WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017

City lawmakers have approved receiving a $1.5-million state grant to put an "alternative" private health insurance plan in place for the city of Jamestown's Medicare-eligible retirees. 
 
However, a representative from one of the two firms okayed to provide plans says there could be more savings on ALL retirees if officials wanted to discuss them.  Tim DeAngelo with Arcade Senior Services urged lawmakers last night to hold off on a final vote because he had new information that he believes would save everyone money.
 
While they appreciated the offer, Council President Greg Rabb said lawmakers had to act by last night to be able to get the $1.5-million from the state's Financial Restructuring Board. 
 
Mayor Sam Teresi says he also has no problem talking with Arcade about different options.  However, he says to go outside the perameters of what the state approved runs the risk of violating current union contracts. 
 
The city started it's "self-insurance" program for it's employees in 1986.  Teresi says the city hopes to save about $600,000 through the alternative plan through Arcade and, Northwest Financial Services.
 
 
Jamestown School District residents Monday overwhelmingly approved the sale of the Crescent Street Warehouse in the city to a local business that puts the property on the tax roles. 
 
In a small turn-out, voters approved the sale to Henry James Properties, LLC 179-16  The School Board approved the sale at last week's meeting for one-dollar.  However, officials say the move also required a public vote to be taken.  
 
 
A teenager from Jamestown is jailed for allegedly threatening his brother with a knife during a domestic incident on the city's eastside Monday afternoon. 
 
City Police were called to the scene at 14 Franklin Street, not far from the high school just after 12:30 p.m.  They found the 16 year-old had fled the scene. 
 
Officers say they talked with the brother about the incident and, added that the teen also damaged his vehicle.  Police say they found the suspect a short distance away and, he was arrested for second-degree menacing, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was taken to the city jail pending further court action.
 
 
The Chautauqua County Legislature has cleared the way to extending the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District to the Stow-area. 
 
The project's goal is to improve Chautauqua Lake's water quality by helping reduce the amount of phosphorus entering the lake. 
 
Former State Assemblyman Rolland Kidder was among several speakers at last Wednesday night's legislature meeting who supported the move.  Kidder says his family won't benefit by this move but, may in the future.  He adds that the lake needs the help a closed-system will provide.
 
The extension will take place in Coutny Legislator Pierre Chagnon's legislative district and, he is pleased with the approval of what he called a "major step" in the project. 
 
Chagnon says they can now aggressively pursue more grant funding to help reduce user fees.  He says they've been able to do that for the new North County Water District and, in the town of Chautauqua. 
 
 
Despite the vetoing of legislation that would forgive the Panama Central School District of the remaining $2.4-million, five-year-old state fine, the district will move ahead with a merger vote. 
 
That from Panama and Clymer School District Superintendent Bert Lictus who says he's "disappointed" by Governor Andrew Cuomo's veto that came late last week. 
 
State Senator Cathy Young, who helped Panama by getting the legislation drafted, says she's "very disappointed" by the move.  But, at this point, Lictus says he's unaware of any effort to try to override the veto. 
 
Lictus says "they" because State Assemblyman Andy Goodell was also involved in the passing of the legislation in the legislature's lower chamber. 
 
While the veto doesn't forgive the rest of the fine, Lictus says both school board's recently approved moving forward with a public, "straw vote" on November 13th in both districts. 
 
If it's approved in both locations, there will be a binding vote in January.  The $5-million fine resulted from "mismanaging paperwork" after a capital project undertaken by a previous Panama school administration.
 
 
Federal prosecutors in western New York say a 28-year-old man has been fined 5-thousand dollars for mailing live snakes to China. 
 
The U.S. attorney's office in Buffalo says Chaoyi Le, of Shanghai, China, sent seven ball pythons from Amherst, New York to China in 2014 using a fake name and labeling the package "belts, candy and chocolate."  The package was intercepted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Le was convicted of federal Lacey Act false labeling. 
 
In addition to the fine, U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci on Monday ordered Le to pay $3500 in restitution to the Fish and Wildlife Service.  His lawyer, Victor Sherman of Los Angeles, said Le will return to China on Tuesday and "wishes to apologize to the American people for his actions."
 
 
The annual championships for high school marching bands in New York state was held Sunday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. 
 
The brand new, F2CS Blue and Gold Vanguard, with students from Falconer and Frewsburg competed for the first time, finishing 8th out of 11 bands.  Director Alicia Laska says she's thrilled with how their show 'Time and Space' went over.
 
The F2CS band competes in 'Small Schools 3', the smallest division of the New York State Field Band Conference.  The Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band is in the 'National Class', the largest in the state conference. 
 
Their show, 'Big Top', finished 8th out of 8 bands.  Marc Lentsch, one of the JHS directors, says they aren't disappointed, as they are still new to the class.
 
Jamestown was bumped up to 'National Class' after winning a couple of consecutive state championships in a lower division of the competition.

 

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Trick or treating times updated!

Jamestown:  6-8 PM
Ellington:  5-7 PM

Bemus Point:  6-8 PM

Busti:  5:30-8 PM
Cassadaga:  5-7 PM
Celoron:  6-8 PM
Ellicott:  5:30-7 PM
Falconer:  5:30-7 PM
Gerry:  5-7 PM
Lakewood:  5:30-7:30 PM
Sherman:  5-7 PM

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Local Area Trick Or Treat Times For Halloween

Here are the trick-or-treat times for local communities:
 
Bemus Point:  6-8 PM
Busti:  5:30-8 PM
Cassadaga:  5-7 PM
Celoron:  6-8 PM
Ellicott:  5:30-7 PM
Falconer:  5:30-7 PM
Gerry:  5-7 PM
Lakewood:  5:30-7:30 PM
Sherman:  5-7 PM

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Oct. 30, 2017

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of narcotic drugs with the intent to sell in the village of Bemus Point last weekend. 
 
Sheriff's officers say a patrol pulled over a car on Main Street shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday and, their investigation led deputies to bring in Department K-9 "Link." 
 
Officers say "Link" alerted officers to drugs being found in possession of the passenger, 49 year-old Jeffrey Myers.  Those included quantities of Heroin, methamphetamine, Suboxone, and prescription pills.  Deputies say they also found Myers with digital scales, packaging materials, and, $2800 in cash. 
 
The driver was issued a traffic ticket and released.  Myers was arrested and charged with Felony criminal possession of controlled substance with intent to sell, seventh-degree criminal possession, and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Myers was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
The National Heroin and Opioid drug addiction crisis got national attention with last week's declaration by President Trump of a Public Health Emergency. 
 
Locally, steps have been taken to begin addressing the issue here. led by the mother of Alex Foulk, who died from an overdose in February of last year.  Kim Carlson started a foundation in honor of her son at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  She then worked with local attorney Dale Robbins to establish a new organization to help recovering addicts.
 
Carlson says their efforts received a major boost from the Jamestown High School "Battle of the Classes" last Spring.  The students raised nearly $13,000 for the effort to being the "Fresh Start" fund at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital. 
 
Carlson says it will help develop a long-term rehabilitation program.  Thirdly, she has worked with Oxford House officials in Buffalo to begin a house here in Jamestown, named after Alex.  Kim Carlson made her comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
A South Dayton man is accused of speeding and drunk driving after his car was pulled over early Sunday morning in the town of Hanover.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say they pulled over 28 year-old Mathew Easterly-Press just after 2 a.m. on Route 39 for a traffic infraction. 
 
Officers say they allegedly found him in an intoxicated condition.  Easterly-Press was charged with DWI, and Speeding in a 55 mile per hour zone.  He was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court.
 
 
Chautauqua County's top cop says he's concerned about the county's 2018 spending plan due to overcrowding issues in the jail in Mayville. 
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace says he doesn't believe the budget has enough funding to run the jail.  Gerace says he conveyed his concerns to the Legislature's Audit and Control Committee during the budget review, saying that they've been having to "board-out" inmates in record numbers.  He says he's hopeful they can get back to the numbers they should be at through local and state judicial reforms. 
 
The Sheriff also says they saw some parole violators ordered back to state prison, as well as others.  However, he adds they got 10 new prisons brought in the same day last week.  Gerace says it costs the county $85 per day per person to board out inmates.  He estimates the overage could reach nearly $100,000 in this year's budget.  
 
 
Labor unions are leading the fight against a New York ballot measure to hold a constitutional convention. 
 
They argue that it's just too risky to tinker with the state's governing document and threaten existing protections for worker's compensation, unemployment benefits and collective bargaining. 
 
But convention supporters say the November 7th ballot measure is a chance to address some of New York's most pressing problems, such as chronic corruption and high taxes.  They say unions are just trying to hang on to the status quo. 
 
 
In state government and political news, New York has taken action to protect the Hudson River amid increased oil tanker traffic. 
 
Governor Cuomo signed into law new rules giving the state the authority to establish tanker-avoidance zones to prevent damage to the environment or problems for local residents. 
 
It's one of several new policies signed into law recently including a statewide ban on electronic cigarette use in bars and restaurants.  Another new law will make it easier for children in foster care to visit their siblings.  
 
 
Lawmakers in the village of Fredonia have given the go ahead to establishing a paid fire chief's position. 
 
They have also made a provisional appointment.  During last week's meeting, the village board approved the appointment of Ryan Walker to the position by a unanimous vote.  Mayor Athanasia Landis says she was pleased with the choice of Walker.
 
While the fire chief will now be a paid position, Dr. Landis says the assistant chiefs will still come from the volunteer ranks.  She says the volunteer part of the department remains an important part of it. 
 
Walker has begun his new job and will received an annual salary of $85,000.  The appointment is provisional until he takes and passes the Civil Service exam.

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 28, 2017

No one hurt when Farm Truck losses brakes, hits three cars at town of Poland intersection...
No injuries were reported after a farm truck lost it's brakes and crashed into three cars at an intersection in the town of Poland Friday afternoon.  Sheriff's deputies say the "semi-truck," operated by 21 year-old Nicholas Hettenbaugh of Kennedy, was hauling silage on Waterboro Hill Road just after 1 p.m. when he approached the intersection with Route 394.  Deputies say the engine of the truck apparently shut-off... causing the brakes to malfunction.  Officers say the Hettenbaugh's truck went through the intersection... and, overturned... striking the three vehicles.  Officers say Route 394 was shut down for about four-hours while the roadway and silage was cleaned up.  Hettenbaugh was ticketed for failure to stop at a stop sign... Operating Out of Class... and, Inadequate Brakes.  Multiple fire companies and the county's HazMat Team also responded to the scene.
 
 
Leone received commendation from Horrigan, Legislature, at this week's legislature meeting...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and county lawmakers recognized the long-time director of emergency services as he prepares to retire from the post.  Horrigan praised the work of Julius Leone.  Horrigan, who served with the American Red Cross before becoming County Executive, praised Leone's leadership and organization, saying he was in the middle of disasters where people needed help, be they floods, tornadoes, or train derailments.  He adds that Leone had the support and respect of everyone in the fire services.  Leone, who served under three county executives, called the job an "incredible" opportunity and praised the work of his staff.  He says he is overwhelmed by the honor.  John Griffith, a former Ellington Town Supervisor with extensive experience in the fire service, will replace Leone at the end of the month.  Griffith's appointment was announced last month.
 
 
NRA Gun Insurance under scrutiny...
An insurance policy being offered by the nation's most powerful gun lobbying group is under scrutiny by insurance regulators after gun-control groups raised questions about how it's being marketed.  The National Rifle Association's Carry Guard insurance was launched earlier this year.  It's being promoted to gun-owners in case they shoot someone in self-defense and face legal costs.  Gun-control advocates believe it will lull gun owners into a false sense of security and encourage them to shoot rather than try to avoid confrontations.  New York state financial regulators have now launched an investigation into how it's being marketed. 
 
 
BPU now warning of two scams in service area...
There's been a repeat of one reported phone scam -- and a new in-person one -- reported by two businesses in the Jamestwon Board of Public Utilities' service area.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the newer one involves a person showing up at the business, and, demanding cash to avoid a utility shut-off.  Robbins says when BPU field representatives are sent to turn off a customer, they may accept a check to avoid the shut-off… but, never cash.  She says -- if there's a question -- ask for the representative's identification.  In addition... a business has received a call from a "Steven" or "Charles" who asks the customer to call a local phone number to pay by phone.  She says the BPU only accepts phone payments through it's phone system -- and, customers have to initiate those calls.  Robbins says they do not call... and, ask you to call a local number for payment.  Before the BPU can turn off service for an overdue electric bill or deposit, the utility must send a Final Termination Notice. 
 
 
Young and Santini speak on World Jr. Pre-Tournament games returning to Jamestown...
The World Junior Hockey Tournament pre-tournament will be an exciting, economic boost to the city of Jamestown.  It's the first time the Under-20 Exhibition games have been here in about six years.  Two of the Under-20 Games will be held at the Northwest Arena later this December.  State Senator Cathy Young says the games will give Chautauqua County's hotel, gas stations and restaurants an economic shot in the arm.  Young says since the games are in town during the holiday season, they are a great present to Jamestown.  In his earlier career, Southern Tier Xpress head coach Lou Santini worked with USA Hockey as a coach and instructor for the USA Player Development Program in Michigan, Minnesota and New York... and, says the competition there is always keen.  Santini says he's excited for the preliminary games and is glad Jamestown is hosting because the players are potential NHL stars.  USA plays against Belarus on Dec. 20 and Belarus takes on Slovakia on Dec. 21.  For ticket information... go on-line to www.northwestarena.com. 
 
 

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 27, 2017

City police update, and correct story on Thursday night robbery...
A Jamestown woman is now facing multiple charges after she allegedly robbed a man with a fake gun early last evening on the city's northside.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to 625 Prendergast Avenue just after 6 p.m on a report of a robbery involving a hand-gun.  On arrival... Samuelson says officers were told that the female suspect ran into the house.  He says the woman -- later identified as 21 year-old Jillian Matthews -- was seen running out the back, then down East Eighth St.  She was taken into custody on East Seventh -- near North Main Street.  Samuelson says they found the money that was taken when they arrested Matthews.  He says they then obtained a search warrant for the apartment at 625 Prendergast... and, found the imitation hand-gun.  Samuelson says "in the 25 years I've been doing this, it's the most authentic replica pistol I have ever seen."  He adds that under the law, since the gun looks real, she can be fully charged.  Samuelson says Matthews is being held in the city jail... pending arraignement on charges including secon-degree robbery.  He says police are pleased to have the weapon -- even thought it's fake -- off the streets.  It's the fifth weapon to have been taken off city streets this week.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Oct. 27, 2017

Crews are on the scene of what officials say is a fully-involved structure fire in the Jamestown city area of Whitley Avenue and 6th Street. An off-duty crew was called in at 4:15 this morning.
 
The intersection of Whitley and 6th Street is currently closed off to traffic, Jamestown Police recommend using 3rd Street for your commute. More on this story as it develops. 
 
 
A Jamestown teen is facing multiple charges after an alleged strong-armed robbery in the city yesterday evening.
 
City police say they were called to the 600 block of Prendergast Avenue for a report of a strong-armed robbery with a gun. On arrival, officers were advised that the suspect took off on foot towards North Main Street.
 
Officers did locate the suspect, 19 year-old Jillian Matthews in the area of North Main Street and 7th Street. A search warrant was obtained to locate the weapon used in the robbery and, officers were able to locate an imitation pistol inside the residence. Matthews was taken to city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
A city man has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for shooting his estranged wife to death in a parking lot on Jamestown's southside last November. 
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says both sides were ready to begin the second-degree murder trial of 36 year-old Keith Robbins.  However, Swanson says Robbins' attorney wanted to speak with him before opening statements were to be made.
 
Robbins was accused of shooting and killing his wife, Sheri, in the parking lot at 9 Prospect Street about 9 AM the morning of last November 10th
 
Swanson says getting the plea was better than if the case had gone to trial for second-degree murder because Robbins could have gotten out of prison sooner, after 15 years for good behavior.  He says 20 to 25 years with no appeal is a "very satisfying result." 
 
Robbins was arrested last November 15th after a six-hour standoff with police at this father's home on Todd Avenue.  He was also accused of stabbing City Police K-9 "Mitchell" during the stand-off.
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman is among the slim majority of House members who voted in favor of the overall, GOP budget plan adopted late Thursday morning. 
 
GOP leaders were reportedly scrambling for votes on the plan, which would pave the way for a 10-year, $1.5-trillion tax cut measure that is now a high-priority of President Donald Trump. 
 
Reed says the budget is "a critical step towards making reforms to our broken and outdated tax code."  However, he and Buffalo-Area Congressman Chris Collins were the only two members of the New York delegation to vote for the plan.
 
 
Fire investigators say an unattended grill was the apparent cause of a fire that heavily damaged the back part of an apartment house in Sinclairville. 
 
Chautauqua County fire investigators say Sinclairville firefighters were called to the scene at 6381 Route 60 about 7:30 PM Wednesday
 
Officials say tenants of one apartment had started the grill on the rear deck but, left it unattended for some time until they noticed the back portion of the home was on fire.  Sinclairville fire crews were assisted by several area departments.
 
 
An earlier fire at an Ashville home has been ruled accidental due to a malfunctioning exterior light. 
 
Ashville firefighters were called to the scene at 33-93 Carpenter-Pringle Road shortly before 5 PM Wednesday
 
Officials say the home owner was inside his home when he was alerted by neighbors that his attic was on fire just above the ceiling.  He was able to get out and fire crews were able to extinguish the blaze. 
 
The owner was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA hospital with chest pains but, later was released. 
 
 
The months of October and November are peak months for car-deer related crashes across the state, and Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the same is true here in our county.
 
He says if you see one deer, chances there may be more nearby.  He says it's also important to stay in your lane if a deer should cross in front of you, break sharply.  But, he says hit the brake once you know impact is likely, then slowly release the brake.  Deer are most active at dawn and again at dusk.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Oct. 26, 2017

A pair of structure fires Wednesday evening kept fire crews in the central part of Chautauqua County busy and, heavy damage was reported in each case. 
 
The first call came just before 5 p.m. from a mobile home near Interstate 86 in the Ellery area.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Ellery Center and Ashville firefighters were called to the scene.  The occupants were outside when fire crews arrived.  The second blaze was called in about 7:30 p.m. from a location on Route 60 near Sinclairville. 
 
Dispatchers say Sinclairville and Cassadaga fire crews were called in, along with tankers from other departments.  No injuries were reported in that fire.  Crews were still at the scene late last night.
 
 
Chautauqua County lawmakers have passed a 2018 budget that includes a tax cut. 
 
 
By a 19-0 vote, the Legislature approved a spending plan that lowers the county's full value tax rate by four-cents per thousand.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he welcomes the changes legislators made to his original budget plan which proposed a 10-cent per thousand increase.
 
Legislators approved changes proposed by the Audit and Control Committee.  Chairman Pierre Chagnon was pleased with the process, calling it a total teamwork. Chagnon says it's fourth consecutive year that county lawmakers have been able to deliver a budget that cuts property taxes.
 
 
Three people have been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly being found in possession of three gun and, a significant amount of cocaine during a separate burglary investigation. 
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were following up on a tip from Lakewood-Busti Police about a recent home burglary in the town of Busti.  Samuelson says officers raided the residence at 18 Hedges Avenue shortly after 5 PM Tuesday evening.
 
Samuelson says the cocaine seized totalled nearly 30-grams.  He says they also arrested 45 year-old Cindy Cunningham and her husband, 39 year-old Anthony Cunningham and, 21 year-old Maiker Anderson. 
 
Anthony Cunningham is jailed without bail, while Cindy Cunningham is being held on 50-thousand dollars cash bail.  Anderson is being held on 60-thousand dollars bail. 
 
All three are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He says they are pleased to have the guns off the street given the number of recent shooting incidents in the city.  He says more charges are expected. 
 
If you have any information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown, call the confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS.  You can also call the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly displaying a pistol in the city's riverwalk area Tuesday night. 
 
City Police responded to the intersection of Institute and First Streets for a person with a weapon. Officers say they spoke to a victim who described the suspect later identified as 25 year-old Benny Overstreet, Junior.  Officers were able to locate Overstreet and place him in custody.  He was jailed pending arraignment on a second-degree menacing charge.
 
 
A Buffalo police officer killed in a training dive accident has been hailed at his memorial service for his bravery, dedication and sense of humor. 
 
Fellow officers eulogized Craig Lehner today Wednesday as someone whose steady demeanor enabled him to engage calmly with colleagues and the public during his nine years with the Buffalo Police Department. 
 
The 34-year-old member of the department's underwater rescue team went missing during a training dive in the Niagara River back on October 13th. 
 
Several thousand officers, several from Chautauqua County along with elected officials and others filled the KeyBank Center for the service.  Dozens of police K-9s and their handlers were among those lining the street outside the arena.
 
 
Residents in the Jamestown public school district are being asked to decide next Monday on a proposal to sell the district's former Crescent Street Warehouse. 
 
The school board voted unanimously Tuesday night to sell the building because it no longer served the district's purposes.  Back on October 14th the district received a bid at auction from Henry James Properties, LLC to buy the warehouse for one-dollar. 
 
However the district's Director of Finance and Business Affairs Vern Connors says the district must have the public's approval before selling the warehouse to the winning bidder.  He urged residents to call him for more information.
 
Unless the sale is approved, Connors says the building would most likely be torn down at a cost of $500,000.  He says that's due to the state Education Department building regulations driving up the price tag. 
 
Connors adds that an additional benefit to the sale is the building would go back onto the city's tax rolls.  Next Monday's vote runs from Noon to 9 PM.  Again... for more information, call 483-4420.
 
 
A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with an underage girl several times in the village of Perrysburg. 
 
Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested 24 year-old Jack Richter (Rick-ter) of Perrysburg late last week regarding several incidents involving Richter and a 14 year-old girl.  He was arrested for second-degree rape and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned in New Albion Town Court, and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 25-thousand dollars bail.
 
 
Two teenagers were taken to the hospital after they were thrown from their Amish buggy during an accident in Conewango Township yesterday morning. 
 
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say 36 year-old Rachel Fuller's car was southbound on Route 241 when her vehicle struck an Amish buggy traveling in the same direction.  Both teenage occupants of the buggy were ejected, injuring both.  One teen had a severe head injury... and the other sustained head and leg injuries. 
 
They were transported from the scene to UPMC Chautauqua WCA hospital.  Fuller and two young occupants of the vehicle were not hurt.  She was issued a traffic ticket for Conewango Court at a later date. 

 

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News Headlines for Wed., Oct. 25, 2017

Three arrested in Jamestown on drug, and weapon's charges...
Three people in Jamestown are jailed for allegedly being found in possession of three hand-guns... and, a significant amount of cocaine... during a raid on the city's eastside late Tuesday.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were assisting Lakewood-Busti Police... and, following up on leads regarding a recent home burglary in the town of Busti.  Samuelson says officers raided the residence at 18 Hedges Ave. shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday... and, arrested 45 year-old Cindy Cunningham and her 39 year-old husband, Anthony... along with 21 year-old Maiker Anderson.  Samuelson says all three face charges of third-degree criminal weapons and drug possession charges.  Samuelson says they found the three guns... which police are pleased to have off the street... along with nearly 30-grams of cocaine... and drug paraphernalia.  He says police are still looking into whether the guns may have been involved in any recent shooting incidents... including last week's at 150 Barrows Street.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown... call the confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also call the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
Candidates sound off during forum at JCC...
The League of Women Voters held a 'Meet the Candidates' night Tuesday night at Jamestown Community College.  One of the questions put to the County Executive candidates was what they would do to make Chautauqua Lake 'a success'.  Republican George Borrello said more work needs to be done 'upstream'. Democrat Mike Ferguson believes county resources could be better allocated, to better serve the lake. The County Legislature added $100,000 for lake maintenance in the middle of the summer.  The candidates also shared views on economic development, the size of government, and the sale of the county office building in Jamestown.
 
Boiler water order lifted in Fredonia area...
The boil water order for customers of the Fredonia Water System in the village and Town of Pomfret has been lifted.  That from the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services... which reports that water samples collected on Oct. 21 and 23 from the affected areas... showed the water is safe to drink.  The Village had a major water main leak on October 21 that was repaired the same day but due to a loss of pressure in the system, a boil water order was placed into effect as a precaution.  Health officials are thanking all  affected water customers for their cooperation and patience while the boil water order was in effect. 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Oct. 24, 2017

Two of New York's top Democrats say they have launched a statewide push against tax reform bills that call for the repeal or reduction of state and local tax deductions. 
 
US Senator Chuck Schumer joined with Governor Andrew Cuomo to say that all New Yorkers will feel the impact if the so-called "SALT Deduction" is eliminated. 
 
Schumer says they are calling on the state's nine Republican House members, including local Congressman Tom Reed, to join in opposing the move.
 
Schumer cited figures from the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy, which say 23% of taxpayers who make between $65,000 and $111,000 would see a tax increase.  He adds that jumps to 42% for workers earning $111,00 and $240,000 a year. 
 
Schumer says the average increase would be about $1900.  Cuomo calls the elimination of the SALT Deduction a "tax on a tax."  
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is supporting a bi-partisan tax reform package that would continue the State and Local Tax Deduction for property owners making up to $400,000. 
 
However, it would change the deduction to a tax credit and, would eliminate the credit for people who earn more than the $400,000 level. 
 
That's where he differs with Senator Schumer and Governor Cuomo.  Reed says that would make it available to all but about 650 to 700 residents of his 23rd Congressional District.
 
Reed says he explained his position to Governor Cuomo during a phone call late last week and, called it hypocritical to see politicians on the other side of the aisle painting those supporting tax reform in the wrong light.  He says the move would help 99-percent of the people in his district.
 
Reed, a Republican from Corning made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday afternoon.
 
 
Jamestown police are investigating a shooting incident on the city's eastside last Sunday that sent one man to the hospital with a non-life threatening wound. 
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the incident, which occured in the area of 150 Barrows Street just after 7:30 PM, was one where the victim was targeted. 
 
Samuelson says the unidentified victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  No arrests have been made and, no motive has been disclosed.  However, he says they do have suspects in the case. 
 
If you have any information, you can call the confidential JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also contact them on the Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
A Westfield man faces charges after being found over the past weekend with more than half-a-pound of marijuana in his possession. 
 
Sheriff's officers say they stopped a westbound vehicle on Route 5 for unapproved headlights.  Deputies say investigation revealed that the driver, 26 year-old Cory Raynor, was in possession of just over 13 ounces of marijuana. 
 
Officers say Raynor was issued appearance ticket for Portland Town Court at a later date. 
 
 
A local effort to better link people with substance abuse issues with the services they need in Chautauqua County is getting a $1.5-million boost from the federal government towards those efforts. 
 
That from retired Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Director Andy O'Brien with UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  O'Brien still consults for the hospital and, wrote the award-winning grant.  He says the main part will be program to quickly link addicts in crisis with the services they need.
 
O'Brien says a lot of people get into the chemical dependency "system" but, often don't get the services they need that may be available locally.  In addition to better informing the public about those, he says they also want to help addicts with better transportation services because many can't drive. 
 
O'Brien says they'll be getting a vehicle to help people in the central and north county areas.  The $1.5-million is part of $5.7-million Governor Cuomo recently announced to be used for medication-assisted treatment options and, programs that help pregnant women and new mothers dealing with drug abuse.
 
 
Strong winds moved into the area late yesterday and through the early overnight along the Lake Erie shoreline. 
 
A Wind Advisory expired overnight for both Chautauqua and Southern Erie counties. 
 
Southeast winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph arrived late yesterday through the about Midnight.  Gusty winds likely brought down a few small tree limbs and result in isolated power outages. 
 
Along with the strong winds, we has another unseasonably warm day Monday.  But, Meteorologist Kirk Apffel of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says a cold front has brought an end to the August-like weather.
 
While it was expected to reach the mid 70s in parts of western New York it only got to about 67 in the immediate Jamestown-area.
 
 
New York state's top prosecutor has launched a civil rights investigation into The Weinstein Co. following sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. 
 
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the probe Monday.  His office says it issued a subpoena seeking all company records. 
 
The Democratic attorney general says his office wants to know whether any New York employees were subjected to pervasive harassment or discrimination at the company, which is based in New York City. 
 
Weinstein was fired October 8th by the company he co-founded after allegations of sexual assault and harassment spanning decades were exposed by two newspapers.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Oct. 23 2017

A Fredonia man is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 86 and, driving drunk with a person under the age of 16 inside the vehicle last weekend. 
 
Sheriff's deputies received a complaint about the vehicle, driven by 47 year-old James Murphy shortly after 10 p.m. last Saturday.  Officers say the car had exited I-86 at Stow and, was westbound on Route 394, traveling towards Mayville. 
 
Deputies say the alleged vehicle was later found parked on a sidewalk on South Erie Street and, the driver was identified as Murphy, who was also found to have a previous DWI accident within the past 10 years. 
 
Officers say further investigation found the child was also inside the car, leading to a Leandra's Law violation charge.  Murphy was sent to the county jail pending arraignment.
 
 
A major water leak in the Castel Heights area of the village of Fredonia has led Chautauqua County Health and Human Services officials to issue a "Boil and Conserve" water order for the village and town of Pomfret. 
 
County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says the water filtration plant operator noted high water usage and decreasing water levels and capacity about 7:30 last Saturday morning.  With that, crews were assembled and work is being done to fix the water main breaks. 
 
However, customers of the Fredonia Village Public Water System are being urged to boil their tap water for one minute and, cool before using.  Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food and infant formula until further notice. 
 
In addition, Water system officials are urging watering of lawns, shrubs, and plants, as well as no vehicle washing.  They also urge residents not to use their dishwashers until further notice.
 
 
A Tompkins County businessman has won a western Southern Tier Congressional "Straw Poll" of Democrats vying to run in next year's General Election. 
 
Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says Ian Golden won the poll among eight announced candidates with 30% of the vote.  
 
Green says nearly 200 area Democrats participated in the straw poll, which is non-binding last Saturday.  He says Jamestown attorney Eddie Sundquist was second with 26-percent of the vote and, College Administrator Tracy Mitano of Yates County, was third with 24%.  Green says Air Force retiree Max Dellapia was next with 14%. 
 
However, he says the rest, including Corning area teacher Rick Gallant, failed to get at least 10% of the vote.  Golden says he's "thankful" that the Democratic chairpersons of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties put together the event.  He called it a "great opportunity to connect with all of the capable and committed candidates and weigh in on not just the candidate, but the team most capable of uniting us in forward progress."
 
 
The fire that destroyed the old Masonic Building in Dunkirk seven-years ago displaced a number of businesses and county agencies in the downtown area. 
 
One County Executive candidate says many have returned, or never left.  However, ther other feels the county still needs to return more of those vital services.  That from Democratic candidate Mike Ferguson, who says it's "time to bring those back....".
 
During an hour-long debate in Dunkirk late last week, the candidates also discussed such topics as the county airports and wind power.  The winner on November 7th will succeed Vince Horrigan, who is leaving the office to retire after serving one term.
 
 
In state government news Uber spent more on lobbying than any other group in New York during the first half of 2017 as it worked to convince lawmakers to allow it to expand upstate. 
 
Uber reported nearly $1.8 million in lobbying expenses from January through June.  Lawmakers voted this spring to allow ride-hailing services like Uber to expand outside of New York City into cities including Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. 
 
Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is skeptical about holding a special fall legislative session.  Heastie said he's not sure a special session is needed, unless Washington cuts more funding for the state. 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo pitched the idea of a special session focused on federal cuts and flood relief for residents along Lake Ontario.
 
 
The numbers seem to be increasing of those coming to Chautauqua County from Puerto Rico because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. 
 
That's the word from Chautauqua County Rural Ministry in Dunkirk where they have seen an influx of people.  Director of Programs, Bridget Majka, says about 20 people have walked through the doors looking for assistance.
 
Majka says the numbers don't include the total number of family members who need assistance.  Executive Director Kathleen Peterson says they will provide as much help as possible for the displaced people as possible, including food and shelter. 
 
Peterson says they are also encouraging the newcomers to utilize other Rural Ministry services including the Friendly Kitchen.  Both Peterson and Majka both expect the numbers to increase, since much of the island remains with out power.   
 
 
New York health officials are warning state residents that disease-carrying ticks might still be active this fall. 
 
Ticks can remain active until temperatures drop below about 40 degrees.  So officials say it's important to take precautions and perform tick checks after being outdoors even as the weather cools down.  Lyme disease-causing bacteria are spread by blacklegged ticks, which are common around the state. 
 
More recently, the state has confirmed several cases of Powassan virus, a tick-borne illness.  There has been one confirmed case in Dutchess County and three cases in Saratoga County.  A 74-year-old man died this year in Saratoga County after contracting Powassan virus.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Oct 20, 2017

The Chautauqua County Legislature will vote next week on a just over $236-million, 2018 budget that reduces the tax rate by 4-cents per thousand full-value. 
 
That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon, who says his panel finalized proposed changes during Thursday's meeting.  Chagnon says the committee did approve an additional $11,000 in savings after Sheriff Joe Gerace told them more about insurance needs for his department's helicopter.
 
However, Chagnon says that wasn't enough to lower the tax rate any further.  County Executive Vince Horrigan has said, generally, that he has no problem with the committee's reductions. 
 
Horrigan proposed a 10-cent increase to $8.58.  However,  Chagnon says the reductions drop the rate to $8.44.  He believes there is "broad support" for the proposed changes. 
 
The county budget, along with the legislature's amendments, will be voted on at next Wednesday night's meeting.  Chagnon says the public will have a chance to comment on the spending plan during an earlier 2 p.m. Session and, the regular meeting at 6:30.
 
 
Two murder cases are moving foward in Chautauqua County. 
 
District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the trial is about to get underway for 36-year-old Keith Robbins, who is accused of shooting his estranged wife, Sheri, to death in Jamestown last November. 
 
Robbins is facing second degree murder and injuring a police animal charges.  He is accused of stabbing City Police K-9 "Mitchell" during a six-hour standoff that led to his arrest.
 
Swanson expects the trial before Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley to last about three to four weeks at the most.   In another development, the District Attorney says a tentative date has been set for the trial of 28-year-old Rebecca Ruiz. 
 
Ruiz's trial date is tentatively set for next March 6th.  She faces a second degree murder charge in the shooting death of 21-year-old Julian Duman back in July.  She was also indicted on second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence.  
 
 
Two law enforcement agencies in Chautauqua County are receiving a combined $100,000 from New York state to help bolster local drug enforcement efforts. 
 
State Senator Cathy Young announced the grants, including one for $75,000 will go to the Sheriff's Office to fund some additional personnel for the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force. 
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace expressed his appreciation to Senator Young for obtaining the funding to fight the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis locally.  He says they will have five officers taking part. 
 
The other $25,000 will go to the Jamestown Police Department to help with equipment purchases for the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.   
 
JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the funding will help provide the resources his officers need to "have the tools they need to combat the drug epidemic plaguing our community."  Samuelson would only say the money will help buy needed equipment for their work.
 
 
New York state is getting $19-million in federal money to boost efforts to help those struggling with substance abuse. 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Wednesday, some of which will go to three hospitals one of them in Chautauqua County, to help expand and enhance addiction treatment. 
 
Cuomo says there will be a special focus on some medication-assisted treatment options and programs that help pregnant woman and new mothers dealing with substance abuse. 
 
UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital will share in $5.7-million for it's medication-assisted treatment program.  The Governor says addiction has torn too many families apart and that the state must do all it can to ensure those who need help have access to comprehensive treatment.
 
 
A city man was arrested on several charges after allegedly driving with three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system Wednesday night. 
 
Jamestown police were called to the area of Foote Avenue for a possibly intoxicated male driving a vehicle.  On arrival, officers say they observed the suspect, Jamie Davidson fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Newland Avenue and South Main Street. 
 
Police say the 42 year-old also failed to use a turn signal and, turned into the wrong lane almost striking a parked car.  Officers intiated a traffic stop where it was found that Davidson was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.  He was taken to city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
Jamestown will soon be able to offer a program that gives people the incentive to buy and redevelop vacant and condemned properties in the city through a tax break. 
 
Mayor Sam Teresi late Wednesday signed into law the Local Property Tax Abatement Incentive Redevelopment of Vacant and Condemned Properties program.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says he expects they'll have the program fully up and running before the end of the year.
 
DeJoy says there would be no city taxes taken the first three years on the property and, there will be 20-percent increments for year's 4 through 11.  After the 11th year the property owner will pay full taxes on the property.  He says they are working with the county right now the on details, including getting the proper paperwork in place. 
 
DeJoy says both Chautauqua County and the Jamestown School District are interested in developing their own tax abatement program for owned-occupied vacant and condemned properties.  The program was initially suggested by City Councilwoman Marie Carubba.
 
 
Metro New York City, Buffalo-Rochester, greater Syracuse and the Albany region are all in the running to win Amazon's second headquarters. 
 
All four regions submitted formal bids for the $5 billion project before Thursday's deadline.  All four take a regional approach, with the New York City proposal covering Long Island and suburban Westchester County as well. 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development head, Howard Zemsky, wouldn't reveal what financial incentives the state is ready to offer.  But he says that when factors including transportation access, workforce, economy and quality of life are considered he expects New York to be among the strongest competitors. 
 
Cities across the country and Canada were expected to submit bids to Amazon.  The Seattle-based retail tech giant says the project could create up to 50,000 jobs.
 
 
A Jamestown man is facing charges after a domestic incident on the city's west-side yesterday afternoon.
 
City police say they responded to a Price Street residence for a reported domestic incident just after 4 p.m.. Following investigation, it was found that 26 year-old Johnathan Akers and the victim became involved in a verbal argument during which, Akers picked up a television and threw it through the rear window of a vehicle belonging to the victim. He was arrested and taken to City jail pending arraignment.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Oct. 19, 2017

Chautauqua County's efforts to consolidate and share services was discussed during a state-wide forum in Albany late Tuesday and, the reaction was positive. 
 
That from County Executive Vince Horrigan, who took part in a review of the first shared services plan developed under the state's County-Wide Shared Services Initiative law. 
 
The county was one of 34 that submitted a plan by September 15th.  Horrigan says 23 other counties chose to delay adoption until next September.
 
The Rockefeller Institute of Government, the Benjamin Center at the SUNY College at New Paltz, and the Center for Technology in Government at the University of Albany hosted the program and presentation. 
 
The groups indicated that the shared services plans combined included 389 proposals totaling $208-million in projected savings in 2018 and at least $76.1-million in recurring savings.  
 
 
A study just released by a merger committee and a consultant says that the Panama and Clymer Central School Districts should move ahead with a consolidation of both districts. 
 
That from one of the members of Learning Design Associated, Tom Schmidt, who says the panel released it's findings to both school boards during Tuesday night's special meeting in Clymer. 
 
On our Dennis Webster Show Wednesday, Schmidt said there were three major recommendations in the study, the first being that the rest of Panama's $5-million fine by the state be reconciled.
 
Schmidt says there is a bill on Governor Cuomo's desk that would whip out the rest of that fine, which is about $2.5-million.  He says they also called on the two districts to create a community of "trust, respect, and understanding" as they decide on what traditions to keep from each school and, new ones.  He says they also recommended keeping both the Panama and Clymer Elementary Schools open for students Kindergarten throught 5th grades.  He says they recommended the middle school be in Panama and, the high school in Clymer.
 
 
Both the Clymer and Panama School Districts will now review the approximately 300-page report and, will have to vote to accept the report, and then vote on a merger. 
 
That from the superintendent of both districts, Bert Lictus, who says both panels will meet in the next two weeks to discuss the report and then vote on it. 
 
Lictus says the report by Learning Design Associates was very thorough, and adds he was "struck by the detail" in it and, the fact it dealt with the education of "each child."  Lictus says that if both boards accept the report and agree on a non-binding straw vote, it would take place on Monday, November 13th.
 
 
A man from Washington, D-C is being held on $500 cash bail in Cattaraugus County for allegedly being in possession of a firearm and, a quantity of marijuana during a traffic stop in the town of Carrolton last weekend.   
 
State Police say they stopped a vehicle on State Route 219 early last Saturday morning for not dimming their headlights for on-coming traffic.  While talking to the driver, troopers say they noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle. 
 
A search revealed the 20 year-old passenger, Dante Hicks, was in possession of a small bag of marijuana and a loaded semi-automatic pistol.  Troopers say Hicks did not have a permit for the weapon and was arrested. 
 
 
One person suffered a minor injury in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Forest Avenue Extension and Garfield Road in the town of Busti early Tuesday evening. 
 
Lakewood-Busti Police say the accident occured shortly after 5:30 p.m. and, on arrival, officers found the pick-up truck involved had rolled onto it's side. 
 
Police say the unidentified man driving the vehicle was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  The woman driving the car involved was apparently not hurt.  Police say charges are pending.
 
 
Elected officials in the city of Dunkirk are voicing their opposition over a proposal by Brooks Memorial Hospital to build its new hospital in the town of Pomfret. 
 
By a unanimous vote, common council members approved a resolution opposing the relocation of the hospital on East Main Road. 
 
Mayor Willie Rosas says his administration did everything possible to keep the hospital in the City. Prior to the passage of the resolution, several area residents spoke out against the move. 
 
 
The seventh-annual Emporium put on by Jamestown's Community Helping Hands is set to take place on the first Saturday of November at the Gateway Center at 31 Water Street near downtown. 
 
Community Helping Hands Executive Director, Pastor Amy Rohler says new to this year is the early opening of the Christmas shop, which normally doesn't get a start until the end of Novmeber.
 
Rohler says she is excited and hoping to make this the largest Community Helping Hands event yet.  The Emporium is an indoor craft show, flea market, and rummage sale event that draws in local vendors and the community alike.
 
Auction baskets include lazer tag, Planet Fitness, a gardening basket from the Audabon and, others.  All the proceeds benefit the ministries of Community Helping Hands, who help local families and indivuals and serves as a resource for workforce development. 
 
For more information on the Emporium or vendor registration, call the CCH office at 481-1488. 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Oct. 18th 2017

While the Senate has now announced a plan aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets, local Congressman Tom Reed says a bi-partisan caucus he is part of already has a plan in place. 
 
Reed said Monday in Lakewood that the effort by the Problem Solver's Caucus would help continue subsidies to help low-income Americans afford their health insurance premiums for the short-term.  Reed has touted his group's plan which he says would at least "stabilize" the current exchanges until a new plan is in place.
 
The Trump Administration says the subsidies that were a hall-mark of the Affordable Care Plan under President Obama, are illegal because Congress never approved them. 
 
However, he said Tuesday that he would be willing to look at such a short-term plan.  Reed was in the area Monday touting two pieces of legislation Monday that he's introduced that will boost local hospice and palliative care programs, which he says should be part of any health care legislation.  
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is "continuing" his record-breaking fund-raising having brought in more than $1.4-million so far for the 2017-18 election cycle. 
 
The Corning Republican's campaign reports that they are also continuing to add new volunteers to their "grassroots" organization.  In a printed release, Reed says he's "thankful to have the support of the hundreds of people who have given to our campaign this year."  He says the donations "represent real people who are responding to our bipartisan, practical approach to government." 
 
Campaign Manager Nicholas Weinstein says "the campaign is growing every day and is in its strongest position ever at this point in the election cycle."  Weinstein adds they are "building momentum" for 2018. 
 
Meantime, Reed's potential Democratic opponents are way behind in fund-raising.  Among those who have filed, the Reed Campaign says Rick Gallant has raised about $4800 and, currently has just over $17,000 in the bank.  Jamestown Attorney Eddie Sundquist has raised $26,000 and, has just over $15,000 in the bank.
 
 
Southern Tier Environments for Living has received two awards from New York State that would aid in developing 35 new housing units in Chautauqua County though its Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program and, proposed Gateway Lofts Program in Jamestown. 
 
The $790,000 award is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.6-billion Empire State Supportive Housing Iniative, a plan to create 6,000 supportive housing units across the state.  STEL's Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program is a affordable housing project to create rental housing for low income individuals and families. 
 
Officials say the award provides $165,000 for 10 units for individuals that are homeless with serious mental illness.  The Gateway Lofts Project is still in the planning phase but, the housing project would be located in Jamestown and include 74 housing units, 25 of which homeless individuals with serious mental illness or a substance abuse issues.
 
 
We had a very frosty start to the day Tuesday but, it'll be warming up now through the end of the week. 
 
National Weather Service Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo says it reached 34 degrees at the Dunkirk Airport... but, it was even colder away from Lake Erie. 
 
Temperatures rebounded to near 60 Tuesday afternoon and, Reynolds expects the warm up to continue.  By the end of the week he says we'll see 70 to 71-degrees.  The meteorologist doesn't expect the next cool down to occur until early next week.   
 
City lawmakers will vote later this month on hiring two health insurance companies with local ties to provide Jamestown's new voluntary, Medicare-eligible health insurance plan for retired city employees. 
 
City Comptroller Joe Bellitto and Mayor Sam Teresi rolled out the $1.5-million program Monday night, which the state is helping to fund to lower the health cost burden on the city.  Bellitto told the City Council during it's work session that those choosing to go into one of the plans will have an incentive grant set aside for them to use to pay premiums only.
 
Bellitto says... depending on the union they were represented by the premiums for the new plan will cost the retiree between $108-$128 a month.  He says the top pay-outs will go to the younger retirees who are 65 to 69 and will receive a one-time grant of $17,000. 
 
The grants fall to $3,000 for retirees ages 80 and up.  Bellitto says four companies offered proposals and, he says they selected Northwest Financial, and Arcade Financial Services. 
 
 
New York is poised to adopt new standards for the treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement in local jails. 
 
The state's Commission on Corrections approved the new rules Tuesday.  The changes come at the urging of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The new regulations will mandate that all prisoners held in solitary at local jails get at least four hours of time outside their cell each day. 
 
The rules also require local authorities to tell the state whenever a prisoner under 18 is placed in solitary or when an inmate is held in solitary for more than a month. 
 
Cuomo says the standards will create consistent rules and prevent prisoner mistreatment.  The state has already implemented changes to reduce the use of solitary confinement in state facilities.
 
 
Buffalo police yesterday afternoon found the officer who went missing during a training dive last week in the Niagara River. 
 
The Buffalo Police Department said Tuesday afternoon that the body of 34-year-old Officer Craig Lehner was recovered in the area where a search had been going on since Friday afternoon.  Authorities say Lehner was participating in a routine training exercise on the river at Buffalo near Unity Island when he failed to resurface. 
 
Police, emergency crews and the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the search.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace earlier said one of his units assisted Tuesday.
 
The A-P reports that a procession brought Lehner's body to Erie County Medical Center as police and firefighters lined the route.  Lehner, a nine-year veteran of the force, was a member of Buffalo's K-9 unit and underwater recovery team.
 
 
State police in Warren are investingating a hit and run accident that occurred between Farmington and Sugar Grove Townships early yesterday morning.
 
Troopers say the incident occurred as an unknown vehicle was traveling west on State Route 957 near Lanning Hill Road between midnight and 1 a.m. 
 
The vehicle struck a horse in the roadway and continued traveling in an unknown direction. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police. 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday, 10/17/2017

It wasn't on the schedule of entities to be reviewed last night for the 2018 budget proposal but, supporters of the Prendergast Library in Jamestown urged City Council members to restore funding to the outside agency. 
 
Several people spoke at the council's regular work session about the 50-percent cut to the library in Mayor Sam Teresi's $35.7-million budget.  Lucille Wilson worked there part-time several years ago, and heard compliments about how great a resource it is. Wilson adds that, even in the age of the Internet, it gets a lot of use.
 
One person said that the library was his source for on-line resources, and the Internet, when he was young.  Michael Smoker says the library was a "great place" to go to as a kid. 
 
However, he says while the library can get grants for fixed costs and repairs, it doen't help with day-to-day costs.  At the same time, they have do deal with several state mandates to operate.  The library was cut by 70% in this year's budget, to $100,000.  If approved as is in the mayor's budget, it will receive $50,000 in 2018.
 
 
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is urging city lawmakers to say "no!" to any new spending in the 2018 budget proposal until they deal with it's $947,000 deficit. 
 
Teresi made his comments during his report at the end of last night's open session.  He says providing more funding for the library or to help buy badly needed equipment for the Department of Public Work may be a great idea. 
 
However, Teresi says there are other areas that have to be addressed first, including paying the city's bond holders on time to get the city's debt is paid off.  He adds they also have to make a full payment to the state's retirement system for it's police and fire department, as well as general employees.
 
 
A Jamestown teenager was arrested after taking his roommate's car early last Saturday morning.
 
Officers responded to a Lakeview Avenue residence for a report of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. It was found that the victim's roommate, 19-year old Nicholas McChesney had taken the vehicle without permission. Officers were able to locate McChesney and he was taken to city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
We'll see cooler temperatures for another day or so after a strong cold front passed through the area late Sunday and, triggered some severe weather as it crossed the western New York area Sunday afternoon. 
 
Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the front brought gusty winds that caused a lot of damage in the region.
 
There was a report of a 56 MPH gust near Dunkirk.  Hamilton says there were nearly 100 reports of downed trees and power lines, with some of the downed trees falling on homes in the region. 
 
Many of those reports were from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  There is a Frost Advisory locally until 8 this Tuesday morning.
 
 
There is strong support across the 23rd Congressional District for two measures introduced by the county's member of Congress to would improve access and financial support for hospice and palliative services. 
 
Local Representative Tom Reed was on hand at Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care in Lakewood Mondaymorning to get the local backing for The Patient Choice and Quality Care Act and, the Rural Access to Hospice Act. 
 
Chautauqua Hospice Director Shawna Anderson says the Patient Choice Act will support three areas:  Workforce training, education and awareness, and enhance research.
 
Anderson adds that the Rural Access measure will help assure a person in their care can keep their primary care doctor.  Unless your primary care doctor has the proper approvals, she says they can't be reimbursed for their services.  In addition, the Corning Republican says both pieces of legislation will help doctors, and hospice organizations get the federal reimbursements they should be. 
 
Right now, Anderson says they have to go after grants, and use fund-raisers to support their "end of life" hospice and palliative services for people with longer-term, terminal illnesses. 
 
 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he has a plan to keep the Dunkirk Airport operating until a new Fixed Based Operator can be found. 
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan says the current operator, Lou Nalbone, gave the County 60-days notice in September that he would not continue operations at the airport on Middle Road in the town of Sheridan at the end of October. 
 
Horrigan was slated to make his full presentation at the County Legislature's Public Facilities Committee meeting last night.
 
Nalbone will continue to provide services at the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown.  Horrigan says it's important to keep the Dunkirk Airport open, especially for corporate aviation.  He says that will include hangering services, and re-fueling of planes. 
 
Nalbone has given notice that he will end services as the FBO on October 31.  He will continue to provide services at the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown.  
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan will be traveling to Albany today to take part in a panel discussion on Shared Services. 
 
Horrigan made his comments yesterday morning, adding that it will allow him to share what's being done locally to share services.
 
Besides filing a Shared Services Plan that's required by the State, Horrigan is awaiting word on the winner of a $20-million Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition. 
 
Chautauqua County is one of six local governments competing for the major funding.  Horrigan expects an announcement in early November.

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News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

Sharp Cold Front brings short-lived storms, knocks down trees and power lines...
There were some downed trees and power lines... but, no serious issues were reported when a sharp cold front came through the Jamestown-area late yesterday afternoon.  There were some rain showers associated with the front... which passed through within about half-an-hour after the rain started about 4:30 p.m.... the system then moved to the east.  After a high of 77 degrees... temperatures dropped about 10-degrees within that time period.
 
 
City man arrested and jailed without bail on drug, weapons charges...
An accused drug dealer is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of more than 15 pounds of marihuaua late last week on Jamestown's northside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, state Police C-NET Team, and U-S Postal Service obtained a search warrant for the 35 Lakeview Ave. apartment of 23 year-old Bryan Torres.  Samuelson says, inside, they found the drugs, along with a loaded shotgun, a bullet-proof vest, and, more than $47,000 in cash.  He says the apartment appeared to be a "hub" of drug trafficking for pot to be dealt in the Jamestown-area.  Samuelson says they're pleased to have the drugs, and weapon off the street.  He says police spotted Torres leaving the scene when they arrived about 4:40 p.m. last Friday... and, he was arrested when his vehicle was stopped a short time later.  He says Torres faces one count of first-degree criminal possession of marihuana... and, disorderly conduct during the traffic stop.  Torres was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... you're asked to call the Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also leave an anonymous message on their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
Man arrested in Sherman for possessing meth...
A Sherman man is accused of being in possession of drugs during a traffic stop in the village of Sherman late last month.  Sheriff's deputies say 41 year-old James Linger has now been formally charged with one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after deputies checked on his car last Sept. 29 on East Street.  Officers say Linger's vehicle was parked in a traveling lane when they checked on him.  He was found with a quantity of Methamphetime, and drug paraphernalia.  In addition to the drug charges... Linger was ticketed for parking on pavement.  He was issued appearance tickets for Sherman Town Court.
 
 
DiNapoli visits with Mayor Teresi during visit to city last Friday afternoon...   
The state's fiscal watchdog reassured Jamestown city officials late last week that New York stands behind their efforts to restructure city government, and dig out from their deficit problems.  That from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli... who met with Mayor Sam Teresi last Friday afternoon to discuss the city's financial situation... and, economic development initiatives.  DiNapoli says the city has "done well" in leveraging state dollars... and, working with the state's Restructuring Board.  He says there have been indications of "on-going support" to help with the city's short term budget issues.  The state provided Jamestown with some short-term help this past year in plugging an $825,000 shortfall.  New York also provided $1.5-million to get a new health insurance program in place for the city's Medicare-eligible retirees.  Teresi says he appreciated the Comptroller's reassurance... after speaking with him about the situation.  Teresi presented his 2018 budget proposal this past Tuesday.  It totals $35.7-million... and, includes a 21-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate increase. 
 
 
Cuomo hails decision to grant in-state tuition for displaced students...
In New York state government news, Governor Andrew Cuomo is hailing the state's decision to grant in-state tuition to displaced students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The Democratic governor had encouraged state higher education officials to make the change, which he says will help students whose education has been disrupted by recent hurricanes.  Meanwhile, mental health advocates are urging the state to increase funding for housing, arguing that community-based housing for the mentally ill provides better services for less money compared to institutions or prisons.  And state labor officials are taking a look at on-call scheduling, a practice in which retail and other workers have to call before a scheduled shift to learn whether they're needed.  Officials may propose new scheduling rules to reduce disruption on workers' lives.
 
 
Rosas proposes 2018 Dunkirk Budget...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas has released his proposed 2018 city budget... and, he says it will not include a tax rate increase.  Rosas made the announcement during his annual budget presentation at City Hall late last week.  He says the budget totals $22.2-million dollars... and, is balanced, and there is no increase in the tax levy.  Rosas says through the assistance of Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Senator Cathy Young, the city will not see a reduction in transitional aid for 2018, funding the city is receiving because of the moth-balling of the NRG Power Plant.  He says the budget will also not change sewer and water rates.  The Common Council will have until Nov. 15 to make any changes to the budget.  
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 14, 2017

City man arrested in major, Marihuana Bust...
Jamestown police say they have taken a major drug trafficker off the street with the arrest of a city man late yesterday... and, seizing several pounds of marihuana... and, a loaded shotgun.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the arrest of 23 year-old Bryan Torres... who was trying to leave the scene at 35 Lakeview Ave., was a significant one.  Samuelson says the ongoing investigation involved the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, State Police C-NET Team, and the U-S Postal Service... who got a search warrant... and, found about 15-pounds, and 13 ounces of pot inside the apartment.  He says they also found a loaded shot-gun, a bullet proof vest, and more than $47,000 in cash.  Samuelson says they saw Torres leaving the scene when they arrived about 4:40 p.m., and, he was arrested when his vehicle was stopped a short time later.  Samuelson says Torres faces one count of first-degree criminal possession of marihuana, and one of disorderly conduct.  He adds that others are pending.  Samuelson says the items were seized... and, Torres is being held pending arraignment.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... you're asked to call the Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also leave an anonymous message on their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
Major drug bust in Dunkirk leads to one arrest...
Police in the north county say an investigation of suspicious activity involving a vehicle early Thursday morning on Maple Avenue in Dunkirk has led to the arrest of a Fredonia man on a series of charges.  Dunkirk Police say an officer stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation after observing suspicious activity in a known drug area.  Further investigation lead to the discovery of more than an eighth of an ounce of "high purity" cocaine powder, several rocks of crack cocaine, a digital scale and assorted packaging materials as well as several hundred dollars in cash.  The driver, 21-year-old John Dewey, is facing several charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
 
 
DiNapoli in Jamestown to see local projects, and endorse two Democratic candidates...
The two Democrats running for county-wide office in Chautauqua County got a major boost to their campaign's Friday afternoon.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli... who was also a local, elected official some years ago... stopped in Jamestown to give his endorsement to County Executive Candidate Mike Ferguson and County Clerk Candidate LeeAnn Lazarony.  While these are local races... DiNapoli says they're very important because they are the "closest to the people."  He says it "sets the tone" for an entire region, and leverage support for state and federal candidates.  DiNapoli touted Ferguson's broad background in business and marketing... adding that -- with an open seat this year -- there's a lot of opportunity for a "fresh start."  DiNapoli says it's also great to have a candidate who is a seasoned veteran... and, he says the voters have a choice with Lazarony.  The Cassdaga Democrat has been a mayor, and village board member.  DiNapoli says that give's Lazarony a lot of experience in "customer service," which is a major part of the job.  DiNapoli was in Jamestown earlier, meeting with Mayor Sam Teresi about the city's budget situation, and touring some local economic development projects that are being backed by the state.
 
 
Local League of Women voters providing information on state-wide Constitutional Convention propostion...
There are a lot of lawn signs... and, bumper stickers appearing in the area regarding a key state-wide proposition on the Nov. 7 election ballot.  Voters will have the chance to decide whether or not told hold a Constitutional Convention.  A number of groups oppose having a convention, including the State AFL-CIO, the State Conservative Party and the State Rifle and Pistol Association. The League of Women Voters of New York State is among the groups supporting the convention.  Minda Rae Amiran of the Chautauqua County League says the state League is supporting the need for a convention to make the state's budget process more democratic.  Amiran says the local League of Women Voters has also decided to educate voters about the pros and cons of having a constitutional convention.  She says they see their role as educating the public on the proposition.
 
 
BPU General Manager pleased to have state grant to help rehab 6-miles of wastewater pipes in the city...
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will use it's $375,000 state grant to cover it's local share of $1.5-milion in wastewater upgrades.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says they appreciate the grant... which was announced Thursday by Governor Cuomo.  Leathers say it will allow them to hire a contractor to use a special process called "slip-lining" to protect their wastewater lines in the city.  He says they coat the pipes in a process to protect them, as opposed to costly replacement.  Leathers says they submitted the grant to do about 6-miles of pipe rehabilitation within the city limits.  He says, though, this project probably won't start in earnest until the weather breaks next year.  Leathers says the rest of this year will be used for final planning... with the project starting next year -- but, he adds it may continue into 2019. 
 
 
Anti-Bullying Law now in place in North Tonawanda...
A city in Western New York has a new law that lets authorities send parents of bullies to jail for up to 15 days and fine them up to $250.  The North Tonawanda City Council voted unanimously Oct. 3 to amend an existing law to add bullying, harassment and underage drinking to existing curfew violations parents already could be held accountable for.  Lawmakers also removed a provision that prevented anything more than a warning for a first offense, meaning parents can face a fine or jail right away.  A community coalition pushed for the change after being told there was little police could do to stop the bad behavior of a dozen or so teenagers.  
 

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WJTN Headlines

Jamestown police continue to investigate a a shooting in which one person was wounded, and two others remain at large. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the unidentified man who was shot is being treated for a non-life threatening wound at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 95 Liberty Street about 3 p.m., and, found the victim with a gun-shot wound to the left forearm. 

 

Samuelson says the unidentified suspect then fled the scene with another man.  He says both are black males and, were wearing dark colored clothes and hats.  One reportedly was wearing red or purple colored jeans.  Samuelson says they apparently targeted the victim. 

 

Anyone with information on the incident and suspects is asked to call JPD at 483-7536 or the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

 

A city man was arrested after allegedly stealing from a business on Jamestown's eastide last weekend. 

 

Officers responded to Jamestown Bronze Works on Hopkins Avenue for a larceny complaint that occurred during the overnight last Saturday.  With help from surveillance photographs, officers say they were able to identify the suspect as 45 year-old Michael Anderson. 

 

Shortly after, officers located Anderson near his home, and he was arrested.  Once in custody, he was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and taken to the county jail on $1,500 cash bail.

 

 

A total of seven municipalities in Chautauqua County will receive state grants for vital water infrastructure improvements. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the allocation of over $6.5-million for the county to upgrade either water or sewer systems. 

 

Horrigan says the funding is part of $20-million dollars in grants awarded by Cuomo to support 17 essential drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects in Western New York.  Horrigan says the grants are great news for the county and, another example of how the Governor is continuing to support projects in western New York and Chautauqua County. 

 

The grants include $975,000 for the county for the creation of the North Chautauqua Lake sewer district and $375,000 for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  The BPU's project totals $1.5-million.

 

 

The Chief Operating Officer of the Girls Scouts of Western New York says decision of the Boy Scouts of America expanding to include girls came as a surprise to the Girl Scouts. 

 

Alison Wilcox says the Girl Scouts had heard mainly through word-of-mouth that the Boy Scouts were considering the move before Wednesday's official announcement. 

 

Wilcox says the Girl Scouts are better positioned to serve girls after having been in existance for more than 100 years.  She says that the Girl Scouts are not concerned about a decline in numbers due to the Boy Scouts' decision to include girls.  She adds the Girl Scouts are still doing well in the entire western New York region. 

 

There are approximately 15,000 Girl Scout members in Western New York, including about 1,200 in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  The local Allegany Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts declined comment on the matter.

 

 

An important deadline is coming up today as Election Day draws closer. 

 

Chautauqua County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says Friday, is the deadline to register to vote in this year's general election.  He says if you need to check on your status, go on-line to votechautauqua.com.  He says you can register by mail, or in person. 

 

Green says Friday is also the deadline to change political party enrollment for those seeking to vote in a specific primary next year.

 

 

The two new pedestrian bridges that will be part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk have now both been installed and, are expected to open once the weather breaks next Spring or Summer. 

 

That from Mayor Sam Teresi who says the two-million dollar project culminated earlier this week.  Teresi says two cranes were brought in to install the spans.  He says New York state is providing most of the funding for the projects totaling $1.6-million in grant funding. 

 

The city also has recaptured federal funds that will cover the rest.  Teresi says the two bridges will connect the north and south sides of the Chadakoin River to give people a chance to enjoy the entire Riverwalk area.  He says one goes from the northshore behind the new,National Comedy Center to Panzarella Park near the BPU Campus. 

 

The second will be closer to the Washington Street Bridge and, also connect the north and south shores.

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 13, 2017

**City police investigate Eastside shooting incident, targeted man suffers non-life-threatening wound...                     
Jamestown police say one man was shot... and, two others are being sought... in connection with a shooting incident on the city's eastside yesterday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 95 Liberty St. about 3 p.m., and, found the victim with a gun-shot wound to the left forearm.  Samuelson says the unidentified suspect then fled the scene with another man.  He says both are black males... and, were wearing dark colored clothes and hats.  One reportedly was wearing red to purple colored jeans.  Samuelson says they apparently targeted the victim.  Anyone with information on the incident and suspects is asked to call JPD at 483-7536... or the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.  The victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital... where he's being treated for teh non-life threatening wound.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for theft and drug possession...
A city man was arrested after allegedly stealing from a business on Jamestown's eastide last weekend.  Officers responded to Jamestown Bronze Works on Hopkins Avenue for a larceny complaint that occurred during the overnight last Saturday.  With help from surveillance photographs... officers say they were able to identify the suspect as 45 year-old Michael Anderson.  Shortly after, officers located Anderson near his home, and he was arrested.  Once in custody, he was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and taken to the county jail on $1,500 cash bail. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he remains comfortable with President Donald Trump's leadership despite last weekend's Twitter barbs traded with U-S Senator Bob Corker. 
 
The pair had an unusually harsh exchange between a president and a senator from his own party.  Trump says the Tennessee Republican had "begged" him for an endorsement for his re-election campaign and that he "didn't have the guts" to run again.  Corker shot back that he felt Trump could lead the U.S. into World War-Three.
 
Reed does agree, though, that a continued focus on the fight could make it harder to pass the president and Republican Majority in Congress's agenda.  After Trump said Corker didn't "have the guts" to run again Corker called the White House "an adult day care center" and that "someone obviously missed their shift this morning."
 
 
Some students gave first-hand accounts of the bullying problem in the Jamestown public schools Tuesday night and talked about the need to take steps to better protect students. 
 
The students joined the relatives of a handful of current and past students who recently committed suicide who spoke during last night's board meeting at the high school. 
 
One was 2015 graduate Natalie Schaefer who says it got so bad she tried to harm herself.  She says students never had a real way to anonymously tells school officials what was going on.
 
Another girl who just graduated from high school in Oregon says she was bullied in Jamestown but, has had no such problem at her school in Oregon. 
 
Sativa Allen says she has a younger brother still here who says he's being bullied by some students, along with a teacher.  She says that also happened to her in third-grade.  Allen says the teacher said she would never graduate but, says she did and with honors.
 
 
The Jamestown School District has begun taking "baby steps" in an effort to curb the bullying problem in the district mainly at the high school. 
 
School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe said Tuesday night that the effort began before the recent handful of suicides that occured. 
 
Apthorpe says he and School Board president Paul Abbott talked to parents and others during a break in Tuesday night's meeting.  Apthorpe later previewed a new anonyomous report form they'll be using in cases of bullying, and to ensure proper follow-up.
 
During the break following the public session, Apthorpe says he spoke with one of the adults, who suggested creating an on-line app that would allow a complaint to be filed.  He says a kid could simply send a text to a certain code on their phone. 
 
Apthorpe adds the district is starting to provide more "Charactor Education" at all grade levels that teach personal accountability.  He says a video is now being shown to students to encourage students to not be bystanders if they see bullying.
 
 
A new scam that's a take-off on one seen in the past is targeting Jamestown Board of Public Utilities customers. 
 
BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says, at least one business received a call today from someone pretending to be from the BPU, saying their bill is past due and that their utilities will be shut off unless they call an 800 number. 
 
When the number is dialed, the scammer answers as the Board of Public Utilities and transfers the customer to a separate extension for payment.  Robbins says the "BPU does not call customers and ask them to call an 800 number for payment.  Should you get such a call, hang up".
 
 
A Dunkirk man is being held on several charges following a traffic stop on Lake Shore Drive East near Armadillo Street late Tuesday night. 
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the incident occured about 11:30 p.m., and escalated after the officer discovered a passenger who was trying to hide under a blanket in the back seat who was wanted on several outstanding warrants for felony robbery charges. 
 
The 33 year-old Duprey was located on Pangolin Street near Pine after trying to take off from officers.  Ortolano says he is facing several charges, including first and third-degree robbery, along with those from last night.  He says the drug related charge resulted from Duprey allegedly dropping a small bag of cocaine on the floor of the vehicle during the traffic stop. 
 
Duprey is expected to be arraigned on the charges in Dunkirk City Court this afternoon.
 
 

Gas prices nationally have dropped by about $.06 a gallon over the past week but, they remain the same in Chautauqua County this week. 

 

That from the AAA's Gas Price Report, which says the price this week locally remains about $2.69 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA says that's about the same as last week. 

 

Nationally, AAA says the price has fallen to $2.49 a gallon which is $.18 cheaper than a month ago.

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WJTN Headlines

A handful of recent suicides by students who were relentlessly-bullied by other students has led family members to call on Jamestown school officials to take action on a problem they say is out of hand. 
 
Several people addressed the school board during last night's meeting at the high school.  One Barbara Solis, just recently had to bury her 14 year-old niece.  She called for students found to have bullied get more than a suspension.
 
Solis also urged the board to look at a law similar to one just instituted in Tonawanda, just north of Buffalo where parents could be held liable in cases involving bullying.  Marsha Hamilton also feels more needs to be done.  She recently lost her 14 year-old granddaughter, Mariah Schroeder and, says she knew of a 17 year-old girl who also committed suicide on the same day. 
 
A couple of former students who have dealt with being bullied also spoke about how relentless the bullying was and, the fact that social media amplified the problem especially on some special, on-line apps that kids were able to use.
 
 
Jamestown school board members were visibly moved by the stories by family members and, former students about the bullying situation. 
 
Board President Paul Abbott spoke following the public comment session which lasted more than half-an-hour.  Abbott says the board's number-one priority is student safety and, says officials have already been discussing ways to address the problem.  He says he and new District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe have been discussing the situation and looked at ways to deal with the matter. 
 
Apthorpe says one is better ways for students to anonymously notify school officials about being bullied.  More on that later today.
 
 
A Forestville man is jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being in possession of child pornography earlier this year. 
 
State Police in Fredonia say their Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested 62 year-old Robert Howard of Forestville earlier this month on 10 Felony counts of Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, as well as two counts of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child. 
 
State Police say their initial investigation began following a complaint that was filed last July 20th.  Howard was arrested and, arraigned in Hanover Town Court.  He was sent to the County lock-up.
 
 
For the second year in a row, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has presented a new budget proposal that includes a sizeable,  projected deficit. 
 
Teresi announced his $35.7-million spending plan yesterday afternoon and the need to work with the city council to reduce the nearly $947,000 shortfall.  In addition, he says the city remains at it's constitutional taxing limit, which this year allows for about a "slight" tax levy increase.
 
Teresi says the budget includes a $.21 per thousand full-value tax rate increase, which would bring the rate to $23.98 for next year.  He says the increase is largely being driven by increases in personnel costs as well as increases in the city's own health insurance program for retirees. 
 
However Teresi says they are still working with New York state to fully-impliment an incentive program to get Medicare-eligible retirees.  He says "bottom-line, the state of New York doesn't want the city of Jamestown to fail."  City Council budget hearings begin next Monday night.
 
  
A woman who has been involved in the church and, community outreach work has been named as the new director of the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County. 
 
The United Way, late this morning, announced that the Reverend Amy Rohler will replace Tory Irgang on January 1st.  Irgang was recently named as the new Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. 
 
In a printed release, United Way Board President Christopher Colburn says Rohler became director of Community Helping Hands in 2009.  Since then, the organization has grown from a simple thrift store... into a relationship-based workforce development resource.
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's not surprised that New York state isn't getting it's fair share of tax dollars returned by the federal government. 
 
However, Corning Republican Tom Reed says, at least part of the reason is the state's own tax policies that have driven people and businesses from the state.  Commenting on a state report that New York gets back 84-cents for each federal dollar sent to Washington Reed added that that's why tax reform is so necessary.
 
The House recently approved a budget blueprint that includes some tax reform.  Reed says it's his goal to make the tax code more fair for all Americans.  He says much of the reason why New York gets short-shrifted on federal money is the New York City-Metro area is part of the state and there is a "lot of wealth" there. 
 
In a recent report by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, he noted that New York state got back 84-cents on each federal dollar returned to individual states.  DiNapoli says only three states New Jersey, North Dakota and Connecticut get back less.

 

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News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 10, 2017

County Dept. of Health and Human Services announces Rabid Cat attack...
The first rabid animal attack of 2017 has occured in Chautauqua County after a stray-feral cat attacked two people in the town of Stockton late last week.  Department of Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says the residents were attacked by the cat last Thursday, Oct. 5.  Schuyler says the incident should "serve as a warning to Chautauqua County residents that animal rabies is a serious public health concern that we must not get complacent about."  She adds that pets "face a very real risk of exposure which can then translate to human exposure."  Schuyler adds that children are often at greatest risk from rabies because they are more likely to be bitten.  Schuyler says prevention is the best way to go and says pet owners need to be aware that the state requires all dogs, cats and domesticated ferrets be vaccinated against rabies at 4 months of age.  The next free rabies vaccination clinic will be held this Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Gerry Town Highway Garage on Route 60 from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon.
 
 
Remnants of Hurricane Nate leave up to 2-inches of rain on WNY...
The soaking rain associated with former Hurricane Nate have moved off to the east after past of Western New York received upwards of two-inches of rain from the system.  The remnents of the storm that battered the Gulf coast on Saturday moved though the region quickly.  Forecaster Shawn Smith from the National Weather Service in Buffalo says conditions began to improve about mid-afternoon yesterday.  While the rain is ending, Smith says the mild weather will not be ending anytime soon.  In fact, he says we'll see highs in the 70s.  Areas further north saw the highest rainfall totals, with some areas north of Buffalo getting close to 2.4-inches of rain.  In Chautauqua County, the Dunkirk area received .96 inches, while the County Airport near Jamestown received .36 inches of rain. 
 
 
Jamestown Young Professionals to talk economy during panel discussion at Jackson Center...
The 'Jamestown Young Professionals' will present a panel discussion on the Chautauqua County Economy this evening at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.  The event will be moderated by Matthew Mazgai, a member of the Young Professionals board, and an attorney at Phillips-Lytle.  County Executive Vince Horrigan, Chamber of Commerce President Todd Tranum, and Dunkirk Development Director Rebecca Yanus are among those on the panel.  They'll be joined by Chase Churchill from Jamestown Electroplating and Jonathan Weston from Panama Rocks.  Matt Mazgai says there are good things happening in the local economy. The panel discussion will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. tonight at the Jackson Center and is free and open to the public.  The Phillips Lytle law firm is sponsoring the program.
 
 
Teresi to present 2018 budget today...
The city of Jamestown's proposed 2018 budget will be presented this afternoon by Mayor Sam Teresi, who says it'll be a "realistic and tight" spending plan.  Teresi is required, by city charter, to present the spending plan to council members and the public in early October.  Teresi says he's been working hard on the new spending plan with City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new director of Administrative Services, Todd Thomas.  He says their challenges are many, including likely increases in employee costs.  Teresi says they don't have agreement with three of their bargaining units.  Once the budget is presented, Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says he'll be working with Thomas to develop a schedule of hearings with department heads.  The city's current budget is just over $35-million and the city is currently at it's constitutional taxing limit.  Today's budget presentation is at 4 p.m. in the Mayor's Conference Room at City Hall.  
 
 
Marijuana found in Dunkirk Vehicle Stop...
A Dunkirk man was arrested on various charges including unlawfully dealing with a child, following a vehicle stop last weekend. Shortly before 12:30 a.m. Saturday, deputies stopped a vehicle on Central Avenue in the village of Silver Creek and found the driver, 20 year-old Rodregus Tripp and a 16 year-old passenger to be in possession of over 25 grams of cannabis. Tripp and the teen were charged with 5th-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Both individuals will answer their charges in Silver Creek Village Court on a later date.
 
 
Man arrested in North Harmony for assault...
An Ashville man was sent to county jail following an assault in the town of North Harmony last weekend.  Deputies were called to a residence on Route 394 shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday, where the female victim accused 26 year-old Cory Raynor of striking her in the head and face multiple times, causing physical injury.  Raynor was taken into custody and later arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court on $2,500 cash bail -- $5,000 dollar property bond. 
 
 
Randolph teen arrested for allegedly threatening others with a Pellet Gun...
A Randolph teenager is facing menancing charges after allegedly pointing a gun at a passing motorist in the town of Ellicott last weekend.  Shortly after 7 p.m. last Friday... town police responded to a report that a gun was pointed at a female victim from a suspect in a passing vehicle.  Soon after, Ellicott officers with assistance from Jamestown police, Sheriff's Officers, and New York State Police did locate the vehicle in a parking lot in Jamestown along with the suspect, 18 year-old Nicholas Becker.  Following investigation, they found a pellet gun in the vehicle that resembled a 44-Magnum revolver.  Becker was issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date to answer the charge. 
 
 
Horrigan proposed Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency...
The top-elected official in Chautauqua County expects to propose legislation late this year to create a  new agency that would oversee management of Chautauqua Lake.  During his State of the County Address, Executive Vince Horrigan proposed the Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency, which he says would be able to set aside funding and put other programs in place to more effectively deal with the invasive weed, and algal bloom issues on the lake.  He says the agency would then create a "lake district".  The Chautauqua Lake Alliance was formed a couple of years ago to serve as an "umbrella" organization to oversee what the lake's several groups want to have done.  However, Horrigan says the group does not have the authority to direct funding to what needs to be done.  He says an agency would be able to respond in a "more definative way" and allocate resources or make decisions that are directive in nature.  Horrigan made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 

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The western New York community of Batavia and Cortland in Central New York are the final two winners of Governor Andrew Cuomo's downtown redevelopment prize. 
 
The Democratic governor announced late last week that the two cities will each receive $10-million to further efforts to make their downtowns more attractive to residents, business owners and visitors.  Now in its second year, the Downtown Revitalization Initiative contest awards $10- million each to the 10 regional communities that submitted the best revitalization plans. 
 
More than 100 communities around the state entered the contest.  The winners already announced this year included Olean in Cattaraugus County.  Jamestown won one of last year's awards.

 
Police in Eastern New York say a car going 166 miles per hour slammed into the back of another vehicle moments later, though both drivers escaped injury. 
 
Police in the Dutchess County town of Red Hook tell the Kingston Daily Freeman that an officer was driving on Route 9G last Wednesday night when he was passed by a 2004 Audi traveling at 140 mph.  Police say the Audi driver then accelerated to 166 mph. 
 
Authorities say a short time later the car rear-ended a Jeep.  Police say they don't know how fast the Audi was going when it crashed.  Police say the 27-year-old man from nearby Staatsburg who was driving the Audi was ticketed for reckless driving, unlawfully fleeing a police officer and several traffic infractions.

 
Legislation geared towards making human service agencies that help with early childhood development in lower-income families more efficient, and cuts red tape, has been approved in Congress. 
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the House of Representatives approved his proposed "Standard Data Act" last week.  Reed says the Act requires consistant data requirements being used across key human service programs. 
 
The Corning Republican says it should knock down some of those bureaucratic "silos". Reed says, with the approval the Standard Data Act will be part of the federal "Maternal Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program."  He says similar measures have helping improve efficiency in other programs, such as the nation's Welfare Program. 
 
Reed says the idea is to improve services and service delivery.  He says this will hopefully end the need to re-enter data when other agency services are used.  Reed says the Senate version of the Standard Data Act is similar so not much work would have to be done to reconcile the measure, so it can be approved and signed by the President.

 
Two people from Dunkirk are jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine, and being found with a stolen gun, during a raid in the city late last week. 
 
Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force agents and Dunkirk Police Department, executed a search warrant on the upstairs apartment at 632 Deer Street about 6:40 AM Friday.  Task force members say they found and arrested 31 year-old Ontario Eldridge and 27 year-old Katelyn Smith inside. 
 
They had a warrant for Eldridge on one count each of third-degree Criminal Possession and Sale of a Controlled Substance.  The warrant stemmed from a months long investigation by the Task Force and alleges the sale of crack cocaine.  Task Force agents also say they found a marijuana grow operation, packaging materials and a stolen handgun.  With that, Eldridge was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 
 
Smith also faces several charges, including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and unlawfully growing marijuana.  If you see or know about illegal drug activity in your area contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.  

 
A former county Democratic Party chairman from Buffalo has been charged again with bribing a judge. 
 
An eight-count federal indictment unsealed Friday includes charges similar to those brought against Steven Pigeon in state court last year. 
 
Prosecutors say the former Erie County Democratic Party chairman got former state Supreme Court Judge John Michalek's relatives political jobs in 2012 and 2013 in exchange for favorable decisions and to control who Michalek would appoint to a paid court receivership.  Michalek pleaded guilty last year.  Pigeon pleaded not guilty in federal court last Friday.

 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official believes he and the legislature will be able to deliver at least a "break-even" budget for 2018 once it's in place. 
 
That from Executive Vince Horrigan after the Audit and Control Committee last week drew up recommendations that would cut the tax rate from his proposal by 13-cents per thousand full-value.  Horrigan says he is "optimistic at least that they can whip-out that 10-cent per thousand tax increase.
 
Horrigan adds that he thought they were going to have a "flat" tax in the 2018 Budget.  However he says the county was then hit by the $715,000 bill from the state Office of Children and Family Services for Juvenile Detention Services.  They had expected a $340,000 bill.  He says another concern going forward is getting the NRG Plant in Dunkirk repowered, and fully back on the tax roles. 
 
The Audit and Control Committee will meet again on October 19th to finalize their proposed changes to the budget.  Horrigan made his coments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.
 
 
A Canadian startup company whose invention lets dairy farmers check the quality of milk from individual cows is getting $1 million to set up shop in Buffalo. 
 
SomaDetect is the grand prize winner of the fourth annual 43North competition.  The New York state-sponsored contest is meant to bring economic development to western New York by awarding cash and incubator space to winners who pitch ideas from all over the world.  SomaDetect's sensor technology allows farmers to detect illness in cows or impurities in milk. 
 
The company was established in Fredericton, New Brunswick, but must operate in Buffalo for at least a year.  The runner-up company, Squire, received $650,000 during Thursday night's awards. 
 
The New York City company's app allows users to book and pay for haircuts at participating barbershops.

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 7, 2017

Victims of Pittsfield, PA Double-Fatal accident identified...
Two Warren, Pennsylvania women have now been identified as the people killed when their sports utility vehicle was struck by a Mack truck at an intersection in Warren County's Pittsfield Township late this week.  State Police in Warren say the car was operated by 71 year-old Vercil Pierce... and, the other fatality was her front seat passenger, 80 year-old Louise Williams.  Troopers were called to the scene on Route 6 shortly after 10 a.m., and, found that Pierce was westbound, and had stopped at the intersection with Route 27.  However... Troopers say she failed to yield to the oncoming truck and the truck, operated by 61 year-old Gerald Silvis of Franklin, crashed into the car.  Both Pierce and Williams were pronounced dead at the scene.  A third passenger, 52 year-old Susan Conquer of Warren, is in critical condition at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Silvis was not hurt.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for alleged drug trafficking Friday...
A city man is jailed on multiple drug-related charges following a late morning raid on Jamestown's eastside Friday.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, State Police C-NET Team, and JPD SWAT Team... executed a search warrant at 10 Peterson Street about 11:30 a.m.  Once inside... police say they found the suspect, 30 year-old Shanis Garcia, and a young child... and, a loaded 40-calibur hand-gun.  Police add they also found quantities of heroin... hydrocodone pills... suboxone... and Clonazepam in Garcia's possession.   Garcia faces charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... third and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly Cocaine possession...
A city man is jailed on drug-possession charges following a call for a domestic incident yesterday morning on Jamestown's northside.  City police were called to the scene at 16 Blanchard Street about 10:30 a.m., and found that 22 year-old Tyler Rizzo had broken a window at the house.  When taking Rizzo into custody... police say they found 28-bages of powder cocaine in his possesion.  He was jailed on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.
 
 
Drug Task Force members arrest two in Dunkirk raid...
Two north county residents have been arrested for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine, and being found with a stolen gun, at a home in the city of Dunkirk.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and Dunkirk Police Department... conducted a raid in the upstairs apartment at 632 Deer Street about 6:40 a.m. Friday.  Once inside... task force members found and arrested 31 year-old Ontario Eldridge... and, 27 year-old Katelyn Smith.  The task force had an arrest warrant for Eldridge on one count each of third-degree Criminal Possession and Sale of a Controlled Substance.  The arrest warrant for Eldridge stems from a months long investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and alleges the sale of crack cocaine.  Task Force agents also say they found a marijuana grow operation... packaging materials... and a stolen handgun.  With that... Eldridge was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Smith also faces several charges... including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.. and, unlawfully growing marijuana.  If you see or know about illegal drug activity in your area... contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.   
 
 
Chagnon relieved that committees work done on proposed 2018 County Budget...
It's a relief to have concluded budget delibrations... but, even better to have concluded discussions by cutting projected taxes in Chautauqua County for 2018 by about 13-cents per $1,00 full-value.  That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon... who says lawmakers had an exhaustive week of hearings... but, says it was worth.  Chagnon says everyone worked together to produce a 3-cent per $1,000 tax rate cut in County Executive Vince Horrigan's $236.4-million spending plan... and adds that he's "very pleased and very relieved by what we were able to accomplish."  Horrigan's budget proposal... which was presented at the legislature's Sept. 27 meeting... included a 10-cent per $1,000 increase to $8.58.  While there were "across the board" cuts in the budget... Chagnon says lawmakers did increase one line... and that was for Cornell Cooperative Extension.  He says the 4-H Program will receive another $50,000.  However... no decision has been made yet on the county's Coroners request for a pay increase in 2018.  As for revenues... Chagnon says sales taxes have been trending upwards the past couple of years... and, lawmakers decided to bump that number up for 2018.  
 
 
About 50 take part in Domestic Violence Awareness Walk in Jamestown...
Domestic Violence Awareness Month began Friday afternoon during the 20th annnual Walk Against Domestic Violence and 15th annual Unity Day Celebration in downtown Jamestown.  Roughly 50 people joined the walk down 3rd Street starting from the Northwest Ice Arena and ending at Tracy Plaza.  Project Crossroads Program Manager Elizabeth Bracey, who says the intial Unity Day was recognized in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Violence and... over time... has evolved into commemorating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  She began the event with a moment of silence.  Keynote speaker for the Unity Day celebration this year was the director of the county's Department of Health and Human Services, Christine Schuyler, says education is power and necessary to success... and, calls attention to what we can do to prevent future cases.  Schuyler says they need to "ensure support and resources" to those people traumatized" in abuse cases.  A victim of domestic violence herself, Schuyler shared her story with those in attendance today for the first time.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Two women were killed when their sports utility vehicle was struck by a Mack truck at an intersection in Warren County's Pittsfield Township late yesterday morning. 

 

State Police in Warren were called to the scene on Route 6 shortly after 10 a.m. and found that the driver of the westbound car, a 71 year-old woman, had stopped at the intersection with Route 27. 

 

However, Troopers say the woman didn't yield to an oncoming truck and the driver of the car, and his 80 year-old female passenger, were both pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

A third passenger, a 52 year-old woman, was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania where she's in critical condition. 

 

The driver of the truck was not hurt.The intersection was closed for about 3 hours.

 



Expect to see an increase in your winter gas bills, a nearly 27% increase. 

 

That's the word from National Fuel gas, which issued its forecast for 2017-18 winter heating season bills. 

 

NFG Spokeswoman Karen Merkel says the typical residential customer should expect to pay about $588-dollars for the five-month heating season, up from $464 last Winter.

 

Merkel says the utility used an average Winter weather model in making the forecast.  She says the other factor the utility used in making the forecast was natural gas commodity costs, which have been on the rise.


The President and General Manager of Monofrax in Falconer was named 'Person of the Year' Thursday night at the annual Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. 

 

William Andrews joined the company in June of 2016 and has changed the direction of the business. The 'Economic Development Award' was given to Fieldbrook Foods, a major ice cream maker in Dunkirk.  President Bob Charleston says they've added three new production lines just within the last year.

The local Chambers of Commerce also presented their service awards at the event.  The Jamestown Community Chamber recognized John Willilams, long time Parks Manager for the City of Jamestown.  Williams was unable to attend the ceremony at Suny Fredonia, and will receive his award at a later date.


A Falconer mother faces charges after her child was found outside without supervision last Saturday. 

 

Back on September 30th, Ellicott police observed a small child on the sidewalk on East Main Street in the village without an adult present. During investigation, it was found that the child's mother was 28 year-old Crystal Laroy.  She was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and is to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date.


A "consolidated effort" on the part of Chautauqua County Legislators and department heads, has turned a 10-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase in the 2018 budget proposal into a 3-cent per thousand decrease. 

 

That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon who says the panel finished up it's four-days of work Thursday on County Executive Vince Horrigan's $236.4-million spending plan.  Chagnon especially praised the work of the "home" committees.

Chagnon says lawmakers "cast a wide net" in looking for cost savings and additional revenues.  He says one of the areas they found some additional savings was in the Department of Health and Human Services and the cost for "safety net" services for the poor.
Chagnon adds that sales taxes have been trending up for 2017 and lawmakers decided to bump that number up as well.  He says it's a great relief to eliminate a proposed $700,00 increase in the local budget share.  Chagnon says the committee will finalize it's work in two-weeks so the legislature can vote on the budget at the end of the month.


The City of Dunkirk is one of four communities that will be receiving $2.5-million in Smart Growth funding as part of the next phase of the "Buffalo Billion Two." 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to North Tonawanda to make the announcement Wednesday afternoon.  Cuomo says Smart Growth focuses more on smaller communities.

The village of Gowanda in Cattaraugus County will also receive a $2.5 million grant.  The two other communities included North Tonawanda and Lackawanna.  All four communities filed applications for the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that went to the city of Olean. 

 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is "very, very excited" about the announcement.  He calls it "great news" for the city, which plans on using the grant money towards revitalizing the city's downtown and waterfront areas.  The funding may include improvements to the city pier and reconfiguration of the harbor plaza.


The State Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Environmental Conservation urged motorist to take caution this morning as deer will become more active and are more likely to enter public roadways in the fall months.

 

They say two-thirds of all collisions between deer and vehicles occur during the months of October, November, and December because this is the time when deer breed and travel the most. Deer are especially active during dawn and dusk, making them less visible to traffic.

 

To reduce the chances of encountering a deer while driving, the DEC recommends to decrease speed when you see deer near roadsides; they tend to travel in groups so expect other deer to follow. 

 

If you do strike a deer, the DEC says to stay away from the animal, pull off to the side of the road in a safe place, and alert authorities if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat for other drivers.


Warren County's top prosecutor says last August's police-involved shooting of a Clarendon, Pennsylvania man who looked like he was going to open fire with a loaded AK-47 at an ice cream stand was justified. 

 

In fact District Attorney Rob Greene says Warren City Policeman Matt Mumford not only acted in "defense of himself, but others" when he shot and killed 54 year-old Joseph Miller in the Dairy Delite parking lot in Mead Township. 

 

The Warren Times-Observer reports that Greene released a report late Wednesday on the August 4thincident after reviewing materials, including a video of the incident,trooper's reports, witness statements and interviews. 

 

Police say Miller had been pulled over for various traffic violations when Mumford noticed he was acting strangely and he reported seeing Miller loading the AK-47.  He says he ordered Miller to stop but, Miller failed to comply and got out of the vehicle with the loaded rifle, at which point Mumford fired his gun.  Greene says the case is now closed.

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WJTN News Headlines

A former Clymer Central School District teacher has been formally charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year-old male student from May of last year through early this year. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they have charged 31 year-old Samantha Dascomb of the Mina-French Creek Road with endangering the welfare of a child. 

 

A complaint was filed this past March in the case, after which she resigned.  The 16 year-old boy was not identified.  Dascomb was issued an appearance ticket for Clymer Town Court.


A Dunkirk woman was injured when she was hit by a vehicle while walking in the north county TOPs Market late yesterday morning. 

 

Just before 10:15 a.m., Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Vineyard Drive for a car-pedestrian accident.  Further investigation revealed that 68 year-old Margaret Steffan was crossing the pedestrian crosswalk as she was leaving the store. 

 

At the same time, 84 year-old Corrine Crino was driving a vehicle and struck Steffan.  She was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Crino was charged with failure to yield right of way to pedestrian and will appear in court at a later date and time.


The United States is standing with the people of Hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and is also ready to help those coming to New York's Southern Tier to live -- or stay temporarily. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says he's already working on aid for those communities that are expecting an influx of people fleeing the island. 

 

The Corning Republican says it's been a logistical "nightmare" trying to deal with everything there, but adds that they are ready to help those coming to places like Dunkirk, which has a significant Puerto Rican community.

Jamestown is another community that may see an influx of people from Puerto Rico coming to stay with family or friends until things are back to normal on the island. 

 

Reed also praised the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


A report from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that the state received 84 cents for every dollar it sent in taxes to the federal government in 2016. 

 

DiNapoli says New York receives significantly less per tax dollar than the vast majority of states.  The report estimates that New York sent an estimated $40.9-billion dollars more in tax payments to Washington last year than it received back in federal spending. 

 

The report shows most states received more than they paid.  The average return for all states was $1.18 per tax dollar sent to Washington. 

 

According to DiNapoli's 2015 analysis, New York generated $19.9 billion more in federal taxes than it received in federal spending in federal fiscal year 2013.


Jamestown police were called to scene of an unsual domestic incident late last night on the city's east side.

 

Just before 11:30 p.m., officers arrived to a Shaw Avenue residence and heard a female screaming. After making contact, officers determined that 29 year-old Jessica Solinger threw a ceramic goose at the male victim in the back of the head, causing minor injury. She was charged with third-degree assault and transported to city jail pending arraignment.


With what proved to be a ground-breaking event for Jamestown business last year, the 2nd annual Jamestown Business Expo presented by the Lynn Development group, will take place today at the Lynn Building on East 2nd Street.

 

The expo runs from noon to 6 p.m. and will feature booths with samples and demonstrations from local businesses including service providers, banks, construction, and bakeries.

 

Director of Marketing at Lynn Development, Heather Lynn, says the first annual expo helped launch a new platform called " Jamestown Business First", which hopes to keep services within the local market for the Jamestown community.

New to the expo this year is a symposium will also take place 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Willow Bay Theater on East 3rd Street on the 4th floor. Lynn says guests speakers are set to take the stage and include Simone Sellstrom talking about social media marketing, Todd Tranum with the Chautauqau County Chamber of Commerce, and the new Executive Director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, Lisa Hatch.

 

The sessions are an hour long, but Lynn encourages attendees to sign up for all If they can.  To register for the symposium or the expo, go online to JamestownBusinessFirst.com.  The event is free to vendors and the public.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state's first-in-the-nation tuition-free college program will pay the bill for about 22,000 students this year. 

 

The governor's office says an additional 23,000 students who applied also qualified to have their tuition covered, but by existing state and federal financial aid. 

 

About 75,000 people applied for the new Excelsior Scholarship, which pays the balance of tuition for New York residents from families earning $100,000 or less who attend a State University of New York or City University of New York school full-time.  Cuomo says thanks to the new program 53% of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students now go to school tuition-free. 

 

Excelsior Scholarship recipients must live and work in New York for as many years as they receive the benefit.


An outage of unknown origin left nearly 900 National Grid customers in the Lakewood area to lose power yesterday morning. 

 

National Grid Company reports the outage occured about 11:40 a.m. and restoration time was expected to take about two-hours total.  More when it becomes available.

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WJTN Headlines

Construction is on target for a new hotel located in downtown Jamestown.

 

The Hamister Group will be opening the DoubleTree by Hilton on West Fourth Street, with a date currently project by late summer of 2018.  General Manager Brandon Wade says that the full-service hotel will include ammenties not just for business travelers, but families as well.

Wade also says he hopes to bring an open environment where people can relax and unwind in downtown Jamestown.  The plan for the location includes a gastropub with craft brews on tap and entrees and appetizers to match as well as a 4,100 square foot ballroom to cater to large events. 

 

The Double Tree will have 147 rooms, seven of which will be suite-style and 132 are double-queen bedrooms.  For a look at a single king room concept, you can visit their Facebook page at "Double Tree by Hilton Jamestown".


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are up slightly this week but, remain under $2.70 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

The American Automobile Association's Gas Price Report this week says the price is up six-tenths of a penny this week after dropping to $2.69 even last week.  The price at this time last year was $2.29 per gallon.  

 

AAA says the U-S Energy Information Administration reports a 2.4-million barrel build in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.  The national average this week is down two-cents a gallon to $2.55.  However, the Gas Price Report says that's still the highest price to start October since 2015.


With another tragedy in last Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, there is word of new, malicious cyber activity that's targeting both victims and people looking to help victims. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace Tuesday afternoon is warning of potential scams where callers, or people online try to get sensitive information from you. 

 

Gerace says there are several ways you can donate to legitimate charities and, avoid getting scammed.  He says always be skeptical of e-mails or social media posts asking for donations.


Gerace says don't respond to an unsolicited e-mail.  He adds you should also not allow anyone to pressure you into donating.  He says credible organizations won't try to guilt you. 

 

Gerace adds to find out if an organization is reputable log onto the Federal Trade Commission's website, which is Consumer.FTC.GOV.  You should then go to "0074-giving-charity." 

 

Gerace adds that you can also check to make sure the charity is registered in your own state.  He says, often, the state will list this information on its official website.


A Jamestown man was arrested following a domestice incident Monday evening.

 

City officers say they responded to a Forest Avenue residence just after 9:30 p.m.. Upon arrival and further investigation, it was found that 42 year-old Charles Karr, junior punched a female victim in the face causing the victim to be injured. Karr was taken to city jail pending arraignment.


The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has received a $2,500 gift from a local bank to help it's mission of downtown and neighborhood revitalization in the city. 

 

JRC Executive Director Lisa Hatch says the donation continues Northwest's commitment to the city and it's growth.  Hatch says they are "happy to partner and collaborate with them on our many upcoming projects." 

 

For more information on the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and it's mission go-online to JamestownRenaissance.org.  You can also call them at 489-3496.


Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he plans to deliver a 2018 budget proposal nextg week that will be both a "realistic and tight" spending plan to the city council. 

 

Teresi spoke briefly at Monday night's work session about some of the challenges facing he, City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new director of Administrative Services, Todd Thomas have faced in recent weeks. 

 

Teresi says their challenges include the "usual culprits" including rising pension costs.  He says that's despite a lowering of rates by the state, and the fact they have three unions that don't have contracts.

Additionally, Teresi says three of their biggest unions don't have new contracts in place at least for now, heading into 2018.  City Council Finance committee Chairman Tony Dolce says, once the budget has been presented, he'll be working with Thomas to develop a schedule of hearings with department heads in the coming weeks. 

 

Teresi will present his 2018 spending proposal next Tuesday, October 10th, at 4 p.m.in the mayor's conference room at city hall.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on all state government buildings be lowered to half-staff to honor victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. 

 

The Democrat says the directive is in effect from Tuesday through sunset Friday in conjunction with a federal proclamation.  Cuomo called the Nevada killings "yet another senseless and horrific mass shooting" and a "heinous and vile act of gun violence." 

 

The governor said he has directed additional security measures around New York state as a precaution, but didn't release details.  Police in Las Vegas say 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire Sunday night on the crowd at a country music concert from a hotel room, killing 58 and wounding more than 500.


A man from northwest Pennsylvania suffered serious injuries when his car crashed in the Warren County borough of Tidioute Mondayafternoon. 

 

State Police in Warren say 29 year-old Derek Neddo of Mount Jewett was southbound on Tidioute Creek Road about 2:45 p.m.when he began honking his horn and yelling out the window for an unknown reason. 

 

Troopers say the vehicle traveled through the intersection on Main Street, then entered the parking lot of Tidioute Fire Department before crashing head-on into a pine tree.  Upon impact, the top of the tree snapped off and landed in the bed of Neddo's pick-up truck.  He was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  The accident remains under investigation.

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WJTN Headlines

New York state will soon be releasing the $2.5-million in funding to help the city of Jamestown balance it's current budget, and create a new health insurance program for it's Medicare-eligible retirees. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi reported to lawmakers at last night's work session that the city has heard back from the state Department of State, which is ready to allow them to formally offer the new insurance program.  Teresi says the city still has to provide some additional information, but they should have a resolution ready to discuss in two weeks.

 

Earlier this year, the state announced the city would get 1.5-million dollars to provide an "incentive package" to get retirees to move into the private sector insurance program.  Teresi reiterated that it would be a voluntary program. 

 

In addition, the mayor says the Empire State Development Corporation will be the entity providing the city the one-million dollars in state funding to help plug an $835,000 hole in this year's budget.  He says the ESD Board is expected to act on the measure at it's October meeting.

 



Local law enforcement is reacting to the late Sunday night mass shooting in Las Vegas that's left 59 people dead.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace Monday called it a horrific event that is "everyone's worst nightmare." 

 

Gerace says this was obviously a "planned" attack and, while it's an on-going investigation he urges peole to report any unusual activity to local authorities, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

 

Gerace says says the event is shocking and hard to rationalize.  He says it's hard to "wrap your head" around something where someone would take dozens of lives like this.


Chautauqua County has sold the Bratt Agriculture Center, near the Jamestown Airport, to a private developer. 

 

But, Cornell Cooperative Extension will still be located there, at least for awhile.  Emily Reynolds, the Executive Director of the county extension service, says the sale needs to go through the Federal Aviation Administration first.

Reynolds says her agency could be there even longer, if the rent under the new owner, Jamestown Rental Properties fits their budget.  The Bratt Agriculture Center opened nearly 40 years ago as a place where all agriculture related agencies could be under one roof. 

 

Reynolds says the sale of the building is 'another blow' to that idea.  She says the concept is something that's need now more than ever.  The U-S Department of Agriculture determined the building no longer met their specifications, and left the Ag Center in December 2013.   

 

The Soil and Water Conservation District moved with them to a leased office on Fluvanna Avenue in Jamestown.


Budget deliberations head into a second day in Chautauqua County today as the legislature's Audit and Control Committee began reviewing County Executive Vince Horrigan's proposed 2018 spending plan Monday

 

Department heads are meeting with committee members the next four days to see where some savings might be found in the $236.4-million budget.  Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says lawmakers have been able to cut taxes the past three years but, this year will be a challenge.  Chagnon says another tax cut remains their goal. 

 

Horrigan's 2018 budget proposal, which will be his last, increases the tax levy by about 2%.  However he says it's about 1.2-million dollars under the state's 2% property tax cap.  It's increases the tax rate by about 10-cents per thousand full value. 

 

If adopted as is, Horrigan says the rate would increase to $8.58 per thousand.  He says that's still about the average tax rate for western New York counties.  Lawmakers looked over the Department of Public Facilities and adminstrative budgets Monday.


It was a tearful day of joy for a local State Farm agent who opened her own branch in Jamestown in September.

 

With her employees and family by her side, Paige Foriska cut the silk ribbon in front of the 2000 Washington Street State Farm branch Monday morning. A Pittsburgh native, Foriska says they opened September 1st, but used the month to train fellow employees and put final touches on the recently remodeled location.

 

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Foriska shared a few heartfelt words. She  has been working for State Farm, a company that prides itself on being a "good neighbor" for 5 years and is proud to continue extending that vision in the Jamestown area with offers such as auto, health, and life insurance as well as banking options.

 

Those looking for insurance or financial services through State Farm can call the Washington Street branch at 716-483-2762.


A Jamestown man was arrested in late last month on charges related to an alleged sexual offense that took place in Bemus Point in late August of 2016. 

 

That after a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers eceived a complaint of a sex offense on a minor.  An investigation was conducted and led to the arrest of 28 year-old Timothy Perrin. 

 

Perrin taken into custody by deputies and was arraigned Monday morning in county court.  He was remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in lieu of 25-thousand dollar cash bail or 50-thousand property bond.


In New York state government news, lines are being drawn over whether to hold a state constitutional convention as supporters and opponents line up on either side of the issue. 

 

The state Bar Association announced its support this month, joining the government watchdog group Citizens Union. Opponents include organized labor and top lawmakers.  Voters will decide November 7th whether to hold a convention, where delegates would propose changes to the constitution.  Voters would then decide whether to approve or reject the changes. 

 

Supporters say a convention is an opportunity to address political corruption and campaign finance.  Opponents worry about special interests hijacking the process.  Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to add synthetic fentanyl to the controlled substances list to crack down on dealers who manufacture the powerful drug.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown City Council has approved a new tax exemption program for people who purchase land where the home had to be torn-down, or the home needs to be rehabilitated. 

 

Lawmakers this week unanimously approved a local law establishing the program which Council President Greg Rabb says is for "owner-occupied" properties.

 

The program could also be used for property owners looking to fix up a condemned structure; though Rabb says that may not be the best way to go because if the home needs a lot of work, the abatement may not help much. 

 

City Clerk Todd Thomas says a pubic hearing on the property tax exemption will be held by Mayor Sam Teresi at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10th.


A Cattaraugus County man is facing charges after driving while under the influence of drugs when his car crashed during a vehicle pursuit in the town of Ellery last Saturday night. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they received several complaints about a person driving erratically on Dutch Hollow Road about 9:30 p.m. 

 

Deputies say they attempted to stop the vehicle but, the driver failed to comply.  Later identified as 30 year-old Heath Zawatski of Randolph, drove off and later crashed his car into a ditch and the vehicle rolled over. 

 

Zawatski was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.


Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is pleased with the response from the community in helping with hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. 

 

Earlier last weekend, Rosas who's family is from Puerto Rico, said they are working closely with groups in Jamestown and Olean.

Rosas says collections continue from 3 until 7 p.m. daily at Lake Shore Drive and Washington Avenue.  The items will be trucked to Buffalo as part of a statewide collection effort spearheaded by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

On another topic, Rosas says he and his brothers were finally able to speak to his mother, via telephone, from Puerto Rico, and says she is okay.


Authorities say the driver of a pickup truck is in custody after crashing into two homes in a Buffalo suburb while trying to elude police. 

 

Officers in the town of Amherst say they tried to stop the driver for speeding early last Friday morning but the motorist sped away. 

 

The truck traveled into the town of Kenmore, where the driver lost control and hit a one-story house, then struck a two-story home next door before coming to a stop in front of a third home.


Two people were hurt but, not seriously in a two car crash early last weekend in the town of Hanover. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at the corner of Bennett State Road, and Stebbins Road about 8 AM Saturday.  Officers say their investigation showed that 40 year-old Margarita Sanchez of Dunkirk did not stop at a stop sign and her vehicle was struck by the second vehicle operated by 46 year-old Jennifer Hilliker of Forestville. 

 

Deputies say Hilliker was taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving, while Sanchez was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of non-life-theatening injuries. 

 

Sanchez was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.


The state is sending more help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday that the state is deploying additional personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria.  The 77 Port Authority workers will help reopen and operate the island's ports and airports. 

 

53 state troopers will provide security and public safety assistance.  Cuomo says 10 employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.


Daily Alternate parking rules are now in effect in the city of Jamestown. 

 

Alternate Parking began yesterday, October 1st.  City police say vehicles should be parked only on the 'odd-numbered' side of the street on odd-numbered days. 

 

They should also be parked on the even-numbered side of the street on even-numbered days only.  Police say the parking alternates at 10 a.m. each day and there is no grace period.


Today marks the beginning of the transition to a new Director of Emergency Services in Chautauqua County. 

 

That from the current director, Julius Leone, who is set to retire at the end of October.  Leone says he is pleased with the selection of John Griffith because of his experience and abilities with the local fire services. The appointment of Griffith was announced by County Executive Vince Horrigan in mid-September. 

 

Leone says he will stay on during the month of October to help make the transition a smooth one.  He says he'll be spending the next 30-days introducing Griffith to as many people on the state and federal level he can that they work with. 

 

Leone adds that he'll also have the new director on hand for this week's budget hearings in Mayville.  He has held the job for 16-years and has served under three Chautauqua County Executives Mark Thomas, Greg Edwards, and Vince Horrigan.


With most of the island territory destroyed, expect another influx of people from Puerto Rico coming into Jamestown. 

 

That from two leaders of the local Hispanic community who says some will likely be here temporarily while life on the island returns to normal. 

 

Pastor Alfonso Pagan with the Hispanic affiliate at First Covenant Church in Jamestown, is a native of Puerto Rico.  Pagan says part of the problem right now is while you can get an airline flight to the island, it's hard to get one back to the mainland.

In addition, Director Max Martin with the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County says families with younger children will likely come to the mainland because it may be at least six-months before schools are back up and running.  Martin's organization, and Pagan's church have been involved in the local relief efforts to get supplies and money to the people of Puerto Rico. 

 

Martin says he's heartend by the way the "non-Hispanic" community has rallied to help the relief effort.  Donations can be made to Pagan's church, and the Hispanic Community Council through October.

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