News Headlines for Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Chautauqua Mall among retailers to open early Thanksgiving Day Thursday...

The Greater Jamestown-area's largest retail shopping center will be part of the national trend with many outlets opening early Thanksgiving evening to allow shoppers an early shot at "Black Friday" bargains.  Marketing Director Cynde Brenneman with the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood says they'll be open at 6 this evening... and, she says most of their 45-plus stores will be open at that time.  Brenneman says the "majority" of their stores will be open at that time.  She adds most will be open straight through to 10 p.m. Friday.  That means those stores will be open 28 consecutive hours.  Their anchors, Sears... the Bon-Ton... and, J-C Penny, will be open during that time.  Brenneman says some stores will be closing for a few hours from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. Friday morning.  She says some of the early Holiday Shopping Season "hot items" are cold weather clothing... such as boots, jackets, and scarfs.  One of the highlights of Black Friday will again be the arrival of Santa Claus at 12 Noon.


Jamestown man hurt in Clymer Rollover Accident...

A Jamestown man was seriously hurt yesterday afternoon when his car slid off an ice-slicked road in the town of Clymer and rolled-over in a ditch.  Sheriff's officers say 50 year-old Jeffrey Thiem was eastbound on Raspas Hill Road just after 4:30 p.m. when he lost control of his vehicle.  Deputies say Thiem's car went off the road and into a ditch... and it overturned onto the passenger side.  Officers say they had to free Thiem from the vehicle... and, he was taken to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Deputies say he's being treated for non-life threatening injuries.  No charges have been filed.


Gerace urges motorists to drive carefully on this Thanksgiving Holiday weekend...

Today is a major travel day... and, area police agencies are encouraging drivers to play it safe.  Some 44-million Americans will be traveling at least 50-miles over the long, Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says it's a good idea to have a travel plan before heading out, and, make sure your car is equiped with an emergency kit, and, ready for Winter.  Gerace also urges motorists to wear their seat belts.  He says there will be a crack down on impaired driving including the use of alcohol.  He says the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is usually a big party night.  Gerace urges people to get a designated driver... or call a cab... if they intend on drinking alcoholic beverages.


State Police also ready for Holiday Weekend...

Meantime... State Police are boosting traffic enforcement efforts through the holiday weekend, with special patrols focusing on speeding, distracted driving and sobriety checkpoints.  The heightened patrols will be out Wednesday through Sunday statewide.  The effort will also include ``Operation Hang Up,'' which targets distracted drivers by using Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement patrol vehicles to locate drivers talking or texting on hand held devices.  During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period, troopers arrested 181 drivers for DWI, issued 4,459 speeding tickets and 854 tickets for distracted driving.

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WJTN News Headlines

An apparent explosion between materials used to make Methamphetime triggered the fast moving fire that extensively damaged an upstairs apartment on Jamestown's northside last Thursday afternoon.  City firefighters were called to 824 Prendergast Avenue about 3 PM last Thursday... and, found the second-floor fully-engulfed in flames.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says firefighters got the blaze out... and, investigators allegedly found precursors for making "Meth."  Samuelson says it was apparently another of the "one-pot" labs they have been finding recently.  He says that method involved using "fuels, and lighters."  Samuelson says they are still looking for several people allegedly involved in the Meth Lab... including one male who was apparently burned during the blaze.  If you have any information on the fire... or victim... call police at 483-7537... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS -- that's 483-8477.

 

A fire that caused minimal to moderate damage in a two-family home on Jamestown's eastside yesterday afternoon has been traced to an electrical problem.  That from City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo... who says firefighters were called the scene at 939 East Second Street shortly after 1 PM.  Russo says fire crews reported light smoke coming from the basement and the first-floor of the apartment house.  Fire investigators initially found the problem stemmed from an electric panel in the home.  The Board of Public Utilities was called in to look at the problem.  No one was hurt.  Firefighters were at the scene about two-hours.  The investigation is continuing.

 

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has begun investigating complaints of price gouging by businesses in the Buffalo area where residents have been snowbound by storms off Lake Erie.  Schneiderman says they've written to tell at least one business to knock it off.  He says response to the storm by people in western New York has been mainly positive.  But ``a small handful of shady businesses'' are trying to use the crisis to make a quick dollar.  To report any alleged price gouging... call 1-800-771-7755.

 

The Jamestown School Board will meet tonight to discuss problems with a new program designed to help students who are "at risk..." or have troubled backgrounds that's led to reported break-down of discipline.  Teachers and parents say that's especially the case at the high school.  More than than 100 teachers, parents and students were on hand at last week's board meeting at Love Elementary School.  Jamestown Teacher's Association President Chris Reilly was among those who spoke... and, says taking away in-school suspensions has been part of the problem. Reilly and several others called on the board to address the matter immediately before there's a total break-down in school discipline.  He says many teachers he's talked to feel they no longer have control of their classrooms... and -- in some cases -- feel it's become a safety issue.  Another speaker indicated there should have been more training for teachers, teacher's aides and school staff on the new "Positive Behavior Intervention System."  Tonight's board work session begins at 5:30 PM at the Administrative Offices on Martin Road.

 

A year into New York's operation of a medical insurance exchange... more than half of the people with new coverage qualified for Medicaid, the federal program for the poor.  Overall, more than 370,000 people were enrolled with commercial and nonprofit insurers and more than 525,000 in Medicaid.  Nearly 65,000 more were enrolled in the state's Child Health Plus coverage for families with moderate incomes.  Out of New York's 62 counties... the Bronx had the highest percentage enrolled in Medicaid.  In Schuyler County at the lower edge of the Finger Lakes... public health officials say they may close a weekly free clinic for the uninsured.  That's because thanks to the Affordable Care Act, fewer people are uninsured.

 

A Buffalo-area man has been appointed to be the new, permanent Administrator at the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  County Executive Vince Horrigan... late last week... announced the appointment of Aaron Polanski to the post.  He replaces Director of Nursing, Andrea Snyder, who had been serving as acting administrator for the past several months.  Horrigan says Snyder served under the supervision of a New York State licensed administrator.  Following an extensive search... and, in consultation with the home's new purchaser -- VestraCare -- he says Polanski will take over the administrator's position.  Horrigan adds Snyder will return to her regular position as Director of Nursing.  He says VestraCare "fully supports this appointment and it has agreed to retain Aaron as its administrator following the transfer of ownership which is expected to be completed by the end of 2014."

 

A decision on where to build up to four casinos upstate could come any day.  The board reviewing applications for the casino licenses expects to make its choices at its next meeting, which hasn't been announced.  Up to four casino licenses are set to be awarded for three different upstate regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson Valley.

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News Update for Fri., Nov. 21, 2014

Explosion and fire triggered by alleged Methamphetime production heavily damages part of Jamestown apartment house...

Volatile materials used to make the drug Methamphetime have been determined to be the cause of a fire in a second-floor apartment on Jamestown's northside.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 824 Prendergast Ave. about 3 p.m. yesterday... and, found the second-floor of the building fully-engulfed in flames.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says firefighters got the blaze out... and, fire investigators did a preliminary investigation.  Samuelson says the investigation teams found the precursors for "Meth" at the scene.  He says the second-floor was extensive damaged... and, he adds police are now looking for several possible suspects in the case.  He says so far... they have learned about one male who was burned when the explosion took place... and, are trying to identify him.  Samuelson adds the man was able to flee before firefighters and police arrived.  He says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force headed up the investigation... and, adds the state Police Contaiminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team is cleaning up the scene.  If you have any information on the fire... or victim... call police at 483-7537... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Lake Effect Snow warnings, advisories, done for WNY... but, a Floor Watch has been issued for Chautauqua Co. for Sunday through Wednesday morning...

The second lake effect event to hit Western New York this week has come to an end.  But... the work is ongoing for public works crews in the city of Dunkirk -- and elsewhere in the north county to remove about 3-and-a-half to four-feet of snow.  A driving ban was lifted in the city this morning.  However... Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says drivers in that area will still want to use caution.  Ortolano says streets are still snow covered and slippery.  The Natonal Weather Service has now issued a Flood Watch for the county for Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning.  The village of Silver Creek also lifted the driving ban, but Mayor Nick Piccolo says they are still urging residents to avoid any unncessary travel.  Piccolo says they're trying to "widen" the path of their side streets to make it passable for them.  Snowfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are still possible in persistant lake effect snow through the end of the day today.


NYS Thruway now reopened, but, only to "Essential Traffic...."

The 132-mile section of the Thruway closed since Tuesday because of a massive lake-effect snow storm in western New York has been reopened for "essential traffic" only.  That from Governor Cuomo... who says a 58-mile stretch of Interstate 90 from Exit 46 near Rochester to Exit 50 at Williamsville reopened at 3 this afternoon.  The governor says the highway from Exit 51 to Exit 61 at Ripley -- at the state-line -- also reopened at that time... but, vehicles won't be allowed to exit.  Cuomo says the highway is being reopened in stages to allow the hundreds of tractor-trailers and other vehicles stranded since Tuesday to leave the region.

 

 

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News alert for Thurs., Nov. 20, 2014

(*News Alert!)Seinfeld to perform at Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Comedy Festival next August...

A comedian who starred in his own television sitcom about "nothing" will be the headliner for next Summer's Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Comedy Festival in Jamestown.  The announcement was made at the Gateway Train Station in Jamestown early this afternoon that Jerry Seinfeld will be appearing at the festival.  Lucy-Desi Center of Comedy Director Journey Gunderson says they're excited about bringing another "world class" entertainer to town for the festival.  Gunderson says Seinfeld will appear twice at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena two times next August 1st.  The first show will be at 7 p.m., and the second at 9:30 p.m.  For more information... go to their website at Lucy-Desi.com... or call 484-0800.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown-area got a coating of new, general snowfall yesterday afternoon and evening... but, that didn't even add up to half-an-inch.  It was the most significant snowfall since the "Snowvember" storm -- as it's being called in Buffalo -- started late Monday.  In the north county... street crews in Dunkirk and Fredonia have been busy removing the snow from Wednesday's overnight storm that dropped anywhere from nearly one to two feet of snow over parts of northern Chautauqua County.  Forecaster David Church with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there is a Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect for the county from NOW until Noon Friday. Church says this latest event will come to an end in Erie County by late this evening... and, parts of the north county will then see about a foot of new snow.  He says the immediate Jamestown-area would be on the lower end of that 6 to 12 inch snowfall.

 

Chautauqua County may soon be providing some assistance to neighboring Erie County once it ultimately digs out from what may end up being nearly 100 inches of snow in some locations at week's end.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says he's been in touch with his counterpart in Erie County -- Marc Poloncarz -- about what they can do.  Horrigan didn't go into specifics... but, says they may provide some help with the clean-up effort. Here in Chautauqua County... Horrigan says they were well prepared for the initial storm... and, what follows.  He says there've been few problems in the south county... but, at times, blizzard-like conditions in the north county.  The early snow and cold-snap is also a monitary concern with the year-end coming up.  However... Horrigan says they may be spared by one key item -- gasoline prices. Horrigan says he held a conference call at the beginning of the week to develop a plan for dealing with the storm.  That included opening safety shelters near the state Thruway in Ripley, Fredonia, and Irving.  However...he says those are closed for now because the number of stranded motorists had dropped significantly.

 

State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald says the Thruway will stay closed in the Buffalo area for the duration of a lake-effect storm that has dumped 6-feet of snow since Tuesday... and, is expected to bring a couple more feet through Thursday and Friday.  McDonald said at a news conference Wednesday that her agency has more than 350 pieces of heavy equipment... and, more than 800 personnel working round the clock to clear the historic snowfall.

 

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved three agreements to have nearby counties temporarily house excess inmates at the County Jail in Mayville.  During last night's monthly meeting... lawmakers approved the agreements -- for amounts between 85 and 90-dollars a day -- with Allegany, Livingston, and Steuben Counties.  County Executive Vince Horrigan... though... wants to talk with Sheriff Joe Gerace about creating a coordinating council to look at alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.  Horrigan says he wants local judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys to work with him on the problem. Gerace recently brought the issue up to the legislature's Public Safety Committee... saying the jail is overcrowded by about 30 inmates.  Horrigan says the mental health-drug abuse issue is a key issue that's driving up the Mayville facility's numbers.  He believes get more addicts into treatment -- instead of jail -- is one of the long-term solutions.  Horrigan believes there may be some help from the state in this area because Chautauqua County is not alone in facing the problem.  Jamestown police officials say -- by their estimates --- about 90-percent of their crime is driven by drug abuse... or the drug trade.

 

The absentee and affidavit ballots have been counted in two, close races from Election Night back on November 4th... and, they didn't have much effect on the final outcome.  That from Chautauqua County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says the votes were all tallied in late Tuesday.  In the County Legislature District 12 race in Jamestown... Republican Elisabeth Rankin is the winner with 810 votes to Democrat Beth Kresge's 754.  Abram says Rankin had a 55-vote lead on Election night. Abram adds that the four-way race for two seats on the Silver Creek Village Board has also been decided... and, again... he says there was no change in the outcome.  The top vote getter, Vincent Tampio, got 343 votes... while John Burt was second with 333.  Third was Anthony Pearl with 321 votes.  He adds that ALL official results will be posted at VoteChautauqua-dot-COM as soon as the rest of the absentee and affidavit votes are counted.

 

If you quit smoking for a day... it might just be for the rest of your life.  That's been the long-time theme of the Great American Smoke-Out.  Today is the 39th year for the day... which is set aside each year that health officials and anti-smoking groups urge smokers to give up the habit for at least a day.  Kenneth Dahlgren is the new Community Coordinator for the new group Tobacco-Free of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.  Dahlgren said yesterday it's a chance for smokers to do a self-evaluation. Dahlgren also advises people looking at quitting to call the Smoker's Quit-line at 1-866-NY-QUITS.  He says the Quit-line has counselors who can given smokers advice on stopping... and, help them find nicotine replacement products.  Dahlgren says the former Tri-County Tobacco Free Coalition has gone through some changes over the past year... which was the last year of a five-year grant program.  He says he's one of two staff members... and, John Chaffey is responsible for the youth program, "Reality Check."  Dahlgren says the local program is administered by Roswell Park Cancer Institute. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's investigators say they've identified the three motorcyclists who may have been involved with last week's fatal motor vehicle accident in the town of Pomfret.  Deputies said Wednesday that they've received a lot of help from the public after releasing photos of a motorcyclist on a royal-blue sports bike at the Country Fair store in Fredonia.  Deputies say the motorcycle was allegedly one of the three seen by witnesses on Chautauqua Road at the time of the accident.  The investigation is continuing with the help of District Attorney David Foley's Office.

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WJTN News Headlines

A new program designed to help Jamestown school students who are "at risk..." or have troubled backgrounds has led to a break-down of discipline -- in particular at the high school.  That was the message from more than 100 teachers, parents and students who were on hand for last night's school board meeting at Love Elementary School.  About a dozen people spoke... including Jamestown Paraprofessionals union Co-President Valerie Haglund. Jamestown Teacher's Association President Chris Reilly says his union brought the matter to the district's attention back on October 20th... and, filed a grievence regarding the Alternative Education Program on October 31st.  Reilly says many teachers he's talked to feel they no longer have control of their classrooms... and -- in some cases -- feel it's become a safety issue.  One parent... Joanne Dean... says lack of consequences, and discipline... are of "most concern."  Another speaker indicated there should have been more training for teachers, teacher's aides and school staff on the new "Positive Behavior Intervention System."

 

Jamestown Superintendent Tim Mains told those in attendance last night that he's aware of the disciplinary issues... and, shares their concerns.  Mains spoke for several minutes at the end of last night's meeting... and, explained that his focus is on instruction first.  However... he says the "Positive Behavior Intervention System" system has been... and, is successful in many other schools where it's being used.  Mains adds they're just beginning the program in Jamestown... but, adds there have also been some successess so far. Mains reiterates that the program... which was introduced at a board meeting earlier this year... is meant to help students who have challenges in their lives to succeed in school.  He urged everyone on hand to work together to make the program work.  Mains also said he planned to talk to the heads of the employee bargaining units about their concerns with the PBIS Program.  Board President Joe DiMaio says he's never been a naysayer... and, believes the issues can be "worked out."

 

Lake Effect Snow moved back into northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties late yesterday... but, that area's just been getting the southern edge of the system bringing the snow to the Buffalo-area.  That's where the trouble has been -- mainly Southern and Central Erie County... where up to 6-feet of snow has been reported in some areas.  Here in the Jamestown-area... we had little or no snow yesterday.  However... it has been cold.  Forecaster Steve Welch with the National Weather Service says the areas with the most snow are just north of the Dunkirk-Fredonia area. Welch says we should only see about an inch of snow between now and late this morning when the Lake Effect Snow Warning ends.  He says once this Lake Effect band breaks up later today... we'll get a break for about 12-hours before another Lake Effect Snow system kicks in Thursday.  He says the next band of Lake Effect is expected to pretty much be in the same place as this one.  However... the city of Buffalo will be more under the gun. There was a Travel Advisory in place for both Dunkirk and Fredonia late yesterday.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department says there was also one in Northern Cattaraugus.  It's not a ban.  Also... State Route 219 northbound has been closed to tractor-trailer traffic at the Route 242 intersection in Ellicottville.  All other traffic is limited to local traffic on Route 219 only -- north of Ellicottville.

 

Most major highways in western New York are closed due to hazardous conditions caused by lake-effect storms... including a 132-mile stretch of the Thruway.  State police and the Thruway Authority say Interstate 90 is shut down in both directions between Exit 46 outside Rochester and Exit 61 at Ripley... at the Pennsylvania state line.  Interstate 190, the Niagara Thruway, is closed southbound from I-290 to I-90.  Routes 219 and 400 in the Buffalo area have also been closed, and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown issued a driving ban for the southern sections of the city.

 

While the heaviest snowfall is occurring over Erie County... in the Buffalo Southtowns... Chautauqua County officials were prepared for the storm when it hit yesterday.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he held a conference call on Monday to develop a plan. With the closing of the entire length of the state Thruway from Ripley to Henrietta near Rochester... Horrigan said yesterday a second shelter may be opened in Ripley.  He says the county is working with local municipalities in dealing with the wintry blast.  Horrigan says all fire departments are on alert... and, a number of specialized vehicles are at the ready.  He says much of the snow that makes it to the county will impact Dunkirk-Fredonia and Silver Creek areas... but, he says all county residents should keep a close watch on the weather should forecasts change.

 

Three Coudersport, Pennsylvania residents had to be treated for hypothermia after the pick-up truck they were riding in went off a Cattaraugus County road... and, crashed down a steep embankment.  Sheriff's Deputies in Little Valley say the driver... 50 year-ld Rodney Yentzer... was eastbound on South 9 Mile Road late last Friday night when he lost control of the vehicle.  Officers say the truck then crashed into the small ravine.  However... Yentzer was able to climb out... and, signal for help.  Limestone Fire crews helping pull 44 year-old Lisa Van-Hal... and, 9 year-old John Van-Hal up the steep embankment.  All three were treated... and, released.  No charges were filed.

 

There will be a new administrator coming on at the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk as the facility makes the transition to becoming a privately-owned entity.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says that -- late last week -- an announcement was expected sometime this week.  Horrigan adds that -- otherwise -- the transition has been going smoothly. Horrigan did not reveal the identity of the new administrator.  But... he says that person will take the County Home through the closure of the sale to VestraCare of Long Island... and, will be "administrator of record" for VestraCare when it takes over full operation.  Horrigan says the sale remains on track to be completed by mid-to-late December. 

 

The town of Ellicott has a just over 4-million dollar budget in place for 2015 that increases taxes - overall -- by about only about one-percent.  Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says the spending plan was approved at Monday night's town board meeting.  Miller says the vote took place following a public hearing in which no one spoke.  He says the tax rate -- outside the villages of Falconer and Celoron -- increased. Miller says the rate outside the villages went to 5-dollars-12 cents per thousand assessed value.  He adds there were just some minor changes made to the budget before it was approved.  Miller says there was little left to cut at that point.  He says the town's two unions were a big help in helping hold down health care costs during their most recent negotiations.  Miller says retirement costs are also continuing to go up.  He says the total tax levy... or the amount to be raised by taxes... went up about 14-thousand dollars.

 

Downed tree limbs in nearby Pleasant Township in Warren County, Pennsylvania are the apparent cause of a nearly hour-long power outage in the city of Warren... and parts of western Warren County.  Sources tell us the limbs came in strong winds about 1:20 Tuesday afternoon... knocking out power to two manufacturing facilities, and other businesseses on Warren's westside.  However... Pennelec was able to get power back up by about 2:15 PM.  No major problems or issues were reported during the outage.

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County remains under a Lake Effect Snow Warning through late Wednesday morning with frigid temperatures... and, blowing and drift snow predicted -- especially in the north county.  Forecaster Dave Zaff with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the warning remains in effect through 10 AM Wednesday.  Zaff says a cold front moved through the region early last evening... with temperatures falling from the mid-30s in the late afternoon... to about 15 at Midnight.  He adds, though, that this kind of weather isn't completely unusual for November. We will see another 3 to 6 inches of lake effect snow through the day today... with winds blowing at about about 25 to 30 MPH.  We may see gusts of just over 40... and, that will add up to driving difficulties today -- especially from north to south.  Zaff adds the Thruway will likely be "a mess."  By the time the lake effect ends early Wednesday... he says the Dunkirk-Fredonia and Silver Creek areas may see about two-feet of new snow. 

 

Winter weather conditions have forced authorities to close down Interstate 90 from Dunkirk to Henrietta in the Rochester Area.  A band of lake effect snow is right over that stretch of road bringing with it white out conditions.  There are travel bans and  advisories in place for all of Erie County.

 

City lawmakers have found just over 603-thousand dollars in additional savings in the 2015 budget... but, it won't be applied to lowering taxes.  Comptroller Joe Bellitto say the funding is money that is owed on borrowing the city did several years ago on the new Cherry Street Ramp.  Bellitto says the city was able to re-finance the bonding... but, added at Monday night's budget session that he omitted the payment because he wasn't clear if the money was to be paid back in 2015 or 2016.  After learning it was... he began looking for added spending cuts and revenues to get the budget back below the state's 2-percent property tax cap. City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says using the additional fund balance brings the amount left "precariously low."  Dolce says city officials knew the payment was going to have to be made... the question was when.  He says there are two pieces of bad news... including the additional use the fund balance.  With that... Bellitto suggested any additional cuts or savings that are found by lawmakers should be applied to rebuilding the city's fund balance.  He proposed a list of 357-thousand dollars in added revenues... and, 245-thousand in budget cuts.  Bellitto says "some are attainable, some push the envelope." The moves would keep the tax levy increase at just over 346-thousand dollars... which is a 2.35-percent increase.  That translates to a 63-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase.

 

The City Council took some flack for requesting a 482-thousand dollar dividend payment from the Board of Public Utilities for the 2015 budget proposal.  During last night's public hearing, prior to the final budget session, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Director Todd Tranum called it an "act of desperation" to take the surplus funds the past two years... and, to propose using them to plug a budget deficit again this year. Tranum adds that's in addition to the more than 4-million dollars in the city receives from the BPU in Payment-in Lieu-of-Tax agreements with the city-owned utility.  Several councilmembers took exception to the comments... including Council President Greg Rabb... who says he doesn't view this as "taking money from the BPU."  Rabb says the utility is "part of the city" -- and simply using what's "ours" to help balance the budget, and hold down taxes.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce expressed frustration over the comments... saying there had been previous meetings with officials -- including BPU members -- regarding proposals they've had for cutting the budget.  However... Dolce says many are "unattainable... or illegal." 

 

The head of the state's public university system says she doesn't want a raise at the moment.  State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher wrote to the SUNY board chairman late this past week saying that she appreciates that the board has considered increasing her pay... but would decline a change in her compensation package.  State records show Zimpher was paid a total of 658-thousand dollars last year... including a base salary of 490-thousand dollars.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is calling on members of the Senate to take a vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline that will bring Canadian crude oil through the U-S.  Reed was among the large, bi-partisan majority in the House that voted in favor of building the pipeline late last week.  The Corning Republican says it's the "right policy" to secure America's energy security. However... opponents say the number of new jobs... estimated at just over 40-thousand... are overstated.  They also say the United States won't benefit from the gasoline and oil that's ultimately produced.  Reed says he disgrees.  There's also word today that there aren't enough votes in the Senate to bring the measure to the Senate floor, and pass it.  He says Louisiana Democrat, Mary Landreux, has said she'll bring it to the floor. Reed says the Keystone Pipeline has been discussed for the past five years... and, he feels opponents are just being political in opposing it's construction.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone Confrence Call with Southern Tier Media.

 

The Republicans who control the state Senate say they want to continue their unusual coalition with a splinter faction of Democrats.  Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos made the announcement after a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans Monday at the Capitol.  Skelos says he will discuss the specifics of the power-sharing arrangement with Senator Jeff Klein, who leads the five-member Independent Democratic Conference.  The Senate had been a coalition of Republicans... and, the breakaway Democrats.  But Republicans won the majority outright in the November 4th.

 

The Green Party candidate who placed third in this month's New York governor's race says voting trends show his party has a promising future.  Howie Hawkins received 176-thousand votes to get 4.75-percent of the total in the November 4th election.  That's up from 60-thousand votes he received when he ran for governor in 2010.  Hawkins tells the A-P that low voter turnout in New York and around the country shows there's room for an alternative to the major parties.

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News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 17, 2014

Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect starting at 5 p.m. Monday...

Our weather will take a decidedly colder and blustrier turn by early this evening... as colder air moves into the region.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for all of Chautauqua County from 5 p.m. this afternoon until 10 a.m. Wednesday.  But... the worst of it will be seen in the north county... where at least two feet of snow may fall by Wednesday morning.  Forecaster Dave Zaff in Buffalo says we'll see snow showers tonight... then lake effect snow that'll be heavy at times.  Zaff says combine that with winds gusting to about 40 miles an hour... and, make travel difficult -- especially from north to south.


City man arrested for alleged Felony domestic assault...

A Jamestown man is jailed on Felony charges for allegedly assaulting a woman last weekend... and, being a repeat offender.  City police were called to the scene at 322 South Main St. about 11 a.m. last Saturday.  After they arrived... officers say the female victim told them she had been attacked by Moises Lopez-Encarnacion.  Police add the woman told them that Lopez-Encarnacion pushed her to the floor... kicked her... and, punched her several times in the face.  The victim did not require hospitalization.  Officers arrested Lopez-Encarnacion... and found he had a privor conviction of a Family offense.  With that... he was charged with Felony Aggravated Family Offense... second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, third-degree assault.  Lopez-Encarnacion is being held pending arraignment.


Jamestown man arrested in second domestic incident over weekend; accused of trying to grab taser from officer...

A Jamestown man is in the county jail on $1,500 bail for allegedly hitting another person during a domestic incident on the city's eastside last Saturday night.  Police add that 23 year-old William Kaiser, Jr. is also accused of trying to grab a police taser from arresting officers.  Officers were called to 458 Allen Street just before 11:30 p.m., and, learned from the victim that Kaiser had struck him... and, kicked in a door.  Police say they found Kaiser in an upstairs apartment... but, he became confrontational.  At one point... officers say the suspect yelled "arrest me, arrest me" and came towards officers aggressively.  Police say Kaiser tried to grab the taser from one of the officers... but, he was subdued, and arrested.  He was arraigned on charges of criminal mischief... and, obstructing governmental administration.


Reed votes yes in House for Keystone XL Pipeline, urges Senate passage...
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed is calling on members of the Senate to take a vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline that will bring Canadian crude oil through the U-S.  Reed was among the large, bi-partisan majority in the House that voted in favor of building the pipeline late last week.  The Corning Republican says it's the "right policy" to secure America's energy security.  Reed says the pipeline will also creat thousands of new jobs.  However... opponents say the number of new jobs... estimated at just over 40,000... are overstated.  They also say the United States won't benefit from the gasoline and oil that's ultimately produced.  Reed says he disgrees.  There's also word today that there aren't enough votes in the Senate to bring the measure to the Senate floor, and pass it.  He says Louisiana Democrat, Mary Landreux, has said she'll bring it to the floor.  Reed says the Keystone Pipeline has been discussed for the past five years... and, he feels opponents are just being political in opposing it's construction.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested on Felony charges after being arrested for allegedly being a repeat offender in a weekend domestic violence incident.  City police were called to the scene at 322 South Main Street late last Saturday morning.  Upon arrival... officers spoke with the female victim... who told them she had been attacked by Moises Lopez-Encarnacion.  The woman told police that Lopez-Encarnacion pushed her to the floor... kicked her... and, punched her several times in the face.  The victim did not require hospitalization.  Officers arrested Lopez-Encarnacion... and found he had a privor conviction of a Family offense... which resulted in a Felony charge of Aggravated Family Offense.  He was also charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, third-degree assault.  Police says Lopez-Encarnacion is being held pending arraignment.

 

A Jamestown man is in the county jail on 15-hundred dollars bail for allegedly hitting another person during a domestic incident on the city's eastside last Saturday night.  Police add that 23 year-old William Kaiser, Junior is also accused of trying to grab a police taser from arresting officers.  Officers were called to 458 Allen Street just before 11:30 PM... and, learned from the victim that Kaiser had struck him... and, kicked in a door.  Police say they found Kaiser in an upstairs apartment... but, he became confrontational.  At one point... officers say the suspect yelled "arrest me, arrest me" and came towards officers aggressively.  Police say Kaiser tried to grab the taser from one of the officers... but, he was subdued, and arrested.  He was arraigned on charges of criminal mischief... and, obstructing governmental administration.

 

New York state will be picking up the local share of costs to help pay for the costs for 17 counties -- including Chautauqua -- affected by severe flooding the past two years.  That's good news to County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says they submitted a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for about one-million dollars in costs... much it from this past Spring in both the north and county county areas. Horrigan says he received word that the county was going to get the 25-percent share from New York state late this past week.  However... he says he hasn't received the exact dollar amount yet.  Horrigan says FEMA is verifying the final budget figures for what has been or needs to be repaired or replaced.  The south county flooding was especially bad in the Falconer, and Frewsburg areas.

 

The Republicans who will soon control the state Senate will gather in Albany today to discuss their priorities and objectives for the new year.  The group plans to meet for a conference expected to include discussions about their agenda... and, their relationship with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democrats who control the Assembly.  The state Senate had been led by an unusual coalition of Republicans and a breakaway faction of Democrats.  But... Republicans won the majority outright in this month's elections.

 

The Dunkirk City School District is one of 10 winners in the latest round of awards through the New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School... or P-Tech partnerships.  School Superintendent Gary Cerne tells us he is thrilled with the news. Cerne says the partnership involves a regional consortium led by the Dunkirk City School District... working with Jamestown Community College.  He says students from Dunkirk and several surrounding districts will have an opportunity to get a college education at no-cost under the program.  Cerne says it's a six-year program that will involve an initial group of 30 to 40 students.  He says it's a great chance to get a regents diploma, and an Associates Degree.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says a the new public-private educational partnerships will add an additional 3-thousand students to the nearly 6-thousand New York high school students from round-one who are preparing for high-skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and health care related fields. 

 

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has issued warrants for two men accused of breaking into a barn in the town of Chautauqua last month... and stealing a number of items... including older model farm tractors.  Deputies say 27 year-old Chance Blanchard of Mayville, and, 25 year-old Christopher Douglas of Sherman, allegedly entered the Morris Road barn in the early morning hours on October 16th and 25th.  Once inside... they stole the items... including a large amount of scrap metal.  Officers say the pair then sold the scrap metal for cash.  Deputies are asking the public for it's help in finding both men.  If you have any information... contact the Sheriff's Office at 753-4925.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says the federal government should reimburse New York City and Bellevue Hospital for costs related to Ebola.  The Democrat said Sunday that more than 20-million dollars has been spent on tracking health professionals and others arriving from Ebola-stricken countries... and, treating Dr. Craig Spencer, a physician who recovered from the illness after receiving treatment at Bellevue.  Schumer says federal reimbursement for most of the costs is justified because the efforts are helping to keep the deadly disease from getting a foothold in the U-S.

 

Hunters, snow plow drivers and anybody else who is outside this winter should watch for trees damaged by Emerald Ash Borer.  That's the request from Betsy Burgerson, chairperson of the Chautauqua County Forest Pest Taskforce.  A key indicator is woodpecker damage on an otherwise healthy tree... light brown patches all up and down the trunk of the tree... in a checkerboard pattern.  The pests favor the green ash and white ash species.  And while the borer has been confirmed in Randolph and the Dunkirk-Fredonia area, Burgeson is pretty sure it's moved elsewhere.  If you think you've found a tree with Emerald Ash Borer, call Betsy Burgeson at Cornell Cooperative Extension at 664-9502, Extension 204.  Ash trees are a valuable forest product, and trees throughout this region are threatened by the borer.  The Emerald Ash Borer Taskforce recently changed its name to Forest Pest Taskforce, reflecting the growing threat of other invasive threats. 

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News Update for Fri., Nov. 11, 2014

Weather Service issues Lake Effect Snow Advisory for Jamestown-area through overnight...

There is now a Lake Effect Snow Advisory in effect for the Jamestown-area... after seeing between 7 and 10 inches through the afternoon today.  That from Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service... who says official totals included 8-inches in Ripley... and 7.6-inches in Jamestown.  A location in Frewsburg reported 7 inches.  Some of the higher elevations were unofficially reporting up to 10 inches... and, Wood says we could see another 3 to 6 inches overnight tonight.  The Sheriff's Office reports a number of cars off the road today... as well as some minor fender bender-type accidents.


Public Defender says mixed verdict is good news for Coggins because he was acquitted on most serious charges...

The man who defended convicted murderer Davide Coggins says yesterday's verdicts in Coggin's double-murder trial were "mixed news" for his client.  Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone says he's pleased Coggins was acquitted on one count of first-degree murder... and, two counts of second-degree Intentional murder in the deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner.  The jury returned the verdicts late yesterday.  Barone says they were "pleased" to see the acquittal on the "most serious charges."  He adds, though, they take exception to the guilty verdicts on the others.  Barone says a guilty finding on first-degree murder would have included a manditory sentence of life without parole.  He adds that the convictions on second-degree Felony murder -- in a way -- support's Coggins' contention that he never killed the Skinners.  Barone says both he and District Attorney David Foley have until Dec. 15 to file any post-trial motions... and, he says he has a number he's looking at.  Once sentencing has taken place... Barone will begin work on an appeal.


Foley pleased overall with final outcome of Coggins trial...

Meantime... District Attorney David Foley says he's "very pleased" that the 35 year-old Coggins was found guilty on eight of the 11 counts against him.  The 12-member jury took about four-hours to comeback with guilty verdicts on counts including two of Felony second-degree murder.  Foley says he knew that finding Coggins guilty of two counts of first-degree murder... and, intentional murder would be difficult to get.  He says they focused in on the Felony second-degree murder counts... which took into account the burglary and arson charges.  He says each second-degree charge carries a 25 year to life term.


Jamestown woman faces new Felony charge in connection with car-pedestrian accident...

A city woman is now jailed on $100,000 bail after being charged with another Felony county in connection with a car-pedestrian accident near Jamestown High School.  City Police say 44 year-old Lucinda Tobias has now been charged with Aggravated Vehicular Assault after she allegedly passed out... or fell asleep at the wheel back on Nov. 5.  Officers say Tobias' mini-van hopped the curb at East Second and Third Streets... and, struck the unidentified 50 year-old woman.  The victim was rushed to WCA Hospital... then taken to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of serious head injuries.  Tobias' had already been charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs... and aggravated unlicensed operation.  She was arraigned... and, returned to the county lock-up.  The victim remains in serious, but stable condition.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The alleged ringleader of the four men accused of torturing... then killing a town of Carroll couple in April of last year has been found guilty of Felony murder.  District Attorney David Foley says he's "very pleased" that 35 year-old Davide Coggins was found guilty on eight of the 11 counts against him.  The 12-member jury took about four-hours to comeback with guilty verdicts on countys including two of Felony second-degree murder.  Foley says he knew that finding Coggins guilty of two counts of first-degree murder... and, intentional murder would be difficult to get. Foley says the problem in getting the first-degree murder convictions was a lack of evidence of what happened while the alleged robbery-murders took place.  Coggins was the accused mastermind in the scheme in which a relative... 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his wife, Joyce... were killed.  Foley says each second-degree charge carries a 25 year to life term.  If combined to run consecutively... he says that could make the sentence 50 years to life in prison.  Foley says no date has been set for sentencing yet.

 

A brief shot of lake effect snow made for a slippery ride home for commuters in the Jamestown-area yesterday afternoon.  The snow... which began just after 3 PM... sent a number of cars off the road... and, into ditches.  There was a minor accident on Hunt Road in West Ellicott -- near Southwestern Middle School -- about 3:30 PM.  A car and a truck were involved.  No details have been released.  More snow is predicted for today... but, only about 2 more inches in the more persistant lake snow areas.  Another round of lake effect snow could hit during the weekend... although it will likely be in the Buffalo-area.  Hibbert says another blast of colder air could hit set up more snow over ski country by early next week... once the winds start coming out of the northwest again.  The first shot of lake effect snow this season caused several cars to go off the road... or be involved in accidents... in the North County-area Thursday morning. 

 

A Wattsburg, Pennsylvania man suffered serious, but, non-life threatening injuries yesterday afternoon when his car crashed on a snow-slicked road in the town of French Creek.  Sheriff's Deputies say 41 year-old Mark Hall was westbound on Marks Corners Road about 3:30 PM when he lost control of his vehicle due to speed... and, the wintry conditions.  Officers say Hall's vehicle went off the road... down an embankment... side-swiped a tree... and, then struck another tree head on.  Hall was taken to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment his injuries.  No charges were filed.

 

The Integrated Sewer Management Plan for Chautauqua Lake has now been completed... and, identified a strategy to stem the flow of excess phosphorus into the lake.  Phosphorus has been directly linked to the growth of invasive weeds in the lake.  Deputy Director Mark Geise (Guyss) with the county's Planning and Economic Development Department says the plan looks at the "most technically feasible, and cost effective" approach to use.  Geise says they received input from sewer districts serving the areas surrounding the lake... and, other stakeholders under one basic premiss. Geise says extending sewer service from the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District... and, Northern Chautauqua Lake Sewer District.  He says they know the cost will be in the "tens of millions of dollars..." but, adds the project can be phased-in.  Geise says the next phase of the project is to have the firm O'Brien and Gere do the preliminary engineering that will nail down the cost now that there's agreement on which direction they want to go.  He says the primary stakeholders will next meet with county officials... including Executive Vince Horrigan.

 

The investigation is continuing into Tuesday night's fatal crash on Chautauqua Road in the town of Pomfret that took the life of a Fredonia man.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says they are looking for three males who were on motorcycles at the scene of the rollover crash that killed 57-year-old Richard Caldwell.  Gerace says it's too early to tell whether any foul play was involved. The three men reportedly took off heading south on Chautauqua Road when another vehicle approached.  Gerace says anyone with information is asked to call the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, or they can call their We Tip line at 1-800-782-7463 to be eligible for a reward.

 

An initial 300-thousand dollars in seed money has grown to 82-million dollars in assets for the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  The foundation was started 36 years ago in Jamestown by the late John Hamilton... who was director of the Gebbie Foundation at the time... and, a small group of others.  An outside consultant believed the idea wouldn't work unless they could raise one-million dollars.  However... it did take hold... and, has flourished.  Current Director Randy Sweeney thanked those who have donated money, and one of their key board committees. Sweeney says they're looking at their assets growing even larger next year.  In addition... he says the Community Foundation has provided grants totaling 50-million dollars during it's existance.  He says there are 14 new scholarships in their portfolio... and, a new "Fund for the Needs" of the community.  Sweeney says that will be for "big ticket" items... such as economic development, and issues surrounding Chautauqua Lake.  He spoke with our Jim Roselle during our broadcast yesterday as part of "National Community Foundation Week."


 

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WJTN News Headlines

The first lake effect snow event of the season is to take shape this morning... with some parts of the Jamestown-area seeing about 4 to 8 inches of snow.  The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Advisory from now until 4 PM Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Southern Erie Counties.  Forecaster Bill Hibbert with the weather service's Buffalo Office says it's an early wake up call for drivers to slow down and be attentive. The heaviest snow is expected this morning after some spots get an early 1 to 2 inches. Hibbert adds that... as with most lake effect snow events... the heaviest snow will occur over the higher terrain.  He adds we could see another 2 to 3 inches in some areas tonight.  The complete forecast is coming up.


A Town of South Valley man is in the Cattaraugus County Jail after allegedly building a home made bomb that was inteded to be placed under another persons vehicle.  New York State Police say they received information Tuesday about possible explosives at a residence that they were able to use to excecute a search warrant on Bone Run Road.  Police found the Improvised Explosive Device (I-E-D) and disabled it.  The property owner 64 year old John Haluska was arrested and faces charges including criminal posession of a weapon and attempted assault.  Haluska was arraigned and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail in leiu of ten thousand dollars cash, or twenty thousand dollars property bond.

 

The 12-member jury in the double-murder trial of Davide Coggins is expected to get the case today in Chautauqua County Court.  Both District Attorney David Foley... and, Public Defender Ned Barone... gave their closing statements yesterday.  However... since that took until 1 PM... it was decided to hold off on instructing the jury... then allowing the panel to begin deliberating Coggins' fate.  The charge to the jury is expected to be lengthy because there are 11 counts in the indictment.  Those include first-degree murder in the deaths of Gordon and Joyce Skinner in their town of Carroll home in the Spring of 2013.

 

The investigation is underway into whether the driver killed in Tuesday night's one-car crash in the town of Pomfret was either being chased... or racing some "sports motorcycles."  Deputies say they have done several neighborhood canvasses in the area of Chautauqua and Maytum Roads where the accident occured just after 7 PM.  Officers say 57 year-old Richard Caldwell died when his car crashed into a ditch on Chautauqua Road... and, rolled over.  Officers say a witness reported seeing three "crotch rocket" type motorcycles parked... with their headlights facing the accident scene.... and, the riders with their helmets off.  When another vehicle approached... investigators say all three motorcycles road off south on Chautauqua Road.  One of motorcycles was seen using a "blue headlight".  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.

 

A long-time, case good and ready-to-assemble furniture maker in the Jamestown-area is again under local ownership.  A group of four upper-level management officials have bought Bush Industries, Incorporated at One Mason Drive between Jamestown and Falconer.  Bush's new Chief Executive Officer, Jim Garde (Guard), says they're excited about being able to buy the company from two private equity firms from New York City and Boston. Garde says both DDJ Capital and Silverpoint were "pretty fair" in negotiations... adding that DDJ had been wanting to divest themselves of all the entities they owned.  He says... because Bush is a relatively small manufacturer... the new ownership group had some financial hurdles they had to clear... but, they did just that.  In addition to the Mason Drive, and Allen Street facilities... Garde says the new group has also acquired Bush's warehousing facilities in Erie, Pennsylvania... and, Reno, Nevada.  They also acquired Bush's facility in China.  Garde says about 65-percent of their product is made at the Mason Drive facility... as the Allen Street plant is being phased-out.  The purchase price was not disclosed.

 

A pair of elected officials were also on hand for yesterday morning's press conference at Bush's facility in the South County industrial Park... and, both called the purchase great news.  Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county... and, it's Industrial Development Agency has been working with the new owners to acquire the facility.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says Bush Industries isn't physically in the city of Jamestown... but, is very important to it in terms of employment... and, as a customer of the Board of Public Utilities.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area fell almost two cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.  That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the average price fell from about 3-dollars-39 cents to 3--37.6 this week.  The Triple-A says the price was based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown area.  The average price for unleaded regular gasoline in New York today is now just over 3-dollars-29 cents per gallon.  Today’s national average for regular unleaded gasoline is 2--93 per gallon... which is the lowest price since December 4th of 2010.  Motorists are paying 5-cents less than one week ago.

 

A 40-foot Colorado Blue Spruce has now been set up at Jamestown's Tracy Plaza as the city's official 2014 Christmas Tree.  City Arborist Dan Stone says the tree was donated by the Fargo family on Loretta Street.  Stone and a Parks Department crew were on hand yesterday morning to cut down the 60-foot tall tree.  He says they had plenty of help from Lakeshore Paving and the Board of Public Utilities in getting the tree taken down... transported... and, set up.  Stone says the tree was initially going to be donated last year... but, they used a different tree in 2013. Stone says their crew had the tree up... and, set onto the plaza by early yesterday afternoon.  He says they hope to begin decorating it today.  However... he says Mother Nature may have something to say about that.  Stone adds they have it "well-anchored" for the season.  He says they have about 5-thousand lights... and, a star ready to be set on top of the tree.  It will be lit at the beginning of the city's annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration in early December.

 

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News Update for Wed., Nov. 12, 2014

(**News Update)Local management team buys Bush Industries from out-of-town equity firms... keeping nearly 250 jobs in the Jamestown-area...

A long-time, ready-to-assemble furniture maker in the Jamestown-area... which emerged from bankruptcy several years ago... is again under local ownership.  A group of four upper-level management officials have bought Bush Industries at One Mason Drive between Jamestown and Falconer.  Bush's new CEO, Jim Garde, says they're excited about being able to buy the company from two private equity firms from New York City and Boston.  He says... because Bush is a relatively small manufacturer... the new ownership group had some financial hurdles they had to clear... but, they did.  Local elected officials were also on hand for this morning's press conference at Bush's facility in the South County industrial Park... and, one called it a "day of celebration."  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county... and, it's Industrial Development Agency has been working with the new owners on acquiring the facility.  Horrigan says this is one kind of economic development his administration works on every day.  Bush currently employs between 230 to 250 people in the Jamestown area... and, they hope to double the Mason Drive facilities output in the near future.

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WJTN News Headlines

A Fredonia man is dead following a single car accident Tuesday evening.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Deputies report that 57 year old Richard Caldwell of Route 20 Fredonia was at the intersection of Chautauqua and Maytum Roads in the Town of Pomfret  just after 7pm when he failed to negotiate a curve and left the road.  Caldwell's vehicle sheared off a telephone poll  before striking a ditch which caused the vehicle to overturn.  Caldwell was pronounced dead at the scene.  The accident is still under investigation.

 

Veteran's Day should be a day to remember, and celebrate our veterans.  It shouldn't be a day of saddness.  That from Tuesday's featured speaker at Celoron's Veteran's Day observance at the Veteran's Memorial at Lucille Ball Memorial Park.  Robert H. Jackson Center President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Johnson is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U-S Army.  Johnson says it may seen wrong to say "Happy Veteran's Day..." but, he says that's what you should say to a vet.  He adds they're even more special because the military is now just a small part of the U-S population. In fact... Johnson says 48-million men and women have served since 1776.  He adds that Veteran's Day is important because our vets often won't talk or "brag" about what they did.  Johnson says it's important to remind people of the service and sacrifice they've made.  Also in Celoron... there was a wreath laid at the memorial and flags were placed for each branch of the service.  There was also a rollcall of Celoron natives who were killed in the line of duty.

 

Tuesday's first service was held at Jamestown's new Veteran's Memorial Park at West Third Street and Logan Avenue.  That took place at 10 AM.  Also in Jamestown... the annual Rifle Volley at the corner of Third and Main Streets took place at 11 AM.  Local veterans then marched to St. Luke's Episcopal Church for the annual Veteran's Day Service.  There was also a service following that at Soldier's Circle at Lakeview Cemetery.  In Falconer... a memorial was dedicated at Davis Park by the Henry Mosher American Legion Post-638, and VMW CH 20.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have authorized state pension credits for peacetime military service.  Cuomo took the action Monday -- the day before Veteran's Day.  The legislation... authored by Senator William Larkin, a Hudson Valley Republican and World War-Two combat veteran... would amend current law that provides up to three years credit toward state pensions for military service during hostilities.  They would have to pay 3-percent of their compensation during those military years to the retirement system.  In his veto message... Cuomo called it an unfunded mandate on local governments that would incur 57-million dollars in near term obligations.

 

The latest plan for a proposed North County Water District was the focus of a meeting between Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and the Fredonia Village Board.  Horrigan met with trustees Monday during the board's workshop meeting... and, addressed a number of questions and concerns about the proposed project.  Horrigan says there are concerns about the future of the village's reservoir... when it requires upgrades.  He says the other major concern of the village is over debt service. Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe says they will begin sending Horrigan questions for him to respond to in order to get all aspects of the proposal addressed.  Despite the recent sticking points... Horrigan says he remains encouraged by the discussions.  He is looking to have resolutions passed by each of the nine local governments involved and inter-municipal agreements approved by the end of this month.  His goal is to have the County Legislature pass a final agreement in December.

 

The annual holiday fund-raiser for the Salvation Army of Jamestown gets underway this Thursday morning.  Captain Kim Merchant says the Red Kettle Campaign will get underway... on a limited basis... with kettles set up at K-Mart in West Ellicott... and, Brigotta's Farmland Store, and TOPs Market in Jamestown.  Merchant says they still need bellringers for the early start -- especially on the weekend.  She says they've begun calling the groups and organizations that take part in the campaign each year. Merchant says... in addition to the three locations mentioned previously... there are seven others in the Jamestown-area.  They include Wal-Mart in Lakewood... and, the TOPS store in Frewsburg.  The bellringers are a familiar sight during the holidays... but, on our Dennis Webster Show... Merchant said you can also mail in a donation.  Just make the check out to The Salvation Army... and, send it to 83 South Main Street, Jamestown... and, the zip code is 14701.  She adds you can also go on-line to make a donation.  This year's Red Kettle Campaign goal is 104-thousand dollars.  For more information... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108.

 

A family decision by the two officers in charge of the Salvation Army of Jamestown has helped to keep the Dunkirk Salvation Army open.  And... the pending closure of the local Carriage House facilities was the key factor in that decision.  That from Captain Kim Merchant... who runs both facilities with her husband, John.  Kim Merchant says the division headquarters made a tentative decision to close the Dunkirk headquarters... until they met with the couple. However... Merchant says that's the only program they have had to eliminate due to they're accepting the charge to run the operation.  She says she and her husband felt a calling to help keep the Dunkirk operation going because of the planned closure of the ConAgra facilities in Dunkirk and Fredonia at the end of the year.  That's going to leave upwards to 450 people out of work.   The Dunkirk Salvation Army headquarters is located on Central Avenue... the phone number is 366-1266.

 

It's about to look a lot like Christmas in the state capital.  New York state's holiday trees will be cut down and transported to Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany this week.  Today... a blue spruce that will light up Empire State Plaza is being donated by the VanAken family of Schenectady.  And on Thursday, a 30-foot blue spruce is being donated by the Keeler family of Burnt Hills and will be placed in East Capitol Park. 

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WJTN News Headlines

The two men involved in the shooting of a Jamestown man in the Appleyard Terrace housing complex on the city's eastside have been formally indicted on five charges each.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says Trenton Grant... and, Isaiah Pearson -- both 20 -- were returned to Chautauqua County late last month after their arrests in Tennessee.  Samuelson says both men were extradicted from Madison County after being arrested by U-S Marshalls.  He says three charges stem directly from the September 2nd shooting incident. Samuelson says it's believed both men were involved in the burglary... which included a number of items -- including the hand-gun -- being taken.  At this point... he says police still believe the shooting was not drug-related.  At this point... Samuelson says police believe this was a "street fight" in which the victim suffered multiple-gun shot wounds.  He's still recovering.  Samuelson says Grant is being held on 750-thousand dollars cash bail... while bail was set at half-a-million dollars for Pearson.  It's believe both fled to Tennessee because Grant has family living there.

 

A city man is jailed for allegedly hitting a pedestrian with a mini-van on Jamestown's eastside late last Friday morning... then driving off from the scene..  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators were alerted that a vehicle... matching the description of the vehicle involved in the incident... had been seen frequently in the area of Bowen and Dover Streets.  Samuelson says further investigation led to the arrest of 27 year-old Tyler Shirley. Samuelson says Shirley allegedly struck the unidentified male with the van as the victim was crossing Falconer Street at Bowen.  He says the suspect then drove over the victim's legs... severely injuring one.  Samuelson says Shirley faces two charges... Felony leaving the scene of a personal injury accident... and, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.  The hit-and-run incident occured about 10:15 AM last Friday.  Samuelson says people searched for the vehicle allegedly involved over the weekend.  Shirley is being held pending arraignment in city court.

 

A major winter storm is hitting the northern Plains today... bringing up to a foot or more of snow in some areas around the twin cities in Minnesota.  Will Western New York be in the path of the storm?  Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the storm will pass too far north... where temperatures will drop 30 to 40 degrees below normal.  but it will bring a drop in the temperatures starting on Wednesday. Hitchcock says there are still questions about whether lake effect snow will become a problem as we move into Thursday and Friday.  Right now... the Weather Service is saying the snowfall "may be significant."  The highest projected snowfall totals are currently two feet in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

 

Tradition will again make up Jamestown's commemoriation of Veteran's Day today.  The annual Rifle Volley at the corner of Third and Main Streets will take place at 11 AM.  It marks the "11th hour... of the 11th day" of November.  Local veteran's will also present the "colors" at that time.  They'll then march to St. Luke's Episcopal Church for the annual Veteran's Day Service... there will also be a service following that at Soldier's Circle at Lakeview Cemetery.  Veteran's are then invited to be part of the Elks Club's Veteran's Day Breakfast -- which actually begins earlier in the day.

 

Congressman Tom Reed is ready for the lame duck session of the House and Senate Wednesday in which he hopes to push legislation he co-sponsored "across the finish line."  Reed said Monday that he has already corresponded with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about having the upper chamber take up the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation -- or RAMI Act.  The bill was overwhelmingly approved in the House last September.  The Corning Republican is looking to further correspond with Reid. President Obama has already said he supports an advanced manufacturing bill -- and RAMI in particular.  Reed says the measure is just "good policy..." especially in creating a climate that allows new manufacturing to take hold... and, grow.  He says it's been seen in Ohio with "3-D" printing at a Center of Manufacturing Excellence.  Reed says advanced manufacturing creates not only new jobs now... but, also the "jobs of tomorrow."  In addition to the RAMI Bill... Reed says he also looks forward to getting a continuing resolution approved by the December 8th deadline to keep the government operating.  He made his comments during his weekly conferenc call with Southern Tier Media.

 

An important new county panel will meet for the first time -- possibly this week -- to begin looking at how to address Chautauqua County's "structural deficit."  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who recently named his Deficit Reduction Commission.  Horrigan says he wanted the best financial minds he knew to be part of the panel... including two county legislators.  They are Republican Pierre Chagnon... and, Democrat Chuck Nazzaro.  Horrigan says he also wanted two Certified Public Accountants -- one from the north county and one from the south.  He wants them to have some recommendations in time for next February's State of the County Address. However... Horrigan says the approximately 6-million dollar structural deficit will be an on-going problem until it's addressed.  While the county will have a nice reserve fund once the County Home is sold... that will be depleted soon with increasing costs in many areas... and, stagnant or falling revenues in others.  Horrigan says County Finance Director Sue Marsh will also be part of the panel... and, he adds he's looking at adding a sixth person with a good financial background.

 

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities offices will be closed today in observance of Veteran's day.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the Customer Service office will reopen for business at 7 AM Wednesday.  Garbage and glass recycling pickup will take place as usual today.  Robbins says customers who need to pay bills after-hours may leave checks in drop-off boxes located at the top of the BPU's "D" driveway at 92 Steele Street... outside City Hall on Tracy Plaza... inside the vestibule of the Jamestown Police Department's East Second Street entrance... and, outside the Ellicott Town Hall in Falconer.

 

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point has honored an 1861 graduate who was just awarded the Medal of Honor.  West Point honored First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing in during a ceremony Monday... just four days after President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to one of Fredonia native's relatives.  Cushing was killed on July 3rd of 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg.  Cushing defending the Union position on Cemetery Ridge against Pickett's Charge, a major Confederate thrust that was repelled by Union forces.  Though severely wounded, his actions helped made it possible for the Union Army to repulse the assault.

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News Update for Mon., Nov. 10, 2014

City man arrested for allegedly driving suspect vehicle in hit and run-car-pedestrian accident in Jamestown...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly hitting a pedestrian with a mini-van late last Friday morning... then driving off from the scene.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators were alerted that a vehicle... matching the description of the vehicle involved in the incident... had been seen frequently in the area of Bowen and Dover Streets in Jamestown's eastside.  Samuelson says further investigation led to the arrest of 27 year-old Tyler Shirley.  Shirley is charged with Felony leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.  The incident occured at Falconer and Bowen Streets about 10:15 a.m. last Friday.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Brocton teenager was killed last Saturday night when he was struck by a car when he walked onto Route 20 in the town of Portland.  Sheriff's officers say 18 year-old Leonard Ecker walked into the roadway for an unknown reason just after 8:30 PM... and, the driver of the car - 70 year-old Theodore Marsala of Westfield -- was unable to avoid him.  Deputies say Ecker was rushed to Westfield Memorial Hospital... where he was later pronounced dead.  Officers say neither Marsala, nor his wife, Elena, were hurt.  No charges have been filed... but, the investigation is continuing.

 

Jamestown police are looking for a mini van that was involved in a second car pedestrian accident late last Friday morning that drove away from the scene.  City officers say the accident occured around 10:15 AM at Falconer and Bowen Streets.  Police say witnesses saw a gold or tan-colored van knock the pedestrian down... then drive over the victim's legs before driving away.  Officers say the van is possibly a Dodge or Chrysler model.  They say the victim was taken to WCA Hospital for serious injuries to their legs.  Anyone with information on the vehicle and or operator is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS.. that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

A multi-year effort to relocate... and, build a new Veteran's Memorial Park on Jamestown's westside was realized last Saturday.  The 145-thousand dollar project was headed up by the Veteran's Memorial Commission... led by Chairman Ron Cotton.  Speaking before a large crowd on a cold, November day... Cotton thanked the community for it's efforts -- and support -- of the project. Mayor Sam Teresi called the dedication a celebration of "promises made... and, promises kept" -- especially by our military veterans who've kept their promises for 238 years.  Teresi and Cotton thanked several people and organizations for their help in making the park a reality.  The new park includes a large circle with a flag pole... and, two smaller ones with a Civil War-era cannon in one... and, a stone monument in the other.

 

While the biggest and most visable part of the new, Veteran's Memorial Park is complete... the project is far from complete.  That from Mayor Teresi... who told the crowd on hand Saturday that what's now there is part of a tremendous public and private venture to have the basic elements of the park in place by this Veteran's Day.  However... Teresi also took a moment to remind residents there are two phases yet to go... and, that the fund-raising effort continues.  The Lenna Foundation agreed to a 20-thousand dollar matching grant for the project... if an equal amount of money is privately raised.  That effort was just under 18-hundred dollars short of the goal late last week... and, ends Tuesday.  Teresi thanked the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for heading up the fund-raising effort.  To make a donation to help match the Lenna grant... contact the foundation at 661-3390.

 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling for a top-to-bottom review of federal safety screening for defective car parts.  Schumer is citing the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with Takata Corporation passenger air bags that can explode with too much force and send shards of metal into the passenger compartment.  The New York Democrat says the U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general should investigate the screening procedures and protocols used to approve auto parts before they are put into vehicles.  He says the current system is clearly failing by allowing untested car parts into the marketplace.  Schumer says procedures now are too lax, with no federal compliance inspection and testing process for most parts.  Currently... they are tested by the manufacturer according to voluntary standards, then self-certified.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed believes federal lawmakers can still accomplish a lot in the upcoming "lame duck" session... which is to get underway in the coming week.  The Corning Republican was in Dunkirk late last week to met with the county's Chamber of Commerce.  Reed discussed a number of issues... including the "lame duck" session.  He says he has a couple of goals in the session that many expect to last less than a month. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation -- or RAMI Act -- was co-sponsored by Reed.  It's been passed in the House... and, still needs Senate approval.  As for the next two years... he's hopeful President Obama will "reach out" and work with the Republican majority in both chambers over the next two years.  About 80 people turned out for the forum that’s held each year by the County Chamber.


State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, fresh from re-election by a wide margin, says he'll focus on government corruption, wage theft and drug trafficking, expanding initiatives from his first term.  Schneiderman, who co-chairs the federal task force investigating banks in the national housing market collapse, also says they've done three settlements for 60-billion dollars -- and more will follow.  Another target is employer wage theft from low-paid and higher-paid workers.

 

The New York state agency that oversees child welfare programs is getting a new leader.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has picked Roberto Velez as the commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services.  Velez is a former commissioner of New York City's Department of Probation and more recently worked as a vice president and counsel at Acacia Network.

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News Alert! for Sat., Nov. 11, 2014

**(Alert)Jamestown police looking for vehicle involved in hit-and-run, car-pedestrian accident...

Jamestown police are looking for a mini van that was involved in a second car pedestrian accident late Friday morning that drove away from the scene.  City officers say the accident occured around 10:15 a.m. at Falconer and Bowen Streets.  Police say witnesses saw a gold or tan-colored van knock the pedestrian down... then drive over the victim's legs before driving away.  Officers say the van is possibly a Dodge or Chrysler model.  They say the victim was taken to WCA Hospital for serious injuries to their legs.  Anyone with information on the vehicle and or operator is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS.. that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

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News Update for Fri., Nov. 7, 2014

Coggins takes the stand in his own defense; Foley says he "was ready...."

The defense has now rested in the double-murder trial of Davide Coggins in Chautauqua County Court... but, not before the defendent himself took the stand.  That from District Attorney David Foley... who says -- in a surprise move -- the 34 year-old Coggins was on the stand all day Friday.  While he was surprised... Foley says he "was ready" for him.  The past few days have featured efforts by Public Defender Ned Barone to get evidence and witness testimony admitted into the record.  However... most items were denied after reportedly being rejected as irrelevant to the case.  Through those efforts... and, putting Coggins on the stand... Barone tried to incriminate Coggins' three alleged accomplices in the torture-murders of 66 year-old Gordon Skinner... and, his 59 year-old wife, Joyce.  Two of the accomplices testified for the prosecution after all three took plea deals.  Closing arguments are set for next Wednesday in County Court.


City woman hospitalized after bizarre domestic incident takes to Jamestown street...

A pregnant Jamestown woman is being treated at WCA Hospital after she was pinned between her car and another vehicle during a bizarre domestic incident on the city's westside.  Jamestown police say the woman was putting her children in the back of her parked car vehicle on Andrews Street about 8 this morning when three vehicles approached... and, appeared to be trying to 'pin-in' her car.  Officers say one of the cars... driven by 22 year-old Devon Mosher... struck the vehicle operated by 67 year-old Randall Holmes... from behind.  Police say Holmes' car pinned the woman between her vehicle and his.  Officers say the woman, who is eight-months pregnant, was not able to move.  She was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment.  Police say Mosher, Holmes... and, a third person, 50 year-old Terri Mosher-Holmes... were each arrested on charges including Felony unlawful imprisonment... two counts of endangering the welfare of a child... and, first-degree reckless endangerment.  All three are being held pending arraignment.  More charges are expected.


NWS forecaster says little accumulation from Friday morning and afternoon snows...

Some hilltops areas in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties got a taste of winter this morning and afternoon... but, there wasn't much snow accumulation.  However... it's not the end of cold weather over the next several days.  In fact... a "Polar Vortex" will move south about mid-week next week.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini says temperatures will drop to about the mid-30s during the day-time hours.  But... Ansuini says the vortex won't make it into the U-S.  He says there will be some colder air... with daily highs in the mid-30s, and overnight lows in the 20s.  At the most... Ansuini says some hilltops got a half-inch to an inch of the white stuff today.  However... we should see rain -- if anything -- tonight.  Another round of rain is expected on Sunday.  The colder air will move in from Canada next week.  However... Ansuini says the Polar Vortex will only come as far south as northern Ontario province around mid-week.


59th "What's New Fair" set for Saturday and Sunday...

The annual November event that previews what's new for the Holiday season is set for this weekend at Jamestown Community College's Hamilton Collegiate Center.  The 59th "What's New Fair" is put on each year by the local chapter of the American Association of University Woman.  The AAUW's Maggie Irwin says the event begins tomorrow at 10 a.m., and, runs until 5 p.m., and, again on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Irwin says they have 65 vendors tis year... selling their newest merchandise.  Admission is $3 for adults each day... and, $2 for JCC and Jamestown Business College students with I-D... and, $1 for children 6 to 12 years of age.  The event has raised about $300,000 for scholarships for JCC and JBC women graduates going on to get a four-year degree.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The 50 year-old woman struck by a mini-van Wednesday afternoon while standing on a sidewalk near Jamestown High School is now in serious... but, stable condition at an Erie-area hospital.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says the accident -- at the corner of East Second and Third Streets -- occured just after 2:30 PM.  Samuelson says the driver of the van... 44 year-old Lucinda T Tobias of Jamestown... was allegedly under the influence of drugs at the time.  They say her van hopped the curb... and, struck the victim.  The unidentified woman was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then transferred to the Hamot Medical Center.  Police say Tobias has arraigned today on charges... including driving while ability impaired by drugs... and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Two Jamestown men are jailed for allegedly breaking into a location in the town of Charlotte several times over the past Summer... and, stealing property there.  Sheriff's Deputies say they arrested 49 year-old Shawn Sweatman... and, 20 year-old Joshua Sweatman on warrants issued out of Stockton Town Court.  Both men were taken into custody in Stockton following a lengthy investigation.  Officers say each has been charged with one count of third-degree burglary... but, more charges are pending.  They both were arraigned in Stockton Town Court... and, sent to the county jail with bail to be set. 

 

The goal is in sight for the Jamestown Veteran's Memorial Commission... which is trying to match a local grant for the new Veteran's Memorial Park on the city's westside.  Earlier this week... Mayor Sam Teresi told the City Council that the amount the commission had to raise to match the 20-thousand dollar grant was about 18-hundred dollars.  Commission Chairman Ron Cotton says he doesn't have the exact figure... but, says he knows it's a little less than that now. Cotton says they are also waiting for word from Public Works Director Jeff Lehman on the cost for the DPW to do it's work in getting the new memorial put in place at West Third Street and Logan Avenue.  He's hoping that the final cost is less... because he says there is still money that has to be raised in addition to the grant.  Cotton says he feels "wonderful" about how the park has turned out.  A formal dedication will be held this Saturday morning at 10 AM.  Cotton says they need to match the grant by Veteran's Day -- next Tuesday.  If you would like to make a donation, send it to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation at 418 Spring Street, Jamestown.  The zip code is 14701.

 

Energy improvements to Cummins Engine Company's Jamestown Engine Plant has led to a 30-percent reduction in energy use... helping it to save about 1.4-million dollars a year in costs.  The local plant was a founding partner with the U-S Department of Energy's "Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge..." which provides technical assistance... and, incentives for companies to cut their energy use by 20-percent over 10 years.  The Jamestown plant has achieved that in four years... and, DOE officials were on hand to tour the facility Thursday morning.  Senior DOE Program Advisor Maria Vargas says Cummins has been an "amazing partner...." Among those 'things' has been a new, thermal insulated roof that includes solar panels.  Officials say the 2-megawatt solar array is capable of generating about one-third of the Ashville facility's power on the sunniest days.  Jamestown Engine Plant Manager Mike Abbate says they've also installed energy efficient lighting in the one-million square foot plant... among other measures.  Cummins had committed to a 25-percent reduction in energy intensity by 2016 across it's 104 facilities... including 19 plants of which the Jamestown Engine Plant is one.

 

A Senate Republican leader has asked a judge to dismiss a federal charge against him.  Senator Thomas Libous has represented the Binghamton area since 1989.  He won re-election on Tuesday to help the GOP regain sole majority control of the Senate next year.  Libous denies lying to the FBI four years ago in stating that he made no political deals to get his son a job at a now defunct law firm.

 

It was a big day Thursday in the nation's Capitol for the village of Fredonia and Chautauqua County.  That from Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe... who was among those on hand for yesterday's Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House in honor of Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing.  President Obama recognized "Alon" for his heroism and bravery during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.  While Cushing was born in Delafield, Wisconsin and he was raised in Fredonia... a fact that did not escape the President. Cushing was recognized for leading his men during Pickett's Charge, even after suffering a wound that would later prove to be fatal.  The President presented the Medal of Honor to Alonzo Cushing's closest living relative, 85-year-old Helen Loring Ensign of California. 

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News Update for Thurs., Nov. 6, 2014

Woman seriously hurt in car-pedestrian accident now in serious -- but, stable condition...

The 50 year-old woman struck by a mini-van yesterday afternoon while standing on a sidewalk near Jamestown High School is now in serious... but, stable condition at an Erie-area hospital.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says the accident -- at the corner of East Second and Third Streets -- occured just after 2:30 p.m.  Samuelson says the driver of the van... 44 year-old Lucinda Tobias of Jamestown... was allegedly under the influence of drugs at the time.  They say her van hopped the curb... and, struck the victim.  The unidentified woman was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then transferred to the Hamot Medical Center.  Police say Tobias has arraigned today on charges... including driving while ability impaired by drugs... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


Cummins recognized for energy efficency measures at Jamestown Engine Plant by U.S. Dept. of Energy...

It's taken some work and effort... but, energy improvements to Cummins Engine Company's Jamestown Engine Plant has helped save the company $1.4-million.  U.S. Department of Energy officials were at the plant this morning to see several projects that have led to a 30-percent reduction in energy use at the Ashville facility.  The local plant was a founding partner with the U.S. Department of Energy's "Better Buildings, Better Plants Challenge."  DOE Senior Program Advisor Maria Vargas commended Cummins for doing the hard lift to cut energy use... which also cuts their expenses.  Vargas says Cummins is a "great example" of a company that's been able to overcome the barriers to make their plant energy efficient.   The Better Buildings challenge provides technical assistance... and, incentives for companies to cut their energy use by 20-percent over 10 years.  Machining Operations and Facilities Director Randy Myers says it's part of Cummins principles of being "environmentally responsible" with the heavy-duty engines it makes... to it's facilities.  The major item Cummins has installed is a new, thermal insulated roof that includes solar panels.  Officials say the 2-megawatt solar array is capable of generating about one-third of the Ashville facility's power on the sunniest days.

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WJTN News Headlines

After dispatching his Republican opponent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pivoted to his second term, promising to pursue a higher minimum wage and protections for abortion rights.  With nearly all precincts reporting early Wednesday, the Democratic incumbent beat Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino 54 percent to 41 percent. Cuomo will begin his second term facing big decisions on fracking and pressure to make good on several liberal promises.

 

It was a big Election Night for Republicans nationally... and, in Chautauqua County Tuesday.  Locally... the GOP was led by a big victory by incumbant state Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who won a third-term in Albany in convincing fashion.  Goodell jumped out to an early lead... and defeated Democratic challenger Barrie Yochim by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.  The Bemus Point resident thanked the voters... and, vowed to continue working hard in Albany in a bi-partsian manner as a minority member. Goodell wound up with 24-thousand-12 votes to Yochim's 8-thousand-102.  For his part... Yochim says he has no regrets over running... adding that he was defeated by an opponent that has name recognition... and, a track record as a past County Executive and County Attorney before that.  Yochim... who has been director of Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-Area the past several years... was previously public relations director for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County before that.

 

Also in the state legislature... State Senator Cathy Young was re-elected to another term.  The Olean Republican ran unopposed for election.

 

Despite the statewide tendency to return incumbents to the New York Legislature, losses by three Democratic state senators in hotly contested races are keeping the GOP in control of the 63-seat Senate.  Also despite a statewide 2-to-1 ratio party enrollment disadvantage mainly from New York City, the Republicans picked up at least two Senate seats overall for a total of 31.  They're expected to form a ruling majority again next year joined by Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder.  Meanwhile... Democrat Marc Panepinto was leading Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti, running on the Independence Party line in Buffalo.

 

Jamestown-area attorney Jeff Piazza says he's both "humbled and overwhelmed" to have been elected as Chautauqua County's second, Family Court Judge.  The Republican town supervisor scored a convincing win Tuesday in what began as a four-way race for the newly-created post.  Piazza defeated Democrat Sally Jaroszynski, 18-thousand-832... to 9-thousand-92.  He believes the win was fueled by his primary wins in September that gave him three-lines on the ballot. Piazza picked up a solid win over Fredonia Republican Mike Sullivan in the GOP Primary back in September... and, he picked up the Conservative and Independence lines on the ballot.  Sullivan... who ran on the Green Party Line... ended up with 21-hundred-9 votes... and, Democrat James Spann -- who had the Working Family line... got 18-hundred-56 votes.

 

It was close early on... but, Sheriff Joe Gerace has been re-elected to another, four-year term as Chautauqua County's top-cop.  Republican challenger Russ Payne was within striking distance early... but, Gerace ended up winning a sixth-term with 20-thousand-314 votes to Payne's 12-thousand-112.  The West Ellicott Democrat was "very pleased" with the outcome... and, thanked the voters for the confidence they've placed in him. Centralized Police Services... and, use of technology were the big issues in the campaign... and, Gerace says he will continue to work towards efficiency... but, keeping public safety at the forefront.  Payne called his run a great experience that he enjoyed.  Payne... who has served as a town Supervisor since his retirement from the Jamestown Police Department... says he'll enjoy some time off before decided on any future run for public office.

 

Republicans picked up two U.S. House seats in upstate New York and another on Long Island while hanging on to the New York City district represented by embattled Congressman Michael Grimm.  They also retained a number of seats... including the 23rd District seat held the past two terms by Tom Reed.  The Corning Republican won in convincing fashion over Democrat Martha Robertson.  He thanks the voters... and, complimented Robertson for running a "spirited campaign."  Reed won Chautauqua County convincingly... with more than 20-thousand votes to Robertson's 12-thousand-112 tallies.  Back to Grimm... he won a third term in Congress on Tuesday despite a year that included a federal indictment on tax evasion charges and being caught on camera threatening to throw a TV reporter off a balcony.  In northern New York, 30-year-old Republican Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman elected to Congress by defeating Democrat Aaron Woolf for an open seat.

 

It was a close contest for the District 12 seat on the Chautauqua County Legislature Tuesday.  Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin held on to defeat Beth Kresge, 746-to-691.  Kresge was appointed to fill the seat earlier this year after Fred Larson resigned to become Jamestown's second City Court Judge.  We'll hear from Rankin later.

 

Phase-one of the city of Jamestown's leaf collection is underway on the southside.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says this phase is starting in the area of Foote Avenue and Ivyi Street... and will move north and west -- clockwise -- to Washington Street.  Lehman says Phase-Two will begin in the Foote Avenue, Martin Road, and Linwood Avenue area... and, more east and north -- counterclockwise -- to the eastside of Washington Street and Fluvanna Avenue.  He says Phase-Two is to begin on November 12th.  No yard waste will be collected.  Residents are advised that there is the potential for discolored water when crews are working in their area.

 

The elected official who was instrumental in helping Chautauqua County retain it's Essential Air Service status at the Jamestown Airport says he's pleased to see that continuing.  During a recent visit to Chautauqua County... U-S Senator Charles Schumer was thanked by County Executive Vince Horrigan for his help in getting the Federal Transporation Administration to re-calculate the numbers so the number of people flying out of the airport was more reflected the actual numbers.  Schumer says he was pleased that federal authorities were able to help in two areas... one was retaining the EAS... and, the other was getting a new carrier -- Sun Air.  Schumer says the county was threatened with losing it's EAS Status... and, 2-million dollar subsidy... because daily flight numbers had fallen just below 10.  That number was refigured to account for cancelled flights... and, other issues.

 

The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in two more New York counties.  New York state officials say the beetle has been found in Department of Environmental Conservation-deployed traps southeast of Binghamton in Broome County and just north of the city of Peekskill in Westchester County.  The Peekskill find is just outside the current state and federal emerald ash borer quarantine, which encompasses all or parts of 42 counties through central and western New York, including Chautauqua County.

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown City Council has learned there will be about a 15-thousand dollar savings in the city Assessor's Office due to the assessor's retirement.  Lawmakers learned last night that Randy Holcomb... who's been assessor the past several years in Jamestown as part of a shared service arrangment... will step down at mid-year in 2015.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they'll looking at moving an assistant up to that position, and likely not filling the resulting vacancy. Dolce says... in subsequent years... the city should save about 30-thousand dollars a year on that retirement.  He says there were also some savings found in the city's Information Technology Department.  Lawmakers reviewed a few, smaller departments last night... and, learned that by replacing a few older copy machines with just two new ones... there can be some savings.  Dolce says the three departments sharing those copiers will be the City Clerk, Comptroller, and Corporation Counsel's offices.  He says they're still trying to find additional savings to get the tax increase down as much as possible.

 

City lawmakers have unanimously approved a new, five-year lease for RS Entertainment to bring it's Prospect League baseball franchise to Jamestown's Russell E. Diethrick Park next year.  During a brief, special session last night... the City Council okayed the five-year lease deal for the former Lorain, Ohio franchise in the 12-member league.  Council Finance Committee Chairman, Tony Dolce, sponsored the measure... and, called it "very good news" for the city.  He adds it's one that continues Jamestown's proud, 75 year-tradition of baseball. The proposal by RS Entertainment was one of six reviewed by the Jamestown Baseball Advisory Committee... which was called together by Mayor Sam Teresi after it was announced that Rich Baseball was moving the Jamestown Jammers Class-A franchise to Morgantown, West Virginia.  Dolce says the lease agreement has a number of incentives if the new franchise meets certain attendance... and, performance standards.  However... Dolce says the base lease... which runs from now through December of 2019... is more than what the Jammers were paying.  The first year's payment is 30-thousand dollars.

 

Governor Cuomo and a host of other Democrats urged voters Monday to show up to the polls in numbers on Election Day.  Cuomo spoke to hundreds of union health care workers, carpenters and hotel employees at a rally Monday in Manhattan's Times Square.  He predicted labor will vote in droves.  A host of former and current elected officials seized on an upstate Republican assemblyman's recent comments that city voters were too lazy to vote.  Congressman Charles Rangel said New York City residents will vote ``like our life depends on it.''  Earlier... Republican candidate Rob Astorino said in an interview his campaign was not a ``dry run'' for another race.

 


Monday was the final full-day of campaigning for candidates running for local, statewide, and national office in New York state... and, Chautauqua County.  All three major, state-wide races are contested... led by the Governor's race.  However... there is one local race in Jamestown that will fill an open County Legislature seat.  In addition... County Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says there are two county-wide race that have attracted a fair amount of attention. In that Sheriff's race... five-term incumbant Democrat Joe Gerace is being challenged by Republican Russ Payne.  In the Family Court Judge's race... the four candidates are Republican Jeff Piazza... Democrat Sally Jaroszynski... Working Families candidate James Spann... and, Green Party nomimee Michael Sullivan.  State-wide... incumbant Democrat Andrew Cuomo is being opposed by Republican Rob Astorino.  But... Green says there are local implications depending on how that vote comes out.  The line with the most votes gets the top line on the ballot.... while the second-most gets the second line, and so-on.  Back to the District 12 County Legislature race... Democrat Beth Kresge is running against Republican Elizabeth Rankin.

 


The final two pieces of consolidating poll sites and election districts in Chautauqua County have been put in place by the county's Board of Elections.  That from Elections Commissioner Norm Green... who says the move initially began several years ago... but, accelerated in recent years to save money.  Green says voters in the south county will see no difference from last year... but, he says a couple of changes... spearheaded by Republican Commissioner Brian Abram... have been taken care of in Silver Creek. Green says there are now 51 poling sites in Chautauqua County... and, the number of election districts has been reduced from 124 to 99.  He says that process began once the county legislature agreed on a redistricting plan.  Green adds that if you have a question about where you vote... or, your voting status... go on-line to VoteChautauqua-dot-COM... or call the Board of Elections in Mayville.  He says you can still vote if you're "inactive..." but, you have to vote by provisional ballot.  For more information... contact the Board of Elections in Mayville at 753-4250... or go on-line to VoteChautauqua-dot-COM.  Polls open today at 6 AM.  Our coverage on WJTN begins at 8:30 tonight.

 

A north county man pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography three years ago during an appearance in federal court in Buffalo Monday.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 43 year-old Shane Taylor of Dunkirk entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.  Hochul says the charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a 250-thousand dollar fine.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol Bridge, who is handling the case, says law enforcement officers raided Taylor's home back on July 18th of 2011... and, seized a computer and a shot-gun from Taylor’s room.  Bridge says officials found over 3000 images of child pornography.  Taylor is to be sentenced next February 13th.

 

A Salamanca woman has died after being pulled from her burning home early Sunday morning.  Fire officials in the Cattaraugus County city tell local media that the blaze was reported around 4:30 AM.  When fire crews arrived... they rescued a woman from the second floor.  Officials say she was taken to Olean General Hospital, where she died a short time later.  The cause of the fire is under investigation. The victim's name has not been released.

 

Move over, Sonoma, California... New York has been declared ``Wine Region of the Year.''  The honor was bestowed by Wine Enthusiast magazine, citing the quality of New York wines, the tremendous growth of the industry, and improved business climate.  The state was selected over Champagne, France; Chianti (Key-ahn-tee), Italy; Red Mountain, Washington and Sonoma, California.  The award will be presented at the Wine Star Awards gala dinner on January 26th at the New York Public Library.

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News Update for Mon., Nov. 3, 2014

Cuomo and Astorino taking full advantage of final, full day of Campaign 2014...

Governor Andrew Cuomo and a host of other Democrats are urging voters to show up to the polls in numbers ahead of Election Day.  Cuomo spoke to hundreds of union health care workers, carpenters and hotel employees at a rally Monday in Manhattan's Times Square.  He predicted labor will vote in droves.  A host of former and current elected officials seized on an upstate Republican assemblyman's recent comments that city voters were too lazy to vote.  Congressman Charles Rangel said New York City residents will vote ``like our life depends on it.''  Earlier... Republican candidate Rob Astorino said in an interview his campaign was not a ``dry run'' for another race.


Local Board of Elections ready for 2014 vote... number of registered voters in Chaut. County drop below 80,000...

With changing demographics... and, loss of population... Democrats now have the most voters of any party in Chautauqua County.  However... that doesn't always mean that Democrats win the majority of the election day races.  County Democrat Elections Commissioner Norm Green says Republicans are a close second in number of voters.  They were at one point in the majority.  Green also says... over the past several years... we've seen the number of registered voters drop to under 80,000.  When he first came on board... he says the number of voters was between 84 and 85,000.  However... it's now dropped to about 78,000.  Today is the final full-day of campaigning for candidates running for local, statewide, and national office in New York state... and, the county.  All three major, state-wide races are contested... headlined by the Governor's race with incumbant Democrat Andrew Cuomo and GOP Challenger Rob Astorino.  Locally... there is one race in Jamestown that will fill an open County Legislature seat.  That will pit Democrat Beth Kresge against Republican Elizabeth Rankin.  Kresge was appointed earlier this year to replace Fred Larson in Dist. 12 after he resigned to become Jamestown's second City Court Judge.


Unidentified woman dies in fatal fire in Salamanca...

Authorities say a woman has died after being pulled from a burning home in the city of Salamanca.  Fire officials tell local media that the blaze was reported around 4:30 a.m. Sunday at a home in the Cattaraugus County community.  When firefighters arrived at the scene, they rescued a woman from the second floor.  Officials say she was taken to Olean General Hospital, where she died a short time later.  The cause of the fire is under investigation. The victim's name has not been released.

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Distinguished Young Women of the Lakewood Area 2015 full list of results

The Full list of results from the 2015 Distinguished Young Women of the Lakewood Area held this past Saturday night at Jamestown High School! Congratulations to all who participated!

(Over $15,000 in scholarships awarded)

Distinguished Young Woman of the Lakewood Area 2015-($4,000)
Heather Dorler, Cassadaga Valley

1st Runner Up-($2,000) Heidi Mueller, Southwestern

2nd Runner Up-($1,000) Olivia Richardson, Maple Grove

3rd Runner Up-($800) Megan Clark, Clymer

Director’s Award-($500) Stefanie Briggs, Cassadaga Valley

‘Be Your Best Self’-($500) Emily Van Wey, Dunkirk
                                  ($500) Anna Turcotte, Panama

‘Spirit of Junior Miss’-($500) Abbey Andrews, Southwestern
                                      ($500) Anna Turcotte, Panama

Self Expression-($500) Stefanie Briggs, Cassadaga Valley
                           ($500) Stephanie Benson, Jamestown

Talent-($500) Heather Dorler, Cassadaga Valley-Lyric/contemp. dance-‘Explosions’ by Goulding
             ($500) Heidi Mueller, Southwestern-Piano solo-Pachelbel ‘Canon in D’

Fitness-($500) Heather Dorler, Cassadaga Valley
             ($500) Stefanie Briggs, Cassadaga Valley

Panel Interview-($500) Megan Clark, Clymer
                           ($500) Olivia Richardson, Maple Grove



Scholastic Achievement-($500) Heidi Mueller, Southwestern
                                         ($500) Abbey Andrews, Southwestern

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