News Update for Thurs., Oct. 31, 2013

High Wind Warning in effect beginning at 8 p.m. tonight...

It's shaping up as a windy and rainy Halloween 2013.  The National Weather Service has replaced a High Wing Wind Watch with a High Wind Warning from 8 p.m. tonight until 2 p.m. Friday.  Forecaster Jeff Wood is with the Weather Service Office in Buffalo... and, says gusts will be strong... with sustained winds of at least 30 mph... and, gusts from the southwest at 60 mph.  Wood says the winds could be damaging... and, impact driving conditions during the Warning period.


Taglianetti trial focuses again on gun allegedly used to kill Keith Reed, Jr...

Two forensic lab scientists testified today that they found DNA from victim Keith Reed, Junior on and in the barrel of the 357-Magnum gun allegedly used by a Virginia man to kill Reed in September of 2012.  The prosecution presented testimony... and, detailed evidence on Day-Seven of Anthony Taglianetti's second-degree murder trial today.  The scientists are both members of the State Police Forensic Laboratory in Albany. 


New Lake Shore Health Center developments...

There are more developments concerning the Lake Shore Health Care Center.  The Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York announced today that its board decided to re-create a separate TLC Health Network board to operate the facility in Irving.  In statement, LERHSNY officials say they believe a separate board provides the best chance for the hospital's sale, job retention and continued operations.  Three former LERHSNY board members will serve on the independent board, Timothy Cooper, Dr. James Wild and Virginia Cooper, no relation to Timothy. 


 

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WJTN News Headlines

There is officially a buyer for the former AFA Foods Company building off Route 474 in the town of Harmony.  County Economic Development officials... and, the owners of Empire Specialty Cheese Company... were on hand at the AFA property yesterday morning to announce the Cattaraugus County company has purchased the 80-thousand square foot building... and, adjacent property.  County Executive Greg Edwards... who has been criticized for no sealing an earlier deal for a pet food maker to move in... said he was "thrilled" to announce the news. County Economic Development... and, Industrial Development Agency Director Bill Daly... says they received help from the Empire State Development agency.... and, state Office of Community Renewal to get the deal in place.  Daly says the project to convert the building to a cheese factory will cost about 6.37-million dollars.  He says costs include relocating the business... and, renovation upgrades to the building.  Empire Specialty Cheese owners Jerry and Tony Matese say they're excited over the larger location... and, being able to expand their current line of two cheeses.  Tony Matese says they hope to employ 200 at the end of their first five years.

 

The last prosecution witness in the second-degree murder trial of Anthony Taglianetti has taken the stand... and, more evidence of Taglianetti's presence in Chautauqua County was presented.  A 37-year postal worker from Virginia... Jim Hickey... testified that Taglianetti came in and applied for a Passport.  In addition... Hickey says the defendant said he was leaving on a trip to the "Holy Land" on October 12th, 2012.  Earlier... evidence from Taglianetti's lap-top showed that he had shopped for airline tickets to the Middle East.  Prosecutors also laid more groundwork showing that Taglianetti was in Chautauqua County at the time victim Keith Reed, Junior was shot and killed.

 

A Jamestown man is jailed on Felony assault charges for allegedly injuring a one-year-old child that was left in his care.  City police say 35 year-old Michael Olay, Junior was arrested on a warrant following an investigation into the October 13th incident.  Police declined to release what kind of injuries the child suffered... but, did say they were non-life threatening.  Officers say Olay was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault... and, endangering the welfare of a child... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  Chautauqua County Child Protective Services assisted in the investigation.

 

Forecasters are telling residents to get ready for some strong winds starting late Halloween night... and continuing through Friday.  The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch for most of Western New York -- including Chautauqua County -- from late Thursday night through Friday evening.  Meteorologist Shawn Smith in Buffalo says southwest winds will be 30 to 40 MPH with gusts up to 60 possible.  Smith said Wednesday the winds will start to pick up on Thursday. Smith says the winds will be produced by a storm system from out of the Central Plains... and, will shift to out of the Great Lakes... may result in some downed tree limbs and power lines.  They will also make for difficult travel in high profile vehicles.

 

A Ripley man has been charged with driving while intoxicated following a May motorcycle accident in which his speeding bike went out of control... and, crashed into a guard rail.  Sheriff's Deputies say they recently received toxicology reports back on 25 year-old David Baum... and, concluded their investigation.  Officers say Baum was southbound on Route 76 shortly after Midnight last May 16th... when he failed to negotiate a curve... and, his Harley Davidson struck a guard rail.  He was treated for his injuries... and, is now charged with DWI, failure to keep right... and, speed not reasonable.  Baum was issued appearance tickets for Ripley Town Court at a later date.

 

Luke Williams and his cousin made quite a splash on the scene in the late 1980s when they hit the World Wrestling Federation as "The Bushwackers."  Williams will be in Jamestown this Friday night... without cousin Butch... as part of the Legends of Wrestling night at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. Williams and Butch Miller began their wrestling careers in the mid-1960s as the Kiwi Sheepherders in New Zealand.  They were an immediate favorite in Promoter Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation... now known as the World Wrestling Entertainment.  Williams says he's looking forward to being on the ticket with a number of other legends from that era. That's not all... Williams says a wrestler very familiar to Jamestown-area wrestling fans... Brutis the Barber Beefcake... will also be in action.  Williams had been retired... but, says he got a call after "The Honky Tonk" man suffered an injury... and, was asked to fill in on a card in Denver.  He admits the first night was rough... but, adds he's got his "rythmn back."  The "Legends of Wrestling" program at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena begins at 7 PM Friday.  There are still tickets available... and, for more information... call the arena box office.

 

The health system that owns Lake Shore Health Care center says it will continue the process of trying to sell the facility in Irving... and, will follow up on several leads.  That from a printed statement released about Noon Wednesday from the Lake Erie Regional Health System.  In the statement... health system officials say the Board of Directors voted Tuesday night to continue the process of trying to sell Lake Shore because offers received to date "are insufficient." 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man who was struck by a car at the intersection of Washington and West Seventh Streets earlier this month has died from his injuries.  City police say 69 year-old Kenneth Wright... who suffered a severe head injury in the accident... succumbed to his injuries this past Thursday.  Officers say Wright was walking east across Washington Street towards Dow Park back on October 9th... when he was struck by the car.  The vehicle was operated by an unidentified 56 year-old resident... who may face charges.  Police say Wright was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie where he later died.  Officers say the investigation is continuing.

 

The inflamatory e-mail that allegedly set off Anthony Taglianetti and drove him to drive to Clymer to kill Keith Reed, Junior... was read in county court Tuesday.  That e-mail between Reed and Taglianetti's ex-wife, Mary, refered to "phone sex" the two allegedly had on August 5th of 2012.  Taglianetti's high-profile trial resumed Tuesday in county court.  Detailed photographs of the revolver allegedly used to kill Reed in September of last year were shown to the jury.  The 357-Magnum had reddish-brown stains on it... but, had been adjusted to fire 38-Special bullets.  A Prince William County, Virginia Crime Scene Specialist... who examined Taglianetti's gold-colored buick after he returned to Virginia... found the gun under the driver's seat.

 

A city man has been arrested for allegedly violating his conditions from drug treatment court... and, running from police while leaving his 3-year-old son in the car.  Jamestown Police say a patrol officer stopped a vehicle... driven by 33 year-old Joshua Treacy... because they spotted a passenger not wearing a seat belt.  While the officer was checking information on the occupants... they say Treacy ran from the scene -- leaving the young boy behind -- along with two unrelated adults.  Police say the two people had recently been picked up by Treacy.  He was chased by JPD and State Police K-9 teams... and, tracked to 853 Prendergast Avenue... which he appeared to enter.  Officers say Treacy was found... under a pile of clothing... in an upstairs apartment.  He refused to comply at first... and, was bit in the arm-area by one of the K-9s.  Treacy was treated at the scene... and, charged with violation of drug treatment court.... resisting arrest... obstruction and endangering the welfare of a child.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

 

A long-time member of the Lakewood-Busti Police Department has resigned to take a security job in the private sector... but, at least for now -- his management position will not be filled.  That from Police Chief John Bentley... who says Sergeant Investigator Paul Gustafson's last day was the end of last week.  Gustafson was with the department for 22 years after a short stint in the beginning with the Ellicott Police Department.  Bentley says he was a "great employee...." Bentley says the general make-up of the police force has changed in recent years due to some retirements... and, Gustafson's resignation.  However... he says they have three fewer full-timers as they had 30 years ago when the Lakewood and Busti forces combined.  Bentley says they have nine full-timers... and, 10 part-timers... which makes scheduling a challenge.  He says part-timers can only work so many hours under Civil Service Law.  While they have fewer full-timers... and, more part-timer... they're answering seven times the number of calls they've had in recent years.

 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has launched a statewide survey of deer hunters to get their opinions on the new deer management plan.  The survey is being conducted for DEC by the Human Dimensions Research Unit at Cornell University.  Commissioner Joe Martens says that during the development of the 2012-2016 deer management plan... some hunters expressed strong interest in modifying hunting rules to allow more bucks to live to older ages.  In response... the agency has tried several ways to reduce the harvest of yearling bucks.

 

State lawmakers from the area continue to follow developments concerning the future of the Lake Shore Health Care Center... including word of a local group that has submitted a letter of intent to purchase the facility in Irving.  While he did not comment on the proposal, Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he is continuing to work closely with State Senator Cathy Young... and, fellow Assemblyman Joe Giglio from Cattaraugus County.  Goodell says they have two major goals. Goodell is encouraging any group... or organization that is interested in acquiring the facility to make a "legitimate offer" that meets those objectives.  Silver Creek Businessman Anthony Borrello is leading the group that submitted a letter of intent which states a proposed purchase price of between 11-million... and, 15-million dollars.  The Health System's Board of Directors discussed the proposal when they met last night.

 

A New York anti-corruption commission pointedly critiqued the state's Board of Elections at a hearing... questioning its enforcement efforts and the dual-party nature of its very structure.  Representatives of the state election board pushed back against the questioning from members of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption at Monday night's Manhattan hearing.  They emphasized a lack of resources and staff at the organization.  The hearing was the third from the Moreland commission.  It was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The commission isn't technically authorized to investigate the legislative branch of state government.  But... Cuomo directed the commission to investigate the records of the Board of Elections and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, both executive branch agencies.  That probe would consider the connection between campaign contributions, lobbying and lawmakers.

 

A major credit rating agency has downgraded its view of the New York Thruway Authority over concerns about how much tolls will increase when the Tappan Zee Bridge is replaced north of Manhattan.  Standard & Poor's Ratings Service says it has reduced the rating for bonds sold by the Thruway Authority from A+ to A.  The agency says it acted because the authority hasn't detailed how much tolls will rise and traffic volume appears to be declining.

 

Nik Wallenda is still planning to create a permanent attraction to mark his televised wire walk over Niagara Falls more than a year ago.  State Sen. George Maziarz says Wallenda was in western New York Tuesday to continue discussions with stakeholders about some sort of attraction in the city of Niagara Falls.  The seventh-generation member of the famous ``Flying Wallendas'' walked a tight rope over Niagara Falls in June 2012.  This past June, nearly 11 million people watched on TV as he crossed a tightrope stretched over the Grand Canyon.

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WJTN News Headlines

The second-week of the trial of the man accused of murdering Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed, Jr. begins today... and, it will be a short week.  Last Friday... defendant Anthony Taglianetti's ex-wife found herself caught up in a number of alleged lies during cross-examination.  It was also established during Day-Four of the trial that Mary Taglianetti lied about her residency in New York in seeking a divorce from her husband.  Special Correspondent Dave O'Connor reports Mrs. Taglianetti presented herself on the on-line dating service Match-dot-COM as being "single" when she was still married to Taglianetti, and had not sought a legal separation at that point.  She testified that she met Reed on-line, and they met up at an Albany restaurant.  They later stopped at a convenience store, and, later had sex.  However... that was the only time, she said, that they had a "physical" encounter.  They later engaged in what is called "sexting."  There will only be three-days of testimony this week... with no court on Friday.

 

The problematic roll-out of the Affordable Care Act's website is not the only issue members of a key Congressional Committee wants answers to during a hearing today.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  Reed says the panel will question the woman at the U-S Department of Health and Human Services... who oversees operation of the federal and state health care exchanges that are a big part of "Obamacare."  The Corning Republican says problems with the health care law are much more than a "botched website rollout."  He says a key one is people -- especially younger Americans -- aren't signing up. Reed says the second major issue is that thousands of people are seeing their health coverage getting cancelled. He says Marilyn Cavenner... Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will appear before the committee.  However... Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelious... will not testify.  She is to go before another committee on Thursday.  He made his comments during his weekly conference call Monday with Southern Tier Media.

 

County lawmakers will vote this Wednesday on the latest offer to buy the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  VestraCare of Long Island... which operates two other homes in Central and Eastern New York... has offered 16.5-million dollars for the facility.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould says it's also the last, best chance for the public to express it's feelings about the potential sale.  Gould says constituents have been in contact with their legislator on the issue... including himself. Gould also expects people to turn out in large numbers for the meeting.  Earlier this year... the legislature came up just short of the 17 votes needed to sell the home to an Evanston, Illinois firm.  However... County Executive Greg Edwards says he believes this is the best offer they have received so far... especially because VestraCare has already purchased the Ulster County Home... and, understands nursing home operations in New York State.  Wednesday's meeting begins at 6:30 PM.
 


With Chautauqua County Legislators returning to Mayville for another vote on the possible sale of the County Home on the agenda... one north county lawmaker doesn't believe the vote will change.  While the Legislature is dealing with a dealing with a different buyer, VestraCare, Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom doubts there will be enough support to sell the Dunkirk-area facility. Ahlstrom says there is still a lot of support for keeping the County Home... in his legislative district... where the home is located.  But... he acknowleges that support does not seem to be as strong as it once was.  He doesn't anticipate changing his vote.  He says - to his knowledge -- no one's vote has changed... so if the entire legislature is present... the vote would be 16-to-9 to sell.  However... 17 are needed.

 

County Executive Greg Edwards said Monday that he is "encouraged" that there appears to be a local proposal in the works to buy the Lakeshore Health Care Center in Irving.  Edwards says that the proposal is from someone who would keep the hospital operating.  The Busti Republican says he's been working with leaders from the Lake Erie Regional Health System and the hospital.  He says there may be an offer soon. The Lake Erie Regional Health System announced nearly two weeks ago that Lake Shore Health Care Center would be closing by the end of January.  The move would put about 460 jobs in jeopardy.  The Board of Directors of the Health System are expected to meet this week.  Silver Creek-area County Legislator George Borrello, who has been working on a plan to save the facility, said he had first-hand knowledge of a potential buyer, which he described as a company with medical and hospital experience.  Borrello also tells The Buffalo news that two other health care organizations also have expressed interest.

 

Four SUNY campuses will be getting more locally grown vegetables under a pilot project called Farm to College.  The project is supported by a 99-thousand dollar federal agricultural grant to American Farmland Trust.  The four SUNY campuses are the University of Albany, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Oswego and SUNY Oneonta.  Acting state Agriculture Commissioner James Bays says the grant will help American Farmland Trust expand markets for New York farmers... while getting more nutritious local products into the state's colleges.

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 28, 2013

City police investigating one-car crash on eastside...

Jamestown police are investigating a one-car, personal injury accident at Second and Buffalo Streets late Monday morning.  Few details have been released... but, officers say the vehicle went off the road, and struck a utility pole about 11:30 a.m.  Police were joined at the scene by city fire rescue personnel.  At least one person was treated for moderate injuries.  More when it becomes available.


County Legislature set to vote this week on latest offer to buy County Home in Dunkirk...

The Chautauqua County Legislature will vote this Wednesday on the latest offer to buy the County Home in Dunkirk.  VestraCare of Long Island... which operates two other homes in Central and Eastern New York... has offered $16.5-million for the facility.... which has just over 200 residents.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould says it's also the last, best chance for the public to express it's feelings over the potential sale.  Gould says that may make for a long meeting... because he expects a lot of people to be on hand.  He says he... and, other lawmakers... have been receiving e-mails, phone calls, and other communications from the public on the possible sale.  He says he usually replys to those who send the communications... but, hasn't always had the chance.  Earlier this year... the legislature came up just short of the 17 votes needed to sell the home to an Evanston, Illinois firm.  However... County Executive Greg Edwards says he believes this is the best offer they have received so far... especially because VestraCare has already purchased the Ulster County Home... and, understands nursing home operations in New York State.  Wednesday's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.


Alleged city "crack" maker arrested...

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly making "crack" cocaine inside a eastside home... and, and, selling the narcotic drug.  Jamestown police say investigators and members of the City Police SWAT Team -- armed with a search warrant -- raided the home at 414 Winsor St. early last weekend.  Upon entry... officers say they saw the occupants in the process of making the narcotic drug using a butane torch.  During a subsequent search... police say they found eight-grams of cocaine... 300 grams of marijuana... a large quantity of prescription narcotic pills... and, various drug paraphernalia.  Investigators also say they found a number of items that were allegedly stolen... including flat screen televisions... and, other items that had been traded for drugs.  The resident... 33 year-old Joseph Thayer... was arrested on several charges.  They include third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminial possession of drug paraphernalia.  The city Department of Development later condemned the house because it was in violation of several housing codes.  Police say the investigation is continuing... and, more charges are expected.  Anyone with information on the illegal drug sales in the city is asked to call the JPD confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

JHS Marching Band finishes second in their division at state championships...

The Jamestown High School Marching Band concluded its season Sunday by taking second place in their division at the state championships in Syracuse.  JHS Junior Jacob Sandstrom is one of the Drum Majors.  He says he was very pleased with Sunday's performance... which he called "terrific" because they've come "a long way" this season.  The band's show, called 'Dreams of Flying,' included the building of an airplane on the field.  The band's other Drum Major, Madison Walker-Blake said conducting at the Carrier Dome was kind of 'surreal.'  Band Director Meghan Murray says she was delighted with Jamestown's second place finish.  Murray says about half of the band members were new this year... and, that made it challenging at the start of the season.  But... she says their finish was "pretty outstanding."  Murray thanked all the individuals and businesses who've supported the band through the season.  Taking first place in the division was Lancaster... topping Jamestown by just over two points. 

 

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News Update for Sat., Oct. 26, 2013

Taglianetti's wife gives damaging testimony about her relationship with Keith Reed on Day-Four of murder trial of her ex-husband...

The wife of the man accused of murdering Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed, Jr. found herself caught up in a number of alleged lies during cross-examination Friday afternoon.  It was also established during Day-Four of the trial that Mary Taglianetti lied about her residency in New York in seeking a divorce from her husband.  Special Correspondent Dave O'Connor reports that Mrs. Taglianetti presented herself on the on-line dating service Match.com as being "single" when she was still married to Taglianetti, and had not sought a legal separation at that point.  She testified that she met Reed on-line, and they met up at an Albany restaurant.  They later stopped at a convenience store, and they later had sex.  However... that was the only time, she said, that they had a "physical" encounter.  She said they later exchanged nude pictures of each other on-line... and, engaged in what is called "sexting."  Testimony will resume next Tuesday because Monday is County Court Calendar Day.  Judge John Ward also announced there would be three-days of testimony next week because there will be no Court on Friday.


Jamestown Fire Dept. union members in midst of "Coats for Kids" campaign...

The Jamestown Professional Fire Fighters Local 1772 is taking on a new cause to help the local community.  Firefighters "Coats for Kids" raises funds to buy brand-new, American made coats for elementary school children. This year the Jamestown Professional Fire Fighters Local 1772 will be distributing the coats to students in Jamestown public Elementary Schools.  Union Secretary Andy Caruso says they are still looking for more donations in order to reach their goal.  Caruso says they're trying to raise $5,000 to buy 150 coats.  He says they are continuing the effort through the beginning of November... and, need more donations.  If you are interested in donating to the Firefighters Coats for Kids campaign, checks made payable to Jamestown Professional Fire Firefighters can be sent to the Jamestown Fire Department at 200 Spring Street in Jamestown.  You can also go on-line at www.operation-warm.org/jamestown to make a donation.

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WJTN News Headlines

There was drama in the courtroom Thursday afternoon as the star witness in the second-degree murder trial of Anthony Taglianetti took the stand in the Chautauqua County Courtroom.  A custodial e-mail expert from Google helped lay the ground-work before Taglianetti's wife took the stand.  Mary Taglianetti told the jury that while she and the late Keith Reed, Junior had communicated several times via phone, e-amils and texts... they only had been together -- physically -- once for what she called a "date" in Albany.  She testified that her husband found out about the affair on August 6th of last year.  Mary Taglianetti says she e-mailed Reed on August 20th to say she was sorry -- "you got messed up with a married girl."  Special Correspondant Dave O'Connor says Mary Taglianetti testified that her ex-husband then started sending threatening messages to Reed.  She says he then found out about Reed's career move to Clymer... and, left their Virginia home on September 20th of 2012 -- the day before the shooting.  He then returned the morning of September 22nd.

 

Most places in Chautauqua County have not only received their first snowfall of the season... but, their first significant snowfall, too.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  The snow began in the higher elevations late Wednesday night... and, have continued off and on through the day today.  Apfell says cold air moving over a still-warm Lake Erie has produced the early lake effect.  However... he adds how much snow has fallen is very "elevation dependent...." We received about two-inches of snow Thursday here at our Media One Studios.  Temperatures in parts of the Jamestown-area dropped to the freezing mark... and, our high yesterday barely reached 40.  Today we may reach 42.  While most of the snow has not been sticking on roads... we heard about some slick conditions in some areas... namely Interstate 86 in Sherman.  Apfell says it's time to "brush off" those Winter driving skills... especially where there's locally heavy snowfall.  He says the Lake Effect Snow should be with us through late morning... and, after that there will mainly be Lake Effect rain showers. 

 

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate a crash that occurred on Dale Drive in Cassadaga early Thursday morning where a vehicle missed a curve... and landed in  Cassadaga Lake.  First Assistant Cassadaga Fire Chief Tim Cobb says they got the call around 6:30 Thursday morning. The county's Dive Team also responded to the crash... and, was able to recover the vehicle.  The Sheriff's Department has located the two occupants of the vehicle and they were apparently not injured in the crash.  Cobb says they've seen vehicles take a plunge into the lake before... especially at that location.  He adds, though, they still don't know what happened yet.  There is also no word on the identities of the occupants as the investigation continues.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards says he will review the changes made to his proposed 230-million dollar budget... and, weigh his options.  Edwards Thursday said he may veto the reduction in funding to the Office for the Aging.  He had proposed adding 500-thousand dollars to serve about 350 seniors on a waiting list for OFA services in the county. Edwards feels the added 500-thousand dollar increase in Office for the Aging funding would directly eliminate the need for about 10-million in medicaid payments to the same seniors because they likely would have to go into a nursing home.  The OFA item was the only veto possibility Edwards talked about Thursday.  The budget approved by the legislature Wednesday night sets the tax rate at 9-dollars-13 cents per thousand full value.

 

The state's Education Commissioner has told a meeting with parents and teachers that New York is not going delay new Common Core learning reforms.  However... John King, Junior says they are open to ``adjustments'' going forward.  King spoke at forum in Albany, his first since an earlier series of planned appearances was cancelled after he was shouted down at a meeting in Poughkeepsie on October 10th.  There was no similar disruption at Thursday's event in an auditorium filled with hundreds of parents, students and teachers. 

 

The city of Jamestown... and several community groups and businesses... are again hosting the annual Citywide Halloween Fun-Fest at the former Allen Park Ice Rink next Thursday night.  It's the 29th year the city has put on the event... which is billed as a safe, no-cost alternative to going door-to-door 'trick-or-treating.'  The Fun-Fest runs from 6 to 8 PM.  City recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley calls it the "perfect event" to bring the kids to. Ciesla-Hanley says the Halloween Fun-Fest will feature games... a haunted house... and, two costume judging contests during the evening.  The winners will receive bicycles donated by the Jamestown Cycle Shop.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the city can only afford a small allotment for the Fun-Fest... but, adds, together with their sponsors... they are able to do it. The sponsors including the Media One Group... Artone Manufacturing... Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... the Morton Club... Southern Tier Supply... and, Honest John's Pizza.  Ciesla-Hanley says the event is geared to children ages 12 and under.  She says anyone over the age of 12 must be accompanied by a child... and, children under 6 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.

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News Update for Thurs., Oct. 24, 2013

Taglianetti's wife takes the stand to talk about her relationship with Reed; and anger shown by her ex-husband when he found out about their affair... 

There was drama in the courtroom Thursday afternoon as the star witness in the second-degree murder trial of Anthony Taglianetti took the stand in the Chautauqua County Courtroom.  A custodial e-mail expert from Google helped lay the ground-work before Taglianetti's wife took the stand.  Mary Taglianetti told the jury that while she and the late Keith Reed, Jr. had communicated several times via phone, e-amils and texts... they only had been together -- physically -- once for what she called a "date" in Albany.  She testified that her husband found out about the affair on August 6th of last year.  Mary Taglianetti says she e-mailed Reed on Aug. 20 to say she was sorry -- "you got messed up with a married girl."  Special Correspondant Dave O'Connor says Mary Taglianetti testified that her ex-husband then started sending threatening messages to Reed.  She says he then found out about Reed's career move to Clymer... and, left their Virginia home on Sept. 20, 2012 -- the day before the shooting.  He then returned the morning of Sept. 22.

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WJTN News Headlines

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved an approximately 230-million dollar budget... that eliminates just over one-million dollars in matching funds for the County Home.  It also adds 250-thousand dollars to the Office for the Aging... but, cuts 250-thousand dollars from the Electric Fund.  That leaves the tax levy at about 62-million dollars.  That translates to a 9-dollar-13 cent per thousand full value tax rate... which is a slight decrease from this year's spending plan.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould it's a "compromise" he can live with.
The one item that was most discussed was adding the 250-thousand dollars to help relieve the caseload in the county's Office for the Aging.  County Executive Greg Edwards initially wanted to add 500-thousand dollars to added everyone on it's waiting list.  However... Republican Vince Horrigan asked lawmakers to consider the lower amount to help provide services for about 220 people who's cases were already being managed. However... some lawmakers... including Fredonia's Bill Coughlin... felt that if 500-thousand dollars was what the Office for the Aging really needed... they should get that... and, maximize savings down the road.  However... an amendment to restore full funding failed.  The measure to restore the 250-thousand was approved 13-to-10.  The final budget was adopted by a 16-to-7 votes.

 

A Chautauqua County Coroner and a medical examiner took the stand Wednesday for the second-day of the second-degree murder trial of Anthony Taglianetti, Junior in County Court.  Taglianetti is accused of shooting and killing Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed, Junior in September of 2012.  Retired Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Diane Bertis of Erie County testified yesterday afternoon.  Bertis testified that Reed would have likely survived two of the shots he was hit with... but, the third struck several vital organs.  She talked about several photographs... and, some pieces of Reed's clothing that were blood-splattered.  Chautauqua County Coronor Jim Jackson testified... mainly about photographs of the scene, and Reed... entered into evidence by the prosecution.  Jackson described Reed's wounds... and, told the jury that he ruled the death of homicide.  Public Defender Ned Barone objected... but, was overruled by Judge John Ward.

 

A city man is jailed for allegedly trying to steal a cell phone from a woman who was walking on West Third Street shortly before mid-morning Wednesday.  Jamestown Police were called to the scene in the area of 107 West Third about 8:15 AM... and, the victim said that a white male subject had approached her... and, tried to grab the cell phone out of her hands.  She told officers that the man then threatened to harm here.  He then ran off... but, was located by police at Sixth and Main Streets a short time later.  Police say 56 year-old Robert Zimmerman was arrested on charges of third-degree Attempted Robbery... and, Menacing.  He was being held pending arraignment.

 

New York's health exchange has already received 174-thousand completed applications for new insurance coverage starting next year... accounting for a large share of initial signups nationally under the Affordable Care Act.  Obama administration officials have said about 500,000 applications have been filed through federal and state exchanges since they launched three weeks ago with some systems plagued by technical problems. But they haven't said how many people have managed to enroll.  In California... officials say 126,000 people have started applications... but won't release figures on completed applications or enrollments until mid-November.  New York addressed initial website problems by quadrupling capacity on the marketplace that includes low-cost plans and possible government subsidies.  It says Wednesday that just over 37-thousand New Yorkers have completed the process and fully enrolled with individual insurers.

 

A new financial structure will be the key to continuing vital health care services in the north county in the midst of the possible closing of the Lake Shore Health Care Center.  Those are the feelings of County Legislator -- and County Executive Candidate -- Vince Horrigan.  Horrigan says people he's talked to in the Silver Creek and Irving-areas who are fearful of the possibility of the hospital... it's long-term care center... and, home health division... shutting down completely next January 31st.  The Bemus Point Republican says there needs to be a "framework" established to continue what he calls three critical services. Horrigan says he understands the hospital's operator... Lake Erie Regional Health System... has been losing money.  But... he feels that if the right partners can be brought in... those services can be saved.  However... he adds it goes beyond the services provided.  It's also the 460 jobs that could be lost.  Horrigan says he's been speaking with local officials... about ways to save the hospital's services.  He adds that Lake Shore is important because it's also involved in helping to service the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus Reservation in Irving.

 

There is still a lot that can be done to save Lake Shore Hospital... or, at least it's critical services.  That from Democratic County Executive candidate Ron Johnson... who says he's hoping for the best as talks are getting underway between the state, and officials with the Lake Erie Regional Health System... which operates Lake Shore.  At the same time... Johnson says it's frustrating to see county leadership not close enough to the business community to do what needs to be done to keep the facility open. Johnson admits it's a "very complex" situation because the Lake Erie System is made up of more than Lake Shore Hospital... and, some decisions are made across the "spectrum of their business."  He says this has been happening in a lot of areas of local business where local officials allow the control to go to people that make decisions for a whole lot of facilities instead of one."

 

Oregon-based Reser's Fine Foods is recalling about 22-thousand-800 pounds of potentially bacteria-tainted chicken, ham and beef products and refrigerated ready-to-eat salads made at a Kansas plant.  The products were shipped to retailers and distributors in 27 states, including New York.  There have been no reports of illness.

 

 

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News Update for Thurs., Oct. 24, 2013

(**New)County lawmakers approve 2014 budget with slight tax decrease...

County lawmakers have approved an approximately $230-million dollar, 2014 budget that includes a slight decrease in taxes from the current year's spending plan.  It restores $250,000 of the $500,000 that County Executive Greg Edwards added for the Office for the Aging.  That measure was the most hotly debated during the one-and-a-half hour long budget session last night.  It was amended to the original 500-thousand dollars to provide services to ALL seniors on the OFA's waiting list.  Frewsburg-area Democrat Tom Erlandson reminded fellow lawmakers that "politics is the art of compromise."  Lawmakers did not restore the just over one-million dollar Inter-Governmental Transfer for the County Home.  The new budget... which was approved 16-to-7... includes a full value tax rate of $9.13 per $1,000.

 

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WJTN News Update!! for Wed., Oct. 23, 2013

(**Corr)First witnesses take stand in Taglianetti murder trial following opening statements...

The first witnesses have taken the stand in the second-degree murder trial of a Virginia man charged with killing former Clymer superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.  Christopher Legters and his now-wife, Jeness... said they both heard gun-shots abou 9 p.m. the night of Reed's murder in September of 2012.  Christopher Legters also testified to seeing Anthony Taglianetti, Junior's gold-colored car in Reed's driveway when he came home from work.  District Attorney David Foley says Reed was shot three-times at close range... and, that there is blood from Reed (correct) on that gun.  Meantime... Public Defender Ned Barone insisted his client did not kill Reed.  He called Taglianetti's wife, Mary, a "master manipulator..." and, that she had also had an affair with someone in North Carolina. 

 

County Legislature set to vote on 2014 budget, and amendments...

County lawmakers tonight will act on County Executive Greg Edwards' $230.7-million budget... and, several amendments that could reduce the full value tax rate to as low as $9.10 per $1,000.  That from Audit and Control Committee Chairman John Runkle... who says the levy -- or amount to be raised by taxes -- in County Executive Greg Edwards' 2014 spending plan is about 64-million dollars.  Runkle says the amendments approved by the committee dropped that to about 2-million dollars.  The Cassadaga-area Republican says the major cut is the just over one-million dollars in Inter-Governmental Transfers for the County Home in Dunkirk. Runkle says the committee also voted to cut 500-thousand dollars in additional funding for the Office for the Aging... along with 250-thousand from the electric fund.  He says the majority of the committee was comfortable with the proposed cuts... adding they recognize that residents are "tired of high taxes."  Lawmakers will hold a public hearing on the 2014 budget this afternoon at 2 PM... and, the formal budget meeting begins at 6:30 tonight.

 

A program that will create tax-free zones across the state to attract and grow new businesses is officially open for business.   Governor Andrew Cuomo today formally launched START-UP NY, a program that will link tax-free zones with public and private colleges across the state, with many of the tax free "communities" to take root up the upstate area.  Cuomo believes no other state in the nation is offering a program like this. Cuomo says there are about 68 start up zones across the state.  Both the SUNY College at Fredonia and Jamestown Community College are eligible to form the zones.  Work is already underway to develop a plan for the Fredonia campus.  Spokesman Mike Barone says they have received confirmation that the SUNY at Fredonia Technology Incubator in downtown Dunkirk is part of the program.  Barone says the confirmation is important for current and future tenants. Barone says the SUNY at Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath has already formed a committee that will develop a plan for the local tax free zones.  The college's new Vice President for Engagement and Economic Development... Dr. Kevin Kearns... is heading up the panel.   

 

A city man wanted on a warrant was arrested late Tuesday morning... and found with a set of metal knuckles in his possession.  City police say an officer spotted 19 year-old Joshua Zavala walking in the area of Regent Street... near Prendergast Avenue shortly after 10 AM.  Officers say he was arrested on the warrant... and, a search uncovered the knuckles.  In addition to the warrant... police charged Zavala with criminal possession of a weapon.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

 

 

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News Update for Tues., Oct. 22, 2013

(**update)Taglianetti trial underway... witnesses now testifying after opening statements this morning...

Opening statements featured some graphic detail... while the defendent in the case is being portrayed as the victim of a manipulative and cheating wife, and not guilty of murder.  District Attorney David Foley provided much detail about how Reed was shot three-times at close range... and, that there is a direct link to defendent Anthony Taglianetti, Jr of Virginia.  Foley says a 357-Magnum was alleged used by Taglianetti to shot and kill Reed with had Taglianetti's blood on it.  Meantime... Public Defender Ned Barone instited his client did not kill Reed... and, tried to "humanize" him by saying friends call Taglianetti "Rob."  Foley told jurors that Taglianetti was driven to kill by an e-mail that he'd found.  Foley says Reed and Mary Taglianetti were briefly involved during a Taglianetti separation.

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown City Council has begun reviewing parts of Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 33.6-million dollar, 2014 budget proposal with department heads.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they reviewed four areas during last night's work session.  They included Public Works, Parks, Playgrounds, and Youth Services.  Dolce says the DPW and Parks were a big part of the discussion because they are very "equipment-oriented..." and, a lot of that equipment is getting old and worn.  Dolce says there's generally been an understanding the past few years that the city can't afford those items. One lawmaker... Steve Szewjkba simply said "there's no money..." when it come to buying new equipment.  However... lawmakers did ask DPW Director Jeff Lehman and Parks Superintendent John Williams to prioritize those items that are absolutely needed.  They also discussed trying to take advantage -- down the road -- of Caterpiller's trade-in program that has been very cost-effective for some communities.  But... Dolce says that means nothing will be put back into the budget.  Taxes in the spending plan are up about 2.68-percent... and, Dolce says lawmakers don't want to raise taxes.

 

Opening statements are set for later this morning in the second-degree murder trial of a Virginia man charged with killing former Clymer superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.  Chautauqua County Court Clerk Kathleen Krauza says two final alternates were added last Thursday to complete the panel.  That paved the way for the trial to begin at 9:30 AM.  It took about a month to empanel the jury of 12... along with four alternates.  County District Attorney David Foley will state the prosecution's case... and, Public Defender Ned Barone the defense's.  Woodbridge, Virginia's Anthony Taglianetti is charged in the shooting death of the 51 year-old Reed.  Taglianetti is accused of driving to Clymer in September 2012... and, shooting Reed outside his home. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is among the Republicans stepping up their criticism over the computer problems that have plagued the rollout of the new Affordable Care Act.  That comes in the wake of news reports that Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelious won't appear before a House Committee on the issue later this week.  President Obama -- instead -- outlined steps being taken to address those problems today in the Rose Garden.  Reed says the administration is in "spin mode...." Reed says he had been hopeful that Sebelious would appear before the House committee.  But... adds he's not surprised because of her "less than stellar" performance addressing the matter on the "Jon Stewart" Show.  During his Monday press conference... the president vowed that the administration will do all it can to get the websites fully-functional -- and use phone banks that people can call.  Reed made his comments during his weekly Telephone Conference Call with Southern Tier Media.

 

The candidates for Chautauqua County Executive hit the issues... including the possible sale of the county home... during a debate in the north county Monday.  Fredonia Businessman Ron Johnson and County Legislator Vince Horrigan perhaps differ the most over the future of the County Home.  Johnson, who is the Democratic candidate, would not rule out a possible sale.  He says he's most concerned about the home's 200 beds. Horrigan says he continues to support the sale of the County Home.  The Bemus Point Republican also believes the latest proposal from VestraCare of Long Island would guarantee those beds. But... Johnson has his doubts about the agreement.  He also doesn't believe the county is doing everything it can do in carrying out the recommendations listed in the Center for Governmental Research report.  Horrigan contends they are following many of the recommendations... but, are not seeing enough savings to keep the home. 

 

A deer in the road created havoc for two motorists on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman early Monday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene in the eastbound lanes about 5:45 AM.  Deputies say further investigation revealed that one car... driven by 43 year-old Rickey Pratt of Sherman... was struck in the side by a deer.  Officers say Pratt pulled his vehicle off to the right side of the road to check the damage... and, call police.  A second vehicle... operated by 17 year-old Ashlee Waite of Sherman... pulled over to the left hand lane due to Pratt's vehicle being on the right shoulder.  Deputies say the deer that struck Pratt's vehicle was in the left hand lane and Waite swerved to miss the animal... and, her car went off the road... and, rolled over.  Waite was treated at the scene and released.  But... her passenger Ashley Kelly of Sherman was taken to the Hamot Medical Center for treatment of apparent minor injuries.  No charges were filed in the incident.

 

A new poll shows a majority of New York voters supporting an amendment to the state constitution that would expand casino gambling.  The Siena College poll released Monday finds 56 percent of the respondents say they would vote yes when read the measure that will be on the November 5th ballot... compared to 40 percent who would vote no.  The amendment would allow non-Indian-owned, Las Vegas-style casinos in New York.

 

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 21, 2013

Taglianetti murder trial set to begin Tuesday in County Court...

Opening statements are set for Tuesday morning in the second-degree murder trial of a Virginia man charged with killing former Clymer superintendent Keith Reed, Jr.  Chautauqua County Court Clerk Kathleen Krauza says two final alternates were added last Thursday to complete the panel.  That paved the way for the trial to begin at 9:30 a.m.  It took about a month to empanel the jury of 12... along with four alternates.  County District Attorney David Foley will state the prosecution's case... and, Public Defender Ned Barone the defense's.  Woodbridge, Virginia's Anthony Taglianetti is charged in the shooting death of the 51 year-old Reed.  Taglianetti is accused of driving to Clymer in September 2012... and, shooting Reed outside his home. 


Two teens suffer minor injuries in two-car, deer incident on I-86 in Sherman...

A deer in the road created havoc for two motorists on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman early Monday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene in the eastbound lanes about 5:45 a.m. at mile-marker 10.  Upon further investigation... deputies found that one car... driven by 43 year-old Rickey Pratt of Sherman... was struck in the side by a deer.  Officers say Pratt pulled his vehicle off to the right side of the road to check the damage... and, call the Sheriff's Office to report the crash.  A second vehicle... operated by 17 year-old Ashlee Waite of Sherman was also eastbound and pulled over to the left hand lane due to Pratt's vehicle being on the right shoulder.  Deputies say the deer that struck Pratt's vehicle was in the left hand lane and Waite swerved to miss the deer... and, her car went off the road... and, rolled over.  Waite was treated at the scene and released.  But... her passenger Ashley Kelly of Sherman was taken to the Hamot Medical Center for treatment of apparent minor injuries.  No charges were filed in the incident.


Reed, Republicans, ratchet up rhetoric on computer problems in rollout of Obamacare...

Local Congressman Tom Reed is among the Republicans stepping up their criticism over the computer problems that have plagued the rollout of the new Affordable Care Act.  That comes in the wake of news reports that Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelious won't appear before a House Committee on the issue later this week.  President Obama -- instead -- outlined steps being taken to address those problems today in the Rose Garden.  Reed says the administration is in "spin mode..." and, time will tell what people's experiences are or will be.  He says the start was not "ready for prime-time..." and, neither was the law itself.  Reed says he had been hopeful that Sebelious would appear before the House committee.  But... adds he's not surprised because of her "less than stellar" performance addressing the matter on the "Jon Stewart" Show.  During his Monday press conference... the president vowed that the administration will do all it can to get the websites fully-functional -- and use phone banks that people can call.  Reed made his comments during his weekly Telephone Conference Call with Southern Tier Media.


 

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WJTN News Headlines

Kenneth Wisniewski was riding his ATV along the side of the road when he lost control for an unknown reason.  Deputies say the vehicle went off the roadway... and, rolled over, with Wisniewski being ejected.  Officers say he was initially treated at the scene... and, was later flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center for further treatment.  The investigation is continuing and charges may be pending.

 

A Sherman woman has been arrested for alleged drunk driving after losing control of her car... and, it crashed into a number of items --including a tree -- in a cemetery.  Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene of a single car crash about 11:30 PM last Friday on Route 430.  Officers say the driver... 24 year-old Samantha Griswold... lost control of her vehicle... and, it went into the cemetery... and, hitting several pieces of property before hitting the tree.  Neither she nor her passenger were hurt.  However... after further investigation... Deputies say Griswold was allegedly driving drunk... and, her driving privledges in New York State were revoked for a previous incident.  Griswold was issued several appearance tickets... but, more charges may be filed pending further investigation. 

 

State Senator Cathy Young says it's "very disappointing" to see that Lake Erie Regional Health System has decided to close the Lake Shore Health Care Center in January.  Young says the new came "out of the blue..." even though she had been in contact with the hospital administration.  In fact... she says she's held three forums on rural health care regarding Lake Shore... and, Tri-County in Gowanda. Young says her office has already begun working on setting up a meeting with the State Health Department... and, Lake Erie Health System officials.  The Olean Republican also says the decision to close the Irving-based hospital will have "a profound impact on the lives of those who are losing their jobs.  Many families will be affected and it is a huge blow to the local economy."  She adds the news is even more shocking because just a few months ago... they were "celebrating the opening of Lakeshore's new emergency room."

 

New York state Education Commissioner John King, Jr. has announced a series of 12 forums on the new Common Core learning standards and other reforms.  King announced the forums late Friday.  He's faced criticism since an earlier decision to cancel a slate of PTA-arranged appearances after one in Poughkeepsie last week devolved into a shouting match.  King says future forums will include Board of Regents members and will be moderated by state legislators in school districts around the state.  The first will be in Albany on October 24th.  King's been criticized all week by parents, teachers and lawmakers for canceling the first forums.  They were meant to address the state's implementation of the more difficult learning standards and the state's controversial decision to immediately use them as the basis for standardized tests.

 

The Democrat running for Chautauqua County Executive says he has a couple of immediate problems with the proposed 2014 budget -- the spending plan he will have to work with if he's elected.  Fredonia's Ron Johnson admits to being a bit "frustrated" with the process... because he has no input on what's ultimately done.  However... he adds there are good parts to 230.7-million dollar proposal.  The first part Johnson says he has a problem with is the political "gamesmanship" being played by county legislators in cutting 500-thousand dollars current Executive Greg Edwards' added for the Office for the Aging.  He says his GOP opponent -- Vince Horrigan -- initially proposed cutting that in half. Johnson says the other problem he has is the legislature cutting out the entire Inter-governmental Transfer for the County Home in Dunkirk.  That was included by Edwards in the 2014 spending plan.  In his mind... Johnson says keeping that just over one-million dollars in place is a 'no-brainer" because you leverage an equal amount of state and federal dollars for the operation.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

New York's highest court says police can interrogate a suspect without reading their Miranda rights or providing a lawyer when they reasonably believe there's a serious, ongoing emergency.  The Court of Appeals says the exception to a defendant's rights applies even when authorities don't know for certain a crime happened.  The court last Thursday backed prosecutors' use of incriminating statements Scott Doll made after the February 2009 beating death of business partner Joseph Benaquist.  A Genesee County deputy responding to an evening 9-1-1 call about a suspicious person found him walking on a roadway.  Doll initially said wet blood on his clothes was from butchering deer.  He asked for a lawyer and declined to take authorities to the deer.  Doll, now 51, is serving 15 years to life in prison.

 

The FBI has assigned its Joint Terrorism Task Force to lead its probe of laser attacks on the cockpits of two planes approaching LaGuardia Airport this past week.  It's also inviting help from the public as well to fight a growing threat.  The FBI says a reward is available for anyone providing information leading to arrests in attacks last Tuesday.  The FBI said the first attack occurred when a Shuttle America cockpit was illuminated by a green laser on its final approach to LaGuardia just after 7:30 PM last Tuesday.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A fire at an alleged Methamphetime house on Jamestown's northside has led to the arrest of three people living there.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 57 Spruce Street about 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon... and, as the blaze was being put out... they discovered several items used in the production of the drug "Meth."  It's believed the combustable material triggered the flames.  City police obtained a search warrant... and, the three residents -- 38 year-old Scott Finch... 37 year-old Nina Finch... and, 29 year-old John Dursma -- were all arrested.  Police say they're accused of endangering the welfare of three children who were also inside the home.  The investigation is continuing... and, police more charges are expected.  The three suspects are jailed pending arraignment.

 

Jury selection has now been completed for the murder trial of a Virginia man charged with killing former Clymer superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.  Chautauqua County Court Clerk Kathleen Krauza says two final alternates were added today (Thursday) to complete the panel.  There are 12 jurors... and, four alternates for the trial... which is slated to begin next Tuesday morning, October 22nd.  Opening statements will be given by District Attorney David Foley... and, Public Defender Ned Barone.  Woodbridge, Virginia's Anthony Taglianetti is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the 51 year-old Reed.  Taglianetti is accused of driving to Clymer in September 2012... and, shooting Reed outside his home. 

 

The resolution to restore full-funding for the government... and, temporarily increase in the nation's debt ceiling is nothing more than "kicking the can down the road."  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed... who was among the 144 House members to vote against the Senate measure that was approved by Congress late Wednesday night.  However... during a special Thursday telephone conference call with Western New York media... Reed again emphasized that he's "all in" as far as negotiating a solution.  He also says he's taking President Obama at his word.  Thursday morning... the president said Washington "has to change...." Reed feels the best proposal is the "Honest Proposal" that he and a bi-partisan group of lawmakers are continuing to support.  In the end... Republicans got little of what they were trying to get with the partial government shut-down... and, the threat of a shut-down.  He says the GOP leadership's effort to tie defunding the Affordable Care Act -- or Obamacare -- to keeping the government open was a poor strategy... and, he says questioned that strategy because it was "unrealistic."

 

A decision to close a regional hospital in January has area state lawmakers scrambling.  The Lake Erie Regional Health System announced Wednesday that Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving will close its doors on January 31st.  The move will leave about 460 workers on the campus without jobs.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's been working closely with State Senator Cathy Young... who is taking the lead on trying to keep the hospital open.
Goodell says they did not have any advance notice of the closing, although they had heard rumors in recent days.  Meantime... County Executive Greg Edwards says he met with Lake Shore's Chief Executive Officer not long ago... and, says much of the red ink stems from the facility's Long Term Care Unit. Edwards-nursing home not helping  "their organization...." The health system's board of directors decided during it's Tuesday meeting this week that the facility would close its doors effective January 31st of 2014.  According to the statement, the Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving is projected to lose another 7-million dollars by the end of 2013.

 

Chautauqua County's top-elected official has been honored with the top Community Service Award presented by the county's Chamber of Commerce.  Outgoing County Executive Greg Edwards was presented with the chamber's Person of the Year Award before a full-house last night at the SUNY College at Fredonia's Williams Center.  Edwards says he was "truly shocked" to get the call from Chamber Director and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum about receiving the award. During his remarks after receiving the award... Edwards applauded the county Chamber for being a "very unique group."  Unlike most chamber's... the business group has been very pro-active in taking positions on important issues facing the county.  He says the fact the chamber has articulated those clearly, and researched them... helps him rally public support for those efforts... such as the need for state mandate relief.  Edwards thanked his administration for making county government a "team operation."  He also publicly thanked his wife, Carrie... and, three children for their "support and sacrifice" during his eight years in office.

 

A locally-owned and operated bank was honored by the county Chamber with it's Economic Development Award at last night's ceremony in Fredonia.  Lake Shore Savings Bank was recognized for it's work as a community bank for the county's residents... and, small businesses.  Lake Shore President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Reininga  calls the award a "great honor" for the bank... and, ALL of it's employees.  Reininga says economic development is "very important" to Lake Shore because they're "nimble" as a small bank to be able to help small, family busiesses.  He says they are often overlooked by the bigger banks.  Lake Shore has five branches in Chautauqua County... and, six others in Erie County.

 

The county Chamber also recognized six individuals, and one cable public service channel with Community Service Awards for going above... and, beyond the call of duty in what they do.  The Dunkirk Chamber's honoree was Doug Fenton... in Fredonia... it was Tim Eades.  In Hanover... the recipient was Matt Bogosian.  Here in Jamestown... Media One's own Terry Frank and Dennis Webster received awards.  The Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber's award went to Cable Access Channel 5... and, in Westfield-Barcelona, the honoree was Nancy Hanks.  


 

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News Update for Thurs., Oct. 17, 2013

(**New)Twelve jurors, and two alternates now seated for Taglianetti murder trial; two more alternates needed for trial to begin...

Jury selection is nearly completed for the murder trial of a Virginia man charged with killing former Clymer superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.  Local media outlets report that 12 jurors and two alternates have been sworn in for Anthony Taglianetti's trial on second-degree murder charges in the fatal shooting of the 51 year-old Reed.  Two more  alternates still need to be seated before the trial can begin.  Taglianetti, of Woodbridge, Va., is accused of driving to Clymer  in September 2012 and shooting Reed outside his home.  He had been the superintendent of the Clymer school district just a short time.  Taglianetti was arrested in Virginia a week after the slaying. Chautauqua County prosecutors say Taglianetti believed Reed was having an affair with Taglianetti's wife.

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County fire investigators have determined that last Monday night's blaze that destroyed a two-story house in the town of Carroll was accidental in nature.  Officials with the county's Fire Investigation Team have ruled that combustables too close to a chimney pipe is the cause of the fire at 3 Rice Avenue.  Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene about 5 PM... and, found heavy flames in the garage area that had spread into the upstairs of the two-story house.  The two people living there were not hurt.  Frewsburg was joined at the scene by Kiantone, Falconer, Kennedy, and Lakewood fire crews.  Firefighters were at the scene nearly four-hours.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards says he's encouraged about Congress and the Senate working out a plan to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.  But... Edwards says a long-term solution is still needed to control spending in Washington.  The Busti Republican says allowing the federal government to go over the fiscal cliff would be devastating... not only nationally... but, here at home. However... Edwards says he wants to see a long term plan that would control federal spending. The latest proposal would fund the government through January 15th next year... and, averts default through February 7th of 2014.

 

The Lake Shore Health Care Center is set to close if a buyer is not found for the facility in Irving.  That from the Lake Erie Regional Health System, which operates both the Lake Shore Health Care Center... and, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  Wednesday's announcement was made in what is being called "An Open Letter to the Community."  It announced that the Health System's board decided during a meeting on Tuesday that the facility would close its doors effective January 31st of 2014.  According to the statement... Lake Shore Health Care Center... which is part of the TLC Health Network... is projected to lose another 7-million dollars by the end of 2013 on top of the significant losses it had already incurred over the past few years.  The health system has notified the nearly 460 employees, including those in the administrative office building, the long-term care center and the home health division, that the anticipated last day of their employment will be as early as January 16th of 2014.  A hotline is also being set up for employees with questions about the closure during the transition.  Health system officials have also requested a 90-day window in which they will attempt to find a buyer for the Lake Shore Health Care Center campus and services.

 

The possible closing of the Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving comes as a shock to local and state representatives.  County Legislator George Borrello of Silver Creek says knew about the health system's struggles, but was surprised by the timing, since he had toured a new emergency department that had opened just a few months ago. Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he is working with State Senator Cathy Young... who is taking the lead in finding out what can be done to keep the health care facility from closing. Young and Goodell are reaching out to the State Health Department, which oversees the operation of all hospitals and they are seeking an emergency meeting with health system officials.  Union officials were also caught off guard.  Kathy Ville, a spokeswoman for SEIU 1199 says they did not receive any advance notice of the decision and she says they were "blindsided."  Borrello says he understands that any closing could not take place without approval from the State Health Department.

 

Three city residents escaped serious injury Tuesday night in a two-car accident on Jamestown's westside.  City police were called to the scene at West Eighth and Jefferson Streets just after 9 PM on a report of an accident with one roll-over and possible entrapment.  Officer say they found a Jeep Cherokee on it's side on West Eighth when they arrived... and, that the three occupants -- ages 48, 35 and 11 -- had been able to get out of the vehicle.  Their investigation found that a southbound car... driven by a 16 year-old girl... had failed to stop for the stop sign... and, the the car struck the jeep.  Police say the 16 year-old was driving without a license.  Two people from the Jeep... and, one from the teen's car... were treated for their injuries at WCA Hospital.  The teenaged driver faces several charges... including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle... and, failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign.  She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce has released his proposed 2014 city budget.  Dolce's spending plan does not include a property tax increase... and, calls for a spending decrease of about 550-thousand dollars across all three of the city's funds.  He says the budget process went well. The Dunkirk budget proposal does include an increase in the city's minimum quarterly water rate for residential users.  Council members will now begin the task of reviewing the budget November 1st.

 

 

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News Update for Wed., Oct. 16, 2013

Lake Shore Health Care Center to close is no buyer found before end of the year...

The Lake Shore Health Care Center is set to close if a buyer is not found for the facility in Irving.  That from the Lake Erie Regional Health System, which operates both the Lake Shore Health Care Center... and, Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  Wednesday's announcement was made in what is being called "An Open Letter to the Community."  It announced that the Health System's board decided during a meeting on Tuesday that the facility would close its doors effective January 31, 2014.  According to the statement... Lake Shore Health Care Center... which is part of the TLC Health Network... is projected to lose another $7-million by the end of 2013 on top of the significant losses it had already incurred over the past few years.  The health system has notified the nearly 460 employees, including those in the administrative office building, the long-term care center and the home health division, that the anticipated last day of their employment will be as early as Jan. 16, 2014.  A hotline is also being set up for employees with questions about the closure during the transition.  Health system officials have also requested a 90-day window in which they will attempt to find a buyer for the Lake Shore Health Care Center campus and services.


City DPW announces part of Spring St. to be closed Thursday...

The Jamestown Department of Public Works is announcing that Spring Street... from East Third to East Second Streets... will be closed much of the day Thursday.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman's office says that's to allow a crane to be brought in to take some equipment off the roof of the Art's Council and Reg Lenna Center for the Arts buildings... and, put some new equipment in place.  Lehman says some repairs will also be made.  He adds the partial street closing on Spring will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.


 

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A Russell, Pennsylvania man faces a 168-count indictment for allegedly sexually abusing a girl from the time she was 11 until she was 18 years-old.  State Police in Warren say they concluded a lengthy investigation into the eight-year case with the arrest of 62 year-old Daniel Lynn Brecht of Priest Hollow Road.  Investigators say the incidents occured from 2003 to early 2010.  Among the charges... say Troopers... are 39 counts of Corruption of Minors... and, 37 of Indecent Assault.  Brecht also faces 14 counts each of Felony Rape... and, and Sexual Assault.  He also faces six similar counts for allegedly assaulting another victim between the ages of 10 and 12 during the same time span.  State Police say Brecht was arraigned in District Court... and, sent to the Warren County Jail on 100-thousand dollars bail.

 

The Jamestown School District has been given a "clean-bill" of financial health from it's third-party auditor for the past fiscal year.  That from Dave DiTanna with the B-W-B Group... a local accounting firm... which performed the city district's audit for the second-year in a row.  DiTanna commended Assistant Superintendent Dale Weatherlow and his staff for doing a fine job overseeing the district's finances.  DiTanna did note the district ran a 1.2-million dollar shortfall... but, that wasn't bad news.  Officials actually budgeted for a 3.5-million dollar loss.  Weatherlow says that means they didn't have to use as much "undesignated fund" balance to offset taxes. DiTanna says one interesting aspect of the audit was it showed revenues were up for the district's food service program.  Weatherlow that's mainly because the district was again eligible to be part of the federal "Free or Reduced" Lunch program.  With that... he says they receive an increase in federal revenues.  Eligibility is determined by the poverty rate in individuals... and, schools in the district.  DiTanna says one note of concern for the next year is that the district's state pension contribution will increase from 12 to 16-percent.

 

The ribbon was cut... and, a train horn blew to signify the opening Tuesday of the fourth-phase of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk Project. Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi presided over the opening of the approximately one-thousand feet that's been added to the Riverwalk from Blackstone Ney-Ultrasonics... west along the north shore of the Chadakoin River.  It ends in an area just across the river from Panzarella Island at the Board of Public Utilities.  Teresi says it's a testimony to the great collaboration involved in completing the 319-thousand dollar section. Teresi says the city received a 150-thousand dollar New York state Environmental Protection Fund Grant that it had to match for the project.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell was among the state represetatives on hand... and, says the riverwalk casts Jamestown in a "different light."  The other 19-thousand dollars used to tie all aspects of the project together was provided by the Gebbie Foundation... which also bought ALL the property behind Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics.

 

Following the ribbon cutting... the local, state and other officials on hand were bused to the Clifton Avenue end of the trail off Fluvanna Avenue to break-ground on the Riverwalk's fifth-phase.  Mayor Teresi says... once that part of the project is completed... it will open up a major section of the area between the Chadakoin River and the old railroad tracks in that part of town. Teresi says Phase-5 of the Riverwalk project will be funded... primarily by another 262-thousand dollars from the state Environmental Protection Fund... that are also being matched by the city of Jamestown.  No timetable was given during the Phase-4 ribbon cutting on when that part of the project would be completed.

 

Many opposing a November 5th referendum to expand the number of casinos in New York have taken a sledge hammer to a slot machine outside the Capitol.  They say they're striking a blow against problem gambling.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature say the one-billion dollars in revenue can be used for schools and to cut taxes.

 

The Lakewood Village Board has tabled action on a proposal to build a new oil change and car wash service center across from the LUV Toyota Dealership on Fairmount Avenue.  Mayor David Wordelmann says the board held a public hearing Monday night on the proposal by LUV Toyota owner Bill McFadden... who is looking to put the business up on commercially-zoned land across from the dealership on the north side of Fairmount.  Wordelmann says they were waiting for a short-form environmental assessment form to be completed by McFadden on the project. Wordelmann says the board received McFadden's EAS before Monday night's meeting... and, adds there are some issues that need to be addressed before the panel votes on a special use permit... including water run-off and landscaping.  He says the special permit is mainly needed because of the oil change operation.  The proposal will be reviewed by the village, and county planning boards before it is returned to the village board for action on October 28th.

 

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Flames of an unknown origin have destroyed a home on Rice Avenue in the town of Carroll.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dispatchers say Frewsburg firefighters were called to the scene about 5 PM Monday... and, fire officials tell YNN the attached garage to the two-story home was heavily-engulfed in flames when they arrived.  The blaze then spread to the upstairs of the ranch-style home.  No one was hurt.  A couple lived in the home.  County fire investigators were called in about 6 PM.  Frewsburg was joined at the scene by Kiantone, Falconer, Kennedy, and Lakewood fire crews.  Firefighters were at the scene nearly four-hours.

 

A Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer and an off-duty paramedic were able to rescue a Silver Creek woman from her burning vehicle in Villanova before it became fully-engulfed in flames early Sunday.  We have learned that Ray Austin, a paramedic with Allstar, was on his way home from work on Route 83 about 5:20 AM when he saw smoke coming from a car that had crashed into a field.  He called 9-1-1... and, a Sheriff's Deputy arrived soon after with a fire extinquisher. The Sheriff's Deputy, Stephen Romanik, helped Austin get 28-year-old Valerie Roach out of the car.  She had been seriously hurt... and, was treated on scene by South Dayton and Cassadaga Fire rescuers... before being flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  She was initially in serious condition... but, at last word was stable.  The investigation is continuing... and, charges are pending.

 

The fourth-phase of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk project has been completed... and, will be dedicated this afternoon.  Ground will then be broken for the fifth-phase of the on-going effort.  Mayor Sam Teresi says County Executive Greg Edwards... along with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell will be on hand to officially open the newest phase of the project.  Teresi says they're among the people who helped to get this part of the project completed. Teresi says the public dedication will take place at the Northern Shore Extension behind Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics at 9 North Main Street.  He says that's where the fourth-phase began... and, it runs to the Chadakoin Riverfront north of Panzarella Island at the Board of Public Utilities.  Another state leader expected to be on hand will be former County Executive... and, current Western New York State Parks Director Mark Thomas.  The Gebbie Foundation also provided some funding... and, land for the project.  The ground-breaking for Phase-Five... will take place after the 2:30 PM dedication at the Clifton Avenue end of the trail near D & S Glass on Fluvanna Avenue.

 

Current District 16 Chautauqua County Legislator Chuck Nazzaro has announced his candidacy for re-election to a fourth-term in the legislature's new District 9... which maily is comprised of Jamestown's southside.  Nazzaro currently serves as the ranking Democrat on the Audit-and-Control Committee.  Nazzaro has been endorsed by the Democrat and Independence parties.  In addition... Nazzaro chaired a special task force formed to research the Chautauqua County Home's operations and has consistently supported its sale.  He also supported the elimination of health insurance for County Legislators... and, voted in favor of reducing the size of the County Legislature.  Nazzaro indicated that he supports the consolidation of government services, regionalization, neighborhood revitalization and in reducing property taxes.  He also served on the Jamestown City Council for three terms.  Nazzaro is currently the Chief Financial Officer at WCA Hospital.  He has been employed by WCA since 1985... and, has also held the positions of Director of Finance/Controller, Director of Reimbursement and Senior Accountant.

 

The federal government shut-down is now two-weeks old... and, a new, bi-partisan proposal has surfaced in the House of Representatives.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's joined with that group of lawmakers who are promoting what's being called an "Honest Proposal" to deal with both the shut-down... and, pending default.  Reed says the three-year plan would allow the government to continue operating through the end of the year... and, raise the ceiling.  During his weekly media conference call... the Corning Republican said that would extend through 2014. However... Reed does say it would include 230-billion dollars in new sequestration cuts.   He adds the third part would also include a extension of debt ceiling relief -- with the cuts -- through 2015.  Reed calls it automatic relief from the debt ceiling... and, allow the president to be more active in the debate without -- what he calls -- "a gun to his head."  Reed adds the sequestration cuts would generally be "across the board."

 

New York Education Commissioner John King, Junior has canceled a slate of community forums on the Common Core following what he called ``disruptions caused by the special interests'' during the first meeting in Poughkeepsie.  A statement from King provided by the Education Department Monday says the commissioner was looking forward to answering parents' questions.  But... after the October 10th PTA-sponsored forum, he says it's clear that special interests are determined to manipulate the meetings.  Additional forums had been scheduled for this week in Garden City and Clifton Park... and, later this month in the Buffalo subarb of Williamsville and New Hartford.  The learning standards are intended to better prepare students for college and careers.  Critics say New York was too quick to align standardized tests to the standards, resulting in a low passing rate.

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 14, 2013

Reed throws backing behind "Honest Proposal" to get federal government up and running, and raise debt ceiling...

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's joined with a bi-partisan group of lawmakers who are promoting what's being called an "Honest Proposal" to deal with both the federal government shut-down... and, pending default.  Reed says he's signed onto the three-point measure... which is being spear-headed on the GOP side by Colorado's Cory Gardiner.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier media Monday... the Corning Republican says it's a three-year proposal that keeps the government operating through the end of the year.  Reed says the first step is immediate relief for the debt ceiling, and getting the government up and running.  He adds there would be about $230-billion in sequestration cuts.  Reed says the second part is approving a budget resolution... that would cover all of 2014.  He adds the third part would also include a extension of debt ceiling relief -- with sequestration cuts -- through 2015.  Reed calls it automatic relief from the debt ceiling... and, allow the president to be more active in the debate without -- what he calls -- a gun to his head.  Reed adds the sequestration cuts would generally be "across the board..." as opposed to targeted to specific programs.


City officials to dedicate part of Riverwalk project; break ground on another...

Another part of Jamestown's on-going Riverwalk Project will be dedicated... while ground will be broken on another Tuesday afternoon in Brooklyn Square.  Mayor Sam Teresi says County Executive Greg Edwards... along with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell will be on hand to officially open Phase-Four of the Riverwalk project.  Teresi says the public dedication will take place at the Northern Shore Extension behind 9 North Main Street.  He says the new section runs from Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics to Panzarella Island Park behind the train station.  Another state leader expected to be on hand will be former County Executive... and, current Western New York State Parks Director Mark Thomas.  Teresi says the project has been funded through the state's Environmental Protection Fund... along with local city match dollars... and, in-kind services.  The Gebbie Foundation also provided some money to help the project along.  The Gebbie also donated the land that Phase-Four of the Riverwalk is located on.  The ground-breaking for Phase-Five... will take place after the 2:30 p.m. dedication at the Clifton Avenue end of the trail near D & S Glass on Fluvanna Avenue.


Off-duty paramedic and Sheriff's officer help woman get out of burning car in Villenova crash...

An off-duty paramedic with the help of a Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputy were able to get a driver from Silver Creek out of a vehicle that had crashed and burst into flames on Route 83 in the town of Villenova early Sunday morning.  We have learned that Ray Austin, a paramedic with Allstar, was on his way home from work when he discovered the crash involving 28-year-old Valerie Roach.  Austin says he could see smoke coming from the car... which was in the field and a woman inside trying to get out.  He called 9-1-1.  A Sheriff's Deputy, Stephen Romanik, assisted Austin.  Using a fire extinguisher... they were able to keep the fire at bay long enough and to smash the vehicle's windows to get the woman out of the vehicle.

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Sheriff's officers and a passerby helped pull a north county woman to safety after she was trapped inside her burning vehicle following an accident in Villanova early Sunday morning.  Deputies say they were called to the scene of a one-car crash on Route 83 about 5:20 AM.  Officers say they found the driver, 19 year-old Valerie Roach of Elm Street, pinned in the driver's seat of the vehicle.  Deputies say they tried to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher... but, the flames spread.  They... and, the passerby... were able to break out the windows... and, pull Roach from the vehicle just moments before the car became fully ablaze.  Roach was treated on scene by fire rescuer crews... and, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of unknown injuries.  The investigation is continuing... and, charges are pending.

 

A Sherman woman has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk... and, talking on a cell phone when her car slammed into a utility pole in the village of Sherman early Saturday morning.  Sheriff's Deputies say 21 year-old Tara VanVolkenburg was westbound on West Main Street just before 1 AM when her vehicle crossed the center line... and, struck a street sign... then the pole on the opposite side of the road.  Officers say VanVolkenburg was arrested for several charges... including driving while intoxicated... and, operating a motor vehicle while using a cell phone.  She was arraigned in Sherman Town Court... and, released pending a future court appear.  Deputies say no one was hurt in the accident.

 

Officials say a commercial flight carrying 34 passengers had to make an emergency stop in Buffalo after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.  The plane landed safely and no one was injured.  WIVB in Buffalo reports that a Chautauqua Airlines flight operating as United Express made the emergency stop in Buffalo on Sunday.  The flight departed from Cleveland and was scheduled to land in Boston at 12:18 PM.  Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesman Dan Hartmayer says that the crew reported smoke in the cockpit and pilots decided to divert to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.   The cause of the smoke was not immediately known.  Passengers were put on other flights.

 

Striking a balance between what the taxpayer can afford... and, keeping services in place to keep Jamestown a good place to work and live in is what Mayor Sam Teresi is trying to do with his 2014 budget proposal.  Teresi presented his 33.6-million dollar spending plan this past week... and, admits it walks a "fine line" between those two areas.  Teresi talked more in detail about his Executive Budget on our "Community Spotlight" program this past weekend.  He also emphasized that the proposal is a "starting point" for deliberations by the City Council.  Teresi adds there's still information coming in that will impact the botttom line. Among those numbers city lawmakers don't have right now are third-quarter sales tax revenues.  He adds there are also still NO agreements with the city's six labor unions.  However... there are salary "step" increases that must be continued from expired contracts under state law.  Teresi's proposal includes a 2.68-percent tax increase... or about 386-thousand-900 dollars.  He adds there is a proposed 55-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase to 22-dollars-and-18 cents.  The final budget is due on December 1st.

 

Some details still need to be worked out by the Governor's Office... but, SUNY College at Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath says a local committee is ready to begin work on establishing a local tax free zone for the Start Up New York Program.  Horvath... who is in her first year as College President... says they hope to have all the details by January. Horvath says it was important that the Technology Incubator in Dunkirk be included as part of the program.  She says there was a question of whether it would be included under Governor Cuomo's original program. Cuomo and the State Legislature approved the program before the legislative session wrapped up in June.  It will allow all 64 SUNY campuses in the state to establish tax free zones.  Virginia Horvath hopes that by having a tax free zone established locally... it will lead to the creation of new companies or attract companies from other states.

 

Former President Jimmy Carter says that if Washington leaders really want to work together... they could take a page from Habitat for Humanity.  Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, wielded power drills themselves last weekend.  They were helping the organization fix up a long-abandoned New York City home.  The Carters are marking the 30th anniversary of their volunteer work with Habitat.

 

A motion has been filed in the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court Fourth Judicial Department for a change of venue for the Anthony Taglianetti murder trial.  We made contact with a clerk in the Appellate Division in Rochester... and, she confirms that the motion was filed by Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone who is representing Taglianetti.  No word on when a ruling on the motion will be made.  Jury selection in the trial has been on-going since September 19th.  At last word... just six jurors had been picked so far.  Taglianetti is facing second degree murder in the September 2012 shooting death of Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown man accused of setting up and running a methamphetime lab on the city's northside last month has been arrested in Titusville, Pennsylvania.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Crawford County location was one where they believed 38 year-old Phillip Reichardt might have fled to after officers discovered the lab during parole check last September 19th at 19 Crossman Street.  Samuelson says a Felony warrant had been issued for Reichardt's arrest... and, he was found yesterday morning. Samuelson says the parents of Reichart's girlfriend live in Titusville... and, they believed he might be heading there to avoid arrest in New York.  He says Reichardt was found in one of two locations they believed he might be at.  Samuelson says Reichardt was arrested as a Fugitive from Justice... and, he's jailed pending extradiction.  Samuelson adds that... since it was a "one-pot" lab... the State Police C-NET Team was able to clean up the home. Samuelson says city police expect Reichardt to be returned in about one to two weeks... depending on whether or not he waives an extradiction hearing.  He faces one count of Felony third-degree Manufacturing of Methamphetime.

 

A Dunkirk man faces Felony charges for allegedly shooting another man in the leg Thursday afternoon on South Beaver Street early Thursday afternoon.  Dunkirk Police learned of the shooting in the 100-block after receiving a call from Brooks Memorial Hospital around 1:30 PM about a victim with a gunshot wound in the Emergency Room.  Officers say the victim suffered a single wound to his upper left leg.  Following an extensive, two hour search, patrol and detective officers arrested 22 year-old Nathaniel Hollins, Junior.  Police charged him with second-degree assault... second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree criminal use of a firearm.  The investigation is continuing... and anyone with information should call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266 or the Department's confidential tip line at 363-0313.

 

A member of the Chautauqua County Legislature who is running for county executive says it's time for legislators to rise above politics in County Home vote.  Republican Vince Horrigan says he is ready to move forward... and, vote on the sale of the Dunkirk-area facility to VestraCare.  Horrigan, whose from Bemus Point, showed his support for holding the vote on the County Home on October 30th during last night's special meeting. But... several legislators -- including Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazarro -- felt the vote should be delayed until after the November 5th election.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould says the vote will take place during another special session on October 30th.  Before the vote... he says the proposal will be sent to committee. Gould says the public will also be able to speak on the proposed sale during the second public portion of the Legislature's regular meeting on October 23rd... and, during the special meeting on the 30th.

 

No one spoke during a public hearing held at Jamestown City Hall yesterday morning on a local law that would allow the city to exceed the state's 2-percent property tax cap in 2014.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who held the mandated public hearing.  Teresi says -- as it stands -- his proposed, 33.6-million dollar spending plan does not exceed the cap.  However... he says there is always the chance something may come up later that pushes the budget over the cap... or, there may be a miscalculation. Teresi's proposed budget includes a tax increase of 2.68-percent... or 386-thousand dollars.  However... including some exclusions enacted by the state... the city's "Effective" tax cap is 3.1-percent.  The mayor says he understands that it sounds confusing because there is a "statutory cap..." and the "effective" one. Jamestown is impacted differently because it has a city-owned utility that's considered an asset.  City lawmakers are expected to begin work on the budget... which is due December 1st... shortly.
 


Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen just over a penny this week to 3-dollars-69 cents a gallon.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report also says the national average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded is down 4-cents this week.  The Fuel Gauge says U-S and global markets are working to evaluate the impact of the federal government shutdown... and, renewed U-S debt ceiling concerns.  However... retail gas prices continue to march steadily downward.  The Triple-A says it expects retail prices will continue to drop in the coming months, as sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline mean motorists are likely to pay less to fill their tanks.


 

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News Update for Thurs., Oct. 10, 2013

City man sought for operating Meth Lab on Crossman St. found in PA...

The Jamestown man accused of setting up and running a methamphetime lab on the city's northside last month has been arrested in Titusville, Pennsylvania.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Crawford County location was one where they believed 38 year-old Phillip Reichardt might have fled to after officers discovered the lab during parole check at 19 Crossman Street last September 19th.  Samuelson says a Felony warrant had been issued for Reichardt's arrest... and, he was found Thursday morning.  Since the initial contact at 19 Crossman, he says they had been in contact with Titusville Police.  Samuelson says that's because the parents of Reichart's girlfriend live there... and, they believed he might be heading there to avoid arrest in New York.  He says Reichardt was found in one of two locations they believed he might be at.  Samuelson says Reichardt was arrested as a Fugitive from Justice... and, he's jailed pending extradiction.  Samuelson adds that... since it was a "one-pot" lab... the State Police C-NET Team was able to clean up the home so it can be occupied again.  He says they expect Reichardt to be returned in about one to two weeks... depending on whether or not he waives extradiction.  He faces one Felony count of Manufacturing of Methamphetime.


Horrigan tells fellow legislators it's time to make a decision on latest offer for Co. Home...

A Chautauqua County Legislator who is running for county executive says it's time for lawmakers to 'rise above politics' on a vote to sell the County Home.  Republican Vince Horrigan says he is ready to move forward... and, vote on the agreement to sell the Dunkirk-area facility to VestraCare.  Horrigan... whose from Bemus Point... voiced his support for holding the vote on the County Home on Oct. 30 during Wednesday night's special meeting.  He says opponents to holding a vote that night are searching for excuses not to hold a vote.  But... several legislators -- including Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazarro -- felt the vote should be delayed until after the Nov. 5 election.  Nazzaro feels some lawmakers may change their mind and want to sell after that time.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould says the vote will take place during another special session on Oct. 30.  Before the vote... he says the proposal will be sent to the Human Services and Audit and Control Committees.  Gould adds the public can speak to those two committees when they meet next week.  He says the public will also be able to speak on the proposed sale during the second public portion of the Legislature's regular meeting Oct. 23... and, at the special meeting on Oct. 30.


Gas prices drop another penny this week...

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen just over a penny this week to $3.69 a gallon.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge report also says the national average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded is down 4-cents this week.  The Fuel Gauge says U.S. and global markets are working to evaluate the impact of the federal government shutdown... and, renewed U.S. debt ceiling concerns.  However... retail gas prices continue to march steadily downward.  The AAA says it expects retail prices will continue to drop in the coming months, as sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline mean motorists are likely to pay less to fill their tanks.


 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown City Council will shortly begin work on Mayor Sam Teresi's 33.6-million dollar, 2014 budget that increases taxes by 2.68-percent.  Teresi unveiled his tentative spending plan at city hall Tuesday afternoon.  He calls it "a starting point" for this year's deliberations... but, adds it's especially that way for the largest single expense in the spending plan.  Teresi says each department has been able to hold down employee wages each year through good management.  This year's increase is about 436-thousand dollars... or a 2.9-percent. However... Teresi adds that the city still working off expired agreements with all six of it's labor unions... and, they are going to arbitration with one unit.  The city has been able to hold down any tax increase in recent years by using it's fund balance.  Teresi's proposed spending plan includes the "reluctant use" of 175-thousand dollars from the "undesigned" part of the fund balance to offset taxes.  He adds another 130-thousand will be used to hold the city's debt service "harmless."  The proposed budget increases the tax rate by 55-cents per thousand full value.

 

While the tax increase is 2.68-percent... Teresi says when exclusions are added in... the budget is about 63-thousand-500 dollars BELOW the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  The city council must approve a spending plan by December 1st.

 

In addition to the repaving of the rough section of West Third Street... city lawmakers also learned at Monday night's work session that two major bridges will be overhauled in Jamestown in 2014 and 2015.  Mayor Sam Teresi says it may not seem it... but, both the Third and Sixth Street spans were last overhauled... or replaced... more than 25 years ago.  With that... he says they're "due for some work."  He says the bridge discussion came up when he was speaking with Region Department of Transportation Director Darrell Kaminski.  The bridge work was not expected until at least a year later than was announced.  Teresi says the DOT did not indicate which span would be done first.

 

The town of Ellicott has a tentative, 3.9-million dollar budget proposal for next year that raises taxes by about 3-percent.  That from Town Supervisor Cecil Miller... who presented the 2014 budget at Monday night's town board meeting.  Miller says the tax levy -- or amount to be raised by taxes -- is 2.29-million dollars.  That's a 79-thousand dollar increase... which he says is being caused by increases in several area -- most of which are out of their control. Miller says contractually... employees can be compensated for sick time not used.  He says they did a better job of holding down costs with the help of their employee unions.  However... he says revenues are basically flat.  Miller says that'll make it "very difficult" to cut that tax increase below the 2-percent property tax cap. Miller says they'll hold a hearing on the budget at their next meeting on October 21st.  The tax rate in the town -- outside the villages -- is up 11-cents to 4-dollars-89 cents per thousand.  Miller says in the villages of Celoron and Falconer... the rate is up 16-cents to 4--41 per thousand.  A vote on the budget is tentatively set for November 4th.

 

A joint investigation by Chautauqua County Fire Investigators and National Fuel Gas have determined the cause of yesterday morning's house explosion in Ripley.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says Thomas Hawkins... owner of the house at 24 Lakeview Avenue... had apparently tried to fix a gas line break himself last January.  However... Gerace says the ground recently shifted. Gerace says it's fortunate that no one was inside the home... and, there were no injuries.  He advises anyone with gas line break or leak to report it immediately to their utility.  Ripley fire crews were called to the scene about 11:30 AM.  They were assisted at the scene by South Ripley, Westfield, and Sherman firefighters... as well as the Crescent and Fuller Hose Companies from Northeast, Pennsylvania. 

 

An incumbant county legislator from the town of Ellicott has announced he is running for re-election to the new District 14 seat.  Life-long County resident Mark Tarbrake is seeking election to that seat... which represents portions of the towns of Ellicott, Charlotte, Gerry, and Ellington.  Tarbrake is currently the chairman of the legislature's Human Services Committee... which oversees operations of such entities as the County Home.  Tarbrake says he "strongly believes" the county should sell the home to ease the "financial burden" on local taxpayers.  The Lakewood native has worked at SKF Aero Engine for the past 34 years.

 

Two suburban Rochester volunteer firefighters killed in the Christmas Eve ambush are among nine names that have been added to the New York State Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Albany.  Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy joined other officials and firefighters from across the state at a ceremony held Tuesday at the Firefighters Memorial at the Empire State Plaza.  The names of Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka are now on the memorial, which was established in 1998 to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty.  The two Rochester-area firefighters were killed and two other members of the West Webster Fire Department were wounded when a gunman opened fire on them after setting his home ablaze last December 24th.  The names of nearly 2,400 firefighters are on the memorial.

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WJTN News Headlines

A Cattaraugus County woman is missing after being treated at WCA Hospital in Jamestown Saturday morning... and, city police are asking for the public's help in finding her.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 50 year-old Roseanne Hardiman of Allegany was released from the hospital early Sunday... but, he says neither her family nor friends have seen or heard from her since.  Samuelson says Hardiman... a white female with brown hair... was last seen leaving WCA's Emergency Department. Samuelson says the family is concerned about Hardiman's well-being... but, he says they believe a friend whose not familiar with the family may have picked her up.  Foul play is not suspected... but, they do want to confirm that she is safe.  Anyone with information is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office at 938-9191.

 

There's "extremely good news" for motorists in Jamestown who use West Third Street between the Third Street Bridge and McDaniel Avenue.  That portion of the street... along with a smaller section of McDaniel from West Third to Fairmount Avenue will soon be completely resurfaced by the state Department of Transporation.  Mayor Sam Teresi reported on the 250-thousand to 300-thousand dollar job... which begins Wednesday... at last night's City Council work session.  Teresi says the project wasn't supposed to be done until 2015... but, the DOT found the resources to do it... and, the city has agreed to assist. Teresi says the work will involve milling of those streets... and, then an overlay of pavement will be put down.  He adds the DOT will also be resurfacing the two-block section from the West Third Street bridge to Monroe Street.  That section is also a state roadway.  Teresi says the bad news is the work will necessitate a minor course change for the Lucy-Town Half-Marathon.  He says city police and the Public Works Director Jeff Lehman have already begun work on that.

 

A natural gas issue is the apparent cause of a house explosion and fire at a home on Lakeview Road in the town of Ripley.  Ripley fire crews were joined by four other departments at scene about 11:30 AM Monday. First Assistant Ripley Fire Chief Brian Chess says... fortunately... no one was inside when the single story house was blown apart. Chess says no one was hurt... including firefighters.  He says the home owners returned to the house just after the explosion took place.  Ripley was assisted at the scene by South Ripley, Westfield, and Sherman fire crews... along with both the Crescent and Fuller Hose Companies from Northeast, Pennsylvania.  Chautauqua County Fire Investigators are trying to determine the exact cause.

 

County Executive Greg Edwards says a third-party fact-finder's report on the county's contract dispute with it's largest union is a "good compromise."  Edwards says that he hopes the report will be accepted by CSEA Local-6300 to end nearly two-years of negotiations that resulted in an impasse last year.  A Fact Finder was appointed last November... and, the final report was recently issued.  Edwards says he accepted the Fact Finder's Report last Friday.  He says the last contract expired in December of 2011... and, both sides started far apart. However... Edwards says his administration and the CSEA had gotten much closer before the impasse was declared by the union in 2012.  He says the ball is now in the CSEA's court... and, he understands they will be meeting sometime later this week. The fact-finder is recommending a four-year contract would include no wage increases for years 2012... and, 2013.  There would be a 41-cent per hour increase in 2014... and, a 2-percent increase in 2015.  Employee health insurance premiums would be frozen for 2012 and '13... and, there would be increases in 2014 and 2015. There would also be an option for a higher deductable health plan.

 

An audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has found that hundreds of inmates in upstate county jails received more than 500-thousand in improper benefits.  DiNapoli's auditors found 351 inmates in Chemung, Onondaga, Orange, Schenectady and Warren counties received state unemployment insurance benefits of nearly 325-thousand dollars.

 

Leaves are now in full color in the Catskills and some other parts of upstate New York.  State tourism officials say peak color has arrived in the Catskills, with bright shades of red, orange and yellow around the region.  Trees across a large swath of central New York are at the mid-point of changing color this weekend.  Some interior sections of the Adirondack Park are past peak, though peak color can be found on trees around the edges of the 6-million acre park.  Trees in the New York City region to the south are just changing now.

 

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 7, 2013

Jamestown police looking for help in locating missing woman from Cattaraugus County...

City police are asking for the public's help in finding a missing Cattaraugus County woman who was treated at WCA Hospital... and, released early Sunday morning.  However... police say neither her family nor friends have seen or heard from 50 year-old Roseane Hardiman since.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 50 year-old Roseanne Hardiman was last seen leaving WCA's Emergency Department.  Samuelson says they believe she was picked up by a friend who is not known to the family... but, they want to confirm that.  Anyone with information is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office at 938-9191.


Reed says he's "All-in" on negotiations to get government back operating, and deal with looming debt default...

Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's "all-in" when it comes to working with fellow House members to resolve both the government shut-down... and, the looming debt crisis.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday... Tom Reed said he's been talking with members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle... and, believes there are some 'opportunities developing.'  The one most discussed ideas is called the "Mini-Grand Bargain."  He says the goal is to take "a broader look" at the situation that's driving the debt crisis.  However... Reed does say the "Mini-Grand Bargain" would involve negotiating parts of "Obamacare" that members on both sides don't like in an effort to make a better bill.  He says those include the Medical Device Tax... and, the Independent Advisory Board... which some Democrats have said they are against.  Among the items Reed says they need to look at are "entitlement" programs that will soon run out of money... such as Social Security Disability.  The U.S. is facing a default on it's debt on Oct. 17.


Explosion and fire destroys home in town of Ripley...

Firefighters from Ripley and four other departments responded to a house explosion late this morning.  The blast destroyed most of the house on Lakeview Road, but, fortunately did not injure anyone.  Ripley First Assistant Fire Chief Brian Chess says the single story house was blown apart.  Chess says the home owners were not inside the structure when the explosion occured.  He says no one was hurt.  The call came in about 11:25 a.m.  Ripley fire crews received mutual aid from South Ripley, Westfield, and Sherman along with both the Crescent and Fuller Hose Companies from Northeast, PA.  The explosion is apparently being linked to a natural gas issue... but, County Fire Investigators were called to the scene to determine an exact cause.

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WJTN News Headlines

Governor Cuomo says more than a million homeowners in New York have applied for school district tax exemptions in the past six weeks.  The STAR exemptions for primary homes have been around for years, but the state is requiring new applications this year after tax officials found that thousands of people with multiple properties were receiving more than one exemption.  Homeowners with annual incomes under 500-thousand dollars can register on-line at tax.ny.gov... or they can call 518-457-2036.

 

County Executive Greg Edwards has accepted a fact-finder's report that he hopes will resolve the impasse between the county and it's largest union.  Edwards late Friday said in a press release that he's hopeful that Civil Service Employees Association Unit-6300 will now accept the recommendations on wages, health insurance and lay-off rights.  If they do... he believes the legislature could act on a tentative agreement in November.  The four-year contract would include no wage increases for years 2012... and, 2013.  There would be a 41-cent per hour increase in 2014... and, a 2-percent increase in 2015.   The current contract with the CSEA unit expired at the end of 2011.

 

There are 600-thousand unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States... and, there are 'hundreds' of good paying career jobs here in Chautauqua County.  That was the message from County Executive Greg Edwards during National Manufacturing Day in Jamestown last Friday afternoon.  Edwards was one of the speakers during festivities at Jamestown Community College's Manufacturing Techology Institute.  Many times during his final term in office... he's spoken during his final term in office that there are dozens of good manufacturing jobs available here. Edwards says a big part of the problem is having the trained workforce to fill those positions that become available.  He says the MTI has helped fill the bill in many cases.  The event was hosted by the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.  Edwards says it was designed to show local residents... and, the manufacturer's themselves... the wide variety of workplace opportunities there are locally.  He says the recession really hurt Chautauqua County because 22-percent of the county's workforce is in some form of manufacturing.

 

The kitchen-area of a Lakewood home sustained some damage last Saturday afternoon when an electrical problem in a ceiling box triggered a fire.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene at 237 East Terrace Avenue shortly before 4 PM.  They were joined at the scene by Celoron firefighters.  However... they blaze was put out quickly.   Dispatchers say the county's Fire Investigation Team was called in to help determine the cause of the flames.  They determined the electrical problem occured in a junction box in the ceiling of the kitchen.  No one was at the residence at the time the fire ocurred, and there were no injuries reported.  Fire investigators have ruled the cause accidental.

 

The federal government shutdown is being felt locally with a cancellation of a visit by a key federal official today.  The U-S Army Corps of Engineers' Brigadier General who was scheduled to be in Dunkirk this afternoon will not be able to come to see if local Lake Erie harbors need dredging.  The city Mayor's Office got a call late last week saying that the visit was cancelled.  The official was to visit both the Dunkirk City Harbor... and, the Small Boat Harbor in Hanover. 

 

The Fredonia Opera House's capital campaign is continuing after getting off to a strong start.  That from organizers of the annual campaign.  Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis says they have raised a significant amount of the 300-thousand dollar goal.  Davis says the largest portion of the money will be used to installed digital equipment for showing movies. The Opera House currently uses projection equipment that dates back to 1937.  The funding would also address other building issues since the last capital campaign in the 1990s. Davis says you can get more information about the "Maintain and Sustain..." A Capital Campaign for the Next 20 years" by checking out the Opera House's website at Fred opera-dot-ORG.

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation is taking applications for urban forestry grants that can be used to enhance landscapes and provide green spaces in urban areas across the state. Commissioner Joe Martens says trees, parks, and other green space in cities supports wildlife habitat, helps protect against storm damage, alleviates summer heat and reduces storm water runoff. Grants are available to municipalities, public benefit corporations, public authorities, school districts and not-for-profit organizations. Awards will range from $2,500 to $50,000, depending on municipal population, and have a 50/50 match requirement.  The money comes from the state's Environmental Protection Fund.  Applicants can get instructions and forms on the DEC website (www.dec.ny.gov ).

 

New York state Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine is resigning.  The northern New York farmer and former state legislator served three years in the Cuomo administration, drawing a salary of about 106-thousand dollars a year.  The Democrat's resignation was first reported by The Watertown Times.  Republican Patty Ritchie beat Aubertine in 2010 with 52 percent of the vote in the state Senate district that included Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.  Aubertine's loss was a blow to Democrats trying to gain the Senate majority.  The majority is now run by Republicans with four Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference, with traditional Democrats in the minority.  The Cuomo administration confirmed the resignation Friday. It is effective next week.

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News Update for Fri., Oct., 4, 2013

County Health and Human Services Dept. restates warning about Mosquito-borne illnesses -- namely EEE...

The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is continuing to warn residents to take precautions against mosquito bites because of the risk of mosquito-borne illness.  Those include Eastern Equine Encephalitis -- or Triple-EEE -- for short... and, West Nile Virus.  The State Health Department has notified county health officials that additional Triple-EEE positive mosquito pools have been detected in the Conewango Creek Valley in the towns of Kiantone and Carroll.  Two of those pools also contained mosquitoes that bite both birds and mammals.  The DHHS's Mark Stow says -- so far -- a horse has died from the rare, but lethal virus.  Stow says that happened about a month ago, and involved a mosquito that not only will bite a horse... but, humans as well.  Stow says the state is continuing the declaration of an Imminent Public Health Threated in the county through Oct. 31.  He says they are concerned about the situation because of the weather is expected to be warm and humid this weekend... and, that triggers prime mosquito activity.  He says all county residents should protect themselves from mosquito bites.  Various websites... including the county's... have posted some tips and precautions to follow.


Jamestown man arrested after young child found wandering, naked, on Barrows Street...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being asleep while his young child was found naking... and wandering around a Barrows Street neighborhood late Friday morning.  City police were called to 43 Barrows shortly before 10:30 a.m., and, found the child.  They also found the parents -- sleeping inside their home -- after checking several houses in the area.  Police arrested 23 year-old Cody Murphy at the scene for endangering the welfare of a child.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


Edwards explains increased funding in parts of his 2014 budget proposal...

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards says he understands why members of the legislature have made certain changes to his 2014 budget proposal.  But... at the same time, Edwards says he carefully weighed how much people would be paying now in taxes... compared to when he took office.  A $500,000 increase in the Office for the Aging's budget is to help deal with a waiting list of 342 people wanting home services.  That amount was cut to $250,000 in committee this week.  Edwards says if that's approved, they can't reach those 342 people... and, delaying $250,000 for a year means the list will be longer next year.  He says part of the problem is a drop in revenues.  He says NRG's payment in lieu of tax deal on the Dunkirk Generating Station has been dropped... and, overcrowding issues at the County Jail in Mayville means fewer federal prisoners can be housed there.  The county received a daily payment for those prisoners.  Between those two areas... Edwards says the county is losing $1.4-million in revenues.  Legislators also voted in committee to take out the county's just over one-million dollar, Inter-governmental Transfer for the County Home in Dunkirk.  But... Edwards says if the county retains ownership of the home... the IGT is needed to leverage matching state and federal funding.

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

This week's start-up of the Affordable Care Act has kept the Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce busy... and, likely will for a while longer.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says they're holding two more sessions on enrollment in the state's Health Exchange today.  Tranum says there's been a lot interest by both individuals and businesses -- not just here, either. Tranum says there's been a lot of "pent-up interest" in the Affordable Care Act... also known to many as "Obamacare..." because it's received so much attention nationally.  He adds that's one of the reasons the website for the state's Health Exchange had trouble dealing with the heavy volume of traffic when enrollment began on Tuesday.  The Chamber had on meeting this morning in Dunkirk... and, another is at 5:30 this afternoon.  Again... the chamber sessions are open to individuals and businesses.

 

Sign-up for the new health exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act coincides with the beginning of this fall's Open Enrollment for seniors signing up for Medicare.  County Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says her office has counselors available to answer questions about which plan is best for them.  Spanos adds her office has worked with the county's two major newspapers to put out a special suppliment later this month. The suppliment will be in The Jamestown Post-Journal... and, the Dunkirk Observer.  If you want more information... or set up an appointment... you can also call their main office in Mayville at 753-4502.  The phone number in Jamestown for more information is 661-7582... and, in Dunkirk it's 363-4582.

 

A candidate running for Congress next year is putting the blame for the government shutdown on House Republicans... among them Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed.  Democrat Martha Roberson from Tompkins County held a news conference in Elmira yesterday... and, will be in Buffalo Thursday.  Quoting Senator Kirsten Gillibrand... Robertson called the shutdown a "Tea Party temper tantrum...."Robertson wants Reed and his fellow House Republicans to end the government shutdown by passing a "clean" continuing resolution.  She is concerned that the government shutdown is in danger of stretching out through the credit deadline of October 17th when the federal debt ceiling is reached.

 

With the federal government's partial shut-down entering it's fourth day... Congressman Tom Reed has joined with many fellow members of the House in turning down his paycheck.  In a statement issued late last night... the Corning Republican said "I will not accept a paycheck while the government is shut down.  Congress has a job to do and if Congress can't complete one of its primary responsibilities... it doesn't deserve to get a paycheck."

 

A Forestville woman who regularly attends local government meetings -- including the County Legislature -- has been arrested for allegedly making a terrorist threat.  The woman -- 67 year-old Jeanne Polisoto -- recently spoke out at a County Legislature meeting.  She was arrested earlier this week after allegedly making a bomb threat in Hanover Town Hall.  That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace who says they were called to the scene after Polisoto not only threatened the building... but, people inside. Gerace says Polisoto is charged with Felony Making a terroristic threat... harassment... and, obstructing governmental administration.  She was arraigned in Silver Creek Village Court and sent to the Chautauqua County Jail... but, she posted 15-thousand dollars bail.

 

There are some "exciting changes" coming to the Chautauqua Mall... including a new restaurant and another business moving to a new location.  Mall Marketing and Business Director Cynde Brenneman says Curves... which is a women's gym that touts "the 30-minute work-out..." is under new ownership.  Brenneman says the new owner, Debbie Swanson, is also moving Curves from it's current location near J-C Penny to another one near Sears. Brenneman says Curves caters to a wide-range of women from ages 16 to 88.  She adds that Swanson plans to be open seven days a week.  But... hours have not yet been announced.  Brenneman also says Sukura Buffet will be opening later this month.  It's a new regional-chain restaurant that features American-Chinese, Sushi... and, a Hibatchi bar. Brenneman says Sukura touts it's restaurants are "very family-friendly."  Construction work has been going on inside the mall... and, on a separate, outside entrance at the Mall.  Brennman says more "exciting news" is coming.
 

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News Update for Thurs., Oct. 3, 2013

Tranum says County Chamber has been busy working with local businesses on dealing with Affordable Care Act...

The start up of the Affordable Care Act -- or Obamacare -- is keeping the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce busy.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says another round of meetings on health insurance enrollment and information were held Thursday.  Tranum says there's been a lot interest... which one of the reasons the state website had trouble dealing with the heavy volume of traffic on Tuesday.  He says -- at the national level -- there's been a lot of attention on the ACA.  The chamber hosted two meetings Thursday at the SUNY College at Fredonia Technology Incubator in Dunkirk.  They were morning and afternoon sessions.  More are being scheduled.  The meetings are open to individuals and businesses.


Reed's potential 2014 Democratic opponent blames Reed, other TEA Party Republicans in House for shut-down...

A Democrat who has already announced she's running for Congress next year is putting the blame for the partial government shutdown on House Republicans -- including local Congressman Tom Reed.  Tompkins County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Robertson held another news conference -- this time in Buffalo -- Wednesday.  She says they've had a wide range of people come out... and, call for Reed and his -quote - "fellow TEA Party extremists" to go back to work and fund the government.  Robertson says there's never been "this level of dysfunction" with Congress.  She's called for approval of a clean continuing resolution, then breaking into conference committees to hammer out issues each side feels needs to be addressed.  While in Elmira Wednesday... Robertson quoted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand... who called the shutdown a "Tea Party temper tantrum."  In Buffalo Thursday... Robertson said it's "clear that a clean Continuing Resolution would pass the House of Representatives today, but, extremists in Congress won't allow that vote to happen."  She is also concerned that the government shutdown is in danger of stretching out through the credit deadline of Oct. 17, when the federal debt ceiling is reached.


Reed to accept no pay while government is shut-down...

With the federal government's partial shut-down entering it's third day... Congressman Tom Reed has joined with many fellow members of the House in turning down his paycheck.  In a statement issued late last night... the Corning Republican said "I will not accept a paycheck while the government is shut down.  Congress has a job to do and if Congress can't complete one of its primary responsibilities... it doesn't deserve to get a paycheck."

 


 

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WJTN News Headlines

There have been a number of questions seniors in Chautauqua County have been asking questions regarding changes in the health care law... and, how that may impact their Medicare coverage.  With that... the county's Office for the Aging is hosting three public forums next week on that... and, how to deal with a spouse that is not yet covered by Medicare.  Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says if you are now on Medicare... there are basically no changes.  But... Spanos says there may be other circumstances... including which plan you're on.
Spanos says Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated is involved  because they are the county's "exchange navigator."  She says there's also the issue of Medi-gap coverage... and, Medicare Part D for prescription drugs.  Spanos says the first forum will be held at the Findley Lake Community Center from 10 AM to Noon next Monday, October 7th.  She says the other two forums are next Wednesday, October 9th.  The first is in Fredonia at the Mason's Lodge from 10:30 AM to Noon... and, the second is at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Jamestown from 1 to 3 PM.  For more information... call the Office for the Aging at 661-8940.

 

Jury selection has resumed in the trial of the Virginia man accused of murdering Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.  That after a state Appellate Court Judge in Buffalo Monday rejected a motion to delay the trial.  The Buffalo News reports that Justice Erin Peradotto denied the motion by Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone to stay the trial pending a decision on a separate motion.  The paper reports that motion calls for moving the trial to a court in another county due to pre-trial publicity.  The judge made the decision after reviewing arguments by Barone and District Attorney David Foley.  Jury selection has moved slowly since it began August 19th.

 

The partial shut-down of the federal government isn't having a direct impact on local government services.  But... the longer the shutdown drags on -- the greater the risk.  That from Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards... who says it's 'business as usual' right now.  However... Edwards says if the government is shut down for an extended period of time... there's a risk of losing federal dollars for two county agencies.  One is Woman and Children's Services. Edwards says they county's Office of Veterans Services is the other program that could be affected.  He says they are working locally... but, they will begin to experience problems in accessing records, and or pursuing claims because they have to go through the federal government for those.  While there are stop-gap measures in place, Edwards says the county has to upfront the money and seek reimbursement.  Edwards says that could lead to problems down the road.

 

Chautauqua County's job market in August was "very stable..." and, there's been slow, but steady improvement in the overall job situation.  That from state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says there was very little change between July and August... as the unemployment rate remained 7.4-percent.  Slenker says private sector jobs were up by 200... with no one area outpacing the other.  But... government-related jobs were down about 300.
Slenker says the number of people employed was up 200 overall to 55-thousand-100.  As for the job count... he says there are several factors that play into his saying there's been "slow improvement."  Slenker says there is claims data... among others.  He says they're all pointing in the "same direction though."  He adds were not "bleeding jobs the way we were a few years ago."  Slenker says both July and August's unemployment rate in Chautauqua County were well down from August of last year... when the rate was 8-percent.

 

In Cattaraugus County... the jobless rate also remained unchanged for August.  Labor Department Analyst John Slenker says the unemployment rate was 7.7-percent in August... the same as it was in July.  Slenker says the biggest job losses were in the private sector... and, one area in particular.  That's construction.  He says there were 100 job losses there.  Cattaraugus County's overall job loss for the month was also 100.  Slenker says the jobless rate in August of last year was 8.5-percent

 

A judge will hear a lawsuit on October 11th that challenges the rosy language the Cuomo administration and Legislature made for the referendum to authorize seven Las Vegas-type casinos in New York.  Attorney Eric Snyder tells The Associated Press Wednesday that the court date is set for his lawsuit against the state Board of Elections which approved the measure.  The date was set for next Friday.  The AP had reported that the referendum had been rewritten over the summer from a traditional, bare-bones question to voters.  It now promises jobs, more school aid and lower taxes -- all of which are disputed.  There's no immediate comment from Cuomo.  Newspaper editorial boards have been criticial of the rewording.

 

Gas prices have dropped another 7-cents a gallon in the Jamestown-area this week to about 3-dollars-71 cents per gallon.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge... which says that's also the average decrease nationally.  The average retail price across the U-S this week has fallen to 3-dollars-39 cents a gallon.  Barring a hurricane or other unexpected disruption to gas production and distribution... the AAA expects that retail prices will continue lower in the coming months, as sufficient supplies, flat demand and cheaper winter-blend gasoline mean motorists are likely to pay less.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County legislators will hold a special meeting a week from today to hear from representatives of VestraCare about their proposal to purchase the County Home in Dunkirk.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould has scheduled the session for next Wednesday, October 9th at 6:30 PM.  Gould says there will be a further presentation and question and answer session. Principles of the group gave a brief presentation at a meeting of the Legislature on August 28th.  County Executive Greg Edwards says a proposed contract has been finalized for the purchase of the home and a deposit has been wired. Gould says the public will be able to attend the October 9th meeting... but, will not be able to speak.  He says there be an opportunity for public comment when the Legislature holds another special session later in the month... possibly on October 30th... when a vote on selling the County Home could take place.

 

Neither side is willing to accept blame for the partial government shutdown that went into effect Tuesday.  House Republican leader Eric Cantor says it's the fault of stubborn Democratic senators who refuse to consider the House's proposals for delaying the new health care law.  But... Democrats say the GOP is putting the economic recovery at risk as part of an ``ideological crusade'' against the health care overhaul.  With the shut-down... local Congressman Tom Reed says you'll likely see slower processing of paperwork.  The Corning Republican was among the majority in both the House and Senate that voted to back active U-S military personnel and seniors. However... Reed says he remains behind the shut-down unless the Senate agrees to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act... or Obamacare. Reed introduced a measure... which was also rejected... that would elminate the government subsidy for members of Congress and the Senate to help pay for federal lawmakers health insurance under Obamacare. 

 

Congressman Reed's expected opponent in next year's election accuses him of trying to run away from the 'Tea Party' label he's had lately.  But... Democrat Martha Robertson adds that he's now showing his "true colors with his full-throated support of the government shutdown."  She says "four out of the six New York GOP members of Congress are openly critical of this extremist strategy."  Even worse... she says Reed advocates a default on the debt ceiling in a few weeks, which would cause major damage to the economy.  Robertson adds it also threatens the delivery of Social Security checks..., Medicare payments and Veterans benefits.  She concluded that "just like Tom Reed not paying his property taxes on time, he thinks it's OK for the Congress not to pay its bills either."

 

While uniformed members of the military will continue to be paid... hundreds of non-uniformed military employees in New York face furloughs because of the federal government shutdown.  While military troops continue to work, the state Division of Military and Naval Affairs is sending about 1,500 workers out on furloughs Tuesday afternoon, including maintenance technicians and clerks.  Also, there will be no training for part-time Army and Air National Guard members during the shutdown.   At Fort Drum in northern New York... 250 of the roughly 790 civilian employees at the garrison were informed Tuesday morning that they'll be furloughed.  A spokeswoman says that includes a wide range of employees, such as those involved in public affairs and some electricians.

 

Visitors to the Statue of Liberty are upset the popular tourist destination is among the places hit hard by a federal government shutdown.  The statue is run by the National Parks Service, a federal agency.  With the partial government shut-down... national parks like Liberty Island are off-limits to the public.  On Monday, several visitors made their dismay clear.  Emily Enfinger, visiting from Florida, says she's ``discouraged'' and that elected officials aren't ``doing their job.''  Larry Juhl, visiting from Minnesota, says ``it's unfortunate we can't get this worked out.''


After receiving devastating frosts in the Spring of 2012... area vineyards have rebounded this year... and, local grape growers are being rewarded with a healthy harvest.  Luke Haggerty, a viticulture extension specialist with Cornell's Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, says last year's frosts actually helped this year's crop. Haggerty says many growers used crop thinning... which ensures the health of grapes and vines and helped produce a sizeable crop. Haggerty says by thinning the crop... the grapes will meet the appropriate sugar levels and the vines will maintain good health.  He adds they should also put on another good crop next year.

 

 


 

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News Update for Tues., Oct. 1, 2013

(**Alert)Special meeting scheduled for county legislature to get full presentation on proposed buyers of the County Home...

Chautauqua County legislators will hold a special meeting next week to hear from representatives of VestraCare about their proposal to purchase the County Home in Dunkirk.  Legislature Chairman Jay Gould has scheduled the session for a week from tomorrow, Wed., Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m.  Gould says there will be a further presentation and question and answer session for lawmakers, giving the legislature a chance to quiz the potential new buyers.  He says with a final contract signed, they could schedule a meeting.  Principles of the group gave a brief presentation at a meeting of the Legislature on Aug. 28.  County Executive Greg Edwards says a proposed contract has been finalized for the purchase of the home and a deposit has been wired for $1.65-million.  Gould says the public will be able to attend the Oct. 9 meeting... but, will not be able to speak.  He says there be an opportunity for public comment when the Legislature holds another special session later in the month... possibly on Oct. 30... when a vote on selling the County Home could take place.


Federal government shut-down continues; Reed votes with majority of lawmakers to continue pay for troops, and protecting benefits for seniors...

Republicans say the GOP-controlled House intends to pass legislation to reopen portions of the federal government... including national parks and processing of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The House would also allow the government for Washington, D.C. to use its own taxpayer funds to provide services like garbage pickup, as well as keep D.C. employees on the job.  With the shut-down... local Congressman Tom Reed says you'll likely see slower processing of paperwork.  The Corning Republican was among the majority in both the House and Senate that voted to continue paying active U.S. troops... and, seniors.  However... Reed says he remains behind the shut-down unless the Senate agrees to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act... or Obamacare.  He says he "didn't come here to maintain the status quo.  We came here to do something..." and, feels a late measure he introduced to deny federal lawmakers their government funded health care through exchanges was one way to get movement.  That measure was also rejected by lawmakers.


Robertson says Reed showing "true colors" with support of government shutdown...

Congressman Reed's expected opponent in next year's election accuses him of trying to run away from the 'Tea Party' label he's had lately.  But... Democrat Martha Robertson adds that he's now showing his "true colors with his full-throated support of the government shutdown."  She says "four out of the six New York GOP members of Congress are openly critical of this extremist strategy."  Even worse... she says Reed advocates a default on the debt ceiling in a few weeks, which would cause major damage to the economy.  Robertson adds it also threatens the delivery of Social Security checks..., Medicare payments and Veterans benefits.  She concluded that "just like Tom Reed not paying his property taxes on time, he thinks it's OK for the Congress not to pay its bills either."

 

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WJTN News Headlines

City lawmakers have approved a local law that allows Jamestown to exceed the state's 2-percent property tax cap... if needed... in the final 2014 budget.  However... Mayor Sam Teresi says that cap for the city is only 1.6-percent this year... or 400-thousand dollars.  Teresi says that's less than would have been allowed last year... although the city did not come close to exceeding the cap for 2013.  While it's a smaller cap... the mayor says -- by no means -- does that mean city leaders aren't going to be working hard through the December 1st deadline... to keep any tax increase UNDER that tight cap. Teresi says one, key area of concern is that non-property tax revenues are either flat... or going down.  He hopes the spending plan will reflect the "true operating needs of the city..." but, also reflect the capability of the taxpayers to pay for the services they need.  A public hearing on the local law will be held on October 10th.  Teresi's budget proposal will be made next Tuesday, October 4th, at 4 PM at city hall.

 

Chautauqua County lawmakers began reviewing County Executive Greg Edwards' final county budget a little sooner than expected.  It began Monday.  Legislator John Runkle, who chairs the Audit and Control Committee, says the review process will begin with the Legislature's home committees. Runkle says the Audit and Control committee will begin its work next week.  The Cassadaga Republican says he is hopeful that the final budget will hold down the tax rate to near the current year's 9-dollars-15 cents per thousand. Edwards has proposed a 24-cent-per thousand full value tax rate increase under the proposed $230.7 million budget. 

 

Democrats in the U-S Senate last night voted to kill the latest House Republican proposal to keep the government operating past Midnight.  However... it would have also delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a year.  It had the support of local Congressman Tom Reed... who also introduced a second measure if the House Conference plan was defeated.  On the floor of the House last night... Reed called for the Senate to agree to have federal lawmakers... the president... and, their staffers... have to pay their own cost for health care to one of the state exchanges. Reed says lawmakers shouldn't be treated any differently than most Americans.  The Senate did approve what was called a "Clean Resolution..." which funds government operations... including the next phase of "Obamacare" through November 15th.  The Corning Republican says that's nothing more than continuing the status quo.  He says most members of Congress... a large number of Americans... and, even one head of a major labor union are opposed to the Affordable Care Act as it stands.  That union leader... the Teamster's Jimmy Hoffa, Junior... has said that "Obamacare" will "kill the 40-hour work week."

 

A city man is accused of assaulting another person early Monday morning on Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to a Hazzard Street location about 12:30 AM on a reported assault-in-progress.  Officers say further investigation revealed that 44 year-old Raymond Finch-the-third allegedly punched the victim in the head several times with a closed fist.  Police say that caused several cuts to the face... but, the victim did not have to go to the hospital.  Officers say they took Finch into custody without incident on one count of third-degree assault.  He's being held pending arraignment.

 

A Dunkirk man has been arrested by state authorities for allegedly filing about 40 false tax returns -- in the names of dead people.  State Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas Mattox says 42 year-old John Berry of North Ermine Street, had been under investigation for some time.  Mattox was taken into custody yesterday on charges of first-degree Offering a False Instrument in the First Degree... and, Attempted Grand Larceny.  He was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and, released on his own recognizance... pending an October 15th court appearance.  Mattox says his department's investigation found a number of the withholding statements used fraudulently by Berry claimed wages from a not-for-profit entity located in Chautauqua County.  The investigation revealed that the 40 persons listed on the W-2s were dead.  The returns claimed fraudulent refunds of just over 25-thousand dollars between 2008 and 2009.  Berry has already pled guilty to taking illegal refunds by filing 122 federal returns using the social security numbers of dead people. 

 

More farms in New York are connected to the Internet.  The National Agricultural Statistics Service says 69 percent of New York farms had internet access, up from 66 percent in 2011. That's slightly above the national rate.  However... the service reports 39-percent used computers for farm business, down from 42-percent two years ago.  About a third of the farms connect to the Internet with cable, with DSL the second most popular way to connect.

 

The latest Siena College poll shows 45-percent of New York voters oppose hydraulic fracturing for natural gas... and, 37-percent support it.  That compares to 42-percent opposed... and 41-percent in favor last month.  Spokesman Steve Greenberg says that the poll showed ``the largest anti-hydrofracking sentiment ever in a Siena poll.''  Greenberg says a majority of upstate residents and Democrats oppose the technique.  A plurality of Republicans and downstate suburbanites support it.  New York has had a moratorium on fracking since 2008.

 

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