WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 28, 2018

A moment of silence for the victims of the recent school shooting in Parkland Florida was held during Tuesday's nights Jamestown School Board meeting... 
 
During his superintendent's report, Bret Apthorpe addressed school safety and reiterated what measures the district has put into effect. Apthorpe says they plan to reconvene the District Safety Committee, which he says is meant to be a "living committee" made up of teachers, law enforcement, parents and students. The Jamestown School District uses a double-door "person trap" where visitors have to be physically "buzzed in" before entering the building. Apthorpe says they also employ three full-time city police officers as School Resource Officers and also employs full-time, on-duty officers that walk through schools connecting with kids. 
 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed is standing by the School Resource Officer program as a way to keep public schools safe across the nation...  
 
The Corning Republican says teachers have a "second-amendment right" to carry guns, adds he doesn't believe it's the best way to protect children.  Reed made his comments in the wake of President Trump's call to allow some "gun adept" teachers to carry guns during the school day.
 
Mass school shootings in recently years led to SRO programs expanding... and, federal and state monies were made available for a few years to support putting officers in schools.  However, that money eventually dried up.  Some schools would like to have SROs, but can't afford them.  Reed says it's up to communities to call on school administrators to press lawmakers on the matter to keep "our children safe."  The Jamestown School District has SROs in the middle and high schools.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
Cattaraugus County law enforcement officials are proposing to take school safety "a step further..." and, are taking steps to put metal detectors and officers in each school...  
 
Sheriff Timothy Witcomb and State Assemblyman Joe Giglio held a press conference late Monday on the matter, saying they are also pushing for "single-points of entry" for all schools.  Congressman Tom Reed calls it an "intriging" idea and, adds that kind of prioritization has to be made.  For several years now, Whitcomb noted that New York state has required single-entry points for it's courts, along with armed security and metal detectors.  
 
 
 
The Jamestown City Council has approved three resolutions to move the repair project to the front of city Police Headquarters on East Second Street forward...  
 
Lawmakers approved the measures unanimously during Monday night's meeting.  As for the project itself, Chief Harry Snellings says they are still working in makeshift areas after water leaking through the ceiling area flooded the reception, entrance and command desk areas of the department.
 
One of the resolutions with local firm, Empire Development, was for a change order, but another was for more insultation to be sprayed on the deck above the headquarters on Tracy Plaza.  Snellings says that will help keep water out, but also help keep warmer air in the facility during the Winter months and cooler air during the Summer.  The third measure approved Monday night is an agreement with LaBella Associates for architectural and engineering services for Phase-Two of the project.  Those measures total about $65,000.
 
 
 
A Warren County, Pennsylvania man faces drug possession charges following an investigation at a gas station just outside of Jamestown early Monday morning...  
 
Sheriff's deputies responded to the Kwik-Fill on Route 60 for a suspicious person in a vehicle who had been parked outside of the business. On arrival, deputes made contact with 26 year-old Rocky Fiscus, who was found to be in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine and Suboxone.  Fiscus was also found to be in possession of various forms of drug paraphernalia and was sent to County Jail on two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He is to appear in Kiantone Town Court at a later date and time. 
 
 
 
The State Department of Transportation is expected to hold a public presentation in April on the roundabout project for the intersection of Routes 20 and 60 in the town of Pomfret.  That from Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis, who says that state DOT officials want to address concerns raised by local residents...
 
Dr. Landis says the DOT has received a number of comments about the project, prompting the public presentation.  The mayor says she is concerned that it could delay the start of the project that was expected to begin this Spring.  She is afraid construction during the Summer months could affect local businesses.  A member of the Village Board, trustee Doug Essek, had started an online petition opposing the project.  About 1,400 people have signed the petition so far.  The roundabout will cost about $3.5-million dollars in federal and state funding.
 
 
 
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area remained steady for the fifth straight week with regular, unleaded staying at $2.76 for a gallon...  
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report-- which says despite a one to four-cent drop in prices across the  Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region-- motorists are seeing expensive prices at the pump. The national gas price average is the cheapest seen this month at $2.52, one penny less than last week. However, AAA says prices across the country are $0.29 more than this time last year. Motorists can find current gas prices at GasPrices.AAA.com. 
 
 
 
A teen from Cattaraugus County has been arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated in the town of East Otto early Tuesday morning...  
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 19 year-old Jacob McGrainor is accused of getting his vehicle stuck in a farmer's field following a car crash on Monk Hill Road.  McGrainor faces DWI charges in addition to fail to keep right and operate with learner permit.  He was released with tickets to appear in court at later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 27, 2018

City officials have been able to negotiate new terms for a Jamestown Local Development Corporation loan to developers of the new DoubleTree by Hilton hotel on West Fourth Street...  
 
Following last night's vote, which came after some discussion, Mayor Sam Teresi noted that the move also prevented a considerable loss of tax revenue because the Hamister Group (which is developing the project) was able to get the property's assessment lowered from $3.3-million to $1.8-million dollars.
 
Teresi says a recent State Court ruling challenging the assessment went in favor of the Hamister Group on the former Ramada Inn.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says he and Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman began re-negotating terms of the $350,000 JLDC loan, which was initially approved in May of 2016.  DeJoy says terms were set to give Hamister incentives to stay at the location for 10 years.  The city council had to approve the JLDC loan because it was for more than $100,000 and approval by lawmakers is required.  The new assessment is to be filed March 1.
 
 
There was some confusion that had to be cleared up prior to last night's vote on the revised loan to the Hamister, or H&H Jamestown Group...  
 
That was partly due to the fact that final terms of the loan weren't finalized until last Friday night, after the pre-filed resolution had gone out to councilmembers and the media.  With that, Councilwoman Kim Ecklund says a dummy resolution was filed to hold that space in the agenda for last night.
 
However, new Councilman Andrew Liuzzo said he had not received the new information and questioned the legitimacy of the action being taken.  He moved to table the measure.  However, lawmakers voted 8-to-1 with Liuzzo voting no to go ahead with a vote.  Mayor Teresi said the information, and new resolution were sent out by Development Director Vince DeJoy, but he said they could table the matter if they wished.
 
 
In this week's New York state government news, state lawmakers are returning to the Capitol to begin their push to pass a new state budget by April 1...  
 
Legislators will be back in session Tuesday after a week off for winter break.  There's one final budget hearing scheduled on environmental protection before the Senate and Assembly begin working on their own budget proposals.  Those recommendations will be the basis of negotiations with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
 
 
The changes being proposed for the Chautauqua County Planning and Economic Development Department are being made to allow it and the Industrial Development Agency to work more "hand-in-hand"... 
 
That from County Executive George Borrello who announced the hiring of former County Deputy Planner Mark Geise to be the new Deputy County Executive for Economic Development.  In addition, Deputy Director of Planning and Development Don McCord will have the new position of Director of Planning and Community Development.  As in business, Borrello says your economic development efforts have to adapt and evolve.
 
Both Geise and McCord say they look forward to working with each other again.  Geise worked with the county from 2009 through part of 2016.  Current IDA Board Chairman Mike Metzger says he too is excited that Geise is back with the county... where he headed up the creation of the Chautauqua County Landbank.  Geise was also instrumental in developing the county's new Comprehenive Plan, "Chautauqua 20/20," a few years ago.  He begins his new economic development duties with the county next week.
 
 
The name of the victim in a fatal car crash on Route 20 -- just over the Chautauqua County line in Erie County -- has now been released...  
 
The Erie County Sheriff's Office says 64 year-old Eugene Bauer of Brant died in the two-vehicle accident on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation last Saturday afternoon.  The Sheriff's Office says the crash occured around 3:00.  Bauer was the driver of a vehicle that collided with a trailer being towed by a pickup truck in the northbound lane of Route 20.  Bauer was pronounced dead at the scene.  Sheriff Timothy Howard says the Crash Investigation Unit is still investigating the crash.  
 
 
A city teenager was arrested for allegedly stealing from a Falconer motel after attempting to flee police by jumping in the Chadakoin River early Sunday morning...  
 
Ellicott Town Police responded to the Budget Inn Motel on East Main Street shortly after 12:30 a.m. for a burglary in progress.  On arrival, officers say the 17 year-old suspect fled on foot towards the Falconer Fire Hall and jumped into the Chadakoin River.  Police say the teen was taken into custody after surrendering to officers with the assistance of K-9 Link.  The teen is accused of unlawfully entering a private bedroom belonging to the motel manager and stole several items from the room.  He was arraigned and sent to County Jail on charges of third-degree burglary, petty larceny, resisting arrest and obstruction.  Ellicott Police were assisted with State Police, Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies and Sheriff's K-9 in setting up a perimeter at the scene. 
 
 
A Chautauqua County native may wind up playing a part in designing the wedding dress for American Actress Megan Markle when she marries Prince Harry of England...  
 
Media One Group News has learned that Dunkirk native Amy Kuschel, who has run a wedding dress design business in San Francisco, was selected to do that by the local paper.  We recently spoke with Amy's Media and Marketing Director, Lauren Aranador, who says Amy-- a graduate from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City-- has been designing clothing for women that is "minimal, with clean-lines" yet iconic and with mid-century charm.  Aranador says she chose a "trumpet silouette" design for Markle.  She says they have yet to hear from Markle and the Royal Family, but adds they would like to be chosen to design some part of the wedding ensemble.  We hope to hear from Amy herself soon.  Megan Markle's wedding to Prince Harry is scheduled for Windsor Castle in England on May 19.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 26, 2018

 
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested on numerous charges following a traffic stop on the city's eastside about mid-morning Sunday...  
 
City police say they stopped a silver sedan that was allegedly stolen near the intersection of Barrows and English Streets shortly before 9:00.  Officers say the passenger, 31 year-old Samuel Critzer, ran off when the car stopped and tried to flee.  They say Critzer was sought on three bench warrants and, was caught after a short foot chase.  Police say the driver, 33 year-old Stephanie Gould, had a suspended license and, was allegedly ound to be under the influence of drugs when she was stopped.  They also found the vehicle had been reported stolen last Saturday.  Officers say Gould was arraigned on charges including driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana and, criminal possession of stolen property.  She was jailed without bail.  Crtizer is charged with resisting arrest and, jailed on $20,000 cash bail.
 
 
A push to have an armed police officer at every school in New York state is being renewed in the wake of the Florida high school shooting that left 17 dead...  
 
What isn't clear yet is who would foot the bill for placing an armed officer at each of the more than 6,700 public and private school buildings across the state.  The New York State Sheriffs' Association this week called on the Legislature to include funding in the next state budget for at least one armed school resource officer at every grade school and high school in the state.  Enhanced security measures for New York City's 1,800 school buildings include active shooter drills to be held by mid-March and random screening by metal detectors at all middle and high schools.
 
 
Well-known local event planner, Scott Mekus of Jamestown, has a new home for his business...
 
Mekus and partner Bill Berkey have fully renovated 31 North Main... near the viaduct in downtown Jamestown.  The main floor area will be known at 'Venue 31' and is available for all kinds of events. 'Venue 31' seats around 60, with room for nearly 125 people standing.  At the ribbon cutting Friday, city Development Director Vince De Joy said it was a great step forward for the old Carlson's Jewelry Store.  One of the walls inside the new venue shows a giant photo-mural of 31 Main nearly a century ago.  
 
 
Sunday's Four-H Green Tie Affair at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville was a big success...  
 
County Four-H Educator, Kate Ewer, says close to 700 people attended the dinner.  It's held to help raise money to keep Four-H going in Chautauqua County.  Kate Ewer said spirits were high.
 
The goal each year is $25,000 and Ewer is confident they'll make it this year.  Even though he couldn't be in the room, Tom Hochran of H & H Enterprises of Bemus Point paid big money for a  pie.  With a associate doing the bidding, Hochran paid $1,450 for a pecan pie baked by Melissa Winton.  
 
 
New York's governor is blasting a proposal from the White House that he says would devastate funding for food assistance...  
 
Democrat Andrew Cuomo said late last week that President Donald Trump's plan would reduce Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits for an estimated 2.3-million New Yorkers.  Among other changes, the Republican president has proposed replacing a portion of the assistance with a box of food to be called a "harvest box."  Cuomo is calling on Congress to reject Trump's proposal and protect funding for the program.
 
 
A foster care program that helps animals old and young begins soon in Chautauqua County. That from Executive Director Kellie Roberts with the Chautauqua County Humane Society...  
 
On last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations, Roberts said foster homes are needed for strays who have kittens, or pet-owners whose cats have kittens and need help caring for them. 
 
Roberts says it's relatively easy to foster a mother cat with her litter because she can take care of them on her own.  Additionally, she says they are in need of foster homes for other animals who may need extra medical attention or "senior" pets that could use support.  For information on fostering animals through the Human Society, contact Rachel Johnson at 665-2209 or visit SPCApets.com.  
 
 
Jurors in the bribery trial of a former top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo may begin deliberations as early as later this week...  
 
The government rested its case Thursday in federal court in Manhattan against Joseph Percoco and three businessmen.  Lawyers for the defendants told Judge Valerie Caproni they will be finished presenting witnesses sometime today if the defendants don't testify.  The judge said that would enable closing arguments to take place Tuesday and Wednesday.  Jurors could then begin deliberations.
   

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News Headlines for Sat., Feb. 24, 2018

Borrello named new Economic Development, and Community Development directors...
Chautauqua County will soon have a new director of Economic Development... and, a new head of planning that will report directly to County Executive George Borrello.  Borrello announced Friday afternoon in Mayville the return of former Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development Mark Geise... who has been Monroe County Director of Economic Development for the past 18 months.  He says Geise will have the new position of Deputy County Executive for Economic Development... and, he'll be representing the county "in all of these negotiations (on development and adding jobs)."  He says current Deputy Director of Planning and Development, Don McCord, will become the new Director of Planning and Community Development... which will focus more on planning to align that with their economic development strategies.  Borrello says Geise will also head up the county's Industrial Development Agency.  He adds that the moves reflect his desire to better align the county's ability to better market and deliver services to help grow and attract businesses. 
 
 
Interim IDA Director is "excited" to have Mark Geise back working in the county...
The announcement of Mark Geise returning to Chautauqua County to be the new head of economic development and the IDA "very exciting."  That from County IDA Interim Director, and Chief Financial Officer Rich Dixon.  Dixon has been heading up the IDA since previous director Kevin Sanvidge retired late last year.  Dixon says Geise has a proven track-record of achievement in the county... including doing a lot of work to make the county's Land Bank work so well.  Geise first came to the county in 2009 as Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development... and was there until 2016 when he left for a short time to work with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  Dixon says Geise was heavily involved in creating 25-miles of equestrial trails in the county.  He adds that IDA staff is "ecstatic" to have Mark back.
 
 
Chagnon says Audit and Control Committee looks at financial concerns from 2017...
There is some concern over where a number of areas in Chautauqua County's 2017 budget wound up at the end of the past year.  The chairman of the County Legislature's Audit and Control Committee says a key one goes back to the end of 2016 when lawmakers approved a contract extension with the union representing Sheriff's Department deputy officers.  Pierre Chagnon says county finance leaders said the new contract "would not have much of an impact" on last year's budget... but, he says that wound up being false.  Chagnon says it had a "dramatic impact" on last years budget... and, wound up costing the county an additional $700,000.  He adds they also found a few other revenue areas of the Sheriff's Department budget came up short.  Chagnon says they want more information on how the shortfalls to see what happened... and how to avoid them in 2018.  Chagnon says they also found issues with the Assigned Counsel part of the District Attorney's budget... along with a shortfall in the county's new "Fly-Car" ambulance service. 
 
 
High Wind Watch in effect for region...
Get ready for some strong winds starting late tonight... and, continuing through much of Sunday.  The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch for both Chautauqua and Erie counties from 2 a.m. Sunday to 6 p.m. Sunday.  Forecaster Kirk Apffel in Buffalo says strong winds will develop as a weather system passes to the west of the area.  Appfel says southwest winds will be about 20 to 30 mph sustained... with gusts of 50 mph possible.  He says shallow-rooted trees may be downed more easily with the recently thawed and saturated soil conditions.  Travel may become hazardous for high profile vehicles.
 
 
Two arrested during drug bust-traffic stop in Jamestown...
A Jamestown man and his passenger face several charges after city police allegedly found a quantity of controlled substances in a vehicle during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon.  Officers say the stop occurred in the area of East Second and Jeffords Streets. Investigation revealed that the operator -- 33 year-old Michael Davis -- was driving on a suspended license and in violation of an interlock restriction.  Further investigation showed that Davis was in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and oxycodone tablets.  His passenger, 35 year-old Tiffany Farnham of South Dayton, was also allegedly found in possession of a quantity of Meth, oxycodone tablets... and, ecstasy.  Both Davis and Farnham were taken to city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
Man and woman arrested during traffic stop in Jamestown after weapons are found...
A South Carolina man and his passenger were arrested after two weapons were allegedly found in their vehicle during traffic stop on Jamestown's eastside last Wednesday night.  City police conducted the stop at 1392 East Second St. at 5:30 p.m. for a traffic infraction.  Investigation revealed the driver, 35 year-old William Davis, provided a false name.... and, his passenger, 27 year-old Tina Stockman of Falconer, was allegedly in possession of a loaded 9-millimeter handgun and silver switch-blade knife was also located inside the vehicle.  Davis was charged with false personation and several traffic and vehicle violations. Stockman was charged with second-degree and fourth-degree criminal possesion of a weapon. They are being held in city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
St. Susan's Basket Fair to be held on St. Patrick's Day...
The next major fund-raiser for the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen will have a distinct "luck of the Irish" feel to it.  The St. Susan's Centers 15th annual Basket Fair will be held on St. Patrick's Day... Saturday, March 17th... at Jamestown Community College.  That from Center Executive Director Jeff Smith... who says this year's theme is "Find Your Pot of Gold..." and, he says they hope to have at least as many baskets to raffle off as last year -- 138.  The event begins at 10 a.m., and, people can view the baskets until 2 p.m., which is when the drawings will begin.  Smith says they're also looking for more baskets to give away.  For more information... call 664-2253.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Chautauqua County Court Judge has thrown out a lone manslaughter charge against the Sherman man accused of accidently shooting and killing his neighbor in a hunting accident last November...  
 
In a four-page ruling issued earlier this week, Judge David Foley said the District Attorney's Office erred when it presented its case in front of a grand jury against 34 year-old Thomas Jadlowski in the death of Rosemary Billquist.  The Post-Journal reports the judge specifically said that District Attorney Patrick Swanson failed to answer a question of a grand juror regarding a lesser charge against the Sherman man.  Jadlowski was indicted by the grand jury on charges of second-degree manslaughter and hunting after dark.  Swanson says he disagreed with Foley's ruling, and now has 30 days to re-submit the case to another grand jury. 
 
 
 
The city man accused of dousing a woman with a flammable liquid and setting her on fire during a domestic incident last December has been indicted for attempted murder by a Chautauqua County grand jury...  
 
The Post-Journal reports that 37 year-old Luis Castro-Mojica will appear at a pre-trial conference next month after being indicted on one count each of second-degree attempted murder, and first-degree assault.  Both are felonies.  The new charge is the result of an ongoing investigation into the December 5 domestic incident at a Thayer Street home were Castro-Mojica set her on fire, seriously burning her.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the 27 year-old woman is still recovering from the ordeal at a Buffalo hospital.
 
 
 
Site plan approval has been given for the new Athenex manufacturing plant proposed in the north county town of Dunkirk...  
 
Officials say the Dunkirk Planning Board Thursday night approved the plan, another step in developing final plans for the Route 5 site for the pharmacutical maker.  Fourth-Ward Dunkirk City Councilman Mike Civiletto was among those attending the meeting held at Jamestown Community College's North County Campus.
 
Civiletto says there was much discussion about concerns people had with the project -- including those of some neighbors to the project.  The Dunkirk Town Board will have the final say when members meet on March 1.  In another development, First Ward Councilman Don Williams says the facility will likely be built using a Project Labor Agreement.  He says details of the PLA are currently being negotiated, which he says will put "a lot of local tradespeople to work."  Company officials have indicated to local officials they hope to break ground on the plant early this spring.
 
 
 
One person was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident in the Cattaraugus County Town of Allegany last Tuesday night...  
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the crash occurred just before 10:30 p.m. on Buffalo Road.  Officers say the accused driver, 30 year-old Rolland Neilly of Olean, was later located in the city.  His unidentified passenger was taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the accident.  Neilly was arrested and arraigned on charges of felony unlawful fleeing from a police officer and causing serious injury to a third-party, leaving the scene of a person injury accident, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, failure to keep right and speeding. Deputies say the investigation is still on-going with possible further charges pending. 
 
 
 
A Jamestown resident was arrested Wednesday evening for allegedly blocking traffic from passing in the area of Newland and Forest Avenues... 
 
Officers were called to the scene shortly after 6 p.m. for an intoxicated-disorderly male in the roadway stopping traffic. Officers saw 39 year-old Raymond Brown-Senior standing in the middle of the road preventing traffic from passing. He was taken to city jail and is being held on charges of disorderly conduct and second-degree obstructing governmental administration. 
 
 
 
A federal assistance program that helps low-income families with their heating bill payments is available again for National Fuel customers... 
 
That from Assistant Director of Corporate Communications Emily Ciraolo, who says the second round of The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is available to households that need assistance or have exhausted both the regular and first-emegency HEAP benefits. She says there are guidelines for applying, including a "shut off"  notice, your case number, social security number, utility account number and household income and resource amounts (bank account, etc).  Ciraolo says that HEAP benefits are available on a first-come-first-serve basis until funds run out.  The deadline to apply is April 27, 2018.  For more information or to check eligibilty, vist HEAPhelps.com or call 1-877-443-2743. 
 
 
 
Site work is now underway for  two, new health-related businesses that would be located between Sacred Heath Catholic Church and Davidson's Restaurant in Lakewood...  
 
After a delay in demolition work on the former Stroehman Bakery Outlet, and the former Pfeffer Insurance building was turned over to Morgan Management, which began work on the Fairmount Avenue site earlier this year.  The proposal would combine both properties and involve construction of a new 6,700 square foot building that would house a new Aspen Dental, and Five Star Urgent Care. 
 
 
 
Fox News personality and former New York prosecutor Jeanine Pirro has pleaded guilty to driving 95 mph in a 65 mile an hour zone...  
 
Authorities previously said that a state trooper clocked Pirro's Cadillac going 119 mph on Route 17 in Nichols, New York -- near Binghampton -- last November 19th.  The Journal News says Pirro - who negotiated a plea deal with the Tioga County district attorney's office - has been fined $300 plus fees and has to take a defensive driving course.  Pirro said in November that she'd been driving for hours to visit her ailing mother and didn't realize how fast she was going.  Pirro was a Westchester County judge before serving as district attorney from 1994 to 2005.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 22, 2010

Top's Friendly Markets confirmed Wednesday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  However, all of it's stores across the region-- including the one in Jamestown-- will remain open...  
 
Officials with the supermarket chain say they are pursuing a financial restructuring in order to eliminate a major part of the debt it's been carrying and, position it for long-term success.  Tops' Chief Executive Officer Frank Curci says they are "pursuing a voluntary financial restructuring that will help make us a stronger competitor.  All of our stores are open, with no impact on daily operations.  Just as we have for 56 years, Tops Markets is as focused as ever on serving our communities and providing our customers with an exceptional shopping experience." Tops has 169 stores in all across upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and Vermont. 
 
 
 
An investigator for State Police Troop "T" confirms that a 20-year-old woman from Erie, Pennsylvania lost her life in a three-vehicle crash that involved a tanker-truck on the state Thruway eastbound in the town of Portland...  
 
We have learned 20-year-old Dinaszah Green died in the accident, which occured in the eastbound lanes between Exits 61 and 59 just before 7:30 Tuesday night.  Four others were injured, with two being treated at Westfield Memorial and two others receiving treatment at Brooks Memorial Hospital, including the driver of the tanker truck.  The injuries were non-life threatening. according to the investigator.  The crash that occurred near the Mathews Road overpass remains under investigation.  
 
 
 
Jamestown police are warning local residents and businesses of a telephone scam that has re-emerged in the area...  
 
Police say someone called a Jamestown-area business Wednesday morning, claiming to be from the Board of Public Utilities, and telling the business they they owe the BPU a large amount of money. has apparently returned.  Officers were contacted by the business later and reported the call.  The business operator said they were threatened with having their service cut-off and terminated if they didn't pay the amount owed in cash and at a specific location.  Investigators say they determined the BPU had not placed the call.  Board officials say it is not their policy to make such calls and that the business was in good standing.  Police say if you receive such a call, contact them at 483-7537, or the BPU's Help-line.
 
 
 
For the fourth-year in a row, the Northwest Arena in Jamestown will try to be a Kraft Hockeyville USA, by taking part in a national contest...  
 
The arena has been nominated to seek the distinction... which Arena General Manager Craig Hinterleiter says will be won through a couple of rounds of balloting by fans of each arena.  Hinterleiter says the initial round will help cut the field to four finalists for the top prize,  which includes a $150,000 award for upgrades to the facility and an NHL pre-season game. 
 
Hinterleiter says you'll have to register, then select your arena and cast your vote.  He says you can even submit a picture of a memory you have from the arena to go with your written nomination.  This year, Hinterleiter says Kraft has added "rally points" that emphasize both quantity and quality of nominations.  He says the deadline for submissions is early March and the top four will receive the major prizes.  Second prize this year will receive $30,000 for arena upgrades, while third and fourth will get $10,000 each.  For more information on the contest, go online to northwestarena.com  or Krafthockeyville.com. 
 
 
 
Initial site plan approval has been given by the Jamestown Planning Commission to a new addition to the Northwest Arena which will provide more space for offices, and other amenities...  
 
City Department of Development officials confirm the panel approved the plan during Tuesday's meeting after the sale of the property was recently approved by the City Council.  Councilman Tony Dolce says there were no problems with selling the 10x90-foot right of way, and adds the ball is in the commission's court.
 
Once council approved the sale, Dolce says the commission was able to move forward on approving the new site plan.  One concern voiced was over the loss of five parking spaces in the area of Lafayette and West Second Streets.  However, that was addressed by the Center City Development Corporation... which owns the arena.  City planners say the move allows the corporation to seek funding for the project, but add final approvals are still needed.  The Corporation bought the property for $1,000 for offices and a gift shop for the nearby National Comedy Center, a Kids Zone Play-area and a concession stand.
 
 
 
Authorities say a 28-year-old central New York man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a U.S. congressman and his family over net neutrality...  
 
The U.S. District Attorney's Office says Tuesday that Patrick Angelo of Syracuse has pleaded guilty in federal court in Buffalo and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  He'll be sentenced on June 21.  Officials say Angelo called the Washington D.C. office of Republican Congressman John Katko in October and left a voicemail threatening to kill Katko and his family if he didn't support net neutrality. 
 
 
 
The price for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel has remained steady again this week for the Jamestown-area at $2.76... 
 
That from AAA's latest gas price report, which says drivers in some states-- including New York-- are paying some of the highest prices per gallon in the nation.  On the national front, gas prices are down $0.04 to $2.53 a gallon, but, are 25-cents more than a year ago.  Motorists can find gas prices along their route at GasPrices.AAA.com.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 21, 2018

State Police Troop-T officials say the investigation is continuing into a crash involving two vehicles and an oil tanker on the State Thruway in the town of Portland last night...  
 
Several fire departments were sent to the scene of the crash on the Thruway eastbound near Matthews Road around 7:20 p.m.  Officials indicate that the crash has left one person dead with four others being treated for injuries.  The Thruway eastbound was closed for several hours overnight because of the crash from Exit 61 to Exit 59.  State Police expect to release more details later this morning. 
 
 
Several records were broke across western New York yesterday as temperatures soared into the lower 70s in some parts of the region...  
 
That from Meteorologist Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service Office in Buffalo... who says they beat their old record high of 64 in 1955 with a 66-degree reading.  Reynolds adds that there were several 70-degree readings reported across the Jamestown-area.
 
Reynolds says it got to just short of 70 at the County Airport near Jamestown.  Here at our Media One Group stations in West Ellicott, we reached 71 while the sun was out a brief time early Tuesday afternoon.  However, Reynolds says enjoy it because colder air returns when a cold front pushes through the area about mid-morning today.  Reynolds says temperatures will only rise into the upper 30s on Thursday before they rise again on Friday and to near 50 on Saturday. 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he wants to work to solve the problems that have led to mass shootings in schools across the United States...  
 
However, Reed says any talk about gun control is a non-starter in Congress.  At the same time, Reed says he is committed to taking action that deals with the perpetrators of such heinous acts.   The Corning Republican says those with serious mental health issues need to be identified and prevented access to guns.
 
Reed says he doesn't support-- nor does the majority in Congress-- the notion of bringing back the assault weapons ban of the mid and late 1990s.  He also indicted some support for tightening up background checks on people because the accused Florida shooter: 19 year-old Nickolas Cruz, was able to purchase an AR-15 in spite of his troubled past.  Reed says he also supports the students who have been protesting across the nation and Florida in particular, who are voicing the need for lawmakers to act on the issue.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call Tuesday with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Are lawmakers who accept campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association serious about solving the nation's problem with mass shootings?  
 
That question was put to the county's Congressman during his weekly conference call.  An investigative report by Channel 7 in Buffalo shows that Tom Reed has received nearly $11,000 from the NRA during his time in Congress.  He says he's always supported the Second-Amendment, and that's why the NRA donates to his campaign.  
 
Reed did not indicate whether he has ever... or would return the donations.  However, Buffalo Congressman Brian Higgins (who represented Chautauqua County at one time) has turned over about $5,000 he received from the NRA to organizations dedicated to stopping gun violence.  Clarence-area Congressman Chris Collins has received $4,000 from the NRA during his time in office.
 
 
The U.S. government has acquired the two final land parcels needed for a New York veterans' cemetery that will eventually ease a burden for thousands of military families...  
 
Democratic U-S Senator Charles Schumer is now urging the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to quickly begin work on the Western New York National Veterans Cemetery.  The cemetery in Pembroke will serve the Buffalo and Rochester areas.  Schumer says many families now have to travel about 100 miles to the closest veterans' cemetery, in Bath, New York.
 
 
An Erie, Pennsylvania man was arrested last weekend after a large quantity of marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms were allegedly found during a traffic stop...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 21 year-old Matthew Ebach for speeding on I-86 near the city.  While speaking to Ebach, Troopers say they saw marijuana in plain-view.  A search of the vehicle uncovered 24 grams of marijuana, two bongs containing marijuana residue and just under three grams of psilocybin mushrooms.  Ebach was arrested for Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs, seventh-degree Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Marijuana.  He was issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.
 
 
A couple of the newest members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame have made a name for themselves in the sport of softball, mainly in college and the coaching ranks away from the area...  
 
However, they say the coaching they received in high school, and the calibur of play... helped their development.  Those are the feelings of Southwestern High School Graduate Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas, who was co-captain of her softball team at Clarion State University in Pennsylvania.
 
That career took Gulas to the coaching ranks at Allegany College in Meadville, Pennsylvania and Wittenburg and Ashland in Ohio.  She retired just this past year from Ashland after 18 years at the helm.  She was joined by Falconer's Lori Franchina, who also made her mark in women's sports in college after a stellar high school career.  Franchina was just inducted into the New England U-S Senior Softball Hall of Fame.  Others honored during the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame dinner in Lakewood was retired Southwestern high school football and track coach, Fran Sirianni.
 
 
There were several other awards given out during Monday night's Hall of Fame induction dinner... including several legacy and "all-star" awards that recognized athletic accomplishments, and support of sports...  
 
One was the James Sharp Legacy Award, which was given to our own Dennis Webster.  Dennis was recognized for his support of the Hall of Fame and interviews with several members and inductees over the years.  Congratulations Dennis!!

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 20, 2018

The eight latest additions to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame were officially inducted in front of a sell-out crowd during last night's induction dinner in Lakewood...  
 
During the annual event at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, the past met the present.  Former Maple Grove head football and basketball coach Curt Fischer was among the inductees and called it an "overwhelming" experience.
 
Fischer coached the Red Dragons football team to two state championships and almost a third this past season.  He also led the boy's basketball team to two state titles.  Dunkirk's Clem Worosz was an all-around sports stand-out at St. Mary's and Cardinal Minszenty High Schools in the 1950s, went on to play college basketball at Niagara, where he played with legendary NBA Coach Larry Costello, and, Hubie Brown.  Other inductees included two softball stand-outs: Southwestern graduate Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas and Falconer graduate Lori Franchina.  Long-time Post-Journal Sports Editor Jim Riggs, III was also honored postumously during the dinner.
 
 
A major warm up is underway, with a southwesterly flow of warm air moving into the western New York region...  
 
Highs got to near 50 late Monday and, the mercury could hit 70 in some places away from the lakes today.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, who says we'll see warmer and wetter conditions.
 
Reynolds says-- in fact-- we may see a new record high temperature recorded today.  However, he says that's up in the air because temperatures will be in the upper sixties near Lake Erie.  The record for today is 64 degrees.  Looking ahead, Reynolds says we'll cool down a bit for the second-half of the week.  However, he says it's going to be fairly warm for a while after a dip in the temperature on Wednesday and Thursday.  He adds temperatures will climb again by the weekend and, there's no real cold air predicted in the region through the end of the month.  Reynolds says the rain should not produce any major problems locally because the snow-pack is pretty much gone.
 
 
The presence of an ice castle helped draw huge crowds to Mayville for last weekend's annual President's Day Weekend Winter Festival...  
 
However, the castle almost didn't happen.  Early last Friday morning, Scott Dearing-- a long time volunteer on the building crew-- saw what the rain and warm temperatures had done.
 
Local Restaurant Owner Nick Andriaccio returned as 'crew chief' for this year's castle construction and says they had to work fast through the day Friday to keep the castle solid using a method called "slushing."  A group of students from the BOCES Conservation Club was responsible for 'slushing' the construction this year, helping to keep the ice blocks together.  Andriaccio says they used a snowblower to pack snow against the bottom part of the ice castle.  The technique was successful, and may be used in again in future years when warm conditions threaten the castle.  
 
 
A firefighter with the city of Jamestown is jailed without bail for allegedly brandishing a hand-gun during a domestic violence incident on the city's eastside last weekend...  
 
Jamestown police were called to the scene at 23 Alfred Street about 10 p.m. last Saturday for an incident involving a gun.  Officers say they spoke with the victim at a neighbor's house after she ran there for help.  Police learned the woman's boyfriend, 35 year-old Ryan DiDomenico, had gotten into a fight with her and at one point, held her down on the floor against her will.  DiDomenico is also accused of pulling a hand-gun during that time.  The victim tells police she tried to call 911, but he grabbed the phone away.  DiDomenico was arraigned on charges including second-degree menacing, first-degree unlawful imprisonment and reckless endangerment and sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
A city man is accused of resisting arrest and attempting to flee during a traffic stop early Monday morning on Jamestown's northside...  
 
City police say they stopped a vehicle near Lakeview Avenue and Bassett Street shortly before 1:30 a.m. for a traffic violation. Further investigation found that a passenger, 31 year-old Jermaine Gordon had a confirmed parole violation warrant.  When officers went to arrest Gordon, he began to actively resist officers and tried to run off.  But, after a short skirmish, officers were able to place Gordon in custody and take him to city jail without further incident.  He was also found to be in possession of a large quantity of marijuana and a digital scale.  Gordon faces several charges, including resisting arrest, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia, fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana and second-degree obstruction.  He's jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
While Part-One crimes are down significantly in the city of Jamestown from 2016 to 2017, they don't tell the entire story...  
 
That from City Police Chief Harry Snellings, who recently provided more information on crimes in the city so City Council members will have the "full picture" of crime fighting.  Snellings says part of the problem in the city is repeat offenders, noting that a dozen people were responsible for a large number of criminal offenses.
 
Snellings also provided major crime statistics for nine parts of the city, and says they included serious crimes -- such as shootings.  He says these were based on the city's Gun-Involved Violence Enforcement (GIVE) Program.  He says there were eight shootings for 2017.  He says the city has two officers for every one-thousand residents and, says that's about where it should be, according to FBI crime reports.  For communities of Jamestown's size, he says they should have 1.7 officers for every one-thousand residents.  Snellings adds they have 14 officers during each platoon.
 
 
Local town officials from all across New York state are in Manhattan for meetings that will feature discussions with some of the state's top elected officials...  
 
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were among the featured speakers during Monday morning's general session of the Association of Towns 2018 annual meeting.  Today, fellow Democrat Chuck Schumer, the U.S. Senate minority leader, will address the gathering. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 19, 2018

 
A Jamestown man remains jailed on $80,000 bail after a traffic stop in the town of North Harmony led to multiple drug charges against him...  
 
Sheriff's deputies say they pulled over a car operated by 18 year-old Camille Lopez of Jamestown, for an alleged traffic violation on Route 394 shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday.  Officers say they also identified Lopez's passenger as 28 year-old Jonathan Vega-Rivera, who was wanted on multiple Felony and misdemeanor arrest warrants.  Deputies arrested him on the outstanding charges and they brought in K-9 Officer "Link" for an exterior sniff of the vehicle.  He alerted officers to narcotics being inside the vehicle.  During the search, officers found drug paraphernalia, multiple prescription pills, and a quantity of methamphetamine.  Vega-Rivera was arraigned on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and, sent to the county lock-up.  Lopez was given appearance tickets for unlicensed operation, and inadequate head lights.
 
 
 
An elderly woman died in a house fire in Dunkirk this past Friday afternoon...  
 
Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews responded to 35 Crooked Brook Drive at about 2:30.  On arrival, Edwards says firefighters were alerted by a resident that there was a person with burns inside the house.  He says they found an elderly woman deceased and a small amount of fire in a living space.  The fire was quickly put out.  Dunkirk Police, Chautauqua County Fire investigators, and the Chautauqua County Coroner were also called to the scene.  The fire and fatality are under investigation.  The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family.
 
 
 
It was one of the most successful -- if not most successful -- President's Day Weekend Winter Festivals ever at Lakeside Park in Mayville...  
 
Those are the feelings of Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce Coordinator Debbie Marsella, who says having an ice castle this year played a major role in that success.  However, Marsella says it wasn't easy; she gave full credit to their work crew for keeping it up through the weekend.
 
Marsella says it was "very scary" when they got to Friday because of the warmer weather, and it's potential impact on the castle.  However, she says the work crew was determined to do what it took to keep the structure up and in place.  She adds it helped their other activities, including what may have been a record number of people taking part in the annual "Polar Plunge" on Saturday.  She adds they had a great sign-up for their Chili Cook-off.  Marsella says the more "moderate" weekend weather conditions likely helped with attendance and, they were busy right up to closing time at 4 p.m. Sunday. 
 
 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly holding another person against their will during a domestic incident on the city's eastside early last weekend...  
 
Jamestown police were called to the scene on Barrows Street about 1:30 a.m. Saturday for a domestic dispute in progress.  Officers say their investigation showed that 20 year-old Duane Crawford-the-third prevented the unidentified victim from leaving several times.  Police took Crawford into custody, and he was booked on one count of second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  He was held pending arraignment.
 
 
 
While the numbers on what the federal government have come in on the low-side, President Trump's proposal to rebuild the nation's infrastructure is still a "huge opportunity"...  
 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed, who reacted to the public-private plan crafted by the administration.  While a plan identifying one-trillion dollars in projects was outlined by the "Problem Solvers Caucus" he co-chairs. Reed says it could still end up being larger.
 
Reed says being a former mayor, he agrees that there are a lot of "traditional" infrastructure needs including roads, bridges, and water and wastewater treatment.  At the same time... he says any plan must also take "non-traditional" infrastruture needs into account, including broadband -- especially in rural areas.  He says there also has to be a hard-look at upgrades to the nation's power-grid.  Several New York lawmakers... including fellow Republican Chris Collins, were critical of the president's plan because the federal government would only provide $200-billion of the cost.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
A New York City Council member has announced he will challenge Kathy Hochul in this year's Democratic primary for lieutenant governor...  
 
Jumaane Williams announced his candidacy for the position on Friday outside New York City Hall.   The 41-year-old from Brooklyn says his record as a progressive leader on the City Council shows that if elected, he would be he "people's lieutenant governor."  Hochul was elected four years ago as the running mate of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.  No Republicans have so far stepped forward to announce their candidacy for lieutenant governor, an often overlooked position that is second in line to the governor.
 
 
 
State officials are hosting a free fishing weekend and an ice fishing clinic...  
 
The Department of Environmental Conservation has designated Saturday and Sunday as one of a series of free fishing weekends, with license fees waived.  On Wednesday, DEC and the state parks and recreation office are hosting a free ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Glimmerglass State Park on Otsego Lake.  Anglers can expect to catch yellow perch and chain pickerel. Bait and tackle will be provided for beginners.  Free sport fishing days have been around since 1991. 
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Feb. 17, 2018

One person found dead in Dunkirk fire...
A fatal fire has been reported in the city of Dunkirk... but, few details have been released.  Dunkirk Fire and Police responded to a report of a structure fire on Crooked Brook Drive about 2:30 p.m. Friday.  We have learned that the fire was out when crews reached the scene at 35 Crooked Brook Drive.  An elderly woman was reportedly found dead at the scene and a county coroner was sent to the scene.  The incident remains under investigation.  More when details are released.    
 
 
Three local school buildings go into lock-down, or "shelter down" after receiving threats...
Three local school students have been arrested for allegedly making threats against two schools in Chautauqua County... and, another in Cattaraugus County.  The incidents... which were reported Friday morning to State Police... took place at Chautauqua Lake Central School, the Ashville BOCES, and Randolph Academy.  Troopers were first called ot Chautauqua Lake just after 9 a.m. for a threat of violence reported to school staff.  Police say the school initiated a lockout while they investigated.  The investigation also reportedly revealed there was a possible threat at the Ashville BOCES.  The BOCES went into a "Shelter Down" protocol for a short time.  A 17-year-old student at Chautauqua Lake and a 15-year-old student from Ashville BOCES were taken into custody under the state’s mental hygiene law... and, taken to local hospitals for evaluation, and this investigation is continuing.
----- 
A short-time later... troopers and investigators responded to the Randolph Academy for a threat there.  The school went into a lock-down situation while police investigated.  Troopers soon located a 16-year-old student believed to be involved in the incident.  He was taken to State Police headquarters in Machias for questioning.  He was later taken into custody under the state's mental hygiene law... and, was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.  That lock-down was lifted a short time later.
 
 
Young calls local school threats "alarming and dispicable..."
State Senator Cathy Young says the three "copy-cat" student threats made at the schools are both "alarming and despicable."  Young is commenting on the threats made in the wake of this past Wednesday's mass shooting at Parkland, Florida in which 17 innocent people... 15 of them students... were killed in cold blood by a former classmate.  Young says Friday's threats were made against the Chautauqua Lake, Ashville BOCES and Randolph Academy schools.  She says "while we don't yet know if their motivations were malicious or attention-getting, any type of threat understandably strikes terror in the hearts of other students, their parents and school staff."  She says these actions will not be tolerated and the consequences for threats of any nature will be rightfully harsh. 
 
 
Young in Sherman to present Bus driver with Liberty Medal...
Sherman School bus driver David Tenpas... who saved his students from a burning bus... has received the New York State Senate's Liberty Medal.  State Senator Cathy Young presented the award to David Tenpas at an assembly at Sherman yesterday morning... saying that it's the highest award that is presented by the Senate.  Tenpas hustled a dozen students off his bus on January 4, just moments before it burst into flames.  He was humble in his acceptance... and, thanked those on the bus for cooperating and moving when the problem was discovered.  
 
 
Tranum has concerns about proposed Payroll Tax in Governor's budget proposal...
The top official with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says they have concerns about Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal for a voluntary payroll tax.  The Governor has included details of the proposal in his 30-day budget amendments that were released this week.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum tells us there are two concerns about the proposal that attempts to blunt the effects of federal tax reform on employees... and, create another administrative burden on employers in NYS.  Tranum says businesses would have to -- it appears -- pay the tax in "some form" before getting the deduction.  There are some good things included in the budget proposal... according to Tranum... that should help the business community -- including more help for workforce training.  
 
 
JRC welcomes New Public Market Manager...
A Frewsburg native has been hired as the new Jamestown Public Market Manager for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  JRC Executive Director Lisa Hatch says Linnea Carlson has a background with the Chautauqua County Health Network... most recently coordinating it's Creating Healthy Communities program to promote healthy retail and worksite development.  Carlson says most of her work was done in the north county... with the Salvation Army in Dunkirk, and later with the Fredonia Farmer's Market.  Carlson says she's "very excited" to be heading up this year's market... which will run from June 9th through the month of October.  She says she's most excited about the market receiving a $200,000 U-S Department of Agriculture grant to help grow and promote the Public Market.  For more information, call Linnea Carlson at 489-3497. 
 
 

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News Update for Fri., Feb. 16, 2018

Three students arrested for alleged copy-cat threats made at Chautauqua Lake, Randolph Academy, and Ashville BOCES schools...
Three local school students have been arrested for allegedly making threats against two schools in Chautauqua County... and, another in Cattaraugus County.  The incidents... which were reported this morning to State Police... took place at Chautauqua Lake Central School, the Ashville BOCES, and Randolph Academy.  They are believed to be "copy-cats" of Wednesday's mass school shooting that killed 17 people in Florida.  Troopers were first called ot Chautauqua Lake just after 9 AM for a threat of violence reported to school staff.  Police say the school initiated a lockout while State Police investigated.  The investigation also reportedly revealed that a possible threat of violence could exist at Ashville BOCES.  The Ashville BOCES went into a "Shelter Down" protycol for a short time.  A 17-year-old student at Chautauqua Lake and a 15-year-old student from Ashville BOCES were taken into custody under the state’s mental hygiene law... and, taken to local hospitals for evaluation, and this investigation is continuing.
----- 
A short-time later... troopers and investigators responded to the Randolph Academy for a threat of violence reported to school staff.  The school went into a lock-down situation while police investigated.  Troopers soon located a 16-year-old student believed to be involved in the incident.  He was taken to State Police headquarters in Machias for questioning.  He was later taken into custody under the state's mental hygiene law... and, was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.  That lock-down was lifted a short time later.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 16, 2018

A 19 year-old Florida man is jailed without bail for allegedly shooting and killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland Florida Wednesday afternoon...  
 
President Trump addressed the nation Thursday morning about the school shooting, the 18th reported this year.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace calls it another senseless act and, "we're all searching for answers."  Gerace says he believes school resource officers can make a difference. Gerace adds, though, that local school districts are struggling with the costs involved.  He says the federal government should step in to help out, like they did when the SRO programs first began.  Gerace says the federal government is where it should all begin.  He says there are a number of local schools that have SROs, but adds they don't have to money to have the number they would like.
 
 
 
It was an "all hands on deck kind of day" in the Jamestown School District Thursday...  
 
That from Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who says the atmosphere in city schools following Wednesday's mass shooting at a Florida high school was solemn.  Apthorpe says these kind of events "hit all of us..." and it's "unbelievable that they're still happening."  He says he spoke with school principals and safety officials Wednesday night to mentally re-enact safety plans to see if there was anything they may need to re-visit.  He tells our Noel Blackhall that the U.S. needs to get serious about mental health issues.
 
Apthorpe hopes that if something positve comes from this, it's the "awakening of a nation" of a mental health crisis in our youth.  In Jamestown, schools have secure entrances and visitors need to be physically "buzzed in" before entering.  Apthorpe says that the district also employs three full-time city police officers as School Resource Officers and also employs full-time, on-duty officers that walk through schools connecting with kids. 
 
 
 
New York state's comptroller says the budget proposal submitted by Governor Andrew Cuomo gives him "significant flexibility" to adjust spending after the plan is approved by the Legislature...  
 
Thomas DiNapoli's analysis of the fellow Democrat's $168-billion budget proposal would weaken the checks and balances over the how taxpayer dollars are spent.  DiNapoli's report released Wednesday calls 2018 a "high-pressure year" for the state budget because of the federal tax overhaul and other changes Washington is making that will impact New York's bottom line.  The comptroller says aspects of Cuomo's spending plan raise concerns about transparency and oversight.  Cuomo will negotiate with the leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled Assembly to come up with a final state budget, which is due by April 1.
 
 
 
There will still be an ice castle at this year's annual President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville, despite a social media posting Thursday morning that the castle had been torn-down...  
 
It was apparently a mistaken inference made after someone saw the castle with snow piled up against it.  We talked with Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce President Sally Andriaccio, who says crews had put insulated blankets on the castle to preserve it and later, also put snow over the blankets in spots to provide more insulation.  The ice castle lighting in Mayville is still set for 6 p.m. tonight; the festival runs through Sunday afternoon.
 
 
 
A fire that broke out in the basement of Falconer High School early Thursday morning has been ruled "accidental" by Chautauqua County fire investigators.
 
At 1:30 a.m., Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the Falconer Fire Department -- along with five others -- responded to an alarm at the high school.  The Sheriff's Office says on arrival, responding fire companies found heavy smoke inside the school.  A short time later, investigators say the blaze was found in the custodian work shop area in the basement.  Sheriff's officers say the flames were quickly extinguished and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called.  The fire was contained to a plastic garbage can inside this custodian work shop area.  Following investigation, the blaze was determined to be accidental due to a spontaneous combustion of mineral oil saturated cotton rags confined in a plastic garbage can.  There was no fire damage seen to the building. Calls into School Superintendent Steve Penhollow to update the situation were unsuccessful Thursday.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly bilking Chautauqua County Public Assistance out of just over $3,200 in SNAP -- Food Stamp benefits...  
 
Sheriff's officers say an investigation showed that 61 year-old Patricia Gray of West 11th Street failed to notify the county's Department of Health and Human Services of income within her household.  Deputies say Gray was arrested for third-degree Welfare Fraud, Grand Larceny and first-degree using a false instrument for filing.  Gray was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.  To report cases of suspected Welfare Fraud, call the fraud hotline at 1-800-388-5365.
 
 
 
Two Jamestown women were arrested for allegedly shoplifting with children in their care at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood last Tuesday night...  
 
On arrival, Lakewood-Busti Police located 45 year-old Tonya Diblasi and 44 year-old Dawn O'Shell.  Diblasi was allegedly found in possession of several controlled substances and to be stealing with a young child in her care.  O'Shell was found in possession of marijuana and was also with a young child.  Both suspects were charged with petty larceny, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Diblasi was additionally charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of controlled substance outside user's original container.  They are scheduled to appear in Busti Town Court at a later date. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 15, 2018

A fire that broke out in the basement of Falconer High School earlier this morning has been deemed "accidental" following an on-scene investigation... 
 
At 1:30 a.m. the Falconer Fire Department along with other area fire departments responded to a fire alarm at the high school. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says on arrival,  responding fire companies dealt with a heavy smoke issue inside the school. A short time later, the fire was found in the custodian work shop area in the basement. Sheriff's Officers say the fire was quickly extinguished and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called. The fire was investigated and found to be a contained to a plastic garbage can inside this custodian work shop area. Following investigation, the fire was determined to be accidental due to a spontaneous combustion of mineral oil saturated cotton rags confined in a plastic garbage can. No fire damage to the building was observed.
 
 
 
It's already that time of year again, when those pesky potholes pop up on area roads and highways, causing problems for drivers and highway crews alike...  
 
While we have seen some extreme weather conditions this winter, Chautauqua County Public Facilities Director George Spanos says it doesn't appear to be any worse than usual. What makes potholes pop up?  Spanos says you can blame it on the freeze-thaw cycle.  He says it stresses pavement by expanding and contracting and, it causes the asphalt to break-up.  Spanos says county highway crews are responding to reports of the pesky potholes, but they can only make temporary repairs until the asphalt plants open in April.  He encourages the public to report any major potholes on county roads to the Chautauqua County DPF dispatcher at 716-661-8401.
 
 
 
The 31st annual President's Day Winter Festival in Mayville will again be held at Lakeside Park and, include a number of activities through late Sunday afternoon...
 
That from Mayville/Chautauqua Chamber President Sally Andriaccio, who says the festival kicks into high gear late Saturday morning and includes several "family-oriented" activites.  Andriaccio says the annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-off will run starting at 2 p.m. Saturday and the annual fireworks display will be held in the park at 8 p.m. Saturday.  For more information on the President's Day Winter Festival, call the chamber at 753-3113 or go online to dmarsala@chautauquachamber.org
 
 
 
The Ice Castle for this year's President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville is nearly finished and crews are taking steps to preserve it for the weekend in light of a forecast of warmer temperatures...
 
That from Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce President Sally Andriaccio, who says construction of the Ice Castle is about 90% complete.  Andriaccio said Wednesday that, given how solid the ice blocks are, it should be okay through Sunday.
 
Andriaccio says the insulated blankets they're using on the castle helps in two ways-- it holds in the cold and keeps out the rain, which tends to be the ice castle's biggest enemy.  She says the crew has also been "slushing" the castle, which helps strengthen the bond between the huge blocks of ice.  Overall, she says the ice castle is pretty good sized compared to the last one they had.  Andriaccio says nearly 1,000 blocks of ice will be used to make the ice castle, which features an "Ice Seat" for picture takers.  This year's castle will be officially lighted at 6 p.m. this Friday to start the festival.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's "gravely concerned" about the federal government borrowing nearly one-trillion dollars to support additional non-military spending in the budget agreement reached late last week...  
 
Corning Republican Tom Reed says the agreement reached in the U.S. Senate allowed spending caps to be taken off a number of areas, including defense spending.  It also added another $300-billion in non-defense spending.
 
Reed says he traces the problem back to last year's Presidential budget... which did include an increase in military spending.  However, he adds that the House and Senate both approved an additional $61-billion for the military, which he says set the stage for this year's increases.  He says it's easy to broker a deal when "you're spending other peoples money."  Reed says the changes just "didn't add up in a responsible way..." and that's why he voted against the final bill.  He made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
The budget proposed by President Donald Trump on Monday would slash funding for food assistance for low-income Americans... 
 
Under the Trump budget proposal, the USDA would substitute packages of "shelf-stable" food, such as pasta, cereal and canned goods, for about half of the value of the SNAP benefits.  Hunger Free America's Joel Berg says that -- combined with other program changes -- would reduce the overall SNAP budget by $213-billion over ten years, 20-billion more than Trump proposed cutting it last year.
 
The administration says supplying packages of government-selected food would reduce costs through bulk purchasing.  However, the recent bipartisan budget agreement makes passage of the cuts to SNAP unlikely.  Still, Berg is concerned that the proposal could serve as an opening for Congress to reduce funding for the food program by a smaller amount, which he says is bad because they have already been cut twice.  He points out that 41-million Americans-- including two-million New Yorkers--struggle against hunger every day.  Berg says in two weeks Hunger Free America will travel to Washington with low-income people and other hunger advocacy groups to ask Congress to spare SNAP from any further budget cuts.
 
 
 
Several "legacy society" awards will be handed out during next Monday night's Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner in Lakewood and a member of the Media One Group family is one of them...  
 
Officials say they'll be honored outstanding contributors to the local sports scene during the annual event.  One of them, the James A. Sharp Legacy Award, will be given to our own Dennis Webster.  The Ted Olson and Bill Present Legacy Wards for outstanding Jamestown High School student/athletes will be given to Andrew Pumford, and Allie Stockwell.  Next Monday night's inductees include Fran Sirianni, Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas, and Phil Young.  The dinner begins with a hospitality hour at 5 p.m. at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
 
 
 
The ribbon was cut late yesterday morning at the new on-site Health and Wellness Center in the Jones Memorial Health Center in Jamestown...  
 
The "MyHealth @ Work Center" is available to UPMC Chautauqua WCA employees that are in need of medical services -- at no cost.  UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital Medical Director of Occupational Services, Dr. Todd Jacobson, says those services include treatment for minor illnesses and health coaching referrals. 
 
Jacobson adds that an employee can stop in during their break or even after work hours for an appointment.  He says the goal of the MyHealth @ Work Center is to administer services to employees without them having to miss work, or go to the emergency room.  Jacobson says they want to keep their people healthy as possible all year-long.  Jacobson says the clinic is available to all UPMC employees in the system.  Additionally, there are MyHealth centers located in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania for employees as well. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 14, 2018

It appears President Trump's $1.5-billion infrastructure program will primarily be paid for by the states and localities and that's causing some concern among members of Congress...  
 
One of them is Junior New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who says the federal government would only pay $200-billion of the $1.5-trillion plan.  Gillibrand says, the way it's set up, only certain communities and states would be able to take part.
  
Trump has said his proposal is a "common sense," bipartisan plan that every member of Congress should support.  But, Gillibrand says it's not helpful when you're expecting local governments to pick-up 80-percent of the costs.  A key Republican, Congressman Chris Collins from the Buffalo area told the Buffalo News that he had concerns about whether the $200-billion in federal spending could possibly spur an additional $1.3-trillion in infrastructure investment nation-wide.  He indicated that it is a first step in the process.
 
 
 
President Donald Trump again is trying to drastically reduce or eliminate federal support for cleanups of some iconic U.S. waterways...  
 
His proposed budget would slash Environmental Protection Agency funding for Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay restoration programs by 90-percent.  It would kill all EPA spending on programs supporting other waters including San Francisco Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Puget Sound.  The administration made a similar attempt last year, but Congress refused to go along.
 
 
 
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, and the family of a fallen deputy are getting a lot of support from police and fire agencies from across the region...  
 
Veteran Sheriff's officer Michael Seeley passed away last weekend at the Cleveland Clinic after a bout with Leukemia.  Undersheriff Charles Holder, who is helping to organize a processional following Seeley's funeral, says the department has received a number calls from across the county and from other parts of the state.
 
In addition to the Sheriff's office and State Police, several local police agencies took part in Monday's escort on Interstate 86 from near Findley Lake to Jamestown where the 44 year-old Seeley's funeral will take place Friday.  A number of fire departments also took part in the procession, including the Bemus Point Fire Department where Seeley had been a member.  Visitation for Seeley will take place this Thursday from 1-4 and 6-9 p.m. in the Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown.  The funeral will follow on Friday at 11 a.m.  in the First Lutheran Church.
 
 
 
The property for the new Athenex pharmacutical manufacturing plant in northern Chautauqua County is now being cleared and work will begin in earnest once the weather breaks this Spring...  
 
That from County Executive George Borrello, who says the bidding process is underway for the project on Route 5 in the town of Dunkirk.  Borrello says he expects work to begin on the 300,000 square-foot facility later this year, with completion expected in mid-2020.
 
Borrello says he has been staying in touch with company officials on the project's progress.  The Dunkirk Observer is reporting that a pre-bid meeting was held last week at Jamestown Community College's North County Center Training Facility and, that bids will be received now through February 20.
 
 
 
A large group of parents, grandparents and students filled the auditorium at Bush Elementary School for a special performance during the Jamestown School Board meeting Tuesday night... 
 
Kathy Brunco's music students sang three songs framed around what makes "Bush School a happy place to be" . Included in the performance-- a rendition of "Happiness" by Charlie Brown.
 
Students also used sign language while they sang "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. Additionally, the board approved a gift resolution. Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says a Wurlitzer Upright piano was donated to the district's music department on behalf of Carol Montgomery Drake. 
 
 
 
A Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania man was arrested following a traffic stop on Interstate-86 for allegedly possessing a controlled substance on Friday...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 27 year-old Chad Carlson for a traffic violation.  During the stop, Carlson was found to be in possession of a Vicondin pill for which he did not have a prescription for.  He was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Carlson is scheduled to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date. 
 
 
 
A Kennedy man is accused of drunk-driving on a revoked license and possessing a controlled substance in Jamestown Monday evening... 
 
Shortly before midnight, city police for performed a traffic stop in area of Buffalo Street and Blackstone Avenue on a vehicle for switched plates and failure to maintain a lane. Officers say the vehicle was not registered nor insured. During the investigation, the driver, 36 year-old Adam Paxton was determined to be operating the vehicle in an intoxicated condition on a revoked license for a previous DWI conviction and without proper interlock device. Officers also located a quantity of cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. He was taken to city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
 
A strong fourth-quarter for sales tax in Jamestown allowed the city to exceed it's quarterly projections for last year, as well as exceed it's total year's projections by nearly 2-percent...  
 
That from City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce, who says Jamestown received just over $1.5-million for the final quarter of 2017, which was just over 6-percent more than what they got in the fourth-quarter of 2016.  He says for the year, they were up nearly 2-percent.  Dolce adds the total sales tax for last year was also nearly 4-percent more than was taken in for 2016, in which the city brought in about $5.87-million.  The city also budgeted $6-million in sales tax revenues for the current year.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 13, 2018

 
Two city officials have determined that the Jamestown Local Development Corporation is a separate, not-for-profit organization that can set and approve it's own by-laws...  
 
A one-week review of the situation by City Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman, and City Clerk Todd Thomas was in response to questions about whether the by-law changes approved late last year were done legally and properly.  Thomas says, while the City Council approves the JLDC's Certificate of Incorporation, the corporation itself votes on by by-laws.
 
The JLDC was established by the city in 1981, but had existed under those by-laws for 35-plus years.  The question was raised by new Councilman Andrew Liuzzo who questioned why the mayor was given the power to act on appointments by three local organizations if their representative no longer lived in the city.  Liuzzo was also concerned about changes in the JLDC by-laws which allows for funds to be used for infrustructure upgrades.  An informal proposal has been introduced to use the JLDC to purchase the Board of Public Utilities' wastewater treatment plant to raise about $16-million to do extensive upgrades of city infrastructure.  
 
 
 
One student has been expelled, and two others have been removed from Jamestown Community College's residence life program following last month's alleged sexual assault at a residence hall on the city campus...  
 
JCC Vice-President of Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, Kirk Young, says the college made the moves after JCC officials and Jamestown police determined the victim was not a JCC student, nor a resident of the residence halls.  Young says they learned that a breach of residence hall security occured the night of January 29 when the incident occured.  He added Monsday that -- "as of this afternoon, JPD has advised JCC officials that it is now at a point in its criminal investigation that JCC can resume its investigation into this incident."  JCC officials say they believe the situation was an isolated incident and that the campus community and residents are not at risk.
 
 
 
More details have been released about how New York state would change it's tax code in response to federal tax reform...  
 
State Budget Director Robert Mujica announced the plans Monday as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's 30-day budget amendments.  Mujica says the proposed Employer Compensation Expense Tax that would be optional for employers, but would provide a chance to get a bigger tax deduction.
 
The budget director also announced plans to expand charitable contribution options, creating health care and education funds so people who itemize can claim those contributions on their federal tax return.  Changing the tax code was one of three-steps Cuomo had outlined in fighting the effects of federal tax reform on state taxpayers.  New York is one of several states that filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the tax plan.  
 
 
 
New York state's legislative budget hearings are routinely marathon affairs - up to 13 hours...  
 
That gives New York some of the most drawn-out budget discussions in the nation.  Some advocates are asking whether there's a better way.  Despite similar grumbling over the years in several states, and moves to include remote testimony via computers and video, there is little evidence any have succeeded in solving the problem.  At least one good-government group, Common Cause New York, suggests allowing more meetings, with each of them more focused with more public comment.  New York state law requires public hearings on the governor's budget proposal. 
 
 
 
There is a new Deputy Democratic Elections Commissioner in Chautauqua County who is also the county's first-ever Latino election's manager...  
 
Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says Luz Torres is a Dunkirk resident who has been the Board of Elections Spanish Language Interpreter and has directed poll site operations in Jamestown and other parts of the south county.
 
Green says Torres replaces Doris Parment, who was forced to leave the board due to illness.  He says Torres is also bi-lingual, which he says is important to have.  Green says it's required both by the state and federal governments now to provide all ballots and information in both English and Spanish because more than five-percent of the population is Hispanic.  Green says Torres has worked for Chautauqua County since 2011.
 
 
 
As mentioned, Luz Torres replaces Doris Parment, who had been number-two Democrat Elections Commissioner for more than 10 years...  
 
Norm Green says Parment's had a recent illness, and was forced to retire from her job... and, is now trying to figure out how to pay her ever-mounting health care costs.  Green says a fund has now been established in Mayville for her. Green says Doris Parment has been "our neighbor, our friend and has lived in our community for the past 55 years."
 
 
 
Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says the four-year graduation rate in Jamestown has increased from 81 to 89 percent for students that aren't "economically disadvantaged."  However, he says there's been a six-percent decrease in rates for disavantaged students...  
 
Statistically, Apthorpe says 3-out-of-4 Jamestown students live in poverty. Athorpe says in order to improve graduation rates for those at a lower advantage, more needs to be done. He says a meeting to discuss options will be held in March, with local community and business leaders.  Apthorpe adds that he and the Board of Education are "very committed" to turning these results around in the 2018-19 school year. 
 
 
 
A Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania man was arrested following a traffic stop on Interstate-86 for allegedly possessing a controlled substance on Friday...  
 
State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 27 year-old Chad Carlson for a traffic violation.  During the stop, Carlson was found to be in possession of a Vicondin pill for which he did not have a prescription for.  He was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Carlson is scheduled to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 12, 2018

An Ashville woman is accused of drunk driving after she was involved in a one-car crash on Route 380 in the town of Stockton late last Saturday night...  

 
Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene just after 11:30 p.m. and identified the driver as 21 year-old Taren Grover.  Following a short investigation, deputies say they found Grover was operating her vehicle in an intoxicated state.  Officers say Grover was taken into custody, and later released on appearance tickets for DWI, Aggravated DWI and, moving from lane Unsafely.  She will appear in the Town of Stockton Court at a later date.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he is "extremely disappointed" with last week's verdict in the Justin Haffa trial...  
 
The 22-year-old man from Cheektowaga was found not guilty in an indictment on three counts, including attempted murder, in connection with an incident in which he allegedly attacked a sheriff's deputy in the Town of Pomfret in September 2016.  Gerace says although there is no such thing as a "perfect case," he feels that because of television, juries often expect to have a perfect case presented. Haffa was found guilty on a lesser count of third-degree robbery.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson told us that he felt a lack of evidence led to the not guilty verdict.
 
 
 
The first meeting of an arbitration panel set for later this morning to begin work on breaking the current impasse between the city of Jamestown and it's policemen's union has been called off...  
 
In an e-mail yesterday, Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley said the arbitration hearing has been called off "indefinintely."  No reason was given.  Mayor Sam Teresi told the city council it's past two meetings that representation had been selected for the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association, and the city.  The Kendall Club PBA's most recent contract with the city expired on December 31 of 2015; it filed paperwork for arbitration last year. 
 
 
 
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer who gained widespread praise for helping save the life of another man in 2013 has passed away following a brief battle with Leukemia...  
 
The Post-Journal reports that 44 year-old Michael Seeley of West Ellicott, who had been a Sheriff's deputy, firefighter and dispatcher, died last Friday night at the Cleveland Clinic.  The paper says Seeley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last August.  He underwent a bone marrow transplant in November after his sister, Jennifer Scolton, was found to be a match.  However, the transplant didn't take hold, and he was readmitted to Cleveland Clinic last month.
 
 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's top budget official says the Democrat wants to separate the state's tax rates from the federal rates to keep New Yorkers from a $1.5-billion income tax increase...  
 
Budget Director Robert Mujica told lawmakers during Thursday's joint Senate and Assembly budget hearing on taxes that Cuomo plans to detail the proposal in an amendment to the spending plan he released last month.  Mujica testified that Cuomo's move would decouple the state tax code from the federal government's to restore deductibility many New Yorkers stand to lose under the new federal tax overhaul.  The Republican-controlled Senate passed a similar plan last month.  During the four hour hearing lawmakers also questioned state officials about new taxes and fees included in Cuomo's $168-billion budget proposal.
 
 
 
While at the Boy's and Girl's Club on Friday, State Senator Cathy Young said the Senate had taken steps to blunt some of the negative effects of the federal tax changes on New Yorkers...
 
Young, who is chair of the Finance Committee,  says the Senate action addresses one of the issues regarding deductions. She says example, if standard deduction--on a federal level-- makes sense for you, you can still now take state deductions on property taxes, childcare deductions and others. Young expects the governor to include these changes in his '30 day budget amendments'.  Otherwise, the senator says the budget process has been relatively routine, so far.  She reiterated the Senate's view that the deficit in budget due April 1st is around $1.7-billion, not $4.4 billion, as the governor has claimed.  
 
 
 
The investigation is continuing into the fire that heavily-damaged the back portion of a single-family home on Jamestown's eastside early last weekend...  
 
City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 31 Flagg Avenue shortly after 3 p.m. Friday and adds they were able to get water on the blaze pretty quickly.
 
Coon says it took about 15 minutes to knock down the blaze and fire damage was confined to the back of the structure.  He says there was noderate damage elsewhere. Coon says the family was not home at the time, but says the fire sent two cats, and a dog scurrying.  He says the cats were found okay, but the puppy got loose outside, and the family is still looking for him.  Coon says the family is being helped by relatives as they secure the house.  He says no injuries were reported.  Coon says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist at the scene.
 
 
 
Republican state lawmaker Brian Kolb has dropped out of the race for New York governor...  
 
The Assembly Minority Leader said Friday that he decided he doesn't want to sacrifice time with his family in order to mount a long campaign.  His decision leaves two Republicans in the race: state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.  Kolb has been GOP Minority Leaders the past several years.  He is a resident of the city of Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes.  Early in his campaign Kolb acknowledged the challenges of defeating Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking a third term in the November election.  Democrats have a 2-1 advantage in party registration in New York. 
 
 
 
If you see a giant fish with a snout like a canoe paddle, New York state wildlife officials want to know...  
 
The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to report paddlefish sightings. The primitive fish, related to sturgeon, can get up to 6 feet long or more.  Native to southwestern New York, paddlefish disappeared from the state over a century ago due to dams and pollution.  They're now protected.  The state started stocking them in 1998 in the Allegheny Reservoir, Chautauqua Lake and the Conewango Creek.  Two have been caught in the Jamestown area in the last two years. 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Feb. 10, 2018

Fire damages back part of Flagg Ave. home in Jamestown...
Jamestown fire investigators are still looking for the cause of a blaze that heavily-damaged the back portion of a one-family home on the city's eastside Friday afternoon.  That from Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon... who says crews were called to the scene at 31 Flagg Ave. shortly after 3 p.m.  Coon says they were able to use an "aggressive attack" to push the flames back.  He says crews got the flames under control in about 15 minutes.  He adds there is severe damage to the back of the structure, and moderate elsewhere.  Coon says the family was not home at the time... and, there were no human injuries.  He adds three pets also survived... but, two cats had to scurry to other parts of the home... while a puppy got out.  Coon says the family was still looking for the pet.  He adds the family is being helped by relatives as they secure the house.  The cause remains under investigation.  Coon says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in... and, crews were at the scene for just over two hours.
 
 
Stockton man arrested for alleged rape...
A Stockton man is being held on $75,000 bail after allegedly raping another person followinng an investigation at a location on Route 380 in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's deputies say they were looking into reports of "suspicious activity" at the address... and found that 34 year-old Leland Breese had sexual intercourse with a victim without their consent.  Officers say a warrant was issued for Breese's arrest by a Stockton Town Judge on a charge of first-degree rape.  Deputies arrested Breese at a Jamestown home in Friday... and, he was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court.  Breese was sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested for alleged robbery in Hanover...
A north county man is being held on $30,000 bail after Sheriff's deputies received a report of an alleged robbery that occurred on Route 5 in the Town of Hanover.  Officers say an investigation determined that 20 year-old Melwin Berrios of Dunkirk had forcibly taken property from a victim, while being aided by two other suspects.  Berrios was arrested on Thursday and committed to the Chautauqua County Jail. 
 
 
Sheriff's Deputies dies after brief battle with Leukemia...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer who gained widespread praise for helping save the life of another man in 2013 has passed away following a breif battle with Leukemia.  The Post-Journal reports today that 44 year-old Michael Seeley of West Ellicott... who had been a Sheriff’s deputy, firefighter, and dispatcher... died last night at the Cleveland Clinic.  The paper says Seeley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last August.  He underwent a bone marrow transplant in November after his sister, Jennifer Scolton, was found to be a match.  However... the transplant didn't take hold, and he was readmitted to Cleveland Clinic last month.
 
 
Apthorpe says graduation rates climbing for more affluent in Jamestown district...
While the New York State high school graduation rate edged above 80-percent in 2017... it remained steady at 76 to 77-percent the past three years in the Jamestown school district.  However... School District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says the four-year graduation rate has increased from 81 to 89 percent for students that aren't "economically disadvantaged" as compared to a six-percent decrease in rates for disavantaged students.  He says there are two different "stories" happening here.  One is they have phenominal college prep programs for students, but, student achievement for children living in poverty is "getting worse."  Apthorpe says that he and the Board of Education feel that they "have to do something different" to turn the negative trend around.  He says Jamestown School district will be holding a meeting with community and business leaders in March to discuss ways to implement a change to improve student graduation rates that involve community partnerships.  
 
 
Teresi to make presentation on DRI Progam at NYCOM Conference in Albany...
Several mayors from across the state -- including Jamestown's Sam Teresi -- will be on hand in Albany for next week's state Conference of Mayor's annual Legislative conference.  Teresi... who is past President of NYCOM... says the three day program begins on Sunday afternoon... and, runs through Tuesday.  He says he'll be among the headliners this year... along with the mayor's of Olean and Glens Falls.  Teresi says all three have won Downtown Revitalization Initiative awards the past two years... and adds they'll talk about how to apply for the award... along with the process.  He adds that Governor Cuomo has already announced there will be another round of DRI Funding this year.  Teresi says made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Reed votes against House appropriations bill...
The federal government was back up and running again this morning after a short shutdown that lasted just over five-hours.  Both the Senate and House of Representatives passed a two-year spending plan, but local Congressman Tom Reed was not on board.  The Corning Republican says he had concerns about what he calls "out-of-control" government spending.  Reed says the spending plan will add to the national debt... something he has opposed since he was elected in 2010.  Reed did support increasing military spending, but didn't support this plan.  He says he voted for a package to fully-fund the military to make sure they had the resources they need that was "fiscally-responsible."  Reed says that plan was paid for... but, this is not.  The website www.govtrack.us says that Republican Chris Collins, and Democrats Brian Higgins and Louise Slaughter, all voted in favor of the measure.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 8th, 2018

 
The Jamestown-area and part of Western New York could see up to a foot of snow between now and late Sunday as another Winter storm is moving into the region,  starting this morning...  
 
That from Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, who said late Thursday that a "warm frontal boundary" for the storm will move into the region as we head through the morning hours.  Mitchell says we'll generally see between four to eight inches of snow through the overnight Saturday.
 
Mitchell says we'll see another two to four inches during the day Saturday and, a chance of snow on Sunday.  However, Mitchell says we may also see some rain and freezing rain during the afternoon on Sunday.  He says it's going to depend on where the "frontal boundary" sets up for the latter part of the weekend.  Right now, Mitchell says no warnings or watches that have been issued due to the snow amounts expected.  But, he says that could change. 
 
 
 
One of the candidates seeking the Democratic nod to run for the 23rd Congressional election this Fall was in Chautauqua County about mid-week to visit and talk issues...  
 
Linda Andrei is from Tompkins County... which is in the far eastern part of the district.  Andrei is the only physician in the race and says she believes one of the most important issues facing the nation is health care.
 
Andrei says many people have come to the realization that health care is really of primary importance; not just for each person individually, but our economic system.  Andrei was born and raised in New York City.  She feels that the district is very diverse and one approach won't work for each county.  Andrei was campaigning in the backyard of Eddie Sundquist, an attorney from the Jamestown area, who is also among the candidates who hope to have a chance to run against incumbent Republican Tom Reed.  A Democratic primary will be held on June 26 of this year.
 
 
 
The Buffalo area man -- originally from Falconer -- found not guilty on multiple charges in connection with an attack on a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy in September 2016 may not face prison time...  
 
That from County Public Defender Ned Barone after a jury in Mayville Wednesday acquitted 22-year-old Justin Haffa of Cheekowaga on charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery and aggravated assault on a police officer.  He was found guilty of third-degree robbery, which Barone had requested for the trial.
 
Barone says while the third-degree robbery conviction carries a prison sentence of 2 1/3 to seven years it's possible Haffa may not face prison time because it's considered a "non-violent Felony."  He says "we're very happy with the outcome."  Barone had requested the lesser third-degree robbery charge, also considered by the jury.  Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley will hand down the sentence on April 2.
 
 
 
A 25 year-old woman faces several charges after a K-9 Officer allegedy found controlled substances in her vehicle during a traffic stop in Ashville early Thursday morning...  
 
Sheriff's Officers say they stopped a vehicle on Route-394 operated by Bridget Putman, of Falconer, for a traffic violation.  A license check showed Putman's driving privileges were revoked in New York State.  Following a search by K-9 Link, she was found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.  She was is to appear in North Harmony Town Court at a later date. 
 
 
 
A new member of the Jamestown City Council is seeking some changes in the way the panel and city deal with making appointments to three public-private agencies...
  
This week, At-Large Councilman Andrew Liuzzo told fellow lawmakers that the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, should be able to directly appoint representatives to the JLDC.  In additon, Liuzzo is also asking for city officials to get appointments to lawmakers sooner, citing the more than 40 appointments at last month's re-organizational meeting.
 
Councilman Tony Dolce says the groups are represented on the JLDC, unless their chairman or director is not from the city.  In that case, they have typically substituted the name of someone who lives in the city.  Mayor Sam Teresi ultimately recommends members to the panel.  But, he asked for City Corporation Councsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman, and City Clerk Todd Thomas, to prepare a legal report for next Monday night on making appointments to the JLDC.  During a nearly two-year review, the JLDC and city officials worked on updating the corporation's Certificate of Incorporation, and by-laws.
 
 
 
New York state is providing $55-million in funding to improve emergency communications across the state...  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that two grants will be awarded to counties statewide and to New York City. The Democrat says the funding will enhance the abilities of local governments to expand their communications systems and assist police, fire departments and other first responders.  The grants are administered by the state's Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. 
 
 
 
A Clymer woman was arrested following a car crash in the town of Busti for allegedly driving while intoxicated early last Saturday morning...  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police say they were called to scene on Wellman Road just just before 3:00  On arrival, officers located a black pick-up truck rolled over on it's side with the operator -- Amanda Dallas -- out of the vehicle uninjured.  Dallas was additionally charged with DWI-per se, Speeding and failure to use designated lane.  She is to appear in Busti Town Court at a later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 8, 2018

A former Falconer resident accused of trying to kill a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer during a traffic stop in September of 2016 in the town of Pomfret has been acquitted on three of the four charges against him...  
 
The jury in the trial of 20 year-old Justin Haffa, most recently of Cheektowaga in Erie County, New York, found him guilty of third-degree robbery in the case.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson was disappointed in the outcome because he felt the evidence was there.
 
The most serious charge was first-degree attempted murder.  Swanson acknowledged that this has become on on-going issue for his office.  He says they did have a chance to talk with the jury afterwards, and he says it seems that some jurors now have unrealistic expectations of prosecutors. 
 
Swanson says the jury did indicate that they couldn't convict Haffa on the first-degree robbery charge because they weren't able to recover the knife he allegedly used in the attack on Deputy Sara Cunningham.  Haffa did admit to police that he was high on drugs when the incident occured, but said he never intendend to kill Cunningham.  He faces 2.6 to seven years in State Prison when he's sentenced sometime in April.
 
 
 
It was a packed house during last night's legislative public hearing regarding the Jones-Carroll Landfill held by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in Frewsburg High School's auditorium... 
 
Local residents and elected officials took to the podium to share their feelings about the latest proposal by Sealand Waste. Chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature P.J. Wendel noted that the construction of a new landfill is not necessary. 
 
In a similar fashion, County Executive George Borrello spoke his opposition to the landfill on behalf of the executive branch. Local residents expressed their exhaustion in fighting against the landfill. Others spoke of safety concerns regarding traffic and water quality. The permit-proposal by Sealand Waste for the landfill has been in dispute for almost 14 years. 
 
 
 
Congressional members have been working together on a plan to at least fund the federal government through March 23 and possibly two years...  
 
That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who say's he's confident that a government shutdown will be averted this time around.  The Corning Republican says he feels the Senate has given serious consideration to the funding bill that passed the House Tuesday night and they were included in the two-year plan.
 
The Senate approved the plan Wednesday afternoon, and he feels they'll avoid the possibility of a shut-down at Midnight tonight.  Reed says there was bi-partisan support for many of the provisions contained the House bill.  At this point, Congress will have to rush to pass a budget measure in both chambers before the Midnight deadline.
 
 
 
The state's high school graduation rate edged above 80 percent in 2017, but black and Hispanic students graduated at much lower rates than white students...  
 
New York state education officials say black, Hispanic and white students all made small gains in the four-year graduation rate, but a 20-point gap exists between white students and their minority peers.  Data released Wednesday shows the overall June graduation rate was 80.2 percent.  That's up from 79.7 percent in 2016.  Students in poorer urban districts also continue to lag behind. 
 
 
 
Officials at Jamestown Community College plan to sell more excess property the college has near it's main campus on Falconer Street on the city's eastside...  
 
The college is asking the city council for permission to sell eight acres of the approximately 50 acres it acquired from the Coan Family five years ago at 2835 Curtis Street Extension.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says JCC had planned to use the home on the land for an Alumni House and reception location; however, he says the plans changed.
 
Dolce says there's also a single pole-barn also located on the property, which JCC officials are asking $300,000 for.  Council President Marie Carrubba is also a member of the JCC Board of Trustees... and, says -- though -- that using it for college activities didn't work out.  She says the facility would require some work first because it doesn't have a sewer hook-up.  The property, which is located in the town of Ellicott, has a septic system.  Both the city council, and the Chautauqua County Legislature must approve the sale because both are sponsors of the college.
 
 
 
A defense lawyer is attacking the credibility of the government's star witness in the trial of a former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo...  
 
Attorney Barry Bohrer on Wednesday defended longtime Cuomo confidante Joseph Percoco by highlighting lies and crimes committed by the government's key witness, Todd Howe.  Howe and Percoco were close friends for three decades before Howe pleaded guilty to multiple crimes and began cooperating with prosecutors against Percoco.  Percoco has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted over $300,000 in bribes from an energy consultant and two real estate developers.  Bohrer began his cross examination by asking Howe if he is an honest man.  Howe said he is today.  But, he admitted to years of dishonesty and crimes.
 
 
 
A Cattaraugus County woman faces several charges -- including a couple of Felonies -- for alleged Welfare Fraud...  
 
Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 42 year-old Linda Tally is accused of falsely claiming another person was living in her household, which resulted in her fraudulently receiving just over $3,411.  Tally, who turned herself in last Monday, faces felony charges of third-degree welfare fraud and grand larceny and four counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.  She is to appear in Olean City Court next Tuesday morning. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 7, 2018

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday morning... 
 
That from the National Weather Service office in Buffalo's Dan Kelly who says the Southern Tier may see between four and eight inches of snow throughout the day. Kelly says that snowfall today will be wet and heavy in comparison to lake effect snow. 
 
Kelly says the bulk of snowfall will be late-morning on with an inch per hour expected. Additionally, travel conditions will be difficult during the morning and evening commutes. Kelly urged drivers to take caution and allow for extra time to reach your destination as snow-slick roads could cause slippery spots and reduced visibility of a quarter-mile or less.
 
 
 
A resident's group that's opposed to re-opening of the former Jones-Carroll Landfill in the town of Carroll is hosting a joint legislative hearing with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and Sealand Waste tonight in Frewsburg...  
 
Town Supervisor Jack Jones, Junior says the Carroll concerned Citizens will hold the meeting at 6 p.m. in the Frewsburg High School auditorium, to outline it's opposition to the latest proposal by Sealand Waste to obtain permits to operate the Jones-Carroll landfill.  The Carroll Town Board approved a local law in 2007 that bans any new landfills from being located in the town. 
 
 
 
The House of Representatives has released a spending plan includes priority legislation co-sponsored by local Congressman Tom Reed...  
 
Reed says the bill, will fund the federal government through March 23, temporarily preventing another shutdown.  The legislation includes the extension of four health care programs which Reed says are critical to his district.  They include two programs for Medicare Dependent and Low Volume hospitals.
 
Reed says another one of the programs is the Special Diabetes Program.  The Corning Republican, who co-chairs the Diabetes Caucus with Democrat Diane Dugette, has been working to ensure that program was also prioritized.  Reed says the program will continue for two more years to help all Americans, including the Native American population.  He adds the plan would fully fund the nation's military through the end of this year.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
The state is getting closer to a goal of providing broadband internet to every corner of New York by the end of this year...  
 
That from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who was in northern New York late last week to announce the start of the third and final round of the program bringing access to high-speed internet.  The Democrat announced in Plattsburgh that nearly $210-million dollars in state funding will provide more than 120,000 homes, business and institutions with broadband, closing the final gap.  The program was launched in 2015.
 
 
 
An arbitration panel will begin meeting in Jamestown next week to begin work on ending a two-year impasse between the city and it's policement's union...  
 
Mayor Sam Teresi says the three-member panel will begin meeting next Monday morning, February 12 at 10 a.m. to begin work on imposing a contract on the city and the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association.  Teresi told City Council Monday night that the union's most recent contract with the city expired at the end of 2015 and, it filed paperwork for arbitration last year.
 
Teresi says each side has named it's representative for the panel.  He says the city will be represented by City Clerk Todd Thomas, who is also an attorney by trade.  The Kendall Club will be represented by Albany Attorney John Crotty.  The third and neutral member of the panel is a long-time, state arbitrator Howard Foster of Buffalo.  If the first day doesn't produce a final resolution, Teresi says there will be a second day of arbitration talks on Tuesday, February 13.  In New York state, only public safety contracts for police and fire unions can go to arbitration.
 
 
 
The Post-Journal reports the motion was made by Public Defender Ned Barone last week in the re-trail of 20 year-old Justin Haffa, who is accused of attacking and trying to kill Sheriff's Deputy Sara Cunningham on September 11 of 2016...  
 
At issue is a reported conversation between Cunningham and District Attorney Patrick Swanson about a follow-up visit she had with her doctor after the incident, which occured on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret.  That conversation took place between the first and second trials.  Barone made several motions regarding potential Brady violations, which were denied by Judge David Foley.  The newspaper reports Foley expressed concern with how the prosecution represented itself. Jurors return today as summations begin. 
 
 
 
A lobbyist testifying at the bribery trial of a former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he helped arrange a consulting job for the aide's wife with a client who needed help from the state...  
 
Todd Howe testified Tuesday in Manhattan federal court against ex-aide Joseph Percoco, his longtime friend.  Howe started the day talking about how he helped arrange the job for Percoco's wife.  Percoco has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted $300,000 in bribes to help three businessmen get favors from the state.  Prosecutors say Percoco and Howe used the word "ziti" as code to refer to bribe payments.  Howe pleaded guilty to crimes including bribery and corruption and is testifying as the government's chief witness.  Percoco's lawyer says Howe is lying to get leniency instead of decades in prison.
 
 
 
There are more New Yorkers than ever are signed up for health coverage under the state's health insurance marketplace...  
 
State health officials say 4.3-million New Yorkers are now enrolled through the marketplace following the end of open enrollment on Wednesday.  That's an increase of 700-thousand from 2017.  Of the total 4.3 million, nearly 3-million are signed up for Medicaid.  Another 740,000 are enrolled in the state's Essential Plan for low income individuals.  More than 253,000 people are covered by a qualified health plan, and more than half of those received some financial assistance. 
 
 
 
New York's Marist College has revoked an honorary degree it awarded to former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly in 2001...  
 
Marist's trustees cited accusations of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment in a statement about O'Reilly posted Sunday on the college website.  O'Reilly was fired from Fox in April.  The New York Times reported in October that he had reached a $32-million settlement with a former Fox analyst over sexual harassment allegations.  O'Reilly has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 6, 2018

A city man is in custody on Felony arson charges after turning himself into Jamestown Police Monday morning.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson, who says 31 year-old David Wright faces two counts each of second-degree arson and second-degree criminal mischief...
 
Samuelson says the charges come after Jamestown Police and Fire Departments' arson investigators determined the cause of two separate fires -- the first at 12 Mount Vernon Place in November 2017-- and, the second at 24 Philips Street on January 19.  He says the joint investigation showed both were intentionally set.. and, that Wright set them.  Wright reportedly lived at both residences at the time of the fires.  He was being arraigned late yesterday morning and, will be sent to the county jail pending further court action.
 
 
 
A Westfield woman is accused of prostitution in her home for several months late last year...  
 
Sheriff's Deputies say they arrested 35 year-old Amy Figueroa of Nichols Avenue after they looked into "ongoing suspicious activity" from last September through December.  Officers say they arrested her without incident just before Noon Monday.  Deputies say Figueroa was issued an appearance ticket for Westfield Village Court for prostitution and will appear in court at a later date and time.
 
 
 
The city of Jamestown now has a state-approved program in place that allows local residents to buy vacant or condemned properties to fix up and live in and save on property taxes...  
 
City Development Director Vince DeJoy told City Council members last night that the city's 11-year Property Tax Abatement Program is now up and running, and people can apply on-line, or in person.  DeJoy says the person buying the home must also live in it.  He says the on-line, or hard copy form will ask the homeowner a series of questions about their plans for the property.
 
During the first year of home ownership, DeJoy says there would be no taxes paid to the city or chautauqua County.  After that, the taxes paid will steadily increase through the 11th year.  Mayor Sam Teresi says realistically, they're hoping that they may have two or three such projects undertaken each year to help get properties back on the tax roles and lessen the city's cost for demolitions.  He adds, though, that not all vacant and condemned properties in the city are going to be "candidates" for this program.
 
 
  
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he feels optimistic that New York state may take some action to allow institutions of higher learning to taylor their training programs for local industry...  
 
County Executive George Borrello says, in talking with local industrial leaders during his business visits in the county, he's learned that workforce training is the biggest issue they face right now.  Borrello adds that he brought that up to a member of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration; he says they are looking into that.
 
Borrello says he met earlier with officials at both Jamestown Community College and the SUNY College at Fredonia about tayloring their programs and found their hands are tied by requirements of the state's Board of Regents.  He says it got their attention, especially when he noted that SKF officials said it happens in other states where they do business.  Borrello has now visited 30 businesses in the first 30 days of his administration.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
 
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce presented its annual 'Salute to the Finest' awards Monday night...  
 
The 'Pride of Jamestown Award' went to the Babe Ruth World Series Committee.  the group has brought 16 World Series events to Jamestown since 1980, with another one set for August of this year.   Accepting the award was Vice-President and Public Relations Director Kim Eklund.  The 'Community Service Award' went to John Williams, the City of Jamestown's Parks Manager; he's had a twenty year career with the city.
 
The James Prendergast Library was given the 'Service to Humanity Award.'  Director Tina Scott was particularly grateful, as the library has faced some difficult times.  Crown Street Roasting was named New Business of the Year.  Justin Hanft of the Education Coalition was named Young Business Leader of the Year.  Forte' received the Restaurant of the Year Award.  Anderson Precision Tool, a 125 year old business in Jamestown, was recognized as Manufacturer of the Year.  Honest John's Pizza and Wings was named Business of the Year.  The awards were presented at Shawbucks Restaurant.  
 
 
 
Bon-Ton Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection...  
 
The department store chain filed Sunday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Delaware.  Several dozen retailers including Toys R Us, and Payless ShoeSource, have filed for reorganization over the past year as shoppers abandon traditional stores.  Bon-Ton has been hurt by shoppers' changing behavior, and its $1-billion in debt gives it less flexibility to invest in stores and online.  The company, which operates 260 stores -- including one in Lakewood -- saw holiday sales at established stores fall 2.9%.  However, the company says its stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms will operate as usual during the restructuring.
 
 
 
The comments continue to go back-and-fourth about the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Routes 20 and 60 in the north county town of Pomfret.  Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis says there have been a high number of crashes at that busy intersection and the data backs the need for a change....
 
Dr. Landis says engineers with the state Department of Transportation indicate that the use of raised medians along with the roundabout would eliminate the need for left-hand turns, which she says is the main cause of the crashes.  Landis says data shows left-turns-- not speed-- is at issue with vehicles going to and leaving businesses.  Not everyone is on board with use of a roundabout, including some of the businesses at the intersection.  A trustee, Doug Essek, launched an online petition drive opposing the roundabout.  The State DOT announced in late January the released of a report on the project and a public comment period that will last about two weeks.
 
 
 
A woman living at a farm in the Cattaraugus County town of Ashford that was the scene of an animal seizure earlier this year has been arrested for animal cruelty...
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say 60 year-old Connie Lipka faces five counts of cruelty to animals -- an unclassified misdemeanor and five more cruelty counts that are Class "A" misdemeanors.  Deputies say an investigation by the Sheriff's office and Cattaraugus County SPCA found that Lipka failed to provide sufficient food, clean water, and shelter for her five goats.  The animals were surrendered, and taken for evaluation and medical treatment.  Officers say the arrest occured late last week after a nearly month-long investigation.  Others animals were seized from the property last month.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 5, 2018

A Jamestown man has been arrested on several Felony charges following a domestic violence incident late last week on the city's westside...  
 
City police were called to the scene at a location on West Fourth Street about 8 p.m. last Friday and found that 56-year-old Randy Harrington, Senior allegedly threatened and restrained a female victim.  Officers say there was also a valid order of protection for Harrington to stay away from the victim.  Police found Harrington and he was arrested without incident.  He is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal contempt, Aggravated Family Offense, second-degree unlawful imprisonment and third-degree menacing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
 
A New York state Surpreme Court Judge has dismissed the case of an out-of-state company looking to build a cellphone tower in the village of Lakewood...  
 
In a printed release last weekend, Mayor Cara Birritierri noted that Judge Frank Sedita agreed that Up State Tower lacked the standing to challenge local laws regarding the siting of such towers.  The case began in June of 2016 when the village board adopted a Local Law regulating the siting of cell towers, which was designed to limit commercial towers to property that would have minimum impacts on the community.  It also puts the responsibility for paying the cost for evaluating the necessity of the towers, and their proposed heights, on the developer.  Late last month, Birritierri says Judge Sedita resoundingly rejected the challenges by UpState Tower to the Village's local laws, and dismissed the case.
 
 
 
Leaking water from snow melt at the end of January has damaged the console of Chautauqua Institution's nearly 111 year-old Massey Memorial Organ...
 
However, officials at Chautauqua Institution say no other parts of the organ were damaged and, a replacement for the console should be in place in plenty of time for the 2018 season.  That from Chautauqua's Communications Director, Jordan Steves, who says a routine inspection late last month revealed the leak had gotten into the console's four Ivory keyboards.
 
Steves says their experts were on scene last Friday and Saturday.  Steves says they are still trying to determine the cause of the leak; he says their personnel, contractors and engineers will look further into the matter, and take steps to make sure "this doesn't happen again."  The 1907 Massey Memorial Organ is at the heart of the institution's amphitheater, which was recently rebuilt.  The organ was in storage backstage for the Winter when the leak occured.  The organ's last full restortation was in the 1990s.
 
 
 
The attempted murder trial of a Buffalo-area man is facing a potential mistrial over whether the prosecution in the case turned over information to the defense...  
 
The Post-Journal reports the motion was made by Public Defender Ned Barone yesterday in the retrial of 20 year-old Justin Haffa, who is accused of attacking and trying to kill Sheriff's Deputy Sara Cunningham on September 11 of 2016.  At issue is a reported conversation between Cunningham and District Attorney Patrick Swanson about a follow-up visit she had with her doctor after the incident.  After the defense rested in the case, Judge David Foley said that he would rule on a motion for a mistrial on Monday.
 
 
 
A second Chautauqua County native was among the 200-plus graduates honored last week from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy...  
 
The State Police press release also lists 24-year-old Dalton Walsh of Stockton, who has been assigned to State Police Troop "C" in the Binghamton area for his 10 weeks of training.  He'll join Jamestown Police Chief, Harry Snellings son, Sean, in training there.  During a recent interview, Walsh said it's a "great honor" to be a state trooper.
 
Walsh says he "looks forward" to 'selflessly serving' the people of New York state to on the job and moving up the ladder in the State Police ranks'.  Before joining State Police, Walsh was an officer for two years with the Secret Service, and he had been assigned to the White House.  Walsh and the other new troopers will begin their field duty on Monday.
 
 
 
Two teenagers from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly hosting a loud party on the city's eastside early last Saturday morning and becoming combative with police...  
 
City police were called to the scene at 321 Allen Street shortly after 1 a.m. for a complaint of loud music coming from the building. Officers say they made contact with 19 year-old Lastar Farmer, and a 16 year-old girl who claimed responsibility for the party.  However, as people were leaving the party, officers say the teens became disorderly, and were yelling and disturbing others.  Both females were arrested for unnecessary noise and jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
 
A new study aims to shed light on the weather phenomenon that's behind many of Buffalo's most epic snowfalls...  
 
Researchers at the University at Buffalo will focus on lake-effect snow from the past in hopes of better predicting it in the future as the Earth warms.  Lake-effect snow occurs when cold winds flow over warmer water - in this case, the Great Lakes - fueling intense bands of moisture that can quickly dump feet of snow on a single location.  U.B. researchers are developing tools to look at whether snowfall was heavier 10,000 years ago, when the Earth was warmer.  They'll seek clues in hydrogen atoms found in the remains of ancient leaves buried at the bottom of ponds and lakes.
 

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News Update for Sat., Feb. 3, 2018

Snowmelt damages keyboards on Chautauqua Institution's 1907 Massey Organ...
Water from melting snow has damaged one of the world's largest outdoor pipe organs -- the 111-year-old Massey Memorial Organ -- at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.  However... officials say they expect to have it's console restored in time for the 2018 season at the summer arts and religious retreat.  The 1907 Massey Memorial Organ is at the heart of the institution's amphitheater, which was recently rebuilt.  President Michael Hill says a routine inspection this past week revealed that a leak from melting snow permeated a protective covering and made its way into the organ's wooden console and its four ivory keyboards while the unit was stored backstage.  Chautauqua Spokesman Jordan Steves tells Media One Group News today that they've had their experts in to to look at the keyboards, and, begin work to replace them.  However... he says the organ's pipework and other systems were unaffected.  More on this story Monday.
 

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News Headlines for Sat. Feb. 3, 2018

Gunderson says Comedy Center very excited to get Berman archives...
The head of the National Comedy Center says they are excited to have received another archive from one of comedy's most-prolific stand-up comedians.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they officially took over the archives of Shelly Berman... who died last Sept. 1 at age 92... in California this past Wednesday.  Gunderson says the best part of getting Berman's artifacts is they're like a "mini time-machine."  She says the archives include memories of the "last 70 years of American comedy..." including stand-up, theater, and television.  Gunderson says there are a "few notable" items included in the archives... such as the stool that Berman used when he was on tour... and, another is his two "gold" records.  That includes the first album to ever win a grammy.  While it's still to be determined... Gunderson says the National Comedy Center is excited to display Berman's gold records in their "awards and distinctions area."  The National Comedy Center is to open its doors during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August. 
 
 
Snellings proud of son graduating State Police Academy -- and with honors...
The son of Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings is at the top of the class among the just over 200 graduates of this year's New York state Police Academy.  Chief Snellings was in Albany Wednesday for his son, Sean's graduation.  It's the first step towards his formal training and assignment.  Harry Snellings says the graduation was a "great event..." and he is very proud of him.  He says Sean was also tops in two other areas...he was also there for the presentation of his Troopers shield on Tuesday.  The elder Snellings says Sean also topped his class in marksmanship, and physical fitness training.  Chief Snellings says Sean had been considering a police career for a few years... but, actually had been working in banking in the Buffalo-area when he finally decided to make the change... and, the opportunity presented itself.  He says Sean considered the Jamestown Police Department... but, finally decided he wanted to be a state Trooper.  Snellings says Sean will now move onto his 10-weeks of formal training with the State Police at Troop "C" in Binghampton.  After that... he'll be assigned to another barracks in Troop "C." 
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly threatening another person...
A Jamestown man is jailed for damaging property property, and allegedly threatening to kill another person during a domestic incident last Thursday afternoon.  City police were called to 51 Glasgow Ave. shortly before 4:30 p.m. for an earlier incident reported at 54 McKinley Ave.  Officers say investigation found that the suspect -- 41 year-old Frank Bindics, Sr. -- was additionally in violation of a Order of Protection.  Bindics was charged with first-degree criminal contempt, felony aggravated family offense... fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harrassment.  He's being held in City jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
Apthorpe feels all State School Aid should be foundation -- or discretionary...
It's time to give local school districts the funding they need according to the state aid formulas... and, get the politicians out of it.  Those are the feelings of Jamestown School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe... who says it's nice that Jamestown is getting a $4.1-million increase in aid.  However... Apthorpe says -- given his experiences with several districts over three decades -- the western New York region gets the short end of the stick.  He says he doesn't mind other districts having "equestrian" programs... but, don't ask for state funding for it.  He says children in New York state have a constitutional right to a "sound, basic education..." that includes reading, writting and arithmatic.  Apthorpe says he supports the idea of making all state aid foundation aid that local schools can use as they see fit. 
 
 
Jamestown native has front-row seat for Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day...
A Jamestown native was among the throng of thousands on hand early yesterday morning when Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa.  Betsy Wolfe now lives in Dallas, Texas, and is the daughter of John and Margie Fuchs of Jamestown.  Betsy says she was able to get VIP passes... which allowed her to have a front-row view of the show.  She says it was very cold... but, not overly Wintry.  She says there was just a little snow falling at times, but, it was very cold.  Wolfe traveled to Punxsatawney Thursday... and, having a VIP Pass... was able to have a picture taken with Phil.  She arrived at Gobbler's Knob about 3:30 this morning... and, spoke with our Dennis Webster shortly before 7:30 when Phil's prediction was read.  He did see his shadow... meaning six more weeks of Winter.  While the crowd was vocal... Wolfe says it was well behaved. 
 
 
Dunkirk Dave predicts early Spring...
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania's famous groundhog emerged from his burrow yesterday morning and predicted six more weeks of winter.  But despite sub-zero windchills, Dunkirk Dave had a different outlook...he apparently didn't see his shadow and predicted an early spring.  The announcement was made by Lieutenant Govenor Kathy Hochul who made a special visit to the Dunkirk area to attend the event held each year at the home of Dunkirk Dave's handler Bob Will.

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 2, 2018

 
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says unfunded mandates continue to be a concern for county officials from across the state...  
 
Borrello is back from the annual New York State Association of Counties conference in Albany.  He says one of the biggest issues are the costs that will be associated with Raise the Age, the increase in the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  Borrello says the biggest concern is about who will be paying the tab.
 
Another concern is the impasse between the State and the Seneca Nation of Indians.  Borrello says NYSAC passed a resolution, urging the state to move as quickly as possible to resolve the impasse.  This was Borrello's first conference as county executive and called it a great experience. He was one of 17 county executives attending the meeting that was held in Albany.
 
 
 
A new institution in Jamestown dedicated to the art and legacies of comedy has received the archive of modern stand-up comedian Shelley Berman...  
 
The National Comedy Center announced Thursday that they received the gift from Shelley Berman's wife, Sarah, on Tuesday.  The archive was collected and stored in Berman's office and contains photographs, scripts and rare footage and audio of his work in stand-up.  Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says it includes television and comedy-writing work spanning from the 1940s to the 2010s.  Artifacts also include two of Berman's albums and the trademark stool, which he used on-tour during his routines.  Gunderson says the National Comedy Center is honored to be the institution to house Shelley's archive. The center is to open it's doors during the 2018 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August. 
 
 
 
Another 200-plus troopers have joined the ranks of the New York State Police...  
 
A graduation ceremony was held Wednesday at the Empire State Plaza in Albany for 208 new members of the state police.  It was the 206th class to graduate from the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy in Albany.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at the graduation ceremony and state police Superintendent George Beach, II welcomed the graduates to the ranks.
 
 
 
The $23-million expansion project at UPMC Chautauqua WCA is being supported by a$ 26.4-million grant awarded by the state Department of Health in March of 2016... 
 
Operations Director Cecil Miller says the General Contractor is LeChase Construction from the Buffalo-area, which has been involved in several health care projects through the years.  Milller adds, though, that several of the sub-contractors are local.  
 
Miller says there was also a goal -- because state funding is involved -- to have 30% of the expansion projects contracts go to women and minority-owned businesses; he says they are "very close" to that goal right now.  He adds that the out-patient and emergency parking lot will remain closed for about another year, but adds their free valet service has been working out well.
 
 
 
Progress is being made as the TLC Health Network and Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk continue the process toward a merger of the two health systems...  
 
That from Michael Hughes, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff for Kaleida Health.  Hughes says TLC has achieved a major milestone and is exiting bankruptcy.  He says that enabled the hospital based in Irving to sign a management agreement. Hughes says work continues on a new facility for Brooks Memorial at a location off Route 20 in the town of Pomfret.  He says they have selected a construction manager and are going through some of the preliminary construction planning.  Hughes says they anticipate the merger between TLC and Brooks within a few months.  
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated almost three-times the legal limit on Wednesday...  
 
State Police say they responded to a complaint of an erratically-driving vehicle and pulled over 50 year-old Michelle Hilton on State Route 430 in Greenhurst.  Troopers say Hilton provided a breath sample of 0.21 and was additionally charged with possession of marijuana after Troopers found a pipe in her coat and a canister of marijuana inside her vehicle.  Hilton is scheduled to appear in the town of Ellery Court on a later date to answer the charges. 

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News Bulletin for Thurs., Feb. 1, 2018

(News Bulletin)National Comedy Center receives Shelley Berman Archives...

A Jamestown institution dedicated to the art of comedy has received the archive of modern stand-up comedian Shelley Berman. The National Comedy Center announced they received the gift from Shelley Berman's wife Sarah on Tuesday. The archive was collected and stored in Berman's office and contains photographs, scripts... and rare footage and audio of his work in stand-up... television and comedy-writing spanning from the 1940s to the 2010s. Also included in the archive are two of Berman's albums and the trademark stool... which he used on-tour during his routines. Executive Director of the National Comedy Center Journey Gunderson says the National Comedy Center is honored to be the institution to house Shelley's archive. The National Comedy Center is slated to open its doors during the 2018 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August.  We talk directly with Gunderson tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 1, 2018

An apparent equipment failure triggered a just over day-long power outage that affected nearly 1,500 National Grid Company customers in the towns of Chautauqua and Ellery...  
 
That from National Grid Spokesman Dave Bertola, who says the outage began about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday at a substation in the town of Chautauqua.  Bertola says crews restored power about 10:30 Wednesday morning. The Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services is reminding those affected by the outage to check their homes for any burst water pipes or flooded basements due to sump pump failures.  Director John Griffith is also urging residents to look out for the possibility of electric shock due to electrical contact with water. 
 
 
 
Finding emergency shelter was important to National Grid Company once Tuesday's outage occured around the northern end of Chautauqua Lake...  
 
Customers affected were in the Hartfield, Dewittville, Maple Springs and Ellery areas... who lost their electricity just before 10 a.m. Tuesday.  American Red Cross Spokesman Jay Bonafede says volunteers helped to staff a warming station in Mayville.  Bonafede says they were contacted by the county Office of Emergency Services to provide the centers.  He says one person spent Tuesday night at the shelter, and two additional people checked in Wednesday morning. 
 
 
 
The state plans to provide every inmate with a free computer tablet from a Florida-based company that provides services to prison systems...  
 
The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says Wednesday that the approximately 51,000 inmates in 54 prisons will be eligible to receive one of the portable personal computers being provided to the state by Miami-based JPay Inc. at no cost to taxpayers.  DOCCS officials say the tablets will come pre-loaded with educational material.  However, the devices won't be able to access the internet.
 
 
 
Emergency rooms across Chautauqua County-- and the nation-- have been very busy in recent weeks with people who have come down with the flu, or are showing flu-like symptoms...  
 
That from UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital Medical Director of Occupational Services, Dr. Todd Jacobson.  Dr. Jacobson says they've especially seen an uptick in the number of cases coming through their doors over the past two to three weeks. 
 
Jacobson says this year's flu is the H3-N2 strain of the virus, which is the worst seen in the past 10 to 15 years.  He says the early signs can be similar to a cold, but he says this will be accompanied by a fever.  Jacobson says it starts with a cough, sore throat, and muscle and head aches with a 100 to 101-degree fever.  He says this strain of the flu is especially a problem for the very young, and the very old among the population.  He says if you -- or a loved one -- are exhibiting such symptoms, contact your family doctor.
 
 
 
Prevention can play a big role in determining whether or not you end up with the flu this season...  
 
First of all, Dr. Todd Jacobson says -- if you haven't received one yet -- you can still get the flu shot.  While it's only been found to be 30% effective this year in combating the flu virus, Jacobson says it can help lessen the severity of the flu.  He adds there are a few other things you can do, including wearing a surgical mask.
 
Jacobson says surgical masks can be found in several places, namely drug stores.  He says taking Tamiflu during the early stages of the flu can also help lessen the virus's severity.  While there have been shortages of Tamilflu in some places across the United States, Jacobson says it has not been an issue around the Jamestown-area.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman has been following developments in the wake of a train striking a dump truck in Virginia that was taking members of the House Republican Caucus to a retreat...  
 
House member Tom Reed was NOT on the Amtrak Train, which was traveling to West Virginia shortly after Noon Wednesday.  He tells CNN that he's been in contact with members of the caucus who were on the train, adding that "all reports are the situation is under control" and, there were "no reports of serious injuries" on the train.  However, one person in the truck died.  Reed was back in the 23rd District, speaking from Ithaca.
 
 
 
Education leaders from across New York made their case Wednesday for more money from the state next year...  
 
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and New York City Chancellor Carmen Farina are among those who testified before a joint legislative hearing on Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal.  Also scheduled to appear were leaders of the biggest teachers unions, as well as superintendents or representatives from the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers school districts.  Cuomo has proposed a $769-million increase in school aid.  That's less than the Board of Regents' recommendation for a $1.6-billion bump.  Other groups say even more is needed. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 14, 2018

The Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office and not the New York State Attorney General's Office will lead the investigation into Monday's police involved shooting at 76 Liberty Stree...

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