WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 23, 2019

Many local and state government leaders are unhappy about Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to eliminate Aid and Incentives for Municipalities -- or AIM funding, for local towns and villages....  
 

The plan is part of Cuomo's $178-billion budget proposal for 2019-2020.  Under the plan, towns and villages still get AIM funding, but only if they rely on it for more than 2-percent of their budget.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the aid is critical if the state makes the 2-percent property tax cap permanent.

Goodell does say that most local towns and villages would still be eligible for funding.  However, he says this move would pull the "rug out from under municipalities, financially."  Under the governor's proposal, all 61 cities outside New York City would continue to receive the aid under Cuomo's plan. 


New York lawmakers have passed one of the nation's strongest protections for abortion rights, saying the women of the state need legal safeguards if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.....  

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly passed the bill Tuesday, the 46th anniversary of the Roe decision.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo immediately signed it into law.  Known as the Reproductive Health Act, the measure replaces a 1970 state abortion law that was passed three years before Roe legalized abortion nationwide.  It codifies many abortion rights laid out in Roe and other court rulings, including a provision permitting late-term abortions when a woman's health is endangered.  The new law also authorizes physician assistants to perform some abortions.  Opponents predict the bill will lead to more late-term procedures.


A study done for the state School Boards Association shows many districts without enough school psychologists to deal with students social and mental health issues....  

Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer says that's part of the reason they are pushing to increase Foundation -- or Base Aid -- for local districts.  Budget discussions begin in earnest in Albany Tuesday and, Kreamer says the need for more help for students who are in poverty, or have other domestic issues they're dealing with.

Kreamer says local districts should be able to get the funding they need to help provide the psychological services their students need and, Foundation Aid would be the way to help fund that.  He says many schools have what they need, but many others don't.  Currently, he says the ratio of psychologists to students -- statewide -- is "adequate."  But, he says there are big gaps in some places.  The Jamestown School District is one that has begun focusing more on the psychological well-being of students -- especially those who are considered to be in poverty.


Actress and former candidate for New York governor Cynthia Nixon has returned to the state Capitol to push for more funding for the state's struggling schools....  

The former star of "Sex and the City" joined education advocates and several Democratic state lawmakers in Albany Tuesday to criticize Governor Andrew Cuomo's education funding proposal in his state budget plan released last week.  Cuomo wants to increase education aid by $956-million for a total of $27.7 billion, including another $338 million in Foundation Aid, the general operating funding for school districts.  Nixon and others say more is needed for the state's poor school districts.  They're calling on Cuomo to fully fund New York's schools equitably.  Nixon, a longtime education advocate, was easily defeated in September's Democratic primary by Cuomo, the incumbent.


Today is the first day to register for the DEC's summer camps and the Seneca Trail Resource Conservation and Development Council is once again offering scholarships for a couple of students in each county they serve...  

Council President, Al Ormond, says the one week camps are for young people 11-13 year-olds and 14-17 year-olds.  The focus is on conservation, with opportunities to focus on hunting, trapping and archery.  The DEC has seven camps around the state, the closest to our area is Camp Rushford in Allegany County.  In Chautauqua County, students interested in the scholarships should contact Larry Rater at 769-7338 or Tom Ormond at 267-7855.


A Kennedy man faces charges after Ellicott Town Police allegedly found him in possession of a weapon and drugs early yesterday morning....  

Town officers say they checked on a suspicious man in the village of Falconer and, he provided them with a false name, before learning his real name was Joshua Cook.  Police say the 29 year-old gave them a false name because he had a valid arrest warrant.  A search of his person revealed metal knuckles and a quantity of crystal methamphetamine.  Cook was taken into custody for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, false personation and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He's being held in the county jail pending arraignment. 


A Jamestown man was arrested for drug possession after city police found him sleeping inside a vehicle on the city's southside Monday afternoon.... 

Officers were called to the area of Jewel Place and Cole Avenue shortly after 12 p.m. to check the well-being of a male in a car. Officers say when 37 year-old David Dean stepped out of the vehicle, contents from his person fell out, including methamphetamine and marijuana. He was transported to the city jail to await arraignment. 


It was a total team effort that helped the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County meet -- and exceed -- it's 2018 General Campaign goal....  

The human service agency held it's campaign celebration at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts and, announced they had raised just over $1.346-million or about $11,000 more than this year's goal.  Campaign Chairman Kurt Eimiller thanked the community for it's generosity.

Generally, United Way officials say most of their divisions came in over their goals for the campaign.  Eimiller says he was drawn to the organization because 75-percent of the campaign funds go towards youth programs in the Jamestown-area.  He says kids often end up being "victims of their circumstance..." and he felt a "powerful urge" to do what he to help those in need.  United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler, who just finished her first year with the organization, expressed her gratitude to the community, her staff, and all the volunteers who took part in making the campaign a success.  The United Way funds 39 programs that are part of 26 human service agencies in the area. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 22, 2018

Our blast of arctic air leaves the area this morning...  

Meteorologist Dave Thomas in Buffalo says it's the coldest air of the season since last Thanksgiving.  Temperatures will warm up again by Wednesday when it should reach about 40.  But, Thomas says that warmth won't last too long, as another arctic cold air mass is on the way to close out the end of January.  Additionally, the Jamestown Fire Department is urging residents to keep their sidewalks, mailboxes and, entryways to their houses clear of snow.
 

A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of several types of illegal drugs during a traffic stop on the city's southside Monday morning....  

Jamestown police say officers stopped the car shortly before 10 a.m. for failure to stop and sign a turn at the intersection of Cole Avenue and Jewel Place.  Police say they arrested 25 year-old Kylie Reeves after she was allegedly found in possession of quantities of methamphetime, cocaine, suboxone, and prescription pills.  She was arrested without incident and, take to the city jail on charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, two counts of seventh-degree criminal drug possession.  Reeves was held pending arraignment.


An Ohio man originally from the Jamestown-area has been arrested for allegedly showing up at a town of Busti residence where he was not wanted.... 

Sheriff's officers say they and Lakewood-Busti Police were called to an address on Orr Street Extension last Saturday night on a report of a unwanted person.  Deputies say 45 year-old Jason Wasson of Dayton had active Felony warrants for his arrest in the town of Portland.  Wasson fled into the woods just prior to police arrival.  Police tracked him for about two-miles before he was located.  Wasson was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of exposure from the weather and, later taken to the County Jail where he will be arraigned.


A large crowd was on hand for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon held yesterday at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk.... 

The Reverend Frank Torain, Pastor of the Open Door Church of God, discussed this year's luncheon being dedicated to the late Rev. Roosevelt Haynes who passed away last December.

Reverend Haynes served on a number of city boards over the years, including the Dunkirk School Board.  This year's theme for the luncheon was "Celebrating a life of Service" and Reverend Torain says it was very fitting not only for Dr. King, but also for Rev. Haynes.  He says both devoted their life to service to others and, adds they were both "selfless" individuals.  Among the highlights of the luncheon was the Janice D. Slaton Scholarship presentations.  This year's winners are Elwin Gomez and Genesis Diaz.  The event was sponsored by the Northern Chautauqua County Juneteenth Celebration Committee and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon Committee.


A Jamestown-area native with considerable experience in workforce development for industry and business has been appointed to a dual leadership position with the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.....  

MAST Executive Director Todd Tranum says Carly Abbate is their new director of Industrial Services and, coordinator for the "Dream It -- Do It" program.  Tranum says Abbate is "young and energetic..." and, has been educated, and worked in the community.  He says she'll head up their workforce development efforts, along with connecting young people to local jobs.

Most recently, Tranum says Abbate was a sales associate for Chautauqua Marina and, previously interned with the Jamestown Jammers.  She was also an assembly-line team leader at Cummins Engine Company where she developed a system to meet daily and weekly goals.  Tranum says Abbate has already started her new positions, and has hit the ground running.


A Pennsylvania man was arrested for allegedly stealing a Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania man's truck while intoxicated early Saturday morning...  

State Police in Warren say the incident occurred as the victim and the suspect were at The Bucket Cafe on Main Street.  Troopers say 30 year-old Joshua Blair -- of Girard -- left before 51 year-old Kerry Stuart.  Blair reportedly got into Stuart's Chevy pick-up truck and drifted across the eastbound lane into a ditch on the southern shoulder.  Blair was arrested for theft and DUI and, is being held in the Warren County Jail pending arraignment. 


Becoming a mentor to a child is one of the most impactful experiences a student in Chautauqua County can have. With that, Director of Mentoring Erika Swanson Muecke says there are three different programs within Chautauqua Striders that volunteers in the community can apply for, including school-based and community-based....

Muecke says they also have a "project-based" program with Love School, which partners with Saint Luke's Episcopal Church in Jamestown.  Mentoring Coordinator Richard Olson-Walter says mentors help youth build confidence and, have a positive relationship with an adult that isn't a member of their own family.  Three recruitment opportunities are coming up this week.  Olson Walter says he will be at St. Luke's Church at Noon today for a "coffee hour..." and, at 5:15 PM he'll be at the Grind Networking Event at the Beer Snob in Jamestown.  The third will be this Saturday at the Lakewood Library from 10 AM to 12 PM.  For more information go on-line to ChautauquaStriders.org or call 489-3486.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the increasing number of threats against journalists shows the need for stronger criminal penalties for assaulting a member of the press....  

The Democrat is proposing to make assaulting a journalist a felony.  If approved by lawmakers, journalists would join a long list of other occupations covered by similar assault laws, including police, fire fighters, judges, train conductors, bus drivers, prosecutors, sanitation workers and health care workers.  Cuomo announced the proposal Tuesday during his annual state of the state address.  Cuomo cited several recent threats and attacks targeting working journalists, including pipe bombs mailed to CNN last year. He said reporters have a vital role to play in American life and should feel safe to do their work.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 21, 2019

First it was the major snowfall, and now the bitterly cold temperatures are part of a one-two punch that's hitting Chautauqua County and all of western New York....  

The National Weather Service is continuing a Wind Chill Warning for the county through 7 o'clock tonight, as temperatures across the Jamestown-area fell below zero overnight.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock says wind chills will be bone-chilling through tonight.

Hitchcock says, while there may be some lake effect snow at times, there won't be much accumulation.  He says there will be 1 to 2 inches at most.  But, Hitchcock says the problem will be snow being blown around by winds gusting to about 30 miles per hour.  He says it'll be another bitterly cold night tonight, with clear skies, and temperatures falling to 5 to 10-below zero.  However, he says winds will be much lighter, so the "real feel" temperature will be as low as 15-below zero.  Forecasters say make sure to dress warmly, and in layers and don't leave skin exposed when you are outdoors.  


There were several impressive snowfall totals from the Winter Storm that hit late Saturday night, starting with 18.5 inches in Forestville in northern Chautauqua County....  

Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service says Perrysburg had 16-and-a-half inches, while Jamestown had 16.3-inches.  Elsewhere in New York state, the Albany area saw anywhere from 10 to 15 inches, with up to 18 to 20 inches in the higher elevations of the Adirondacks.  Buffalo received about a foot of snow, and about 16 inches in the higher elevations.


A Mayville woman has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk and, being in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop late last Friday in the village....  

Sheriff's officers say they stopped a car, driven by 49 year-old Michelle Ward, on Elm Street after seeing several traffic violations.  Deputies say Ward appeared to be intoxicated and, she was also found with a small quantity of pot in her possession.  She is also accused of pushing an officer and, tampering with Sheriff's Department property.  Ward faces several charges including DWI, third-degree criminal tampering, speeding in a 55 MPH Zone, second degree harassment and, Unlawful Possession of Marihuana.  Ward was arraigned, and sent to the county jail pending further court action.


A Fredonia man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime in the village of Brocton....  

Sheriff's officers were assisting County Probation in serving a Dunkirk City Warrant on 31 year-old Aaron Clark at a Fay Street address early last weekend.  When Clark was picked up, deputies allegeldy found the meth.  Officers say Clark was arraigned on his charges out of Dunkirk and then taken to the County Jail where he will be arraigned using the Centralized Booking Procedure for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.


There is more spending proposed in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2019-2020 budget proposal, but the state is also facing a more than $3-billion shortfall...  

Cuomo is proposing to add one-billion dollars in more school aid and, to fund various infrastructure and other projects in the coming year.  The Democrat did not give a lot of specifics on how that spending gap will be dealt with, but local State Senator Cathy Young says she won't support the idea of new or additional taxes.

Cuomo is proposing about a 1.3-percent cut in income taxes for middle-income earners, but is also proposing to continue a millionaire's tax on individuals who earn one-million dollars a year, or families earning two-million or more.  However, Young opposes continuing that.  She also rejects the idea of using taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns.  The Olean Republican says -- given the budget deficit and "many more pressing fiscal priorities, allocating hundreds of millions of dollars for public campaign financing does not make sense."


Towns around New York state are objecting to a budget proposal from Governor Andrew Cuomo that would cut nearly $60-million dollars in funding to local governments....  

The state Association of Towns on Friday called the cut "disrespectful" and said it could force local officials to trim services or dip into reserves.  Cuomo, a Democrat, inserted the reduction in a $175 billion state budget proposal submitted to lawmakers this week.  More than 1,300 towns will lose funding if state lawmakers support the cut.  Cuomo's budget spokesman defended the reduction, saying it amounts to less than 1 percent of the typical town's annual budget.  The governor is also proposing a change in the way internet sales taxes are collected that could allow towns to split a $350 million windfall.


Governor Andrew Cuomo's state budget proposal released this week contains a couple of initiatives regarding economic development that good-government groups have been seeking for years.....  

The first spending plan of the Democrat's third term includes proposals to boost procurement regulations for oversight of certain state contracts and create a searchable online database of projects receiving funding from the Cuomo administration's economic development agencies.  The proposals follow last year's convictions of a former top aide and Cuomo's own "economic guru" on corruption charges stemming from upstate development projects.  Government watchdog groups say the cases show the need for better oversight of the billions doled out each year in corporate tax breaks and business grants.  Increasing oversight of economic development deals is supported by the state Senate and Assembly, both controlled by Democrats.

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 19, 2019

Jamestown man arrested for allegedly threatening another man with a gun...
A city teen had to be tasered when he tried to flee police after allegedly threatening another man with a hand-gun on Jamestown's southside Friday morning.  City police were called to the area of McKinley Avenue and Charles Street shortly before 10 a.m. on a report of a person threatening another with a pistol.  Officers say the male victim tried to flee from 18 year-old Alex Johnson in his car... but, he backed the vehicle into a telephone pole.  Johnson then fled... but, he did not comply with their orders... and, the taser was deployed.  Police say Johnson was taken into custody, and they found a 9-millimeter hand-gun, along with a quantity of hydrocodone, and Zanex.  He was arrested on several charges... including second-degree menacing and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, jailed pending arraignment.


Three arrested for allegedly being in possession of about 50 grams of crack, and 20 grams of pot...
Three men from Jamestown are jailed with high bail for allegedly being found in possession of quantities of crack cocaine, and marijuana during a traffic stop Thursday night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says an observant patrol officer spotted the driver of a car, 22 year-old Thomas Kimbrough, Junior, operating recklessly as he turned from Hall Avenue onto West Sixth Street about 8:45 p.m.  Samuelson says Kimbrough then continued onto the Sixth Street Bridge... and towards the downtown area at about 70 miles per hour before being stopped.  He says they found about 29-grams of crack, and 20 more of marijuana during a search.  Samuelson says it's not a "huge" amount, but, significant because they were apparently using and dealing.  Samuelson says officers arrested Kimbrough... and, his passengers, 22 year-old Michael Pace-Segura... and, 20 year-old Joseph Ludovicy.  However... he says they later found Pace-Segura with about 20 more grams of crack in his underwear.  He faces an additional third-degree criminal possession charge.  Kimbrough is jailed on $40,000 bail... Pace-Segura $20,000... and, Ludovicy $10,000.


National Weather Service continues Winter Storm Warning for most of upstate New York -- including Chautauqua County...
The immediate Jamestown-area will see upwards of a foot of snow from the latest storm to move into the region during the day today.  That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll see the snow initially... then windy and bitterly cold conditions on Sunday through Monday.  Mitchell says there is a Winter Storm Warning in effect for all of Western New York through 6 p.m. Sunday.  He says the heaviest snow will be early this evening through tomorrow morning.  Mitchell says some parts of the region will see upwards of 16 inches of snow or so.  He says snowfall totals have increased over the past day or so because of the dry air... and, the fact the storm is expected to move a little further north than initially projected.   Besides the snowfall, strong winds will blow the lighter snow around, significantly reducing visibility for motorists, and travel could be very difficult at times.


Winter Storm, generally, will dump half a foot to 2-feet of snow across the state...
Generally... New Yorkers are preparing for a weekend storm that could bring anywhere from 8 to 24 inches of snow in upstate areas and grind travel to a halt.  Winter storm warnings have been issued from Saturday afternoon through Sunday for much of the upstate region... after some places got up to 5 inches overnight Thursday into Friday.  Forecasters say the New York City area will get much less snow and sleet -- 3 to 6 inches.  But strong wind gusts on Sunday afternoon and evening could bring down tree limbs and power lines.


"Doors Open" Jamestown hoping to beat the weather Saturday...
Some new attractions will be part of the line-up for the eighth-annual Doors Open Jamestown that'll be held today.  The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is moving ahead with the free program until 5 p.m. with hopes the weather won't be too bad during that time period.  JRC Marketing and Events Coordinator Zach Agett says they have some 19 entities involved this year... some of them new or remodeled... including the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts... and, the Martz Observatory.  Agatt says it's the first time since the observatory was renovated, and upgraded.  He says -- by far -- the biggest new attraction this year is the National Comedy Center.... which opened last August.  However... he says people had to pre-register for those tours, and, they were limited in how many could be accomodated.  With that... the Center is completely booked for Doors Open.  In addition to the Comedy Center... Agett says the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet is one of the new attractions.


National Comedy Center finishes second in USA Today contest for Best New Attraction...
The National Comedy Center finished a close second out of 20 entities vying for USA Today's “Best New Attraction” in the country award.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson announced... over social media... that after spending some time in the lead spot.  While initally disappointed... Gunderson says she's "very proud, appreciative, and moved" with where they wound up.  She says the winning attraction in Tulsa, Oklahoma has a population of just under one-million people.  The "Gathering Place for Tulsa” is a free, $465-million, 100-acre public multi-park attraction with a 5-acre playground, lodge, boathouse, skate park, slide and water parks.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 18, 2019

A Winter storm with snow and the coldest air of the season is slated to be in the Jamestown-area by early this weekend....  

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday night for almost all of the upstate region.  In addition to temperatures around zero by Sunday, Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says we'll also see strong winds during the storm.  The National Weather Service says at this time, greater than six inches of snow is possible.


The top official with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says there were some good things for the business community in Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message... 

President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum said yesterday, that the positives include making the state's 2-percent Property Tax Cap permanent.  Tranum says the state needs to continue to mitigate taxes, including the fees on energy.  He says there are a lot of fees that have been added over the past several years.  The Chamber is pleased that Governor Cuomo continues to include funding for workforce investment programs.

 
A Jamestown woman and her juvenile passenger were arrested for drug possession during a traffic stop on Tuesday....  

State Police say 33 year-old Peggysue Goldsmith was pulled over for speeding on Interstate-86 in Stow and, while speaking to her, allegedly smell marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  A Trooper's K-9 Unit aided in the search of the car, which, found Goldsmith in possession of 29 hydrocodone pills and over 25-grams of marijuana on the unidentified juvenile's person.  Both were placed into custody and, Peggysue was released with an appearance ticket for North Harmony Town Court later in the month. while the child was issued a ticket for Chautauqua County Family Court. 


A Falconer woman was arrested for drug possession following a probation visit at her home Wednesday afternoon....  

Ellicott Town Police say they assisted Chautauqua County Probation officers at 33 year-old Alisha Zuck's residence at 2:15 PM.  Police say she was allegedly found in possession of a quantity of cocaine during the home visit and, she was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Zuck was issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 


There is a change in location for the new hospital that Brooks-TLC Hospital System wants to build in the North County area....  

The hospital system has announced that it is now considering a 30-acre site on East Main Street in the village of Fredonia.  Brooks President and Chief Executive Officer Mary LaRowe explains why they decided to make a change from the original proposed site on East Main Road in the Town of Pomfret.

LaRowe says there will not be any major changes to the new facility, she says the building will lay at a slightly different angle than was previously planned.  LaRowe says a groundbreaking is expected on the new site this spring and, the new hospital facility is now slated to open sometime in 2020.

 
A Rochester man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a car from a business on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott and, driving it to Rochester.....  

Ellicott Town Police say 25 year-old Steven Prescha allegedly stole the vehicle on January 9 and, the car was recovered the following day.  Officers say an arrest warrant was issued and, Presha was arrested by State Police in Rochester.  He's now being held in the Chautauqua County Jail pending further court action.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 17, 2019


A city man is jailed for allegedly being found in possession of... and, trafficking Heroin and Fentanyl on Jamestown's southside....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force -- and the State Police K-9 Team -- raided a home at 196 Barrett Avenue just before 11 p.m. Tuesday and, arrested 39 year-old Lynn Jackson, Junior.  Samuelson says they found 59 bags of Heroin and, less than a gram of Fentanyl, a powerful narcotic.

Often times, dealers will cut the Heroin with Fentanyl, many times with deadly consequences.  However, Samuelson says it's been some time since investigators last seized the drug during a bust.  He says they had been investigating Jackson for some time and, led to the search warrant being issued.  Samuelson says police were assisted by the department's SWAT Team in making entry to the home.  Jackson was arraigned and jailed without bail on charges of third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia.  

There was some positive news for the western Southern Tier in Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State and budget message....  

However, there were also some negatives with the governor's address Tuesday.  That from State Senator Cathy Young, who says  says she was pleased to see him add another one-billion dollars to fund public schools.  But, she's concerned about his plan to "micromanage" the way they use the money.  The Olean Republican adds that while she's also happy about funding for infrastructure upgrades, she feels downstate is getting the better end of the deal.

Young says she also likes the plan to continue a phased-in middle income tax cut.  But, on the negative side says says -- after serving on the Senate's panel addressing the opioid crisis, she opposes legalizing recreational marijuana.  She says there's already an issue with people drinking and driving and, Young says driving while under the influence of drugs is already becoming an issue and, adds there's also the feeling that pot is a "gateway drug." 


New York would adopt the most aggressive clean energy goal of any state under a plan from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that calls for 100 percent renewable energy by 2040.....  

The Democrat says the state can wean itself off of fossil fuels by relying on wind, solar, hydroelectric and nuclear power.  Cuomo had previously set the state's renewable energy goal at 50 percent by 2030, but officials now say the state can hit 75 percent by then.  Speaking on public radio Wednesday, Cuomo said New York has no choice but to move to entirely renewable energy because of the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions to address climate change.  Cuomo unveiled the proposal during his State of the State address on Tuesday. Lawmakers must approve the new goal.


Governor Andrew Cuomo touted a number of successes during the past year during his State of the State portion of Tuesday's address in Albany and, one was close to home....  

The governor mentioned the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, which he has strongly supported since it was proposed several years ago and, opened this past August.  He says visitors from 49 different states have already toured the center in it's first five months of operation.  The state invested about $14-million dollars from various economic development programs in the Comedy Center, which opened back on August 1st of last year.  The project cost nearly $50-million and, employs 38 people. 


A bi-partisan group of Congressional members met with President Trump yesterday afternoon, as a partial government shut-down went into it's 26th day...  

The A-P is reporting that seven Democratic members of the Problem Solver's Caucus took part in the meeting at the White House.  However, while there was some discussion, Democrats were insisting on reopening the government fully before there are discussions over border security.  Local Congressman Tom Reed, co-chairs the caucus.  He says the problem is Speaker Nancy Pelosi is as entrenched in her position as the president is.

The White House is saying that the meeting with the group, which includes 24 Republicans and 24 Democrats, went well.  Reed says they're only talking about adding another 230-miles or so of new wall and, replacing or repairing another just over 600 miles of wall and fencing.  Reed made his comments during this week's conference call wit Southern Tier Media.


The Chautauqua County Humane Society is asking for the community's help in giving the gift of sight back to a young cat, who undergoes surgery today. 

Community Relations Director Brian Papalia tells us that "Storm" is a one-year-old black cat who came to the shelter under "stormy circumstances."  Papalia says Humane Society Veterinarian Doctor Mark McConnon performed a corneal flap on Storm's left eye and a third-eyelid flap on his right eye to give him a chance to fight the infection and heal.  However, Papalia says the cat's left eye started showing signs it was not healing properly.  Animal Eye Care of Western New York has donated over half of the expenses for Storm's procedure, but Papalia says the shelter needs to raise $1,100.  Storm is currently in a foster home awaiting his trip to Depew for the surgery.  Brian says Storm is a friendly, loving cat that once his eyes are corrected, will be ready for a loving home.  For more information, or to help out, call the Humane Society at 665-2209 or visit SPCApets.com


A woman who's spent her career helping people achieve their goals has been named the Resource Center's Employee of the Year....  

Program Administrator, Beth Jermain, has worked at the agency for nearly 30 years, assisting people who have disabilities in getting jobs, obtaining housing and being successful in their lives.  The award for Excellence in Direct Care was given to Karen Williamson, who works at TRC's Fluvanna Day Treatment Center.  Two employees, Mark Morton of Jamestown and Karl Erb of  Mayville, were honored for 40 years of work at the Resource Center.  Over 130 others were recognized for between 5 and 35 years of employment.  The recognition event was held at the Celoron Harbor Hotel on Tuesday. 

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WJTN Bulletin for Wed., Jan 16, 2019

(Bulletin**)Fentanyl turns up in city drug bust Tuesday night...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of... and,trafficking Heroin and Fentanyl in the Jamestown-area.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force -- and the State Police K-9 Team -- raided a home at 196 Barrett Ave. just before 11 last night... and, arrested 39 year-old Lynn Jackson, Jr.  Samuelson says they found 59 bags of Heroin... and, less than a gram of Fentanyl... a powerful narcotic.  He says they also found some cash and suboxone strips.  Often times... dealers will cut the Heroin with Fentanyl... many times with deadly consequences.  However... Samuelson says it's been some time since investigators last seized the drug during a bust.  He says police were assisted by the department's SWAT Team in making entry to the home.  Jackson is being held pending arraignment on charges of third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Anyone with information on the case... or other illegal drug activity... is asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also contact JPD through their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 16, 2019

Jamestown police are asking for the public's help in finding an unidentified man who allegedly pulled over to talk with young school student on their way to Washington Middle School yesterday morning.....  

City police say the student told them that the white male pulled up near the intersection of Hotchkiss Street and, Dearing Avenue in a navy blue Sports Utility Vehicle, with white stripes about 8 a.m. and asked if the student could help him find his lost puppy.  Officers say the student ran into the school, and reported the situation.  Police are looking over suveillance video in that area and, are asking residents who have video systems and may have captured the vehicle on video to contact them.  The number is 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  You can also go to their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a long list of liberal and progressive measures he would like to put in place with the help of the state legislature this year.... 
 
Cuomo says he wants to ban the use of single-use plastic bags at stores across New York and add a 5-cent deposit to most non-alcoholic beverages not already included in the state's bottle bill.  The Democrat also wants to legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and over and, begin legalizing sports betting.

Cuomo laid out the initiatives as part of his $178-billion state budget proposal he presented to lawmakers on Tuesday in Albany.  His efforts to get a plastic bag ban passed last year was shot down by the then-Republican-controlled Senate.  His bottle bill expansion would include sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit and vegetable beverages, and ready-to-drink bottled tea and coffee.  Products such as dairy milk and infant formula would be exempted. 


Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address included a "very liberal, social agenda" for New York state.....  

That from local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who was in the audience for the address at an Albany theater.  Goodell says -- at the top -- is legalized recreational marijuana and sports betting.  He adds that Cuomo also wants abortion rights expanded and, more restrictions on guns.

Goodell says there were some initiatives from the governor that he liked, led by making the state's 2-percent property tax cap permanent.  He also likes a proposed, approximately 1.3-percent middle-income tax reduction.  Goodell adds that he also likes the fact the governor did include some additional campaign, and ethics reforms for the legislature to consider.


A few more details have been released regarding the governor's plan to legalized recreational marijuana for people 21 years of age and older....  

He also revealed prior to Tuesday's address that local governments will have the ability to "opt out."  Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, who has opposed the move, says he has outlined his concerns to area state lawmakers.

Borrello believes the governor and state legislators need to take a hard look at what's happening in states where pot is legal and look at what the impacts have been there, both intentional, and unintentionally.  Among those states that have already legalized recreational marijuana are Colorado, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Michigan.


Democratic U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has taken a major step toward announcing a presidential bid, saying she is launching an exploratory committee for a White House run....  

The 52-year-old New York resident said Tuesday on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert": "It's an important first step and it's one I am taking because I am going to run."  Gillibrand joins what is expected to be a crowded primary field for the Democratic nomination that could include more than a dozen candidates.  Already, Gillibrand has plans to travel to the leadoff caucus state of Iowa later this week.  She also has more than $10.5 million left over from her 2018 re-election campaign that she can use toward a presidential run.


Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive budget includes measures to combat litter, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and protect the environment.... 

On Sunday, the governor's office announced that his 2019 Executive Budget will also include a proposal to ban all single-use plastic bags.  According to Jessica Ottney Mahar with The Nature Conservancy in New York, environmentalists are excited about the governor's commitment to the environment, but the devil's in the details.

Mahar says some areas of New York already are discouraging plastic bags by charging consumers a small fee for each bag. She says imposing a ban is a good first step, followed by incentivizing people to start using reusable bags. Cuomo introduced plastic-bag-ban legislation last year but it failed to clear the state Senate. With Democrats in control of the Senate this year, the chances of a bill passing have improved.


A Jamestown man is charged with multiple felonies for unlawfully receiving over $3,000 of unemployment benefits....  

State police say they received a report from the New York State Department of Labor last Friday, claiming that 42 year-old Daniel MaGee allegedly received the benefits over a nearly five-month period while being employed.  MaGee was released with appearance tickets for third-degree insurance fraud and 10 counts of first-degree falsifying business records.


Quick action by Dunkirk firefighters prevented a fire at a church from getting out of hand last weekend....  

Officials say city fire crews were called to the Assembly of Christian Church at 316 Eagle Street just after 6 PM.  They say there was an unattended pot that caught fire on a stove in the basement kitchen.  Crews were able to quickly contain the blaze.  Nobody was inside the church at the time, and there were no injuries reported.  The building did sustain minor smoke damage.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 15, 2019

The Sherman man who pled guilty to accidently shooting and killing a neighbor in a hunting accident in November 2017 will serve one to three years in state prison...
  
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says County Court Judge David Foley sentenced 33-year-old Thomas Jadlowski to the indeterminate term in the death of 43-year-old Rosemary Billquist yesterday.  Swanson says the plea and sentence comes after much discussion with the victim's husband, Jamie Billquist.

Jadlowski pleaded guilty last October to criminally negligent homicide hunting after hours.  He told investigators that he mistook the woman for a deer.  Rosemary Billquist was struck in the hip and later died from her injuries at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Swanson offered his heartfelt condolences to the family, calling it a "senseless tragedy."  Swanson also says he hopes the tragedy serves as a reminder that hunting with guns carries an expansive set of responsibilities that are to protect people. 

 
Two men from Pennsylvania are jailed in Jamestown after being found with weapons after one allegedly led police on a 20-mile vehicle pursuit....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers stopped the car -- driven by 27 year-old Kyle South of Bradford -- for a traffic violation at East Second and North Main Streets about 1:30 a.m. Monday.  Samuelson says the other man -- 33 year-old Brett Kinney of New Castle -- got out of the car and, South took off with police in pursuit onto Route 60, then 62 to the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County line.  He says officers found South was wanted on a warrant in McKean County.

Samuelson says it's the second incident in which they have found loaded guns in the past two days.  Samuelson says South faces a slew of charges, including Fugutive from Justice and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Kinney is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon after allegedly being found with a set of brass knuckles.  Both are being held in the city jail pending arraignment.


Child molestation victims are demanding that New York state lawmakers pass the long-stalled Child Victims Act within 30 days....  

Several abuse survivors came to Albany Monday to urge quick action on the bill, which would extend statutes of limitations to give victims more time to seek criminal charges or sue their abusers.  The act would also create a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits now barred by the statute of limitations.  The act was blocked for years by Senate Republicans, but with Democrats now in charge it should pass.  The Catholic Church argues it will be financially devastating.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to include the act in the state budget, due in April.  A spokesman said Monday that Cuomo will sign it sooner if it passes before that.


City lawmakers got their first, in-depth look at a major, $31-million downtown lower-income housing project to provide safe and affordable housing for qualified residents..... 

The City Council's Housing Committee heard last night about the Gateway Lofts project, which is slated for about 200,000 square feet of the current Gateway Center on Water Street.  Committee Chairwoman Vickye James says the facility would house families and individuals who need services that would be provided there.  However, James says she is concerned about one floor having single-parent families, and the one just above having non-violent drug offenders.

James adds, though, that she likes the concept of the project.  She says there would be 38 second-floor apartments for lower-income families and, permanent, single-family housing on the second floor through the YWCA of Jamestown.  James says there would be another 25 apartments for non-violent drug offenders, and those with drug and mental health issues on the fourth-floor.  The YWCA and Southern Tier Environments for Living -- or STEL -- have received five-year grants totaling just over one-million dollars per year for the project.


Chautauqua County's top elected official says he has concerns about Governor Andrew Cuomo's renewed effort to ban all single-use plastic bags in New York State....  
Cuomo has announced the proposal, along with the expansion of the bottle bill as part of his budget message.  County Executive George Borrello says he understands that plastic bags are a pollution concern, but he feels the state needs do more homework before proposing a ban.

Borrello is concerned about the impact that such a ban could have on businesses.  Meanwhile, he doesn't have a problem with the governor's call for expanding the New York's Bottle Bill to make most non-alcoholic drink containers eligible for five-cent redemption.


A Kennedy man is held pending arraignment following a sexual offense in Jamestown last Saturday....

City police say they responded to a Front Street residence for the incident and, spoke with the 43 year-old female victim, who advised officers that 69 year-old Jack Emerson allegedly touched her intimate areas and prevented her from leaving.  Emerson was later found at his home in Kennedy by State Police and, taken to the Jamestown City Jail on charges of second-degree unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. 

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News Bulletin for Mon., Jan. 14, 2019

(**Bulletin) Jadlowski sentenced to 1 to 3 years in hunting accident that killed Sherman woman...
A hunter from Chauauqua County has been sentenced to one to three years in prison for accidentally killing a neighbor he mistook for a deer.  County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 33 year-old Thomas Jadlowski was sentenced today in County Court.  Jadlowski pleaded guilty in October to criminally negligent homicide and hunting after sunset.  Authorities say Jadlowski shot Rose Billquist with a high-powered hunting pistol as she walked her dogs in fields behind her rural Sherman home on Thanksgiving eve in 2017.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 14, 2019

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly firing two shots from a pistol at another person during a fight on Jamestown's eastside early last Saturday morning....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the area of 45 Franklin Street about 1:30 a.m., and, soon learned that the suspect -- 34 year-old Desimon Elston -- had run from the scene into the home at 55 Franklin.  Howeve, Samuelson says Elston was taken into custody without incident in a neighboring yard.  Police then got a search warrant for 45 Franklin and, found the 45-caliber pistol allegedly used.  The other person was not hurt.  Elston was arraigned on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and sent to the county lock-up.  More charges are expected. If you have any information on the incident, call the JPD anonymous Tipline at 483-TIPS.


A man from Mayville is being held without bail for Felony drunk driving and drug-possession charges following a raid on his Potter Road home late last week.... 
 
Sheriff's deputies say they also found a growing marijuana plant when they took 31 year-old Casey Monroe into custody last Thursday night.  Officers say they found Monroe in possession of a quantity of marijuana, and suboxone during the raid.  He was arraigned on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, Growing of the plant known as cannabis without license and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.


There remains no end in sight for the partial government shut-down, which is now into a record 24th day....  

With that, many services are not being provided and, the federal workers involved are not being paid.  Chautauqua County's Congressman, Tom Reed, says the good news is that about 75-percent of the government remains open.  However, those approximately 800,000 workers involved are not being paid.  Reed says there are impacts on several services, including airports and other transportation.

President Trump didn't drop any more hints last weekend on when he might declare an national emergency to get money for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.  He's also not saying what his strategy to end the partial government shutdown might be.  Reed recently noted that there are still the makings of a deal if the two sides would talk.  He feels border security, and the the DACA issue should all be on the table.  Many border security and TSA workers are not being paid but, many are still working at this time.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to raise the state's minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarette products from 18 to 21 -- to curb their use by younger people....  

Cuomo announced Saturday that he will include the proposal in his 2019 executive budget.  The legislation would ban sale of tobacco and electronic cigarette products in pharmacies, restrict their display in retail stores that are not adult-only and require that e-cigarettes be sold only by licensed retailers.  The governor says New York has made "great strides" to stamp out teen smoking, but new products threaten to undo the progress.  Cuomo also wants to clarify the health department's authority to ban the sale of certain flavored e-cigarette liquids, except menthol, that could be popular as a smoking starter product for youth.


The organization that represents New York's school boards is urging state lawmakers to not abandon the Foundation Aid formula... but, fully fund it....  

That comes in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo's claim that the main "base" aid program is antiquated and doesn't work.  Executive Director Tim Kreamer with the New York State School Boards Association says the formula has been the best way to identify the cost to educate each student.  He says -- right now -- the state legislature agrees.

Kreamer says, though, it's not clear how hard the legislature will fight the governor on fully-funding Foundation Aid.  However, they'll have a good idea when Cuomo presents his budget on Tuesday.  Many local school officials have said they would rather see all aid be doled out as Foundation Aid.  The formula was created in 2007 in response to the state losing a lawsuit to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity.  


Media One's Dennis Webster has won a statewide award for agricultural reporting....  

The annual 'Cap Creal Awards' were presented late last week at the New York Agricultural Society meeting in Syracuse.  Dennis' award winning program was a 2018 'Farm Bureau Radio Show' that summarized the first ever 'Concord Grape Summit'... held at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield in April.  The Creal awards are named for Harold 'Cap' Creal, a depression-era farmer from Central New York, who went on to become a state assemblyman, and Director of the New York State Fair.  Dennis was nominated for the honor by Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County.


Lawmakers in New York are poised to overhaul the state's antiquated election laws in an effort to raise low voter turnout rates....  

The most significant change up for a vote in the state Senate and Assembly on Monday would allow voters to cast a ballot up to 10 days before an election.  Most states already allow early voting, but bills authorizing it in New York were long blocked by Republicans in the Senate.  With Democrats now in charge, the change is expected to pass easily.  Lawmakers also plan to vote to allow voter registration on Election Day, and to consolidate what are now multiple state and local primaries to a single date.  New York was among the worst 10 states for turnout in both the 2016 and 2018 elections.


Multiple people tell The Associated Press that Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is looking at Troy, New York, as a potential headquarters for a 2020 presidential bid....  

They cautioned that the decision is not yet final and spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly.  Gillibrand's team eyeing Troy, which is 150 miles north of Manhattan, is the strongest signal yet that the New York senator will soon enter the presidential race.  If Gillibrand enters the race, she will join what is expected to be a historically large field, and one that could include many of her Senate colleagues.  Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has already formed an exploratory committee and is moving quickly with trips across the landscape of early primary states.
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 12, 2019

Advocates of Child Victims Act to be in Albany Monday to support bill...
Supporters of the long-stalled Child Victims Act are coming to the state Capitol to rally support.  The proposal, known as the Child Victims Act, would give victims more time to seek criminal charges or file lawsuits against their abusers... and, it would open a one-year window for victims to file lawsuits now barred by the statute of limitations.  Monday's rally by abuse survivors comes as the bill appears poised for passage.  The act was blocked for years by Senate Republicans, but with Democrats now in charge it's expected to pass easily.  The Catholic Church warns that the one-year litigation window could have crippling financial effects.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday he will insert the bill in his state budget proposal, a move intended to improve its chances of passing.


Dixon says much physical work being completed on new Athenex Project in Dunkirk...
Progress is continuing to be made on the Athenex plant site located on Route 5 in the town of Dunkirk.  Chief Financial Officer Rich Dixon with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency gave an update on the project Friday.  Dixon says the plant, which will manufacture biopharmaceutical product, continues to take shape.  He says the steel is almost completely up on the 320,000 square foot structure, along with half of the roof, and some siding is on.  Dixon says they are pretty much on schedule, due in part to mild weather this Winter.  Dixon says Athenex officials have also begun recruiting efforts to fill some of the positions.  He says they have been doing that in the lead-up to the start of production in early 2020.  Governor announced the $225-million project in February of 2016.


Jamestown-area man arrested for trying to forge VIN number for limousine...
A West Ellicott man has been arrested for allegedly falsifying the vehicle identification number on a limosine that he had recently purchased.  City police say they investigated the case involving 56 year-old Jon Golden for two months with the Field Investigation Unit for the state Department of Motor Vehicles.  City investigators say Golden is accused of buying the 2011 Lincoln Limousine... but in trying to register it... found there was a lien against it.  He then allegedly purchased a similar vehicle from a Pennsylvania salvage yard... and, removed the VIN Plate... and, attached it to the Lincoln Limo.  Golden turned himself in... and, was charged with four Felony counts.. including two counts of forgery of a VIN number.  He was held for arraignment.


Teresi says "devil is in the details" of plans to make state's Property Tax Cap permanent...
The new leader of the New York State Senate says she supports making the state's 2-percent property tax cap permanent during the 2019 session.  However... Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says the "devil is in the details" when it comes to how he feels about it.  Teresi says his first concern is whether it will be a "hard cap..." or one that is based on what is currently done.  The cap currently factors in such things as inflation... and, has been as low as a 1/2-percent cap.  He says it should also be evenly applied between local muncipalities and school districts.  Teresi says there are a number of exclusions for school districts that do capital spending.  He also wonders if state aid will be boosted to help deal with typically underfunded areas such as highway projects and upgrades.  New Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said this week she supports legislation to make the property tax cap -- proposed several years ago by Governor Andrew Cuomo -- permanent.


Cuomo proposes longer Firearms Background Checks...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he wants to extend the background check waiting period for firearm purchase from three days to 10 days.  The Democrat announced the proposal late Thursday.  It's just one of several bills relating to firearm regulations that Cuomo says he'll ask the Legislature to pass within the first 100 days of the 2019 session.  Cuomo is also pushing legislation that would authorize teachers and school administrators to ask a judge to evaluate a child they believe is a threat to themselves or others.  The judge could then order the confiscation of firearms in the child's home.  Similar proposals have failed before, but prospects for the bills have improved now that Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature. 


State School Boards Assoc. calling for APPR Evaluation reforms...
The organization that represents school boards across New York state is pushing reforms it wants to see in legislation to improve the system for evaluating teachers and principals.  The New York State School Boards Association has announced five "key principles" to reform the state's Annual Professional Performance Review system.  Association Director Tim Kreamer they want to see the requirement to use state tests in student performance eliminated... while still allowing districts to do that if they want to.  Kreamer says the school boards group would also like to see the aid penalty on districts that are not able to adopt an APPR plan by the state-imposed deadline.  He adds they also want "one-size fits all" evalutions eliminated for successful teachers, and others.  He says... after three consecutive ratings of "effective" or "highly-effective..." a teacher or principal should not have to be evaluated each year.  Kreamer says they also want to eliminate the need for "Independent" outside evaluations.... and, not have to expand collective bargaining obligations beyond what's already in place. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 11, 2019

The top-elected official in Chautauqua County says he's ready to work closely with two citizen groups as he begins his second year in office....  

County Executive George Borrello has announced that he has established a Citizens Advisory Commission that will include active residents of the county who are not affiliated directly with county government.  Borrello adds that Fredonia's Mike Ferguson, who ran against him in 2017, will chair the group.  Borrello adds that the county... and, it's Industrial Development Agency, are working to develop a Countywide Economic Development Strategy that will include formation of an Economic Development Alliance.

Back to the Citizen's Advisory group, Borrello says it will serve as focus group to give him feedback on ideas, new initiatives and county policies.  He hopes to have the Economic Development Alliance up and running by sometime later in 2019.


Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe will be spending another five years as the head of the district.... 

During Tuesday night's Board of Education meeting, the panel unanimously approved authorizing Board President Paul Abbott to enter into a contract amendment with the Superintendent -- reportedly for a two-year extention.  In a printed release, Abbott -- who signed the contract -- says it's "an acknowledgement of the positive things Dr. Apthorpe has done.... and, an endorsement of the plans he has in place for the future of our district."  Under the new agreement, Dr. Apthorpe's contract will now run through June 30th, 2023. 


A recommendation by a county commission to work to combine the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force is something city officials will consider....  


But, Mayor Sam Teresi says they won't do it at the expense of the "highly-concentrated" effort city police have been able to take with the unit in the immediate Jamestown-area.  Teresi is responding to a recommendation by County Executive George Borrello's new Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation.

Teresi says the big advantage of having the local task force is it's not spread out over the larger county area.  The Metro Drug Task Force has shown tremendous results, with several significant busts, and arrests made during vehicle stops.  Teresi says the aggressive yet "balanced" approach has helped reduce overall crime.  During the height of the local Opioid Drug Crisis, city police estimated that 90-percent of the local crimes were drug-related.  With that, the city decided to set up it's own task force several years ago.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will deliver his state of the state address and unveil his budget proposal next Tuesday in Albany....  

The Democrat is expected to detail proposals to legalize marijuana, codify abortion rights and impose congestion tolls on Manhattan as a way to raise money for aging subways.  Cuomo also says he'll suggest new ethics rules to crack down on corruption.  As part of the state of the state, he'll unveil his proposed state budget for the next fiscal year.  Lawmakers hope to pass a new budget by April 1st. The 61-year-old began his third term this month.  Members of the Legislature began the 2019 session on Wednesday.   Democrats now control both the Senate and Assembly, raising the prospects for several long-blocked liberal priorities.


Two Jamestown residents were arrested during a traffic stop on the highway last Sunday.... 

State Police say they pulled over 19 year-old Lastar Farmer on Interstate-86 in Jamestown for a traffic violation and, allegedly smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search revealed his passenger -- 25 year-old Sierra Swanson -- was in possession of a bag containing pot. Troopers say a check of Farmer's driving record revealed two  active suspensions. Both are scheduled to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 

A Forestville man faces DWI charges after state police allegedly found him unconscious behind the wheel early Thursday.....  

Troopers out of Fredonia say they responded to a call of a running, illegally parked vehicle on Bard Road, where they located 22 year-old Jesse Borrello.  Borrello reportedly regained consciousness with the Troopers’ assistance, and was placed under arrest after failing several sobriety tests. While in custody, he provided a breath sample of 0.17. Borrello was released with an appearance ticket for Pomfret Town Court later in the month. 


Legislation aimed at prohibiting convicted elected officials from continuing to use their campaign funds from prison is being introduced in Albany....  

State Senator Todd Kaminsky says his measure being introduced this week would target "zombie accounts" used by convicted officials to support other political campaigns and pay lawyers' bills.  Kaminsky's legislation also would require convicted elected officials to close their campaign funds within two years.  The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by fellow Long Island Democrat Judy Griffin.  Their measure would require elected officials convicted of felonies to return contributions or donate them to charity, the New York state or city university system, or the state's general fund.  Current state law requires that the campaign accounts of deceased elected officials be closed within two years of their death.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly bilking Chautauqua County's public assistance program out of $1,500 worth of benefits....  

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 25 year-old Marvin Colon-Dones Thursday morning for allegedly being employed while receiving the benefits between January 1st of 2017 and August 31st of 2017.  Colon-Dones is charged with fourth-degree welfare fraud, misuse of Food Stamps and, fourth-degree Grand Larceny.  He's to appear in Jamestow City Court at a later date.  To report suspected welfare fraud, call the county's Welfare Fraud Hotline at 1-800-388-5365.


The new Democratic leader of the New York state Senate says she wants to make a cap on local property tax increases permanent..... 

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers announced her support Wednesday, the first day of the 2019 session and Stewart-Cousins' first day as the Senate's top lawmaker. Republicans and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo already support legislation that would eliminate the need to periodically extend the cap, which is set at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.  First imposed in 2012, the cap restricts how much local governments can increase property taxes without a special vote by local officials, or, in the case of schools, a vote by local residents. It was created as a way to encourage local governments to become more efficient.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 10, 2019

Lake effect snow will be belting portions of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties through Thursday.  A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 6 pm Thursday.  That from Forecaster John Rozbicki from the National Weather Service in Buffalo....

Rozbicki says additional snow accumulations of two to four inches are possible in the most persistent lake snows.  He says gusty winds will also be a problem, with northwest winds at 30 to 40 MPH at times.  The hazardous conditions will impact both this evening commute and the drive to work and school.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office reports a number of minor accidents and cars off the road.  They urge people to slow down and drive with caution.


With real Winter weather back in Chautauqua County, motorists are being reminded to change their driving habits to deal with the conditions...  

That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone, who says motorists should take their time when driving in snowy conditions.

Quattrone says make sure the plan ahead when driving in Wintery conditions.  In fact, he says make sure to include some blankets, and water with you... and have a full tank of gas.  He says the weather can change quickly, and drivers need to be prepared.  Quattrone says roads are snow covered and slippery, so drive slower, and leave enough time to stop your vehicle.

 
Millions of dollars in additional state funding is available for expanding addiction treatment services across New York......  

Governor Andrew Cuomo says up to $10 million will support development of dozens of new withdrawal and stabilization or residential treatment beds. The Democrat says the funding is being administered by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The money will be distributed through a request-for-applications process.  State-approved withdrawal and stabilization programs are medically supervised. They offer medical assessment, information about recovery support, clinical services and medication to manage withdrawal symptoms. State officials say residential services programs offer three key elements of treatment: stabilization, rehabilitation and reintegration.  The state has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years on programs dealing with the ongoing opioid epidemic.


New York lawmakers are kicking off their 2019 session, a six-month work period expected to be dominated by debates about marijuana legalization, congestion tolls in Manhattan and making it easier to vote....  

Leadership was installed for the session and, local Assemblyman Andy Goodell will again have a prominant role for Minority Republicans in the lower chamber.  Goodell will again be floor leader for the caucus.

The GOP Minority Leader will again be Canandaigua's Brian Kolb and Democrat Carl Heastie will again be Assembly Speaker.  However, the Majority Leader will be Crystal Peebles-Stokes from Buffalo.  In the Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins will formally take over as leader following big Democratic gains in last fall's elections.  The Yonkers Democrat is the first woman to lead a legislative chamber in New York.  Democratic control of both chambers has raised the prospects for several bills that were blocked by Republicans when they held the Senate.


A city man was arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly threatening a person with a hammer....  

Jamestown police responded to West 6th Street shortly after 4 a.m. for the report of a male being hit with a hammer.  Further investigation revealed 48 year-old Johnny Nunez-senior allegedly threatened the victim with the tool, putting the person in fear for his life.  He was taken to the city jail without incident, pending arraignment on one count of second-degree menacing. 


The Chautauqua County Humane Society's annual "Hot Dogs and Cool Cats" pet photo contest is now underway....  

Community Relations Director Brian Papalia tells us that taking part in their 11 th contest is as easy as uploading your pet's photo for free by following the link on their website.  Brian says the contest is an 'essential' fundraiser for the shelter, which helps pets awaiting adoption.

Papalia says the final step is to encourage friends and family to vote for your pet's photo, as the 23 photos with the most votes will appear on at least two cards in a deck of playing cards.  Each vote is one-dollar apiece with a minimum of five votes, but you can vote as many times as you like.  The Hot Dogs and Cool Cats contest runs through the month, ending at 10 p.m. on February 1st.  For more information, contact Brian at 665-2209 or visit SPCAPets.com.


The city of Jamestown has been awarded a grant to help in the development of a second skate park in the city...  

Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley confirms this morning that Jamestown has been selected to receive a matching grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation.  Ciesla-Hanley says the funding will be between $50,000 and $250,000 and would match the amount the city is able to raise.  She says the new skate park will be constructed near the Parks Department garage, which is located near the underpass at the Sixth Street Bridge.  A more formal announcement is to be made later this month.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 9, 2019

The Jamestown-area received a lot of rain Tuesday... and, is now seeing snow showers with snowfall rates of more than an inch an hour during the day today....  


Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said yesterday that a strong, low-pressure system will cause a change-over from rain to snow.

Kelly says a Winter Storm Warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Thursday night, with 6 to 12 inches of Lake Effect snowfall expected in the more persistant snow areas.  He says the immediate Jamestown-area could see between 7 and 9 inches.  Kelly says we'll see the most snow during daytime hours, along with winds gusting as a high as 40 mph, which may cause difficult travel conditions and areas of blowing snow. 


Three teenagers from the Randolph Children's Home have been arrested for allegedly stealing a Randolph Central School Bus that was later recovered in Jamestown Monday morning....  

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say the teens, a 17 and 16 year-old boys and, a 14 year-old girl, had run-away from the home, and broke into the school and bus garage early Monday morning.  Deputies say all three were arrested without incident and, charged with two counts of third-degree burglary, one count of second-degree grand larceny and, one of third-degree criminal mischief.  The 17 year-old is being held in the Cattaraugus County Jail on $5,000 bail.  The 16 and 14 year-olds were sent to a youth detention facility.


Chautauqua County's Congressman believes President Trump was able to fully lay-out his reasons for building a border wall to address what he calls a "crisis" at the nation's southern border...  

Republican Representative Tom Reed says the extremes on both sides of the political aisle are controlling the debate right now and, he said during his speech last night, President Trump needed to show leadership, and reach out to lawmakers on each side.

The president used his first prime-time, Oval Office address to state his case.  He did not -- though -- talk about declaring a national emergency to move forward without Congressional approval.  Senate Democrat Joe Mancin spoke yesterday morning about revisiting the Immigration Reform Act of 2013 as a compromise.  Reed says that's among the possibilities, along with legislation that the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's Caucus has done regarding border security, and resolving the DACA issue.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the nation's capital to meet with the state's Congressional delegation...  

The Democrat's visit began on Tuesday and, comes after the start of a new Congress in which Democrats control the House of Representatives.  Cuomo has called on Democrats in Washington to fight Republicans and President Donald Trump when it comes to their proposals for immigration, taxes and the environment.  The governor is expected to be back in Albany today, which is the start of the 2019 legislative session.  New York has 27 members in the House.  Twenty-one are Democrats and six are Republicans.


Property owners in the town of Westfield are being asked to disregard their tax bills that were mailed out late last week due to a printing error...  

The Chautauqua County Department of Real Property Tax says new county and town tax bills will be printed on yellow pape... and mailed to town of Westfield residents this week.  For further information... property owners may visit the Town of Westfield website at westfieldny-dot-COM/town-westfield/town-westfield and corrected tax information will be uploaded no later than Thursday on the County Department of Real Property Tax website at co.chautauqua.ny.us/349/Real-Property-Tax .

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 8, 2018

A Jamestown man has been arrested for an alleged road rage incident on the city's southside in which he chopped into the hood of the victim's vehicle with a hatchet....  


City Police say 19 year-old Jacob Slade allegedly drove after a vehicle that turned in front of him from the Arterial to Prather Avenue about 11:30 a.m. Monday.  Officers say Slade then chased the second vehicle, and, cut it off at the intersection of Prather and Hazzard Street.  Police say Slade then got out of the vehicle holding a hatchet, then struck the car's hood, causing about $1,500 damage.  The victim was able to photograph Slade's license plate and, his car was later found in the village of Falconer.  Slade was arrested for Felony criminal mischief, and second-degree menacing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Some 10 people have expressed an interest in being appointed by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi to fill the City Council seat vacated at the end of 2018 by Vanessa Weinert...  

Teresi says, in the past, he has not found a lot of interest in filling vacant seats for either political party.  But, he says this time he's been pleasantly surprised by the interested shown in replacing Weinert, who was an at-large Democrat.

Teresi will not say who is seeking the appointment to fill the slot but, says there are both male and female candidates with very diverse backgrounds.  Since Weinert was an "at-large" member, he says there is only one main requirement he needs to be concerned with at this point and, that is the charter requirement that the person be registered as a member of the same political party as the person who resigned.  Teresi says he has been talking with some councilmembers about the potential appointees to get their feedback on the appointment.  He says he hopes to make a decision soon that can be voted on January 28th. 


State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is back in Albany for the start of the 2019 legislative session, hoping to moderate what appears to be a very liberal and progressive agenda facing them...  

The Jamestown-area Republican says the GOP Caucus will meet today in advance of Wednesday's start to the new session.  Goodell says there is real concern among the GOP with Democrats in control of both the Assembly and Senate this year.  Especially with regards to possibly legalizing recreational marijuana.

Goodell says he's also concerned about a push to legalize sports betting, something allowed through a federal court decision last year.  He says sports betting is currently prohibited by the state constitution.  He also has concern about another piece of legislation proposed before, the Farm Labor Bill, which he says could be "devastating" to local farmers.  For the first time in a decade, Democrats will control both chambers of the legislature as well as the governor's office.  Goodell will again be Assembly Minority Pro Temp during the coming session.


A broad coalition of good government groups and locally elected officials are urging New York state lawmakers to make changes to the state's antiquated voting laws a priority in the new year.....  

The group includes more than 175 advocacy groups focused on the environment, immigration and housing issues, as well as unions, faith groups and dozens of local municipal officials.  They back proposals to authorize early voting and ease registration rules as a way to encourage turnout.  They also want lawmakers to strengthen campaign finance laws.  The group held a rally at the state Capitol on Monday, two days before lawmakers begin the 2019 session.  Similar proposals have failed in the past, but supporters are optimistic after Democrats wrested control of the Senate from Republicans in last fall's elections.


A Dunkirk teenager has been arrested for allegedly leading Sheriff's officers on a short vehicle person and, was found with two hand-guns and a quantity of cocaine.....  
Deputies say they tried to stop 18 year-old Alan Wasserman-Vega on Doughty Street about 5 a.m. Saturday for an alleged traffic infraction.  However, they say Wasserman-Vega failed to comply and, led police on a brief chase.  He stopped in front of a local business and, tried to flee on foot.  However, he was apprehended and, police found the guns and drugs.  Wasserman-Vega was arraigned on charges of second and third-degree criminal possession of a Weapon and, seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a controlled substance.  He was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $40,000 cash bail.


Jamestown High School senior, Sofia Isabella, has taken the top spot in a prestigous state-wide oratory contest and, will compete in the VFW's Voice of Democracy speech competition....  

It attracts some 40,000 entrants from across the nation each year and, pays $30,000 to the winner.  Sofia tapped into her immigrant heritage for the inspiration for her winning speech. In addition to a trip to the national competition in Washington in March, Sofia will receive a $500 scholarship for winning the New York state contest, and will go with her family to a VFW event in Albany in June.  Sofia also works as an announcer here at the Media One Group of radio stations.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 7, 2018

Two people from Sherman have been arrested following a traffic stop in Panama early last weekend and Sheriff's deputies found illegal drugs in their possession.... 
 
Officers say they pulled over the car, driven by 22 year-old Darian Leech, on East Main Street, last Friday night.  Upon further investigation, they found that that Leech and her passenger, 19 year-old Benjamin Troyer, were in possession of about two-grams of methamphetamine, marihuana, drug packaging material, and several scales.  Both Leech and Troyer were taken into custody and charged with fifth and seventh-degree Criminal Possession of controlled substance, Criminally using drug paraphernalia... endangering the welfare of a child 2nd, and unlawful possession of marihuana.  Both ere arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail.


Proposals to legalize recreational marijuana, authorize sports betting and impose new tolls on drivers in Manhattan are just some of the top issues facing New York lawmakers as they return to Albany for their 2019 session....  

The work gets underway Wednesday when lawmakers convene at the state Capitol.  For the first time in a decade, Democrats will control the Assembly, Senate and governor's office.  And for the first time, the Senate will be led by a woman -- Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers.  While marijuana is likely to loom large on the agenda, lawmakers will also take up proposals to overhaul voting rules, codify abortion rights and give molestation victims more time to sue their abusers.


The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts started the new year in a big way, with the first movie sellout in the modern history of the theater....  

Len Barry, Marketing Director for the Reg, said over 1,100 people filled the theater Saturday night for the movie 'Bohemian Rhapsody' -- the story of Freddie Mercury and the band Queen.  Barry says showing the popular movie early in the year while people are still home for the holidays was the right combination.  'Bohemian Rhapsody' took a couple of major Golden Globe awards Sunday night. The next movie at the Reg will be 'Boy Erased' this Wednesday.  The first major 'live' event of 2019 will be 'Avner the Eccentric: Exceptions to Gravity' on January 26th.  The public is invited to see all the recent renovations at the Reg during Doors Open Jamestown on January 19th.  


Jamestown Community College is adding a new dimension to its USA scholarship program.... 

'Unified Student Assistance' has traditionally offered free tuition to students on an academic track, looking to transfer for a four year school.  JCC's new President, Dr. Daniel DeMarte says they are adding a 'workforce readiness' component for students who are headed directly into the job market.  Students seeking the 'Workforce Readiness Scholarship' will need a recommendation from BOCES or a tech high school... and a reference from a member of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier.  Winners of the 'Workforce Readiness' awards will be allowed broader use of the funds to keep them in school, including for textbooks, transportation and child care.  Dr. DeMarte has just finished his first semester as President of JCC and says they are taking a full look at the school's academic and athletic offerings and want to go from 30 international students to 100 in the next three years.  


If you haven't had a chance to vote on the "Best New Attraction" in a poll by USA Today, you have just a few hours left to vote for the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.... 

Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the Comedy Center topped the rankings before they went "dark" a few days ago.  Gunderson says it's important for local residents to be involved because it's usually the locals who help decide these kinds of contests.

Gunderson says the Comedy Center is one of 10 new attractions in the running for this year's title.  She says the rankings appear to have gone dark to avoid influencing the final standings.  Gunderson says winning the competition would be a great boost to them, their 38 employees -- and the western New York region.  She says having such publicity in early 2019 is critical, because this is the time of year that people begin making their travel plans for Spring and Summer vacations.  Voting runs through Noon today and, you can go on-line at ComedyCenter-dot-ORG to cast your vote. 


A veteran of the New York State Police has been named the new superintendent of the organization....  

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced early last weekend that he has nominated Keith Corlett to lead the department.  Corlett had been a deputy superintendent with the State Police and has more than 30 years of experience at the agency.  He has worked in patrol and investigative divisions in addition to executive management.  He replaces current Superintendent George Beach, who is retiring.  Cuomo announced several other personnel changes on Friday, including the nomination of former Cuomo Chief of Staff Linda Lacewell as the new superintendent of the state Department of Financial Services.  The nominations require Senate confirmation.


The state's Department of Taxation and Finance is getting out the word about changes in the School Tax Relief -- or STAR Program for 2019...  

The agency is reminding property owners age 65 and over who are applying or reapplying to receive the Enhanced STAR exemption in 2019 that they must now enroll in the Income Verification Program.  Clerk of the Board of Assessors in Dunkirk, Tom Mleczko, says the change will help streamline the system.

Mleczko says you will still have to come into the office to enroll in the program, but once you do so, it will become automatic.  He says there are a couple of forms that have to be filled out.  In the first year of enrollment, the assessor will verify eligibility based on the income information provided by the homeowner.  In subsequent years, the State Tax Department will automatically verify eligibility.  Dunkirk city property owners age 65 and over have until May 1st to enroll in IVP.   Other towns in the area have until March 1st.


Farm tractors and other slow-moving vehicles will be allowed to travel a little faster on New York roads under a new law...  

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation that raises the speed at which slow-moving vehicles can travel from 25 miles per hour to 35 mph.  Farm vehicles and construction equipment must have orange triangular signs indicating that they are slow-moving vehicles.  The measure was sponsored by state Senator Pam Helming, a Republican from Canandaigua in Ontario County, and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, a Democrat from Round Lake in Saratoga County.  The lawmakers say the new legislation was needed because construction equipment and farm tractors are being designed to travel at speeds higher than 25 mph.  The New York Farm Bureau endorsed the measure, which goes into effect in the spring.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat. Jan. 5, 2019

Flanigan enters treatment program for alcohol addiction issue...
The Republican minority leader of the New York state Senate will miss the start of the 2019 legislative session to get help with alcohol dependency.  Senator John Flanagan first announced that he had sought help with his drinking back in 2017 and said Friday that he recognized he needed additional help.  Local State Senator Cathy Young... one of the minorities leaders... says "it takes great courage and strength to recognize when an addiction has a dangerous grip on one’s life and to seek outside help in combatting the problem."  Senator Joseph Griffo will lead the Republicans in the Senate when the session begins Wednesday.  Flanagan is expected back in a few weeks.


Borrello respondes to Empire Center report on job losses in Chautauqua County over past 10 years...
Chautauqua County lost the second-largest percentage of private sector jobs in New York state between 2008 and 2018.  That from a recent study by the Empire Center of New York... which shows the county lost 13.2-percent of it's workforce during that 10 year stretch.  County Executive George Borrello is not disputing those figures... but, adds there are a number of factors -- or "scapegoats" involved here... starting with the "Great Recession" in 2008.  He says, though, further job losses will be over lack of a skilled workforce... and, he says that's why he and his administration are focusing on that.  Borrello says some of the other factors involved in job losses have been high taxes... and loss of population.  The highest rate of jobloss was seen in rural Delaware County in Eastern New York... where job losses during that 10 year period were just over 18-percent.  Borrello says... given what employers have told them... they will continue to push ahead in developing a stronger workforce in the region.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Radio Group of stations.


National Comedy Center putting in final push to win USA Today vote on "Best New Attraction..."
The final push is underway to get the National Comedy Center to win USA Today's national competition for the "Best New Attraction" in the nation.  That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says they were in first-place before rankings went "dark" a few days ago.  USA Today decided to do that to keep from influencing the final vote tallies... which will be taken through next Monday, Jan. 7.  Gunderson says the winner is determined by public vote... and you can do that once each day by going on-line to wwwcomedycenter.org/vote.  She says the Comedy Center is one of 10 new attractions in the running for this year's title.  She says people can vote once each day between now and the end of the contest.  Gunderson says you don't have to give any information... you just vote.  She says you can do that once each day between now and next Monday afternoon at 12 p.m.  Gunderson says winning the competition would given them... and, the entire region... a major boost as tourism attractions.


Apthorpe says Jamestown schools are ready for 2019...
The Jamestown Public Schools had a fantastic 2018 year.  Those are the feelings of District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe.... who praised School Board and staff members for their hard work in planning for 2019, particularly for the new Rogers Success Academy.  Apthorpe says, right now, they are working on the operational part of the academy, and working with various service providers to help them.  He says the former Rogers Elementary School is the newest building in the district, and will open next fall to address poor attendance as well as students who have experienced trauma.  He says specifically, they are going to look into factors such as domestic issues, and even homelessness.  Apthorpe says the district is working with the city on considering a partnership by adding community gardens and playgrounds at Allen Park. 


Reed one of only three Republicans voting in favor of House Rules... 
Local Congressman Tom Reed was one of only three House Republicans who voted in favor of the new, Democratic rules package for the new Congress.  Reed did not vote for Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker, but, said he was happy to bring some bi-partsian support to new rules that will allow more "grass-roots" legislation to be voted on.  Reed says approving the legislation is part of the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's Caucus" legislation that was a condition for approving the new House leadership.  Those rules were approved 234-to-197.


 

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WJTN NEWS HEADLINES FOR JAN. 4, 2019

A Mayville woman is jailed on $20,000 bail following her arrest Wednesday morning for allegedly being found illegally possessing several drugs during a traffic stop in Mayville.......  

Sheriff's deputies say they spotted a car operating without a valid inspection sticker just after 11 a.m. and, subsequently stopped the vehicle.  Further investigation revealed the operator, 24 year-old Allison Syper, was driving while impaired by drugs.  Syper was found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, suboxone, clonazepam.  Officers say her passenger, 23 year-old Robert Keech of Stockton, was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.  Syper was jailed on charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Keech was released to probation on one count of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.


A city man faces drug possession charges after police found several controlled substances stuffed in his pants Thursday morning...  

Officers say they stopped a vehicle at the intersection of North Main and West 7th Streets for operating without headlights and, found 24 year-old Robert Comber sitting in the passenger seat.  Comber was found to have a bench warrant out of Jamestown and Chautauqua County Courts.  Investigation revealed he was allegedly in possession of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine stuffed in his pants.  Officers also found Comber to be in possession of multiple baggies containing heroin packaged to sell and a digital scale.  He was taken to the city jail to await arraignment. 


President Donald Trump's announced withdrawl of about 22-hundred U-S troops from Syria caught military officials and, most lawmakers by surprise....  

While some voiced their opposition to move, local Congressman Tom Reed said he supported the withdrawl and added that he opposed President Obama's decision to send troops there to help eliminate ISIS in Syria's Civil War.  Reed believes consolidating a Middle Eastern base in Iraq is the way to go.

Several lawmakers and, military officials quickly expressed concerns that ISIS rebels will re-group in the region.  One of them was U-S Senator Lindsey Graham.  However, after initially opposing the move, Graham said -- after a recent meeting with President Trump -- he changed his mind.  He says that Trump told him that there would be a gradual withdrawl.

  
For the first time ever, The Lupus Alliance of Upstate New York is bringing a symposium to Jamestown, on Saturday, January 26.... 

Judy Christian, the President and CEO of the Alliance, says the focus will be helping people with lupus and other auto-immune diseases manage their symptoms.  The program will be at the Carnahan Theater at JCC from to 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with no cost.  One of the presenters will be acclaimed Physical Therapist, Chris Nentarz.  Judy Christian says he will offer the tools for mindfulness, breathing, exercise and fitness, in a very accessible way.  Lunch will be provided.  Registration is required.  Call 835-7161 Ext. 2, or go online to LupusLearning.org.  


A Jamestown woman faces obstruction and endangering the welfare of a child charges following a well-fare check early yesterday morning....  

City police responded to 14-14 East 2nd Street shortly after midnight to check on a child possibly in danger, crying and screaming.  Officers say they could hear the child in a locked apartment inside the building crying for her mother.  After numerous attempts to make contact with anyone in the apartment, police officers reportedly breached the door, which they found to be barricaded.  They say 22 year-old Kristen Capizzi was taken into custody and, is being held pending arraignment. 


Development officials in the city of Dunkirk will be focusing their energies on revitalizing the area in and around the Coburn Block in the north county city during 2019....  


That from Mayor Willie Rosas, who says they want to bring more traffic to that portion of the city, which has been on the decline with the closing of P&G Foods and the fire that destroyed the Masonic Temple nearly 10 years ago.

Rosas says there are a couple of projects that are already on the drawing board, including a new buyer for the Coburn building who is looking to bring some commercial and residental use back to the structure.  He also noted out that a new business will be formally announced in the near future, including a Lasertron.  That would be similar to the one in Buffalo.  Meanwhile, he indicated that work will begin soon on the construction of the new Cold Storage Warehouse facility on Roberts Road in the city.  The project received the support of the city and the Chautauqua County IDA last year. 

 
National Grid and union representatives have reached a tentative agreement after a bitter contract dispute left about 1,200 employees locked out for months in Massachusetts...  

The utility and two United Steelworkers locals said in a joint statement Wednesday night that the terms of the agreement will be presented to union members by January 7.  It said details would not be released until members are able to vote.  This week, the governor signed legislation to extend unemployment benefits for employees who have been locked out since July.  There had been hope recently that a breakthrough might be in sight.  National Grid also serves customers in Rhode Island and New York.


The Jamestown-area man who allegedly set a dozen fires in the Jamestown and Falconer area in March of 2017 is now being held in the Chautauqua County Jail -- awaiting trial....  

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the cases in Pennsylvania involving 20-year-old Jonathan Young were resolved by late Summer, allowing him to be sent back to Chautauqua County, where he faces about two-dozen charges.

Young was serving a sentence in the Butler County Jail in Pennsylvania.  The charges in Chautauqua County stem from more than a dozen fires in the south county area, including a major fire that damaged a half-block area in the Village of Falconer.  A January 22 trial date has been set after a plea deal was rejected by Young's attorney.  It's our second-biggest story of the year.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 3, 2019

A Republican County legislator from Lakewood has been re-elected as chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature....  

Lawmakers backed Paul "PJ" Wendel for a second year at the helm, by a 15-0 vote.  Wendell is pleased with legislators' support and praised their work in 2018, calling the lawmakers a "united legislature."

Wendel says the biggest challenge in 2019 is addressing health of Chautauqua Lake. He says some questions and issued rose at the end of the Lake Season. Along with other issues, Wendel says County Executive George Borello is looking to bring air service back to the Jamestown Airport. Meantime, he says legislators are also still looking for the opening of Athenex in the near future.


It's time to stop letting the "extremes" on both sides of the political aisle control the debate as Congress gets to work today on legislation to end the partial government shut-down...  

Local Representative Tom Reed is back in Washington and, says it was disappointing to see an apparent agreement to keep the government running get rejected.  Reed believes there is common ground to be found on border security with the agreement reached last year by the Problem Solver's Caucus he co-chairs.

Reed says, right now, both the far left and far-right are fixated on the word "wall..." and, says that's almost made it a non-starter.  However, President Trump this afternoon reiterated his need for $5-billion to build the wall.  Reed says Trump has expressed the need for other security measures at the border, including more border agents and use to monitoring technology.  He says there is still a lot of "political theater" going on in Washington regarding a border wall and, in the public debate about what it'll take to get a deal. 


Congress begins it's 2019 legislative session today, but first has to elect a new Speaker...  

Local Representative Tom Reed says he won't be voting for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for speaker, but he will be voting for the Democrat's new rules package that allows more bi-partisan legislation to come to the floor.  Reed said yesterday that Pelosi did not agree to all the rules the Problem Solver's Caucus wanted, but was pleased to see a number of them included.

Reed says there are some rules that are part of the package he doesn't agree with.  He also agreed to some new measures called the "Collins Rules..." after indicted Congressman Chris Collins.  He says he worked with some others on a measure to disqualify members who sit on corporate boards from sitting on committees.  Collins, who is from Clarence, is under federal indictment for alleged insider trading violations.  Reed says that, under the new rules, Collins would not be allowed to sit on a committee in 2019.

 
The Chautauqua County Fair ran a week earlier than usual in July of 2018 and will again this year... 

Dave Wilson, the President of the Fair Board of the Directors said they changed to get 'Powers Amusements' as the carnival provider and it worked out fine.  This year's fair will be July 15-21 at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  Wilson adds they have won some grants from the State Department of Ag and Markets to improve the animal buildings on the fairgrounds... including construction of a new show arena at the goat barn.  Chautauqua County Fair tickets will be the same price as last year-- $7 pre-sale, and $12 at the gate.  


Two Jamestown residents were arrested as fugitives from justice following a traffic stop late New Years Day.... 

City police pulled over a vehicle at Forest Avenue near Washington Street and, found 37 year-old Nicole Stein was operating the vehicle with a suspended license.  Officers say the front seat passenger allegedly provided a false name, and was later identified as 42 year-old David Van Guilder.  He was found to be wanted on several warrants out of Jamestown, and one out of Pennsylvania.  Stein was additionally charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator and improper turn signal.  Both were transported to Jamestown City Jail without incident.


The investigation is on-going into last month's police involved shooting on Liberty Street in the village of Fredonia...  

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson has confirmed the identity of the man who was shot to death on December 10 at 76 Liberty Street as 23-year-old George Penev.  Swanson says the man's family, from Wyoming County, had requested that his name not be released.

Penev allegedly went after Police Officer Nathan Scriven with a knife according to initial reports.  The officer shot and killed Penev outside the house.   Swanson says the investigation is still ongoing and they are still awaiting the autopsy and toxicology reports on the man.  Penev's family has established a GoFundMe appeal to help cover the costs of the man's funeral.


The owner-operator of the new Chautauqua Harborfront Hotel says the venture in Celoron was a "risky" one, but he believes it will be well worth it....  

Hart Hotel's Owner David Hart was the main speaker at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting, held at his hotel soon after it officially opened.  Hart says having a hotel at a well-know destination point is where they want to be.

During one of those searches for places to recreate and visit, Hart says Chautauqua County has carved out quite a niche with a number of world-class attractions now in place.  The upscale hotel cost about $40-million to build.  It's the third-biggest story of 2018.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 2, 2019

For the first-time in nearly a quarter-of-a century, there is a new sheriff in Chautauqua County...  

Lakewood's Jim Quattrone was sworn-in to the position during a Noon-hour ceremony at the County Courthouse in Mayville yesterday.  There was an overflow crowd in attendance that included family, friends and allies during last Fall's campaign.  Quattrone says winning last November's election was through the help of a lot of people -- including his family.  He retired as a Sheriff's Department Lieutenant in 2017.

Quattrone was accompanied by his wife, Nancy and, their four adult children.  Nancy Quattrone also presented her husband with his sheriff's badge during the ceremony.  Several other people who supported Quattrone also spoke, including local Congressman Tom Reed, who came in from Corning to congratulat him, and wish him well.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, State Senator Cathy Young, and County Executive George Borrello also spoke.  Quattrone defeated long-time incumbant Sheriff Joe Gerace in last November's election.
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Right after he was sworn-in, Quattrone introduced and swore-in his new Undersheriff.  He is past Sheriff's Captain Darrel Braley. 

 
A Ripley man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home he was ordered to stay away from and, starting a fight with a resident there....  

Sheriff's officers were called to a home in the town about 3 p.m. Christmas Day and, found that the suspect, 39 year-old Scott Walker, had left the scene before they arrived.  Deputies obtained a warrant from the Ripley Town Court but, Walker turned himself into officers at Westfield Police Headquarters last Saturday.  He was arraigned on several counts, including second-degree burglary and harassment, and endangering the welfare of a child.  Walker was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $10,000 cash bail pending further court action.


An Olean-area man is jailed on $5,000 bail for allegedly stabbing a family member during an altercation in the town of Allegany early New Year's morning....  
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Deputies say they were called to the scene on Buffalo Road shortly before 2 a.m. on a report of a domestic incident.  Officers arrested 19 year-old Triston Heitzinger on one count each of first and second-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child and, resisting arrest.  Heitzinger was arraigned in Allegany Town Court, and sent to the Cattaraugus County lock-up.

 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has begun 2019 and his third term with an inaugural address on Ellis Island, promising the most progressive agenda in state history...
 
The Democrat spoke Tuesday evening on the New York side of the island, which New York shares with New Jersey.  Ellis Island was the nation's busiest immigration station for decades, welcoming millions of immigrants from around the world. Cuomo calls it an "enduring symbol" of America's core values of hope and opportunity. Cuomo won re-election last fall. He has listed legalizing recreational marijuana, codifying abortion rights and fixing New York City's subways as three priorities for the new year.  The speech's location is likely to encourage speculation that Cuomo may run for president, though the 61-year-old has said he has ruled out the idea.


If more moderate voices can prevail, local Congressman Tom Reed feels there can be a deal struck to fully-fund the government and provide border security.... 

A partial government shutdown extends into its 12th day today and, the White House has invited congressional leaders to attend a West Wing briefing later today on the border issue.  During his stop in Mayville yesterday, Reed told us there is  "'deal to be struck..." but, adds there's a lot of "political theater" going on right now.

Reed himself is returning to the capitol this morning.  But, he won't be part of that White House meeting.  The top and second-ranking Democrats and Republicans in both chambers are invited to attend, according to a source to the A-P, who said the agenda and other attendees were unknown.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has granted clemency to 29 individuals -- many of whom faced the risk of deportation...  

The Democratic governor pardoned 22 people and commuted the sentences of seven others on Monday, the final day of the year.  Many of those receiving a pardon were facing the possibility of deportation because of their criminal record. Cuomo says New York must stand up for its immigrant families as Republican President Donald Trump works to keep immigrants from coming to the U.S.  Cuomo's office says all of those receiving pardons have demonstrated their rehabilitation and have gone without committing any additional crimes.  Officials say the seven individuals set to be released from prison have all turned their lives around by pursuing an education and working to help fellow inmates.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 31, 2018

A Jamestown man is accused of trafficking narcotics in the area following a traffic stop last Saturday night on Maple Street in the village of Sinclairville....  

Sheriff's officers say they stopped 26 year-old Alexander Cieplinski for allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign.  Deputies say further investigation revealed that Cieplinski was allegedly in possession of multiple controlled substances that include a quantity of LSD, psychdelic mushrooms and MDMA.  They say he was also found in possession of multiple scales and marihuana.  Cieplinski was arraigned on charges including two Felony counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, one Felony count of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was sent to the county jail on $100,000 bail.


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has been surprised by a life-saving Christmas gift for it's K-9 unit by a former Jamestown resident.... 

Deputies say that Cynthia Miley-Evans, now of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and her husband David, donated a new bullet-proof, stab resistant vest to the K-9 unit.  The Evans purchased the vest to be used by K-9 "Bentley."  Bentley, a 2 year old Belgian Malinois Shepard, is the newest canine member of the Sheriff’s Department K-9 unit.  However, he was not yet equipped with a protective vest until the Evans made their generous donation.  As a surprise thank you on Christmas Day, the entire K-9 unit -- including "Bentley" "Drago" and "Link" arrived at the family's Jamestown residence and met with the family members to thank them in person and to showcase the life-saving vest that was provided through their selfless donation.


Chautauqua County's top-cop for the past 24 years is wrapping up his career with the Sheriff's Department today and, is reflecting on his 40 years with the department....  

Joe Gerace says it's been an "honor" to serve and protect the people of the county.  Gerace says that serving in law enforcement has been his life's passion.  He says there have been a number of cases that come to mind through the years, including the one involving the area's "HIV Preditor..." Nushawn Williams.  Williams was the first person nationally to be arrested for allegedly knowingly infecting several girls and women with the virus that causes AIDS in the late 1990s...  However, he says there were more enjoyable assignments -- including when President Clinton came to Chautauqua.

The Sheriff's Office -- and other departments --  helped provide "outer perimeter security" for former President Bill Clinton when the Democrat came to Chautauqua Institution to prepare for a 1996 Presidential debate with Republican Bob Dole.  Gerace was defeated in a tight election race by Republican Jim Quattrone last November.


Governor Andrew Cuomo says a record $35-million has been awarded to 40 farms across the state to protect 13,000 acres of land...  

The Democratic governor says the grants mark a historic level of funding awarded in a single round of the state's Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program.  The program provides local governments, soil and water conservation districts and land trusts with grants to offset the cost of conservation easements to keep farmland from being converted to non-agricultural use.  More than $283-million has been awarded to farmland protection projects since 1996.  Nearly 289 projects have protected more than 73,000 acres of New York farmland.


If you found some money in the road during a drive, would you stop and go after it?  

That's what many people did on Routes 5 and 20 near Silver Creek last Thursday morning.  But, the co-owner and operator of Can Kings Redemption Centers realized the money that was scattered across the busy highway couldn't be real.  Steve Promber took a closer look after scooping up a quantity of the alleged money and determined it was replica or "prop" money, then alerted Sheriff's Office.  He says a young deputy came out to talk with him, and the officer then went around the village to inform others.  Right now, Promber is alerting the public about the fake bills.  The bills either have "replica" or "this note is not legal" marked on them.  Some photos of the fake money is posted on-line at Chautauqua Today.com.

 
The New York Thruway Authority has filed a lawsuit against multiple companies over the failure of four wind turbines....  

The authority says in its lawsuit filed late this week the turbines located along the Thruway in Erie, and Chautauqua counties went offline between October 2017 and January 2018.  The turbines were installed in 2013 and 2014 as part of a renewable energy initiative.  The lawsuit is alleging negligence, professional malpractice, breach of warranty and breach of contract.  WIVB-TV reports the authority is seeking $8.1-million plus interest, costs and collection fees.  One of the agencies named in the lawsuit, Kandey Company, Inc., says it has not been served.  Still, Kandey says it is confident it did nothing wrong and will be vindicated in court.


The Cuomo administration says the number of confirmed cases of influenza is rising across New York state, with more than 5,400 people coming down with the illness so far this season...  

The state Department of Health says as of Thursday new cases of flu have been reported in 58 counties, including the five boroughs of New York City.  Only Wyoming, Yates, Seneca and Hamilton counties are not reporting any cases yet.  Officials say the number of people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu was 363 this past week, a 41 percent increase over the previous week. So far this season more than 1,300 people have been hospitalized with the flu.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging flu vaccinations for all New Yorkers six months of age and older.

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WJTN Headlines for Dec. 29, 2018

Warren, PA man arrested for alleged on attempted homicide charges following arson fire...
A Warren, Pennsylvania man faces seven counts of attempted homicide following an arson fire in Sugar Grove Township last Thursday night.  State Police in Warren responded to Wilson Road to assist firefighters at 8 p.m., and, conducted interviews.  Further investigation revealed 25 year-old Jackson Knappenberger allegedly came to the home with a plastic bag containing gas and oil.  Knappenberger is accused of lighting the bag on fire next to the door of the residence with two adults and five children inside.  Troopers say the suspect fled and was found a short distance away.  The motive is not known.  Knappenberger was transported to the Warren County Jail.  The investigation remains open at this time. 


Flu cases rising in NYS...
The Cuomo administration says the number of confirmed cases of influenza is rising across New York state, with more than 5,400 people coming down with the illness so far this season.  The state Department of Health says as of Thursday new cases of flu have been reported in 58 counties, including the five boroughs of New York City.  Only Wyoming, Yates, Seneca and Hamilton counties are not reporting any cases yet.  Officials say the number of people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu was 363 this past week, a 41 percent increase over the previous week. So far this season more than 1,300 people have been hospitalized with the flu.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging flu vaccinations for all New Yorkers six months of age and older.


Wendel expected to again be elected as Co. Legislature Chair in 2019...
The Lakewood Republican who has headed up the Chautauqua County Legislature over the past year is expected to continue in that post in 2019.  P-J Wendel has been approved as chairman by the GOP Majority Caucus... and, is expected to be approved at next Wednesday afternoon's re-organizational meeting in Mayville.  Wendel says he appreciates the on-going support of his collegues... but, doesn't know if Democrats will nominate anyone or not.  He says he looks forward to the challenge... including what he says will be the 'big issue' next year -- dealing with the weed and algal bloom problems on Chautauqua Lake.  He praised Executive George Borrello for reaching out to all the groups involved to develop a "Consensus Plan."  Next week's reorganizational meeting will begin at 4 PM in the legislature chambers next Wednesday... and, leadership will be acted on.  He says Republican Majority Leader Pierre Chagnon is expected to remain in his position... with Lisa VanStrom as Assistant leader.  For the Democrats... Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown is expected to be Minority Leader... with Bob Bankowski serving as Assistant Leader.


Wind Turbine Lawsuit filed by state Thruway Authority...
The New York Thruway Authority has filed a lawsuit against multiple companies over the failure of four wind turbines.  The authority says in its lawsuit filed late this week the turbines located along the Thruway in Erie, and Chautauqua counties went offline between October 2017 and January 2018.  The turbines were installed in 2013 and 2014 as part of a renewable energy initiative.  The lawsuit is alleging negligence, professional malpractice, breach of warranty and breach of contract.  WIVB-TV reports the authority is seeking $8.1-million dollars plus interest, costs and collection fees.  One of the agencies named in the lawsuit, Kandey Company, Inc., says it has not been served.  Still, Kandey says it is confident it did nothing wrong and will be vindicated in court.


Tranum says Holiday Shopping Season looked good in Chautauqua County...
Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce officials say they are optimistic about local retail sales during the holiday shopping season.  That from Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum.  Tranum says one of their indicators may be the sales of Shoptauqua gift cards... where he says they "really saw an uptick" in the number sold.  He is also encouraged by national retail sales and says that could also be an indicator of local sales.  While the organization does not do a direct survey, Tranum says there are other indicators that can help gauge the local economy.  The Chamber's top official is also encouraged by the recent Regional Economy Development Council awards and the four projects that will be fully-funded by the state in Chautauqua County.  He says that bodes well for the county in 2019.


Christmas Tree pick-up slated for a week from Monday in Jamestown...
The city of Jamestown will begin it's annual pick-up of discarded Christmas Trees on Monday, Jan. 7.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the pick-up will be held, weather permitting, and the old trees will be recycled.  Ciesla-Hanley says all trees should be removed from plastic bags... Chrismas lights and tree stands.  She says residents are urged to place their tree on the terrace between the street and sidewalk and, if possible, to keep visible should a large snowfall occur.  For more information... call the City Parks and Recreation Office at 483-7523.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 28, 2018

The investigation continues into an arson fire at a home in Warren Pennsylvania's Sugar Grove Township Thursday night... 

State Police were called to assist firefighters at the scene on Wilson Road at 8 PM. Through interviews, Troopers learned 25 year-old Jackson Knappenberger -- of Warren --  allegedly came to the home with a plastic bag containing gas and oil. He's accused of lighting the bag on fire next to the door of the residence with two adults and five children inside. Troopers say the suspect fled and was found a short distance away. Knappenberger faces seven counts of attempted homicide and other criminal count, then was transported to the Warren County Jail. 


Chautauqua County's Sheriff-elect says he's had a smooth transition since winning office in early November....  

Republican Jim Quattrone is set to be sworn-in during a ceremony in the County Courthouse on New Year's Day and, says he's been working with outgoing Sheriff Joe Gerace on what needs to be done before that.  He says there is some logistical work, and reading he needs to do.

Quattrone says one of his first duties will be to appoint a new Undersheriff with the retirement of former Undersheriff Charles Holder earlier this month.  As part of the transition, he says he has been taking a look at the Chautauqua County Jail operations and the staffing to see if there are ways to cut costs, especially the amount of forced overtime.  Quattrone defeated Gerace in last month's election in a close race.  He will be sworn-in during a public ceremony at the Mayville courthouse at 12:30 p.m. New Year's Day.


State officials say a crackdown on impaired driving on New York roads will continue through New Year's Day....  

Governor Andrew Cuomo says state police will boost patrols into January 1st to look for motorists driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The Democrat says the enforcement effort is part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.  State troopers will be conducting DWI patrols and checkpoints into Tuesday, while also being on the lookout for distracted drivers and improperly restrained vehicle occupants.  State police also plan to watch for drivers violating the state's Move Over Law and will conduct underage drinking enforcement details as New Year's Eve approaches.  Last year's anti-DWI campaign held during the holidays resulted in nearly 650 arrests for driving while intoxicated.


Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area continue to drop, following a national trend in recent weeks, heading into the New Year's holiday....  

The AAA East Central Gas Price Report says local prices are almost six-cents a gallon cheaper than last week.  The report says the price is now just under $2.64 for regular, unleaded fuel.  Statewide, AAA says gas prices are about four-cents a gallon cheaper at $2.64 a gallon.  Last year at this time, the price in Jamestown was $2.71 a gallon.  


It's going to be a very "happy new year" for the Salvation Army of Jamestown! 

Major John Merchant says they exceeded their goal in its annual Red Kettle Campaign, raising $115,600 this year, to finance its programs in Chautauqua County. He says a final push from the community helped the 2018 campaign.

Merchant says this year's goal was $115,300. Proceeds will go to Social Services to help those who may be in a bind to help supply clothing, medications and more. He adds that the Salvation's Army efforts are year-round and, thanked the community, organizations and churches who volunteered their support and donations to give back to those who need it the most. 


The embattled mayor of Lakewood resigned this past Fall amid controversy over several recent absences, and other matters....  

Back in October, the village clerk's office sent out a brief statement Cara Birritierri had decided to resign.  In a letter to the village, Birritierri based her decision "solely on personal and medical reasons."  She also praised staff, other elected officials and "countless volunteers" who dedicated themselves to the village.  The clerk's office says -- for now -- Deputy Mayor Ted McCague will fill-in in the interim.  Chautauqua County Board of Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says, since the September 20th deadline for an election has passed, there can be no election this year. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 27, 2018

Three men have been arrested for allegedly taking part in a shooting incident between two cars on Jamestown's eastside early Christmas morning....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the area of East Second and Jeffords Streets about 2:40 a.m. on a complaint of shots fire.  Samuelson says they received cooperation from the alleged victim in the case, who directed them the suspect's home on Foote Avenue.

Samuelson says officers arrested the suspected shooter -- 27 year-old Angel Carino-Ricard -- along with two others.  They are identified as 31 year-old Rafael Gonzalez-Rivera and, 33 year-old Mike Santiago.  Samuelson says police got a search warrant and, found the suspected gun -- a 45-calibur hand-gun and, others.  One was a loaded AK-47 assault rifle and the other was a 22-calibur rifle.  Samuelson says Ricard faces the most serious charges, including two counts of second-degree criminal possession and use of a firearm and, first-degree reckless endangerment.  Ricard is jailed on $510,000 cash bail, while both Gonzalez-Rivera and Santiago are each jailed on $400,000 each.


An Ashville man has been arrested as a fugitive wanted in Pennsylvania for attempted criminal homicide....  

Sheriff's officers say they and Lakewood-Busti Police were contacted by State Police in Warren, about an arrest warrant for 22 year-old Michael Shreve of Blockville-Watts Flats Road.  They were told he may be in the Ashville or Busti areas after allegedly being involved in a weekend incident in Sugar Grove.  Sheriff's deputies with their K-9 units and, Lakewood-Busti Police made checks in the area and, found Shreve about 7:30 Tuesday night.  He was arraigned in the Chautauqua Town Court as a fugitive from justice and committed to the Chautauqua County jail without bail pending his extradition to Pennsylvania.


Several north county fire departments were called to the scene of a reported house fire early Wednesday morning near the village of Brocton....  

Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Brocton fire crews were called to the scene at 8299 Route 380 shortly after 5 AM.  The fire was out earlier and no injuries have been reported.  Brocton was joined at the scene by Portland, Stockton, Westfield and Fredonia firefighters.  The Jamestown Post-Journal reports investigators determined the cause to be a pipe connected to a wood stove, causing fire to begin in the wall and travel to the second floor of the home. The paper says several of the families pets also perished in the fire. 


The new year will be one of transitions for the Jamestown-area's main hospital...  

UPMC Chautauqua went through a final name change -- and is now a full affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  In addition, there will be a new leader of the local institution -- starting January 1st when Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Durniok replaces the retiring Betsy Wright.  Hospital Board Chairman Steve Kilburn says, while Wright's retirement is a major loss, he says being affilated with UPMC helps cushion that blow.

Durniok, who has headed up UPMC Northwest in Venango County, Pennsylvania since February of 2017, says he's happy about the new opportunity.  Kilburn adds that Durniok will be of considerable help in 2019 because the local hospital will switch over to UPMC's Electronic Health Records program, something he's been through at UPMC Northwest.  Most recently, Durniok has served as vice president of human resources at UPMC Hamot, and later UPMC Northwest and UPMC Chautauqua, from 2013 to 2018. 


The woman who has led UPMC Chautauqua -- formerly WCA Hospital -- in Jamestown for nearly the past 20 years announced her retirement earlier this month...  

A reception and Open House at the hospital was held last Friday for President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright to give community leaders and staff and administrators the chance to say good-bye.  Wright's retirement after nearly three decades there is our seventh biggest story of 2018.

After some initial photographs, nurses, doctors and others lined up to speak with Wright... who was also congratulated by Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, and local Congressman Tom Reed -- among others.  UPMC Chautauqua Board President Steven Kilburn had nothing but praise for Wright and all she has done through her wisdom and professionalism.  During here nearly 20 years as head of the hospital, Wright oversaw operations during some drastic changes in the health care field, the new association with UPMC and the start and continuation of the approximately $20-million expansion project. 


New York state is expanding a legal defense project for immigrants launched in 2017 to include social and health care services for families....  

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the new "Project Golden Door" will provide family support services at 12 existing sites.  In addition, a new Regional Rapid Response team will set up attorneys in the state's 10 regional economic development council areas to respond to raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Democrat Cuomo says the immigrant legal defense project is the first of its kind in the nation.  The governor's office says New York is home to 940,000 immigrants in the country without legal authorization, and 53,000 of them are under 16.


An avid Buffalo Bills fan from Texas who's battling cancer has been given a trip to Disney World thanks to the efforts of a fan club known as the Bills Mafia....  

Ezra Castro is known as Pancho Billa for his game-day outfit that includes a sombrero and facemask in the NFL team's red, white and blue colors.  The 39-year-old mortician from Dallas has attended numerous Bills games on the road and at New Era Field in Orchard Park, earning him the honor of being named the inaugural member of the Buffalo Fan Wall of Fame.  Last Sunday... while watching the Bills-Patriots game at a Dallas-area bar with other Buffalo fans, the Bills Mafia surprised him with an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World in Florida for him, his girlfriend and their two young children.

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 23, 2019

Many local and state government leaders are unhappy about Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to eliminate Aid and Incentives for Municipalities -- or AIM funding, for local towns and villages.... &n...

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