WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Nov. 21, 2017

The Jamestown City Council is faced with two options to close a nearly one-million dollar projected shortfall in Mayor Sam Teresi's 2018 budget proposal. 
 
That was the general feeling of the three people who addressed Council during it's required public hearing on Teresi's $35.7-million proposal last night.  On the one hand, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says there are a number of resources the city should be using to bring in more commercial and industrial development.
 
Tranum says the city needs a long-term plan to "grow" a tax base that will bring in more revenue to Jamestown.  From the other side retired Board of Public Utilities employee Doug Champ says the city needs to look at cutting costs and again proposed moving the stormwater improvement, and leaf collection program to the BPU. 
 
The city council will now consider the input offered at the hearing and, other meetings and, consider changes to the budget proposal, which is to be voted on by next Monday night. 
 
 
One of the big items that city lawmakers are waiting to hear about for next year's budget is whether the state will again be able to help plug that $947,000 shortfall. 
 
That from Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce, who says he understands the concerns about the City Council following the charter.  However, Dolce says they are not violating the city's guidelines in how they put the budget together last year and, this year.
 
If the state does help cover the entire cost, while the city continues a restructuring plan that's been underway, that gives them more time to get those pieces in place.  If not, he says they'll have to look elsewhere for help and, may again have to start the new year with a deficit-budget. 
 
Mayor Sam Teresi was in Albany last week and, met with state officials about the city's fiscal problems.
 
 
Last Saturday night's armed robbery and shooting at a home on Jamestown's eastside was not a random act. 
 
That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson, who says police are still looking for the two suspects who allegedly broke into the home at 533 East Fifth Street and, robbed the occupants before shooting one of them. 
 
Samuelson says they were called to the scene shortly after 8 p.m., and a male victim was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for a wound to the abdomen.  Samuelson says he was later transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.
 
Samuelson says the victim is cooperating but, would not say what was taken during the robbery.  He adds that anyone who may have information on the suspects to this incident or their whereabouts should call Jamestown Police at 483-7537 or their anonymous tips line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477. 
 
You can also contact their Tip 4-1-1 App and, police say all calls and tips will be kept confidential.  
 
 
A Sherman man is jailed on $75,000 bail after a recent raid at his home led to discovery of a methamphetamine lab and two weapons. 
 
Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, and Sheriff's Department SWAT team, executed a search warrant at 170 Park Street and, had a vaild arrest warrant for the occupant. 
 
Task Force agents say 42 year-old Edwin Hannold, Junior was wanted for fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  A search of the home led officers to seize a quantity of cash, a large amount of Meth and methamphetamine oil. 
 
They also found the meth lab and a shotgun and a rife.  Hannold was arraigned and sent to the County Jail and he faces additional possession charges including fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
 
 
A Jamestown man was arrested for violating Leandra's Law and endangering the welfare of two children after allegedly driving while toxicated almost twice the legal limit on Saturday.
 
State Police say they received a complaint of an erratically driving vehicle in southern Chautauqua County and stopped the suspected vehicle on Buffalo Street Extension in Jamestown after observing similar violations.
 
The driver, identified as 37 year-old Jason Green was arrested after failing several sobriety tests during the stop. While in custody, Green provided a breath sample of 0.15. He is scheduled to appear in the Town of Ellicott Court on a later date to answer charges. The children were turned over to a relative at the scene.
 
 
Jamestown-area residents are being urged to contact local law enforcement if there is no animal control officer to deal with possible animal cruelty cases. 
 
That in the wake of Jamestown firefighters rescuing two dogs from a house fire late last week and, City police arrested three of the occupants.  While speaking with Dennis Webster Monday, Chautauqua County Humane Society Executive Director Kellie Roberts says that the county does not have a Humane Officer but, adds you can still contact local police.
 
Roberts says the Humane Society is part of the second step and, would aid in removing animals should such a situation arise.  She says they can provide needed food and sheltering, and take pictures to assist in an investigation. 
 
Roberts also says that the Humane Society has resources for folks who need help caring for their own pets, including those who may be struggling financially or those who may need information on pet training.  She adds that CCHS is there to take in animals, but if they are in a loving and caring home already, they are there to offer a helping hand to keep them with their owners. 
 
 
An upstate New York woman says in a federal lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by a state employee, and the governor knew and did nothing to stop it. 
 
The governor's office denies the allegations.  Lisa Marie Cater says former Empire State Development Corporation Regional President William "Sam" Hoyt helped her get a job at the department of motor vehicles, and then used that as an excuse to harass and assault her, starting in 2015.  She says he would call, text and email her inappropriately.  She says he sent her a nude image and groped her.  She says she tried to report the abuse. 
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said it launched investigations after the office received allegations in October 2016.  Hoyt resigned Oct. 30. His lawyer told the New York Post that his client denied the allegations.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Nov. 20, 2017

The Southern Tier has seen it's first measurable snowfall of the season.
 
Bob Hamiliton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says since the Winter Weather Advisory was put into place, snowfall amounts "worked out perfect". Adding that by looking at the web cameras, 2 to 5 inches were seen on grassy, higher elevations while there was little snow on the road.
 
Hamilton says the we can expect to see another inch or so today. The Winter Weather Advisory was lifted earlier this morning for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Wyoming, and Southern Erie Counties. 
 
 
Snow-slicked roads on Sunday are being blamed, at least in part, for a one-car, rollover crash in the town of Stockton. 
 
Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene on the South Stockton-Cassadaga Road just after 2 p.m. to investigate.  Officers say they found the teenage male driver was southbound when the car began sliding on the snowy pavement, and he couldn't regain control. 
 
Deputies say the car went into a ditch on the side of the road, and overturned before coming to rest on it's roof.  The operator was evaluated at the scene by an ambulance crew.  He was not identified.  No charges have been filed.
 
 
City police are looking for two black men who allegedly broke into a home on Jamestown's eastside last Saturday night, and robbed the occupants before shooting one of them. 
 
City Police were called to the scene at 533 East Fifth Street shortly after 8 PM on a report of shots being fired.  On arrival, officers learned the two men had committed a home invasion-robbery in which a male victim was shot in the abdomen. 
 
Investigators are looking for the two men, who reportedly entered the home wearing dark-colored hooded sweatshirts, and, robbed the occupants before shooting the male victim and running off.  The gun-shot victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, and was later transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for further treatment. 
 
Anyone who may have information on the suspects is asked to contact Jamestown Police at 483-7537 or their anonymous tips line at 483-TIPS.  You can also contact their Tip 4-1-1 App and, police say all calls and tips will be kept confidential.  
 
 
One person has been killed in a single-car accident in the Cattaraugus County Town of Salamanca. 
 
Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to the scene on Old Route 17 shortly before Midnight Saturday, and found the vehicle involved had crossed the center-line, and struck a tree. 
 
Deputies say the force of the crash caused a passenger in the car to be ejected from the vehicle, and that person was pronounced dead at the scene.  No names have been released, and the investigation into the accident is continuing.
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's excited that the House has approved it's tax reform package and says, if asked he would serve on the conference committee to reconcil their bill with the Senate's version. 
 
Speaking shortly after the House approved it's measure, Reed pushed for a conference committee of House and Senate members to hash-out a final bill for both chambers.  The Senate has yet to vote on it's version of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.
 
Reed, who co-authored a measure to keep a local and state property tax deduction up to $10,000 in the House bill, reiterated that the Senate measure must include that.  He adds there are a couple of other deductions he would like to see reinstated once the two measures go to conference. 
 
Those are the student loan and, Medical expense deductions.  Reed says the House plan would save the average taxpayer in the Western Southern Tier $1,600 a year.  He also rejected the argument that while the proposal would provide little tax savings to the middle-class but, a huge windfall to American corporations. 
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says it's "troublesome" to see sexual assault and harassment allegations against one U.S. Senator and a current candidate for the Senate. 
 
The Corning Republican weighed in on the allegations against Minnesota Democrat Al Franken and, Alabama Republican candidate Roy Moore. 
 
Reed, who has supported legislation in the wake of a niece who was sexually assaulted, says it's difficult to hear the allegations against Franken.
 
Reed has been part of a movement called "No More," which is pushing for more awareness that problems with sexual assault remain in U.S. Society.  He also says that he "stands with the victims" and finds "their allegations credible." 
 
Franken has already apologized for his alleged actions during a USO trip overseas against a Los Angeles Radio News anchor.  Moore maintains that the allegation against him are political and never occured. 
 
Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says former Democratic President Bill Clinton should have resigned over his sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky 20 years ago. 
 
The New York Democrat made the remark in an interview with The New York Times that was published on its website Thursday after being asked if she believed Clinton should have stepped down at the time. 
 
The House in 1999 voted to impeach Clinton of perjury and obstruction of its investigation into the affair.  The Senate later acquitted him.  
 
 
New York child molestation victims are hoping the national focus on sexual misconduct allegations roiling Hollywood, the media and national politics will convince lawmakers to allow victims to sue for decades old abuse. 
 
The Child Victims Act would relax criminal and civil statutes of limitations.  The measure is backed by the Democratic-controlled Assembly and Governor Andrew Cuomo but has been repeatedly blocked by the Republican-led Senate. 
 
One of the bill's leading advocates, former competitive speed skater Bridie Farrell, says the national dialogue on sexual misconduct is empowering victims and hopefully improving the bill's chances in Albany. 
 
Farrell says she was molested by an older skater when she was a girl.  She says many people are surprised that New York has one of the nation's tightest statutes of limitations for molestation.

 

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News Update for Sat., Nov. 18, 2017

**(News Update) Infant and toddler taken from Salamanca by mothers found safe in NYC...
A nearly one-month-old, and a three-month-old child are now safe after police found them with their teenage mothers in New York City after the teens fled the city of Salamanca this morning.  Salamance City Police say they issued a missing persons alert after receiving word that 29 day-old Londyn Richardson, and 3-month old Melani Ventura, had gone missing.  Authorities then issued an Amber Alert about mid-morning... stating that both were apparently with their mothers, 18 year-old Keshauna Boggs, and 16 year-old Selena Ventura.  They were all reportedly in a 2007 model, blue car... and, were reportedly traveling east... possibly heading towards Suffolk County on Long Island.  There is no word yet on the status of both mothers, and what charges may be filed.
 
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Nov. 18, 2017

Lake Effect Snow expected by early Sunday morning in WNY...
Expect some roller-coaster type weather heading through today and tomorrow morning.  First off... we'll see a warm up...followed by a cool down complete with lake effect snow.  Meteorologist Aaron Reynolds of the National Weather Service says ahead of the cold front, there will be a southerly flow of mild and very moist air.  Reynold says we'll have some brief rain and warmer temperatures for today... but, behind it, a cold front will move in, and we'll begin to see some lake effect snow late tonight.  Some areas could see 6 to 8 inches of snow by early Monday.  The cold front could trigger some thunderstorms late today before the colder air moves in.  No warnings or watches have been issued yet, but Reynolds says you will want to stay updated on the latest weather forecasts since rapid changes are expected late today into tomorrow.  
 
 
Amber Alert put in place for two young children allegedly abducted in Salamanca...
Police across western New York are looking for two small children who were allegedly abducted by their mothers in the Cattaraugus County city of Salamanca early this morning.  Salamanca Police says they believe both are endangered, and have issued an Amber Alert for both.  Police say they believe 18 year-old Keshauna Boggs allegedly grabbed her daughter... 29 day-old Londyn Richardson... about 6:30 this morning.  Officers believe that Boggs and her daughter are traveling with 16 year-old Selena Ventura... who took her 3-month-old daughter, Melani, and fled about the same time.  The mothers and daughters are African-American.  If you have any information on the vehicle, Ventura and Boggs, or their children... you are asked to contact Salamanca Police... or your local agency.  Police say the four may be traveling towards Suffolk County on Long Island.
 
 
Local Humane Society puts out alert on animal cruelty after this week's Mt. Vernon Place fire...
After a toy poodle and another dog were rescued from a house fire on Moutn Vernon Street in Jamestown... the Chautauqua County Humane Society is reminded local residents to contact local authorities if they are aware of any situation involving animal cruelty.  Humane Society Director of Animal Services Sue Bobek says, "we offer services to local police agencies free of charge because we do not want cost to come into the equation when it comes to doing what local municipalities have to do versus the right thing to do when it comes to the well-being of the animals in these situations."  The poodle suffered from "extreme neglect" on the part of the owners.  Bobek also stresses the importance of Humane Education and says the humane society is a resource for the whole community. For more information... contact the Chautauqua County Humane Society at 665-2209. 
 
 
Horrigan touts Shared Services efforts after county receives State award...
Chautauqua County is one of four New York state municipalities that has received special recognition from the state for it's work on regional infrastructure, emergency medical services and local government reorganization.  County Executive Vince Horrigan was among five local leaders on hand in Albany this week to receive a Regional Impact Award during the Local Government Innovation Conference.  Horrigan says New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado presented the award to him, along with the head of the county's panel looking into regional solutions.  He says it was nice to receive the award with Legislator George Borrello, who chairs the county's Regional Soluctions Commission.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi... and, Westfield Mayor Michael VandeVelde were also in attendance.  The county recently awarded $50,000 to the village of Forestville and town of Hanover to help the village with unexpected expenses during it's efforts to dissolve into the town.  Horrigan says the county was also recognized for development of the North County Water District, and a county-wide EMS Plan.
 
 
City of Jamestown sees improved Sales Tax receipts in third-quarter...
Third-quarter sales tax revenues for the city of Jamestown came in better than projected for the third-quarter of this year... and, they appear to be in line to make budget for 2017.  That from City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce... who recently got the numbers from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... and, adds the city received $1.67-million between July and September.  Dolce says they saw a one-percent hike over 2016... and, now have received $4.58-million.  He says that's about 76-percent of budget... and puts them on target to make budget for this year.  Dolce says they'll need about $1.4-million to make their $6-million target for 2017.  Historically, Dolce says the city has budgeted conservatively for sales tax... and, that any additional amounts are used to offset any shortfalls in the budget.  He says the city was just under $1,600 more in revenue than they projected for the third-quarter of this year.  He adds that -- given the figures so far in 2017 -- Bellitto has also recommended there be no change to the city's sales tax budget figure for next year.
 
 
Suicide Prevention task force being created in NYS...
New York state is creating a suicide prevention task force to study ways to reduce the number of New Yorkers who take their own lives.  Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the creation of the panel earlier this year.  Late this week... the Democrat cited the recent rise in the number of suicides across the country and says New York will make prevention a "top priority."  The task force will include state mental health officials, academic researchers and representatives of non-profit community groups.  The group will examine factors that can lead people to consider suicide, with a special focus on bullying and cyberbullying. 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Nov. 17, 2017

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the Republican majority yesterday that approved the "Tax Cut and Jobs" Act in the House of Representatives. 
 
With no Democratic votes, the House approved the more than 400-page document, 227-to-205.  The measure includes four tax brackets compared to the seven that are in the current Senate bill.  The Senate has yet to act on it's measure. 
 
While House Republicans agreed to keep the highest tax bracket at 39.6-percent, Reed says most people will be taxed at the new, lower level.
 
Reed adds that what happens in the U-S Senate has yet to be determined.  However, he says he will continue to push for keeping a 10-thousand dollar deduction, at least on local and state property taxes.  The Senate bill completely eliminates the SALT provisions, and does not have the property tax deduction.
 
Reed says the process remains "dynamic" at this time.  President Donald Trump calls the House passage of the $1.5-trillion tax package "a big step'' toward delivering on the Republican Party's promise of tax cuts by year's end. 
 
Trump says he wants to deliver a final measure as a "Christmas present" to the American people.
 
 
Working smoke detectors are being credited with saving three people from flames that broke out about mid-morning Thursday on Jamestown's westside. 
 
Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 12 Mount Vernon Place about 9:15 a.m. and, found heavy smoke coming from the second-floor windows and attic area.
 
Coon says it took about 15 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says the three adults living in the house were able to get out of the home safely, thanks to the smoke detectors.  No other injuries were reported. 
 
Coon says there was no extension of the flames but, there was smoke and water damage to both floors of the house.  He says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in and, the cause remains under investigation.
 
 
Jamestown firefighters did have to rescue two pets dogs from inside the residence at 12 Mount Vernon Place and, officers have charged the three residents there with animal cruelty because one dog was found suffering from "extreme neglect." 
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the toy Poodle was found with extremely matted hair and, was covered in feces with open sores.  She also had a large cyst on it's abdomen. 
 
Samuelson says the dog was seized, and taken to a local veterinarian for treatment.  The three residents, 40 year-old Lisa Bortz, 39 year-old William Wright, and, 31 year-old David Wright, were charged with animal cruelty. 
 
That's a violation of the state's Ag and Markets Law.  They were being held pending arraignment.
 
 
County lawmakers Wednesday night also approved an amendment to the current budget for the Office of Child and Family Services custody services that are back-billed by the state to the county. 
 
The legislature voted 18-to-1 to approve paying an additional 3.8-million dollars from fund balance to cover the extra cost for the year 2015. 
 
Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro said he would vote for the measure but, expressed frustration over the fact the state gave no explanation about why the cost was doubled on the county.  He and others agreed that they should try to get the state Comptoller's Office to investigate the additional charges.  Frewsburg Republican Ron Lemon cast the lone "no" vote on the matter.
 
 
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has been re-accredited for the new year and, was recognized for that prior to Wedneday night's monthly legislature meeting. 
 
The acknowledgement came from Lakewood Republican Paul Wendel, who chairs the Public Safety Committee.  Wendel says the local department is one of a small number that has ALL the accreditations offered by the state's Law Enforcement Accredition Program.  He says there are 110 different standards involved in three areas: adminstration, training and operations.
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace and Accreditation Manager Lieutenant Kirk Lynon were on hand with the plaque they received from the state. 
 
Gerace thanked the legislature for it's on-going support of what they do and, said he's "very proud" of the men and women in his department because they meet and often exceed the highest-known standard for public safety. 
 
Gerace says when the state comes in for it's three-days to audit the department, they go through the department's files, and monitor everything done for those three-days.  Officials did note that the plaque was made up while Lyon was still a Sergeant.  He was recently promoted to at Lieutenant in the Sheriff's Department.
 
 
A city man has been arrested for drug possession for allegedly being found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside. 
 
City police say the stopped a vehicle just after 5 a.m. Thursday at the corner of King and Barrows Street and, found one of the passengers was wanted on a warrant out of Pennsylvania. 
 
Officers say they arrested 29 year-old Seneca Booth, who was found to have been in possession of a quantity of Meth and the paraphernalia.  Booth was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia and, Felony fugitive from justice.  Booth is being held pending arraignment.
 
 
An event to connect homeless and at-risk veterans with services in Buffalo, has been recognized nationally for effectively organizing a one-day "Stand Down". 
 
Today from 10 AM to 2 PM, a "Stand Down for Jamestown" will be held at the Herman Kent American Legion Post in Celoron.  U-S Marine Veteran Sean Lindstrom with the V-A Health Care for Homeless Veterans program, says bringing a Stand Down to the Southern Tier is important because some veterans who could benefit the most from services may not have the capabilities to travel to Buffalo for them.  
 
 
Manufacturing activity in New York expanded at a slower pace this month but remains at a healthy level. 
 
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says its Empire State Manufacturing Survey slid to 19.4 in November from a three-year high 30.2 last month.  But any reading over zero signals growth.  New orders grew faster this month, but shipments and hiring expanded at a slower pace. 
 
Across the United States, factories are benefiting from a strengthening global economy and from a weaker dollar, which makes U.S. products cheaper in foreign markets. 
 
The New York Fed's report adds to evidence that the U.S. economy is healthy.  Growth clocked in at a solid 3 percent annual pace from July through September.  Unemployment has dropped to 4.1 percent, close to a 17-year low.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Nov. 16, 2017

County lawmakers have approved a one-year extension with Chautauqua County's largest employees union. 
 
The county legislature last night approved the new agreement with Civil Service Employees Union-#807 Unit 6300 by a 19-0 vote.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says there is a wage increase, but adds there's also an incentive for employees to move into a lower-cost, high-deductable health insurance plan.
 
County Legislator Terry Niebel of Sheridan says he favored the contract, though it's not perfect.  Niebel noted that the CSEA did include a good-faith effort to lower their health insurance costs by going with a "Allied Health Tele-medicine" program. 
 
On the county's agreeing to support employees who move to the higher-deductable insurance, Niebel says those already on it will now be getting "a reward" for staying on it.  Horrigan says the county now has union contracts in place with all of it's bargaining units.  The current CSEA contract was to expire at the end of this year.
 
 
The legislature held a moment of silence at the start of last night's meeting in honor of Joan Glenzer, the wife of past County Executive Jack Glenzer. 
 
Joan Glenzer passed away last Thursday at an Erie, Pennsylania hospital following an extended illness.  She was 83.  Joan Glenzer was an active campaigner during her husband's two terms and, was the first woman vice-president at the SUNY College at Fredonia. 
 
Later, legislators also acknowledged the passing West Ellicott's Ben Haskins, who regularily attended legislature meetings for many years.  They also recognized the passing of Silver Creek's Laurel Hotelling.
 
 
The mayor of Jamestown should not be able to present the city council an 'unbalanced budget.' 
 
The current mayor, however, says he's not going to proposed a "gimmicky" spending plan to lawmakers that appears balanced but, has unrealistic projections. 
 
Retired Board of Public Utilities' District Heating Manager Doug Champ has gone before lawmakers on the budget the past couple of weeks and, asked the question of council when the City Charter specifically asks for a "balanced budget".
 
Mayor Sam Teresi says, the past two years, he has presented spending plans that have had $825,000 and, $947,000 deficits due to increased costs and, loss of revenue.  Teresi says he certainly strives to present a balanced budget but, adds that hasn't always been possible in current times. 
 
City lawmakers will hold it's required public hearing on the Mayor's $35.7-million spending plan at 6 p.m. next Monday night.  A vote on the budget plan will be held on Monday, November 27th.
 
 
A group of off-duty police officers in the city of Jamestown will be back in the school district soon. 
 
At Tuesday's school board meeting, Superintendent Bret Apthorpe said that the officers called "Red Shirts" were not initially covered for liability.  However he says the board has worked with the Jamestown Police-Kendall Club PBA and civil service to take on the Red Shirts as district employees.
 
Apthorpe says the Red Shirts were not seen around schools, at football games or special school events for about three weeks.  After speaking with Frank Donato at the Kendall Club, the district is hopeful to see the Red Shirts resume their shifts after Thanksgiving break. 
 
Apthorpe says the officers play a large role in the student community because they interact with the kids directly and, the students and teachers enjoy that. 
 
 
There were some anxious moments but, no one was hurt when flames engulfed a dump truck that was being used to haul corn for a local farm in the town of Busti Wednesday afternoon. 
 
Lakewood fire officials say crews were called to the scene of a fully-involved truck fire on Southwestern Drive, near Baker Street Extension about 1:30 PM. 
 
They say the driver of the Oakview Farms truck got out of the vehicle alright.  The cause remains unknown at this time.
 
 
A Silver Creek man is $3-million richer after purchasing a winning "Benjamins" scratch-off ticket during a routine stop recently for gas. 
 
Chautauqua County's newest Lottery millionaire was introduced to the media in Buffalo today with Richie Thompson purchasing his $3 milllion-winning ticket at Cave's Food Center in Forestville. 
 
Spokeswoman Yolanda Vega with the New York Lottery presented Thompson with an oversized $3-million check and she told us he is a long-time lottery player.
 
Thompson opted to receive his prize as a one-time lump sum payment. Yolanda says he plans to open up a new trucking business in his hometown area, something he had always told family members he was going to do if he won the lottery. 
 
Thompson will receive a net check totaling $1,641,000 after required withholdings.  Yolanda says she never tires of presenting the oversized checks saying that she gets "all excited and involved" in their stories. 
 
 
A Bemus Point man was arrested on a warrant for issuing a bad check for over $2,500 Monday. 
 
State Police in Jamestown say they received a complaint back in September from a local business claiming that 29 year-old Matthew Mecusker gave them a check for more than $2,500 in June that came back returned. 
 
The business told Troopers they attempted to get Mecusker to pay the balance, but were unsuccessful and reported it to authorities.  After receiving the complain, police advised Mecusker of this but, he refused to turn himself in.  He arrested and jailed pending further court action.
 
 
Warren General Hospital has announced a comprehensive affiliation agreement with three major health networks officials say will enhance access to high-quality, high value health services. 
 
Warren General Chief Executive Officer Ron Allen says it's "an exciting day" to annnounce the joint venture with Highmark, LECOM, and the Allegheny Health Network. 
 
It's a huge step for the hospital and it's considered "rare" that all three would work jointly with one provider.  Allen says they're "thrilled to be moving forward in partnership with organizations that share our values and commitment to excellence in patient care, and community focused service."

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Nov. 14, 2017

Residents of the Panama Central School district said "yes" but, in the Clymer district they said a resounding "no" to the merger process between the two districts. 
 
That means any merger of the Panama and Clymer schools is done for now. 
 
That from Bert Lictus, superintendent for both districts in the wake of yesterday's non-binding vote on moving ahead with the merger process.  LIctus was obviously disappointed but, also saw in the Clymer vote a sense that residents want to stay with the current sharing of services.
 
Lictus says he believes there were two key factors that led to the defeat in Clymer.  One was a consideration of "losing their identity" and, "finances with the state."   The vote in Clymer was 654-to-186 while the straw vote in Panama was 192 "yes" and 168 "no." 
 
In spite of the defeat, Lictus says the continued sharing of several personnel and services will continue.
 
 
Officials with the Prendergast Library and city of Jamestown last night discussed ways to help the library stay solvent in light of another, major cut in city funding to the library. 
 
Library Director Tina Scott went before the City Council to review their allocaton from the city, which is being cut in half by Mayor Sam Teresi for 2018 to $50,000. 
 
Scott says that's another huge blow to their bottom line and, adds they are also seeing stagnant or declining revenue.  She adds that they are also running out of investment income.
 
The idea of leasing out space in the Prendergast was broached by Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce.  Scott says they current have one major tenant in the building, which is the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, which oversees all local libraries. 
 
However, she says they have a 60-year lease on the addition that was added for the system's main offices.  Scott says that if they didn't have the library offices there, they wouldn't have that entity helping to pay expenses.  She says losing that tenant would increase their costs by $40,000 a year.
 
 
A man from Corry, Pennsylvania man is in the Chautauqua County Jail after allegedly leading State Police on a chase and, damaging several vehicles while under the influence of drugs in the town of Ripley last Sunday night. 
 
Troopers responded to a report of a property damage accident at the Ripley Toll Barrier just before 8:30 PM.  Prior to arrival, the suspect's vehicle left the scene in an attempt to flee. 
 
While responding to the area, Troopers located and attempted to stop the vehicle.  A pursuit was initiated after the driver refused to comply. 
 
The driver, later identified as 32 year-old Kevin Birchard, is accused of intentionally hitting five vehicles during the pursuit.  After Birchard's vehicle finally was stopped, he was taken into custody without further incident.
 
 
A teenager faces charges for an alleged burglary, using a baseball bat on Jamestown's southside yesterday afternoon. 
 
Jamestown Police say they responded to 224 Forest Avenue for a subject with a weapon.  Officers spoke with the residents and were told that a unnamed, 17 year-old male, kicked in the apartment door  and, made entry while in possession of a baseball bat.
 
While inside, the male allegedly threatened occupants of the residence and swung the bat at them.  The teen was located a short distance away and was taken to city jail pending arraignment.  No injuries were reported. 
 
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan went to Albany late Monday, where Chautauqua County will be recognized once again for its commitment to shared services. 
 
Prior to leaving, Horrigan said he and others involved in local consolidation efforts have been invited to take part in the program.
 
Meanwhile, elected officials at both the county and local level are still waiting to hear about the results of the $20-million dollar Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition.  Horrigan says he doesn't know when an announcement is expected, adding that an announcement of the winner should have already been made. 
 
However, he says it may be when other state funding is typically announced in early December.  Horrigan says a number of projects from Chautauqua County have been submitted for state Consolidated Funding Application grant monies.
 
 
The city of Jamestown's annual Christmas Tree is up on Tracy Plaza after being harvested from the playground area of Bergman Park on the city's westside. 
 
The 60-foot tall White Spruce Tree was cut down by a Parks and Recreation Crew Monday morning.
 
The Board of Public Utilities, and a crew with a flatbed truck from Lakeshore Paving also assisted the Parks crew at the park.  City Arborist Dan Stone says they appreciate the help because the park grounds were wet and muddy.
 
Stone says the tree is about 60 to 80 years-old and, is in good shape.  However, he also says the tree and it's roots were starting to encroach on the play-ground equipment and, it was going to be harvested anyway. 
 
The tree will now be decorated with some 3,000 LED lights.  The tree will be lit on Friday, December 1st to begin the annual downtown Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration.
 
 
A ground-breaking ceremony was held late Monday morning for a half million dollar project to upgrade facilities at Point Gratiot in Dunkirk. 
 
City Mayor Willie Rosas, along with other elected officials were on hand for the event.  State Senator Cathy Young couldn't attend the event but, Rosas says she played an important role in landing the funding for the project, which should update and upgrade the park for the 21st century.
 
Ed Schober of Labella Associates says the roof of every building at the park will receive some attention, including the main pavilion and the restrooms. 
 
Crews were expected to begin work right after the ground-breaking with the project expected to be completed in time for Memorial Day.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Nov. 13, 2017

A Jamestown teenager is jailed on $5,000 bail for allegedly holding a woman against her will and breaking her phone when she tried to call for help.
 
Jamestown police say they were called to 152 Baker Street for an alleged domestic incident about 3 p.m. last Saturday and, found that 19 year-old Justin Conklin had allegedly choked the victim. 
 
Police say Conklin then held the victim against a door when she tried to leave.  He was arraigned on charges of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, criminal obstruction of breathing and criminal mischief.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
It was Veteran's Day, 2017 last Saturday and, a short, solumn ceremony was held at Veteran's Park on the city of Jamestown's westside.
 
A 21-gun salute was given to conclude brief remarks at the annual program put on by the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post-53.  Post Commander J.R. Rotunda was pleased with the turn-out on a bitterly cold, November morning.
 
Rotunda says the local VFW has been doing a yearly program for the past 100 years and they use the day to honor both the fallen and, the veteran's still among us.  He says it's up to the living veterans to make sure they are honored.  Rotunda says while the program is put on by their post, it's for ALL veterans, including the younger ones returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.  
 
In addition to the program at Veteran's Park, the annual American Legion 21-gun salute and rifle volley was held at 11 this morning at the corner of Third and Main Streets.  The Jamestown High School Band played the Star Spangled Banner, and buglars played taps.  A special Veteran's Day service was also held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.  There was also a service in Celoron Saturday morning.
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of ailments that can legally be treated with medical marijuana. 
 
The PTSD bill was part of a package of legislation that Cuomo signed Saturday to mark Veterans Day.  The Democratic governor said 19,000 New Yorkers with PTSD could be helped by medical marijuana.  He said the potential beneficiaries include veterans as well as police officers and survivors of domestic violence, crime and accidents. 
 
Other measures signed Saturday include a bill to provide more days off for combat veterans employed by the state and a bill waiving the civil service examination fee for veterans who were honorably discharged.  Cuomo said the legislation will help give veterans "every opportunity to continue succeeding when they return home."
 
 
Outgoing Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has met with his successor, fellow Republican George Borrello.  Borrello, an Irving legislator, indicated on Election Night that he would meet later with Horrigan.
 
The current executive says he wants to have a smooth transition with Borrello. who is wrapping up a fourth-term on the legislature. Horrigan will be leaving office for retirement at the end of December. 
 
Borrello has been a member of the County Legislature since 2010.  He defeated Democratic candidate Mike Ferguson of Fredonia with 63-percent of the vote to Ferguson's 37-percent.
 
 
Chautauqua County's top cop says he's looking forward to working with new County Executive George Borrello when he takes over next January. 
 
Sheriff Joe Gerace says both Borrello and Democratic candidate  Mike Ferguson ran a good, "issues-oriented" campaign which he thinks residents wanted to see.  Gerace adds he will miss working with outgoing Executive Vince Horrigan.
 
Horrigan is retiring from office at the end of the year.  Borrello will become the fifth county executive Gerace has served with since becoming sheriff in 1995.   
 
 
A Jamestown man was arrested on a warrant check following a brief foot chase in the city's westside early last weekend.
 
Jamestown police say officers spotted 36 year-old Bernard Mount on West 13th Street last Friday afternoon and, confirmed he was wanted on warrants issued from Jamestown City Court, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and, Salamanca Police.  After the foot pursuit, Mount was arrested for resisting arrest, and on the two outside agency warrants.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
The son of the highest-ranking recipient of the Medal of Honor still listed as missing from World War II is pushing for renewed interest in finding the crash site of his father's B-17 bomber. 
 
Brigadier General Kenneth Walker and 10 other men were aboard the San Antonio Rose when it disappeared over a Pacific island in January 1943.  Walker's son, Douglas Walker, a retiree from Connecticut, met with Pentagon officials earlier this year to provide information from a team of independent experts that he hopes will prompt U.S. military officials to authorize a new search for the downed bomber. 
 
Military officials say the independent team's theory on the crash site's possible location is plausible, but that more investigation is required in order to locate the plane.
 
 
A 166-count federal indictment accuses a western New York doctor of illegally prescribing pain medication that resulted in six deaths. 
 
The U.S. Attorney's office in Buffalo says that Dr. Eugene Gosy of Clarence was responsible for the mass distribution of prescription painkillers including fentanyl and oxycodone.  Investigators say the pain management doctor ignored obvious red flags that his patients were addicted and abusing their medications. 
 
Conviction on the charges connected to patient deaths could bring a maximum sentence of life in prison.  Law firm Colucci and Gallaher released a statement saying Gosy has helped tens of thousands of patients and his rate of patient overdose death is far below the national average.  Gosy was already facing an April 2016 indictment alleging illegal prescribing and health care fraud.

 

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News Headlines for Nov. 11, 2017

Veteran's Day commemorated in Jamestown...
It's Veteran's Day 2017, and, a brief program was held at Veteran's Park on the city of Jamestown's westside, and concluded with the traditional, 21-gun salute and tapes.  Those followed remarks at this morning's annual program put on by the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post-53.  Post Commander "J.R." Rotunda was pleased with the turn-out on a bitterly cold, November morning.  He says normally, they don't get that many people.  Rotunda is a Viet Nam veteran, and says they didn't get that kind of respect when they got home, but, he says the provide that for all veteran's now.  Rotunda says the local VFW has been doing a yearly program for the past 100 years... and, they use the day to honor both the fallen... and, the veteran's still among us.  He says while the program is put on by their post... it's for all veterans... including the younger ones returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.  In addition to the program at Veteran's Park... the annual American Legion 21-gun salute and rifle volley was held at 11 this morning at the corner of Third and Main Streets.  The Jamestown High School Band played the Star Spangled Banner, and buglars played taps.  A special Veteran's Day service was also held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
 
 
Teen arrested for allegedly stabbing brother in Gerry...
A Gerry teenager was arrested Thursday afternoon after allegedly stabbing his brother during an incident on Herrick Road.  Sheriff Joe Gerace confirms that Sheriff's officers were among the first responders called to the scene shortly after 1 p.m.  Gerace says the 16 year-old allegedly stabbed the brother in the leg during the incident.  The victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening wound.  The 16 year-old was arrested.  However... Gerace says due to the ages of those involved... no names are being released.  No other details have been released.
 
 
PA man arrested following alleged DWI incident in Jamestown...
A man from Warren, Pa. was arrested for allegedly driving drunk the wrong way on a Jamestown street early yesterday morning.  But, city police say they also found drugs in the possession of 35 year-old Danna Merritt.  Officers say they saw his vehicle traveling the wrong way on East 2nd Street near Institute Street just after 2:30 a.m.  Police pulled the vehicle over at the intersection of Institute and First Streets, and arrested Merritt.  Further investigation revealed Merritt was drunk... and, he was allegedly in possession of oxycodone and marijuana.  Merritt was taken to City Jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
Cuomo administration now implementing Retail Workers Shift Scheduling regulations...
New York's governor says his administration is implementing regulations that require employers to pay workers extra when they're called in at the last minute.  Democrat Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state Department of Labor's new regulations address the practice of scheduling retail and other workers with short notice.  He says the regulations establish a 14-day advance notice standard for scheduling and provide two hours' extra pay for last-minute assignments.  The new rules also provide for extra compensation when workers have to be on stand-by or for last-minute cancellations.  New York State Retail Council President Ted Potrikus says the regulations still allow flexibility for employers.
 
 
Liuzzo talks about winning Jamestown City Council At-Large seat... 
Republican newcomer Andrew Liuzzo says he decided to run for the Jamestown City Council because he was "tired of complaining" about what's been happening -- or not happening in the city.  Liuzzo was third-leading vote-getter in the six person race for the three at-large council seats this past Tuesday night.  He says the biggest complaint that he heard during the campaign was about property taxes.  However... Liuzzo says another aspect of that caught his attention... and, found himself wondering, "what are we getting for our tax dollars?"  He says many sidewalks are broken, streets need repair, and there is still some substandard housing.  Liuzzo received 1,952 votes last Tuesday... and, finished just two votes behind second-place Vanessa Weinert in the machine vote Tuesday.  That's also prior to the counting of absentee ballots.  Liuzzo says he's also concerned about the city's fiscal position... and, having to get money from the state to balance the 2017 budget.  However... no such promise has been made for 2018... when Mayor Sam Teresi projects a $947,000 deficit.  Liuzzo says the biggest problem facing the city -- otherwise -- is the on-going Heroin and Opioid Drug crisis.  
 
 
Horrigan supports CSEA Contract Extention...
The Chautauqua County Legislature will be taking action next week on a new contract for the county's largest labor union.  This past Thursday, members of the Audit and Control Committee approved the agreement, a one-year contract extension for CSEA Local 807-Unit 6300.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he supports the tentative agreement and says he's very hopeful that the full legislature will approve the pact, which includes a 2-percent wage increase... but, some insurance concessions.  Horrigan says an important part of the contract allows the county to offer multiple health care plans -- including some lower cost plans.  Legislators will hold their monthly meeting next Wednesday evening at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Nov. 10, 2017

The first arctic blast of the season has arrived, and we are seeing a major change in our weather through later this morning. 
 
Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says an arctic cold front crossed the region overnight and, says rain showers and even some evening thunderstorms turned to lake effect snow late last night. 
 
Hitchcock says snowfall amounts will range from 1 to 3 inches over the higher terrain, with only dusting along the lake shore.  A flash freeze is still a concern, especially over bridges and overpasses.  
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the majority of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee who gave final approval to a tax reform package he continues to say will save the average taxpayer in his district $1,600 a year. 
 
The Corning Republican says the tax-writing committee approved a number of changes to the original legislation, including keeping the top individual rate of 39.6% for the highest income-earners.  Reed says that means four versus three tax brackets in the House bill.
 
Reed says the House bill also keeps the Local and State Property Tax Deduction but, it does not continue other SALT provisions.  He says that may slow things down when reconciling their measure with the U.S. Senate's. 
 
That bill would completely eliminate ALL parts of SALT and, Reed says he will fight to continue the Property Tax deduction provision in the final bill.  The Senate bill would also include seven, not four income tax brackets. 
 
During his weekly media conference call, Reed said the House bill will also save small business owners about $3,000 a year.  He expects a House vote next week.
 
 
For possibly the first-time ever, there will be a female majority on the Jamestown City Council next year. 
 
That after Democrat Vanessa Weinert won one of three at-large seats up in last Tuesday's election.  Weinert was second-leading vote getter among the at-large candidates with 1,954 votes.  There were almost 450 absentee ballots issued in the city but, Weinert says she's pretty comfortable there won't be much change in the results, mainly because of who the absentees were sent to.
 
Republican incumbant Kim Ecklund got the most votes Tuesday, with nearly 2,300 tallies.  After Weinert Republican newcomer Andrew Liuzzo was third with one-thousand-952 votes.  Fourth place finisher, Republican Michael Laurin, received 1,854 votes, while incumbant Democrat Greg Rabb was fifth with 1,852. 
 
Barring any significant swing, Weinert would become the fifth woman on the panel.  She feels that's important, regardless of what political party you belong to.  In addition to Ecklund, Weinert, and Liuzzo, Council winners on Tuesday included Democrats Marie Carrubba, Maria Jones, Vickeye James and Tom Nelson and, Republican Tony Dolce.
 
 
Running for public office for the first-time often ends up being a real learning experience and, a lot of that comes from putting a lot of mileage on your shoes. 
 
Democrat Vanessa Weinert says she found that out by campaigning for Jamestown City Council.  Weinert says, when you run locally, there's not a lot of research about what issues are important to voters.  She says you need to talk with them about what matters to them and, use a little "intuition" to determine what people care about the most. 
 
Speaking with our Dennis Webster Thursday's morning on WJTN's morning show, she agreed it's "shoeleather research." 
 
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County has passed the half-way mark in it's General Campaign and officials with the agency are optimistic they will reached their $1.325-million  goal. 
 
United Way Campaign Chairwoman Jane Cleaver-Becker says they are "thrilled" to have reached 55% of the 2017 goal.  Becker says many of their workplace campaigns are well-underway and the results have been "great news".
 
Becker says the United Way has been seeing more new donors taking part and, adds there's been an emphasis on getting new people under the age of 40 involved. Becker also adds that raising the last 45% will be a challenge, and that may involve a new emphasis on getting more new donors involved and, showing them "why their gift matters." 
 
The United Way again stresses this year that 100-percent of the donations made to them remain here to be used for United Way programming, and, for some 41 community-based programs in the Jamestown-area.  For more information on the United Way, call 483-1561.  You can also go on-line to UWayscc.org
 
 
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are up by 6-cents this week to nearly $2.76 for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel. 
 
That from AAA's Gas Price Report which says the price at this time last year was $2.38 per gallon. With a 2.9 million barrel decrease in inventory the region saw the biggest drop of any in the country. AAA says the U-S Energy Information Administration reports the highest demand measurement for gasoline since 2006.
 
At $2.53 per gallon, the national fuel price increased by 6-cents as of Monday. The increase of prices at the pump is attributed to the high demand and low supply, bringing a 7-million barrel deficit compared to this time last year.  Motorists can find gas prices along their route at AAA.com/mobile

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Nov. 9, 2017

"It was a good day for voters in Chautauqua County."  Those are the feelings of County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green, who says voter turn-out was good for an "off-year" election, especially in Legislature District One.
 
Green adds that Jamestown voter turn-out was much lower, in the 20% range.  He says that he and Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram were predicting a 30-percent voter turn-out. 
 
However, with the absentee ballots, overall turnout was 40-percent.  Green says 2,132 absentee ballots were handed out and over half have been returned as of yesterday.  He says it will be at least six days before ballots and affidavits are counted.
 
Green says the affidavits are capped "full-fledged provisionally" for several reasons including, someone may have moved or the Department of Motor Vehicles did not give a record of voter registration. 
 
 
It appears there will be two new members of the Jamestown City Council in the new year. 
 
But, that's pending the election canvass and absentee ballot count.  Currently, the machine count shows that Republican Kim Ecklund was the top vote getter among at-large candidates in Tuesday's election with 2,298 votes. 
 
Ecklund far outdistanced second-place finisher, Democrat Vanessa Weinert, who had 1,954 votes.  Unlike previous years, Ecklund did not have the Independence Party line because her name was for an unknown reason not transferred to the final document to go on the ballot.  She says that didn't spur her on because, with six people running she knew she had to work hard regardless.
 
Current Council President Greg Rabb is in fifth-place following the machine ballot count on Tuesday.  However, he may still be re-elected depending on how the absentee ballots come in. 
 
After Weinert, Republican challenger Andrew Liuzzo was in third-place for the third seat with 1,952 votes.  Second-Ward Councilman Tony Dolce was handly re-elected, and expressed mixed feelings about Rabb's defeat because they have worked well together.  Right now, it appears Democrats will hold a slim, 5-to-4 majority for 2018. 
 
Late yesterday, the Board of Elections released the absentee ballots for each "to close to call" race in the county.  In the at-large Council race in Jamestown, there were 446 absentee ballots issued and, 230 are returned.  Currently Weinert is second with 1,954 while Rabb is 100 behind with 1,854.
 
 
The new Chautauqua County Executive-elect says the transition into the new office is underway today and, he still has some big decisions to make on his administration. 
 
That from County Legislator George Borrello of Irving, who defeated Democrat Michael Ferguson in Tuesdays election with 63-percent of the vote.  Borrello defeated Ferguson, 16,455 to 9,586 tallies.  He would not say if he would retain any of current County Executive Vince Horrigan's cabinet and department heads.
 
Borrello congratulated Ferguson, who likewise, congratulated Borrello on his win and, for sticking with the issues.  Ferguson says he's "proud" of the race both he and Borrello waged. 
 
During his concession speak at Rooties in Dunkirk, Ferguson thanked his family for their unwavering support, as well as other supporters who he got to know so well during the campaign.
 
 
Statewide, New Yorkers defeated a proposal holding a constitutional convention. 
 
About 77% of voters rejected the proposition.  Two other proposals on the ballot passed, including one that dealt with stripping the pensions of public officials convicted of felonies related to their jobs.  The other creating a forest preserve land bank.  Chautauqua County voters rejected Proposal One with 88 percent of the vote, while approving the other two proposals.
 
 
It was a difficult final week of the campaign but, incumbant Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore was re-elected to another, four year term. 
 
While he was pleased with the win, Barmore says he was as also very relieved it was over.  The Gerry Republican got 58% of the vote Tuesday to Democratic challenger Lee Ann Lazarony's 42%.
 
Barmore says he's "got broad shoulders" and can take the personal attacks when they come but, says it's hard on the family.  He received 14,888 votes, while Lazarony the former Mayor of Cassadaga received 10,690 votes.  
 
 
Dunkirk city voters elected a new judge in a three-way contest for the seat held by long-time City Judge Walter Drag. 
 
Democrat John Kuzdale defeated Republican Joseph Price and Green Party candidate Ron Szot.  Kuzdale received 1,118 votes, beating out Price who had 937 and Szot with 230.  The winner will succeed Drag who announced his retirement earlier this year. 
 
In the only other contested race in the city, former County Legislator Shaun Heenan, a Republican, beat incumbent Democrat Adelino Gonzalez, 1,177-947.  Heenan also previously served as Common Councilman-at-large.
 
 
A Jamestown woman faces multiple charges for allegedly driving drunk during an accident in a grocery store parking lot Tuesday afternoon. 
 
City police responded to the Save-A-Lot at 194 Fluvanna Avenue for a motor vehicle accident.  During an investigation, officer determined that 26 year-old Jordan Becker's car had left the roadway while attempting to left-turn onto Fluvanna Avenue from Washington Street. 
 
The vehicle went through the Save-A-Lot parking lot and struck a parked vehicle.  Becker was found to be operating her vehicle in an intoxicated condition and was arrested.  She is being held in City Jail pending arraignment.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017

It was a big night for Republicans in Chautauqua County on Election Day, as they held onto top-elected positions and, a supermajority on the County Legislature. 
 
Irving Legislator George Borrello took an early lead and, built it into a solid win in Tueday's election for County Executive.  Borrello defeated Democrat Michael Ferguson, 63 to 37 percent. 
 
Borrello received 16,455 to Ferguson's 9,586 tallies.  He congratulated Ferguson for running a clean, issues oriented campaign.
 
During a victory celebration in Mayville last night, Borrello called the victory "humbling" and called it a "mandate" for his 10-point plan called "Elevating Chautauqua County."  He said the time is now to take the county "to the next level."  He would not say if he would retain any of current County Executive Vince Horrigan's cabinet and department heads, but said regardless of party, if you "do a good job for the people of Chautauqua County" you'll have a place in the administration.
 
 
Republicans did lose a seat on the Chautauqua County Legislature, but will still have an overwhelming, 14 to 5 edge on the panel next year. 
 
Ironically, Democrats gained the seat Borrello gave up to run for County Executive.  Silver Creek Democrat Kevin O'Connell won over Irving Republican Gary Cerne Tuesday, 902-to-806. 
 
In other contested seats in the Jamestown-area, Republican John Davis defeated Democrat Terry Walker, 1,290 to 559 for the seat being vacated by Ron Lemon.  County GOP Chairman David Wilfong of Jamestown held onto his seat with a 542-to-428 win over Democrat Frank Besse. 
 
Another Republican incumbant from Jamestown, Elisabeth Rankin, held off Democrat Dave Reinhardt by less than 100 votes. 
 
Other winners in contested races included Kevin Muldowney, Robert Scudder, Pierre Chagnon, David Himelein, and John Hemmer.  The GOP will have a 14-to-5 majority in 2018.
 
 
The Chautauqua County Clerk for the past four years will remain County Clerk the next four years. 
 
Gerry Republican Larry Barmore won what at times, became a testy campaign down the stretch.  Barmore received about 58-percent of Tuesday's vote, while Cassadaga Democrat LeeAnn Lazarony got 42-percent.
 
 
It appears there will be two new members of the Jamestown City Council in the new year and, that the panel's current president has not been re-elected to the council. 
 
Long-time Second-Ward Councilman Tony Dolce won his race against Joseph Scapelitte, 535-to-220.  There were a couple of surprises in the at-large races, with Council President Greg Rabb currently sitting in fifth place out of six candidates. 
 
Totals are pending the count of absentee ballots, but at this point, Dolce says it appears Democrats will hold a 5-to-4 majority in 2018.  Republican incumbant Kim Ecklund was top vote-getter among the at-large candidates, with Democrat Vanessa Weinert second with 1,954 votes and, Republican Andrew Liuzzo was third with 1,952 votes. 
 
Republican Michael Laurin was fourth, while Rabb was fifth.  Back to the Ward races, Democrat Marie Carubba held off Republican Richard Elardo in the other contested race.
 
 
Two people have been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly being in possession of just under two pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop Monday afternoon. 
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers pulled over a car, driven by 26 year-old Ernest Cauley, at the corner of Hazeltine Avenue and Baker Street just after 1:30 PM.  Samuelson says the stop was part of an ongoing investigation by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force into the city's growing Meth problem.
 
Samuelson says both Cauley and 22 year-old Zackiel Fields were arrested for second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class-A-2 Felony and, additional charges and arrests are pending.  He says if you have any further information on the case, or other illegal drug activity, there are two ways you can contact them anonymously call the JPD Tips line at 483-8477 or leave a message at the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly threatening a female victim with a knife on the city's west-side Monday night. 
 
Officers say they were called to a West Fifth Street residence for a domestic dispute, where an investigation revealed that 46 year-old Bryan Livingston, Senior threatened the victim with a knife during the incident. 
 
While in custody at City Jail, Officers say Livingston damaged property in the jail booking room. He is charged with first-degree menacing, aggravated family offense and, fourth-degree criminal mischief. 
 
 
A Lakewood man will spend up to three-years in prision for second-degree vehicular manslaughter in a drunk driving related crash that claimed the life of a Stockton man in September of 2016. 
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 29-year-old Jude Gagliano received the sentence on Monday in County Court in Mayville and, says he's pleased with the outcome.
 
Swanson praised the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department for it's thorough investigation of the case.  The crash at the corner of Sinclair Drive and Route 380 last year in the town of Ellery claimed the life of 22 year-old Charles Clutter.  
 
 
A family-owned supermarket chain that's more than a century old has been named one of the "Best Workplaces in Retail" by research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine. 
 
Wegman's, which opened its first store in 1916 has taken first-place for the second year in a row.  It has grown into 95 regional stores spanning across New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and, Massachusetts. 
 
There is a store in West Ellicott.  The ranking accounts for responses from 38,000 employees in the retail sector detailing more than 50 factors that shape their experiences at work including, work life, diversity and, programs.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Nov. 7, 2017

It's Election Day, 2017 and, the polls are now open across Chautauqua County at 6 AM with a number of local races to be decided.  
 
Turn-out is expected to be low across New York state, even with three state-wide propositions and some key mayoral races taking place. 
 
Locally there are two county-wide races in Chautauqua County, where voters will decide on a replacement for retiring County Executive Vince Horrigan. 
 
Republican County Legislator George Borrello of Irving is taking on Democrat Michael Ferguson of Fredonia.  There is also a county clerk's race with incumbant Republican Larry Barmore facing off against Democratic challenger LeeAnn Lazarony of Cassadaga. 
 
All 19 County Legislature seats are up for a vote, but only nine of them are contested. 
 
Two key ones to watch locally are District 11 in Jamestown where County GOP Chairman David Wilfong is being challenged by Democrat Frank Besse and, in District 16, where two men are vying to replace the retiring Ron Lemon.  They are Republican John Davis, and Democrat Terry Walker.
 
In the city of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is not on the ballot this year, but the entire city council is.  However, there are only two contested Ward Seats this year. 
 
In Ward-2, long-time Republican member Tony Dolce is being challenged by Democrat Joseph Scapelitte.  In Ward-4, Democratic incumbant Marie Carubba is being challenged by Republican Rick Elardo.
 
All three at-large seats in Jamestown are contested.  Incumbants Greg Rabb a Democrat and, Republican Kim Ecklund are on the ballot.  They are joined by Republican newcomers Michael Laurin, and Andrew Liuzzo and, Democrats Vanessa Weinert, and Robert Whitney.  Whitney is a former County Legislator.
 
Polls are open until 9 PM tonight.  Our coverage of Election Night, 2017 begins following the ABC News at 8 PM.
 
 
While flood waters have receded local and county governments are now surveying the damage caused by Sunday night's torrential rainfall from slow moving showers and thunderstorms that crossed the region. 
 
Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director John Griffith says the worst hit area in the county was the village of Fredonia.
 
Water levels were also on the rise in Silver Creek, but Griffith says evacuations were not needed.  A portion of Route 60, near Route 83, was closed for several hours overnight because of the high waters.  Griffith says they will be looking for damage estimates from the flooding caused by the heavy rains.
 
The rain stopped, and Chautauqua County began drying out Monday morning after torrential rains late Sunday triggered flood watches and warnings across Western New York. 
 
Some flooding took place Sunday night after the ground had already become saturated with water in recent days.  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says most of the high water came from heavy rains that were part of a storm system that dropped between 2 and 3 inches of rain from Sunday morning through early Monday.
 
Initially, the weather service issued a Flood Watch for all of Western New York through early Monday afternoon.  Then, an "Areal" Flood Warning was put in place for the entire region for all streams and rivers. 
 
Hitchcock says one of those was in the Fredonia-area for a while Sunday night.  However, he says it was caused by some debris temporarily damming up along the Canadaway Creek. 
 
Hitchcock says a weather spotter in Sinclairville said they received just under 3-inches of rain from the storm. 
 
 
A driver in the town of Stockton was left stranded when his vehicle was partially submerged in water yesterday morning. 
 
Sheriff's deputies say 52 year-old Gerald Haley was traveling on South Stockton-Cassadaga Road when he failed to obey two road closure signs, drove around the signs and, proceeded southbound on the flooded roadway. 
 
Haley's vehicle became disabled and was partially submerged in water.  He was helped by Sheriff's officers, the Stockton Fire Department and, a local private citizen.
 
Haley was charged with failure to obey traffic control device and is to appear in court at a later date. 
 
 
A Jamestown man faces several charges after being arrested last weekend after he was found to be in possession of just under four grams of drugs during an accident last month. 
 
New York State Police in Jamestown responded to a motorcycle accident on October 21st in the city at the intersection of Route 60 and Kiantone Roads.  Investigation revealed that 42 year-old Victor Cameron left the roadway striking a sign post and, was injured. 
 
While conducting an inventory of Cameron's clothing cut cut off by EMS in order to treat his injuries, troopers located 1.3 grams of methamphetamine and, 2.5 grams of marijuana. 
 
A check of Cameron's driving record revealed that his license had been suspended for driving under the influence of drugs.  He was arraigned in City Court and released but, was later arrested by Jamestown Police on a larceny warrant.
 
 
A local initiative to help Spanish-speaking residents become bi-lingual and more employable is in the running for a $10,000 grant from M-&-T Bank. 
 
Community Helping Hands in the Gateway Center in Jamestown is one of five nationwide finalists for the grant from it's "Understanding What's Important Business Challenge."  Community Helping Hands Executive Director Amy Rohler says they were nominated by Jim Holler at Trinity Guitars on West Third Street.
 
Pastor Rohler says M-&-T Bank began on-line voting for the winner late last week and, voting continues through November 22.  She says they are currently in second-place in the voting, so they have some work to do.  She says first of all, you can vote by going on-line to Bank-dot-MTB/Business Contest.  She says you can use pretty much any device to make your vote. 
 
Rohler says you can also go on-line to CHHNY.ORG for more information on voting.  One other community-based group in the Hudson Valley community of Kingston is also a finalist for the $10,000 M-&-T grant.
 
 
Three men from the city of Dunkirk have been arrested on drug-related warrants following a month long investigation into the alleged sales of crack cocaine and marjuana in the north county city. 
 
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Durkirk Police say they carried out search warrants last Friday for two separate apartments at 47 West Second Street in the city. 
 
Officials say 21 year-old Irvin Pachecho was located at the lower rear apartment and, 21 year-olds Jonathan Torres-Morales and Victor Quinnones were taken into custody at the lower front apartment. 
 
As a result of the searches, authorities say they located and seized a quantity of cocaine, marijuana, a large sum of cash and a loaded rifle. The three subjects were taken into custody pending their arraignment.
 
 
Cornell Cooperative Extension's 'Leaf' classes are underway for the season. 
 
'Leaf' stands for 'learn, empower, achieve farm'.  Each of the sessions offers a low cost way to be introduced to an agriculture related topic. 
 
Extension educator, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, organizes the series.  She is particularly excited about a new course to offered this Thursday at 6 PMat the Bratt Agriculture Center.
 
Molly Vacco of Erie County will be teaching the Essential Oils and Animals workshop.  There are around two dozen 'Leaf' classes between now and next spring. 
 
The full catalog is available at cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Pre-registration is required for each class.  The 'Leaf' program is presented with the support of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

 

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Flood Watch Update

Flood Watches and Warnings have been lifted for Erie, Chautauqua... Cattaraugus, and Wyoming counites of Western New York.  Meteorologist David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says that an "Areal" Flood Warning went into effect just before 5 PM yesterday... Thomas says that preceeded the cold-front moving in.
 
Thomas says the region will generally receive another 1 to 2 inches of rain from late last night through this afternoon... and, some areas to the north of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties could see 3 and 4 inches of rain since yesterday morning.  He says a lot of the smaller creeks and streams will reach their banks, and possibly overflow them today.  Some thunder was associated with yesterday's late afternoon rain, and movement of the cold front through the area.

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Nov. 6, 2017

All of Western New York is under a Flood Watch and, many areas are under warnings through this afternoon due to a slow-moving storm system that's moved in from the Midwest. 
 
Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says that an "Areal" Flood Warning went into effect just before 5 p.m. yesterday and, remains in effect until 4:45 this afternoon.
 
Thomas says the region will generally receive another 1 to 2 inches of rain from late Sunday through this afternoon and, some areas to the north of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties could see 3 and 4 inches of rain since yesterday morning.  He says a lot of the smaller creeks and streams will reach their banks, and possibly overflow them today. 
 
Some thunder was associated with yesterday's late afternoon rain, and movement of the cold front through the area.  Thomas says the cold front brought "waves" of rain and colder air with it.
 
 
Two Jamestown-area residents were hurt one seriously after a vehicle pursuit that began in the town of Kiantone ended with a crash in the town of Ellicott. 
 
Sheriff's deputies say they performed a traffic stop on the car, driven by 29 year-old David Jenkins of Jamestown on Route 60 in Kiantone about 10:30 p.m. last Friday.  However, officers say Jenkins drove off from the scene and, led police on a pursuit through the city of Jamestown and, into Ellicott, where the car crashed on VanCobb Road. 
 
Deputies say the crash is under investigation and charges are pending.  Jenkins was taken from the scene to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment, while a female passenger was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of serious injuries. 
 
The Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by several law enforcement agencies and medical personnel.
 
 
A Jamestown man is jailed of allegedly assaulting and strangling another person during a domestic dispute on the city's eastside early last weekend. 
 
Jamestown police were called to the scene at 845 East Second Street about 3:30 last Friday afternoon for the incident.  Officers say an investigation showed that 38 year-old Christopher Patric assaulted the victim, and then strangled that person, causing injury. 
 
Police say Patric was arrested for second-degree strangulation and unlawful imprisonment and, third-degree assault.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
It may not be until the end of November before Chautauqua County and five others learn the winner of a $20-million, Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Grant award. 
 
That from County Executive Vince Horrigan after he recently took part in a panel presentation on government consolidation and sharing services in Albany.  Horrigan says he had hoped to hear from Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office by now but, says it may be announced when the Consolidated Funding Awards are announced. 
 
Horrigan says there are a lot of aspects of the county's entry that state leaders are interested in.  One is the proposed merging of the towns of Gerry and Charlotte, and village of Sinclairville into one entity in the central part of the county. 
 
Horrigan says consolidations and mergers are important to Chautauqua County due to the decline in population.  He says businesses and other private sector entities are doing the same thing.  Horrigan made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
New York's statewide election is expected to draw a low turnout Tuesday. 
 
Top races include New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio seeking a second term and a ballot measure on whether to hold the state's first constitutional convention in 50 years.  Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, and Rochester are also holding mayoral elections. 
 
If a constitutional convention is approved, voters would pick delegates who would consider changes to the state's governing document.  Voters will also face a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved, would authorize judges to strip the pensions of any official convicted of corruption.
 
 
St. Bonaventure University is set to formally inaugurate its new president. 
 
Dennis DePerro took office at the private western New York university on June 1st after 18 years as a vice president at Le Moyne College. 
 
Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone led the celebration of the Inauguration Mass in the university chapel last Friday. 
 
In the afternoon, delegates representing more than 50 colleges and universities took part in a ceremony in the Reilly Center Arena.  DePerro, a native of Buffalo, is the Franciscan university's 21st president.
 
 
President Donald Trump has signed legislation to create a commission to plan celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the birth of a prominent black abolitionist he apparently thought was still alive earlier this year. 
 
The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports the Republican announced on Thursday that the commission "will be responsible for planning, developing, and carrying out activities to honor Frederick Douglass on the 200th anniversary of his birth." 
 
During the kickoff for Black History Month in February the president's comments appeared to insinuate that Douglass was still alive.  Douglass died in 1895.  Some critics said the comments came across as indifferent toward black people. 
 
Douglass was born in Maryland, although there's debate whether it was in 1817 or 1818.  The slave-turned-abolitionist lived for 25 years in Rochester, New York, where he's buried.

 

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News Headlines for Sun., Oct. 5, 2017

City police to arrest one after vehicle pursuit, crash...
Two people were hurt -- one seriously -- after a vehicle pursuit that began in the town of Kiantone... and, ended in the town of Ellicott.  Sheriff's officers say they performed a traffic stop on the car -- driven by 29 year-old David Jenkins of Jamestown -- on Route 60 in Kiantone about 10:30 p.m. last Friday.  However... deputies say that Jenkins drove off from the scene... and, led police through the city of Jamestown... and, into Ellicott... where the car crashed on VanCobb Road.  Officers say the crash is under investigation and charges are pending.  Jenkins was taken from the scene to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital... and, a female passenger was flown by Starflight to UPMC Hamot Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.  The Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by multiple law enforcement agencies as well as medical personnel.
 
 
Sundquist voices opposition to House Tax Cut and Jobs Plan...
Democrats were quick to react to Thursday's roll-out of the House Ways and Means Committee's proposed Tax Cut and Jobs plan... which is being supported by local Congressman Tom Reed.  Among those talking is one of the several potential Democratic candidates for Reed's seat in the 23rd District in next year's election.  The standard deduction would double, something Reed says will save the average family of four in the district nearly $1,600 per year.  However... Jamestown Democrat Eddie Sundquist says it eliminates several deductions... including the one on student loan debt.  Sundquist says the plan would cap student loan intersted deductions at $2,500, and that's a huge blow to recent college graduates.  He says he also opposes changes to the State and Local Tax Deduction... which would also include deductions of state income taxes.  House Republicans say they want to pass the tax reform bill by Thanksgiving.
 
 
Reed agreed with concerns over Tax Reform plan's possible impact on deficit...
While local Congressman Tom Reed is touting the new Tax Cut and Jobs Plan announced late this week by the House Way and Means Committee... he is concerned about possible negative impacts on the nation's deficit.  Reed admitted during a conference call Thursday night that he does have issues with the possibility of adding another $-trillion to $1.5-trillion to the current $20-trillion debt.  The Corning Republican says... if the Gross Domestic Product keeps growing by 3-percent a year... that should cover it.  However... Reed adds that's where the other side of the equation comes in... and, that's getting federal spending under control.  Some members of Congress have already indicated they have concerns -- or oppose -- the more than 400-page proposal... and, there is concern that this effort may go the way of health care.  But, Reed believes there's more concensus for this proposal...which will go through the House committee process next week... and, then to the full House for a vote. 
 
 
Women's groups calling for approval of Constitutional Convention Tuesday...
Women who support calls for a constitutional convention in New York state are using the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the state to rally for their cause.  A coalition of women involved in politics and advocacy say they will gather Monday at New York City Hall to encourage voters to say yes to a convention.  New Yorkers will decide on Tuesday whether to call a convention, where delegates would consider changes to the state's main political document.  The League of Women Voters is a key supporter of a convention.

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Nov. 3,2017

A seven-year effort by local Congressman Tom Reed, and others was culminated by yesterday's roll-out of the Republican 'Tax Cut and Jobs Plan' in Washington, D.C.
 
The Corning Republican joined other members of the House Ways and Means Committee to roll-out the 400 page tax plan on Capitol Hill.  Reed called an "historic" proposal, which would save the average American family of four, $1600 a year on their federal taxes.
 
The devil will remain in the details of the plan, which are still being fleshed-out by many lawmakers.  However, Reed says the new proposal will eliminate many of the deductions that have complicated the system for decades. 
 
While most news reports say the State and Local Tax deduction has been eliminated, Reed says property taxes can still be deducted.  However, the amount would be capped at $10,000. 
 
At the same time, Reed says other state and local taxes, like the deduction on state income taxes, would no longer be available.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
The first-phase of a two-part project to hook about 10 residents in the village of Celoron into the Board of Public Utilities' water system will finally begin shortly. 
 
That from Celoron Mayor Scot Schrecengost, who says the village board Wednesday night approved spending about $50,000 from fund balance for the project on Butler Avenue and 10th Street. 
 
Schrecengost says they have the money available and, will be reimbursed once they receive $75,000 state grant with the help of State Senator Cathy Young.  He says the customer will be responsible for putting in their new lines, and hooking up to a new main.
 
Schrecengost says village officials are hopeful of having customers being able to access to the water by Thanksgiving, with the second phase to take place next Spring.
 
 
A north county man has admitted to conspiring to commit bank fraud using alleged "shell corporations" to take money from small business customers who were looking to restructure loans. 
 
Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late yesterday that 24 year-old Dustin Walker of Dunkirk pled guilty in U-S District Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Walker and two co-defendants worked at companies, one called "Corporate Restructure" between February and October of 2016. 
 
The three, along with others, allegedly used several fraudulent companies to mail solicitations to small business owners... which fraudulently informed the victims that their fraudulent companies could assist them with restructuring their debts.  However, Walker and the others pocketed the money. 
 
The conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison and a $1-million fine. 
 
 
Two north county women were arrested for allegedly making methamphetamine in separate locations Wednesday during warrant checks in the town of Hanover and, village of Silver Creek. 
 
Sheriff's officers say they conducted warrant checks for 29 year-old Amanda Weber and 25 year-old Heather Payne just before 11 AM and 2 PM.  Both women were located and taken into custody without incident. 
 
Deputies say the women were arraigned on charges including third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, sent to the county jail without bail. 
 
 
The third and final debate between the candidates running for Chautauqua County Clerk was held in Fredonia Wednedsay night. 
 
Incumbent Republican Larry Barmore and Democratic challenger LeeAnn Lazarony squared off at the 1891 Opera House.  The candidates were asked by the Chautauqua County League Women Voters, which hosted the event, what they felt was the most important issue in the County Clerk's office. 
 
Lazarony believes it's about keeping politics out of the office, and Barmore says it was the many laws facing the office. Wednesday night's forum also featured candidates running for Fredonia village board, Pomfret town council, and County legislative District 3.
 
 
A pair of men from the area have purchased the historic Cockaigne Ski Center which was closed more than six-years ago after fire destroyed the center's lodge. 
 
Issac Gratto and Adam Pirtz were recently approved for a $500,000 loan from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency to purchase the Cherry Creek business and, are waiting to close on the sale with current owner Jack Van Scoter.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's part of a lot of "exciting" developments in the Cherry Creek, and north county areas.
 
The Trillium Lodge was destroyed by a huge fire this past May 1st.  However, a community effort has led to it's rebuild and, the owners hope to reopen soon. 
 
Horrigan says there's still a lot of work to be done at Cockaigne and, Gratto and Pirtz hope to open the new ski area for the 2018 Winter Season.  He says the new ski lodge and area will include a new restaurant and bar area and, a home and restaurant across the street will be leased out. 
 
 
A Ripley man is jailed without bail on a number of charges including burglary after refusing to surrender to police on Halloween night at a home in the town of Ripley. 
 
Sheriff's deputies say they were doing a warrant check at a Maple Avenue location shortly before 11 PM and, saw 31 year-old Skyler Miller inside.  However, officers say Miller initially refused to come out and, they obtained a search warrant the following day and, he was arrested at that time. 
 
Miller was arraigned on the charges, which include second-degree burglar and harassment, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, and forcible touching, stemming from a May 24th incident on Boswell Street.  He was then sent to county lock-up.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Nov. 2, 2017

A Jamestown man faces multiple charges following a violent domestic incident Wednesday morning on the northside during which he struck his girlfriend several times and, threw joint compound all over her. 
 
City police were called to the scene at 846 Prendergast Avenue about 7 a.m. and found the victim on the porch of the apartment house covered with the joint compound.  Officers say the women told them that the boyfiend had gotten into an argument when he could find his hygiene supplies. 
 
Police say 19 year-old Brandon Tate began trashing the apartment, and threw the woman's car keys into a toilet.  Tate is then accused of holding the woman down with his foot, and took her cell phone when she tried to call for help.  He then allegedly knocked the victim to the ground, and punched her several times. 
 
Once she stood back up, Tate allegedly threw the five-gallon bucket of joint compound on her.  Tate was arrested, and was also found to be involved in a domestic incident this past Summer.  He was arraigned on charges of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree assault and second-degree strangulation and sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
The majority of voters in New York state may oppose holding a constitutional convention, but one local group with state-wide ties favors having one. 
 
The constitutional convention is the first of three propositions on next week's Election Day ballot.   The League of Women Voters supports holding a convention because, local leader Minda Rae Amiran says it's a chance to reform the state's broken budget process.
 
While there have been yard signs, and other efforts to get people to reject a consitutional convention, there hasn't been a lot of publicity about the other proposals.  Amiran says Proposition-Two, if passed, would allow the complete or partial forfeiture of a public officer's pension if he or she is convicted of a felony. 
 
The proposal, if passed would also apply to elected officials at all levels of government in the state.  While the State League of Women Voters has decided to support Proposition-One, Amiran says the league has not taken a position on Proposal Two.  Proposition-Three, if passed would authorize the use of forest preserve land for specified purposes. 
 
 
A new survey from Siena College shows big opposition to a constitutional convention among likely New York voters in next week's election. 
 
The poll found that 57% of respondents plan to vote 'no' on the question of calling a constitutional convention.  Twenty-five percent of respondents said they will vote yes. 
 
Voters in Tuesday's election will be asked whether they support calling a convention, where delegates would consider changes to the state constitution.  By a similar 2-to-1 margin respondents to the survey say they believe "nothing good will get done" at a convention. 
 
The decision on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention is voted on once every 20 years, and would begin the process of re-working or re-writing the state's governing document. 
 
Chautauqua County is one of the rare one's that will have the proposition on the same side as offices being voted on next Tuesday.  That from Democratic Election's Comissioner Norm Green says the Board of Elections printed the ballots proposition side-up.
 
Green adds that by printing the ballots in-house, it is believed to save Chautauqua County taxpayers nearly $50,000 each budget year.  The public will also vote on two other propositions, one that would allow a judge to take away the pensions of lawmakers who are convicted of Felony charges.
 
 
The issue of transparency on the part of Jamestown city government was again called into question during this week's Council voting session. 
 
But, the senior member of the panel says they try to be as open as possible and, don't make decisions on important issues at one meeting, or behind closed doors. 
 
Lovell Avenue resident Raven Mason, who has been an outspoken critic of the city's Annexation plans for the Dow Street Substation in the village of Falconer, addressed lawmakers.  Mason questioned whether comments made by the public prior to voting sessions is even considered.
 
Mason and other members of the public got into a rare back-and-forth with lawmakers during last month's voting session.  Typically, the public is asked to address questions and concerns to the Council President, and direct answers aren't given. 
 
At the end of the meeting, long-time Councilman Tony Dolce said he for one, takes the city's issues to heart, from recent shooting incidents, and the drug crisis to the city's deficit. 
 
 
A New York City native looking to move into Jamestown has now taken possession of the historic Sheldon House on the city's eastside. 
 
The City Council and Chautauqua County Legislature recently approved the sale of the property from Jamestown Community College to Edward Signorile for $240,000.  Signorile tells the Post-Journal that he was first interested in the property when it initially went on the market. 
 
However, he says it just as quickly went off when Lynn Development Group put in an offer to buy it for their corporate offices.  However, when a state court ruled that a zoning variance was improperly granted, Lynn withdrew it's proposal. 
 
Signorile remained interested and, kept in touch with a local broker, and was able to put in an offer once the Sheldon House went back on the market.
 
 
New York state's top fiscal officer says a looming budget deficit combined with lower-than-expected tax revenues and cuts in federal spending are adding up to a "triple threat" to the state's bottom line. 
 
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned late Tuesday about the possibility of more cuts from Washington and suggests state officials could face some difficult choices about funding important state programs and services. 
 
The Democrat noted New York is projected to have a $4 billion deficit next fiscal year.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Nov. 1, 2017

Jamestown city lawmakers continued their review of Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 2018 budget plan Monday night looking at another smaller department. 
 
The City Council looked over Director of Administrative Services, and City Clerk Todd Thomas' spending proposal for next year.  Council President Greg Rabb says they have now looked at that the city's Public Works Department, Parks and Recreation, and City Comtroller's budgets. 
 
Rabb agrees, with a projected $946,000 shortfall, this proposal will be a major challenge.
 
While taxes can often be a big topic on the campaign trail, Rabb says the budget itself hasn't been as much.  There are also more immediate issues brought up as lawmakers enter the final week of the campaign and he says he gets a lot of good input on those while meeting people. 
 
Mayor Sam Teresi earlier this month proposed a $35.7-million, 2018 budget plan that increases the tax rate by $0.21 per thousand full-value, but keeps the tax levy within the city's constitutional taxing limit.  That limit has gone up because the city's tax base has grown over the past year.  
 
 
The Village Board in Celoron is holding a meeting this evening to discuss and potentially take action on the extension of a waterline. 
 
Ten homeowners in the Village are trying to get into a water district because of past issues with their wells, including low water pressure and discolored water. 
 
The meeting will take place at 6 PM in the Community Center at 47 Dunham Avenue.  For more information contact the Village Hall at 487-4175. 
 
 
The public will be getting more specifics today on the House Republican Tax Reform and Budget propsal that a committee has been fine-tuning the past several weeks. 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed, who is a member of the committee, is defending the proposal in the wake of strong criticism last week by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and California Governor Jerry Brown. 
 
Cuomo was critcal of Reed and fellow Republican Chris Collins, who last week supported the basic outline of the plan, which they say eliminates the State and Local Tax deduction.  Reed says that's not happening, and needs to be compromised on. 
 
Cuomo and Brown say residents in their states would be heavily impacted by any more to eliminate SALT because they have higher tax burdens than most other states. 
 
At the same time, Reed and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, say their governors also need to work to lower their taxes. 
 
McCarthy says he wants a higher-cap on the amount of money people can add to their 401K Retirement Plans without being taxed on it.  He represents California's 23rd Congressional District. 
 
 
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating a small arson fire set on a window sill inside a Bemus Point church early last Sunday morning. 
 
Fire investigators say the fire at the Lakeside Bible Chapel at 98 Lakeside Drive was intentionally set between the hours of 4 and 5 AM last Sunday. 
 
Sheriff's Office officials say anyone that may have information on the case to call them at 753-4925.
 
 
A Jamestown woman was arrested Monday afternoon for allegedly threatening a family member with a knife on the city's southside. 
 
City police say they were called to a Stearns Avenue residence for a girl bleeding after being hit by a window.  Officers spoke to 22 year-old Brittany Hinson, who said she was involved in a fight over over a ripped halloween costume with one of her relatives. 
 
Hinson was taken by ambulance to be treated for facial lacerations. Shortly after, officers determined that Hinson was the aggressor and, threatened the victim with a knife after being angered over the ripped costume. She is being held in city jail without bail. 
 
 
A number of places across western New York, and Chautauqua County have seen their first snowfall of the season. 
 
However, there were few instances of accumulating snow reported.  Snowflakes started to fly early Tuesday morning on some of the hilltops near Cassadaga, Arkwright and Sinclairville.  We also got a few snowflakes yesterday afternoon at our Media One Group studios. 
 
Forecaster Dave Zaff with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there was a 'trace here and maybe a tenth of an inch or two there."  Zaff says the atmosphere will warm up slightly this afternoon, keeping much of the precipitation in the form of rain. 
 
As for trick or treating last night he says there were some places in the interior valleys looking at cold temperatures.  A return to milder weather is on the way as temperatures should reach the mid to upper 40s today, and low 60s are possible on Thursday.  
 
 
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady this week at $2.69 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 
 
That from the American Automobile Association's Gas Price Report, which says the price at this time last year was $2.34 per gallon. 
 
Today's national average is up a penny to $2.47 per gallon.  Despite the fluctuation, AAA says prices should continue to decrease as the holiday season approaches.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017

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

 

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Trick or treating times updated!

Jamestown:  6-8 PM
Ellington:  5-7 PM

Bemus Point:  6-8 PM

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

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Local Area Trick Or Treat Times For Halloween

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

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Oct. 30, 2017

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

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 28, 2017

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

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 27, 2017

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

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Oct. 27, 2017

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

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Oct. 26, 2017

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

 

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News Headlines for Wed., Oct. 25, 2017

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

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Oct. 24, 2017

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

 

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WJTN Headlines for Monday Oct. 23 2017

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

 

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WJTN Headlines for Friday Oct 20, 2017

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

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thursday Oct. 19, 2017

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

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wednesday Oct. 18th 2017

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

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tuesday, 10/17/2017

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

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News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 14, 2017

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

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 13, 2017

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

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WJTN News Headlines

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

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

 

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

 

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

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WJTN Headlines

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

 

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News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 7, 2017

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 



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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

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


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

 

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


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

 

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

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


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

 

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 



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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 30, 2017

JHS JV Player takes a knee during anthem in Thursday night game, Superintendent responds...
The issue of football players kneeling during the National Anthem has reached Chautauqua County... as a Jamestown High School Freshman reportedly took a knee during the anthem at Thursday night's Junior Varsity Game at Dunkirk.  School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe Friday confirmed multiple media reports that Lebron Fisher quietly knelt down during the national anthem with his teammates around him.  Apthorpe says teachers and students had already been talking about taking stands against racial injustice in school.  He says -- historically -- civil disobediance can be dry stuff for kids, but, he says the issue has their attention right now.  Apthorpe says there are no rules in New York state, Section 6, nor in the Jamestown District that order students to stand for the anthem.  He equates it with the situation surrounding the Pledge of Alligiance the kids... Kindergarten through 12th grade... recite in the morning before school.  Apthorpe says nearly every student recites the pledge, though they are not required to.  He adds that there will be no disciplinary action taken... and, there has been no call to institute such a rule in the district.
 
 
Borrello pledges to have more IDA meetings on "the road" if elected Executive...
The Republican candidate for Chautauqua County Executive this November says he would like to see the county's Industrial Development Agency hold it's monthly meetings on the road.  Irving's George Borrello says -- if elected -- he plans to hold the meetings in various venues throughout the county.  Typically... Borrello -- who is a member of the IDA Board -- they meet at the agency's south county headquarters.  Once is a while... they meet at the Dunkirk Incubator facility.  Borrello says taking the meetings "on the road" will help get more people engaged with the IDA... and, economic development around the county.  He says he's also proposing other reforms in the way the IDA conducts business, such as revisions in the methods for seeking public input, and in the process leading up to board meetings themselves.  Borrello and Democrat Michael Ferguson are vying for the office now held by Vince Horrigan.
 
 
Brooks Hospital files "certificate of need" for new hospital site in town of Pomfret...
The Brooks Memorial Hospital board of directors has announced that they have filed a "certificate of need" with the New York State Department of Health for its new hospital project. The new, 29-bed hospital, will be located just east of the Routes 20 and 60 intersection in the town of Pomfret.  Hospital President Mary LaRowe and Board Chair Chris Lanski held a conference call yesterday afternoon on the announcement.  Lanski says the board, working with hospital relocation specialists... and, Turner Brokers in Lakewood... reviewed over dozen potential sites.  He says they looked at convenience to businesses, and where people live.  The 25-acre site is currently owned by Countryside Sand and Gravel.  LaRowe says they hope to have a ground-breaking next spring for the 100,000 square foot project.  She says they've been working closely with the state Department of Health, which has said they speed along the process.  Hopefully... LaRowe says they hope to have it done in 30 to 60 days.  They hope for a Spring 2018 ground-breaking... and, completion of a new hospital is slated for 2019.  Meanwhile, a Hospital Reuse Project Advisory Committee is being formed.
 
 
Local relief efforts for Puerto Rico well underway...              
Local relief efforts to get water and money to the people of Puerto Rico are well-underway in both the Jamestown and Dunkirk-areas of Chautauqua County... and, will continue through the month of October.  That from Director Max Martin with the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County after Hurricane Maria ravaged the U-S Island territory last week.  Martin says after the hurricane hit... he was approached by about 15 people... most of them natives of Puerto Rico... and, they mobilized a drive in the city of Dunkirk through the Salvation Army.  There is also a drive taking place through the Hispanic Church affliate at First Covenant Church in Jamestown.  Pastor Alfonso Pagan is a native of Puerto Rico... and, says -- with most communications down on the island -- it's been tough on people who have relatives there.  He says most of his family is here... but, his father is still there.  If you would like to contribute to the effort... contact The Salvation Army in Dunkirk at 499-5622... or the Hispanic church at First Covenant Church in Jamestown at 708-8184. 
 
 
More state help being sent to Puerto Rico...
New York state is sending more help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday that the state is deploying additional personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria.  The 77 Port Authority workers will help reopen and operate the island's ports and airports.  Fifty-three state troopers will provide security and public safety assistance.  Cuomo says 10 employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.  Cuomo said a shipment of medication and supplies left Long Island's Republic Airport Friday morning.  
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

A spokeswoman for Equifax says her company is "actively engaging" with state and federal officials following a data breach that exposed personal information for 143 million Americans. 

 

The company decided not to attend a legislative hearing on identity theft and data breaches Thursday in New York, however.  One lawmaker called that a "slap in the face" to New Yorkers. 

 

New York legislators are considering proposals to impose greater regulations on credit monitoring companies like Equifax, TransUnion or Experian following the cyberattack on Equifax. 

 

Representatives from TransUnion and Experian were also invited to Thursday's hearing but did not attend.  Eight million New Yorkers were among those whose sensitive information was exposed in the Equifax breach.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has agreed to a three-year extension of the board's contract with it's full-time employees in the solid waste division. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board this week approved the extension, which takes effect October 1st with Teamsters Local-264.  Leathers says there are 11 full-time employees covered by the contract, which includes a 2.36% wage increase for Tier-One employees and  consolidation of the bottom two tiers to bring stability.

 

The previous contract ended in 2018.  Leathers says Tier-One workers wil receive $20.40 an hour while the second-tier will receive $16.40 an hour.  He says they also agreed to stay with the Teamsters Health Insurance coverage, which will be frozen through 2021. 

 

Leathers say they have two years to go on it's contract with their biggest union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 459 and adds their wastewater treatment employees are under contract through the end of 2020.  Leathers says he believes it's a good agreement for both sides.


After some debate county lawmakers Wednesday night approved selling the South County Office Building, and two others, to a Jamestown-area developer. 

 

In fact, a couple of legislators wanted to table the measure until the proposal was looked at more closely.  However, a significant majority felt the sale had already been through enough scrutiny and, wanted to move foward on the sale.  Legislator Chuck Nazzaro says he wanted more review but, added that he was also concerned about losing "control" of the building.

 

The county legislature approved sale of the South County Office Building and two others to Jody Peterson, doing business as Jamestown Rental Properties, LLC.  The sale of the South County building was approved, 15-4. 

 

The other sales of the Bratt Agricultural building in the town of Ellicott, and the Sherman Shop Maintenance Facility to Jamestown Rental properties were approved unanimously.


The Chautauqua County Humane Society has again opened their arms and hearts to furry friends this time three dogs from South Florida that were displaced by Hurricane Irma. 

 

The dogs started out as part of a group of 25 from the Brevard County Animal Care Center in Florida, but, were removed from the center after issues with flooding and power following the storm.  CCHS was chosen to house the three dogs because of previous cooperative efforts with the Ten Lives Club in Buffalo. 

 

Sue Bobek, Director of Animal Services at the Humane Society says "we have had a partnership with Ten Lives Club for many years.  After the dogs arrived to them, circumstances had changed for a few of their fosters and they had three dogs without a place to go.  When approached about taking them, we said we could help just as they have helped us in the past." 

 

The three dogs are healthy and available for adoption.  If you are interested in adopting one of them, call 665-2209; visit SPCAPETS.COM or message CCHS through Facebook at Chautauqua County Humane Society.


New York state is home to more than one-million people of Puerto Rican background and, is sending a lot more than thoughts and prayers to the hurricane-ravaged island. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has organized an aid package including 34,000 bottles of water, more than 10,000 meals ready to eat, 1,400 cots, and four Black Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters. 

 

The Democratic Governor says more than 100 New York City firefighters, police officers and other workers are in Puerto Rico to help, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expecting an influx of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the storm's damage.  Most of the immediate Jamestown-area's 4,000-5,000 Latinos are from Puerto Rico.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan's final budget plan will be a "challenging" one for county legislators. 

 

Those are the feelings of the chairman of the legislature's main financial committee.  Audit and Control Chairman Pierre Chagnon says, on first blush, a lot of the spending increase in the 2018 budget proposal is in response to the ongoing Heroin and Opioid Abuse epidemic. He says they were able to reduce taxes during the first three years of Horrigan's administration.  However he says it'll be more difficult this year with a 10-cent per thousand full-value tax rate increase. 

 

Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown says he's concerned about seeing a $7.6-million, 3.3-percent spending increase in the $236-million plus budget and will dig into the details with the panel next week.

 

Nazzaro is the ranking minority member of the Audit and Control Committee says they're ready for four full-days of budget deliberations with department heads, and home committees.  Lawmakers hope to act on the budget by the end of October.


A Falconer man faces several charges, including criminally possessing a hypodermic intstrument after trying to flee on his bicycle from Jamestwn Police early Wednesday morning. 

 

City police say the spotted 30 year-old Sam Critzer riding a bicycle with no lights or horn on the 40 block of Eagle Street about 12:30 a.m..  Officers pulled up to the suspect, got out of the vehicle and told him to stop. 

 

However, Critzer refused and got back on his bike and tried to get away in the opposite direction.  Officers say they were able to stop him a few houses down the street. 

 

After a search, Critzer was also found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, marijuana, several hypodermic needles, and several prescription drugs outside their original container.   Critzer was arraigned, and sent to the county jail on $3500 bail.

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WJTN Headlines

A former employee of a housing agency in the city of Jamestown has lost his job and arrested for misconduct after allegedly running up a more than $500 bill on a company credit card. 

 

City police say they investigated the matter and took 37 year-old Joey Weise into custody on one count of official misconduct.  Weise was a maintenance worker for Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality, Incorporated (CODE), when he allegedly rang up the unauthorized charges on the credit card last May.  He was also allegedly found in possession of a small amount of Crystal Methamphetime and was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Weise arraigned, and released on bail.


The legislature last night approved resolutions to sell three county buildings to private owners, but one stirred some controversy. 

 

Lawmaker eventually approved selling the South County Office Building in Jamestown, 15-4.  That came after an effort was made to table the measure for further study. 

 

The legislature also agreed to sell the Bratt Agricultural Building on Airport Hill and the Sherman Shop Maintenance Facility in the town of Sherman.


Local bakeries are getting a holiday dedicated to them, their service, and their delectable treats. 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi proclaimed Wednesday, the first-ever National Local Bakery Day at Ecklof as today September 28th.

 

In his proclamation, Teresi highlights the significance local bakeries provide. He also encouraged all residences of the greater Jamestown area to come out and celebrate not only on National Local Bakery Day, but throughout the year. 

 

All day today, Jamestown bakeries will be celebrating in one-of-a-kind ways with promotional activites including a spinning prize wheel at Ecklof's Bakery on Foote Avenue.  National Local Bakery Day is expected to become an annual event.


In the Dunkirk area statewide collection is continuing to help with the hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. 

 

Mayor Wilfred Rosas says the city is working with the city of Buffalo as part of the statewide effort that's being coordinated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He says the local collection will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. 

 

Non-perishable items are being accepted.  Rosas says funds may be dropped off at Dunkirk City Hall.  By the way, the Mayor has yet to make contact with his mother, who lives on the Island.


New York state has allotted $50-million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms. 

 

The money is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.5 billion dollar Clean Water Infrastructure Act.  It's aimed at helping large livestock farmers make sure there's proper management and storage of nutrients, such as manure.  New York State has over 500 farms with more than 200 livestock, and most are dairy farms with 300 or more cows. 

 

Projects that get funded will help farmers meet new environmental requirements first announced in January.  The first of three application periods is currently open and closes Nov. 20. Grant awards will be made by mid-December. 

 

An additional $15 million will be available in both 2018 and 2019.


The mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania says he's skipping the Pittsburgh Penguins' October 10th White House visit because of recent tweets by President Donald Trump. 

 

Democrat Bill Peduto accompanied the NHL team when they met with President Barack Obama following last year's Stanley Cup championship.  But, Peduto says he's not going this year because of Trump's tweets criticizing NFL players for kneeling or otherwise protesting during the national anthem. 

 

Peduto says the visit could bring negative attention to the city so he'll "take a knee on this one and stay home."  Peduto previously criticized Trump for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord and saying it was because he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."


A German-based company with a manufacturing facility just outside of Jamestown is confirming that it will end operations in the town of Ellicott by the end of the year. 

 

MD Electronics President Bruce Dudgeon says, in a printed statement, that increasing global competition and the need for shorter supply lines were "primary drivers" for the decision. 

 

Dudgeon says MD Electronics began manufacturing operations on Precision Drive in 2009 and employs 90 full-time workers.  He says MD makes communication cables for the automotive industry. 

 

Late Tuesday, local Congressman Tom Reed said in a printed release that "this is also a direct result of the unfavorable business climate in New York State."


The still-growing Latino community in the Greater Jamestown-area is rallying around the devastated island of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. 

 

Relief efforts across the United States are well-underway and locally, a handful of people are collecting bottled water and non-perishable goods for the people of Puerto Rico. 

 

One of them, Miguel Correa, says they have three places locally that are taking donations. Correa says there a several, basic items needed on the tiny U-S Territory, including bottled water, and baby food.  He says communications are improving on the island, though it's still hard to send or receive calls from the United States mainland.  He says communications on the island itself have improved. 

 

The A-P reports today that conditions have improved in San Juan, but more rural areas are still struggling.
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Reviews of the U-S response to the disaster in Puerto Rico have been mixed.  However, Miguel Correa says the Federal Emergency Management Administration has been a big help. 

 

Correa says FEMA has especially helped provide gas generators for hospitals and other critical needs.  He's lived in Jamestown for the past 17 years after moving here from New York City and, his family is from Puerto Rico.

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WJTN Headlines

A electronics company is reportedly planning to move 87 jobs out of it's Jamestown-area plant and take them out of the country. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the "trend of moving good paying jobs out of the country has to end".  Reed overnight commented on the potential loss of 87 "hardworking employees" at MD Electronics on Precision Drive in the town of Ellicott. 

 

A company spokesperson recently told the Post-Journal that work on the company's third-shift had ended.  In a printed release late yesterday, Reed said "this is also a direct result of the unfavorable business climate in New York State. 

 

Having seen firsthand the work ethic of these employees, I will make sure MD Electronics does not leave their workers in a lurch and that the company upholds their prior commitments to each and every employee."


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's very pleased with how yesterday's bi-partisan meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House went regarding tax reform. 

 

Reed was one of several members of the House Ways and Means Committee that met with Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence on the matter, which the Corning Republican adds may be fully introduced by President Trump later today in Indiana.  Reed has pushed hard for tax reform in the past few years and he's happy to see the general frame-work come together.

 

However, local lawmakers say they're concerned about the possible loss of the "State And Local Tax" or SALT Deduction.  Reed says he's sensative to that, but adds that may be replaced by an expansion of the Standard Deduction.  He says lawmakers are looking at doubling that. 

 

The Jamestown City Council went on record Monday night supporting retention of the SALT Deduction which allows state and local taxes to be written off.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


A Buffalo mother was arrested for several charges including a violation of Leandra's Law, after rolling-over a stolen vehicle with four unrestrained children aboard late last week in Cattaraugus County. 

 

State police tried to make a traffic stop for a speeding SUV on East River Road in the Town of Olean last Friday night.  Troopers say  the driver, 24 year-old Alesaundra Allen, failed to comply to troopers emergency lights and turned onto Steam Valley Road. 

 

After a short distance, Allen lost control of the SUV and entered a culvert causing the vehicle to roll once and land upright.  Further investigation revealed that the SUV was reported stolen out of Buffalo on September 19th. 

 

The suspect failed a sobritey test and the 26 year-old passenger and four children were not injured in the crash.  Child Protective Services responded for the children involved.


It was another record day of warmth for western New York yesterday as Buffalo nearly reached 90-degrees. 

 

However, Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it did reach 88-degrees at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport yesterday.  Wood says it's not quite as warm as the past two days when the mercury reached at least 90.

 

The three-consecutive days of record setting warmth was only exceeded by six-straight days in March of 2012.  However, Wood says having a stretch like this in late September is "highly-unusual".  Wood adds our string of much warmer than usual temperatures comes to an end later today, but says it will still reach into the lower eighties today in front of a cold front that moves in later in the day. 

 

The record high temperatures started over the weekend when it reached 90 at the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Airport on Sunday; it then reached 91-degrees on Monday

 

While temperatures get into the sixties and even upper fifties over the weekend, temperatures are expected to rebound into the seventies again early next week.


A few Jamestown residents were critical Monday night about what they called the lack of openness on the part of city lawmakers leading up to August's final vote on annexing four-acres of land from the village of Falconer. 

 

One took the added one more step by criticizing lawmakers for lack of transparency and the media for being complicit.  Lovell Avenue resident Raven Mason said she didn't mean to be critical, but questioned how much discussion is taking place before important measures are voted on.

 

Mason also said that she was concerned that the City Council never addressed any of a series of questions she had about the proposal to take the land used by the Board of Public Utilities for the Dow Street Substation.  However, Rabb says residents who only come to the monthly voting sessions aren't seeing the start of the process, just the end of it. 

 

Mason also took exception with the wording of a letter she received from Rabb following the August meeting.  He says he simply stated that if she had a question about an issue that comes up to call his cell number.


Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son have been granted new trials in their corruption case. 

 

A federal appeals court said Tuesday the jury was wrongly instructed.  That's in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of what it takes to convict a public official.  Prosecutors say they'll retry the case. 

 

Dean Skelos' lawyer, Alexandra Shapiro, says he "looks forward to the next steps."  Prosecutors said the Republican politician strong-armed three companies into giving his son, Adam Skelos, $300,000.  Father and son were convicted in 2015 of extortion, conspiracy and bribery in one of a series of corruption cases that roiled the state. 

 

Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison. His son got six and a half years.  Both remain free on appeal.


A Jamestown man was arrested after he was discovered with a signifcant amount of marijuana, paraphernalia, and plants in the Town of Ellery last week. 

 

While state troopers were investigating an unrelated complaint, they were approached by an individual who told them that 55 year-old Stephen Watson was growing marijuana plants. 

 

Investigation affirmed that Watson was in possession of 145 grams of marijuana, two marijuana smoking devices and three marijuana plants.  He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth-degree and unlawful growing of cannabis. 

 

Watson was issued appearance tickets for the Town of Ellery Court.


New York state has allotted $50-million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms. 

 

The money is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act.  The first $20-million will be disbursed in mid-December after an application process.

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WJTN Headlines

For the second-day in a row Monday, our Summer like hot weather was a record setter. 

 

Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it got into the low 90s by mid-afternoon.  This comes a day after the Weather Service reported that the mercury hit 90 degrees on Sunday breaking the old record set in 1970. 

 

Yesterday Thomas says Buffalo reached 91-degrees at 3 p.m which beat the old record of 87.  He adds that most areas at least hit 90. 

 

Earlier fellow Forecaster Kirk Apfell said temperatures will drop to more seasonal levels on later on Wednesday.  Apfell says a cold front will move through the area but, the cooler air will still be about seasonal. 

 

Forecasters say high temperatures by Thursday and Friday will be in the 60s.  Night-time lows will be in the 40s away from Lake Erie.


It was a rare night of back-and-forth public discussion during last night's Jamestown City Council voting session with the main focus on the proposed annexation of four-acres of land in the village of Falconer. 

 

It began with questions about the transparency surrounding the decision to try and make the property the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on part of the city.  Raven Mason of Lovall Avenue voiced that concern, given the fact there was no discussion about the resolution the night of the vote. 

 

However, Council President Greg Rabb says it was discussed though briefly due to legal concerns, during work sessions.  Resident Chris Gardner again asked who sponsored the resolution by the BPU.  Mayor Sam Teresi interrupted, and, told Gardner it's a matter of public record, and there were two ways to get it. 

 

One was through the city clerk's office while the other was through the BPU Secretary.  Teresi later noted that the BPU is made up of nine members most of them citizen panelists   He noted that both he and Council President Greg Rabb were members of the board, Teresi because he is mayor. 

 

The mayor also said that neither he, nor Rabb brought forth the BPU resolution to the board for a vote.


A city man is jailed following a suspicious situation last Sunday night in the 300 block of Palmer Street. 

 

Jamestown Police say, just after 8 p.m., they responded and found that James Spitale had stabbed a car with a knife belonging to another person.  Officers say Spitale also allegedly threatened that person with the knife.  He was arrested, and charged with second-degree menacing third-degree criminal mischief and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Spitale was jailed pending arraignment.


A Cattaraugus County man is now jailed for an alleged incident involving a gun late last week in the town of Randolph. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested 37 year-old Joshua Dash last Friday morning and, he was later charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, criminal possession of a firearm. 

 

Deputies say additional charges are pending.  Dash was arraigned and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $300,000 cash bail.


Two parents face child endangerment charges following a domestic disturbance at their home in the Cattaraugus County Community of Limestone early last Sunday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to 501 Parkside Drive for multiple people fighting.  On arrival there was a report of a missing child and all parties involved in the altercation were separated. 

 

The child was later found safe with his grandmother in Bradford, Pennsylvania after a sober party had driven the child there.  The child's parents 23 year-old Tyler Carlson and 25 year-old Samantha Simonds were charged with one-count each of endangering the welfare of a child. 

 

They were issued appearance tickets for Carrolton Town Court.  Child Protective Services was also notfied of the incident.


A pair of western New York members of the House of Representatives will be part of a bi-partisan meeting on tax reform with President Donald Trump today at the White House. 

 

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that local Congressman Tom Reed and Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins have been invited to be part of the meeting because both are members of the powerful Ways and Means Committee that writes the tax code. 

 

During a recent town hall meeting in Kiantone that real progress was being made in reforming the nation's tax code.  He says this would be the first time since 1986 that "substantive" policy reform is being looked at. 

 

Higgins who represented Chautauqua County several years ago after the county was put into a district with Southern Erie County is back on the House Ways and Means Committee through Seniority.
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During today's meeting, Higgins is expected to voice his support for keeping the State and Local Tax deduction otherwise known as SALT. 

 

In a tweet on Friday Higgins indicated that eliminating SALT "takes money from hardworking Americans and gives it to people who don't need it and won't spend it to benefit the economy."

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WJTN News Headlines

A Sinclairville man has been arrested for allegedly selling and, being in possession of a significant amount of Crystal Methamphetime inside his car in the town of Sheridan. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they, along with members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, and Fredonia Police, pulled over 26 year-old Benjamin Gray on Route 20 late last week on an arrest warrant for allegedly selling Meth to undercover drug agents. 

 

Deputies say the warrant was issued out of Fredonia Village Court and, charged Gray with third-degree criminal possession and, third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He's also wanted for burglary in the Allegany County town of Belmont. 

 

Following arraignment officers say Gray was sent to the county jail without bail.  Police say they later seized more than 20 grams of Meth as well as scales and packaging material inside the cause. 

 

Additional Felony charges are pending.  Task Force members urge residento to call when they see suspicious or narcotics related activity at 1-800-344-8702.

 

 

In response to the addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County, community members held the "Rally to Recover Jamestown" this past Saturday

 

The event, put on by grandmother-granddaughter duo Adrian Smith-Madden and Chanda Lynn Germain was open to all with free resources for those looking for recovery options and even those looking to get involved with stopping the epidemic in our community. 

 

The founder of the national "Fight For Recovery" program, Richie Webber, says they had two moms reach out to help get their children into treatment.  He says his goal for each event is to at least help one person, and helping two is great. 

 

The Rally began at 1 p.m. in the former Dahlstrom Manufacturing plant on East 2nd Street and involved live music and guest speakers.

 

Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan were also on hand and, addressed the spectrum of drug addiction and drug related deaths.

 

 

A Lakewood woman escaped serious injury early last weekend when she fell asleep at the wheel of her car and, it crashed in the town of Ripley. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 35 year-old Tiffany Green was traveling on Route 76 about 6:30 a.m. Saturday when she fell asleep, and the car left the road and rolled-over, coming to rest on it's roof. Deputies say Green suffered minor injuries and was treated at Westfield Memorial Hospital. 

 

Further investigation showed that Green's vehicle registration was suspended and, she was issued a traffic ticket for Ripley Town Court at a later date.

 

 

A city man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and, 10 years supervised release for his conviction for distribution of Child Pornography. 

 

Acting U.S. James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that U-S District Court Judge, Elizabeth Wolford, hand down the sentenced on Friday to 46 year-old Christopher Whitford. 

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Baumgarten, who handled the case, says that in May of last year Whitford shared files using a 'peer-to-peer' file sharing program with an undercover police officer. 

 

In June of 2016 she says a federal search warrant was executed at the defendant's residence and, investigators found several electronic media items that were seized.

 

 

People were trying to keep cooler on a very hot, Fall Day at the annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival some were under a tree listening to a string quintet. 

 

Another place people were staying cool was inside the Miller House across from the Busti Grist Mill.  Some members of the Busti Historical Society, who put on the event were inside. 

 

Among them member Judy Schultz said, while many people left by late afternoon it was a "great day."  Schultz says the demonstation building was full "constantly.." and, adds there were new demonstrators this year. 

 

Judy Schultz says their new demonstrations this year included a glass-blower and, horseshoer.  Her husband, Bob, was talking to people about the Miller House which the historical society acquired about 10 years ago.  He says it was originally built in 1846 for the person running the gristmill. 

 

Both Bob and Judy Schultz were among several historical society members dressed in 1840s-to-1850s clothing for the event.

 

 

In New York state government news, Governor Andrew Cuomo is once again slamming a proposal from Washington Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The Democratic governor says the latest idea, from Republican U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, would cut billions in critical funding for the state's health care system.  Cuomo says that while the measure would give states greater flexibility in how they design their own health care system, the cuts would devastate hospitals and jeopardize coverage for as many as 2.7 million New Yorkers. 

 

Meanwhile, Democratic Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein of Brooklyn has been tapped to lead the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee.  It's the first time a woman will chair the powerful committee, which oversees the Assembly's work on the state budget.

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News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 22, 2017

Hung Jury declared in Saeli trial...
A "hung jury" has been confirmed in the trial of a north county man accused of kidnapping a 13 year-old autisic boy in Fredonia last year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says a mistrial was declared this afternoon in the case of 38 year-old Samuel Saeli because the 12-member jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.  The jury spent Thursday... and, today deliberating for several hours.  Swanson says the jury continued deliberations today... but, following an eighth note from jury in which the foreman said they remained deadlocked... Acting County Court Judge Paul Wojtaszek declared a hung jury.  Swanson says the case will be re-tried... but, did not yet have a date for a pre-trial conference yet.
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly assaulting woman on westside...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman... and, taking her credit card during a domestic incident early this morning.  City police say they were called to the scene in the 300-block of Jefferson Street about 12:30 a.m., and, on arrival, they found that 56 year-old David Payne, Junior had allegedly taken the victim's credit card.  After returning to the home... Payne allegedly struck the victim in the face several times, injuring her eye.  He was arrested on charges of fourth-degree assault... and, Grand Larceny.  Payne is being held pending arraignment.
 
 
NWS Forecaster says unseasonably warm weather to remain until early next week...
Fall is getting off to a start that feels more like summer than fall!  The Autumnal Equinox began at 4 this afternoon... but, the unseasonably mild weather will continue for several more days.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Reynolds explains no major pattern changes in the works, at least in the short-term.  Reynolds says a "real strong ridge of high pressure" has allowed a lot of warm air to move into the region.  He says we may see some upper 80s in some places over the weekend and into early next week.  Temperatures are expected to hit the 80s over the next several days... away from Lake Erie.  The National Weather Service is out with the latest three-month outlook and it appears the same weather pattern will continue with above normal temperatures for Western New York.  He says there will be some colder days in there, but, not as many as usual.  There are also equal chances for above and below normal precipitation levels.  The record high in Buffalo for this Saturday is 86 degrees.  Forecasters say that's one record that could be broken.
 
 
Disagreement comes over use of bed tax dollars in County Executive's debate in Jamestown...
The "balanced" approach that Chautauqua County has taken regarding the use of it's occupancy tax revenues... and, other assets... have helped boost local tourism and the economy.  Those are the feelings of Republican County Executive Candidate George Borrello during a candidates debate in Jamestown last night in response to a point by Democrat Mike Ferguson.  Ferguson noted that the county should have provided the money needed for shoreline clean-up for Chautauqua Lake sooner -- not in late August.  Borrello defended the way the county uses it's bed tax monies... saying it's the only one in New York state that goes to where it should -- tourism and the county's lakes.  Ferguson also said the county should not be using the bed tax to support events like the PGA 's Web.com Tour event at Peek 'n Peak in Findley Lake.  The county approved $75,000 for the event this year... and, provided $150,000 last year.  Ferguson says he supports the golf tournament... but, believes that money could have been better spent taking care of the lake's issues.  However... Ferguson says that's what sponsorship and other funding mechanisms are used for in supporting such events.  He says he did that sort of work with the Jamestown Jammers, and at the Northwest Arena several years ago.  Borrello says the county's investment in the tournament helped draw thousands of people and millions of dollars in tourism to the county.
 
 
Annual Busti Apple Festival ready to go Saturday...
Final preparations are taking place for the annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival... which is set to go this Sunday on the Busti Historial Society grounds... near the five-corners in the hamlet.  Historical Society members are urging people to come early this year because it's expected to be unseasonably warm... and, there's usually a crowd to buy all the apple and other items being sold.  One of the organizers... Judy Schultz... says they'll have 85 vendors this year -- and they all have one distinction -- they have to be hand-crafted.  Schultz says they'll have a glass-blowing vendor this year... who will also do some demonstrations.  She says this man makes several unique kinds of glass-ware.  Of course... she adds they'll have all kinds of Apple items... and, others... including pulled pork and flour.  The Busti Apple Harvest Festival runs Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $5 each.  Proceeds are split between the Historical Society and Busti Fire Department.  Schultz says parking is free... but, no pets please.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Two Jamestown residents have been arreste for allegedly being found in possession of of a loaded assault rifle in their southside home. 

 

City police say during an investigation of 40 year-old Gabriel Harrison and 37 year-old Stacy Thayer

 

they determined both had the gun in their possession.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and State Police C-NET Team raided the home at 103 McKinley Avenue late Tuesday afternoon. 

 

Police say they found the loaded, SKS 7.62 rifle, with ammunition inside the residence.  Both Harrison and Thayer were arraigned on one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

Representative Tom Reed met with local farmers Wednesday afternoon to update them on three issues yet to get through Congress: immigration, trade and tax reform. 

 

He believes all three will eventually get attention but, he says tax reform will get immediate attention.  The Corning Republican says the next item will be immigration and DACA because of the president's six-month deadline for legislation. 

 

Reed says recent bi-partisan efforts in Washington leave him 'more optimistic' that all three issues will be successfully dealt with.  Much of the hour long discussion at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield focused on some of the technical issues in tax reform and immigration currently under debate. 

 

Chautauqua County Farm Bureau President Dick Kimball says action is needed but hard to come by for all the issues Reed discussed.  Kimball says it's "simple" when you just look at "your side" of the issue. 

 

Around 30 farmers and ag leaders attended the event along with Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan.

 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has finalized his proposed 2018 county budget but, we'll have to wait another week before we can find out the details. 

 

Horrigan will be unveiling his final budget as County Executive during the next County Legislature meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27

 

Horrigan spoke yesterday about what he intends to include in the budget presentation to county lawmakers.  He says the budget will highlight investments, challenges they face, and revenues and taxes. 

 

We asked Horrigan whether the approval of an extension of the 8 percent sales has been helpful in putting together the budget plan.  He says it's "an important aspect" of the budget in being able to hold down property taxes. 

 

Horrigan, who is leaving public office at the end of the year, says he will also address issues such as infrastructure and the environment of the county's lakes. 

 

The Legislature has until December 1st to pass a 2018 budget.  County residents are invited to attend the presentation at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.

 

 

The Jamestown Policeman's union has announced it's backing Republican candidate George Borrello for Chautauqua County Executive. 

 

The Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association announced the endorsement this week for the town of Hanover legislator.  Borrello is finishing up his fourth-term on the panel. 

 

Kendall Club-PBA President Jason Donato says members "overwhelmingly passed" the endorsement at their Sept. 13 meeting.

 

 

After announcing a new venue for an event to raise money and awareness to aspects of the drug addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County the first-ever "Rally to Recover Jamestown" will be held this Saturday at the Sherwood Arts Complex. 

 

Co-organizer Chanda Lynn Germain says that not only local, but national support centers will be available for those struggling with addiction through scholarships to help them get into treatment. 

 

Centers on the roster for Rally to Recover Jamestown include "No More Heroin" from Flordia, "Hope" from Ohio, and the Addiction Response Ministry of Chautauqua; as well as several other non-profit organizations. 

 

Germain and her grandmother Adrian Smith-Madden add they are also trying "to bring hope" to those suffering because of addiction and knowledge to those who may unaware of the epidemic in the community. 

 

National speakers and musical artists are also scheduled to take the stage for the event which runs from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.  For more information, please visit the "Rally to Recover Jamestown" Facebook page.  The event is free and open to everyone.

 

 

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Neighborhood Block Challenge program has been successful in improving several smaller neighborhood areas across the city. 

 

With that the JRC is looking to expand the program into four target areas starting in 2019.  Corporation leaders presented the findings of a study done by czb Consultants at Monday night's City Council meeting. 

 

Neighborhood Project Manager Mary Maxwell says these projects will be longer term taking up to five-years to complete. 

 

JRC Board Co-Chairman Len Faulk says that when they helped fix homes in specific areas of the city the effect spread to other homes in that area.  He adds that when they helped fix up properties that also had a positive impact on home values. 

 

Faulk says those properties have seen a 5-percent increase in what they sell for.  He says that's a "great trend." 

 

The four target areas are the northside along Lakeview Avenue the westside along Fairmount Avenue Hazeltine and Forest Avenues and, the area of Allen Park and UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Applications will be available next year.  For more information go to the JRC website.

 

 

There is no change in prices at the gas pump this week for Chautauqua County motorists. 

 

That from the AAA's Gas Price report.  Gas prices in the Jamestown-area held steady at $2.69-cents per gallon.  As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation's gasoline inventory, which can mostly be attributed to motorist filling their tanks by the droves in preparation for Hurricane Irma. 

 

Today's national gas price average is $2.60.  Motorists can find current gas prices along their route at Gasprices.aaa.com.

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WJTN News Headlines

Forecasters are keeping an eye on two major storms in the Atlantic Ocean but, the storms are not expected to have impact on Western New York's weather. 

 

That from Meteorologist Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says Tropical Storm Jose has 65 MPH winds and may bring heavy rain and strong winds to Long Island and lower New England as it moves northward. 

 

Mitchell says there'll be high waves and a lot of surf.  We may only see some high clouds from Jose.  Meanwhile, there's a lot of concern in Puerto Rico about Hurricane Maria, which has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm.  Mitchell says San Juan has been getting hit hard by the hurricane. 

 

Here in Western New York, expect mid-summer conditions to continue over the next several days with highs close to 80 away from Lake Erie.  He says high pressure has built into the region and with overnight lows in the 60s the A/C is coming on in a lot of homes.

 

 

The cause of a fire at a vacant home on Jamestown's westside early yesterday morning remains under investigation. 

 

City Fire Battlion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 8 Whitley Avenue shortly before 3:30 a.m. 

 

Finson says, on arrival, they found a lot of fire coming from the front portion of the house coming initially from the basement area.  He says firefighters saw an open side door but, a quick search found no one inside.  Finson says they got the blaze under control in about 10 minutes.

 

 

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pressing TransUnion and Experian to explain what cybersecurity they have in place to protect sensitive consumer information following a recent breach at Equifax that exposed the data of 143 million Americans. 

 

In letters to executives at the two credit monitoring companies the Democratic attorney general asked them to describe their existing security systems as well as what changes they've made since the Equifax cyberattack. 

 

Schneiderman also wants to know whether the companies will consider waiving the fees for consumer credit freezes in light of the breach.

 

 

The city of Jamestown has been given a "clean-bill" of financial health for it's 2016 budget. 

 

That from local accountant John Trussalo who did the city's independent, third-party audit for the past year and, presented his 66-page report to the City Council Monday night. 

 

Trussalo says the best news was in the beginning summary of the audit report on the approximately $35-million spending plan.  He says the first-page includes the summary that their opinion is "unmodified" which is the "cleanest" opinion the city could get. 

 

Trussalo says there were no significant weaknesses or problems found with the city's finances.  Trussalo noted that the city failed to meet it's revenue projections in the 2016 spending plan.  However they were able to keep spending well under what was budgeted. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says that helped the city only wind up being $20,000 in the red.  Trussalo says the city started the year by using $409,000 from it's 2015 fund-balance to help balance out the 2016 spending plan.

 

 

The Cummins Engine Company Tuesday took the wraps off it's new, $47-million X-12 Engine line at the Jamestown Engine Plan that is both state-of-the art, and energy efficient. 

 

Plant managers were joined by officials with National Grid Company which assisted in putting in new LED lights, and other improvements. 

 

Cummins Plant Manager Mike Abbate says with the fact they have a one-million square foot facility near Ashville they need to think in terms of being environmentally-friendly, and more efficent. 

 

Abbate says they're trying to position the plant so that they can be their customers "first choice" for the best engines and drive-trains.  Plant Director of Machining, Faclities and Central Services, Randy Myers, outlined many of the projects they undertook noting that they have taken on a total of 12 energy efficiency and environmental projects in the past five years. 

 

Myers says that includes 3,000 LED lights alone.  With the X-12 line Cummins now has five engines they manufacture at the Jamestown Engine Plant.  Four of them run on diesel fuel while one runs on natural gas. 

 

Abbate says Cummins plans to introduce another heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022.  However, no details are being released at this time.

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WJTN Headlines

An overnight fire has extensively damaged part of a vacant, two-story home on Jamestown's westside. 

 

City Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 8 Whitley Ave. shortly before 3:30 this morning. 

 

Finson says, on arrival, they found a lot of fire on the front corner of the house extending from the basement area to the roof.  He adds that firefighters found a side door open, and did a quick search, but found no one inside.  He says it took about 10-mintues to bring the blaze under control and, they spent about 45 minutes overhauling the scene. 

 

Finson says an off-duty shift of 15 firefighters was called in.  He adds that two of them suffered minor injuries, but, were able to stay at the scene. 

 

Finson says crews were at the scene for nearly two-hours.  He says all services were shut-off to the house.  The cause remains under investigation.

 

 

The first "Rally to Recover Jamestown" event to raise money and awareness in the fight against drug addiction is a go at a new location on the city's eastside this Saturday

 

The city has been working closely with organizers to have the event staged at the Sherwood Arts Complex in the former Dahlstrom's building on East Second Street. 

 

City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Maria Jones says since organizers Chanda Lynn Germain and her grandmother, Adrian Smith-Madden, moved the event to a private location they didn't need to go through council. 

 

Jones says they had been working with the fire chief and building inspector to address safety matters.  She says they still have to comply with building and fire codes to hold the event. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi was asked to speak at the event but, will be at a family function out of town.  He says he's asked Council President Greg Rabb to represent him there. 

 

"Rally to Recover Jamestown" will feature a number of local and national speakers on the Heroin and Opioid Crisis and, several regional bands will also take part.  It will run at the Sherwood Arts Complex from 1 to 11 p.m. this Saturday, September 23rd.

 

 

The deployment of more than 100 members of the New York Army National Guard and state police to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with hurricane recovery efforts is on hold because of another storm approaching the region. 

 

National Guard officials said Monday that the departure of 100 soldiers in a Buffalo-based military police unit and 30 troopers has been delayed because of Hurricane Maria, which has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it pushes toward the eastern Caribbean. 

 

The New York contingent was set to depart from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station aboard a military aircraft for St. Thomas, one of several Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was sending aid to the U.S. Virgin Islands during a one-day visit to the U.S. territory last Friday.

 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's finance team will have a couple of extra days to work out a new budget plan for next year and, they'll need that time to get a spending plan ready. 

 

Teresi says due to the actual deadline day being on a Sunday, and the following Monday being a holiday, the budget will be due on Tuesday, October 10

 

Teresi says he, City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new Administrative Services Director Todd Thomas, have been meeting often lately on the proposal.  He says they'll be meeting almost daily from here on. 

 

Teresi says the challenges include exceeding budgeted overtime costs this year in the police and fire departments and, the department of Public Works.  He says due to budget constraints in recent years they start every year in a "deficit" situation. 

 

The state had agreed to give the city a one-time, $1-million infusion of cash for 2017 but, Teresi says they haven't received that money yet.  Teresi says another strain on the budget has been providing the money to support the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force to deal with the city's on-going Heroin and Opioid Abuse crisis. 

 

The date the budget presentation will be made was incorrection on a couple of our stations this morning.  However, it will be on Tuesday, Oct. 10th.  Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

 

The problem of overcrowding is once again a concern at the Chautauqua County Jail. 

 

That from Sheriff Joe Gerace who says they have had to board out 22 inmates to other county jails in Western New York.  Gerace says one of the factors has to do with parole violators which currently number 22.  He called it very frustrating. 

 

The Sheriff says the county has to pay $85 per inmate per day, and does not receive any reinbursement from the state.  Gerace says he is working with area State Senator Cathy Young on possible legislation to get those people back to state prison. 

 

The cost of boarding out inmates comes at the same time as County Executive Vince Horrigan is finalizing his proposed 2018 budget.

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WJTN Headlines

A Dayton woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in a drunk-driving crash in the town of Villanova early yesterday morning. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene on Flucker Hill Road shortly after Midnight Sunday and, found that 30 year-old Ashley Knopf was driving at a high rate of speed when her vehicle left the road and became airborne and struck a tree and utility pole.  She was taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Further investigation determined that Knopf was drunk and, she was charged with speeding and DWI.  She was issued appearance tickets for Villenova Town Court.

 

 

A Frewsburg woman suffered minor injuries early this morning when her car reportedly ran a stop sign at a town of Stockton intersection and crashed into a ditch. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Bobbie Jo Ostrom was traveling on Munger Road shortly before 4 a.m. when she failed to stop for the sign at the intersection with Route 380. 

 

Deputies say that Ostrom's car then went into the ditch.  She was taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries but, a male passenger was not hurt. 

 

Ostrom was ticketed for failure to stop, and being an unlicensed operator.

 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed spent much of last Saturday's town hall meeting in Kiantone addressing the issue of health care and, what's happening right now. 

 

Several residents asked the Corning Republican about proposed legislation in the U-S Senate that would "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. 

 

However, Reed says he doesn't agree with the Cassidy-Graham bill because it doesn't consider three areas the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs deal with.  He says they are to first stablize the current ACA exchanges, provide options where they aren't available and stop the 30 and 40% premium exchanges.  He adds the GOP wanted to have a "small business" in the law defined as 500 workers as opposed to 50. 

 

However, one woman expressed worries about losing provisions for pre-existing conditions and re-instatement of "high-risk" pools.  She called those "death panels." 

 

There was also heated discussion over how the Trump Administration has been dealing with the immigrantion issue.  Town Halls were also held last Saturday in Fredonia and, Ellicottville in Cattaraugus County.

 

 

The president genially calls them "Chuck and Nancy." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, have used two White House meetings to become Trump's dealmaking partners on the budget and immigration. 

 

They have a combined 67-year record of being willing negotiators in Congress.  But they're also partisan Democrats who are perfectly happy to rumble.  Each has clashed often with Republicans. 

 

The GOP even uses Pelosi's image in campaign commercials to vilify Democrats, while President Trump has derided the New York Democrat as "Cryin' Chuck."

 

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies or state officers from inquiring about or sharing a person's immigration status.  The new rule bars state police and other state law enforcement agencies from asking about a person's right to be in the country when they're the victim of a crime or a witness. 

 

It also means state agencies won't be able to share a person's immigration status with federal authorities, except in certain situations, such as a law enforcement investigation.  The Democratic governor issued the executive order late last Friday.

 

 

Chautauqua County's new director of Emergency Services says he's excited to get started and, working to provide better services to county residents. 

 

John Griffith comes to the position with about 35 years of experience in fire and emergency services, as a businessman, and former town supervisor. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan announced late last week that Griffith will begin his new position on October 2nd.  He replaces Julius Leone who will be retiring at the end of October. 

 

In addition to supporting the county's 42 fire departments, Horrigan says Griffith will head-up two ongoing programs, one is the county's new Fly-Car program.  He says the other will be helping local departments with recruitment efforts. 

 

In addition to being Fire Chief in Ellington Griffith was Ellington Town Supervisor from 1992-to-1999.  He has also been co-owner of Zahm and Matson, based in Falconer.

 

 

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2017 General Campaign is off to a "strong start." 

 

Even before last Friday night's official kick-off at the Southwestern Varsity Football game the effort had already gotten a major "kick-start." 

 

Executive Director Tory Irgang says the annual Pacesetter's Campaign brought in 11-percent of the $1,325,000 goal.  Irgang says they a few new activities planned and, workplace campaign's will begin within the next month or so. 

 

Irgang says she's excited by this year's Campaign Chairwoman.  Jane Cleaver-Becker who is chairing her first campaign and, has some new ideas for this year's effort. 

 

A new video presentation helped the effort last year and, Irgang says there's a new one for this year.  She says a group of employees who contribute get to take an "impact tour" of local agencies to see how their dollars are used. 

 

Irgang says this year's goal is a slight increase over the past couple of years.  For more information on the 2017 General Campaign she says go on-line to uwayscc.org or call 483-1561.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 16, 2017

Reed hosts first of three town hall meetings in Kiantone this morning...
There were smaller numbers... but, the passions were just as high for a couple of federal issues during a town hall meeting hosted by local Congressman Tom Reed in Kiantone this morning.  There were about 50 people on hand at the Kiantone Fire Hall... and, many expressed concerns over two proposals now being considered by the U-S Senate.  Reed says he opposes the Cassidy-Graham bill because it doesn't consider three areas the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs deal with.  He says one was to stablize the current Affordable Care Act exchanges... and, guarantee payments to insurance companies, a stability fund that states would have access to exchange funding, and that would also help states that have only one, or no exchanges left.  On the Republican side... Reed says they were able to get Democrats to agree to increasing the number of employees to be considered for a small business from 50 to 500 workers... and, set the "work week" provision at 40 hours instead of the current 30.  There were also heated discussion over how the Trump Administration has been dealing with the immigrantion issue.  Town Halls are also being held today in Fredonia and Ellicottville.  The 50 people on hand this morning was about a quarter of the number at two previous town halls this year in the immediate Jamestown-area.
 
 
Former Ellington Supervisor John Griffith named as new county Emergency Services Director...
An Ellington man with more than 35 years experience in the fire and emergency services, and many years as a businessman, has been named Chautauqua County's new Emergency Services Director.  County Executive Vince Horrigan Friday afternoon announced that John Griffith will begin his new position on October 2nd... replacing Julius Leone... who will be retiring after 15 years as director at the end of October.  Horrigan says Griffith has a wide variety of experience in the fire service... including Battalion Coodinator, Hazmat crew member, and fire chief.  He adds that Griffith has also been a successful businessman in the Jamestown-area.  Griffith has been Fourth Battalion Coordinator since 2012.  He was Ellington Town Supervisor from 1992-to-1999.  For nearly 20 years... Griffith was also co-owner of the Zahm and Matson John Deere dealership in Falconer.  He thanked Horrigan for the appointment... saying it's an honor to be chosen.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for allegedly robbery late this week...
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly robbing a woman of $300 in cash at knife-point early Thursday afternoon on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say officers were called to the scene at 124 Barrows Street just after 1 p.m., and, found the female victim visabily upset and crying.  Police say she told them that 26 year-old Terin Butler took the money and fled the scene on foot.  They later found Butler at a location on Pine Street... and, he was detained there until the victim could arrive and identify him.  She positively identified the man... and, he was arrested for first-degree robbery and, first-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, second-degree menacing.  Butler was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
United Way of So. Chautauqua County kicks-off -- literally -- it's 2017 Campaign...
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County kicked-off it's 2017 General Campaign last night -- literally -- at a local high school football game.  Leaders with this year's campaign held a "Live United" banner that players from the Southwestern Trojans ran through before last night's home opener against Allegheny-Limestone.  United Way Executive Director Tory Irgang says School Superintendent Maureen Donahue is a member of the Campaign Committee, and said Southwestern would like to host the unique kick-off.  Last night's kick-off event that was the first public event to begin the annual fund-raiser for the local human service agency.  Irgang says they're pleased to have Jane Cleaver-Becker as this year's chairperson. She adds that this year's goal is higher than in the past couple of years -- $1,325,000 -- which she calls "very achievable."  The United Way recently finished up it's Pacesetters Campaign... which has brought in 11-percent of their goal for this year.  For more information on the campaign... go on-line to www.uwayscc.org... or call 483-1561.
 
 

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News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 14, 2017

Remnants of Hurricane Irma brings about 2-inches of rain to Jamestown area...
The remnants of Hurricane Irma moved out of Western New York late yesterday morning... but portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties got some heavy rainfall during the early morning hours.  Enough in fact to cause some localized flooding.  In some locations, Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service says rainfall amounts reached over 2 inches in some places.  Reynolds says most places received at least an inch of rain.  There were reports of over 2 inches in the Jamestown area.  Kennedy received 2.3 inches, the greatest amount of rainfall in Chautauqua County.  Conditions slowly improved during the afternoon Thursday... with some sun breaking out later in the day.  Meanwhile, the Dunkirk-Fredonia area received only about a tenth of an inch of rain. 
 
 
Irma's rains cause High Water issues at JPD...
There were a few flooding problems in the immediate Jamestown-area Thursday due to the remnants of Irma.  Jamestown police have had flooding issues at headquarters in the basement of City Hall since early yesterday morning.  Officials say they had high water at the front entrance... as well as the command desk and entryway to the headquarters on the Second Street level of the building.  That are is closed until further notice.  Anyone needing to make a non-emergency call to JPD call the Mayville 9-1-1 center at 661-7232.
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The other issue was high-water on Route 394 in the area of Route 62 area near Kennedy.
 
 
Cuomo sends Air National Guard to southern states to help with relief efforts...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has sent units of the New York Army and Air National Guard to two southern states to assist in the response to Hurricane Irma.  The Democrat says 10 Blackhawk helicopters and 55 soldiers from the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade deployed Monday to Florida. The unit operates out of airports in Rochester, Albany and Ronkonkoma on Long Island.  The crews are flying to Richmond, Virginia, and are scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville on Tuesday.  Cuomo also has dispatched to Mississippi a C-17 cargo plane from the 105th Airlift Wing based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.  The seven-member crew is handling satellite communications in support of the Florida National Guard.  A plane from the 106th Rescue Wing based on Long Island also deployed Monday to Kentucky to transport military personnel to Florida.
 
 
City man arrested for trespassing...
A Jamestown man faces several charges for allegedly breaking into an apartment house on the city's southside, and then resisting police when he was being arrested.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 45 Baker Street late this past Tuesday night on a noise complaint.  On arrival... officers say they heard the sound of breaking glass... and, spotted a man climbing into a second-story window.  They later found 27 year-old Israel Aponte Camacho... and, tried to arrest him.  However... Camacho actively resisted verbal commands... but, he was taken into custody for second-degree criminal trespass... criminal mischief.. and obstruction.  He was jaile dpending arraignment.
 
 
Olean Man faces federal Bank Fraud charges for stealing nearly $500,000...
An Olean man has been arrested for alleged bank fraud following an investigation into his alleged withdrawl of nearly half-a-million dollars from a local business owner's account.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 53 year-old Joseph Stevens was recently arrested after he was found to have taken the money out over a three-and-a-half year period.  Kennedy says they found that Stevens had been hired by the unidentified business owner as a bookkeeper... and, was given responsibilities, including paying vendors, employee payroll, and personal and business tax return preparation.  The owner began learning about the problems in the Fall of last year... and, that Stevens had received a couple of checks -- not authorized -- that were made out to him.  Stevens was later arrested.  He faces up to 30 years in prison... and, a one-million dollar fine.
 
 
Horrigan to announce new Director of Emergency Services Friday...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has made a decision on who will be his new director of Emergency Services... and, will be announcing that choice this afternoon.  Horrigan says he'll be making the announcement outside the Office of Emergency Services on Academy Street at 3:30 PM.  Horrigan says he'll be joined by current director Julius Leone, Junior... and, members of the bi-partisan Emergency Services Director Search Committee.
 
 
State Budget borrowing in PA debated...
Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House of Representatives is sending the Senate a no-new-taxes borrowing package to help plug state government's $2.2-billion dollar budget gap.  The GOP-penned measure passed, 103-91, late Wednesday night, with heavy opposition by Democrats.  Pennsylvania's budget stalemate is in its third month and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf says the House GOP's plan doesn't solve the state's underlying financial problems.  The plan follows the collapse of earlier House GOP proposals. Republican Representative Paul Schemel of Franklin County, says it uses money the state already has.  But critics say it "robs Peter to pay Paul."
 
 
PA Uninsured Rate drops again in 2016...
The number of people without health insurance in Pennsylvania continues to decline, reaching what Democratic Governor Tom Wolf's office says is the lowest uninsured rate on record.  U.S. Census Bureau data released this week shows Pennsylvania's 2016 uninsured rate at 5.6 percent, tied for the 12th lowest rate in the nation.  That's down from 9.7 percent in 2013 and 6.4 percent in 2015.  The national uninsured rate was 8.6 percent last year.  The Census Bureau estimates 700,000 Pennsylvanians lacked health insurance last year, about 500,000 fewer than in 2013.  Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid in 2015 under the Obama administration's signature health care law, and Wolf's administration says more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians are covered through the law's Medicaid expansion or individual policies sold through the Healthcare.gov exchange.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Flames have destroyed a two-story home along Chautauqua Lake in the Vukote area of the town of Busti, just west of the village of Lakewood. 

 

Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene at 2398 Lakeside Drive shortly after 7 o'clock last night.  Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says firefighters found heavy fire coming from "all four sides" of the home on arrival. 

 

Hallberg says they also had to dodge a "live wire" that was down in the driveway.  He says they began pouring water on the home and, the exposure side of the home next door on the west side of the house.  Hallberg says the family inside the home escaped safely. 

 

Hallberg says it took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says the cause is under investigation but, says the residents heard a "popping noise" and then the fire started. 

 

Hallberg says they were joined at the scene by Ashville fire crews and Celoron was on stand-by.  No firefighters were injured.  However two pets perished in the blaze.

 

 

Due to last night's fire in the Lakewood-area Board of Public Utilities water customers on Fairmount Avenue and west toward the Ashville BOCES may see discolored water. 

 

A hydrant was used in fighting the blaze on Lakeside Drive.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says when hydrants open, the water stirs up any sediment that may be in the water lines.  Don't do laundry unless your water is clear.

 

 

There's been an unexpected turn in the attempted murder trial of a Buffalo-area man accused of attacking a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy last September. 

 

We learned late this afternoon that Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley declared mistrial in the case.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the decision was made after Public Defender Ned Barone said a DNA report was never provided to his office.  It's a report he'd had since Spring and, adds he had fully-intended to get the report to Barone.  However it was not provided until the prosecution had begun presenting it's case.  It was then that Barone began asking for a mistrial. 

 

Barone says it's disheartening because he was feeling good about how the case was going from the defense's perspective.  However he adds he needs to have the evidence he's requested before trial.  Barone says not having that evidence made it harder for him to prepare his defense. 

 

Swanson says he takes responsibility for what happened and says they need to make upgrades and improvements to their procedures because technology and information gathering has changed a lot in the past 20 years. 

 

Judge Foley did deny Barone's initial request to dismiss the charges against Haffa including first-degree attempted murder.  A pre-trial conference has now been scheduled for Sept. 22.

 

 

A city man is jailed on a number of charges, including drug possession counts after allegedly leading police from several local agencies on a high-speed vehicle pursuit Monday night that started and, ended in Jamestown. 

 

City Police say officers spotted a pick-up truck, operated by 47 year-old Thomas Kimbrough, Senior, run a stop sign at the corner of Prather and Barrett Avenues shortly after 9 p.m. 

 

Police say they tried to stop the vehicle but Kimbrough allegedly sped off and police pursued him onto Baker Street Extension and into the town of Ellicott.  The chase then went into Lakewood, and West Ellicott before Kimbrough stopped on West 15th Street, and he fled on foot. 

 

Police say he was caught after a short foot chase, and found with 6.8-grams of cocaine packaged for sale.  He was also accused of driving while impaired. 

 

Kimbrough faces several charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown area jumped 10-cents this week to $2.69 per gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

That from the AAA East Central's Gas Price Report.  The price for regular, unleaded at the pump continues to reflect the offline refineries in the south due to Hurricane Harvey, while simutaneously shortening the supply available. 

 

The current Energy Information Administration report says that regional gasoline supplies dropped to 60.5 million barrels last week.  At this time last year local gas prices sat at $2.39 per gallon a 30-cent difference.  Nationally the price is holding steady at $2.67 this week.

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WJTN Headlines

A medical emergency reportedly led to a motor vehicle accident in the town of Hanover that sent a north county woman to a Buffalo-area hospital early last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the car, operated by 60 year-old Linda Dolce of Irving went off Routes 5 and 20 last Friday afternoon, and struck a utility pole.  Deputies say Dolce was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  No charges have been filed. 

 

 

A Lakewood man accused of striking and killing another man in Ellery last year has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in Chautauqua County Court. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that 29 year-old Jude Gagliano entered the plea late last week before County Court Judge David Foley in Mayville. 

 

Gagliano is scheduled to be sentenced next Nov. 6 for the September 2016 accident.  The newspaper says the guilty plea stems from an incident in which Gagliano's truck struck a car driven by 22-year-old Charles Clutter at the intersection of Sinclair Drive and Route 380 in the town of Ellery. 

 

Clutter, who was from Stockton, died in the crash.  Gaglino was allegedly driving drunk when the accident occured and, failed to stop at a stop sign.

 

 

The harmful Blue-Green Algal Blooms that have been widespread in the south basin of Chautauqua Lake are now showing up in the north basin, as well. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan who says he's not surprised by the development.  In recent weeks there had been wide-spread blooms in the shallower south basin with some around Bemus Bay in the area north of the lake bridge.  He says the county, and lake groups have been working on a number of fronts to fight the blooms and, the ongoing weed issues. 

 

Horrigan says lower lake levels and, warmer temperatures late this Summer have contributed to the problem, along with phospherous and other nutrients getting into the lake.  He says the phosphorous levels will be cut as a new, closed sewer system is installed around the lake.  He says another group the Chautauqua Lake Partnership just recently held it's wrap-up meeting in Bemus Point, and discussed the Bemus Bay situation. 

 

Horrigan adds that there are also widespread Algal Blooms in Findley Lake.

 

 

President Donald Trump has commemorated his first commemoration of the "9/11" attacks as commander-in-chief. 

 

Both Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump observed a moment of silence this morning in Washington in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people killed 16 years ago when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

 

There will be a ceremony in front of the Chautauqua County Courthouse at Noon today.  A Jamestown-area native was killed in the attacks in New York City. 

 

Amy King of Celoron was a flight attendant on the second-plane that hit the World Trade Center towers.

 

 

The city of Jamestown's effort to annex four-acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities in Falconer will be heading to court after the Falconer Village and Ellicott Town Boards rejected the proposal last week. 

 

The City Council approved the annexation of the Dow Street Substation property at it's late August voting session.  That left the matter to be voted on in Falconer and Ellicott before Sept. 12

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says the BPU recently prepared for the likelyhood of more legal action by approving up to another $60,000 to pay future legal fees. 

 

Teresi says that'll bring the total available to pay legal costs will be $105,000.  He says the BPU first approved a change-order on the original contract with their legal counsel to pay an additional $5,000 in fees.  He says they then voted on the additional legal fees for both the board, and the city. 

 

The town and village are fighting the move, saying it would cost them as well as the county and the Falconer School District, about $320,000 in tax revenues they take in. 

 

However, the BPU would save that money and, the school district and city would split about $160,000 in payments in-lieu of taxes.

 

 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says her visit to Westfield last Friday is an example of how the state is transitioning to a new economy. 

 

Hochul was on hand to help announce the opening of a high-tech fish production facility. 

 

TimberFish Technologies is putting into operation a treatment production system at the Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing facility on Route 20 in Westfield.

 

This will grow fish by reusing all by-product nutrients from the distillery and brewery production at the site combined with locally produced wood chips which she calls a "fascinating" way to take us to "a new economy." 

 

TimberFish is investing $555,000, and utilizing a Empire State Development's grant of $100,000 for the system.  The company intends to create 200 to 200 future jobs.

 

 

Some 8 million New Yorkers were affected by the massive cyberattack targeting the credit monitoring company Equifax. 

 

The figure comes from the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has launched an investigation into the massive breach.  In total, the cyberattack targeting the credit monitoring company exposed data belonging to 143 million Americans including Social Security numbers, birthdates and driver's license numbers. 

 

Schneiderman says his office aims to "get to the bottom" of how the breach occurred.  He says anyone worried about their own information should call the Equifax response line at 866-447-7559.  He also encouraged consumers to monitor their credit and their accounts to check for unfamiliar charges or activity.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 9, 2017

Randolph man arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin in the Catt. County town...
A Cattaraugus County man accused of selling Heroin to another person late last Spring in the town of Randolph has now been arrested.  Sheriff's deputies in LIttle Valley say they and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested 32 year-old Brandon Reynolds Thursday at this home at 28 Sheldon Street.  Officers accuse Reynolds of selling the illegal narcotic to another person back on May 25.  He was arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal sale... and, possession of a controlled substance and was taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.
 
 
Hochul in Westfield Friday to cut ribbon on new eco-tech business...
New York's second-in-command visited a new business in the town of Westfield that is using eco-technology to raise fish to benefit the local economy and the environment.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at yesterday's grand opening of TimberFish Technologies High-Tech Fishery located on the grounds of Five&20 Spirits & Brewing.  Hochul spoke about the state's investment of over $100,000 into the new tech approach to raising fish using wood chips and the by-products of local wineries and breweries... saying that it's needed because old technologies aren't working anymore.  State Senator Cathy Young first heard about TimberFish in 2008.  She feels it's a great way of reinventing what we are doing in agribusiness using waste products from businesses in the area.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan were also among the elected officials taking part in Friday's event.  
 
 
Horrigan says budget team is wrapping up work on 2018 spending plan...
The finishing touches are being put on Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan's final budget so it can be presented to county lawmakers by late this month.  Horrigan says much of the 2018 spending plan is coming together... but, the majority of it is mandated by the state.  He says there are a couple of state costs his budget team is still working to get a handle on with local state legislative representatives.  As for his budget team... Horrigan says both are very seasoned.  Horrigan says his former Budget Director, Kitty Crow, is now the Finance Director and is working with new Budget Director, Kathleen Dennison on the approximately $270-million spending plan.  Dennison was budget director for the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office before moving to overall budget director.  At this point... Horrigan still can't say whether there will be a tax increase or decrease next year.  However... he says he's confident that they will be under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  Horrigan says he will formally present the 2018 executive budget at the county legislature's September 27th meeting.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Penhollow says Falconer Schools off to "smooth" start...
They've had a "very smooth start" to the new school year in the Falconer Central School District.  That from School Superindent Steve Penhollow... who says they got in four full-days of school this week... and he says a big help was something they normally did at the beginning of the year... but, this year did it before the start of classes.  For the second year in a row... they have held all of their orientations and open houses prior to the start of the school year on Sept. 5.  Penhollow says enrollment in the Falconer School District is right around 1,200 -- right about where it has been in recent years.  He says they're currently down about 25 students total... mainly in the high school.  He says Fenner Elementary School is up about 15 this year.
 
 
The 30th anniversary "Battle of Businesses" underway...
It's the 30th anniversary of the YMCA's "Battle of the Businesses..." and competition gets underway in several sports and other contests today.  It's again being sponsored by the Lakewood Family "Y..." and, begins with it's most popular event -- pitch softball.  Lakewood Branch Manager Tom Anderson says several other events take place later for companies across the Jamestown area.  He says golf, bowling and pickle-ball begin Sunday.  Anderson believes the "Battle" brings companies-- and the community closer together.  He says it's "neat" to see top management people working together on a team with people who do maintenance work at a local company.  Anderson says it also allows businesses to become more familiar with others in the area.  This year's battle will take place September 9 -- 16.
 
 
Lakewood to pick up storm debris on Monday...
Storm debris from last Monday night's storm in Lakewood will begin next Monday morning...Sept. 11.  Mayor Cara Birritierri says this is a "one time" pickup.  She says if anyone has branches, or brush that came down in their yards due to the heavy winds that were part of that storm... you are asked to pile up the "Storm" debris only in the right-of-ways by Sunday night. 
 
 
 
 
   
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Due to today's rainy weather Stateline Speedway has postponed opening night of it's Fall Classic racing weekend tonight

 

Track officials say they will run the two-day show now on Saturday and Sunday nights. 

 

Again tonight's opening night for Stateline's fall weekend show has been called off until tomorrow night.  Saturday's program will now take place Sunday night.

 

 

A Bemus Point man, already wanted by police, has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of one-and-a-half pounds of Methamphetamine during a raid in the town of Ellery. 

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 41 year-old Gary Hannold of the Ellery-Centralia Road shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday on an indictment warrant. 

 

During the investigation Hannold was earlier stopped by a Sheriff's Department Patrol which allegedly found a quantity of Meth in the car.  Hannold was later indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, and charged with Unlawfully Possessing with Intent to Distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine. 

 

The total found in the house was 680 grams.  Hannold was arrested and taken to the county jail without bail.  He will be arraigned in U-S District Court at a later date. 

 

Authorities continue to ask residents to contact them if they see suspicious or narcotics related activity 1-800-344-8702.

 

 

A Warren County, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and marijuana during a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside. 

 

City police say they and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force pulled over the car for an alleged traffic infraction and, arrested 55 year-old William Dale, Senior of Russell. 

 

Officers say they found that Dale's driving privledges were suspended in New York and, they also found 11.5-grams of Meth and, 2.6-grams of pot.  Police add their investigation also led to a location where they also found another 6-ounces of Meth. 

 

Dale was charged with second and third-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment. 

 

Anyone with information on any illegal drug activity is asked to call their anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also send a message to their Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

 

Weather forecasters in western New York are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma, as residents of Florida either evacutate or brace for the deadly hurricane which could be record-breaking storm. 

 

The hurricane has devastated parts of the Carribean already with winds up to 185 MPH.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there are long range forecasts showing the remnants of the storm bringing rainfall here by the middle of next week. 

 

Chautauqua County Emergency Services Coordinator Julius Leone says they're working with state and federal officials that includes the New York State Emergency Management Office, and NOAA. 

 

At this point Jim Mitchell says it's still too early to tell how much rainfall we could get out of storm system because the storm will have lost a lot of it's punch once it gets here.  Leone says the area has been impacted by floods caused by previous storms where we've had tremendous amounts of rain from them. 

 

The remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972 brought record rainfall amounts to parts of the region.  In fact Wellsville received a record 13.9-inches from Agnes.

 

 

The Ellicott Town Board has followed it's colleagues in Falconer in voting unanimously against two resolutions rejecting the city of Jamestown's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village that is owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says the panel yesterday afternoon voted against a "negative declaration" on the city's Environmental Assessment Form for the effort. 

 

McLaughlin says they also rejected the actual annexation measure, 5-0.  McLaughlin declined to go on tape but, did say this is, quoted - "the saddest day I've had here since I became town supervisor."

_____

 

Wednesday night the Falconer Village Board voted 5-0 on the same two measures.  That means that, outside of the city council the two other boards directly involved have rejected the resolutions. 

 

Village Mayor Jim Rensel says both items were voted down unanimously, 5-0.  Rensel declined comment Thursday morning. 

 

The proposed annexation would cost the village, the Falconer School District, Chautauqua County, and town of Ellicott, about $320,000 total in tax dollars that the four entities would lose if the annexation goes through.

 

 

The retiring director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has received the organization's highest award in his final year of service. 

 

Randy Sweeney became the 25th recipient of the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award last night during a dinner presentation at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. 

 

Selection Committee Chairwoman Bridget Johnson said Sweeney is not only director of the foundation but, gives his time to help several local organizations carry out their missions. 

 

Those organizations include the Robert H. Jackson Center, and the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Sweeney's son Adam, and wife, Peggy also spoke.  Peggy Sweeney presented a tongue-in-cheek slide show about the Randy Sweeney those attending didn't know. 

 

In accepting the Hamilton Award, Sweeney recalled moving up to be a Vice-President at the former Quality Markets.  He says the owners wanted to do more with the community and, that's when he realized "how important that service is to the communities and the individuals involved."  He is celebrating his 20th year as director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation during his final year with the foundation which has seen continued growth during his tenure.

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WJTN Headlines

Falconer village lawmakers have voted unanimously against the city of Jamestown's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village that is owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

Village Mayor Jim Rensel confirms the 5-0 vote took place at Wednesday night's meeting at village hall. Rensel says there were two votes taken, the first was to reject the city council's "negative declaration" that the annexation would have no environmental impacts and, the other regarded the annexation itself. 

 

Rensel declined further comment Thursday morning.  Village officials have rejected the proposed annexation which would cost the village, the Falconer School District, Chautauqua County, and town of Ellicott about $320,000 total in tax revenues all four entities would lose if the annexation goes through. 

 

The Ellicott Town Board is voting this afternoon on the annexation which has been approved by the Jamestown City Council.

 

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman believes it was a wise move by President Trump to phase-out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA Program. 

 

The Corning Republican says he agrees with the president in not just cutting off DACA but for providing a six month window of opportunity for Congress to finally act on the issue. 

 

Reed says he would like the 800-thousand people, who were brought here as children, be allowed to stay.  However he says legislative action is needed to deal with the matter not just executive orders, because "what can be done by executive orders can be undone by executive orders." 

 

Reed says he is hopeful that some kind of legislation can be enacted by the Senate and House and, that it may ultimately lead to comprehensive Immigration Reform.  He says it could also be part of a border security measure.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

 

Hurricane Harvey is having a significant impact on the prices of gasoline across the nation and, Chautauqua County. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded, is up 15-cents a gallon from last week.  AAA says the local price which was $2.44 a gallon last week is now nearly $2.59 a gallon. 

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that prices across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region continue to follow the trend of having some of the most expensive states in the country.  Nationally AAA says the average price is now $2.65 a gallon.  Motorists in 26 states are paying 25 to 44 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared to seven days ago.

 

 

The new head of the Jamestown Public Schools says they had a good and "uneventul" start to the new school year Wednesday. 

 

Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says there were no significant problems reported to him yesterday during the opener which was a half-day of school. 

 

Apthorpe had been working with former interim Superintendent Sylvia Root late this Summer to get ready to hit the ground-running on September 1st after coming from the Frontier District.  He says he's excited to be back in Chautauqua County where he grew up in Mayville. 

 

Apthorpe says there's something special about the area and, it's really "the jewel of New York State."  He says there have been some capital projects taking place at Bush Elementary and Jefferson Middle Schools but, adds both schools were "buttoned up" about two-weeks before classes started.  He comes to Jamestown after serving a few years as superintendent at Frontier.  He says he was impressed with the Jamestown district from the moment he got to meet members of the school board. 

 

Apthorpe is a 1983 graduate of the former Mayville Central School District.

 

 

A coalition of more than 100 nonprofit community service organizations is urging New York's congressional delegation to reject proposed budget cuts to food stamps, Medicaid and other social programs. 

 

The group wrote to the state's federal lawmakers Thursday asking them to fight the cuts, which they said would devastate services for the most vulnerable residents.  Groups that signed on to the letter include child advocacy organizations, food banks, community service groups and religious organizations like Catholic Charities and the state's Council of Churches. 

 

In the letter, the groups say that proposals to cut billions of dollars from family assistance programs, the Child Tax Credit and Medicaid are "deeply disturbing."  They say Congress should find a bipartisan solution that protects services and avoids big problems at the state and national level.

 

 

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency has been named a fellow at the Fordham University School of Law's Center on National Security. 

 

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who led the agency from 2013 until January of this year, took the new position Tuesday.  The New York Times reports he has been named a distinguished fellow for global security and will participate in the Center on National Security's programs. 

 

Brennan says he also will mentor students at Fordham University who are interested in government service and national security. He graduated from the school in 1977, earning a degree in political science. 

 

Karen Greenberg, the founding director of the center, says Brennan will be the first fellow with the title of distinguished fellow.

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WJTN Headlines

The search is continuing for two men who allegedly held up the 575 Convenience Mart on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott early Tuesday morning. 

 

Ellicott Town Police say the two male suspects entered the store about 5:30 a.m., armed with knives.  They then assaulted the store clerk.  Police say a quantity of cash was taken from the cash register. 

 

At this time, Ellicott Police are asking for the public's help in finding the robbers.  If you have any information call Ellicott Police at 665-7083.

 

 

A sharp cold front moving through western New York late Monday into early Tuesday triggered a wave of severe thunderstorms that caused damage across portions of both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

 

That from Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Wood says there was a "clashing" of air masses involved one was very warm, while a sharp cold front pushed through it with strong winds aloft.  Wood says there were many reports of trees and power lines down across the region and, adds that top winds were in the north county, where there was a 60-mph an hour wind gust in Fredonia and a 59 mph gust at the Dunkirk Airport.  Among the many damage reports, a tree toppled onto a house in Silver Creek.

 

 

Thousands of students across Chautauqua County began school Tuesday while some others start today. 

 

Among those starting classes today is the Jamestown Public Schools which will have a half-day of school for all grade levels. 

 

That from new School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who began his tenure last Friday, Sept. 1.  However, Apthorpe has been working closely with former interim Superintendent Sylvia Root on the transition.  He says he's been catching up and, is enjoying his work especially seeing the excitement in the kids. 

 

Apthorpe says the main word for opening day is "safety" because so many students walk to school in Jamestown.  He says that number totals more than 4,000 students will be attending this year.  He says most of the kids are just learning their routes to school so motorists need to exercise care.

 

 

Four teenagers had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after their car was involved in a rollover crash in the town of Mina.

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Sulpher Springs Road about 8 p.m. Sunday night on a report of an accident.  Deputies say the teens were in a westbound car at an apparent high rate of speed, when the car left the road and overturned several times before hitting a utility pole, shearing it in half. 

 

All four juveniles were taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

 

It appeared by late yesterday that everyone who lost power in the Jamestown Board of Public Utliities' service area had power back after dozens of customers in the city and surrounding area lost elecricity during powerful overnight storms. 

 

That from BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins, who says the outages began shortly after 11 p.m. Monday when a line of storms with strong winds hit the area. 

 

Robbins says they had Electric Division crews out quickly and, they had portions of Jamestown and Celoron restored by late Tuesday morning.  She says they had a long-list of places that had lost power including the area of King, English, and Tower Streets which also includes the English Hill Substation as well as a Water Division pump station. 

 

In addition Robbins says that several customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna and, on Elmwood Avenue in Falconer lost power during the overnight hours.  She says in West Ellicott Howard, Warwick and Elmwood Avenues also lost power for some time. 

 

Robbins says there may still be an outage here or there.  If you have not had power restored call the BPU at 661-1660 and dial Extension 3.

 

 

There's a major vote being taken by Teamster's Union members across New York state today that would reduce their pension benefits significantly. 

 

That from Local Congressman Tom Reed who is urging retired members of the Teamsters union to make sure to vote by today's deadline and, to vote "no" on the proposal. 

 

Reed says he has been working with some of the local retirees who are among the 35,000 who would be impacted by the final vote.  Reed says they're facing a 29% reduction in their pensions.  He says he doesn't know how many of them are going to survive with such a cut in their pension. 

 

Reed says retirees can vote over the phone or on-line.  Reed says under the plan, present workers are also looking at an 18-percent reduction due to problems in the pension fund.   Teamsters leaders say they need the concession because they don't have the money to fully fund the pension plan. 

 

However, Reed says retirees need to have their voices heard especially regarding the need for an alternative that doesn't cut funding like the union is calling for. 

 

Reed adds that if a retired member doesn't vote directly he will be counted as a "yes" vote.

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WJTN Headlines

Electric crews with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are continuing to work on several scattered outages in the area that occured during the overnight storms that hit the region. 

 

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outages occured shortly after 11 p.m. Mondaywhen a line of storms with strong winds hit the area. 

 

Robbins says the gusty winds were especially a problem with many tree and limbs falling onto power lines across the area.  She says one trouble area on the city's westside, King, English and Tower Streets had power restored by late morning. 

 

The English Hill pump station also lost power for a while.  Robbins said late this morning that there were still some outages in the village of Celoron due to a downed tree on Duquesne Avenue. 

 

Power remains out on parts of Jackson Avenue, and, Livingston Avenue.  A few customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna and, on Elmwood in Falconer lost power. 

 

West Ellicott streets of Howard, Warwick and Elmwood have also been out of power.  She says crews will be into your area soon if not already but, if your power has not come on by early afternoon call the BPU at 661-1660 and customer service is at Ext. 3. 

 

 

Several waves of severe thunderstorms moved across Western New York overnight, causing damage across portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

 

The storms were ahead of a strong cold front that crossed the area according to Meteorologist Jeff Wood of the National Weather Service.  He says the storms left behind toppled trees and downed power lines with the strongest gust reported in Fredonia at 60 mph. 

 

A 59 mile an hour wind gust was also reported at the Dunkirk Airport.  Among the many damage reports, a tree toppled onto a house in Silver Creek.

 

 

There were a couple of scary moments during last night's abbreviated fireworks show at the Labor Day Festival. 

 

Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley says, preliminarily, a couple of people suffered what appeared to be very minor burns when hot embers from the fireworks went into the crowd shortly after the show began. 

 

Hanley says the winds really picked up shortly into the 12-minute program but, once they were alerted about the embers blowing into the crowd the fireworks were immediately stopped. 

 

An announcement was made saying there was a safety concern, and the fireworks show was concluded. 

 

 

For the third-time Jamestown's 38th annual Labor Day Festival was held at Bergman Park on Monday due to the storm system that passed through the area Sunday morning and early afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says it was the "right call" to make given the forecast for not only rain but, cooler than normal temperatures in the area.  He thanked the large number of people who turned out for the event on a sunny and warmer, but, breezy afternoon Sunday

 

Teresi also recalled what happened with David Willkinson was given the Ritzer award in 2013 and, just as they were wrapping up a storm system with 50 mph winds roared through and they had to evacuate people from the park. 

 

Teresi says the safety of their workers, volunteers and residents was their first consideration in deciding to move the festival to Monday

 

The storm included the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.  Teresi also recognized the city's 450 employees for the work they do every day for the residents of Jamestown.

 

 

For only the third time in the past 34 years a woman has received the Jamestown Central Labor Council's "George Ritzer Labor Award." 

 

Current Civil Service Employees Association Local #807 President Bonnie Peters was presented the award during yesterday afternoon's ceremony at the Jamestown Labor Day Festival. 

 

Peters who has headed up the unit representing most Chautauqua County employees says she's "extremely honored" to be one of the few women to have been honored.  She also used the opportunity to urge women involved in labor to take on more leadership positions to "help labor unions" regain the stature they once had. 

 

Central Labor Council President David Wilkinson echoed those sentiments, adding women are needed in the labor movement.  Peters was presented with a plaque and other accolades including a citation from the New York State Assembly.  Local Representative Andy Goodell presented it acknowledging that he and Peters don't always agree on labor matters. 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also presented Peters with a proclamation recognizing her and, also declared this week as "Labor Appreciation Week" in Jamestown. 

 

The Ritzer Award not only recognizes union leadership but, community involvement.

 

 

New York state had more jobs last year than at any time since the Great Recession, though upstate regions continue to struggle with job losses. 

 

The figures were published Monday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and first reported by The Associated Press. 

 

According to DiNapoli's statistics more than 9.1 million New Yorkers were working last year. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in 2016, its lowest point in nine years.

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News Alert for Tues., Sept 5, 2017

BPU Power Outage update!!...
 
Crews with the Electric Division of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is working to repair several outages that began occurring around Midnight this morning... due to storms and high winds.  Power has been out in the Village of Celoron in the vicinity of Jackson Avenue, Livingston Avenue, 5th and 7th Streets.  A few customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna... and, on Elmwood in Falconer lost power.  West Ellicott streets of Howard, Warwick and Elmwood have also been out of power.  
 
Jamestown electric outages are reported in the Palmer, Norton and Pershing areas.  Electricity is off in the areas of King,  English and Tower Streets. The BPU's English Hill water pump station has been off due to the outages... and, they've caused some low water pressure and discolored water in that area.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says damage to electric lines appears to be caused by high wind conditions bringing down trees and tree branches.
 
BPU crews are working to restore electricity... but no time estimate can be made at this time.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 4, 2017

Peters becomes third woman to receive Ritzer Labor Award...
For only the third time in the past 34 years... a woman has received the Jamestown Central Labor Council's "George Ritzer Labor Award."  Current Civil Service Employees Association Local #807 President Bonnie Peters was presented the award during this afternoon's ceremony at the Jamestown Labor Day Festival.  Peters... who has headed up the unit representing most Chautauqua County employees... says she's "extremely honored" to be one of the few women to have been honored... and, used the opportunity to urge women involved in labor to take on more leadership positions to "help labor unions" regain the stature they once had.  Central Labor Council President David Wilkinson echoed those sentiments.  Peters was presented with a plaque and other accolates... including a citation from State Assembly Andy Goodell.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also presented Peters with a proclamation recognizing her... and, also declared September 3rd through 9th as "Labor Appreciation Week" in Jamestown.
 
 
City couple arrested after 2-year-old child is found unattended to...
A Jamestown couple is under arrest after their 2-year-old child was left unattended for more than 30-minutes last Sunday night... and, was found walking around in the 700 block of East Second Street.  City police were called to the scene at East Second and Thayer Streets just before 6:30 p.m., and found the child wandering alone.  However... officers couldn't locate the parents.  Police say about 30-minutes later... the parents called police... saying they couldn't find their child.  Further investigation revealed that one parent had left the house, and the other was sleeping when the 2-year-old left the house unattended... and, walked nearly a block before being found okay.  Police say the child was turned over to a family friend... and, they arrested the parents, 29 year-old Christina Scivener and 25 year-old Andrew Morton for endangering the welfare of a child.  Child Protective Services was also called.
 
 
City man arrested for Cocaine possession during traffic stop...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of cocaine during a traffic stop on Allen Street early yesterday morning.  Jamestown Police say they pulled over 42 year-old Scott Moore's car shortly before 3 a.m. for failure to dim his high-beams.  Officers say they found Moore had a suspended non-driver ID only... and, he was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Police say they found the cocaine during a search prior to his being put in the city jail on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... unlicensed operation... and, on two bench warrants.
 
 
Reed believes there will be no government shut-down over Trump's proposed Border Wall...
Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he believes lawmakers can avoid a government shut-down... and, provide what's needed for border security.  That from Corning Republican Tom Reed in the wake of President Donald Trump's threat to shut the government down if there's no funding for a border wall in the final budget that Congress needs to pass before the end of September.  Reed says the bi-partisan Problem Solver's Caucus has been working on House measures that have broad support among Republicans and Democrats.  As for a border wall... Reed believes there are other -- less expensive means -- to secure the southern border.  Increasing the debt ceiling is another matter that Congress needs to take-up once lawmakers return from their August recess.  However... officials on Sunday talk shows feel that should happen due to the need for federal Hurricane relief in southeastern Texas.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Capitol Watch on new SUNY Chancellor...
In New York state government news, the state's higher education system is getting a new leader and its Court of Appeals faces a busy week.  Kristina Johnson formally takes over as chancellor of the State University of New York on Tuesday.  The Stanford University-educated scientist and engineer holds 118 patents and has held top positions at Johns Hopkins and Duke University.  Meanwhile, the court will hear arguments in several cases, including one centering on DNA evidence lost to floods during Superstorm Sandy.
 
 
Jamestown man and woman arrested on drug and other charges following traffic stop...
Two city residents have been arrested on several traffic infractions... and, for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and drug paraphernalia.  Jamestown Police say they pulled over a Ford Brono on South Main Street about 4 a.m. Saturday for a loud muffler, and suspended registration.  Officers say they found the operator, 27 year-old Zachary Legere, was driving with a suspended license... without a registration... and, no insurance.  Police say his passenger, 29 year-old Maddie Seiler, was found in possession of a quantity of Meth, drug paraphernalia, and a hypodermic needle.  She's charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Seiler was being held pending arraignment... Legere was cited and released.
 
 

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News Alert for Sun., Sept. 3, 2017

(**Announcement!!!) The city of Jamestown's annual Labor Day Festival has been postponed to tomorrow due to the forecast Sunday of inclement weather from remnants of Hurricane Harvey passing through the region.  Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley says the forecast tomorrow is much warmer, and it'll be sunny for ALL the activities -- including the Dan Feather 5-K Run/Walk.  Again, all activities planned for Jamestown's 38th annual Labor Day Festival have been moved to tomorrow, Sept. 4.

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 2, 2017

Remnants of Harvey claims one event today; Stateline is cancelled tonight...
We have learned that Stateline Speedway has cancelled tonight's racing program due to the remnants of Hurricane Harvey arriving in the area later today.  There has been no make-up date scheduled... because Stateline will have it's three-day racing festival next weekend.  Again... due to remnants of Harvey arriving later today... tonight's final night of the regular season has been cancelled.
 
 
Jamestown's Labor Day Festival still on for Sunday -- as of now -- here's a preview...
Remnants of Hurricane Harvey are expected to reach the Jamestown-area by late today... But, the forecast late this week improved late this week for Sunday's 38th annual Labor Day Festival.  The event remains on track to start at 9:30 a.m. at Bergman Park with the annual Dan Feather 5-K Run/Walk... with other activities beginning at 11 a.m.  That from the festival's main organizer... Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley... who says there'll be plenty for everyone of all ages.  There'll be free kids games, Pepsi Bingo, and several food booths put on by local non-profits, or for them by local businesses.  For the first time this year... those organizations will include the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village at the Ashville BOCES.  Another organizer is Mayor's Assistant Matt Hanley... who says the 24 arts and crafts booths will open at 11 a.m.  Music will begin on the "second-stage" on the festival grounds at 12 Noon... with the main stage starting at about 12:30 p.m.  There'll be fireworks just after 8:30 p.m., and, the annual George Ritzer Labor Award will be presented at 4 p.m. on the main stage.
 
 
Gerace says Sheriff's Office is part of latest Stop-DWI Crackdown...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department will be joining wit state Police and other agencies for this weekend's latest STOP DWI Crackdown over the Labor Day Holiday period.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says it's part of a national crackdown on impaired and distracted driving.  Gerace says this will be the last "high traffic" weekend of the Summer season... and, they'll be out looking for people driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted driving.  He says drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints during the campaign... along with more troopers and other law enforcement on major highways.  With more people traveling on the highway... motorists need to think safety.  Gerace adds they'll be watching for people who are not properly buckled up... as well as drivers who are violating the Move Over Law.  The Sheriff's Department receives grant funding to help support the Stop DWI Crackdown efforts.
 
 
Kolb looking into run for Governor...
The top Republican in the New York state Assembly says he's considering running for governor next year.  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb told The Auburn Citizen that he's giving "serious thought" to a campaign after being approached by Republican leaders and business owners.  The Canandaigua lawmaker acknowledged the challenges of taking on Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has already raised more than $25 million for his bid for a third term.  Kolb has criticized Cuomo's handling of the economy and has pushed for tougher state ethics rules.
 
 
Ellicott Town Board sets meeting to vote on proposed Annexation of Dow St. Substation by Jamestown...
One of the other muncipal entities that has to vote on the proposed annexation of four-acres of land at the Jamestown City line with Falconer will vote on the measure next Thursday.  Ellicott Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says the town board will hold a special meeting next Thursday, Sept. 7 at 12 Noon.  The annexation would bring the property the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on into the city.  The property is assessed at between $7-million and $7.5-million.  The city council voted unanimously this past Monday to approve the annexation.  It must also be voted on by the Ellicott Town... and, Falconer Village Boards.  If either rejects the measure... it will go to state appellate court.
 

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WJTN Headlines

A truck hitting a utility pole anchor, breaking the pole and shorting out the electric lines triggered a major outage Wednesday morning affecting several industrial and commercial locations in Falconer. 

 

Spokeswoman Becky Robbins with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says the truck hit the anchor, and broke the pole about 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Dow and Allen Streets. 

 

Robbins says the power outage impacted SKF Aerospace, Truck-Lite, Schwann, Jones-Carroll, Kingsview Paving and others.  She says electricity to South Dow Street customers was restored in about an hour.  All remaining customers had power back by about 11:30 a.m.

 

 

The New York Air National Guard is deploying more resources to Texas to help out with the response to Harvey's record-breaking flooding. 

 

New York officials say a search and rescue aircraft carrying 15 airmen from the 106th Rescue Wing was headed to Fort Hood in Texas on Tuesday. A regional medical plans officer will head to Texas on Thursday to help with the evacuation and transportation of patients from local hospitals. This is in addition to the 104 Airmen already dispatched to the area along with rescue helicopters and watercraft.

 

 

 

The city of Houston has set a new single-storm rainfall record for the continental U-S with more than 50 inches of rain due to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. 

 

That's a lot more than the heaviest rainfall amounts ever recorded in Western New York.  That from Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says the wettest 5-day period in Western New York resulted from the remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972. 

 

Hitchcock says some locations including Olean and Wellsville had upwards of 13-inches of rain.  He says Wellsville had a record 13.9-inches from Agnes. 

 

Hitchcock says 50 inches of rainfall in such a short-time in Western New York is not likely because we are not in a tropical environment right off the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Still, the remnants of Agnes caused some of the worst flooding in recorded history across parts of the Southern Tier including Olean, Elmira and Corning. 

 

We are expected to get some rain from the remnants of Harvey by late next weekend.

 

 

The price of gasoline in the Jamestown-area has risen sharply late yesterday at some gasoline stations with a number of refineries in southeastern Texas shut-down due to Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. 

 

While the price had stayed steady the past few days it's gone up 9 to 10 cents a gallon since yesterday morning at some service stations. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report said the average price yesterday was still about $2.44 cents a gallon.  During the lunch hour we had a chance to check some prices in the area and, some had already gone up to $2.53 and $2.54 a gallon while a few others were still at $2.44 a gallon for regular, unleaded. 

 

Nationally the price was up four-cents to $2.37 a gallon as of late Monday.

 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed has signed-on as a co-sponsor of legislation proposed by another member of the House from western New Yorker he says would guarantee American's second-amendment rights. 

 

The Corning Republican adds that the Second Amendement Guarantee Act would also make New York's controverial SAFE Act null-and-void. 

 

The Corning Republican said Tuesday that he has signed onto the legislation authored by Clarence Republican Chris Collins. 

 

Reed says he believes the issue of gun violence can be addressed in other ways than restricting gun rights and, the focus needs to be on mental health and, violent criminal activity.  He has often discussed the need to deal with Mental Illness issues better as opposed to limiting access to guns.  He calls this a protective measure and feels that an attack against citizen's Second-Amendment is "not the right way" to go. 

 

The SAFE Act otherwise known as the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was proposed by Governor Cuomo in 2013 in the wake of the mass shooting deaths of more than two-dozen people, mostly young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  So far it has withstood court challenges.

 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has now held the first two of three public hearings on a county-wide shared services plan. 

 

Horrigan held the first hearing at the Fredonia Technology Incubator in Dunkirk and, the second was last night at the county's EMS Office in Mayville.  He says turnout was light for the first one but there was generally positive feedback about a proposal to look at the consolidation of the County's court system from those involved.  He says people want some more information though. 

 

Horrigan says he is outlining the current proposals they have and, the final hearing will be tonight in Jamestown at the BWB Building on West Third Street.  Horrigan says it'll begin in the second-floor conference room at 6:30 p.m.

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WJTN Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports President Trump's decision to go to Texas while rescue and relief efforts are still on-going. 

 

The president was in both Austin and the Corpus Christi area yesterday where he called Hurricane, now Tropical Storm Harvey a storm of "epic proportion." 

 

Congressman Reed earlier Tuesday said his "thoughts, prayers, and support" go to the people of Houston and, surrounding area. 

 

Reed says he doesn't believe it's "too early" for the president to be in Texas adding that knowing the president, "he wants to be hands-on and, on the ground."  Preliminarily the recovery effort was expected to cost at least $3-billion.  However, the Corning Republican says this has been an "unprecidented storm" and, he believes Congress will provide the needed emergency funding once members return from their August break. 

 

The president received an update from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and others Tuesday.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

 

While prices shot up across parts of the country in the wake of Hurricane Harvey blasting the southeast Texas coast the cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area is holding steady this week. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says today that the average, local price was down. slightly to $2.43.9 this week. 

 

AAA says it's the sixth-straight week that prices have held steady in the region.  The Fuel Gauge reports that prices are relatively stable throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. 

 

Nationally the price is up to $2.37 a gallon this week which is four-cents more than last week.

 

 

Sinclairville woman being treated for injuries following head-on accident in Kiantone.

 

A Sinclairville woman escaped serious injury yesterday morning when she swerved to avoid a deer in the town of Kiantone and, her car went off the road and struck a utility pole head-on. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 55 year-old Lori Swift was northbound on Peck-Settlement Road about 7:30 a.m. when her car went off the road, and hit the National Grid pole. 

 

Deputies say Swift was treated at the scene by an Allstar Ambulance crew and, was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  No charges were filed.

 

 

A 21.5% increase in student enrollment at the State University of New York College at Fredonia has left college officials pleased with the results of new recruitment efforts. 

 

College Council Chair Frank Pagano says he is thrilled with the efforts and says they are picking up more students from the downstate area. 

 

Pagano says they hired a recruiter to get more students from the New York Metro-area as well as Long Island.  He says SUNY at Fredonia is also responding more quickly to student applications. 

 

At one point he says it was nearly two-weeks before university got back to prospective students.  He says that's now been cut to five-days from the time the college receives the application to the student being notified of acceptance. 

 

A former mayor of Fredonia, Pagano says the increase in enrollment is bringing new excitement to the campus.  The university is the largest employer in the Dunkirk-Fredonia and remains a key player in the region's economy.

 

 

Criticism of the city of Jamestown's plan to annex the Dow Street Substation continued during Monday night's privledge of the floor at the city council's voting session. 

 

City resident Chris Gardner continued to ask who pushed for the annexation in the beginning and, who supported it. Gardner says the move will have a significant tax impact on the village of Falconer town of Ellicott and Falconer School District.  

 

While the BPU voted to petition city council for the annexation he insisted that BPU staff he's talked to said they didn't "push for it."  Gardner adds that he feels it's "politically motivated." 

 

Another resident Ravin Mason of Lovell Avenue had a dozen questions she felt city council should answer in their own minds before voting one was what kind of financial straits would the loss of $7.5-milion in assessment have on these smaller municipalities? 

 

She adds that this would add to the loss of taxable property due to the major apartment, commercial building fire in downtown Falconer late last Winter.

 

 

Members of the Jamestown City Council and Mayor Sam Teresi celebrated the more than 30-year career of retiring Director of Finance and City Clerk James Olson at the end of Monday night's Council meeting. 

 

Teresi was joined by lawmakers in presenting a special plaque to Olson.  Olson returned to city government after a short hiatus when Teresi began his tenure as Mayor in 2000. 

 

However Teresi says their friendship dates back to when Teresi interned at City Hall with former Mayor Steven Carlson and, Olson was Carlson's Executive Assistant at the time. 

 

The mayor says he understood that Olson had a hard decision to make in retiring because his head was telling him he needed to take his new opportunity, but, his heart wanted to be with city government. 

 

That opportunity is the chance to work full-time with a local accounting and tax preparation firm.  Olson's final day will be Thursday, Aug. 31.  He'll be replaced by Jamestown-area attorney Todd Thomas who will become the city's new Director of Administrative Services and City Clerk on Sept. 1.

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WJTN Headlines

City officials in Jamestown are pleased to see the state's Department of Environmental Conservation approve the city council as lead agency for the final process of annexing four-acres of land in the village of Falconer and, town of Ellicott. 

 

With that city council last night gave final approval to the annexation of land the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on.  The DEC issued it's ruling late last week and, notified the city late last Friday. 

 

With that, lawmakers approved three measures accepting the DEC's approval as well as the final two phases of an Environmental Assessment Form stating that the annexation would have no "negative impact" on the environment. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says the DEC ruling can't be challenged but, he says the city's environmental assessment could be in the state's Appellate Division.  Teresi says once they got e-mail confirmation of the approval by the DEC last Friday they began drafting resolutions for last night's meeting. 

 

The city had been waiting for the DEC Commissioner to sign-off on the measure so lawmakers could vote on approving the annexation of land.  The annexation must now must be voted on by the Falconer village and, Ellicott town boards. 

 

Teresi says if either one rejects the annexation the matter will go to court.

 

 

Jamestown city leaders last night celebrated a more than 30-year career in the city and, said a fond farewell to retiring Director of Finance and City Clerk James Olson. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi was joined by council members in presenting a special plaque to Olson at the end of last night's meeting. 

 

Olson returned to city government after a short hiatus when Teresi began his tenure as Mayor in 2000.  However Teresi says their friendship dates back to when Teresi interned at City Hall with former Mayor Steven Carlson and, Olson was Carlson's Executive Assistant at the time. 

 

Teresi adds that Olson will remain a member of two boards and commissions that he is a member of, as he becomes a full-time employee of a local accounting firm.  He also acknowledged that Olson was having a fight between his head and his heart over the decision to retire especially over the past month. 

 

Olson will be replaced by Jamestown-area attorney Todd Thomas who will become the city's new Director of Administrative Services and City Clerk on September 1st.

 

 

The New York State Department of Transportation has reportedly rescinded approvals for the massive roundabout project that's been planned for the Route 20 and Route 60 intersection in the town of Pomfret. 

 

That's the word from an area business that filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court. 

 

McDonald's restaurant Owner/Operator Enrico Francani challenged the DOT's determination that the roundabout project is not subject to an environmental impact review in state law.  As a result the State DOT has agreed to undertake the required environmental review. 

 

Attorney Adam Walters represents Francani and believed more review is needed and that the initial decision was "a mistake."  With that, they filed the lawsuit, and the DOT rescinded all the approvals. 

 

Walters says the lawsuit also highlighted changes that would adversely impact the franchise.  He says both of their entrances would be cut off by medians for the roundabout which he says will have a "significant impact on the business." 

 

We have also reached out to the State DOT's Regional Office in Buffalo for comment but, have not received a response at this time. 

 

 

The American Red Cross is again on the scene of a major, national disaster this time the Houston, Texas region that's been devastated by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey. 

 

That from Western and Central New York Red Cross Disaster Officer Ken Turner who says their hearts go out to the millions of victims in the region. 

 

Turner says the western part of the region alone has sent 33 volunteers to help staff shelters, and assist people with emergency provisions.  He says five are from Western New York and, one is Silver Creek's Ron Chwojdak. 

 

Turner says the Red Cross effort is truly "Americans helping Americans."  He says the number of volunteers is by no means final because the Red Cross is likely to be in the Houston area for the next several weeks providing assistance. 

 

Turner says if people would like to help the effort you can mail a check to the American Red Cross.  You can also text to "Harvey at #90999".  You can also call the Red Cross at 1800-RED CROSS.

 

 

Investigators in the north county are continuing to look into why a Dunkirk man was sitting between the rails of the CSX Rail line last Friday when he was struck by an eastbound train. 

 

That from City Police Chief David Ortolano who released the name of the victim late yesterday morning.  Ortolano says 27 year-old John Sharp was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident which occured about 8:30 p.m. above the South Roberts Road overpass. 

 

Ortolano says they didn't release Sharp's name immediately because they had difficulty reaching relatives and, notifying them.  The Chautauqua County Coroner's Office has also been involved in the investigation.

 

 

New York has 31 new environmental conservation officers and nine new forest rangers. 

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation says they all graduated from the agency's 21st Basic School for Uniformed Officers and received diplomas Friday in Pulaski. 

 

The academy ran for 28 weeks with training and coursework in environmental conservation law, physical conditioning, firearms, wildlife identification, search and rescue, wildfire suppression and other skills. 

 

Across the state in 2016, environmental conservation officers responded to over 26,000 calls and issued 22,000 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining.

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LOCAL NEWS

WJTN Headlines for Tuesday Nov. 21, 2017

The Jamestown City Council is faced with two options to close a nearly one-million dollar projected shortfall in Mayor Sam Teresi's 2018 budget proposal.    T...

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