, and riding sharing in Western New York.
 
A city man is jailed after allegedly leading Jamestown police on a short foot pursuit when they tried to arrest him on a bench warrant on the city's eastside.  
 
Jamestown police say officers were called to a suspicious situation at Water and King Streets just after 2 AM Thursday and, checked on the two people there.  Police say one was identified as Shawn Beardsley who was wanted on a bench warrant out of City Court.  
 
However, when officers tried to arrest Beardsley he ran from them.  He was caught after a short foot chase and, charged with second-degree obstruction.  He was also held on the bench warrant.
 
New York state is devoting another $200 million to fight the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse.  
 
Budget legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will send $145 million to community providers for things like residential treatment beds and outpatient services.  Another $6 million will fund the use of the heroin antidote naloxone.  
 
Cuomo says the state is focused on prevention, treatment and recovery statewide. New York officials say the number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010.  
 
Meanwhile, the number of heroin-involved deaths in 2015 was five times the number in 2010.
 
New York is pouring new state funding into its public defense system, which is so beleaguered the poor have often had limited representation or none at all.  
 
Lawmakers this month approved the statewide caseload caps and money for counties to pay for legal services for defendants who cannot afford to hire their own.  The state will reimburse counties for the improvements in indigent defense coverage based on plans developed by the independent Indigent Legal Services office.  
 
State officials estimate 250-million dollars in costs when the funding is fully implemented in 2023.  Executive director of the New York State Defenders Association Jonathan Gradess says the state will also determine new caseload caps based on national recommendations.  
 
Public defenders say they are hopeful the changes will encourage broader reforms to the system.
 
When federal lawmakers return to Congress from their two-week Easter Recess next week, they'll have just days to approve a bill that would fund the federal budget and prevent a government shutdown.  
 
However, New York's senior US Senator says good progress has been made on a final, 2017 spending plan.  
 
Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer says he's one of the four leaders in both houses negotiating a final plan that includes critical funding for entities such as the carrier at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown.
 
Another crucial funding item for 2017 is the Community Development Block Grant program which benefits both Jamestown and Dunkirk.  As for 2018, though, Schumer says everything is cut except for defense.  
 
He says it's most hard to believe that Cancer research would be cut by upwards of 5-billion dollars.  Schumer made his comments during a press conference at Southern Tier Distilling in the Stoneman Industrial Park in the town of Busti.  He says "if the president leaves it to the four leaders, I think we can avoid a government shut-down." 

 

The Buffalo Sabres have fired general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma after the youthful team missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.  

 

Owner Terry Pegula made the announcement Thursday after spending the past two days holding season-ending meetings with Murray.  Murray had completed his third full season as GM, and was responsible for overseeing a top-to-bottom rebuilding project in Buffalo.  

 

Bylsma just completed his second season.  After finishing 35-36-11 last season, the Sabres took a step back this past year.  They went 33-37-12 and finished last in the Atlantic Division standings.

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WJTN Headlines

A North County legislator announced plans this afternoon to run for Chautauqua County Executive and, he received the backing of a number of big name Republicans. 

 

Hanover Republican George Borrello made the announcement in Silver Creek and was introduced by the man he hopes to replace.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he wouldn't leave the office for retirement without knowing that someone like Borrello was ready to run. 

 

Borrello has been a legislator since 2010 and says he's ready to do more. Among those backing Borrello's bid for County Executive is local Congressman Tom Reed who says to him, Borrello "respresents all of us." 

 

In addition State Senator Cathy Young, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell were among those on hand for the announcement.  Borrello's campaign theme is "Elevating Chautauqua County."


New York's senior U-S Senator is calling for the federal government to help provide crop insurance for malt barley growers in all upstate New York counties. 

 

Democrat Charles Schumer was at Southern Tier Distillery, next to Southern Tier Brewing, in the town of Busti late Wednesday morning to make the announcement. 

 

Schumer says the move will help local farmers and, the state's booming craft beverage industry.  He says right now there's not enough malt barley because the insurance is only available in four counties.

 

In fact officials at Southern Tier Distilling say they use about 4,000 pounds of barley a month for their growing product line which will soon include bourbon.  Schumer says the state now ranks third in the craft distilling business and fifth in craft brewing and, says that fact boost's New York's tourism industry. 

 

He says no new law is needed.  He says it needs the authorization of the U-S Agriculture Secretary.  However he says President Trump's new secretary has not been sworn in yet.


Senator Schumer is praising President Donald Trump for his promise to find a solution to a trade dispute with Canada that has left dairy farmers in New York and Wisconsin without a market for their product. 

 

During a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday Trump said that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that."  During his stop at Southern Tier Distilling Schumer blamed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a new "protectionist" dairy pricing policy. 

 

He says it's especially hurt the "ultra-filtered" milk industry. Canada has not imposed any new import taxes on the protein liquid concentrate.  However the government there has been able to get their milk producers to sell it cheaper than it's American counterpart. 

 

Schumer says this is one area where he will certainly work with the Trump Administration on.  In fact he says he's much closer to Trump's view on trade than he was Presidents Obama and Bush.  When he was a member of Congress Schumer voted against the North American Free Trade deal.


A town of Carroll teenager faces several charges, including Felony grand larceny after allegedly stealing a car in the town of Kiantone, and driving drunk when the car crashed on Water Street. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene just before 6:30 Monday morning and, found the 17 year-old male had fled the scne, leaving a 15 year-old girl there alone.  Deputies say the boy had taken the car from a Frewsburg home without permission.  He was located at another residence in Frewsburg a short time later, and physically resisted arrest. 

 

Deputies say they took the 17 year-old to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he allegedly fought with police again and, struck a deputy in the face.  The 17 year old was later arraigned Kiantone Town Court on the charges which also include Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a child in the vehicle and, sent to the county jail without bail. 

 

The teen will appear in Carroll Town Court at a later date.  Officers say charges regarding incident at UPMC Chautauqua WCA hospital are pending.


New York is awarding more than $13 million to help law enforcement agencies combat gun violence. 

 

The money will go to 20 police departments in the 17 counties participating in the state's Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative.  The counties report 83% of the violent crime outside of New York City. 

 

A dozen counties received funding to specifically target gun violence. Those are Albany, Erie, Monroe, Westchester, Onondaga, Suffolk, Nassau, Schenectady, Orange, Niagara, Oneida  and Dutchess counties.  Five others were awarded grants to target aggravated assaults.  Those are Ulster, Chautauqua, Rockland, Rensselaer and Broome counties.


They couldn't  be outside but Jamestown Community College's Earthfest drew a big noontime crowd to the Hamilton Collegiate Center Wednesday. 

 

Emily Olds, a co-president of the JCC Earth Awareness Club, said 'sustainability' was a common theme among many of the exhibits and vendors. Emily is a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science at JCC.  She would like to see more people get connected to the environment in ways as simple as community gardening by expanding those garden bed to grow more. 

 

The Earth Awareness Club puts on Earthfest each year as part of its celebration of Earth Day.  Exotic animals, a petting zoo and music were also a part of this year's event.


New York's education commissioner has scheduled a hearing to decide whether one-time candidate for governor Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo school board. 

 

The June 22nd hearing in Albany will focus on a complaint by other school board members that Paladino violated policy by disclosing information that was discussed in executive session.  Paladino says information he disclosed was a matter of public interest and that efforts to remove him are retaliatory. 

 

School board members and community groups have been calling for Paladino's removal since he wrote that he wanted to see former President Barack Obama dead of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama living with a gorilla in Africa. 

 

Paladino, who was involved in President Donald Trump's campaign, says his comments weren't meant for publication.

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The Jamestown School Board has approved the basics of an 84.9-million dollar budget for 2017-18 that will go before the voters next May 16th. 

 

The board last night approved the spending plan which includes no tax increase and, adds necessary personnel and, helps the district replenish it's reserve funds.  Interim School Superintedent Silvia Root says the district got just over one-million dollars more in aid from the final state budget and, says that's a "good problem." 

 

Root says they'll now work with the board meeting students needs better. Root says they initially agreed to add eight teachers and staff in the previous budget draft.  However she says that number could be as many as 12 depending on what the board decides on. Two Middle School Counselors a School Psychologst and, a Behavior Specialist will also be considered. 

 

School Board President Paul Abbott was pleased with the budget but, also voiced concern about "overcorrecting" after years of having to slash spending and staff.  He says financial staff believe the level of spending is sustainable. 

 

A public hearing on the proposed spending plan will be held on Tuesday, May 9th, at Persell Middle School and, the public vote on the budget will be Tuesday, May 16th.


An alert McDonald's employee led police in Erie, Pennsylvania to the suspect in a Cleveland slaying that was recorded and posted on Facebook. 

 

Henry Sayers, the manager of the Harbor Creek restaurant, says that Steve Stephens pulled up to the drive-thru Tuesdaymorning and ordered a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets and french fries.  He says the attendant recognized Stephens, who was wanted in Sunday's slaying of a retired Ohio man, and called 9-1-1. 

 

Prior to that Erie Police said they received dozens of tips and, here in Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department got a couple of them. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says they received a tip on Stephens but that too was unfounded. 

 

The McDonald's owner tells the Erie Times-News that workers tried to "buy some time for the cops" and told Stephens his order of fries was delayed.  He says Stephens replied he had no time to wait and drove away. 

 

State police gave chase.  Authorities say Stephens stopped his car on the eastside of Erie and, shot and killed himself.


The city of Jamestown's proposed annexation of five-acres of property in Falconer owned by the Board of Public Utilities is not equitable to all parties involved and, that's why the town of Ellicott and two other entities are opposing the move. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says he, Falconer Village Mayor Jim Rensel, and Falconer School Superintendent Steve Penhollow have met several times regarding the proposal involving the Dow Street Substation since it was first announced.  McLaughlin says they all agree the move would provide no benefit to their residents.

 

In addition McLaughlin says they have agreed on hiring legal counsel to represent all three entities during the annexation process and, any court proceedings that would be involved.  He says they hired the Harris-Beech law firm shortly after city officials initially announced that they were investigating the possibility of annexing the land. 

 

McLaughlin says the biggest loss of tax revenue for Ellicott, Falconer, and the Falconer School District would be to the school district.  McLaughlin says the estimated loss would be about $165,000 to $170,000 a year.


Adjustments are being made to the village of Lakewood's proposed 2017-18 budget which Mayor Cara Birrittieri says reflect's "an incredibly difficult fiscal year." 

 

Birritierri  filed the just over 4.4-million dollar spending plan earlier this month with the village clerk's office.  She says the village has lost 2-million dollars in assessments and, all departments are requesting increases in spending for the new year. 

 

Birritierri says her proposal includes a tax rate of $7.72 per thousand assessed value which is a 57-cent per thousand increase.  She says it'a "about as bare bones as possible, without eliminating essential village services and important community needs." 

 

A public hearing on the spending plan was held a week ago and, a vote is slated for next Monday night.  The budget is due by May 1st.


Local Congressman Tom Reed used Tax Day 2017 to again tout the need for federal tax reform and, revealed some proposals he's looking at some suggested by constituents. 

 

The Corning Republican says one of the biggest hassles with taxes is the time it takes to itemize returns.  However Reed says he's hearing a lot of positive feedback on the idea of expanding the standard deduction to reduce the number of filers who itemize from 30 to 5-percent.

 

Reed says many people have also talked about the need to lower the tax burden and, he says he would like to see the number of brackets reduced to an expanded zero-percent along with three others at 12, 25% and 33%.  He says that would be a "positive thing." 

 

Reed also says streamling deductions including real property taxes, and education is an idea worth looking at.  Reed says it's time to bring the tax code into the 21st Century. 

 

He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Governor Andrew Cuomo reports earning $400,000 on his federal tax return for 2016. 

 

The Democratic governor made his tax returns available to journalists Tuesday afternoon, revealing a sharp increase in royalties from his 2014 memoir "All Things Possible."  The nearly $168,000 Cuomo accrued from his gubernatorial salary is boosted by $218,000 from the book and some investment income. 

 

The returns show Cuomo donated $20,000 to HELP USA, a charity for the homeless he founded decades ago.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and her husband reported just under $368,000 in income on their returns. 

 

They will owe $3,700 to the federal government and $1,700 to the state.  Hochul is married to William Hochul, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York.  They donated $21,000 to charities last year.


Gas prices in the Jametown-area are holding steady this week but, nationally the price has hit a new high for 2017. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the local price this week is down fractions of a penny but, remain just over $2.49 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The Fuel Gauge says the national price is now up to $2.41.  That's two-cents more than last week and, 12 cents more than one month ago. 

 

AAA says the national average has now increased for 20 consecutive days, and pump prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week.   The national increase was most prevalent in the East Coast region where refiners wrapped up seasonal turnaround resulting in significant prices increases last week.


New York state officials are warning residents of the dangers of wildfires. 

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced earlier this week that higher-than-normal temperatures and seasonal winds could heighten the risk of wildfires this spring.  The state has banned open burning through May 14th.  Brush fires often are a problem in the spring as rising temperatures and dry grass can create potentially dangerous situations. 

 

The governor's office says crews have recently responded to reports of fires in Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Essex, Herkimer, Orange and Saratoga counties.  Cuomo's office says residents can prepare for possible brush fires by inspecting their home's exterior, removing dead leaves or vegetation and keeping a working hose connected to an outdoor faucet.

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WJTN Headlines

City lawmakers will begin the process of annexing about five-acres of land used by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for it's Dow Street Substation next week. 

 

Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman last night discussed three resolutions the city council will act on at next Monday night's voting session.  She says the BPU initiated the steps earlier this year by petitioning the city to annex the property. Fiore-Lehman says the first resolution will accept that petition, and a short-form environmental assessment form.

 

Fiore-Lehman says the SEQR Resolution will call for the city to be lead agency for the annexation effort.  She says legal papers will then be served on the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott, and in 20-days, the city will publish a notice of annexation in the Post-Jouirnal with a date for a public hearing involving all three municipal boards.  Those boards will then vote on whether to allow the annexation to go through. 

 

Fiore-Lehman says they expect the village and or town boards to reject the plan.  At that point she says the city will apply to the state Appellate Division to decide whether the move would be in "the overall public interest."


The first public input session on where to devote Jamestown's annual allocation of federal funding to support low and middle-income projects in the city will be held this afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says city Development Director Vince DeJoy will host the first session on Jamestown's 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will begin at 5 PM in City Council Chambers.  He says the public is encouraged to attend and, ask questions and offer ideas for a draft program. 

 

Teresi cautions, though, that in his 2018 budget Blueprint President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with the CDBG program.  However he adds it's just a proposal at this time, and they are proceeding ahead with the process. 

 

Again tonight's meeting begins at 5 PM.


At last word a 9-year-old Jamestown girl was still in serious condition at a Buffalo hospital after she was reportedly hit by a pick-up truck early Sunday afternoon in the city's eastside. 

 

City police say the truck  pedestrian accident occured about 12:30 PM on Falconer Street  near Bowen.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson confirms the girl was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital, where she was in serioius condition. 

 

Police are not identifying the girl, nor the driver involved.  Samuelson says the girl reportedly ran onto the street, and was stuck by a red-colored pick-up truck.  No charges have been filed.


Police across the region are among the dozen's in a four-state area on the look-out for a Cleveland, Ohio man who may have been in the Erie, Pennsylvania area Monday morning after he allegedly shot and killed an elderly passerby yesterday. 

 

Cleveland Police say 37 year-old Steve Stephens then posted a gruesome video of the killing on Facebook.  Stephens is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of Robert Godwin, Senior Sunday afternoon. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says people should be aware that Stephens maybe somewhere in the area. Sheriff Gerace says police reported they had traced a "ping" from Stephen's cellphone early this Monday morning from Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania which is just east of Erie, and at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 86. 

 

Police are also urging police and residents in Indiana and Michigan to be on the lookout for Stephens who they say should be considered armed and dangerous. 

 

If you believe you may have seen the suspect, or his vehicle, call 911 immediately.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's leading a bi-partisan effort to make legislation that strengthens rural hospitals in the United States permanent. 

 

The Corning Republican introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.  Reed says it's geared towards helping provide support for the many hospitals in his 23rd Congressional District that are highly-dependent on Medicare reimbursements.

 

In recent years Reed says the legislation has been temporary and, hospital leaders sit on the edge of their seats waiting to see if new legislation will be enacted.  This time around, though, he is optimistic that there are some members of the U-S Senate that will help them get the measure passed. 

 

Reed says he's been in contact with several rural hospitals about the need for a permanent measure including UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital. 

 

The Jamestown hospital is one of those local hospitals that are "low-volume, Medicare dependent" faclities across the Southern Tier Districts.  Reed made his comments during a recent media call.


It's not too late to seek tax filing help from New York state. 

 

 

State tax officials have extended the hours of their Income Tax Call Center through the filing deadline Tuesday.  The deadline is Midnight tonight

 

Tax assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at (518)-457-5181.  The state tax department has handled more than 321,000 calls related to tax return filing and refunds. Officials expect to answer about 30,000 more calls Monday and Tuesday.


The general construction season is already underway on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution especially with the 41.5-million dollar Amphitheater project moving to it's final stages. 

 

However there will also have to be some road work done leading to and from the new Amp due to heavy truck traffic since the end of the 2016 season.  Communications Director Jordan Steves says many of the main roads will need to be re-paved before the new season begins.

 

Steves says there is also new or newer equipment going into the new Amphitheater including acoustical, sound and other systems.  He adds there will be a new camera system installed in the Amphitheater to record lectures that will be put on line, or archived after they have taken place. 

 

Steves also told our Dennis Webster late last week that the new Amp will be ready for the June 24th start to the season.

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WJTN Headlines

Police are investigating a shooting on Jamestown's east side. 

 

The Post Journal states that several reports of gun shots were received shortly after 3pm Sunday regarding a shooting in the area.  No injuries were reported and the investigation continues.


Fire Crews were busy fighting a fire in the town of Portland this morning. 

 

Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that the Brocton Fire Company was called to 8142 Route 380 just before 3 o'clock this morning.  The fire started in a garage and spread to a nearby home. 

 

There is no word of any injuries.  Crews are still on the scene. 

 

We will have more information when it becomes available.

 



A former Congressman who was one of the 'fathers of the superfund' the national program to clean up environmental hazards will speak at the Robert H. Jackson Center on Tuesday. 

 

The Center's Director of Development, Marion Beckerink says Love Canal in Niagara Falls inspired John La Falce to action in 1980. 

 

Tuesday's Legal Education Seminar will also take up the 'Forbes Case', a 1927 lawsuit in which Robert H. Jackson represented the Forbes family farm. Jackson proved it was contaminated water from Jamestown that caused the outbreak.  

 

Tuesday's continuing education seminar is designed primarily for lawyers, but others are welcome.  Contact the Robert H. Jackson Center for additional information.


A Celoron man faces several charges after leading several area police agencies on a vehicle pursuit in the city of Jamestown and the town of Ellicott early last Saturday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers say a patrol spotted a vehicle driven by 36 year-old Michael Newman, commit several traffic violations in the city shortly after Midnight.  Deputies say they tried to stop the vehicle but, Newman began fleeing, and the pursuit began. 

 

Officers say they were assisted by Jamestown Police, State Police, Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti Police before Newman's car crashed in the town of Ellicott.  Deputies say Newman was allegedly driving drunk, and had a DWI conviction within the past 10 years. 

 

He was arraigned on charges including Felony DWI and, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, failure to comply.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court and, sent to the County Jail with no bail.


A Bemus Point woman was hurt when her car was struck from behind and, pushed into a ditch on Route 474 in Ashville last Saturday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 60 year-old Susanne Rollman had slowed to make a turn onto Magnolia Avenue shortly after 3 PM when her car was struck.  Deputies say Rollman's vehicle was rear-ended by a car driven by 25 year-old Christopher Hewes of Ashville. 

 

Rollman was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment of her injuries.  Officers say Hewes was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while his driving privileges were suspended in New York State. 

 

He was issued tickets for second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, following too closely.


Some higher education experts question whether New York's first-in-the nation free college tuition plan should be a model for other states. 

 

They say the plan, which covers tuition at public colleges for students whose families earn  $125,000 or less, offers the least assistance to the neediest students, whose tuition is already covered by other aid. 

 

There are also concerns that it doesn't pay for costs beyond tuition, such as room and board, which can account for about two-thirds of the total state tuition bill.  And there has already been much debate about a requirement that graduates stay in the state for as many years as they received the benefit. 

 

Free college proponent Bernie Sanders says that despite such concerns New York deserves credit for leading the way on the issue.


A Jamestown woman is accused of endangering three children after police checked on her well-being last weekend and, found drugs and drug paraphernalia near those children. 

 

City police were called to 713 Newland Avenue on a report of a distraught woman and, found 35 year-old Vanessa Braun in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and, the paraphernalia.  The items were allegedly on a bed within reach of the children. 

 

She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance criminally using drug paraphernalia and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The rain held off for a few hours and, that allowed the city of Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt to go off without a hitch last Saturday morning. 

 

That allowed hundreds of children and their parents gathered in Allen Park for the chance to find 3-thousand chocolate eggs and, some other prize eggs.  During our annual broadcast on WJTN Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley told our Andrew Hill they were thankful the rain held off.

 

Ciesla-Hanley says the Parks and Recreation Department begins planning for the Easter Egg Hunt in early January including gathering the donations and the candy they'll be using. 

 

This year's egg hunt was special because it fell on what would have been late WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle's 91st birthday.  His wife, Kathy, donated some prizes for special eggs that were found.  Jim broadcast for many years from the city's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park. 

 

The family of the late Mark Hess again donated the main prizes for the gold and silver egg winners.

Children at the annual Easter Egg Hunt were able to find pretty much all of the 3-thousand chocolate eggs and just over 30 prize eggs in about 20 minutes Saturday.  Those who found the Golden Eggs say they found them pretty quickly. 

 

Sophia Semyenova found the Golden Egg in he 5 to 8 year-old catagory she didn't know what she won but, immediately took it to our Andrew Hill. For finding the Golden Egg Sophia won a $100 gift card for Wal-Mart. 

 

The Silver Egg which had a $50 gift card was found by Izzy Walsh.  In the 9-to-12 year-old catagory the Golden Egg was found by Alexander Simpson, while the Silver Egg was found by Joe Trinci.


Speculation that Governor Andrew Cuomo is plotting a run for president grew louder this week after a high-profile appearance with Hillary Clinton and a state budget that some observers say reads like a map to the White House. 

 

The second-term New York Democrat appeared with Clinton to celebrate passage of one of his budget's major achievements, a first-in-the nation free tuition plan for students from middle-class families. 

 

Other measures in the budget include juvenile justice reform and middle-class tax breaks.  Some experts say that by focusing on middle-class angst Cuomo is positioning himself as a centrist in the mold of Clinton who supports social policies championed by progressives like Sanders. 

 

For his part, Cuomo sidesteps questions about his political future and says he is focusing on his job as governor.

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News Headlines for Sat. Apr. 15, 2017

City holds 70th Easter Egg under cloudy skies, but no rain...
The city of Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt was held -- outdoors -- this morning after recent forecasts predicted rain and thunderstorms this morning.  However... rain predicted held off, and the hunt went off as scheduled.  The Media One Group was one of the sponsors of the event... which was held on what would have been late WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle's 91st birthday.  The Golden Eggs were found by Alexander Simpson of Jamestown in the 9-12 year-old catagory, and Sophia Semyenova of Sinclairville found it in the 5-8 year-old group.  Silver Eggs were found by Joe Trinici (9-12), and Izzy Walsh (5-8). 
 
Lakewood man seriously hurt in Motorcycle-Car Accident...
A Lakewood man had to be flown to an Erie, Pa. hospital after his motorcycle crashed into a car yesterday afternoon on a road in the Frewsburg-area.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Frew Run Street shortly after 3 p.m., and, found that the motorcycle's operator was unable to negotiate a curve in the road.  Deputies say 52 year-old Anthony Barto's two-wheeler then struck the oncoming vehicle... operated by 51 year-old Karen Davis of Frewsburg.  Officials say Barto was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of his injuries.  Davis was not hurt.
 
Goodell critical of use of reserves, borrowing in state's 2017-18 budget...
The new budget adopted by the New York state legislature last weekend is "balanced..." but, it relies heavily on borrowing and use of reserve funds.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says state leaders had to take about $2-billion out of it's reserve funds to balance the $153-billion spending plan.  Goodell says it's not a good practice... and, that's why he voted against the debt service part of the budget.  Goodell says he feels they wouldn't have had to do that if previous legislatures had been more fiscally prudent.  Like the man he replaced in the Assembly... Bill Parment... Goodell railed against the state's on-going practice of "back-door borrowing" through it's various authorities and agencies.  He says most of that $10.5-billion in borrowing for this budget should have to be voted on by state residents.  Goodell adds that using the $2-billion in reserve funding leaves the state with about $5-billion in those accounts.
 
"Little doubt" that new Chautauqua Amphitheather will be ready for 2017 season...
There is now "little doubt" that the new, $41.5-million amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution will be ready to go for the start of the 2017 season.  That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications Jordan Steves... who says the main public pieces of the project are now in place just over two months before the season begins.  Steves says the concrete in the "bowl" of the Amp is now finished, and the ceiling is being framed in.  During an on-site interview with our Dennis Webster... Steves explained that the new stage has been framed up... and, the sub-floor is in place.  However.. he says that the "Back of the House" area was "significantly behind" at one point.  Right now, though, the contractor is back on schedule.  Steves add the institution expects to have it's programming people in the facility by sometime next month.
 
Cattaraugus County woman convicted of homicide on Heroin overdose death...
A Cattaraugus County woman will spend 1 to 3 years in state prison after being the first person to be successfully prosecuted there for selling heroin to a victim that led to an overdose death.  Sentencing for Chelsea Lyons of Olean was reported by the Olean Times-Herald... and, says Lyons was accused of selling heroin laced with Fentanyl.  The sentence is a combination of several felonies... including criminally negligent homicide.  Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman says Lyons then pleaded guilty... and with that waived her right to appeal. 
 
Some 130-plus J-C Penny stores slated for closure get last minute reprieve...
J-C Penney has now announced that it is delaying plans to shutter 138 stores -- including one in the north county -- amid a surge in shoppers making final visits.  Penny's spokeswoman Daphne Avila told CNBC Thursday that "ever since the company announced its store closure list, those stores have seen better-than-expected sales and traffic."  The influx of last-minute shoppers prompted the chain to postpone store closings until July 31.  The J-C Penny in the D-and-F Plaza in Dunkirk was among the stores slated to close.
 
Upstate Community College to lay-off all cafeteria staff and replace with vending machines after current school year...
The entire cafeteria staff at an upstate New York community college will be laid off and replaced with vending machines at the end of the school year.  The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that nine full-time and three part-time workers will lose their jobs in June at the Orange County Community College.  Students say they'll miss the staff members and the fresh food.  The Orange County Community College Association, a nonprofit that runs the cafeterias, says in an email to students that the change follows a deficit last year of more than $150,000 in food-service operations.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A man is jailed after Jamestown police caught him for allegedly speeding on his dirt-bike on the city's northside early Thursday afternoon.  

 

Jamestown Police say an officer observed the motorcycle which was operated by Fermin Rodriguez-Robles traveling at a high-rate of speed, and weaving through traffic on Washington Street shortly after 12 Noon.  Police say they first spotted the two-wheeler near West 22nd Street, and tried to stop the dirt-bike but, Rodriguez-Robles fled the area.  

 

He was finally located on West 18th Street where he was arrested on charges including unlawfully fleeing police... reckless operation speeding  and, operating without a license. Rodriguez-Robles was held pending further court action.

 

"It's in there..." that's what Jamestown city officials are being told about 2.5-million dollars in funding they were promised to help the city's bottom line, and further consolidation and cost-cutting efforts.  
 
That from city Mayor Sam Teresi who says his office has been in touch with state officials who say the money is in the final, 153-billion dollar state budget approved late last weekend. Teresi says that's very good news.
 
Teresi says 1.5-milion dollars will go towards launching an alternative Supplimental insurance program for city retirees who are on Medicare for their primary insurance.  City officials expect to begin that program later this year.  
 
He says they're also expecting to get one-million dollars in transitional aid for further restructuring.  Teresi says they're also looking to possibly take advantage of the added 2.5-billion dollars to upgrade water infrastructure this year.  
 
Otherwise Teresi says they're thankful that General Municipal Aid was NOT cut in the 2017-18 budget.  
 
He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" on the Media One Group stations.
 
Fire crews in the north county had to deal with a bizarre situation late Wednesday afternoon when a man got pinned against a tree in Dunkirk.  
 
City Fire Captain Gary Katta says they were called to 95 King Street at about 4 PM and, found that the man, who was trying to cut down the tree, was stuck between a limb, his ladder, and the tree trunk.  
 
Katta says they needed help from the city's Public Works Department and, National Grid to free the man who was about 15-feet above the ground.  
 
He says it took more than an hour to free the man who was then flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. The victim has not been identified.
 
Law enforcement agencies are continuing to investigate the possible hacking of the computer system at one of the largest hospitals in upstate New York.  
 
Officials at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo say the hospital's computer system was taken down Sunday after a virus was detected. Hospital officials say the information and technology department "immediately commenced a thorough assessment and analysis of the situation. "  
 
The officials say all facility operations are continuing and haven't been interrupted, although the medical staff was forced to use paper forms to conduct business, access to medical records was on hold and the email system was down.  
 
ECMC has been in contact with the state police and the FBI about the matter.  The hospital's website was back up by Thursday morning.

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed doesn't run for re-election until next year but, his 2018 fund-raising effort is already off to a record start.

 

 An official with the Corning Republican's campaign effort says Wednesday that Reed took in $585,282 during the first-quarter of 2017.  

 

Political Director Nicholas Weinstein says the increased number of donors, and funding "represents the support for Tom's common sense agenda.  A strong start like this after another decisive re-election victory in November gives us the resources to continue highlighting Tom's record of caring, practical leadership."  

 

Reed himself says "it's an honor to represent the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Western New York in Congress.  The generosity of our supporters and the trust they’ve placed in us to deliver on our promise of smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced government regulation, is humbling."  

 

Weinstein noted that more than 75% of Reed's donations came from individuals and hundreds of new grassroots supporters have committed to supporting Reed's campaign.

 

Hillary Clinton says she hopes the free college tuition plan approved by New York state lawmakers last week will lead other states to follow suit.  

 

The former Democratic presidential nominee rallied with Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City for a ceremonial bill signing of the scholarship for poor and middle class students.  

 

Clinton hailed the plan as a progressive victory and applauded the initiative from Democrat Cuomo, who is mentioned as a possible contender for the White House in 2020.  The scholarship covers tuition at state universities for in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less.  

 

Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit and repay the money as a loan if they take a job elsewhere.

 

The 100th anniversary of the New York State Police has been commemorated at the upstate site where the first group of troopers began their training.  

 

State Police Superintendent George Beach-the-second  and Troop D Acting Commander Captain Mark Lincoln led Tuesday's ceremony at the Cavalry Club in Manlius, near Syracuse.  They dedicated a state historical marker honoring the centennial of the creation of the state police in New York.  

 

On April 11, 1917, Gov. Charles Whitman signed a bill into law that established the New York State Police as a full-service law enforcement agency.  Two months later, the first state troopers began their training at the National Guard camp in Manlius.

 

When training was completed in the fall, 232 troopers set out across the state on horseback to being regular patrols.

 

City officials have a back-up plan in place again this year if rain or some other inclement weather interferes with Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt. 
 
That from Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley who says the hunt for children up to age 12 begins at 10:30 AM Saturday at Allen Park.  Ciesla-Hanley says if the weather is too cold or wet they will move everything indoors.
 
There is a 60% chance of rain forecast for Saturday though it will be unseasonably warm.  Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have 3,000 chocolate eggs hidden for the hunt and, they again have Gold and Silver prize eggs this year sponsored by the Hess Family.  
 
She says the Golden Egg prize is a 100-dollar Wal-Mart gift card while the Silver Egg prize is a 50-dollar card.  
There is also two prizes being provided by the Child Advocacy Program.  
 
Ciesla-Hanley says if it the Egg Hunt is held outside the Easter Bunny will be brought into Allen Park to start the egg hunt at 10:30 Saturday morning.  For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 483-7523.
 
The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood opened as usual yesterday morning after a small fire erupted in a ceiling vent unit above the Sears store on the north end of the mall.  
 
Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene on Fairmount Avenue around 9 AM.  However they also found the fire was pretty much out on arrival.  
 
There was no damage nor injuries reported.  Sears also opened as usual Wednesday morning.

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WJTN News Headlines

Two deputies with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department have been recognized state-wide for their quick and decisive actions that saved the victim of a motorcycle accident.  
 
State Senator Cathy Young was in Mayville yesterday afternoon to present Liberty Medals to officers Jason Beichner and Christopher Howlett for saving the life of 28 year-old Derrick Desch last November on Route 83 near South Dayton.
 
Young says Desch lost most of one leg in the crash and Beichner and Howlett applied tourniqeuts to stop the bleeding in Desch's severed leg.  She also presented both with copies of a resolution commending both for their actions and, approved by the State Senate.  
 
Both Sheriff Joe Gerace and County Exeuctive Vince Horrigan praised the deputies for saving Desch's life. Gerace said he was "beaming with pride" and, adds that his deputies strive to help and protect others every day.  
 
Beichner spoke for himself and Howlett and, first thanked Desch's family which began providing first aid before they arrived. 
 
Most of the additional in state school aid put into New York's final, 2017-18 budget will do towards 'basic' or what's called "transitional aid."  
 
That from Executive Director Tim Kreamer with the state School Boards Association.  Kreamer says their group is pleased to have a budget in place, one that move towards funding public education the way it needs to be.
 
Kreamer says the added funding is about half of what they wanted and, he says some will "not be happy" with that. He says the school boards association was concerned on two fronts before the budget was approved.  
 
The first was over the fact that "policy" items held up the final spending plan which put more 'hands' into the budget mix.  Kreamer says the School Boards Association was also concerned when the budget extender was approved by the legislature, because that ran until May 31st.  
 
That meant districts might have had to put out estimated spending plans for the May 16th budget votes.
 
Officials with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown say they're very pleased to see their 5-million dollar funding request is included in the final New York state budget.  
 
The money is actually part of  Governor Cuomo's 500-million dollar "Buffalo Billion-2" initiative backed by the Empire State Development Corporation. 
 
Among those other things is to use the money to leverage other funding to get the money they need in place to pay for the approximately 30-million dollar effort which officials hope will be completed by early 2018.  
 
Benson admits the whole state budget experience has been kind of surreal but, adds they're thankful to State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell for their strong support of the funding measure.
 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is throwing his support behind a bill that would boost federal resources to prevent and combat synthetic opioid addiction.  

 

The New York Democrat announced his support for the legislation Tuesday in Rochester, where he says there have been increases in crimes, overdoses and deaths from opioids and synthetic counterparts. He also make the announcement Tuesday afternoon in Schenectady another area hit hard by the opioid epidemic.  

 

Schumer says the bill sponsored by fellow Democrat Edward Markey of Massachusetts aims to stop the flow of synthetic opioids from Mexico and China.  The measure would provide federal agents with screening devices, laboratory equipment and facilities for detection of synthetic opioids flowing across the border.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says the "partisan hostility" surrounding the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch is of concern because it could undermine public confidence in the apolitical nature of the judicial system.  

 

Roberts spoke Tuesday at an upstate New York college a day after Gorsuch was sworn in by President Donald Trump at the White House.  

 

The appearance in Troy was billed as a conversation with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson.  

 

When Jackson asked about the "extremely partisan" confirmation process, Roberts said politics don't carry over into the court's decision-making. 

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WJTN News Headlines

A collision involving two pick-up trucks in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ellicottville has left an elderly Niagara Falls man dead.  

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say one of the trucks operated by 21 year-old Ryan Holmes of Henrietta, New York was northbound on Route 219 about 5:15 yesterday morning when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say Holmes' pick-up crossed the center line and struck an on-coming truck, driven by 90-year-old Charles West.  Officers say West was pronounced dead at the scene while Holmes was taken to the Erie County Medical Center near Buffalo for treatment of his injuries.  

 

The Cattaraugus County Accident Reconstruction Team was called into investigate at this time.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

It's a long-shot but, Chautauqua County now has the same exact number of registered Republicans as Democrats.  
 
That from County Elections Commissioner Norm Green who says the numbers were updated in the county back on April 1st.  After having a majority for the past eight years Green says the number of local Republicans increased to 26,057.  
 
He says that's the same number as Democrats have in the county.  Green says Democrats held the edge while President Obama was in office.
 
Green says state Election Law requires each of New York's 62 county boards to set it's official enrollment totals by party each April 1st.  
 
Fellow Elections' Commissioner Brian Abram also said he "can't imagine the odds of the Republicans and Democrats of being absolutely tied for 2017."  
 
Both Green and Abram say Chautauqua County is a "competitive county, where any candidate can win any election."  
 
After the Democrats and Republicans the next largest registration is for the Independence Party which has 4,719 members followed by Conservatives with 1,904.  The number Independent voters is just over 18,000.  The county now has 77,628 registered voters.
 
New York's free tuition for middle class students does have one-string attached: Students must stay in the state after graduation or else pay back the benefit.  
 
That from Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday who says that requirement was added to protect the state's investment in a student's education by ensuring they don't take advantage of free tuition and then leave New York.  
 
The tuition initiative, which Cuomo says is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less.  Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit.
 
If they take a job in another state they must pay the money back as a loan.  Republican lawmakers pushed for the requirement during closed-door state budget negotiations.
 
The American worker has become a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge.  
A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job. They are also helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.  
 
Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.
 
A program being offered through Massachusetts' workers compensation system provides expedited hearings to resolve disputes with insurers over medication.  Ohio is cracking down on doctors who fail to follow best practices in treating injured workers.  New York's workers compensation board will allow insurers to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.
 
State Senator Cathy Young says there are several aspects of the new state budget that will help her 57th District and Chautauqua County.  
 
One of the key items for the county is inclusion of 5-million dollars in economic development "gap funding" for the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Young says it's part of the "Buffalo Billion-2" legislation an intiative pushed by Governor Cuomo.
 
Young says she also made sure that the Mitigation Fund she started last year to help local communities affected by the closing, or mothballing of "coal-fired" power plants, was included.  She says 45-million dollars has been set aside to help plug the gap in revenues coming from the NRG Plant in Dunkirk.  Young adds that would be extended from 5 to 7 years... if needed before the new, natural gas-fired plant's in place.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a stolen hand-gun during a traffic stop early yesterday morning on the city's southside.  

City police say they pulled over the vehicle at the corner of Prospect and Barker Streets about 4:45 AM for multiple vehicle and traffic violations.  During the course of the traffic stop officers say they found the gun inside the vehicle.  

 

They say a records check indicated the gun had been reported stolen in the city back on March 19th.  

 

Police say 20 year-old Karee Rizzo-Walker and 19 year-old Sharef Corley were arrested without incident.  Both were arraigned on charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, criminal possession of stolen property. Rizzo-Walker and Corley were then sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Sunday morning's arrests come on the heels of Jamestown's first drive-by shooting reported since several late last year.  

 

Jamestown police were called to the scene at 6 West 12th Street about 3:30 AM Friday on a report of multiple shots being fired into the house.  The Post-Journal reports the JPD Captain Bob Samuelson said that the people inside were likely "targeted."  

 

Samuelson says they don't have an exact number of shots being fired and, adds the occupants were "not cooperative" with the investigation.  He says the motive is being looked into but, he says it was likely the result of some kind of dispute, or an altercation.  

 

Samuelson also says there were several children living inside when the incident occured.  

 

If you have any information on the incident... call the JPD Tips line at 483-8477 or leave an anonymous tip via their Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

The Falconer native under arrest in western Pennsylvania after allegedly starting more a dozen arson fires in the Jamestown-area is also accused of crimes in nearby Warren County, Pennsylvania.  
 
That from State Police in Warren who say 19 year-old Jonathan Young of Kennedy is charged there with Felony burglary and motor vehicle theft, as well as loitering and prowling at night. Young's most noteworthy crime was allegedly setting the fire that destroyed half-a-block of residential and business property in Falconer.  Mayor Jim Rensel says residents were stunned by Young's arrest and, the accusations against him.
 
The Warren Times-Observer reports that Young apparently committed the crimes there on March 26th as he fled New York after setting several fires including five within a three-hour period on March 24th and 25th in Jamestown.  
 
State Police say Young is first accused of breaking into a garage in Pine Grove Township and stealing a car there.  He was finally caught on March 28th in Butler County, Pennsylvania for allegedly breaking into a vacant house in Slippery Rock and, trying to set fire to it.  Young was arraigned and, is being held in the Butler County Jail on $75,000 cash bail.
 
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings say investigators from his department went to Butler County about mid-week last week after learning that Young had been arrested.  
 
Snellings say the local charges were filed as a detainer against Young and, include two counts of second-degree Arson and nine counts of third-degree arson. There was also a fifth-degree arson charge for setting fire to a construction debris pile in Jamestown in the early morning hours of March 25th.
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and state legislative leaders agreed on a 153-billion dollar, 2017-18 budget plan early last weekend.  
 
The Democratic governor said the proposal includes $1.1-billion dollars more in school spending, the authorization for Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and free college tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less.  
 
The budget was due by April 1st but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on final details.  Lawmakers must still approve the compromise.  
 
The spending measure also includes $2.5 billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades.  The final issues to be nailed down include a proposal to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. Cuomo says that reform was a top priority for Democrats.
 
The natural gas boom that's hammered coal mines and driven down utility bills is now hitting nuclear power plants.
 
That's spurring nuclear power plant owners to press lawmakers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania for a financial rescue. Their multi-billion-dollar energy company owners say they want the same preferential treatment given to renewables, like wind and solar.  
 
Opposition to a so-called nuclear bailout is uniting rivals and the natural gas exploration industry.  The potential for a hit to utility bills is drawing pushback from the AARP and manufacturers.
 
The dairy group that has run the popular Milk Bar at the New York State Fair since 1952 says it's pulling out because of funding issues with the Cuomo administration.  
The non-profit New York State Dairy Exhibits, Incorporated tells The Syracuse Post-Standard  that it won't run the Dairy Products Building at the fairgrounds in the town of Geddes.  
 
Group leaders say the move comes after the state only came up with half of the $90,000 subsidy that was supposed to cover expenses for running last year's Milk Bar.  
 
The state kicked in the funding after the group announced before the fair's opening that it planned to double the price of a cup of milk to 50 cents because it was losing money on the operation. The state money prevented the price from being raised for the first time since 1983.

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News Headlines for Sat. Apr. 8, 2017

City police investigating alleged drive-by shooting on Jamestown's northside...
Jamestown police are investigating the first drive-by shooting reported in the city since several occured late last year.  City police were called to the scene at 6 West 12th Street about 3:30 a.m. Friday on a report of multiple shots being fired into the house.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson tells the Post-Journal that the people inside were likely "targeted."  Samuelson says they don't have an exact number of shots being fired... and, adds the occupants were "not cooperative with our efforts" to investigate.  He says the motive for the incident are being looked into... but, he says it was likely the result of some kind of dispute... or an altercation.  Samuelson also tells the paper that there were several children living inside the home when the incident occured.  If you have any information on the alleged shootings... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.... or leave an anonymous tip via their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
State Budget agreement reportedly reached by Cuomo and legislative leaders...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and state legislative leaders have agreed on a 2017-18 budget plan.  The Democratic governor said the proposal includes $1.1-billion dollars more in school spending, the authorization for Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and free college tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less.  The budget was due by April 1st... but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on final details.  Lawmakers must still approve the compromise.  The spending measure also includes $2.5-billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades.  The final issues to be nailed down include a proposal to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  Cuomo says that reform, which was a top priority for Democrats, is one of his top accomplishments.
 
 
Young frustrated by delay in budget agreement, says lawmakers were already close at mid-week...
With last night's agreement on a state budget... work is underway to get lawmakers back to Albany to approve final remaining bills in the spending plan.  State Senator Cathy Young told us late this week that the sticking points remained "Raise the Age..." and school aid.  The Olean Republican thought they had an agreement earlier in the week regarding a measure that would increase the age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years old, but that was before the mid-week breakdown in budget talks  Young says they supported raising the age... but, wanted measures to make sure youthful offenders were "held responsible" for their crimes.  Young was also concerned about state aid for schools, especially foundation aid. 
 
 
Falconer demolition work completed on buidlings, West Main St. now open!...
Demolition work is complete... and, the portion of West Main Street in front of the buildings destroyed in the massive fire from late last month in Falconer has been reopened.  The good news comes from village Mayor Jim Rensel... who says what was left of the structures from 29 to 39 West Main came down late last Thursday night.  Rensel says, though, there was still debris from the site to deal with... and, clean-up was completed on the road before the road was re-opened about 10:15 a.m. Friday.  One lane of West Main Street was closed for a while today while the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities installed new utility poles and power lines in front of the West Main Street location.  The street was closed between the four-corners with South Work Street and Davis Street since the March 22 blaze occured.  Officials this week announced that the fire was set by accused serial arsonist Jonathan Young... a native of Falconer.
 
 
Rensel says work continuing on finding new locations for burned-out businesses in Falconer...
One of the five businesses burned out of their locations in the March 22nd fire has already begun the process of relocating to another address in the village.  In fact... Mayor Rensel says Better Life Nutrition is going to be moving into the former Tasta Pizza building on East Main Street -- just a few blocks away from their previous location.  He says the owner of that building sought out the nutrition business owners... and, helped to get them started moving into that space.  Rensel also praised the owners of the buildings that were heavily damaged in the first... Art Bailey and Jim Gronquist, Junior.  He says both made themselves available to all necessary meetings they had about the fire, and getting the building's torn down. 
 
 
Schumer, Reed voice support for U-S Airstrike on Syria...
There is bi-partisan support being voiced over Thursday's "limited missile strike" on a Syrian airfield in response to the Assad government's alleged chemical weapons attack on his own people.  Late Friday afternoon... U-S Senator Chuck Schumer released a statement on the military strike... saying that "making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do."  However... Schumer added that "It's incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it."  Local Congressman Tom says the "use of weapons of mass destruction where innocent civilians, including women and children are killed, cannot go unchecked unless we risk the unfettered escalation of such weapon's use in the future around the world."  Reed says "it's the right thing to do..." but, adds diplomatic efforts also need to continue.
 
 
City of Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt set for next Saturday morning...
The city of Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park celebrates a milestone this year... the event a week from today will be the 70th in the city's history.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the egg hunt will be held at 10:30 a.m. on April 15 in the upper area of the park... and, will be for all children 12 years of age and under.  Ciesla-Hanley adds it's also a free event that is put on with the help of several community sponsors.  She says there'll be three age-group areas for the youngsters up to age 12 will hunt for the chocolate eggs.  Ciesla-Hanley adds that the Media One Group of radio stations is also again a sponsor.  She also says the Hess Family will again provide prizes for the children who find the Gold and Silver Eggs during the Hunt.  Ciesla-Hanley says they have all 3-thousand filled eggs stuffed for next weekend... thanks to local Girl Scout Troop-#20029... who did it all in one hour.  She says the Easter Bunny will arrive by Fire Truck to start the event next Saturday, April 15.  In case of inclement weather... she says the egg hunt will be moved indoors to the Allen Park Ice Rink.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three people are jailed after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and, with a one-month old child inside a home on Jamestown's northside.  

 

City police say Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force members raided a home at 130 Euclid Avenue about 9:30 AM Thursday.  Officers say they found 39-year-old Steven Kent and 43-year-old Ashley Burkes, both of Jamestown along with James Williamson inside.  

 

Police say they also reportedly found a quantity of Meth, and the infant child.  Kent and Burkes have been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Burke was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and, Williamson with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

 

All three were sent to the county jail with bail to be set. The child was turned over to Child Protective Services. Anyone with information of the trafficking of illegal drugs in the Jamestown area is asked to contact the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

April "Rain showers" gave way to some April "Snow Showers" overnight. 
 
That from Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says we are under a Winter Weather Advisory through 2 PM today.  Thomas says colder air will moved in during the late evening dropping the ovenright low to about 30 to 32 degrees.  He says the rain we got yesterday was turning as the mercury dropped.
 
Thomas says we won't see a lot of snow accumulation in the immediate Jamestown-area unless you're at one of those higher elevations.  He says generally the lower snow totals will be along the Lake Erie shoreline.  
 
Thomas says while the ground and other surfaces are warm enough to melt the snow there will be enough in some places to cause slippery conditions.  He says there will also be some accumulation in those area.  
 
Thomas says the snow will begin tapering off by early afternoon.  He adds it'll get back into the mid-40s on Saturday... and, by Monday... we'll see the low to mid-70s.
 
The State Senate has gone home and, the Assembly is likely to follow after budget negotiations broke down in Albany Wednesday night.  
 
Chautauqua County's Assemblyman, Andy Goodell, a Republican says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo stood firm on a few issues after he got much of what HE wanted in the budget extension approved earlier in the week by the legislature.
 
He adds that Foundation Aid for public schools, and how much money should go to charter schools remain unresolved due mainly to teacher's union opposition to funding for charters. Goodell says the governor proposed a significant increase for charter school funding.  
 
He says he thought there was fundamental agreement on raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18... but problems emerged in the details 
 
The local Assemblyman said it is likely there will be increased aid for New York college students, but the plan for free tuition will not be part of final agreement.  
 
The members of the legislature probably won't be back in Albany for a couple of weeks.  
 
Goodell says the stress will be particularly bad for downstate lawmakers from high cost of living districts as the state legislature does NOT get paid until the full budget is done.
 
There is still no final deal on a $150-billion, 2017-18 state budget plan.  
 
That after negotiations on a handful of items... including non-budgetary ones... broke down late Wednesday night. Governor Andrew Cuomo says several outstanding issues remain namely three in particular.
 
However Cuomo does say passage of the budget extender this past Monday keeps state government operating.  
 
It also approved funding for economic development and construction projects for the entire year.  Cuomo says quote "that's important."  Due to the lack of an agreement education aid, Cuomo says state aid runs for local school district will use a 3.9% increase in funding under the executive budget.  
 
The governor indicated that aid figures will be adjusted once a final budget agreement is reached. 

 

After holding steady in recent weeks gas prices in the Jamestown-area have climbed about two-cents a gallon this week.  

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says locally the price is up 2.1 cents to just over $2.48 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  

 

Nationally AAA says the average price is up 4-cents a gallon to $2.33 a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says that's one-cent more compared to one month ago and 27 cents more than the same date last year.  National gas prices have increased six of the last seven days.

 

Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that's halted the export of their milk to Canada.  

 

At issue is a U.S-Canada dispute over what's called "ultra-filtered milk," a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. Until recently it had entered Canada duty-free from the United States.  

 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports  that Canadian dairy farmers objected, resulting in Ontario and other provinces applying import taxes.

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WJTN Headlines

A man from the Jamestown-area has been arrested for allegedly setting 12 local arson fires including five during a several hour period late last month on the city's northside. 

 

In addition City Police Chief Harry Snellings says 19 year-old Jonathan Young a Falconer native is also accused of setting the huge fire that destroyed nearly a half-block area of West Main Street in downtown Falconer. 

 

During a Wednesday press conference Snellings said Young was arrested in Butler County, Pennsylvania last Tuesday, March 28th on unrelated arson, auto theft, and burglary charges.

 

Snellings says city police received a call from the Butler County Jail Monday saying that they had an arson suspect in their facility they believed was from the Jamestown-area.  However they say Young had no identification on him when he was arrested and, he gave them several false names. 

 

Jamestown Police investigators were in Pennsylvania Tuesday, meeting with state Police in Butler County and filing the local charges as a detainer to make sure Young is held for extradiction.  Snelling says Yong is being held in Butler County on $75,000 bail pending further court action.

Perhaps the most stunning announcement was the fact that Young has also started the blaze at 29 to 39 West Main Street in Falconer. 

 

There was a lot of speculation about that blaze including the possibility that a Methamphetime Lab had exploded.  There had also been a rumor that the fire might have been intentionally set. 

 

The first fire Young is accused of setting was on March 2nd at 621 East Sixth Street which was an occupied apartment.


The mayors of Jamestown and Falconer were at yesterday afternoon's press conference to personally express their thanks to police and fire personnel for all they did to protect the public, and make an arrest in the case. 

 

Jamestown's Sam Teresi says he normally doesn't get involved in police press conferences but, says he was compelled this time by the severity of the crimes involved. 

 

Teresi says what happened was more than a property crime. Teresi says there was also a lot of concern over the fact that fire personnel including EMT's were stretched to the limit. 

 

Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel thanked all the mutual aid departments that responded to Falconer.  Rensel says they had somewhere between 200 and 300 firefighters at the scene.  He also thanked fire investigators for all their "hard work." 

 

Thankfully Rensel says no one was seriously hurt in the blaze which was called in just after 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 22nd.  The effort to tear-down the remains of that fire are continuing.


Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says if he's convicted Jonathan Young faces a lengthy stay in state prison on the charges leveled against him. 

 

Swanson says that includes the two second-degree arson counts for the West Main Street fire in Falconer and, the one at 621 East Sixth in Jamestown.  He says the counts for the two homes that were occupied including the Falconer apartments each carries 5 to 25 years in jail. 

 

Swanson says the penalties on the third-degree arsons in the vacant and condemned homes are because no one was inside the homes and, no one else was hurt in any of those fires.


Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says there are some other arson fires in vacant homes including Tuesday's on the southside that were not allegedly set by Jonathan Young.

 

The home at 206 Charles Street was heavily-damaged by flames Tuesday. Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at about 6:45 AM... and, found the blaze had a good head start. Fortunately.. no one was hurt in that blaze.


State budget negotiations have collapsed after members of the state Senate left Albany. 

 

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said he will call his members back when and if there is a deal with Assembly Democrats and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. The budget was due by Saturday

 

Lawmakers on Monday passed a two-month extension of the old budget to ensure the vital functions of government continue.  Just moments before the Senate left members of the Assembly announced they would stay in the hopes of striking a deal. 

 

However State Senator Cathy Young blamed Assembly Democrats on reneging on what the Senate felt was a final deal.  Lawmakers won't get paid until they pass a budget. 

 

The Legislature is scheduled to return to Albany in late April.  The breakdown in talks is a defeat for top lawmakers and Cuomo, who has long criticized late budgets as a sign of government dysfunction.


While there were reports of an agreement on a final state budget being worked out... the rank and file members still didn't have a lot of details. 

 

We reached Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who represents Chautauqua County, late yesterday morning.  He says only a portion of the bills that make up the final budget had actually been printed.

 

But, Goodell a Jamestown-area Republican  say no details have been released on the more controversial issues so far including Uber and Ride-Sharing and, the "Raise the Age" proposal. 

 

He says the State Senate passed four of the budget bills late Tuesday night and, the Assembly was to take up the bills late yesterday.  He remains frustrated about the process, much of it done behind closed doors.


Despite a Democratic "talk-a-thon" as some are calling it in the U-S Senate... it appears Republicans will be moving ahead with a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. 

 

If it takes a vote on allowing a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes so be it.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed who doesn't have a vote but, has been discussing the situation with some Senators.

 

Reed says "we need to get Gorsuch appointed to the Supreme Court" and, adds that he's calling on the Senate to "expedite" the matter.  The highest court in the land has been dead-locked in recent months on more controversial matters following the untimely death of conservative judge Antonin Scalia.


The state Department of Environmental Conservation says New York hunters killed about 214,000 deer in 2016, up about 5 percent from 2015. 

 

That includes an estimated 109-thousand adult bucks a 10 percent increase from 2015  and 105,000 antlerless deer. 

 

The numbers are preliminary estimates.  The DEC says final harvest numbers are expected later this month as the agency updates its harvest calculation system.  Annual deer and bear harvest reports are posted on the DEC website 

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News Bulletin for Apr. 5, 2017

(**Alert)Jamestown-area man under arrest in PA for arson in Butler County also charged with 12 local arson fires in Jamestown, and massive fire in Falconer from Mar. 22...
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly setting 12 local arson fires... including five during a 24-hour period late last month on the city's northside.  In addition... City Police Chief Harry Snellings says 19 year-old Jonathan H. Young is also accused of setting the huge fire that destroyed nearly a half-block area of West Main Street in Falconer.  Snellings say Young was arrested in Butler County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, March 28th, on unrelated arson, auto theft, and burglary charges.  He says the suspect faces two counts of second-degree Arson, nine counts of second-degree Arson, and one count of fifth-degree Arson.  Snellings says City Police received a call from the Butler County Jail this past Monday... saying that they had a suspect in their facility they believed was from the Jamestown area charged with arson.  However... they said that when Young was arrested on March 28th... he had no identification in his possession and gave authorities several false names.  He's being held in Butler County on $75,000 bail... pending further court action.  
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Jamestown police investigators were in Butler County Tuesday to formally file charges against Young there as a detainter.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the second-degree arson charges are for the two occupied buildings that were set on fire... incluing 29 to 39 West Main Street in Falconer.  The other was for an occupied apartment at 621 East Sixth Street in Jamestown, which was the first fire Young is accused of setting on March 2.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

It's now been an even dozen arson fires in the city of Jamestown since early January after investigators determined that someone set the fire at a vacant, southside home early yesterday morning.  
 
Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 206 Charles Street about 6:45 AM and, found the blaze had a good head start. Finson says they found a lot of fire near the back side of the structure.
 
Finson says firefighters pulled two handlines to protect the structure and, then two others to battle the blaze in the back.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the flames under control.  
 
Finson adds there was a lot of fire damage mainly to the back part of the house. There was smoke and water damage throughout the house. Finson says the good news is, they prevented serious damage to the neighboring home.
 
Finson says crews were at the scene nearly two hours.  An off-duty shift of nine firefighters and a shift commander was called in. Finson says no services were hooked up to the house.
 
There is a new concern that needs to be addressed before the tallest structure destroyed in the March 22nd fire in downtown Falconer can be completely torn-down.  
 
That from village Mayor Jim Rensel who says contractor George Patti had to cease work Tuesday afternoon on the three-story brick building on West Main Street because of the threat at least part of a wall coming down on a single-story building to the east.  
 
Rensel says the shorter building was did have some water damage from the fire but, was not affected by the fire.
 
Rensel says crews had been making good progress up to that point and, two walls of the three-story building had been torn down.  However he says the contractor is also concerned about vibration caused by the demolition work damaging the one-story structure.  
 
Rensel says George Patti is currently trying to put measures in place to protect the other building, and resume demolition tomorrow. 
 
The March 22nd fire devastated the nearly half-a-block area from 29 to 39 West Main Street.  Some people and firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation but, no one was hurt in the fire and partial building collapse.
 
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

 

The contractor’s heavy use of a fire hydrant in the Village of Falconer has caused discolored water both in the village and on the northside of Jamestown.  Board of Public Utilitie's Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the discolored water is safe but, adds it may take another few hours this morning to clear.

 

New York lawmakers say they've reached agreement on a new state budget which is just over four days late now.  

 

However Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says there's no deal and no need to rush. Cuomo says a two-month budget extension passed Monday ensures government will continue to function and that it could be a few weeks until a final budget is worked out.  

 

Lawmakers have another reason to seek quick resolution: They won't get paid until the budget passes.

 

One of the major items that's blocked passage of a final New York state budget is a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  
 
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell has concerns about "Raise The Age..." and, how it would impact local courts.  He says the legislation backed by state lawmakers from New York City doesn't take into account the significant differences in the court system between upstate and downstate.
 
Other differences include the number of secured juvenile detention centers.  Goodell says there is currently only one that serves most of Western New York and, that's an hour-and-a-half away in Buffalo.  
 
Supporters say that New York is one of only two states that prosecutes all youths as adults when they turn 16. The other state is North Carolina.
 
Jamestown school board members will vote later this month on an $83.8-million budget for the 2017-18 school year that adds eight more employees but, includes no tax increase.  
 
That from interim School Superintendent Superintendent Silvia Root after the board last night reviewed a second-draft of the proposal with Business Manager Vern Connors.  Root says the district has to move forward with a spending plan that doesn't include final state aid figures.  
 
That's because the state budget is late.  However, she says they're fairly confident the amount will be somewhere between the governor's proposal, and the legislature's.
 
Connors told board members that the district is in "pretty good financial condition" due mainly to the district winding up with a $2.8-million surplus in the 2015-16 budget.  He met last week with Root and Board President Paul Abbott and Vice-President Patrick Slagle and, agreed to no more staff and teaching cuts.  
 
Root says she's proposing to add seven more teachers, and one school psychologist next year.  However she's quick to add that all depend's on the public vote on May 16th.  
 
The school board will vote on a final budget at it's April 18th meeting. 

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Early Morning Fire

We are working on details of a fire at 206 Charles Street on the city's southside this morning.

 

Our Brian Papalia was at the scene and spoke with members of Jamestown Police Department about this incident and had information for us available. We will have further information as it becomes available so stay tuned to the website and to our stations for further updates..

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown Police Department has received numerous tips from the public since last last week when they released video survillance of a man they believe may be connected to a recent rash of arson fires.  
 
That from Police Chief Harry Snellings who says they released the video with the hopes of getting more people to come forth with information on 11 fires in vacant and condemned homes since early last January. Nine of those occured within a four-day period from March 22nd through 25th....
 
JPD released the video from the first of five arson fires on Friday, March 24th just after 11 PM at 650 East Sixth Street.  The video shows a person walking out from the rear of the home and then proceeding to walk down the street towards Winsor Street and then to walk up Winsor Street.  The person appears to be of thin build and is wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  
 
Snellings says they're moving quickly with the investigation because they don't want any leads to dry up.
 
Snellings says anyone who may recognize or know who the suspect is in the video is asked to contact the JPD Tip Line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  He says you can also leave a tip on the Tips 411 App.  
 
This information will also be forwarded to Crime Stoppers at 867-6161, where tipsters can be eligible to receive a reward.
 
City police are still not releasing the name of the Jamestown man who died in an apartment fire early Sunday morning on the city's southside.  
 
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says they have officially ruled the blaze accidental.  
 
Snellings says they are not yet identifying the 39 year-old man who lived in the upstairs apartment at 119 Myrtle Street because they have not been able to reach everyone in his immediate family yet.
 
City Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a neighbor called in the alarm after smelling smoke in the area.  Salemme says crews were called to the scene shortly after 1 AM Sunday and, found light smoke coming from the apartment.
 
 A neighor said they believed someone was still inside the apartment, and firefighters soon after found the man inside.  The victim later died at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.
 
New York state will avoid a government shutdown after lawmakers approved a two-month stopgap spending plan.  
 
The short-term budget passed late Monday was introduced by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo after he and lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a one-year budget.  The budget was supposed to be approved by Midnight last Friday but negotiations over the more than $150 billion spending plan bogged down over juvenile justice reform, education spending and an affordable housing tax credit for New York City.  
 
Lawmakers won't get paid until they pass a budget.  Cuomo's short-term spending plan runs through May 31st..
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's frustrated by the lack of action over a final budget which is now four-days late.  
 
Goodell, and other state lawmakers spent the weekend in Albany but, were not able to take any action on spending bills. The Jamestown-area Republican told us yesterday that three-way agreements were apparently reached on several bills but, they never made it to legislators' desks.
 
Governor Cuomo announced late Sunday that due of the inability of both houses to reach agreement, he would offer up an extender bill to keep state government functioning until May 31st. 
 
New York is expanding its non-traditional addiction treatment support services throughout the state.  
 
Governor Cuomo has announced that $2.65-million-dollars will go toward establishing community coalitions and peer engagement programs in each of the state's 10 economic development regions. The primary goal is to help individuals and families in crisis navigate the treatment system.  
 
The initiative ensures there are at least two peer engagement specialists available in each region.  These specialists will be either in recovery from a substance use disorder, have a loved one in recovery, or have lost a loved one to addiction.
 
The Jamestown City Council has approved an agreement with a Buffalo-area construction firm to build two pre-fabricated pedestrian bridges to be part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.  
 
Lawmakers approved the measure at last week's voting session with Union Concrete and Construction for just under $1.6-million. One will run under the Washington Street Bridge while the other will connect the area behind the Gateway Train Station to Panzarella Park.
 
The city is also seeking about $400,000 in Urban Development Acton Grant funding to pay the matching cost for the project which will cost about $2-million.
 
The Allen Park Women's Club celebrated its 75th anniversary with a dinner Monday night at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
 
City Parks Manager, John Williams, used the occasion to unveil plans for a three sided 'play hut' to be built over the old sand box at Allen Park.
 
Williams says they'll need to raise about $14,000 to build the hut.  Today has been declared 'Allen Park Women's Club Day' in Jamestown. 

 

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has died in a fire that erupted in his second-floor apartment early Sunday morning on the city's southside. 

 

Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a neighbor called in the alarm after smelling smoke in the area.  Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 119 Myrtle Street shortly after 1 AM and, found light smoke coming from the apartment.

 

Salemme says Alstar ambulance rushed the man to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  The dog also perished in the fire. 

 

Salemme says crews contained the fire to the kitchen-area, and had the blaze out fairly quickly.  He says a cooking fire in the kitchen started the blaze. 

 

Crews were at the scene until about 2:15 AM.  He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The man's identity is not yet being released.  Salamme says there were no working smoke detectors inside the apartment.


A Kennedy man died early last weekend after his home caught fire following a problem with the heating furnace. 

 

Chautauqua County Fire Investigators add, though, that they are still looking into a final cause of the blaze at 3967 Sprague Hill Road.  Dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 9:30 AM Saturday

 

Firefighters say they found 60 year-old William Caldwell unresponsive inside the residence.  Fire rescuers rushed Caldwell to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

 

Kennedy firefighters were joined at the scene by Ellington, Gerry, Randolph, Fluvanna, Frewsburg and Kiantone Fire crews.


Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a two-month extension of the last state budget to avoid a government shutdown after he and state lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a new spending plan.

 

Cuomo says he has assurances from leaders of the Senate and the Assembly the stopgap spending plan will pass Monday. Negotiations bogged down over education spending and a juvenile justice reform sought by Democrats that would raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.

 

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says a temporary budget will buy lawmakers time to come to agreement. The temporary budget would extend current spending levels and not include Cuomo's plan to make state college tuition free for middle-class students.


It's not going to happen overnight but, the United States' tax code needs major retorm to allow the nation to compete in the global marketplace. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed during an appearance late last week at Jamestown Electroplating on Water Street.  The Corning Republican says work is underway on trying to lower the "Marginal" Corporate Tax rate from 39%to about 20% or less which was set the last time the code was reformed in 1986.

 

Reed says the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's Caucus" he co-chair's with New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottenheimer has written a letter to the Trump Administration saying they want to work as a block with them on tax reform, and infrastruture issues. 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says those are critical to further keeping and adding jobs to the region. 

 

Reed says having the "Problem Solver's Caucus" on board with tax reform and infrastructure is important, because that's 20 Democrats who have generally agreed to work on those two issues.


U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging President Donald Trump to veto a resolution that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits. 

 

The New York senator and 46 other Senate Democrats have signed a letter calling on Trump to "tell us whose side he's really on."  The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share information. 

 

But critics say the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies. 

 

Schumer says if Trump signs the resolution, consumers "will be stripped of critical privacy protections in a New York minute."


Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says he'd support changing Senate rules to bypass Democratic opposition and confirm Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. 

 

During an appearance at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference last Friday Toomey also said Democrats have never said Judge Neil Gorsuch  ignored or misapplied the law in cases before him. 

 

Toomey last year backed a Republican refusal to consider then-President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the high court opening. But Toomey says this is different.  A Senate confirmation vote is expected later this week. 

 

Unless 60 senators support Gorsuch, Republicans would have to change Senate rules to allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority vote in the 100-member Senate.  Getting to 60 votes would require six more Democrats to back Gorsuch.


Two women have been charged following a vicious fight in the town of Stockton in late March involving a crow-bar and sawzall. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Victoria Miller and 23 year-old Karen Miller got into the brawl about 5 PM on Sunday, March 26th at a home on Railroad Avenue. 

 

Deputies say Karen Miller allegedly pushed and hit Victoria Miller in the face, causing red marks.  Officers say that Victoria Miller then grabbed a sawzall and started swinging it at Karen Miller, scratching her legs and wrist. She then allegedly grabbed a metal crow bar and hit Karen Miller in the arm.

 

Deputies say Victoria Miller was charged with third-degree assault and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Karen Miller was charged with second-degree harassment and scheduled to appear in Stockton Town Court at a later date.


Two organizations are teaming up to host a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser this Tuesday night at Jamestown Community College that also high-lights the issue of pay equity. 

 

The American Association of University Women and the Jamestown Community College Student Senate are hosting the dinner at the Week's Reception Room beginning at 5:30 PM

 

JCC Student Senate President Preston Ross says students will pay $5with I-D while men will pay$10 and, women$8.
Ross says the money raised from this event is also going to be staying local as well and helping to benefit our community to benefit the Salvation Army.

 

This Pay Equity Day Spaghetti dinner is being put on by the AAUW in conjunction with the JCC Student Senate and it is open to the public at the Weeks reception room on the JCC Campus from 5:30 to 7 PM on Tuesday night.


A well-known Jamestown-area doctor who has been practicing medicine for more than 50 years in the Jamestown-area has been named as UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital's "Physician of the Year." 

 

The Post-Journal reports that Dr. Robert Scott was given the award during the annual Doctor's Day Luncheon at the hospital.  He started practicing medicine in Jamestown in 1973. 

 

Scott says he wasn't expecting the honor but, adds he's "happy to accept it."  He attended medical school at Cornell University, and did his residency at the University of Pennsylvania.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 1, 2017

NYS budget late, lawmakers hope to have final agreement early next week...
The New York state legislature has blown through a budget deadline... but, top lawmakers say they'll work through the weekend to pass a new state spending plan.  Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan told reporters late Friday that there is broad support for increased tuition assistance, permitting Uber to expand upstate and new funding for the state's aging water systems.  Disputes remain, however, over proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16-and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.  Top lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo had hoped to pass the more than $150-billion dollar spending plan before a new fiscal year began Saturday.  Cuomo announced early Saturday that if lawmakers can't agree on a budget by the end of the weekend he will propose extending current spending levels.
 
 
Reed talks tax reform with local officials, business leaders at Jamestown Electoplating...
Tax reform should be a bi-partian issue because it affects all Americans.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who talked about efforts to make the U-S Tax code simpler and fairer at a Jamestown manufacturer yesterday morning.  Reed met with local elected and business leaders at Jamestown Electroplating on Water Street to discuss a proposed 20-percent reduction in the federal Corporate tax, and other reductions to relieve the tax burden on individuals and businesses.  As a member of the House Ways and Means Comittee... he says it's important to hear from everyone that's affected so they can put a tax policy in place "that encourages the making of products and job growth in the U-S."  Reed says they hope to have a tax reform package in place by early 2018.  It would be the first such reform since 1986.  He met earlier with Jamestown Electroplating Owner and President Chase Churchill... and, the head of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, Todd Tranum, who says local manufacturer's need a "fair chance to complete globally..." and, that would happen with tax reform.
 
 
Puerto Rican man arrested on warrant for Sexual Assault in Dunkirk...
A man from Puerto Rico has been arrested in Dunkirk on a Felony sex-related crime on that island nation.  Police Chief David Ortolano says officers assisted U.S. Marshals early Wednesday morning in the arrest of 31-year-old Jonathan Figueroa-Martinez on Lincoln Avenue.  Ortolano says Figueroa-Martinez was found inside an apartment at 76 Lincoln Avenue after police checked several locations for him.  He says that Figueroa-Martinez was taken into custody without incident... and, he's being held in the Chautauqua County Jail pending extradiction.
 
 
Head of Meals on Wheels in Jamestown-area says elimination of CDBG program would not impact local program, but, other possible cuts could...
Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-area would not be impacted by the proposed elimination of the federal Community Development Block Grant program... but, there are other proposed cuts that could severely impact the program.  That from Meals on Wheels Director Barrie Yochim... who says they served a record 154,000 meals over the past year.  In addition... Yochim tells us they face the likelyhood of having to create a "waiting list" for seniors and other shut-ins who get their meals because demand is continuing to rise... and, the financial resources are down, or stagnant.  He says they are feeding more people than they ever have over the past 17 years.  Yochim says they've seen steady increases in demand of about 10-percent each of the past six years.  While the CDBG funding is not an issue locally... he says they are concerned about possible sequestration... and, other -- across the board cuts -- averaging about 16-percent.  He says 50 to 55-percent of Meals on Wheels's funding comes from county, state and federal sources.  Yochim says their annual budget now runs between $1.6-million and $1.7-million... and, any cut in funding would be devastating.  Yochim made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.  
 
 
Jamestown Jackals make PBL Playoffs, play Sunday...
The Jamestown Jackals have made the playoffs in the Premier Basketball League.  Team owner, and coach, Kayla Crosby says they finished the season fourth in the league with 10 wins and 7 losses... and will play an away game at Rochester Sunday afternoon.  Crosby says a victory Sunday against the Razorsharks would set the team up for at least one more playoff game next Wednesday, April 5, at Jamestown Community College.  Jamestown would play the winner of the game between Ohio and Kentucky.  Jamestown lost by 12 points to Rochester in the final regular season game last weekend.  Crosby says they've been reviewing video all week, and planning some surprises for Rochester.
 

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Jamestown police say they are looking for one suspect who they believe have set 11 arson fires in vacant nad condemned homes in the city including five last weekend since the beginning of the year. 

 

Police officials say the fires are being tracked by investigators from early January until last Friday night and into Saturday morning.  City police have now released a video from the first arson fire last Friday night at 11:05 PM at 650 East Sixth Street. 

 

The video shows a person walking out from the rear of the home and then proceeding to walk down the street towards Winsor Street and then to walk up Winsor Street. The person appears to be of thin build and is wearing a hooded sweatshirt. 

 

Anyone who may recognize or know who the suspect is in this video is asked to contact the JPD Anonymous Tip Line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477 or you can leave a tip on the Tips 411 App. This information will also be forwarded to Crime Stoppers at 867-6161, where tipsters can be eligible to receive a reward.

https://www.facebook.com/jamestownpolicedepartment/videos/1363685177024399/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE 

 

Demolition work has begun at the scene of last week's massive fire that devastated a half-a-block of commercial and residential property in the village of Falconer. 

 

Mayor Jim Rensel told us late Thursday afternoon that work was underway, with equipment being moved into place to tear-down what's left of 29 to 39 West Main Street. Rensel says George Patti Construction is the contractor for the work which will involve taking the damaged area down.

 

Rensel says it will take some time to get the rest of the structure down safely. He says the collapse-zone fencing that was put up after the fire remains up because that remains a threat.  However he expressed his appreciation to several people including building owners Art Bailey, and Jim Gronquist, Junior. 

 

He also thanked Village Attorney Greg Peterson, County Executive Vince Horrigan, State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell and, Gebbie Foundation Director, and attorney, Greg Edwards.  Rensel says they hope to have the building down by early in the weekend and, then have West Main Street reopened where it's been closed since the fire.


Top lawmakers say there's still no deal on a state budget for New York state as the main deadline approaches. 

 

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan and Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie conferred with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo behind closed doors Thursday morning.  They had hoped to pass a budget before the new fiscal year begins Saturday but that looks unlikely as negotiations drag on. 

 

Sticking points in the more than $150 billion spending plan include a Democratic proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.  Alternatively, Republicans propose creating a "youth court" within the justice system for violent youthful offenders. 

 

Lawmakers are also negotiating increases in school funding and tuition assistance and a proposal allowing Uber and Lyft to expand upstate.


While Governor Andrew Cuomo appears committed to having an on-time state budget inaction in the Assembly is what is holding up a budget deal. 

 

That from State Senator Cathy Young, who says the Governor and the Senate are working "in good faith" towards an on-time spending plan.  But she says the Assembly is "holding the budget hostage" The Olean Republican says the state needs to pass a budget which contains education funding, job growth, and tax relief for middle-class families.

 

On another matter Young says she's introduced legislation that would ban the type of guardrail that was involved in a crash that claimed the life of a Fredonia native in Tennessee from being used in New York. 

 

She says 27-year-old Hannah Eimers was killed in the crash last November on Interstate 75 after her vehicle struck an "X-Lite" guardrail.  Young says part of the rail broke, and penetrated into the cockpit of the car and, killed Eimers. 

 

Besides banning the use of "X-Lite" guardrail products, Young's legislation would also require that any existing "X-Lite" guardrail products be replaced.


A long time area school superintendent will be ending a 32 year career in education Friday when he bids farewell to his district. 

 

Fredonia's Paul DiFonzo will be wrapping up his nearly 16 years as superintendent after serving three years as the middle school principal.  DiFonzo says he has seen a lot of change in education, but there has been one constant at Fredonia Central.

 

Fredonia Central has faced some challenges over the years, many of them dealing with budget matters such as the loss of state aid.  DiFonzo says he's proud of how district voters supported a failed merger with Brocton Central a years ago because both districts stood to "gain a lot" with a merger. 

 

He says he doesn't have any definite plans for his future although he does hope to do some kind of community work. 

 

Retired Amherst School superintendent Dr. Laura Pless will take over the reins Monday as interim superintendent.  The district is conducting a search for a new superintendent.


Two more colleges have been authorized to participate in New York's industrial hemp pilot program. 

 

The program allows farmers to partner with universities to grow and research hemp as an agricultural commodity. The program was launched last year and the first crop was harvested last fall. 

 

Industrial hemp is a variety of cannabis without the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana.  It's used in a wide range of products from clothing to food supplements.

 

Binghamton University and SUNY Sullivan have been authorized to participate in the state's hemp program.  Both are interested in the medicinal properties of cannabidiol, a chemical component of the hemp plant.  Cornell University and Morrisville State started participating in the hemp research program last summer.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he wants to see tax reform that helps people to buy and afford a new home. 

 

However he's not saying whether he supports a proposal in the most recent tax plan that would do away with the ability to write-off local and state taxes on homes.  The "Better Way" Plan was laid out last year by House Speaker Paul Ryan as a simpler, fairer plan for Americans. 

 

However it did not include the deduction.  Reed says he's open to ways to improve the tax code.
 

Reed says another idea he would like to see is using a "tax credit" as opposed to a deduction to promote home ownership that would also help people that don't itemize on their taxes. 

 

The Corning Republican says he's open to all possible options and, is confident that they can come up with a traditional or non-traditional solution.  Reed is a majority member of the House Ways and Means committee which is tasked with driving and dealing with tax policy in Congress. 

 

He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

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WJTN Headlines

Another comedic legend will be coming to Chautauqua Institution this Summer as part of Chautauqua and the National Comedy Center's week on Comedy. 

 

Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson announced yesterday afternoon that comedian and director David Steinberg will be the featured lecturer next August 1st as part of "Comedy and the Human Condition" Week at Chautauqua.  Gunderson says they are "thrilled" to have Steinberg speak at 10:45 AM.

 

Most recently Gunderson says Steinberg is in his ninth season of directing the cable comedy show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" that stars Comedian Larry David. Steinberg has also directed for the hit series "Weeds."  He has resume that spans The Second City, Broadway, and a prolific television career.  Known for his work on "The Smothers Brothers..." Steinberg’s satiric and controversial "sermons" caught the ire of President Richard Nixon and caused the show to be thrown off the air. 

 

The week at Chautauqua is being held in conjunction with the National Comedy Center's annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival... which runs from August 3rd through 6th.


The investigation is continuing into a drowning in Lake Erie near Silver Creek yesterday morning. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace confirms that that the drowning involved an elderly male, with the victim's body being located behind St. Columban’s on the Lake on Route 5 shortly after 7:30 AM

 

The victim's name with being with-held until family members are notified.  Sheridan Fire crews also assisted at the scene.  More details when they become available.



The city of Jamestown needs the federal Community Development Block Grant program now as much as ever with more than 100 vacant and condemned homes. 

 

That includes the eight structures destroyed in nine arson fires during four-days last week. That from Mayor Sam Teresi who says they try to budget a certain amount of city, state and CDBG funding to knock down unsafe structures each year.  Teresi says that's one reason why CDBG funds are so critical. That resolution called on the administration and, regional Congressional leaders to push to keep the program in place. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed has already voiced his support for CDBG. While it costs upwards of $40,000 to do a "planned demolition" at can cost upwards of $60,000 for an "emergency demolition" because the wood composition changes. 

 

The investigation is continuing into those fires. If you have any information on them call Jamestown Police at 483-7537 or the confidential Tips line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477. You can also use the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.



The Western New York Chapter of the American Red Cross is continuing to assist the victims of last week's fire that heavily damaged a half-a-block area of West Main Street in the village of Falconer. 

 

Executive Director Chuck Marra says they are assisting a total of 19 people left homeless by that major fire. Marra says the local Red Cross depends on volunteers and they received the assistance of several Disaster Assistance Team members during the fire.  He says five volunteers are part of their Disaster Action Team that responds to a fire at anytime. 

 

As for the victims, Marra says the Red Cross will help them get assistance from community service partners and government agencies to make sure that they have the resources to move forward with their lives.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen slightly again this week dropping nearly half-a-penny to just over $2.46. That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which say the price for regular, unleaded is now $2.46.4. It was $2.47 last week.

 

AAA says nationally the average price at the pump is now $2.29 a gallon.

 

The Fuel Gauge says this is the same price as compared to one month ago, but just fractions of a penny below one week ago and 25 cents per gallon more than the same date last year.  The average pump price has now decreased nine of the past 10 days. 

 

Prices in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast remain relatively steady on the week. Regional gasoline inventories remain low as the region continues to remove winter-grade gasoline from the system.




A record number of prize baskets will be up for bidding at this Saturday's 14th annual Basket Fair put on by the St. Susan's Center in Jamestown. 

 

Executive Director Jeff Smith says the fund-raiser for the area's largest soup kitchen begins at 11 AM in the Physical Education Complex at Jamestown Community College. 

 

Smith says admission is free but, adds you do have to buy tickets to be able to bid on any of the 125 gift baskets they'll have this year. Smith says a basic sheet of tickets costs $10 each.  There's also what he calls a "super sheet" you can buy that is a better value, and allows you to bid on more items. 

 

He says they have all kinds of gift baskets with various items in them. Smith adds they have some terrific grand prizes this year including a meat smoker, and a 55-inch Hi-Definition TV. 

 

He says you'll be able to bid on the various gift baskets starting at 11 AM and, tickets will be available until 1:45 PM.  He says drawings start at 2 PM.  He says they hope to raise at least $15,000 this year.


Democratic lawmakers in some states are pressing ahead with efforts to protect birth control access Planned Parenthood funding, and abortion coverage in case they are jeopardized in the future. 

 

Republican leaders in Congress withdrew a bill last week that would have repealed former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, halted Planned Parenthood's federal funding and curtailed the ability of many low-income women to obtain affordable birth control. 

 

Despite that setback for the GOP, some Republicans say Congress might revisit health care. At the same time, anti-abortion leaders say they will not abandon their campaign to defund Planned Parenthood. 

 

The uncertainty has prompted decisions to press ahead with bills in Nevada, Oregon and Maryland that would protect against some proposed GOP actions.


Monthly alternate parking begins this Saturday April 1st in the city of Jamestown. 

 

That from City Police Captain Todd Issacson who says vehicles must be parked only on the odd-numbered side of the street during odd-numbered months and, only on the even-numbered side of the gtreet during even numbered months. 

 

Issacson says vehicles should be moved at 10 AM on the first-day of each month and there is no grace period.

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WJTN Headlines

The state's budget deadline is just days away and no agreements have yet been worked out between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders. 

 

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who represents all of Chautauqua County, says time is running out. Goodell says primarily non-financial issues seem to be holding up the process, such as criminal justice reform and workers comp reform.

 

The 150th District Assemblyman is still hopeful of having an on-time budget.  He believes the final, 152-billion dollar spending plan could be done by late Friday morning after what could be a "round the clock" session. 

 

Among the main proposals Governor Cuomo is pushing for is tuition-free college for lower and middle income students... however, a proposal to boost tuition assistance has been gaining traction.



Concerned residents from Jamestown's north side near the area where five arson fires were set early last weekend say they want to see a public-private housing project move forward. 

 

Some Spring Street residents say the 12 to 13-million dollar Jackson-Spring housing development proposed by a Buffalo developer and Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality will eliminate eight vacant homes in that area. 

 

Darrell Sisak of 824 Spring Street spoke at Monday night's City Council meeting.  He says vacant homes attract drug dealers and users and fire bugs. Another resident Donald Paine of 872 Spring again voiced his support for the CODE project in light of a letter from the Gebbie Foundation last December that voiced concern over the project and, that it would not improve the city's housing issues. 

 

Paine called on State Senator Cathy Young and city officials to move the Jackson-Spring project moving forward. He says "we want this now more than ever."  Paine held the letter from the Gebbie to Young which states the Jackson-Spring "will not help in rejuvenating the city."


City leaders remain staunchly behind the proposal to bring 36-units of new housing to Jamestown's northside. 

 

That from Mayor Sam Teresi who says he appreciates the neighborhood support voiced Monday night for the Jackson-Spring housing development. Teresi emphasized that this is NOT government-subsidized housing it is private investment.

 

Teresi says it's great to see someone willing to come and invest in clean, afforable housing that will improve the neighborhood similar to what's happened at Euclid Gardens and the Wellman Building downtown.  He says the city council has enthusiastically supported the development headed up locally by CODE Inc. and, NRP of Buffalo. 

 

Teresi says they hope the state will "favorably review' the application for the state tax credits that will help finance the local project.  He adds they and CODE are awaiting word on what is happening with those tax credits. 

 

CODE officials say some of the Jackson-Spring housing development would also be available for disabled residents.


Two Westfield residents have been arrested for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab inside their Portage Street apartment. 

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force responded to citizen complaints about suspected Meth production at 63 South Portage Street and the apartment was raided early Tuesday afternoon.  Prior to that Task Force members say they and Westfield Police seized a quantity of items on the property used to make Meth. 

 

As a result police got a search warrant for the apartment and arrest warrants for the two occupants. They were identified as 48 year-old John Buzcek-the-third, and 47 year-old Julie Warren. 

 

Task Force members arrested Buzcek at the scene and found Warren at another location in the village. Both were arraigned on two counts each of third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime and sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $50,000 bail each. 

 

The state Police C-SERT Teeam was also called in to help remediate the scene, and gather evidence.  Authorities continue to ask for the support of community members when they observe suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods by calling either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.


Chautauqua County's population has now fallen below 130,000 according to the latest Census figures. 

 

The new figures were released earlier this week by the U-S Census Bureau and shows the county continuing it's downward trend between July of 2015 and July 2016. 

 

The bureau's figures show that Chautauqua County's population dropped from 130,811 in 2015 to 129,504. That's a drop of 1,307. 

 

That's a 1% loss, placing Chautauqua County among the largest percentage population declines among the state's 62 counties. 

 

Hamilton County had the largest percentage drop at 3.3%, followed by Jefferson County at 2.8%, Delaware County at 1.2%.  Tioga County tied Chautauqua County with a one-percent decline. 

 

Overall the Census Bureau reports the state had a net migration loss of 73-thousand people between July of 2015 and 2016.


Jamestown Teachers are taking on a 'formidable' opponent in a basketball game tonight as they play a game to support a local charity. 

 

Jamestown High School Government Studies teacher, Tony Dolce, says the game will begin at 7 PM at McElrath Gymnasium.  Doors open at 6:30. Dolce also mentioned that it would be members of the Jamestown Police Department playing the Teachers.

 

The Alex Foulk Foundation has been chosen as the Battle of the Classes charity this year. The Foulk foundation supports recovering addicts with transitional housing and help in returning to jobs and family. 

 

Tony Dolce also says there will be other events happening within the next two weeks to support this fund through the "Battle" at JHS... but, adds the basketball game has always been the biggest event.
More information about the Foulk Fund can be found at the Chautauqua Regional community foundation or on their website CRCFOnline.org 

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


The population of New York state is shrinking. 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 25, 2017

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

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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



 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

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

 

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

 

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



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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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News Update on Falconer building fire

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

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Falconer Fire Update

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

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

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


 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 18, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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Media One News Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Tues., Mar. 14, 2017

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

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News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 13, 2017

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 11, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 6, 2017

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 4, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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


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


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


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

 

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


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

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


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


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

 

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


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

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


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

 

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


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


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

 

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


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


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

 

 

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Bulletin for Mon., Feb. 27, 2017

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

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News Alert for Mon., Feb. 27, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 23, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 21, 2017

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

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News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 20, 2017

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

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News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 17, 2016

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Sun., Feb. 12, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

WJTN News Headlines

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

News Headlines for Sun., Feb. 5, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 28, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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