WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 30, 2018

Snow and generally more wintry weather returned to the Jamestown-area overnight following a January thaw that sent temperatures into the 40s last weekend...  
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Winter Weather Advisory until 1:00 this afternoon for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie Counties.  That from Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the Weather Service's Buffalo office-- who says will not be Lake Effect Snow-- so everyone will get about the same amount. However, he says the greatest amounts of snow will fall across the Southern Tier with storm totals of three to five inches.  
 
 
 
The city of Jamestown has it's share of problems and challenges, but is "sound and getting stronger every day"...  
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi to start his annual State of the City message last night.  Teresi again again did not read through a laundry list of accomplishments of the past year and run down a list of initiatives for 2018.  However, he did urge the City Council to help his administration pursue a list of 59 major goals and objectives in the new year.  Teresi also called on lawmakers to avoid getting caught up in the efforts of the city's naysayers, who carry and spread the attitude that Jamestown is the "little city that couldn't".
 
Teresi referred lawmakers to his 2017 report of accomplishments and the report on goals and objectives.  He says one of the goals in 2018 is to continue to effort to use the Jamestown Local Development Corporation to purchase the BPU's wastewater treatment plant to raise $15-million to $16-million to launch a major capital infrastructure and equipment investment program.
 
 
 
During last night's formal voting session, the City Council approved hiring a Mayville construction company to do the first-phase of emergency repairs to front part of police headquarters on East Second Street...  
 
Lawmakers unanimously approved having Mayor Teresi contract with Empire Development for the nearly $115,000 project.  
 
 
 
Property owners in the city of Jamestown are responsible for their own snow removal and keeping the sidewalks clear of snow in front of their homes...  
 
That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who responded to concerns voiced by Public Works Director Jeff Lehman about the fact some sidewalks were not cleared following the latest Winter storm.  Teresi says it's been in the city code since 1923 when residents decided they didn't want the taxpayers to foot that cost.  He says the city does do some sidewalk maintenance downtown, once they've done the plowing their are required to do.
 
Teresi adds that residents are also required to keep the snow they clear from getting into the street, or the city's right-of-ways, as well as the sidewalks.  He says there are more than 200 miles of sidewalks in the city and adds that he asked Lehman last year for an analysis of how much it would cost to keep those sidewalks clear, including number of new employees and salaries and new equipment needed.  Teresi says it would cost more than one-million dollars to do.
 
 
 
Jamestown Police are investigating a report of a sexual assault that allegedly occured early yesterday morning in the residence halls at Jamestown Community College...  
 
City police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators are looking into the matter, which occured about 4 a.m. at the location at 525 Falconer Street.  Samuelson says they have so far determined that this was NOT a random act.  They are currently interviewing several students, and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 483-7537 or anonymously at 483-TIPS (8477).  You can also contact their Tips 411 App.  Poice say all tips will be kept confidential, and no other information will be released.
 
 
 
A man from Lakewood was sent to the county jail for allegedly driving while ability impaired by drugs over the weekend...  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police say they were on patrol on East Fairmount Avenue when they saw a vehicle cross the center line and, pass through a steady red light early Saturday morning. Officers identified the driver as 30 year-old Erik Morrison.  Further investigation revealed Morrison was driving while under the influence of drugs, had a suspended driver's license and an order of protection from the front seat passenger.  One officer also found multiple controlled substances in the vehicle.  Morrison faces several charges including two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, first-degree criminal contempt and DWI-A drugs.
 
 
 
It appears that the State Department of Transportation intends to continue with plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Routes 20 and 60...
 
One Fredonia village trustee voiced his opposition to the project during the most recent village board meeting.  Trustee Doug Essek has launched a "change.org" online petition and, he's encouraging village residents to sign it.  Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis, who supports the roundabout project, contends that it's not a village issue -- but, one that the state is handling.  However, she does favor the project.  Essek feels other options need to be explored before any final decisions are made.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 29, 2018

A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly selling and distributing methamphetamine and suboxone in the presence of her young children on the city's eastside...  
 
Jamestown police say members of the city's Metro Drug Task Force and Jamestown Police SWAT Team raided the home at 154 Falconer Street just after 4 p.m. last Thursday and, arrested 31 year-old Amanda Penhollow.  Police say Penhollow's five children (all under the age of 8) were inside with her.  Investigators found quantities of Meth, and suboxone, along with several hypodermic needles, and drug paraphernalia.  Police say Penhollow was arraigned on charges of fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was then sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
 
The retiring Rick Huber has been the person at the fore-front of the local war on Heroin and Opioid drug addiction, but his reach wasn't limited to Chautauqua County...  
 
That was made clear during last Friday's retirement reception for one of the leaders at the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.  Among those praising his work was local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who presented a commendation to Huber for the hundreds of lives he has touched, and impacted. 
 
Huber was also recognized by Congressman Tom Reed's office.  The head of Reed's local office, Jackie Phelps, thanked him for his tireless work.  In addition to honoring Huber, the Mental Health Association also dedicated one of it's meeting rooms in his name.  Association Board Chairwoman Carm Micciche made the announcement before a vail was taken off the plaque naming that room.
 
Micciche then read what was on the plaque "Welcome to Rick's Place... dedicated in 2018 in honor of Rick Huber."  She then told Huber that MHA staff loves him and to enjoy his retirement.
 
 
 
In New York state government news, lawmakers are preparing for a busy week of hearings on school spending, environmental protection and public safety...  
 
Members of both the Senate and Assembly have budget meetings scheduled Monday through Wednesday focused on different aspects of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's $168-billion budget proposal.  On education, the governor wants to increase school spending by $769-million to $26-billion overall.  Meanwhile, a proposal to tweak state tax laws to save taxpayers $1.5 billion is moving to the Assembly after it passed the Senate. 
 
 
 
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut say they plan to join together to sue the federal government over the Republican-led federal tax overhaul...  
 
Democratic Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York, Dannel Malloy of Connecticut and Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Friday that they will team up to take the Trump administration to court over the federal tax plan that's expected to cost taxpayers in their states billions of dollars.  Malloy says he expects other states to join the lawsuit.  There's no word on when it will be filed.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says the effort is well-underway to find a new commercial air carrier for the County Airport near Jamestown, but they are looking for the right carrier...  
 
County Executive George Borrello says it's disappointing to see Southern Airways leave Jamestown, but he says they were little more than "an unreliable taxi service to Pittsburgh."  Borrello says that's because there was no "inter-connectivity" with the Pittsburgh Airport.  He says having commercial air is still very important to the county.
 
Borrello says it would be nice to have a carrier that still would fly into Pittsburgh.  However, he says he would be just as happy with Detroit, mainly places local residents can't drive to easily.  Borrello says he would also like to see a flight to Albany at some point.  But, he says the hub is not as important as being able to easily connect with the major airlines.  Borrello would not give specifics, but did say the county is talking with new air carriers who have never served Jamestown before and few have "inter-connect" deals in place between regional air carriers, and major airlines.
 
 
 
Well-known local chef Charlie Vullo's 'Italian Wedding Soup' won this year's Souper Bowl soup competition...
 
 
Vullo made the soup for the Lakewood American Legion, which hosted this year's Souper Bowl on Sunday.  Around 300 people attended this year's Souper Bowl, the seventh annual.  It benefits UMPC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Nine restaurants and caterers took part in this year's Souper Bowl. Elegant Edibles took second  place.  Gametime Sports Bar and Grill was third.  The Media One Group of radio stations organizes the event, with the cooperation of Maplevale Foods and the Shults Auto Group.
 
 
 
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on federal health officials to dispatch a flu surveillance team to New York as the number of cases increases...  
 
The Democrat announced his request to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday.  Schumer says a surveillance team could help local health care workers and state health officials by studying the spread of the illness, identifying the particular strains involved, and assessing the impact on the state's overall population.  Schumer says a CDC team could help the state "break its fever" by assisting the public health efforts already underway in the state.  According to the senator's office, more than 5,200 New Yorkers have been hospitalized with the flu this season and the number of new cases went up by 54 percent last week.
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 27, 2018

Jamestown mother of five arrested for alleged drug possession and dealing...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly selling and distributing methamphetime and suboxone in the presence of her young children on the city's eastside.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and Jamestown Police SWAT Team raided the home at 154 Falconer Street just after 4 p.m. Thursday... and, arrested 31 year-old Amanda Penhollow.  Police say Penhollow's five children... all under the age of 8... where inside with her.  Investigators found quantities of Meth, and suboxone, along with several hypodermic needles, and drug paraphernalia.  Police say Penhollow is charged with fifth and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was jailed pending arraignment. 
 
 
Sherman man arrested on Child Porn charge...
A Sherman man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of child pornography after allegedly luring a young girl into his apartment, and showing her an inappropriate picture.  State Police in Jamestown say 65 year-old Peter Baker is accused of luring a 10 year-old girl into his apartment by offering her $20... and, then showing her the picture on his phone.  Troopers acted on a complaint by the girl's mother, and obtained asearch warrant for the apartment.  State Police say they found the images of child pornography inside.  Troopers say Baker went to the State Police barricks with his attorney, and was processed on charges of possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child... and, Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  He was issued appearance tickets for Sherman Town Court.
 
 
Rick Huber honored during retirement reception at MHA Monday afternoon...
A local man who has been the passionate leader of the effort to free people from drug addiction was honored Friday afternoon by the organization he helped build up.  New Program Director for the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, was honored during a special program at the MHA's Water Street headquarters in Jamestown.  More than 100 people were on hand to praise Huber, and thank him for all that he's done.  Current MHA Chief Financial Officer Jenny Rohrer read several employee comments.  Rohrer says one employee wrote that there wasn't a day that went by when Rick didn't have a positive impact on an MHA staff member, client, or family member.  Several others spoke... including local attorney, and Vice-Chairman of the Mental Health Association's Advisory Board, Dale Robbins.  Robbins said the occasion was more about the people Huber helped kick their addiction to Heroin and other Opioids.  Huber thanked those on hand for the honor... and, said he was humbled by the recognition.  He also praised the people he worked with at MHA... who he says will continue to carry on the good work of the Association. 
 
 
Two Dunkirk men arrested for alleged possesion of drugs, including Ecstacy...
Two north county men were arrested after being found with a large quantity of a psycho-active drug and marijuana during a traffic stop in Falconer yesterday.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over a vehicle on County Route 380 and identified the driver as 25 year-old Jordan Kujawa and his passenger as 24 year-old Dylan Anzalone-Rosario.  While talking with Kujawa... Troopers say they smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  A search revealed a container with 8-grams of ecstasy capsules... a bag of ecstasy capules and a bag with marijuana.  Both men are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  They are being held in Chautauqua County Jail without bail. 
 
 
Young pushes replacement of X-Lite Guardrails in the state, work is underway...
The State Department of Transportation has already begun removing potentially deadly X-Lite guardrail products on state highways across New York.  That's the result of efforts by local State Senator Cathy Young and a local resident to get the guardrails replaced on roadways across New York and other states.  Fredonia-native Hannah Eimers was killed in a crash in Tennessee in November 2016 that involved the X-Lite system.   At a transportation budget hearing late Thursday... Young urged DOT Commissioner Paul Karas to now move on helping local communities get rid of the X-Lite products.. and, she is introducing legislature to do a follow up study.  Karas says they're not sure about how widespread the use is of X-Lite guardrail products on local roads... but, adds that if legislation is approved to authorize a study, they will do it.  He says of the 43 X-Lite Guardrails in place... 16 have already been taken down with the rest being removed later this year.  
 
 
Apthorpe talks about school safety in wake of 11 shooting incidents already in 2018...
This past week's shooting incident at a Kentucky school was the 11th one this year nationally to occur on school property.  Such instances years ago were considered rare, and shocking.... but, not anymore.  It still shocks school officials... and, is the "most stressfull part of the job."  That from new Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who says there are two parts to school safety now.  One is the physical part... which involves locked entry ways to make sure people who enter are allowed to be there.  The other part of that is working with local police on safety, and gun-involved incidents.  Apthorpe says the other part of it is the psychological and emotional aspect of safety.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 26, 2018

A Falconer man is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of methamphetime, and drug paraphernalia at an apartment in a local hotel...  
 
Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and JPD SWAT team-- along with Ellicott Police, State Police C-NET team and the FBI-- raided an apartment at the Budget Inn at 2 East Main Street for alleged Meth sales.  Once inside, Police say the SWAT team found the suspect, 35 year-old Ryan Percey, and a 15 year-old boy.  Investigators say they found several items of drug peraphernalia, and hypodermic needles and, a quantity of meth.  Percey was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, criminally using a hypodermic instrument and endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court and sent to the County lock-up.  The 15 year-old was not charged.
 
 
 
While drug trafficking and issues related to addiction remain a problem in Jamestown, the rate of violent and property crimes in the city were down last year.  That from Jamestown Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings, who provided city lawmakers with year-to-year and five-year Part-One Index Crime Rates at this week's Council work session... 
 
Snellings says the Part-One Violent Crimes include murder, and non-negligent manslaughter, forible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.  He says the property crimes included burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.  Snellings says he's not sure exactly why the numbers are down, but acknowledges that drugs -- and drug related crimes -- remain a problem.  He says some of the crimes don't fall along traditional Part-One crimes.  Of note, Snellings says the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters fell from four in 2016 to two last year and, the number of robberies fell from 47 to 31.  He says the full report can be viewed at the city's website.
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken steps to make it easier for New Yorkers to get the influenza vaccine as the flu epidemic continues to spread across the state...  
 
The Democrat signed an executive order Thursday that allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to people ages two to 18.  The order suspends a state law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer vaccines to anyone under age 18.  The governor also ordered the Department of Health to expand the state's influenza public service advertising campaign to target areas of New York hit hardest by flu.  State health officials say the number of reported flu cases rose over the past week to 7,779 laboratory-confirmed cases, with 1,759 New Yorkers requiring hospitalization.  That's up from 1,606 hospitalized the previous week.
 
 
 
The Sherman Central School bus driver whose quick actions prevented serious injury -- or worse -- to about a dozen students when their bus caught fire -- has received a commendation from county lawmakers...  
 
The legislature last Wednesday night presented the commendation to David Tenpas for his quick work to get students off the bus as it caught fire the morning of Thursday, January 4.  The acknowledgement came from legislators David Himelein and Christine Starks.
 
Sherman School Superintendent Mike Ginestre says at the first sign of the problem occured on Parker Road near Mayvllle, Tenpas took action.  Tenpas credited a motorist who was following the bus because he wasn't able to see the problem developing in the back of the vehicle.  Once he was alerted, he got the children off the bus quickly.  Another bus came by and picked up the students within a few mintues.  Ginestre says the bus was extensively damaged, the cause is still being investigated.
 
 
 
As the dialogue continues between the Dunkirk City School District and the city over re-establishing a school resource officer's position in the district, two members of the Dunkirk Common Council say they want to see the district make the move...  
 
First Ward Councilman Don Williams and Fourth Ward Councilman Mike Civiletto discussed the matter Thursday, Williams says the move is ultimately up to the school board.
 
Civiletto, a former teacher, says it's important for the district to have an SRO.  He says every school he's taught at has had one.  Civiletto says in addition to helping with safety, SRO's are often able to help students going through difficult circumstances.  Last week, Mayor Willie Rosas indicated that the city provided the district with more information about the cost of using a city police officer and was waiting to hear back from the district.  
 
 
 
New York will continue to provide Medicaid benefits to people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children - no matter what officials in Washington do with the program that protected them from deportation...  
 
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created by former President Barack Obama protected certain immigrants from deportation.  But, President Donald Trump decided to stop DACA. What happens to those in the program is now under discussion in Washington.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that New York won't stand by while some 42,000 state residents impacted by DACA lose health care.  Cuomo also supports extending state college financial aid programs to students without legal status.  He has supported that initiative, called the Dream Act, for years.  There's strong opposition in the Republican-led state Senate.
 
 
 
The man who put the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County at the fore-front of the battle against the local Heroin and Opioid drug crisis will be honored today on his retirement...  
 
The association will host a special recognition and program for Rick Huber at it's location on Water Street in Jamestown.  Huber has been a leader at the organization the past 16 years.  He has been both outspoken, and a key figure in the fight.  The reception begins at 3 p.m. and the program starts at 4:00. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 25, 3018

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has approved a payment in lieu of tax agreement for one of the developers of several, large wind turbines in the north county...  
 
That doesn't sit well with a a few residents in the towns of Arkwright and Villanova, and the Cassadaga-area who voted their displeasure at last night's County Legislature meeting.  Fredonia's Mark Twitchell says it's time for lawmakers to take a stand like the Oswego County Legislature did.
 
County Executive George Borrello agreed with much of what the residents said and believes there is a way for the county to deal with limiting wind development in the county.  Right now, he says there is no local law to prevent developers from "going around the county" and to the state to get support.  He adds the Cuomo administration, right now, is providing heavy support to such projects. The four people who spoke--including Twitchell-- say the turbine projects are already driving down property values. 
 
 
 
The search is continuing for a new Chief Executive Officer of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.  County Executive George Borrello says he is currently looking for a replacement for Kevin Sanvidge who left the post at the end of December.  Borrello Wednesday updated us on the process...
 
Borrello says he is not in a rush to fill the position, but says he also realizes he must eventually make an appointment.  He says he hopes to have someone in place by March because there are a number of areas he wants to move forward on -- and needs an IDA director to do it.  Borrello, who began his duties on New Year's Day, is reaching out to the county's business community by attempting to visit 100 businesses in 100 days.  As of now, he has visited 27 businesses in the county so far.
 
 
 
Many strides have been made, but more work needs to be done to help the millions of Americans with Diabetes...  
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed was in Jamestown late Wednesday to hold a roundtable discussion with Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetics and their relatives, about their stuggles and successes with the disease.  Reed, whose 17 year-old son Will, has Diabetes, says the back-and-forth helped renew his fight against the disease.
 
Reed discussed improved health insurance coverage under the U-S Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for Omni-pod insulin pumps.  Reed co-chairs the Congressional Diabetes Caucus and believes there work has helped push down the cost of insulin.  He believes they were able to get prices to move downward just by asking questions about why the price for insulin was as high as it was.  Reed also talked about the Special Diabetes program, which is a $150-million research program at the National Institute of health focused on prevention, treatment, and finding a cure for Type-1 Diabetes.  Wednesday's program was held at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital's Diabetes Treatment Center.
 
 
 
A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection and threatening a female victim with a knife an in upstairs apartment yesterday evening...
 
City police responded to the apartment at 222 Winsor Street shortly after 5 p.m. for a reported physical domestic dispute. Investigation revealed that 45 year-old Robert Barr threatened the victim with a knife and, additionally held her down by applying pressure to her neck while on top of her. Officers say it was additionally determined there was an order of protection for Barr to stay away from the residence. He is being held in city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's chief of staff says the Democrat expressed surprise when a former top aide told him about his financial dealings after a 2016 law enforcement raid on the aide's home...  
 
Linda Lacewell testified Wednesday at Joseph Percoco's trial that Percoco spoke to Cuomo by phone.  She says Percoco was explaining some of his financial dealings when Cuomo asked, "What?"  Since Cuomo is unlikely to testify, Lacewell may be as close to Cuomo as witnesses will get at the trial.  Opening statements were Tuesday at the trial of Percoco and three businessmen accused of paying him over $300,000 in bribes to help them get what they needed from the state.  Percoco has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer says he did not commit a crime.
 
 
 
Jamestown School District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe addressed the "fairness" of Governor Andrew Cuomo's state aid distribution during Tuesday night's board meeting at Jefferson Middle School...  
 
During his Superintendent's Report, Apthorpe compared reading the "nuances" to reading the "fine print" in Cuomo's $168-billion budget address.  Apthorpe also expressed his disappointment in the governor's proposal in what he called "disappointingly below inflation."  Additionally, he neccessitated the "fair distribution of funds for quality education for all children."  While the proposal is not final, Apthorpe remains "hopeful" that state legislators will help as Cuomo's begins negotiations on a final budget.  He said board members will be connecting with local officials to advocated for their support. 
 
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown area are up four-cents this week to $2.75 for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel... 
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report, which says the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region had a nearly 500,000 barrel draw on gasoline inventory. The 53-million barrels in total is typical for this time of year. Prices at the pump on average is $2.54-cents per gallon nationally, which is only a penny more than last week. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 24, 2018

An accidental fire has heavily-damaged the upper portion of a two-story home near Frewsburg...  
 
Frewsburg Fire Chief Nick Niles says crews were called to the scene at 1205 Bunce Road around 12:30 yesterday afternoon.  Niles says a passerby called 911 shortly after the residents had left the home.  He says there was a lot of smoke when they arrived.
 
However, Niles says fire did break out once crews got inside, and the home was opened up.  He says it took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Niles says the 35 to 40 firefighters on hand were able to confine the flames to the upstairs area.  He says there was a lot of water damage to the first-floor of the home.  Niles says mutual aid was called in from Kiantone, Busti, Kennedy, Gerry and Lakewood.  He says the last companies on scene left about 5:00.  No one was hurt in the fire.  Niles says while the cause appears accident, it remains undetermined at this time.
 
 
 
Fire damage was confined to the basement area of a home in the city of Dunkirk late Monday afternoon...  
 
Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says they were called to the scene at 28 St. Hedwig's Avenue about 4:20.  Edwards says that crews responded to a report of smoke coming from the basement, and found flames in the back side of the basement and put the flames out quickly. Edwards says there were no injuries.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.
 
 
 
An overheated chimney stove pipe is the apparent cause of a fire late Monday night that's damaged a town of Gerry home...  
 
Chautauqua County Fire investigators say Gerry fire crews were called to the Jonathan Easton home at 2642 Gerry-Ellington Road about 9:30.  Gerry was assisted at the scene by Falconer, Fluvanna, Ellery Center, Sinclairville and Ellington fire crews in getting the fire out.  The Fire Investigation Team was called in and determined the fire was accidental due to the overheated chimney pipe, which caught nearby combustible materials on fire.  They says the flames then cause the house rafters to catch fire.  No injuries were reported.
 
 
 
It's been a nightmare past couple of weeks for the Jamestown Public Works Department with equipment break-downs at a time they were trying to clean-up from the most recent snowstorm...  
 
DPW Director Jeff Lehman and Equipment Manger Pat Monahan discused the matter with the City Council's Public Works Committee Monday night and later told the full panel that several pieces of old equipment were out-of-service for some time.
 
During his report later in the meeting, Mayor Sam Teresi noted that this is why his administration is looking at selling the Board of Public Utilities' Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.  Teresi says the JLDC would issue bonds to create a funding source to raise about $16-million for such purchases.  He says it's time to stop "wasting taxpayer dollars" on equipment that should have been replaced "a long time ago."  The proposal was brought to the City Council last month by the city's Bond Counsel Kenneth Bond of New York City as a way to raise capital to make improvements at the Wastewater Treatment plant, and other city infrastructure.  A fund would also likely be created to stabilize taxes.
 
 
 
The Ellicott Town Board will hold a special meeting this Thursday to approve five members for the new, joint Zoning and Planning Board...  
 
That from Town Clerk Mike Erlandson, who says the meeting will be held at Noon Thursday.  The action comes after the town board approved dissolving the planning committee with the zoning panel.  Lawmakers made the move to avoid duplicative meetings for businesses and others that had to go before both panels previously.
 
In addition, Erlandson says Celoron residents will have the chance to pay their town, and County property taxes in the village next weekend.  He will be at the village hall to take tax payments on Saturday, January 27th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m..
 
 
 
Moderates from both sides of the political aisle were key to ending the brief government shut-down and may be pivotal in preventing another one in early February... 
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs, met for an hour-and-a-half last weekend to discuss different proposals to address the issues, including an agreement over improved border security, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program better known as DACA.
 
Reed says the group of Senate moderates, called the "Common Sense" group, numbers about 20 in all.  The Corning Republican says he will continue to be a voice for the Problem Solvers on "the right..." while co-chair Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, will do so on the left.  Reed says that an agreement on DACA may not be that far away.  He says there are at least a few in the hard-right Conservative Freedom Caucus who are now willing to discuss the matter.
 
 
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County celebrated a major victory last night, getting the ball "over the goal-line" in the 2017 General Campaign...
 
That's General Campaign Chairwoman Jane Cleaver-Becker after it was announced that the United Way had easily surpassed it's $1.325-million goal in the effort.  Becker says it took a big effort to reach the goal, and she says both United Way staff and hard-working volunteers made it happen.
 
There was a "football theme" to this year's United Way Celebration, which was held at Jamestown Community College's Sarita Week's Reception Room in the Arts and Sciences Building.  Becker says they were very pleased to have about 300 new donors to this past year's campaign.  More on that later today.  The United Way supports more than three-dozen programs at about 20 member agencies.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 23, 2018

A new member of the Jamestown City Council is expressing concern that former Council President Greg Rabb will head up two important city panels and co-chair another in the new year...  
 
Republican Andrew Liuzzo says Rabb finished fifth in last November's City Council at-large races and was not re-elected.  Liuzzo says he believes there are people in the community who don't want Rabb to serve on any panel because he was defeated.  He again pushed for better transparency with city government.
 
Liuzzo says Rabb was just elected chairman of the Board of Public Utilities and chairman of the Jamestown Local Development Corporation for 2018.  He was also named co-chair of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission, a panel he co-chaired when he was on City Council.  Acting Council President Tony Dolce says just over 1,900 people voted for Rabb.  He adds that the appointments are Mayor Sam Teresi's to make, but he gives them to council in advance of a vote, and if they have any questions or concerns about them to bring them up. 
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's top-elected official is continuing to visit businesses across the county, trying to reach 100 of them in 100 days...  
 
Last Thursday, County Executive George Borrello visited a company with plans to build a plant in the town of Dunkirk by 2020. Borrello took a tour of the Athenex headquarters in Buffalo, and the company's plant in Clarence.  He says plans remain on track for the construction of a much larger manufacturing facility near Route 5 in Chautauqua County.
 
Borrello says he continues to make progress in reaching a major goal he first announced during his election campaign.  He has now visited 24 business and, he says most have repeated a sounding theme.  They have positions available, but not enough qualified applicants.  Borrello is beginning his fourth week on the job.  The Irving Republican has also been discussing a number of other issues, including last week's release of Governor Andrew Cuomo's State budget proposal.
 
 
 
The New York state Democratic Party has launched an advertising attack on the new federal tax law...  
 
The new campaign announced Monday comes at the direction of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said he'll urge Congress to repeal the law.  The new tax code enacted by Washington Republicans caps at $10-thousand dollars a deduction for state and local taxes.  That deduction is especially popular in high-tax states such as New York, where Cuomo says many taxpayers face big tax increases.  The television and online ad campaign is intended to launch a public effort to scrap the law.  Cuomo says the federal changes may force the state to restructure its own taxes to reduce the effect of the increases.  He's also vowed to challenge the new tax code in court.
 
 
 
The impact of the federal tax overhaul may lead some school budgets being rejected this Spring...  
 
That's a very real concern for the New York State School Boards Association in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal for 2018-19.  That from Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer, who says the governor is proposing a payroll tax that would be deductable in the wake of the federal changes.  While most people will enjoy still being able to deduct their state and local property taxes up to $10,000, there are some who will lose out, and see school budget votes as a way to take out their frustration.
 
Kreamer says the public votes will be held in May and, a super majority to approve a budget that exceeds New York's property tax cap.  He adds that the organization is looking further into Governor Cuomo's proposed "work-arounds..." including setting up charitable donations for people to support public education.  However, Kreamer says establishing those may cause more confusion for voters. 
 
 
 
People purchasing first-class stamps at the local post office to mail a card, or a letter are paying one-cent more today... 
 
That from Buffalo Regional Spokeswoman Karen Mazukiewicz, who says the new rate of $0.50 per stamp took effect this past Sunday. Mazurkiewicz says that wasn't the only change, adding that the price for postcards also went up a penny and, some packaging products went up three to four percent.  She says this will likely be the only increases you'll see in 2018 because their increases usually take effect in January of the new year.  Mazurkiewicz adds that they can only raise prices within the Consumer Price Index.  Under federal legislation in 2006, she says the U-S Postal Service can increase it's rates once a calendar year to help cover it's costs.  
 
 
 
Chautauqua Striders Mentoring program is looking to expand their school-based mentorships to districts outside of Jamestown... 
 
That from Elementary and Middle School Coordinator Mary-Ann Mason, who says that they're looking to expand more into the south county to work with students in Falconer, Bemus Point and Southwestern.
 
Mason says that their main focus is the Jamestown Public Schools because they have the most kids. However, they do have a north county office in Dunkirk. At the high school level, Mason says Striders takes pride in their tutoring mentors as well as their Life Skills programs in select skills including a program for bi-lingual students. For more information on the Striders Mentoring Program or how to become a mentor, listen to our "Community Spotlight" program online at MediaOneGroupRadio.com
 
 
 
The National Weather Service is continuing a Flood Watch for ice jam flooding across western New York through this evening...  
 
That from Forecaster Steve Welch in Buffalo, who says that includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties until 7:00.  The weather service says rainfall during the watch period will averages around a half inch. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 22, 2018

 
An Ohio man is accused of providing the firearms used to fire off errant gun shots at targets on Chautauqua Lake Sunday morning...  
 
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on the lake -- near Sea Lion Drive -- about 9:30 on a report of "ammunition rounds coming over the ice in a reckless manner."  Officers say they located 20 yer-old Matthew Michael of Brook Park, Ohio along with the others.  Some ice fisherman made the complaint.  Deputies found that Michael owned the weapons involved and he was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment.  He was issued appearance tickets for Chautauqua Town Court.
 
 
 
Fire has extensively damaged a two-story apartment house on Jamestown's eastside and the cause remains under investigation...  
 
City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to the scene at 24 Phillips Street about 9:30 last Friday night.  Sigular says crews found fire coming from the rear of the first floor when they arrived.  Sigular says it took about 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control and all the tenants were out when crews arrived.  However, Sigular says two cat perished in the blaze.  He says the house is not "habitable" right now and it's too early to tell whether or not it will be torn down.  Sigular says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist.  Sigular says a woman living in one of the apartments passed away earlier in the day.
 
 
The animal protection group Farm Sanctuary says 24 pigs have been removed from a Cattaraugus County farm where officials say they were kept in inhumane conditions... 
 
The rest of the 72 found were removed later.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were initially called to the scene at 5119 Folts Road in Ashford last Tuesday, and then returned last Saturday.  Deputies say the pigs were owned by 56 year-old Gerald Nason, Junior.  Farm Sanctuary said Friday that it collaborated with the Cattaraugus County SPCA on last Tuesday's rescue.  The organizations worked together on a 2002 case at the same farm involving 125 neglected pigs.  Nason faces eight counts of cruelty to animals, and was jailed on one-thousand dollars bail.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's business community apparently views Governor Andrew Cuomo's  proposed 2019 budget as a mixed bag. That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum...
 
On one hand, Tranum says the budget continues to emphasize job readiness, something he says the chamber continues to support. But, a major concern is the governor's proposal to shift to a pay roll tax to counter the effects of federal tax reform on workers across the state. He says this will place "an additional administrative burden on employers, and in some cases, may create cashflow issues."  He says "at some point" they'll get a break on taxes, but, they're also going to have to "front" some money.  Tranum says the chamber is still researching the effects of the governor's budget and will be reaching out to area state lawmakers to voice their concerns about the proposed state spending plant. 
 
 
It took four ballots, but Jamestown lawyer Eddie Sundquist got most of the votes on the last ballot to win the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee's endorsement for Congress...  
 
County Democratic Chairman Norm Green says Sunquist got 59% of the vote at Saturday's meeting to beat out six others.  Green says Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano was second, and Max Dell Pia of Owego was third.  Also nominated were Linda Andrei of Ithaca, Rick Gallant of Corning, Ithaca's Ian Golden and Charles Whalen of Geneva.  He says "the endorsement process for the county Democratic Committee leads to the June 26 primary where rank and file Democrats will have the opportunity to weigh in, and finalize the party's candidate to run against Tom Reed in November."  Green says it was a "great process" with more than 100 people taking part.  He says the county committee is now "honor bound" to continue to work for Eddie up to the primary. 
 
 
A discount bakery outlet located on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood for more than two-decades has moved and is slated to open this morning at a new location in West Ellicott...  
 
The Strohmann Bakery Outlet recently closed at it's location next to Davidson's Restaurant.  Regional Manager for Strohmann's, Stephen Freeze, says they're ready to go at their new location at 707 Fairmount Avenue in the Fairmount Plaza.
 
Freeze says they feel fortunate to find another location on Fairmount Avenue that's not far from their previous location.  He says they had narrowed the choices down to two, after their previous location got sold by the Davidson family, which owned that property.  Freeze says they "scrambled" to find a new location because they wanted to remain on Fairmount Avenue.  He says they'll be back to their full compliment of employees for the new location.  In addition to the full-line of Strohmann products, he says they'll also carry Entemann's cakes,  Thomas's English Muffins, and Sara Lee to name a few.
 
 
An international company looking to expand it's operations in Dunkirk in the coming year was one of the focuses of Mayor Willie Rosas' annual State of the City message late last week...  
 
A capacity crowd was on hand Friday afternoon for the speech.  Rosas says the major project is being proposed by Dunkirk Special Metals and he says if successful it will mean more jobs.
 
Following the meeting, Rosas said the city's Development Department is working with state and county officials to make the expansion happen.  Among his other goals, he says they include working with surrounding communities through shared services.  Rosas is taking up a challenge that Governor Andrew Cuomo made recently in his budget message.  Rosas also spoke about the many festivals and other activities that took place in the city during 2017, including a two-hour long air show.  Rosas announced there will not be another air show in 2018, but indicated there are plans for something much bigger.

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 20, 2018

Tenants escape flames in Jamestown apartment house fire...
The investigation is continuing into an early weekend fire that's extensively damaged a two-story apartment house on Jamestown's eastside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to 24 Phillips Street about 9:30 p.m. Friday.  Sigular says crews found fire coming from the rear of the first floor when they arrived... and, they knocked down the fire in about 15 minutes.  Sigular tells us the home is currently uninhabitable.  Sigular says all the tenants were out when crews arrived.  However... he says two cat perished in the blaze.  He says it's too early to tell whether or not the house will be torn-down.  Sigular says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist.  There is no cause yet for the blaze.  Sigular says a woman living in one of the apartments passed away earlier in the day.
 
 
Long-time Maple Grove Coach Curt Fischer resigns amid disagreements with parents, school officials...
One of the region's top high school coaches has left the district where he has coached almost exclusively for the past quarter of a century.  Maple Grove Junior-Senior High School Varsity Football... Basketball... and, Girl's Softball Coach Curt Fischer has led his teams to five state titles.  But... the Falconer native tells Media One Group News that he resigned during Thursday's Bemus Point School Board meeting... but, adds it's a decision he did not want to make... adding he'll have "Dragon in my heart forever."  He says there have been so many great players, parents and people he has met down through the years.  However... Fischer says it's too bad "that things changed."  Fischer says a problem with a "few parents" over the past two years -- mainly with girl's softball -- was allowed to fester... and, the situation came to a head in recent weeks.  Fischer had been Girl's Softball Coach the past nine years... and was head boy's basketball coach the past 13 seasons.  He was emotional when talking about leaving the school... and, decided it was best for his family -- especially his two children -- who are both in high school.  Curt Fischer has been acclaimed as one of the best coaches in modern times in Chautauqua County... and, will be inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame next month.
 
 
Bemus Point School District responds for Fischer decision with printed statement...
We were unable to reach Bemus Point School Superindent Mike Mansfield directly... but, he did issue a joint statement with School Board President John Novotny.  Mansfield says "Curt Fischer asked for and was granted an unpaid leave of absence from his position of varsity boys basketball coach. The leave was approved at our January 8th Board of Education meeting."  Since that time... Mansfield says Fischer told the district that he is resigning as basketball coach.  As for his position as Football Coach... he says "all athletic coaching positions are posted annually and the District appoints all athletic coaches on an annual basis."  He says no decision has been on a football coach.  Mansfield adds that the district "deeply appreciates" Fischer's commitment, and wishes him well in the future.
 
 
Two people arrested in Jamestown during illegal narcotics investigation...
Two men are jailed after an investigation by drug agents in Jamestown for allegedly found a large quantity of methamphetamine  during a traffic stop Wednesday night.  Officers say they were investigating the trafficking of meth coming into the city when they stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Allen and King Streets.  Further investigation revealed that the driver... 26 year-old Zachary Witherwell of Youngsville, Pennsylvania.... was in possession of one half-ounce of crystal Meth and drug paraphernalia.  Witherwell was also found in possession of Clonazepam and was subsequently charged.  Officers say his passenger -- Jacob Motherwell of Jamestown -- became disorderly and began using vulgar language towards officers... creating a disturbance.  He's also accused of fighting with officers, and refused to get into the police car.  He was additionally charged with obstructing governmental administration. 
 
 
Kreamer says state school districts need at least double the amount of aid increase Cuomo is proposing...
There is a 3-percent increase in school aid in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018-19 budget proposal.  However... very little of it can be used as local districts want to spend it.  That from New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer...  who says.. when you peel back the layers... the $769-million increase is more like a 2.3-percent increase.  He says schools actually need about $1.5-billion to just meet projected expenses in the coming year to cover transporation, salaries, security, and pay bills in general.  Kreamer says what the Governor proposes for education funding is a starting point.  It's now up to the Assembly and State Senate to review the governor's proposal... and, come back with their own budget plans.  He says early indications are that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie also believes the increase is not enough... while Senate Majority Leader John Flanigan is "embracing" the Governor's increase.  The budget is due April 1.
 
 
Reed blames "extremists" on both sides for government shut-down...
Extremists on both sides of the political aisle are to blame for the federal government shut-down... which began at Midnight last night.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who calls the shut-down "unfortunate."  He adds that -- "I am deeply disappointed these extremists, who are refusing to compromise, have prevailed.  I want to assure people that I will not stop working until a solution is found."  In the meatime... Reed says his offices will remain open, accessible and able to help as many people as possible with the things they need such as social security checks, Medicare, or veterans issues."  In Washington... he says he will continue to work out the details of a bipartisan solution.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 19, 2018

A 74 year-old man from Jamestown man has died from apparent smoke inhalation in an overnight fire early Thursday morning blamed on a space heater...  
 
Acting City Fire Battalion Chief, Lieutenant Tim Glenn says crews were called to the scene at 21 Carey Place shortly after 1 a.m. and says they found flames coming from the upper part of the structure... and, they found Patrick Reilly unresponsive in his room.  Reilly was pulled out of the room, and later died at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Glenn says firefighters were able to get the flames out fairly quickly and, they determined the cause to be the electric space heater the man was using that was too close to combustables.  
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018-19 proposed budget increases state school aid by 3% or about $769-million...  
 
However, when you "peel back" the layers of the spending plan, there's really not enough to cover the anticipated increase in costs to educate children in the state.  That from New York State Schools Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer, who says it's really about a 2.3% increase.
 
Kreamer says the other issue is the way the state doles out "catagorical" aid, which means the money must be used for that category.  He says when you look at that,  most of that nearly $800-million is already spoken for. He says what the Governor proposes for education funding is a starting point.  However, Kreamer says early indications are that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie also believes the increase is not enough, while Senate Majority Leader John Flanigan is "embracing" the Governor's increase.  The budget is due April 1.
 
 
 
Most Chautauqua County schools will benefit from Governor Cuomo's proposed 2018-19 budget.  In fact, all but three will see increases in their state aid if the budget is adopted as is...  
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell's office released school runs for the county late yesterday and the overall increase is nearly $9.5-million.  The runs show that Jamestown will get the biggest increase -- $4.1-million -- but, about $3-million of that will be for building and building reorganizational incentive funding.  The next biggest bump in aid goes to Dunkirk, which would get nearly $1.5-million more in 2018-19.  Bemus Point is next with another $937,000.  However, there are three districts who will see reductions, led by Frewsburg, which is seeing a $139,000 cut.
 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed was among House members in a slim majority that voted in favor of the short-term Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded after Midnight tonight...  
 
Reed today says Congress is "working to govern on behalf of the American people."  He says the vote funds essential programs such as the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the next six years. Reed admits that -- overall -- it's only good for the next four weeks, but does include the CHIP funding.  Reed says he still wants to begin work to put at least a one-year funding deal put together.  Ideally, he says he would like to see a two-year deal like the one negotiated a few years ago between Democrats and the GOP.  DACA is reportedly not part of the Congressional resolution.  Senate Democrats are vowing a filibuster unless there's a deal to protect around 700,000 immigrants from deportation who arrived in the U.S. as children and stayed illegally.  Reed is calling on Senators from both sides of the aisle to support a sensible solution.
 
 
 
A Brocton man has been arrested for allegedly violating the state's Sex Offender Registry Act...  
 
Sheriff's officers say they took 44 year-old Victor Martinez into custody yesterday afternoon following an investigation that began last month.  Deputies say Martinez is a registered level-3 sex offender, who allegedly failed to comply with the terms of the registry.  He was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court and sent to the Chautauqua County jail on $15,000 bail/ $30,000 property bond.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested following a traffic stop after she was allegedly found in possession of two controlled susbstances Wednesday evening...  
 
City police say they stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Newland Avenue and Prospect Street for a traffic violation shortly after 7:00.  Officers say the driver, 37 year-old Kristen Nelson, was found to be driving on a suspended license.  Further investigation revealed Nelson also had a quantity of methamphetamine and unprescribed suboxone in her possession.  She was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and failure to stop at stop sign. 

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News Bulletin for Thurs., Jan. 18, 2018

(**Bulletin)Elderly man dies from early morning fire in his apartment in Jamestown...
An elderly man has died from smoke inhalation after fire broke out early Thursday in an apartment on Jamestown's northside.  Acting City Fire Battalion Chief Tim Glenn says crews were called to the scene at 21 Carey Place shortly about 1:15 a.m., and, says they found flames coming from the upper part of the structure.  Glenn says fire was visable from the rear second-floor, and crews got inside.  He says they found the man unresponsive in his apartment and he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.  Glenn says the man's identify is not being released at this time... and, may be later by City police.  He says firefighters were able to get the flames out fairly quickly... and, they determined the cause was an electric space heater being placed too close to combustables.  Fire damage was confined to the man's room.  Glenn says the victim's body was taken to the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.  He says crews were at the scene until about 7:30 this morning... and an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in.  No firefighters were hurt in battling the blaze.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 18, 2018

A bi-partisan panel co-chaired by local Congressman Tom Reed has released it's recommendations for using up to one-trillion dollars to build a 21st century infrastructure network in the United States...  
 
Reed says the "problem solver's" caucus has reached consensus on a set of policies to serve as the basis for a plan to address what he calls a "dire need" to rebuild and responsibly invest in the nation's infrastructure.  The Corning Republican says that includes both "traditional" and "non-traditional" infrastructure.
 
Reed says the problem solvers created the "infrastructure working group," co-chaired by fellow new york republican John Katko, and Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Esty, who met with over 100 outside stakeholder organizations, the administration, and leaders in congress, to develop bipartisan concepts to move an infrastructure plan forward.  He says the nation needs to come up with a "dedicated, modernized user fee-based system" to pay for infrastructure needs.  Reed's co-chair on the problem solver's panel, new jersey democrat Josh Gottheimer, echoed those sentiments.  Gotthemer says "we can't keep kicking this problem down the road."
 
 
 
Business tax savings in new york state from the federal tax overhaul could be offset by new state businesses taxes proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2018-19 budget...  
 
That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who says it's part of the governor's plan to raise an additional one-billion dollars to help offset a projected $4.4-billion shortfall in the new spending plan.  goodell says he opposes the the moves, which would raise about $300-million for the state.
 
Also in response to federal tax reform, goodell says the governor is proposing two ways to reduce higher-wage earners tax liability.  He says one way is through charitable contributions by establishing funds to support non-profit entities. He says the second method is to limit higher income earners liability is to install a payroll tax, which would be submitted through the employer.  He says state taxes paid that way are deductable under the federal tax reforms.  Goodell says lawmakers in albany are still waiting to get more information on the governor's proposal.  He says, with all the sifting lawmakers will have to do, it may make it difficult to meet the budget's April 1 deadline.
 
 
 
Governor Cuomo was heckled during his state budget address to lawmakers by a New York City-area legislator unhappy with Cuomo's education spending plan...  
 
Democratic Assemblyman Charles Baron, of Brooklyn, stood up during the Democratic governor's speech in Albany Tuesday to call for higher taxes on millionaires to support public schools. Cuomo told him to listen to the speech before criticizing it.  Baron also interrupted the governor during his State of the State Address two years ago.  Cuomo is vowing to fight back against Washington Republicans with a state budget proposal that lays out spending on schools and mass transit while also confronting greater uncertainty in federal funding. 
 
 
 
The county aiport near Jamestown is the only one of 19 that did not receive an essential air service waiver for their U.S. Department of Transporation subsidy, but most of the others also did not reach the required passenger numbers...  
 
Those airports include the regional locations in Bradford and Franklin, Pennsylvania.  According to The Altoona Mirror in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the DOT noted that the Jamestown location is "76 miles away from the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and 61 miles from the Erie International Airport.  That access, the government concluded, makes it unlikely that Jamestown's passenger numbers, identified at 4,408 in the 2016 fiscal year, will increase enough to put the airport into compliance with program requirements."     
 
 
A Dunkirk man has been arrested for robbery and assault following a three-month long investigation in the north county city...  
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says officers located the 37-year-old suspect at his residence on Lincoln Avenue around 4 a.m. yesterday.  Ortolano says he was found hiding in an unexpected place---a washing machine.  Fernando Martinez, junior is accused of forcibly taking an undisclosed amount of cash from an individual and causing physical injury to the victim on November 8 of last year.  Ortolano credits the work of his department in not giving up on the case because the "bad guys" will sometimes do what they have to to avoid arrest.  Martinez is facing second-degree robbery and third-degree assault charges.  He's being held in the city lock up until his arraignment in Dunkirk City court.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested following a traffic stop after she was allegedly found a controlled substance and hypodermic instruments on the city's eastside yesterday morning...
 
At 9:00, city police say they conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of Lindwood Ave and Martin Road on vehicle operated by 27 year-old Brittany Hitchcock. further investigation revealed hitchcock was in possession of a quantity of heroin and several hypodermic needles. She was taken to city jail without incident. Officers say the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 17, 2018

The regional air carrier that's been providing commercial air service at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown has packed up and left the airport after it's federal subsidy was pulled...  
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed confirmed the news yesterday afternoon during a conference call with Southern Tier Media.  The county and Southern Airways Express were as part of an announcement about two weeks ago that the U.S. Department of Transportation was terminating funding for its Essential Air Service program.  While the situation improved in recent weeks, Reed says Southern never achieved the required average of 10 passengers a day.
 
We were unable to reach County Executive George Borrello Tuesday afternoon.  Local officials have been working with Reed and, the state's two U.S. Senators on the matter.  At last count, Reed says Southern had just under two passengers a day.  The county was receiving about $2.1-million annually that allowed Southern Airways to provide flights from Jamestown to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Reed is confident another carrier will be found.
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a $168-billion state budget plan that eliminates a $4.4-billion deficit while increasing spending on public education and New York City subways... 
 
Cuomo, a Democrat, says he also will recommend changes to the state tax code to soften the blow of the new federal GOP tax overhaul.  The major change is a shift to a payroll tax where employers would withhold $5.00 in wages out of $100 in wages that the employer can deduct.
 
At the same time, Cuomo says the state would retain an income tax for other means of income, such as dividends, and what's called "passive" income.  However, he says the capping of the state and local property tax deduction at $10,000 is a larger problem and he urged lawmakers to work with him on finding solutions.  He is proposing $1-billion in new revenues to help cover the projected deificit.  Cuomo is also recommending a new surcharge on opioid prescriptions to fund the fight against addiction.
 
 
As Governor Andrew Cuomo gets ready to deliver his budget message in Albany today, a former candidate for governor has announced he is launching a new campaign to help homeowners fight for fair property taxes...  
 
Philanthropist and businessman Tom Golisano calls it, "Tax My Property Fairly".  In announcing the campaign on Facebook Tuesday morning, Golisano also indicated that he plans to launch a class action lawsuit on behalf of upstate taxpayers.
 
Golisano says the campaign features a new web site, TaxMyPropertyFairly.com.  Golisano unsuccessfully ran for governor three-times as an independent candidate.  He is no longer a state resident, having moved to Florida in 2009.  Golisano still owns two homes in New York, having successfully challenged the assessment of the properties.  He is also the former owner of the Buffalo Sabres.
 
 
 
So far, no final cause has been determined in last Sunday's massive fire that destroyed a multi-story mixed use building in downtown Falconer. However, Chautauqua County Fire investigators say it's not believed to be suspicious...  
 
The county's Fire Investigation Team released results of it's investigation late Tuesday morning.  Team members interviewed several people, including tenants, and looked at parts of the third-floor that had not yet collapsed.  They determined that the fire started in the attic area of the building.  In addition, they say during the course of the investigation, it was learned three cats were in an apartment on the second floor of the building that didn't suffer much fire damage.  Using a ladder truck, they were able to break out a window and safely rescue the three cats inside.
 
 
 
For only the second-time in it's history, the Jamestown City Council will be led by a woman... 
 
Marie Carrubba says she looks forward to serving in the coming year.  Carrubba was elected as head of the nine-member council at last week's re-organizational meeting.  The Democrat says, given the work over the past year, 2018 is shaping up as another busy year.
 
Carrubba says working to expand the city's declining tax base will be a priority in the coming year and will include trying to get dilapitated homes and properties back onto the tax rolls.  However, she says that can't be the sole focus.  Carrubba says she'll also talk with department heads to look for more cost savings.  Among the people congratulating Carrubba after the meeting was the council's first female president, Dr. Lillian Ney.  Ney served as City Council President for two years, 2004 and 2005.
 
 
A city man is jailed after allegedly threatening another man with a kitchen knife last Sunday night on Jamestown's eastside...  
 
City police were called to the 600-block of Spring Street shortly before 8 p.m. on a report of a person with a weapon.  Officers say they were told on arrival that a fight broke out between 42 year-old Ismael Rivera-Pena and another man at the scene.  Police say Rivera-Pena allegedly armed himself with the knife, and assumed a fighting stance with the other man.  Rivera-Pena was arrested for second-degree menacing, and was being held in the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
A Jamestown woman faces several charges including three counts of endagering the welfare of a child following a domestic incident yesterday evening... 
 
City police responded to 124 Anderson Street and, found that 46 year-old Joy Ryen allegedly held the victim down while attempting to cover their mouth. Officers say her actions occurred in front of three small children. She was additionally charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and criminal obstruction of breathing. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 16, 2018

There was a daring, top-story aerial rescue during the beginning of Sunday afternoon's fire that destroyed a residential-commercial building on West Main Street in Falconer...  
 
That from Falconer Mayor, and Fire Department spokesman Jim Rensel, who says one of the three aerial trucks that responded to the blaze at the Falconer Vac-Shop building made the rescue from a third-floor apartment. The alarm initially went out about 11:55 a.m.,  Rensel says the four people rescued and seven others who lived in the upstairs apartments, all got out safely.  The dozen or so fire deparments that responded ended up making a defensive attack with the aerial trucks because it wasn't safe enough to get inside.  Rensel confirms there was a roof collapse while battling the blaze.
 
There is still no cause yet for the fire and West Main Street remains closed off from Phetteplace to Work Street in Falconer.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  No one else was hurt.  The building at 15 West Main is owned by long-time Falconer businessman, Brian Nelson.  
 
 
 
A traffic stop in Dunkirk late last Saturday afternoon resulted in the discovery of over four pounds of pot in the vehicle and led to three arrests on drug related charges...  
 
Dunkirk Police say they observed a vehicle being driven by 32-year-old Jessie Melendez of Dunkirk at West 5th and Swan Streets fail to stop at a stop sign.  At the time of the traffic stop, an officer observed a large quantity of high quality marijuana packaged in large, clear plastic bags in plain view on the rear floor of the vehicle.  Melendez and two passengers, 31-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez and 34-year-old Luis Sanchez -- both of Dunkirk -- were each charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the 2nd degree.  Melendez was also charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to stop at a stop sign and unsafe tires.  The marijuana had an approximate street value of $8,000.
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to unveil his proposed 2018 budget later today and the New York Democrat has hinted that it may include proposed changes to the state's tax code...  
 
Those changes would come in the wake of the passage of new, federal tax reform.  During a visit to Dunkirk earlier this month, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul noted that -- with the likely capping of the State and Local Tax deductions, the Cuomo administration was looking at ways to respond.
 
One Congressman who voted for the tax bill was local Representative Tom Reed, who says the state needs to cut it's tax burden.  However, Cuomo has indicated that some type of tax shift is needed to help soften the blow of the federal tax overhaul, which puts a $10,000 cap on the SALT deduction for property taxes.  The state is also looking at a $4-billion deficit.
 
 
 
New York lawmakers want to know if a new state initiative aimed at reducing property taxes is working as intended...  
 
A provision in the state budget directs local officials around the state to convene panels to study ways their counties, towns, cities and villages could save money by sharing services and consolidating programs.  The idea of the program, supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is to reduce the local tax burden by eliminating layers of bureaucracy and encouraging more efficiency.  Thirty-four counties have completed the process so far. 
 
 
 
The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was celebrated Monday afternoon in Dunkirk with the theme: "The Power of Love, Building Bridges... Tearing Down Walls" at the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Luncheon held at the Dunkirk Moose Lodge...  
 
Buffalo School Board President Doctor Barbara Seals Nevergold was the guest speaker.  Nevergold spoke about a speech Dr. King delivered in Buffalo in 1967 and, how the message still applies today.  The lifelong educator says that when it comes to dealing with new challenges, it's important to identify the problems.  But, Nevergold adds that it's important to recognize the successes.  She says it's easy to get "mired down" in the problems that come up, but she says there have also been many successes to celebrate.  The committee also presented the Janice D. Slaton, Esquire Scholarships.  One of the winners was Destiny Paredes, a student at Jamestown Community College's Dunkirk Campus.  A record of just over 170 people turned out for the luncheon.
 
 
The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy was celebrated in New York's capital Monday and, other places in the state...  
 
A free public program was held Monday morning in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, near the state Capitol, featuring a performance by Grammy and Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday.  Speakers included Lola Brabham, the acting state civil service commissioner, and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson.  The holiday events also will include a march to a nearby King Monument and an Albany City Hall carillon concert.  Jamestown's annual celebration was held last Sunday at Immanuel Baptist Church.
 
 
 
The New York Police Department says detectives are looking into a man's claim that disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer threatened to stab him during an irate interaction in a Manhattan restaurant...  
 
Police say Jamie Antolini filed a complaint Friday.  He says he was having dinner January 2nd, when Spitzer came in and became angry at hearing Antolini praise someone Spitzer has fought with.  The NYPD says Antolini accuses Spitzer of threatening him with bodily harm and making statements that he would kill him.  Spitzer spokeswoman Lisa Linden says there was an argument started by a restaurant patron, and that Spitzer initially ignored his remarks.  She said at no time did he make any threats.  Spitzer resigned in 2008 amid revelations that he had sex with prostitutes.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 15, 2018

Falconer mayor says village will rebound after latest devastating blaze in downtown area...
A major fire that broke out just before Noon yesterday in the village of Falconer has destroyed another large, residential-commercial building in the heart of the downtown area.  It's the second fire within the past 10 months on that part of Main Street.  A dozen fire companies were called to the scene of the Falconer Vac-Shop building at 15 West Main St. at 11:55 am Sunday.  Falconer Fire Department Spokesman, and Mayor Jim Rensel says all 11 tenants got out safely.  Rensel says they were being taken care of, temporarily, in the Falconer Central School building.  That shelter was needed in the wake of temperatures in the low to mid-teens.  Those frigid temperatures also made it difficult for firefighters on the scene.  The building... which housed the Falconer Vac-Shop... is believed to be a total loss.  Rensel says two other businesses were there... including a hair salon that had been burned out of the other blaze last March at 29-34 West Main.  He calls it a "tough situation."  Rensel says one firefighter suffered a knee injury... which he hopes is minor.  The fire was deemed under control about mid-afternoon... but, several fire crews remained at the scene to douse hot spots.  No cause has yet been released.  Several fire companies... including Jamestown, Lakewood, and Frewsburg joined Falconer at the scene.  West Main Street has been closed between Phetteplace... and Work Streets.  
 
 
New County Executive on hand to support Falconer in wake of second major fire in 10 months...
The second major fire in the village of Falconer is "very sad to see."  That from new Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello... who praised firefighters for their efforts in battling the blaze in Sunday's frigid conditions.  Borrello says there's still plenty of work to do... but, he's confident fire officials will find out what happened.  Mayor Jim Rensel says a tenant inside the building called in the alarm after smelling smoke and fire inside.  Borrello offered Mayor Rensel whatever help the county can... and, praised the county's on-going mutual aid program for a strong turn-out by firefighters.
 
 
BPU reports wide-spread discolored water due to Falconer fire...
The major fire in the village of Falconer has caused systemwide discolored water in the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' service area.  That from BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... who says the heavy hydrant use stirs up the water.  Robbins adds the BPU's electric line department had to cut power on Main Street in Falconer from Tiffany Avenue to Homestead to permit firefighters to battle the fire safely.  It was restored about mid-afternoon.
 
 
Teresi says, despite troubling and unresolved shooting and stabbing incidents, major crimes are down in city...
With a number of shooting incidents... and, one stabbing death in late 2017... public safety remains at a premium in the city of Jamestown.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the situation is getting better, but, adds that city police need to have better cooperation from the public in a few cases.  Teresi says he understands why some people may not feel safe... but, adds the crime rate will never be zero.  At the same time... he says an improving economy will help advance that.  He says that has helped "calm" the major crime numbers in the city.  Teresi adds, though, that better law enforcement first needs to have better citizen concern and involvement.  That's why he is pleased to have Chief Harry Snellings back on the job for another four-years.  He says Snellings has worked hard to impart the need for solid evidence, and witness assistance to his officers.  City police have been frustrated by not getting cooperation in a few shooting incidents, and the fatal stabbing late last year.  Snellings has carried the dual position of Police Chief and Public Safety Director for nearly the past eight years.  
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested after alleged DWI Accident...
A minor two-car crash in the north county has led to the arrest of a Dunkirk man for allegedly driving while drunk.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of the two-car accident at Route 5 and Temple Road in the town of Dunkirk last Friday afternoon... and, found that 33 year-old Bradley Ross was driving while he was in an intoxicated state.  He was arrested for DWI, following too closely, uninspected motor vehicle, and, Aggravated DWI with a .18 BAC or higher.  Ross was issued appearance tickets for Dunkirk Town Court at a later date.
 
 

 

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News Bulletin for Sun., Jan. 14, 2018

(**Alert)Another major fire in Falconer destroys commercial-apartment building near scene of last year's major blaze...

A major fire that broke out late this morning in the village of Falconer has destroyed another residential-commercial building in the downtown area.  It's the second fire within the past 10 months on that part of Main Street.  Crews were called to the Falconer Vac-Shop building at 15 West Main Street on a report of smoke and fire in the upper floors of the building.  Falconer Fire Department Spokesman, and Mayor Jim Rensel says the 11 people living in the upstairs apartments were evacuated safely... and no one was hurt.  One firefighter suffered a minor injury.  Dozens of firefighters are at the scene... and, officials are urging motorist to avoid that area today.  West Main Street has been closed between Phetteplace... and Dow Streets.  

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 13, 2018

Winter Weather returns to western Southern Tier...
It is a picture post-card Winter day in the western Southern Tier after several inches of snow fell across the area last night and overnight.  The National Weather Service reports between the snow pretty much ended in the Jamestown-area early this morning... but, not before dumping 7 to 8 inches of new snow.  The snow ended early this morning, and the Weather Service discontinued our Winter Storm Warning about mid-morning.  The temperature... which was about 54 early yesterday here at our Media One Group studios in West Ellicott... fell to the mid-30s by early afternoon... then into the upper teens last night.  The temperature rose to about 12 this morning... and, will drop to near zero overnight tonight.  It'll remain very cold through Sunday night.
 
 
State to provide $5-million in snowmobile grants, Chautauqua Co. to get $218,000...
More than $5-million has been awarded to communities in New York state for snowmobile trail maintenance and grooming.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding Thursday and designated the weekend of February 2-5 as a free snowmobiling weekend for out-of-state and Canadian residents.  The Democratic governor says the state is providing $4 million in grants for snowmobile trail maintenance, a 15 percent increase from last year.  The grants support more than 10,000 miles of designated snowmobile trails.  Chautauqua County will receive abot $218,800 in funding... which comes from snowmobile registration fees. 
 
 
Local businesses, soup kitchen to be impacted by Sam's Club closing...
Individuals and businesses looking for bargains on bulk-items have been flocking to the West Ellicott Sam's Club store after Thursday's sudden announcment that it'll be closing in two-weeks.  Several local businesses... often times restaurants... buy items at Sam's to save money.  The St. Susan's Soup Kitchen in Jamestown also buys several items 2 to 3 times a week for it's operations.  Director Jeff Smith adds that Sam's has also been "incredibly generous" in donating items to the center... such as additional food items, paper products, and cleaning supplies.  Smith says he and his staff are going to have to make alternative plans to deal with issues such as buying additional milk... paper towels... and other items because Sam's Club was convenient to their operation.  As for the 115 people who will soon be laid-off... Smith says they are certainly welcome to come by the center for a hot meal when they need it.  We heard that cars were lined up along Fairmount Avenue in a couple of directions yesterday... and, people were also lined up around the building on Fairmount Avenue to get inside after the warehouse store... which was closed Thursday.
 
 
Teresi re-appoints Snellings as police chief, director of Pubic Safety...
The man who has served the dual role of Jamestown Police Chief and Public Safety Director for nearly the past eight years will remain chief for another four-years.  Chief Harry Snellings... a more than 21 year JPD veteran... was confirmed by the city council this past week after being appointed by Mayor Sam Teresi.  Teresi says his relationship with Snellings goes back to when the chief was first with the department in the late 1990s... and, went along with Snellings on a patrol "ride-along" when he first became mayor in 2000.  Snellings became a Sergeant in the early 2000s... then Lieutenant and head of the JPD SWAT Team before being appointed as Chief. Teresi says Snellings is definately "in the mold" of Teresi's past appointees to the post... William MacLaughlin and Rex Rater.  He says he's "very thankful" that Snellings agreed to one more term in office.  Snellings has been credited for leading the way on Jamestown's crack-down on drug-trafficking in the city.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 12, 2018

A spokesman for a members-only warehouse store that's been part of the retail landscape in West Ellicott the past two decades is confirming that the local Sam's Club store is closing at the end of the month...  
 
The word comes from Corporate Communications Director Philip Keene in an e-mail Thursday afternoon.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin calls it a "sad" day for the town.  McLaughlin spoke with Sam's Club's Northeastern Governmental Affairs Director... who confirmed the closing will take place on January 26, and there are no future plans for the location.
 
The West Ellicott Sam's Club is one of 63 being closed nationwide, with three others in New York state.  McLaughlin says there are two in the Rochester-area and one is in Syracuse.  In a note to USA Today, Sam's Club President and Chief Executive Officer John Furner said they've decided to "right-size" their fleet.  McLaughlin says he did not receive a reason for the closings.
 
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The Sam's Club at 720 Fairmount Avenue was closed without warning Thursday, with many employees finding out they weren't working when they arrived.  A flyer in the door said the store would be reopening this morning at 10:00.  Some employees referred to it as a "going out of business" sale.  
 
 
The expected closing of the Sam's Club store is a tough economic pill for the region to swallow and efforts are underway to find another retailer down the road to go into the location...  
 
Ellicott Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says he can confirm that "no major retailers" have approached the town about possibly locating here -- right now.  He adds that, while there are no plans right now, the town is not out of the running for an e-commerce location down the road.
 
In addition to McLaughlin, State Senator Cathy Young says she is "alarmed and disheartened to learn of the sudden impending closure" of the local Sam's Club.  In a printed release Thursday afternoon, Young called it a "devastating blow to the store's employees and their families and to our area."  She adds that she has already heard from small business owners, including restaurants, who are very concerned about where they will buy bulk items for their businesses.
 
 
A Flood Watch remains in effect for parts of Western New York... 
 
Along with a Winter Storm Warning that takes effect at 1:00 this afternoon.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the warning is in place until 1 p.m. Saturday.  Ansuini says another shot of arctic air will pushing into the area by early this afternoon.
 
Ansuini says the early morning temperatures may get into the low 50s before the bottom drops out later in the day.  Total snow accumulations of five to 10 inches and ice accumulations of around two tenths are possible.  Difficult driving conditions are expected for tonight through Saturday morning.  The Flood Watch remains in effect through tonight.
 
 
 
The ice jamming situation improved later in the day Thursday in the village of Silver Creek and along Walnut Creek where ice jams were forming...
 
Route 5 was closed Thursday morning, but re-opened from Main Street to Parkway Avenue by late afternoon.  Silver Creek Fire Department Public Information Officer Jeff Griewisch says much of the large jam that concerned officials had cleared into Lake Erie, but they are still monitoring the situation.
 
Griewisch says they had a reduced number of crews in the village, but are ready if crews need to spring into action.  Local and county emergency management officials are also keeping a close watch in the Sunset Bay area where there are indications of potential flooding present.  Residents in Sunset Bay are being encouraged to prepare to evacuate in the event that flooding does occur.
 
 
State officials say 19 local governments across New York are splitting nearly $10 million for consolidating... 
 
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state funding through the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit has gone to towns that have dissolved a village within their boundaries.  Three other municipalities that completed a village dissolution at the end of last year will also start to receive the annual tax credit benefit. 
 
 
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he thinks new City Council President Marie Carubba will be a "terrific" Council President...  
 
Carubba was approved 8-1 this past Monday night as new head of the panel, replacing Greg Rabb, who was not re-elected to office last November.  Carubba is a ward council member, and says she's looking forward to serving.  Teresi says Carubba has always had the city's best intentions at heart.
 
Teresi says everytime someone asked Carubba to stand up and be part of an important committee, or other task or assignment, she doesn't say "no".  Carrubba was previously chairwoman for the council's Housing Committee and she head's up the main office for Southern Tier Living Environments, Incorporated.  She is one of five women who are on city council the next two years.  She is joined by fellow Democrats Maria Jones, Vansssa Weinert and Vickeye James... and Republican Kim Ecklund.
 
 
There's a slight improvement in the number of boats requiring decontamination to remove invasive species around New York's Lake George...
 
The Post-Star says a report by the Lake George Park Commission finds 17% of the boats inspected there in 2017 required the procedure, compared to 18% the year before.  The report says a total of 6,684 boats have received a free decontamination since the program began in 2014.  The most prevalent invasive species found is a plant called Eurasian milfoil, which has also been a problem in Chautauqua Lake.  The number of boats with zebra mussels more than doubled.  The commission's executive director, David Wick, attributes that to a large number of boats coming from Saratoga Lake.  He says experts are working to address that issue.

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News Alert for Thurs., Jan. 11, 2018

Word is SAM's Club in West Ellicott will be among stores closing...
A members-only bulk sales store that's been part of the retail landscape in West Ellicott the past two decades is reportedly closing it's doors at the end of the month.  Media One Group News has learned through several sources at the SAM's Club store at 720 Fairmount Ave. will be closing on Friday, Jan. 26.  Rumors began circulating earlier this morning when the store abruptly closed for the day.  A flyer in the door said the store would be reopening tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.  Some employees referred to it as a "going out of business" sale.  However... the store manager would not comment on that... and, directed us to SAM's Club headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.  One year ago... parent Wal-Mart Corporation announced the closing of more than 100 stores... including some SAM's Clubs... over the next year.  
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SAM's Club has been a major property taxpayer in both the town of Ellicott and village of Celoron.  But... today's news has caught town and village officials by surprise.  We do have calls into Elicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin, and Celoron Mayor Scot Screckengost.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 11, 2018

There will be a threat of ice jam flooding for portions of Western New York, including Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie counties now through Friday night...
 
That's the word from Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service.  He says a Flood Watch will run from 10 this morning through late Friday night.  Hitchcock says ice jam flooding can happen very quickly. About a half inch of rainfall is possible during the watch, but Hitchcock doesn't expect any general flooding.  He adds though that residents living near a creek need to keep an eye on that creek both Thursday and Friday.  The threat of ice jam flooding will ease by Friday night as cold air returns to the area.
 
 
 
Preparations are well underway in the north county to deal with any potential ice-jam flooding that could occur with the arrival of a January thaw...  
 
That from Chautauqua County's Emergency Services Director John Griffith, who says much of the prep work is taking place in the village of Silver Creek and other areas of the north county.  Griffith says the county's Public Facilities Department already has a "long-arm" excavator working to break up the ice in Silver Creek.  Still, he says residents should pay attention to all broadcasts, and other emergency alerts.
 
Griffith says he's been in touch with other agencies and says additional resources are available should be needed.  He says those include the state Department of Homeland Security.  He says county officials will continue to monitor any developments during the watch and will assist should flooding develop.  
 
 
 
Two people people were sent to the hospital when the driver of a mini-bus lost control of the vehicle and it crashed through a guard rail and rolled down an embankment in South Valley...
 
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at the intersection of Bone Run and West Perimeter Roads shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday.  Officers say the driver of the Corvus Bus and Charter vehicle, 55 year-old Louis Gagliardo of Olean, lost control of the vehicle as he approached the intersection and the bus rolled onto it's side as it went down the embankment.  Deputies say Gagliardo, and a bus monitor, 57 year-old Tracy Treadway of Cuba, were taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  A four-year-old who had been picked up for pre-school was not hurt.  Gagliardo was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.
 
 
 
Investigators believe a medical emergency may have been the reason the driver of a car in the town of Charlotte Tuesday morning crashed into a ditch and snowbank...  
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace says fire rescuers and police found the driver, 65 year-old Charles Troutman of Randolph, dead inside the vehicle after putting out a fire inside the car.  Gerace says they believe the fire was not suspicious. The Sheriff's Ofice reports their 911 center was notified by a passerby of a vehicle on fire off the road in a ditch on Mill Creek Road shortly after 9:00.  Sinclairville Fire responded initially and put out the fire.  The Sheriff's Office and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team found that Troutman was dead when they arrived.  Gerace says the accident is still under investigation.
 
 
One city firefighter was injured during a fire that broke out in a two-family home early yesterday morning... 
 
That from Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson, who says the firefighter was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment after he got some debris in his eye. He says crews were on scene just before 1 a.m. and were quick to stop the blaze. Finson says no other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is believed to electrical in nature. 
 
 
Fieldbrook Foods Corporation in Dunkirk has issued a voluntary recall of 20 cases of the Tops brand of Orange Cream Bars and 320 cases of the Meijer Purple Cow brand Orange Cream Bars...
 
Officials say that's due to the possibility that the product may be contaminated with Listeria.  The recalled Top's Orange Cream Bars were sold in Tops retail stores located in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont.  The recalled Purple Cow Orange Cream Bars were sold in Meijer retail stores located in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.  No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
 
 
The director of a propane gas trade group says it hasn't received any complaints of alleged price gouging during the recent cold spell, despite claims by New York state officials that prices may have been inflated...  
 
Shane Sweet with the New York Propane Gas Association says propane prices typically are higher in winter, but he says any increases are "nothing close to price gouging."  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that he was launching an investigation into extended delays in delivering propane to customers and possible price gouging during the recent cold spell. 
 
 
Village lawmakers in Fredonia have approved a resolution for engineering work to install an emergency waterline replacement to eliminate the problem of discolored drinking water on portions of six streets...  
 
Trustees earlier this week unanimously approved the resolution to have O'Brien and Gere Engineering of Syracuse to handle the design work for the project.  That from Mayor Athanasia Landis, who says the next step is is for the firm to put together a design for the project.  The total cost of the service is not to exceed $153,000. Dr. Landis says once the design work is completed, then the village can go out to bid.  She says the process will take about a year to complete.  The village is optimistic that it will be able to received an emergency loan through the state.
 
 
New York lawmakers want to know how much money the state is making off daily fantasy sports...  
 
A committee of the state Assembly met Wednesday in Albany to review the status of the online games and their impact on the state's finances.  Two years ago, lawmakers passed new regulations for daily fantasy sports to resolve concerns that daily fantasy sports companies were engaging in false advertising and illegal gambling.  The Legislature also imposed new fees and taxes on the industry.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 10, 2018

A Cattaraugus County man has been killed in a fiery, one-car crash on Mill Creek Road in the village of Sinclairville...  
 
Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly after 9:00 Tuesday morning and found a car in the ditch, and Sinclairville firefighters putting out a fire that had erupted in the vehicle.  Deputies say 65 year-old Charles Troutman of Randolph was found dead inside the vehicle, and was determined to be the only occupant in the car.  Officers say the accident is still under investigation, but nothing appears suspicious.
 
 
One person was reported hurt when a mini-bus slid off Bone Run Road and down an embankment in South Valley -- near the Cattaraugus-Chautauqua County line -- yesterday morning...  
 
Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say Frewsburg and Kiantone fire crews were called to the scene near West Perimeter Road shortly after 7:00.  They say there were three people on board the mini-bus and one passenger had to be treated for injuries.  Dispatchers say State Police in Jamestown and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's office were also called to the scene.  More information is to follow.
 
 
 
Jamestown Public Schools held their first board meeting of the new year last night at George Washington Middle School... 
 
During his Superintendent's Report, Bret Apthorpe talked about Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State Address. He says the governor usually spends more time during his hour-and-a-half presentation on education. However, this year came up short.
 
Apthorpe mentioned two initiatives the governor did discuss during his presentation including an increase in funding for Pre-K programs up $15-million in high needs areas. Apthorpe says there are about 400 students and growing in the Jamestown area in the Pre-K program. Additionally, Apthorpe mentioned Governor Cuomo wants to create a new certification for teachers in computer science called "Smart Start". He says the program would benefit students looking to get a head start on their educational careers in computer science and engineering. 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's optimistic that commercial air service from the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown will continue after January 16...  
 
However, Reed says it's up to Southern Airways Express to work with the county to up it's daily passenger numbers to at least the average of 10 as required for funding from the federal Essential Air Service program.  Reed took part in a conference call with County Executive George Borrello and others on the matter last week.
 
Reed says it's key for Southern Airways to make the commitment, and begin working towards building ridership before the U.S. Department of Transporation agrees to continue the $2.1-million annual subsidy to the air carrier.  At the same time, he declined to talk about how long any extension might be, because they want to ensure Southern will try to deliver on it's promises.  Borrello says he's pushing for Southern Airways to "base" a plane at Jamestown, which would allow for 6 and 7 a.m. flights out of Jamestown.  He says that would allow them to talk with major carriers about getting connecting flights.
 
 
 
Congressional leaders says they're encouraged by what they heard from President Donald Trump at a bi-partisan White House meeting on immigration, and a continuing resolution to keep the government operating...  
 
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump's "tone was very good" and that it was "encouraging that the president seems open to a narrow deal" to protect immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.  Local Congressman Tom Reed was not part of Tuesday's discussions, but says an agreement on DACA in exchange for stepped up border security was discussed by the bi-partisan Problem Solver's Caucus he co-chairs.
 
January 19 is when the current Continuing Resolution to fund the government runs out.  Reed says he also believes that there's a chance at comprehensive immigration reform, but adds it will not likely be part of the continuing resolution.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Western New York media.
 
 
 
One of the Democrats seeking the nomination to run against incumbant 23rd District Congressman Tom Reed has picked up the backing of a former Fredonia mayor...  
 
Jamestown attorney Eddie Sundquist says former mayor Steve Keefe is backing him in the run for the nomination.  Keefe made the announcment in an e-mail to supporters, and comes just ahead of the January 20 vote to decide the endorsement of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee.  In the e-mail, Keefe says he's met most of the candidates, and listened to their ideas, but he says Sundquist stands out.  Keefe also says at last report, Sundquist was also the top fund-raiser in the race.
 
 
 
More than three-dozen appointments were approved by the City Council at Monday night's reorganizational meeting and former Council President Greg Rabb will remain on two panels in the new year...  
 
Mayor Sam Teresi appointed Rabb as a citizen member of the Board of Public Utilities, which Rabb had served as council president in recent years.  Teresi says the position opened up when Tyler Case resigned from the BPU and accepted an appointment to the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.
 
Teresi named current BPU member Martha Zenns to replace Case, and that opened up another citizen member vacancy.  He says cohesion was important for the BPU because of several issues before the board over the next year or two, including efforts to annex BPU property in the village of Falconer used for the Dow Street Substation.  Rabb's appointment to the BPU runs through 2021.  He will also serve again on the Planning Commission.  Teresi says it's not unusual for former Council members and mayors to be appointed to boards and commissions after serving their elected terms.  Council approved Teresi's re-appointment of City Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings. 
 
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are almost a penny lower this week -- to $2.70 -- for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel...  
 
AAA's weekly gas price report says that despite artic temperatures, there haven't been any real fuel supply issues in the region.  Similarly to last year, AAA says that New York is among the top-10 most expensive gas prices in the country.  At this time last year, prices at the pump were $0.15 less at $2.55 per gallon.  On the national front, prices have held steady at $2.49 per gallon for nine straight days.  According to the EIA, end of the year gains were significant for crude oil with prices the highest at a year's end since 2013. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 9, 2018

 
Women now make up the majority of the Jamestown City Council and one of them is the new president of the council...  
 
Democrat Marie Carubba was elected to head-up the panel during last night's reorganizational meeting at City Hall.  She thanked fellow members for their votes of confidence, adding that she is both "honored and humbled" to be chosen.  Newcomers Vanessa Weinert, a Democrat and Andrew Liuzzo, a Republican, were also sworn-in.  She spoke to them and the returnees.
 
Carubba announced committee assignments and Republican Tony Dolce will again chair the Finance Committee, while Democrat Vickeye James will head up the Housing Committee Carubba previously chaired.  Democrat Maria Jones will again chair the Public Safety Committee and another Democrat, Tom Nelson, will replace the retired George Spitale as chairman of the Public Works Committee.  She also called on council members on other city boards and commissions to report back regularily to provide additional transparency into city matters for all residents. 
 
 
 
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is moving quickly with the Jamestown Airport's commercial air carrier to develop a plan to keep it's federal subsidy, with an eye towards self-sustainability...  
 
Borrello says he was surprised by the news a week ago today that the U-S Department of Transporation will end the $2.1-million subsidy to Southern Airways Express on January 16.  He says they're working right now for an extension.
 
Borrello they are working with Southern to have at least one Jamestown "based" airplane that would allow the airport to provide an early flight at 6 or 7 a.m. weekdays.  He says that would allow for "inter-connect" flights with bigger carriers that same day because you will have gone through security, and baggage check in Jamestown.  In addition to not having to check-in your luggage, you would also not have to go to the bigger carrier's ticket window to check in.  He made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
One man was taken to the hospital with minor injuries following a four-vehicle accident in the Town of Kiantone early Saturday morning... 
 
Sheriff deputies say 28 year-old Craig Vanhook was northbound on Route 62 when he lost control of his vehicle and swerved head-on into a semi-truck operated by 35 year-old Christopher Powers. Deputies say two other Semis were involved while trying to avoid the collision. Powers was treated at the scene and released and Vanhook was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment. Vanhook was charged with driving while intoxicated, and DWAI-drugs. He is to appear in Kiantone Town court at a later date. 
 
 
 
A Celoron man has been arrested for allegedly threatening people with a sword while standing outside his home Sunday afternoon...  
 
Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene at an undisclosed location in the village shortly before 1 p.m. and arrested 37 year-old Philip Gardner on two counts of second-degree menacing and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  Gardiner ws arraigned in Ellicott Town Court, and sent to the county jail on $1,000 cash bail.
 
 
A pair of checks from the Johnson Foundation in Jamestown will go a ways in helping the local Salvation Army run many of it's programs this year...  
 
That from Salvation Army Major John Merchant, who says they received the checks from the fouindation as it's 20 year trust has come to an end.  Merchant says the $286,000 in funding will help cover their operating costs above and beyond the Red Kettle Campaign.
 
Merchant says they use both the trust fund, and the annual Red Kettle Campaign to pay for their costs each year.  However, he says their rental assistance program will either be cut back, or discontinued after the Kettle campaign came up about $11,000 short in 2017.  Merchant says the Red Kettle Campaign, through the end of 2017, brought in just under $102,000.  The goal was $112,000.  Merchant adds, though, that the Salvation Army accepts donations year-round, and you can send a check to the organization at 83 South Main Street in Jamestown.  
 
 
There may still be some lake effect snow in the area this morning, along with some slick-spots...  
 
However, the temperature will continue to climb during the next couple of days before reaching 50 by late week.  Lake effect snow started back up about 7:30 yesterday morning and dropped about two inches in some places by late afternoon.  Meterologist Steven Welch with the National Weather Service in Buffalo by we'll really see the warm-up by Wednesday and Thursday.
 
 
 
Two people were hurt -- but, not seriously -- in a two-car accident blamed at least in part on snow-slicked roads on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret Monday morning...  
 
State Police in Fredonia are investigating the crash, which was reported near Camp Gross about 8:00.  Two people were reportedly hurt, and had to be freed by fire crews at the scene.  The Fredonia and Cassadaga Fire Departments responded to the crash along with the County Fly-Car service.  State Police in Fredonia say they didn't have any further details at this time.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 8, 2018

Chautauqua County's new executive has already been able to visit several local businesses on way to visiting 100 in his first 100 days in office. And, the results so far have been interesting...  
 
Irving Republican George Borrello visited Rand Machine Products in Falconer last Friday afternoon and came away impressed by what he saw.  Borrello says they -- and most of the other six -- are looking to grow their business.  He adds there are hurdles, though.  The main one being lack of the necessary workforce.
 
Borrello says he hopes to begin working on the workforce issue sooner rather than later.  He says Rand Machine is looking to increase both job numbers and product output to serve it's several nationwide market.  Those also include work that's classified for the defense department.  It's website says Rand Machine is a leading custom machining manufacturer serving customers in the construction, industrial, automotive, electronics, medical, oil and gas, furniture and and other industries.  Borrello made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
A man from Bemus Point arrested locally last August on several drug-related charges has now been indicted on federal charges by a grand jury...  
 
U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior in Buffalo has announced that 42 year-old Gary Hannold, Junior was indicted on seven charges for trying to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and suboxone.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.  Prosecutors say Hannold was stopped in Sherman for a traffic violation last August 11 and when he stopped, he allegedly threw his backpack -- which was found with packed drugs -- into the nearby weeds.  Hannold is being detained pending further court action.  
 
 
A Jamestown man faces several charges following an alleged domestic violence incident and later, a drunk-driving accident...  
 
City police were called to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital just before 10 a.m. last Saturday to speak with the victim of the incident at 233 Sprague Street.  Officers spoke with the victim, who said 37 year-old Brian Morath had punched her in the face several times, then dragged her around the home by her hair.  She says Morath pulled much of her hair out.  During the investigation, police say they were called to a property damage accident at 211 Front Street, in which Morath's car crashed into a tree.  He was later arrested at his home for second-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.  Morath was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Chautauqua County late last week to deliver a presentation on Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address...  
 
Despite the sub-zero wind chills, Hochul appeared in Dunkirk for the presentation, with the top concerns including the impact of the federal tax reform measure will have on the state.  She says they are looking at ways to buffer the effects of the reform, which caps the deductability of local property taxes.
 
Governor Cuomo did proposal a potential move from a personal income tax towares a payroll tax to soften the blow.  Hochul also indicated that Cuomo administration officials were trying to work out a plan to allow New Yorkers to continue the State and Local Tax -- or SALT -- deduction without a cap or increasing that cap.  Without that, she says New York will be hurt. 
 
 
The Lieutenant Governor's visit was hosted by Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello...  
 
Rosas was pleased with the large crowd that filled the conference center at the Clarion. While he didn't agree with everything in the governor's State of the State, Borrello says he was delighted by the update Hochul provided on Athenex and NRG.  He says he believes that things have been taking place "behind the scenes" to especially get the Athenex project rolling.  The new county executive says he hopes to learn more about status of Athenex in the coming days.
 
 
 
A town of Portland man has been arrested for allegedly growing marijuana in his Webster Road home...  
 
Sheriff's officers say they were investigating a situation at the home about 4:30 a.m. last Thursday when they say they found 31 year-old Ryan Dudek running a cannabis growing operation.  Dudek was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and a public health law charge of growing of the plant known as cannabis by an unlicensed person.  Dudek was issued appearance tickets for Portland Town Court at a later date.
 
 
If you're looking to get rid of your Christmas Tree in the city of Jamestown, the annual pick-up of discarded trees will begin today...  
 
City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the department will begin pick-up, weather permitting.  Ciesla-Hanley says the trees will be taken for recycling and residents should place their tree on the terrace between the street and sidewalk and if possible, to keep visible should a large snowfall occur.  She adds that all trees should be removed from plastic bags, lights and tree stands should be removed.  If you have any questions, call the city Parks and Recreation Office at 483-7573.

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News Headlines for Sat., Jan. 6, 2017

National Weather Service continues Wind Chill Warning, issues new Winter Weather Advisory...
The extremely low wind chills will continue into most of the weekend, along with some of the lake effect snow.  The National Weather Service says our Wind Chill Warning remains in effect until 7 AM Sunday... and there is another Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 7 o'clock tonight.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock of the Weather Service Office in Buffalo says you'll need to dress warmly when venturing outside... and, limit your time outside.  He says wear layers with a little space between them, and leave little exposed skin.  While the dangerous wind chills will continue through early Sunday... Hitchcock says there is some light at the end of the tunnel.  A warm up will begin on Sunday... as the mercury begins rising into the 30s by Monday and Tuesday.  By Wednesday... we could see the lower 40s.  Hitchcock says overnight wind chills on Sunday will run from 10 below to 25 below zero. 
 
 
County's Health and Human Services Director advises residents to protect themselves in extreme cold...
The head of the Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Deparment is urging residents to protect themselves when they go outside with another day of dangerously cold wind chills forcast.  Director Christine Schuyler says frostbite can occur within minutes in these bone-chilling conditions... which are expected to range from 20 to 30-below zero at times.  She says if you don't have to go outside, don't.  Especially if you are among the very young... or very old.  Schuyler says they are most suseptable to the cold.  She adds that frostbite causes a loss of feeling, and a white or pale appearance in the extremities... such as toes and fingers.  She says the skin will feel unusually firm or waxy.  If the symptoms are detected... she says get medical help immediately. 
 
 
Code Blue Warning issued for county...
With temperatures in the single digits through this morning and afternoon... Chautauqua County has also issued a "Code Blue Warning" because the temperature has fallen below freezing.  That means people seeking shelter can do so at several locations across the county... and, some were open last night and will be today.  Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says you can get help through the Sheriff's Office by calling 9-1-1... and, they will get you to a warming center.  There are several at local libraries in the Jamestown-area.  Schuyler says the hours today at the Prendergast Library are now to 4 p.m., and, you can contact the other libraries for their hours.
 
 
Bemus Point man indicted on federal drug charges...
A Bemus Point man has been incidicted by a federal grand for allegedly trafficking several types of illegal drugs after he was stopped on is motorcycle in Sherman last August.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior in Buffalo announced late this week that 42 year-old Gary Hannold, Junior was indicted on seven charges for trying to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and suboxone.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.  Prosecutors say Hannold was stopped in Sherman for a traffic violation last August 11th... and, when he stopped... he allegedly threw his backpack in the nearby weeds.  Deputy found suspected Crystal Meth that was packaged... as well as marijuana, a clear vile containing cocaine, 10 packets of Suboxone, a digital scale, a bag with unused small plastic bags, U.S. currency, two cell phones, a New York State motorcycle license plate, and numerous other items.  Hannold is being detained pending further court action.  
 
 
Hochul visits Dunkirk with follow-up State of State message...
Despite the sub-zero wind chills... New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul traveled to the city of Dunkirk to deliver a presentation of Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018 State of State proposals.  Among the top concerns is the impact the federal tax reform will have on the state.  Hochul says the state is looking at ways to buffer the effects of the measure, signed into law by President Trump last month.  She says the Governor believes something has to be done, so New York has to look at "something to restructure our income tax system.  Hochul indicated after the presentation that Cuomo administration officials were trying to work out a plan to allow New Yorkers to continue the State and Local Tax Deduction without a cap... or increasing that cap.  Without that, she says New York will be hurt.  Hochul did bring some encouraging news to the city, indicating that 2020 will be a "transformative year" for the area, with the opening of Athenex and the repowering of the NRG plant in Dunkirk.  The extreme weather didn't keep a large crowd from turning out for Friday's presentation.
 
 
Humane Society issues Winter Safety tips for pets...
The Chautauqua County Humane Society is reminding residents to keep their furry friends in mind during these frigid wind and snow conditions.  Community Relations Director Brian Papalia suggests keeping cats inside as they can freeze quickly in cold weather.  However... if  you pet goes outside, Papalia says to stay with them.  After you go back inside... Papalia says to check your pet's paws and undersides for ice as sson as possible to prevent frostbite.  Additionally... to prevent any animal-related tragedies, he says to bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting the engine in case an outdoor cat took shelter under the vehicle. For more information on how to keep pets safe... visit their website at www.spca-pets.com.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 5, 2018

The National Weather Service is continuing a Winter weather advisory through early Saturday morning...  
 
As the lake effect snow continues to fall in the region, Forecaster Heather Kenyon from the Buffalo office says we may see up to 8-inches of the white stuff by Saturday.
 
Kenyon adds that a Wind Chill warning will be in effect through Sunday morning as Northwest winds continue to blow through the area.  She says they'll continue through much of the weekend... and, will drop to 20 to 30-below zero at times.  Kenyon says the high today will only be in the low single digits.  In addition, she says to make sure to keep covered up because frostbite is possible within 30 minutes. 
 
 
 
Sherman school officials are praising a school bus driver whose quick actions prevented serious injury or worse to a bus full of students that caught fire near Mayville Thursday morning...  
 
School Superintendent Mike Ginestre says the unidentified driver's training led to students being taken off the vehicle as it was traveling along Parker Road shortly after 7:00.  Ginestre says the driver acted at the first sign of trouble, and evacuted the bus before flames broke out. He says that another school bus that was in the area came to pick up students within three minutes.  He says the children were then taken right to school.  Ginestre says students on-board were aged between kindergarten and high school seniors.  He adds that the cause of the fire is still under investigation, while officials thanked the driver, head of the bus garage and, firefighters from the Sherman Fire Department for their amazing work and training in keeping the kids safe. 
 
 
While it was highly-political, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says Governor Cuomo's annual State of the State Address was a "great speech" that ended on a good note...  
 
Teresi was in Albany for the governor's annual address... and, says it was a "more traditional" speech compared to the past few when the governor went out, and delivered speeches in different parts of the state.  He says he was "heartened" by Cuomo again boosting current regionalism efforts to cut costs to localities.
 
Teresi says there is also real support for the governor's call to sue the federal government over the recently approved GOP Tax Overhaul bill.  He says caping the State and Local Tax deduction up at $10,000 will be harmful to state residents, including Jamestown.  Teresi is hopeful that the strategy will "moderate the impact" of some items in the tax plan.  Teresi say he believes the tax reform measure will actually drive more deficits, increase interest rates and drive more inflation.  He says that will have a direct, negative impact on state aid to schools and municipalities.
 
 
Local State Senator Cathy Young is blasting Governor Cuomo's State of the State Address, in which she says he "laid out a very liberal, New York City-focused agenda"...  
 
Young issued the printed statement late Wednesday... saying that -- in a year in which the state is facing a significant budget gap -- there is no room for wish-list items for "narrow political interests."  The Olean Republican says it's "crucial" that infrastructure investment and economic development dollars are distributed equitably, strategically and to regions of our state that need the greatest stimulus.  She says the GOP will oppose any efforts to unfairly favor one region over another or runs counter to the values of the majority of upstate voters.
 
 
 
 
Underperformance by it's essential air carrier the past three years may lead to termination of the program at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown on January 16...  
 
County Airport Manager Ron Almeter says the U.S. Department of Transportation has told Southern Airways Express that it is ending it's EAS program that day because the airline has not been averaging the 10 daily passengers it needs to keep the program going.  Almeter says Southern got a preliminary order back in late September, and a final order in late December.
 
Almeter says the county, along with Southern Airways and others, are appealing the ruling on the $2.1-million annual subsidy so that some operational changes can improve ridership.  He says one of those is again basing one plane at the airport.  Southern Airways contracted with the DOT, and Chautauqua County, to provide service starting in 2016.  However, Almeter says the air carriers the past three years have only met two-thirds of it's ridership standards.  In the past, the county has worked with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to keep the service in place.
 
 
 
A city man was arrested after police allegedly found him in possession of methamphetamine in the parking lot of a convenience store on Jamestown's southside Wednesday afternoon...  
 
City police say they were investigating a suspicious situation in the parking lot of the 7/11at 321 Hazeltine Avenue when they found 31 year-old Brandon Smith operating a vehicle on a suspended license.  It was determined through further investigation that Smith was also in possession of a quantity of Meth, and he was arrested.  He faces charges of third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator... and, felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 
 
 
 
A Sherman couple has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child at a laundromat in the village early last month...  
 
Sheriff's officers say 42 year-old Mike Barringer and 33 year-old Hollie Petroff were with their 5 year-old daughter at the laundromat when Barringer allegedly was seen helping Petroff and their daughter over a wall separating the laundromat and a locked storage facility. Deputies say he also climbed over the wall and committed criminal mischief in another storage unit.  They add Barringer and Petroff slept inside the locked storage area overnight with their daughter.  In addition to the endangerment charge, Barringer was also charged with third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal mischief. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 4, 2018

New York state will sue the federal government over the recently enacted Republican tax overhaul...
 
That from Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who says the state will challenge the new law on the grounds that it's unconstitutional and, violates states' rights.  Cuomo, a possible presidential contender, announced plans for the lawsuit during Wednesday's State of the State Address.
 
The federal overhaul caps the former tax eduction for state and local taxes at $10,000.  The full deduction had been especially popular in high-tax states like New York.  Cuomo says the change is unfair and could raise some families' taxes by as much as 25 percent.  Cuomo says he will encourage Congress to repeal the tax law, and will consider other changes in state taxes to reduce the burden of the new federal tax law in New York.
 
 
 
In addition to the plan to sue the federal government over the GOP Tax Overhaul the governor also talked about a potentially major overhaul of the state's tax system...  
 
He says he would like to see the state start moving away from a personal income tax based system and, one that's based on payroll.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says, though, there were no real details offered. However, Goodell says he was pleased to see the Governor say that he supported moving forward with middle-class income tax cuts.  He says those will result in the lowest tax rate since the 1940s.
 
 
A Jamestown teenager is jailed after allegedly stabbing a father and son during an argument this past New Year's morning in the town of Kiantone...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 17 year-old Justice McBride on New Year's Day following the incident, which was reported shortly before 3 a.m. Monday at a location on Peck-Settlement Road.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says McBride is charged with Felony first and second-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Swanson says all three knew each other, and one of the victims was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, where he's in stable condition.  The other victim was treated at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, and later released.  Troopers say Jamestown Police assisted in the investigation.  McBride was arraigned, and sent to the County Jail in Mayville pending a preliminary hearing.
 
 
 
The city man recently sentenced to 25 years in state prison for shooting and killing his estranged wife in November of 2016 is now appealing the sentence... 
 
Keith Robbins was sentenced by Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley after a plea deal was reached last October for first-degree manslaughter in the death of Sheri Robbins.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that while Keith Robbins waived his right to appeal on most aspects of the case, he can still appeal.  But, at the same time, Swanson believes the appeal will "go nowhere."  Swanson says it's not unusual to see an appeal, even if the defendant has waived his or her right to an appeal.  He adds the process could take up a year, possibly longer.  He says whoever defends the appeal will next send him the proper documentation, and his office will respond.  
 
 
 
Jamestown Public Schools' Superintendent Bret Apthorpe is reminding parents that as temperatures continue to drop, student safety remains his top priority...
 
Apthorpe says the district has received donations of winter accessories for students. Should you know of a child in need of warm gear, he says to contact officials. He noted that officials understand that most of the city district's students walk to school and, also reminded parents about the district's "cold weather policy."  He adds that from this point to a wind chill of 25-degrees below zero, the National Weather service issues a Wind Chill Advisory.  Anything lower is a Wind Chill Warning.  Ultimately, Apthorpe says it's the parents' decision to send their children to school in any conditions. 
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown area remained steady with the cost per gallon of regular, unleaded fuel $2.71... 
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report which says motorists in mid-atlantic and northeast states are paying more on the week than last year by about $0.22. Nationally, the gas price average is the most expensive seen at the start of a new year since 2014. Triple-A says high volumes of holiday travelers drove gas prices up five-cents on the week to $2.49 per gallon. For current gas prices along your travel route, visit AAA.com/Mobile. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 3, 2018

 
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's looking to also work to help reform the state's Welfare Program so that people can retain benefits while gaining meaningful employment...
 
During his first term in office, the Jamestown-area Republican began working on the issue, because the rules actually discourage many recipients from working lower, entry-level jobs because they lose all their benefits.  He says, if the state can get it's arms around the program better... it will help both recipients and taxpayers.  In Chautauqua County, about half of the entire local tax levy, or about $30-million, goes to pay for the local Medicaid program.
 
 
Local wind chills are expected to be about -15 this morning and with that, Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe is reminding parents and students about the district's "cold weather closing policy"... 
 
In a press release, Apthorpe noted that officials understand that most of the city district's students walk to school, and with that, parents should make sure that children are dressed warmly.  He adds that from this point to a wind chill of 25-degrees below zero, the National Weather service issues a Wind Chill Advisory.  Anything lower is a Wind Chill Warning.  However, he says temperature is one of "many variables" they consider in closing schools.  Apthorpe says he makes the final decision by about 5:30 a.m. most school days but, he says the final decision always lies with the parent and guardian if they are concerned about the child walking in frigid conditions.  To find if the schools have issued a school closing, follow Superintendent Apthorpe's Twitter @JamestownSupt. 
 
 
 
State police say one person has died and one is seriously injured after several crashes involving numerous vehicles on the snowy New York State Thruway east of Buffalo...
 
Troopers say all lanes are blocked between Exit 50 and Exit 48A at Pembroke going into the evening rush hour Tuesday.  Trooper Michael Cassella in Albany says 15 to 25 cars and 10 tractor-trailers were involved in a series of collisions starting shortly before 2 PM Tuesday.  He says weather was a contributing factor. 
 
 
 
It was bitterly cold most of the time but, skiing conditions on the slopes at Peek 'n Peak couldn't have been better this past holiday weekend...  
 
That from General Manager Brad Gravink, who says the Clymer-area resort was as busy as expected.  Gravink says all of their facilities were busy during both Christmas and New Years.  He adds they now have plenty of good snow.
 
Gravink adds that they're in the works of building the train park and should be fully open on Thursday. Current skiing conditions at the Peak include a packed-powder surface with 23 groomed and open trails... and, a deep base. For more information on snow sport conditions or information on booking a trip visit their website at PKnPK.com
 
 
A Falconer man is facing a felony criminal mischief charge following a domestic incident early Monday morning...  
 
Ellicott town police say they responded to a domestic disturbance call just before 12:30 AM.  Officers say 32 year-old Ronald Wilson allegedly destroyed property inside a residence and was disorderly.  Wilson was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief.  He was arraigned and remanded to County Jail pending a preliminary hearing and court appearance.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Jan 2,2018

Director of Emergency Services John Griffith is asking for Chautauqua County residents to clean off their mailboxes when clearing snow near their homes.
 
He says that emergency services have had difficulty reading house numbers and that by clearing off mailboxes, crews will be able to see house numbers easier from the road. 
 
 
There is a new executive in Chautauqua County as Irving Republican George Borrello was sworn-in during a special ceremony in Mayville yesterday afternoon. 
 
Borrello thanked everyone who helped him during the campaign, many of whom were in attendance at the County Courthouse.  He says he's ready to hit the ground-running today and pledged to work with the county legislature, all 1,200 plus county employees, and resident, to improve the area.
 
During his remarks after being sworn-in, Borrello singled out the man he succeeds Vince Horrigan, for laying the ground work for what he's hoping to do.  Borrello's "Elevating Chautauqua" platform has 10-points, which include boosting economic development, and continuing work towards stemming the Heroin and Opioid Drug Crisis in the county.  He adds that Borrello says he's already begun visiting the 100 businesses that he plans to go to in his first 100 days in office. 
 
Borrello was elected last November over Fredonia Democrat Mike Ferguson receiving 63-percent of the vote. 
 
 
Chautauqua County's new Executive was not the only elected official sworn-in in Mayville yesterday, as Gerry Republican Larry Barmore received the oath of office from County Court Judge David Foley. 
 
Barmore now begins his second, four-year term in the position.  He also thanked his supporters who were on hand and noted that running for county-wide office is "very difficult".
 
Barmore has been praised for being able to move the Clerk's office forward at a time where several retirements left positions open that he had to fill.  He had to replace almost half of the people in the office. 
 
Barmore is also credited, along with Jamestown officials, for finding a new and better location for the Jamestown Department of Motor Vehicles Office.  He defeated Democrat LeeAnn Lazarony in last November's election.
 
 
The Chautauqua County Legislature begins it's 2018 session in Mayville this afternoon and will likely have a new chairman. 
 
Lakewood-area Republican Paul Wendel has been tapped by the GOP Caucus to head up the panel this year.  His selection will be acted on during today's 4 PM meeting. 
 
Wendel says he's honored to have the Republican's backing and looks forward to continuing to work with new Executive George Borrello, who he says has "a great vision for Chautauqua County."  Wendel spent the past year as the Legislature's Majority Leader for the GOP.  He was Assistant Majority Leader the previous two years. 
 
 
A man from Ohio is facing driving while under the influence charges for allegedly driving a snowmobile while intoxicated in the town of Chautauqua early yesterday morning. 
 
Sheriff's officers say they made contact with the operator of the snowmobile identified as 33 year-old Douglas Emery of Ashland just before 3 AM.  Emery was found to be intoxicated and taken into custody. 
 
Deputies say he refused a breath test and was held at the Chautauqua County Jail on pre-arraignment bail.  He is scheduled to appear in court at a later date and time. 
 
 
There are now four states in the U-S that require employers to give workers paid time off to care for a new baby or a sick loved one. 
 
New York joined California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island in the move.  But local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the Paid Family Leave Law appears to be a mixed-bag for New Yorkers. 
 
The program is funded by employee payroll deductions, but Goodell says employers also wind up paying for health insurance and other items, too.  He adds that there's only a benefit to two certain groups of people.
 
The new benefits will apply to about 6-and-a-half million private-sector workers in New York and, will be phased-in over the next four years. 
 
In 2018, state officials say workers will be able take up to eight weeks of paid leave and, receive 50-percent of their average wage up to a cap weekly cap of $652.  When the phase-in is complete in 2021, they'll be able to take up to 12 weeks at two-thirds of their average weekly wage.
 
 
A convicted murderer whose prison break captivated the nation says he uncovered a way to escape from another maximum-security facility in New York. 
 
But, this time David Sweat said he detailed the plan involving a makeshift tool to corrections officials, asking for extra weekly visits from his girlfriend in exchange. 
 
Sweat and another inmate, Richard Matt, escaped from New York's Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015.  They were caught after three weeks.  Matt was shot and killed. 
 
In an interview with The New York Times, Sweat said he told corrections officials how he would break out of New York's Five Points Correctional Facility.  He says officials transferred him to a different prison about 90 miles away and didn't grant any perks.  State corrections officials confirmed Sweat provided details on possible "security vulnerabilities."
 
 
A Tidioute man was sent to the hospital following a single-car accident in Warren County, Pennsylavnia Monday afternoon. 
 
State Police in Warren say the crash occurred as 54 year-old Douglas Sager was traveling near the intersection of Market Street with Jackson Street in Conewango Township just after 3:30 PM.  Troopers say Sager's vehicle struck a crossing signal pole and struck a traffic light pole causing the light to lose power. 
 
Multiple airbags were deployed in Sager's vehicle.  He was taken to Warren General Hospital for suspected minor injuries.  Troopers were assisted on scene by the Warren Volunteer Fire and Conewango Police Departments.

 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 1, 2018

Happy new year!

 
 
 
It's a brutally cold morning and, get ready for some more lake effect snow...
 
However, the parts of Chautauqua County that have been buried by several feet of snow in the past week won't see that much through early Tuesday.  Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says a Wind Chill Advisory ends at 10 this morning and, we are now under a Winter Weather Advisory through 4 a.m. tomorrow. Hitchcock says wind chills will be in the range of 10 to 20 below zero through mid-morning today.  That trend isn't going to be changing much through the week.  After a slight warm-up Tuesday and Wednesday, Hitchcock says we'll be back into the single digits for a high on Thursday.  He adds Friday will be even colder, adding we'll be hard pressed to reach zero during the day and, we'll be well below zero heading into Saturday.  
 
 
 
A working sprinkler system inside an apartment on Jamestown's southside held a bathroom fire in check...
 
...and prevented major damage to the building.  City Fire Lieutenant Tim Glenn says crews were called to the scene at 262 Forest Avenue shortly after 8 PM last Saturday and, they found flames coming from the second-story bathroom area.  Crews got the flames out within minutes.  Glenn says investigators found that combustibles too close to a hot water tank triggered the flames.  An off-shift was called in to assist.  No injuries were reported.  Fire damage was confined to the bathroom area.  Firefighters were at the scene until shortly before 11 PM.
 
 
 
Reducing the city of Jamestown's personnel costs may be the best way to get the city out of the financial hole it has found itself in the past couple of years. 
 
Those are the feelings of new, at-large City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo, who says he understands that there collective bargaining agreements involved.  However, Liuzzo says the city should be negotiating from the stand-point of a city that no longer has 45,000 people with most of them working.
 
Liuzzo says engaging in new talks could bring down the costs in areas from health insurance, to actual salaries.  City officials have said that lay-offs cannot be considered because 'Impact' payments would have to be paid to the Police, Fire and other unions that have minimum staffing clauses.  Liuzzo says he would also like to see more work done to provide long-term help for addicts caught up in the area's Heroin and Opioid Abuse crisis.  On the treatment side, work has begun on a new, long-term treatment facility at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital that will provide longer treatment periods for people trying to beat addiction. 
 
 
 
It's a new year and a new start for Chautauqua County with the swearing in of new County Executive George Borrello. 
 
Borrello says he has been working feverishly to get ready to hit the ground running prior to today.  His Inauguration is set for 1 p.m. today at the County Courthouse in Mayville.  County Clerk Larry Barmore will also be given the oath of office for the second time by County Court Judge David Foley.  Meantime, the County Legislature's annual re-organizational meeting, during which the entire legislature will be sworn-in, will take place tomorrow at 4:00.
 
 
 
A Sherman man was injured when he was thrown from his snowmobile as he pulled off a trail and in front of a car in the town of Chautauqua late last Friday night. 
 
Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly on the Stockton-Hartfield Road after 10 p.m. and, found that 35 year-old Gregory Auge was crossing the road -- off Snowmobile Trail 4-E -- when he failed to yield to the car.  Officers say the driver of the car, 33 year-old Joshua Luce of Forestville, was eastbound when the crash occured.  Deputies say Auge was thrown from the sled and, was treated before being taken to a nearby hospital.  
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Sheriff's officers are reminding all snowmobilers to be cautious when they are out riding and to make sure you are paying attention to the signage that is placed on the trails by the snowmobile clubs.  Riders are also asked to use extra caution when crossing any roadway.
 
 
 
One person was hurt, but not seriously, when his car struck a jacknifed tractor-trailer on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman early last Friday night. 
 
Sheriff's officers say the big-rig, operated by 62 year-old Covic Ismet of Lakewood, Ohio, was westbound shortly after 8 p.m. when the tractor-trailer skidded on the snow-slicked road, and jacknifed into the median.  Deputies say the car, driven by 59 year-old Robert Blake of Copley, Ohio was right behind the vehicle, and could not stop.  Officers say the car then crashed into the back of the trailer.  Blake was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of minor injuries.  The crashed forced the closing of the westbound lanes on I-86 for a short-time while the scene was cleared.  No charges have been filed.
 
 
 
Two people from the Jamestown-area have been arrested for allegedly shop-lifting items from the Lakewood Wal-Mart Super Center last last week. 
 
Lakewood-Busti Police add that one of the suspects, identified as 50 year-old Miguel Rivera-Morales, had previously been issued a notice of restriction to stay off the Fairmount Avenue property.  Officers say he stole some items and was arrested along with 52 year-old Lillian Lebron-Guzman.  Police say she was allegedly found with several items, including pet food and cutlery that she did not pay for.  Morales is charged with third-degree burglary, while Guzman was charged with petty larceny.
 
 
 
A woman with developmental-disabilities who became the face of local fund-raising efforts for The Resource Center passed away during 2017. 
 
Resource Center Community Relations Director Steve Waterson told us last November that Silver Creek's Laurel Hoteling died at the age of 54 at a Buffalo-area hospital.  Waterson says she had been struggling with health issues for the past year or so.
 
Waterson says Laurel was born with Downs Syndrome, but her parents -- Wayne and Elaine -- elected to "mainstream" her as much as possible. She became well-known for being the inspiration for "Laurel Run," which was named in her honor.  However, she was unable to attend this year's event.  Waterson says Wayne Hoteling called him with the news last November 13.
 
 
 
An Ashland, Ohio man is facing DUI charges for allegedly driving a snowmobile while intoxicated in the Town of Chautauqua early this morning.
 
Deputies say they made contact with the operator of the snowmobile--identified as 33 year-old Douglas Emery-- just before 3:00. Emery was found to be intoxicated and taken into custody. Deputies say he refused a breath test and was held at the Chautauqua County Jail on pre-arraignment bail. He is scheduled to appear in court at a later date and time. 
 
 
 
An Irving teen was arrested New Years Eve for allegedly threatening to kill a person with a knife in Silver Creek.
 
Sheriff's deputies say the incident occured on Babcock Avenue in the Village. Further investigation revealed 18 year-old Nathan Zaczor displayed a pocket knife at an individual and threatened to kill the person. Kaczor was taken into custody and charged with second-degree menacing. He is to appear in Silver Creek court at a later date.
 
 
 
 

 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 16, 2018

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