News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 30, 2016

Jamestown man additionally charged with vehicular manslaughter for alleged DWI accident that killed area woman...

Two more charges have been placed against a Jamestown who was arrested Thursday for criminally negligent homicide in connection with a fatal car crash in the town of Carroll late last year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson said late Friday that a county Grand Jury has also handed up two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter against 37 year-old John Hillman of Baker Street.  Hillman was arrested on a warrant at his home Thursday night.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says Hillman was the driver in the accident... last December 6th... which took the life of 39 year-old Chelsea Hebner.  The crash occured on Ivory Road after Hillman lost control of the vehicle... and, it struck a sign before striking a ditch.  Hebner was ejected from the vehicle.  Hillman was initially charged with driving while intoxicated.  He's now jailed on $25,000 bail.


Superintendent Kelly leaving Sherman Central School District for Randolph at end of current school year...

Another local school district will soon begin the search for a new superintendent.  Current Superintendent Caine Kelly recently informed the Sherman School Board that he will be leaving to take the soon-to-be open Superintendent's post in Randolph.  Their Superintendent will be leaving at the end of the school year.  Kelly says it was a conversation with school officials in Randolph a few months ago that got the ball rolling.  He says he met with school board leaders, and out-going superintendent Kim Moritz at that time.  Kelly says leaving Sherman is bittersweet because he's enjoyed working in the district for the past 10 years -- the past four as superintendent.  He says Randolph is a step up... adding it's at least double the size of Sherman.  However... he says there are similarities between the two.  Kelly says they're both proud of their academic and athletic programs.  He says the Sherman School Board is in the process of setting up a seach committee to find a new superintendent.  Kelly will begin his new duties at Randolph on July 1.


STAR Property Tax Exemption Program to soon become a tax credit program...

The state's long-successful School Tax Relief... or STAR Program... is being transitioned from a property tax exemption program... to a tax credit one -- starting this year.  Chautauqua County Real Property Tax Director Jim Caflisch says it's an under-publicized part of New York's new, 2016-17 budget.  Caflisch says, though, if you were in the STAR program before March 1 of last year... there will be no change for the coming year.  However... if you became part of the Basic or Enhanced STAR Program after that time... you will begin getting a tax rebate check instead.  Caflisch says that check will come in September of this year.  He adds that -- if you apply after July 1 -- you won't be getting that check until the end of September.  He says that if you still own the home, or property that you had the STAR exemption before March 1 of last year... you will remain in the program until you sell that property.  Otherwise... Caflisch says there's been little more released about the change.  He says local assessors will be it given more information soon.


Hochul in Dunkirk-Fredonia-area Friday to help kick off latest round of REDC Meetings...

The state's second in command made a quick visit to the Dunkirk-Fredonia area Friday morning and her focus was on economic development.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul appeared at the State University of New York at Fredonia to help kick-off the next round of meetings of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.  Hochul says the 10 regional councils will once again be competing for a share of $750-million in state funding.  She says Governor Cuomo was able to convince the State Legislature to include the funding in the new state budget that was passed earlier this month.  Hochul says -- one of the major items included this year -- is $10-million dollars in each region that will be awarded to one community to help stem the loss of major business, or on-going "distress" issues. 


Presciption Pill Take Back Day is today across region...

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and other local police will be taking part in the annual Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day tomorrow.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration puts on the program to prevent increased pill abuse, overdose and theft.  Officials will be collecting unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at four locations in the county from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  They are at the Chautauqua Mall parking lot -- in front of JC Penney... the Foote Avenue Plaza in Jamestown... Alstar Ambulance on Monroe Street in Dunkirk... and, Westfield Family Physicians on Main Street in Westfield.  The service is free of charge, anonymous and no questions asked.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

City man arrested for criminally negligent homicide...

A Jamestown man sought for his involvement in a fatal incident late last year has been arrested.  Sheriff's officers say they took 37 year-old John Hillman into custody at his home shortly before 6 last night without incident.  Deputies say Hillman was wanted for criminally negligent homicide on an arrest warrant issued out of Chautauqua County Court.  City police and the Sheriff's Department K-9 unit assisted in serving the warrant.  No other details were available last night.  Hillman was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Horrigan will hold public hearing on new smoking law, but, says he's inclined to sign it at this point...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's leaning towards signing the local law, raising the age to buy tobacco products in the county from 18 to 21.  Horrigan yesterday said he listened to the approximately 20 speakers at Wednesday night's legislature meeting... the majority of whom favor the change.  He says, though, that he must hold a public hearing first.  At the same time... he says unless he receives some compelling argument otherwise... he favors the measure... which also covers e-cigarettes. Horrigan says he will be scheduling the required public hearing over the next few days.  He agrees with studies that have shown that Chautauqua County has a higher than average rate of smoking in the state.  Horrigan adds that most teens he's talked to across the county agree with the change... while some don't.  He adds he also understands business's perspective on the matter.  The owner of Yeti Vape on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott spoke against the change... saying that there big differences between tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

 

County legislators sound off before vote on increasing age to buy tobacco e-vape products...

County lawmakers were generally supportive of the local law on both sides of the political aisle. Frewsburg Republican Ron Lemon was among the 13 legislators who voted in favor of the legislation. But, Fredonia Republican Robert Scudder proposed -- and pushed an amendment that would have removed e-cigarettes from the local law.  Scudder says that came after he checked out an e-vape shop in his village.  He says he spoke with two and three-pack a day smokers who switched, and have gotten better health reports from their doctors.  With that... he feels the jury is still out on e-cigarettes.  The amendment failed, with Scudder joining Robert Bankoski, Kevin Muldowney, Terry Niebel, Lisa Vanstrom and David Wilfong in voting against the local law.

 

Mess pleads guilty to manslaughter in husband's death...

The wife of a New York farmer whose body was found buried in manure has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.  Wyoming County District Attorney Donald O'Green says Charlene Mess of Attica faces up to 25 years in prison after entering the plea in county court in Warsaw Thursday.  O'Geen says the Mess family supports the lengthy prison sentence for the death of 52-year-old Douglas Mess last year.  Authorities say Charlene Mess hit her husband of 30 years with a pitchfork and shot him in the head with a .22-caliber rifle before burying his body in a manure pile on the family dairy farm.  One of his sons reported him missing, setting off a seven-hour search.  Charlene Mess is scheduled to be sentenced June 23.

 

Gerry man arrested on Felony DWI charge, others...

A Gerry man faces felony charges of driving while intoxicated... and, without a license after he was pulled over for allegedly driving drunk earlier this week.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped a car, driven by 41 year-old David Spunaugle, on the Gerry-Ellington Road, just after 1 AM this past Monday.  Deputies say their investigation showed Spunaugle was intoxicated... and, he was taken into custody.  Officers say a check of his driving history in New York State revealed that Spunaugle had a prior conviction for DWI with in the past 10 years.  He was also found to have a a revoked driver's license.  Spunaugle was arraigned in Ellery Town Court... and was sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail on several charges... including Felony DWI, and first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation.

 

Reed touts American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act...

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he fully supports a measure coming out of a House committee that would lower manufacturing costs in the U-S by $1-billion.  The Corning Republican recently voted with the House Ways and Means Committee in favor of the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016.  Reed says the measure... which has bi-partisan support in Congress... will help several, local manufacturers in the Southern Tier.
Reed says the manufacturing bill will help local companies compete better in the global economy.  Right now... he says when those businesses import raw materials they are unable to get here... they pay an added tax on those items.  Reed calls this a "common sense" piece of legislation.  He says, keeping manufacturing companies in the Southern Tier will keep "family-sustaining" jobs in the region.  He says the full Congress is expected to act on the bill before the end of the week.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

Dunkirk Schools looking for new superintendent...

The Dunkirk School Board has set interviews with the three finalists for the superintendent's position before the end of the week.  That's because the current occupant is preparing to leave the district in a couple of months.  In a recent interview... Gary Cerne says he's enjoyed his nine-and-a-half years as superintendent. Cerne says he will never forget when the district's Board of Education approved his appointment... March 7th of 2007.  Now... he says he wouldn't have wanted to be superintendent at "any other district."  Cerne will stay on until July 1st and says he will be available to assist the new superintendent once a selection is announced.  A stakeholders team is holding interviews with the finalists this week.

 

Catskill Region wildfire now contained...

Crews have now contained a wildfire that burned nearly 2-thousand acres of forestland in a state park in upstate New York.  State officials say the brush fire at the Sam's Point Preserve in the Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County was fully contained by Thursday evening.  Hundreds of firefighters and first responders battled the fire, which started Saturday afternoon and forced the evacuation of hundreds of park visitors.  No structures or homes were damaged.  Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  Officials say the fire has scorched about 1,900 acres in a rugged, heavily wooded section of the Shawangunk Mountains on the park's southern part.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The age to purchase tobacco in Chautauqua County will go up to 21 beginning this fall.  The Jamestown Post Journal reports that the Chautauqua County Legislature voted 13-6 in favor of the move, which is the first of it's kind in Western New York.  Anyone under 21 would also be barred from purchasing e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine.   "Business Members, High School Students, health care professionals and other community members took to the podium to voice their opinion on the controversial matter".   Christine Schuyler, county public health director said the law will safegaurd youth from developing a lifelong tobacco and nicotine addiction.  Brian Ellis, wholesale manager of Yeti Vape in Jamestown told the legislature to vote the bill down or consider tabling the law for revision.  Ellis said smoking and vaping look similar, but are very different.  New York City and Suffolk County are the only other parts of New York State that have the tobacco purchase age set at 21.

 

There will be four candidates running for the two seats up for a vote on the Jamestown School Board next month.  School officials say the four returned petitions with the required number of valid signatures as of 5 PM yesterday.  They are incumbant School Board President Joe DiMaio (Dih-Mayo)... and incumbant first-term member Patrick Slagle.  There are also two newcomers... Todd Rushforth... and, Jeffrey Yeates.  They'll be running for two full, three-year terms on the panel.  The school board vote is the same day as the budget vote, Tuesday, May 17th from Noon to 9 PM. 

 

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly trying to run over three police officers... and, lead them on a high-speed chase... after they tried to arrest him on drug charges.  However... members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were able to take 41 year-old Donald Dean into custody Tuesday afternoon in the village of Falconer.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says task force members were following up on an investigation into alleged Methamphetime sales... when they approached Dean's car on Falconer Street.  However... Samuelson says Dean sped off... almost striking the officers before leading them to a wooded area behind the Red Roof Inn in Falconer. Samuelson says they don't know why Dean tried to run over the officers, nor if he was high on drugs at the time. He says the suspect was apparently renting a room at the hotel... and, adds officers had gotten a search warrant for the room.  Dean was arraigned in Jamestown City Court... and, sent to the county lock-up. Samuelson says anyone with information on illegal drug activity in the immediate Jamestown-area can contact the Metro Drug Task Force through the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

Two Cattaraugus County residents are jailed for allegedly being found in possession of drugs in their Gowanda apartment.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided the dwelling at 47 West Hill Street last weekend.  Task Force members say 28 year-old Sammie Harris... and, 21 year-old Donnice Young have been charged with one count each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Both were taken to Persia Town Court for arraignment.  The Task Force was assisted by Gowanda Police... the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office -- and, it's K-9 Unit -- and state Police.

 

The county's top prosecutor says his office is continuing to work with Fredonia Police on the investigation into last weekend's shooting incident that occurred on Liberty Street.  Acting District Attorney Patrick Swanson says he has been working closely with village police officials on the case since early Saturday when the incident was first reported. Police have identified James Duman of Dunkirk as the person who was shot by the homeowner who had used a legally-owned handgun during the confrontation.  Swanson says it doesn't appear that the homeowner will be charged... unless circumstances change in the case.  Duman, who was treated at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, remains in the Chautauqua County Jail on a parole violation stemming from a 2013 arrest.  Swanson expects to release an official position on the case at some point next week. 

 

It's looking less likely that the presumptive winner of a pivotal state Senate race on Long Island will take his seat in time for the Legislature's return to Albany.  Democrat Todd Kaminsky won 780 more votes than Republican challenger Chris McGrath in last week's special Senate election.  But... McGrath hasn't conceded and wants a recount.  Official results must also wait until nearly 3-thousand absentee and emergency ballots are counted.  That process began Wednesday... and, could take several days or weeks to complete.  The Senate returns Tuesday.  The winner replaces ex-GOP Senate Leader Dean Skelos who was convicted of corruption.  If Kaminsky wins the Democrats will have a majority of Senate seats.  However... Republican control will likely continue thanks to six Democrats who broke with their party to empower the GOP.

 

Two members of New York's congressional delegation say ongoing economic expansion in the state's western areas shows the need for a high-speed rail link between Buffalo and Rochester.  Democratic Representatives Louise Slaughter of Rochester and Brian Higgins of Buffalo say cutting the travel time between the two cities would allow people to commute to the growing technology jobs increasingly available in western New York.  They point to the SolarCity project in Buffalo and AIM Photonics in Rochester as examples of the region's changing economy.  New York's upstate congressional delegates have pushed for years for a high-speed rail system linking the region's largest cities with New York City.  Higgins says refocusing the effort on the 70-mile stretch between upstate New York's two largest cities would be far less costly.

 

There will be a special meeting of the Ellicott Town Board this (Thursday) afternoon in the town hall in Falconer.  Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says the meeting will begin at 12 Noon... and, will deal with a new fee schedule for the town.  Board members and town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin have been working on an updated fee schedule for the past several months.

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News Update for Wed., Apr. 27, 2016

City man arrested for drug possession after trying to hit police officers, and engaging in high-speed chase...

A Jamestown man faces several charges... including Felony drug possession and attempted assault... after he allegedly tried to hit arresting officers with his car... and, leading them on a chase into Falconer.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were following up on an investigation into alleged Methamphetime sales... when they approached a car on Falconer Street about 3:20 PM Tuesday.  Samuelson says the operator, 41 year-old Donald Dean, drove off... and, almost struck the officers with the vehicle.  He says police gave chase, and followed Dean into Falconer... where he drove into a wooded-area behind the Red Roof Inn... and, tried to get away on foot.  However... he was arrested after a short foot chase.  Their investigation showed that Dean had been renting a room at the hotel... and, they obtained a search warrant.  Task Force members say they found a quantity of Methamphetime in the room.  Dean was arraigned on charges including one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and three counts of first-degree attempted assault... and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

More than 50 State Police and police officials spent the day Tuesday searching an area on Kortwright Road in Busti in hopes of finding more clues in a nearly eight-year-old missing person's case.  However... that was not the case.  Troop "A" Public Information Officer Trooper James O'Callahan also would not say if there was any new information in the case of Busti's Corrie Anderson.  However... he does say they've accumulated tips over the years... and, now is a good time to follow up on them. Police staged their search off the main parking lot at Stateline Speedway... which is located on Kortright Road.  O'Callahan says they continued searching the area until around dusk.  The rural area was where police found Anderson's abandoned mini-van shortly after she was reported missing.  O'Callahan says -- even after eight-years -- it's worth looking again.  He adds the first goal is... to solve the case... and, find Corrie Anderson.  The mother of three went missing on October 28th of 2008 after she left a Jamestown car dealership... and, was not heard from again.

 

Four Jamestown-area teenagers have been arrested for allegedly stealing a car late last weekend... and, crashing it into another vehicle before fleeing the scene.  State Police in Jamestown say the owner of the vehicle had apparently parked his car on a friend’s property in the town of Kiantone on Sunday.  However... they returned about 20 minutes later and it was gone.  During that time, an accident was reported in the city of Jamestown, where the four teens were seen fleeing the vehicle.  However... Troopers say they were arrested a short time later after being identified by witnesses.  All four teens were charged with fourth-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property.  One of the teens was also charged with second-degree criminal impersonation for initially provided a false identity.  All four teens were arraigned... and, three were sent to the county jail without bail.  A fourth was released to his father due to his age. 

 

Fredonia Police are continuing to investigate a shooting that occurred on Liberty Street early Saturday morning where a homeowner shot an intruder.  Police Chief Brad Meyers has released the identity of the man who was shot after he and a female suspect reportedly entered the home's enclosed porch. Meyers did not identify the homeowner... nor the female involved in the incident.  Duman and the female are accused of trying to force their way inside the victim's home.  Police say the homeowner shot the suspect when the victim went outside to identify the vehicle, and Duman got out and charged the man.  He says the investigation is continuing and police are working with the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office.  

 

The power was fully restored by late yesterday morning to about 2-thousand National Grid customers in the Lakewood and Sherman areas after it was knocked out early Tuesday morning.  That from National Grid Spokesman Steve Brady... who says two sections of power line on Shadyside Road were taken down in gusty winds about 4 AM.  Brady says -- despite the distance between Lakewood and Sherman -- it affected both of them.  Brady says crews were able to get most people back on by 6 AM... but, there were still about 50 customers still out as of 9 AM.  The Southwestern Central Schools were on a two-hour delay due to the outage.

 

It appears that local Congressman Tom Reed won't have to face a primary against a fellow Republican from Tioga County in June.  Objections were raised last week to petitions submitted by Gary Perry of Waverly, who announced his bid in early March.  A spokesman for the State Board of Elections says that... after a review of the petitions.. it appears that Perry may have 780 valid signatures.  That’s well below the 12-hundred-50 that are required.  Reed hopes the Board of Elections does the right thing. Reed says he's not sure if there will be any objection raised about Democrat opponent John Plumb's petitions.  But... he says there's another reason to make sure Perry actually qualified for a primary... and, that's the cost to the taxpayers.  The State Board of Elections will make a final determination during it's meeting on May 2nd.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area remain unchanged over the past week... and, are now just under 2-dollars-29 cents a gallon this week.  That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average prices is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area.  The Fuel Gauge reports that -- at this time last year -- the price was 2-69 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  Triple-A says the national average price is now about 2-dollars-14 cents a gallon.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge Reports that relatively cheap gas prices are boosting driving demand... and, 2016 remains poised to be a record year for both gasoline consumption... and, annual miles traveled.  Although pump prices moved higher by 2-cents a gallon, today’s average price of 2--14 is the lowest for this calendar date since 2009.

 

New York state's comptroller is urging federal authorities to strengthen safety measures against oil spills and require trains to carry sufficient insurance to cover cleanup costs from major accidents.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is administrator of New York's Oil Spill Fund.  He cites a U.S. Transportation Department finding that oil shippers and rail companies carry insurance that may be insufficient to cover a serious accident involving tankers carrying crude oil or other hazardous materials.  In a letter to the department and the Federal Railroad Administration... DiNapoli says a review of Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows CSX Corporation is self-insured for $25 million for ``non-catastrophic'' property damage and $50 million for natural catastrophes.  In his report... DiNapoli cited the March 1st train derailement in the town of Ripley... which led to the evacuation of some 50 homes in that area.

 

State Police are looking for whoever drove by a pair of Amish homes on Wilson Road in Sugar Grove Township in Pennsylvania... and, fired shots into the structures.  Troopers in Warren County say witnesses spotted a vehicle traveling east about 2:30 AM Sunday... and, fired several shots from a 22-calibur gun out a car window.  Police say one round struck the home of 47 year-old Iva Byler... and, another the home of 23 year-old John Shetler.  No one was hurt.  Anyone with information is asked to call Warren County Crimetoppers.  The investigation is continuing.

 

 

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News Update for Tues., Apr. 26, 2016

State Police and other agencies looking into new information on missing person's case of Corrie Anderson...

State police and other local police agencies are following up on information they've received in recent months into the disappearance of a Jamestown-area woman.  Public Information Officer Trooper James O'Callahan says about 50 State Police investigators... and, others... began searching an area off Kortwright Road in the town of Busti about mid-morning today.  O'Callahan says the missing person's case of Corrie Anderson is still active... and, that police routinely follow-up on tips and leads in the case.  However... he says there was no specific lead that led them back to Kortwright Road... which is where Corrie Anderson's mini-van was found after she went missing on Oct. 28, 2008.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County Dispatch reports power outages in Sherman and Lakewood this morning.  Trees fell on power lines during some intense winds around 4am.  National Grid reports the estimated time for the return of power is approximately 9am.  Southwestern Central Schools are operating on a two hour delay this morning due to that outage effecting their bus garage.   Again Southwestern Central Schools opening on a 2 HOUR delay this morning.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he has some concern over the 'deal' reached by Ted Cruz and John Kasich to divvy up several upcoming primary states in an effort to block Donald Trump from getting the Republican presidential nomination.  Reed says that was one of his concerns when he first came out for Trump in mid-March.  He says he doesn't know if this latest strategy to keep Trump from getting the 12-hundred-37 delegates he needs for the GOP nomination... but, adds he feels the Billionaire developer has a lot of momentum going. Trump also has sizable leads in each of the five states where voting takes place today.  Reed also said Monday that part of the reason he announced his support for Trump was because of the support he was seeing for the front-runner at his district Town Hall meetings.  The Corning Republican says Trump's big night in last week's New York state primary can't be ignored.  He made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

Drivers who have have accumulated parking ticket fines and fees in the city of Jamestown have only a few more days to take advantage of the city's Parking Ticket Amnesty program.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... and, city Finance Director Jim Olson.  Teresi says the program allows vehicle owners with outstanding tickets -- prior to April 1st -- to only have to pay the face value of those tickets.  He says... after Sunday, April 30th... all charges, fees and fines are re-applied. Through the past weekend... Teresi says the program has been bringing in about one-thousand dollars a day... which puts the city on track to receiving 25-thousand to 40-thousand dollars from the amnesty program.  After this coming Sunday... he says if the motorist whose accumulated the tickets, fines and fees hasn't paid up... those penalties are re-applied.  There are three ways you can pay up those tickets... one is go directly to the city Treasurer's Office... mail the payment to the Treasurer's office... or go on line to the city's website at Jamestownny-dot-NET.

 

The Jamestown City Council has approved naming the city's Zoning Board of Appeals the lead agency for the review of a proposal by Lynn Development to purchase the Sheldon House.  Lawmakers voted last night, 7-0, to have the ZBA lead the process of the current owner -- Jamestown Community College -- seeking a zoning variance for the proposal.  Lynn Development wants the building at 7 Falconer Street to be granted the ability to house professional offices.  Lynn wants to re-locate it's offices there.  There has been some neighorhood opposition to such a change.  If all of JCC's sponsors approve... the zoning board will take up the matter next mon

 

The Wal-Mart Super Center in Lakewood had to be evacuated briefly early last night after fire broke-out in a refrigeration unit at the Fairmount Avenue store.  However... there was no major damage... nor injuries reported.  Lakewood-Busti Police say the call came in about 6:20 PM... and, an officer says the building had already been evacuated when they arrived.  He adds that fire crews got the blaze out fairly quickly.  Police say the Wal-Mart store was re-opened shortly after 7 PM.

 

Late Jamestown Post-Journal Sports Editor Jim Riggs was dedicated to his craft... and, a compassionate person to work with.  That's the way Riggs is being remembered at the newspaper he spent about 40 years with in the sports department.  He passed away last Saturday morning at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo at the age of 65.  Current Sports Editor Scott Kindberg was Riggs's assistant for many years... and, says Jim often thought of co-workers in his department when he traveled... or went shopping with his wife, Sharon. Riggs battle Leukemia for the past year, or so.  However... Kindberg says Jim did his weekly column up until a week before his death.  He says Riggs' last column was printed on April 16th because he wanted to keep doing it.  Riggs himself started as a staff member in 1975... and, he succeeded Frank Hyde as Sports Editor in 1979.  He was also an avid golfer.
Jim Riggs' funeral will be held this coming Friday at 11 AM in Bethel Lutheran Church.  The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 PM Thursday in the Lind Funeral Home.

 

A Kennedy man was arrested early last weekend for allegedly being found in possession of more than 70 grams of bagged marijuana during a traffic stop in the village of Falconer.  State Police say they pulled over 29 year-old Brian Lowers for a traffic violation on South Work Street last Saturday... and, Troopers say they found a pipe containing burnt marijuana residue in plain sight.  Further investigation revealed that Lowers was in possession of the more than 70 grams of pot... a jar containing a small amount of marijuana... a marijuana cigarette... and, two additional pipes containing marijuana residue.  Lowers was issued appearance tickets for fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He'll appear in Ellicott Town Court.

 

The four New York nuclear plants that generate more than a quarter of the state's electricity are going through turbulent times amid slumping power prices.  And... depending on how things play out, one or more could shut down entirely, affecting jobs, power reliability, electricity bills and carbon emissions.  Though opposed by many environmentalists, New York's nuclear plants are seen by state regulators as a steady source of electricity that doesn't contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration is crafting a plan that would direct millions of dollars a year extra to keep ailing upstate nuclear plants operating.  Officials say the cost to individual customers would be small and would be outweighed by environmental and economic benefits.

 

Republican Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were all campaigning in Pennsylvania ahead of today's primary.  Trump had two rallies Monday... one at West Chester University in suburban Philadelphia... and, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre.  Clinton beat out current President Barack Obama in 2008 by about 200-thousand votes. In Warren County... voters will be able to keep track of balloting in the northwestern Pennsylvania county.  Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston says WarrenVotes-dot-COM will be live today... providing election returns on-line with "cutting edge" technology.  Eggleston says the new system replaces the current VoteWarren-dot-ORG site.  However... he says -- if you go to the old site -- it will take you to "WarrenVotes-dot-COM. 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Celoron man and a teenager are under arrest for allegedly being found in possession of Methamphetime and other drugs during a raid late Friday afteroon in the village.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... along with the State Police C-NET Team... received information about alleged drug activity at 37 Smith Street... and executed a search warrant about 12:30 PM.  Task Force agents were assisted by the JPD SWAT Team... and, arrested 38 year-old Lindsey Harrison... and, the 17 year-old at the scene.  Officers add that Harrison was allegedly trying to flush evidence down a toilet when they entered.  They also found a quantity of Meth... prescription pills... packaging materials... and drug paraphernalia.  Harrison was arraigned on one count each of fifth and seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance... possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence charges.  The teen was also charged with fifth-degree criminal possession.  Both were sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Fredonia police are investigating an incident in which one person was shot after charging the owner of a home on Liberty Street early last Saturday morning.  Village Police were called to the scene about 2:30 AM.  Officers say the homeowner was awakened by two people allegedly pounding on his door about 2:22 AM.  Police say the man answered the door... and, had his legally-owned gun with him.  The homeowner told police the man and woman pushed their way into the house before a brief verbal exchange between he, and the two subjects.  The owner then allegedly pulled his gun... and, told the pair to leave... which they finally did.  The unidentified homeowner then went onto his front steps to get a look at the vehicle... when the male suspect got out of the car... and, charged at him.  The suspect allegedly threatened the homeowner before the man fired several rounds at the suspect.  The suspect was hit, and, then got back into the car and drove off.  The homeowner called 9-1-1... and, the vehicle was stopped in the village.  The suspect was treated at the scene... then flown by Starflight to the Erie County Medical Center.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Fredonia Police at 679-1531.

 

It appears the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development will be joining the county's Industrial Development Agency at it's new headquarters on Jamestown's westside.  The county legislature's Audit and Control Committee has approved moving the department from the Riverside Industrial Center near Brooklyn Square... to the BWB Building on West Third Street.  Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says.. since the IDA is moving to that location... it made sense for planning and development staff to do likewise. Moving both entities to another location in Jamestown had reportedly been in the works for sometime because there has been interest expressed by industrial developers in that building.  Chagnon says IDA Director Kevin Sanvidge confirmed that there are interested buyers.  He says the best part of the move is that the county's Planning and Economic Development Department will be paying the same rent that it had been paying for it's location in the Riverside Center.  The department has been paying about 822-dollars a month for the location.

 

A Ripley teenager has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a hand-gun illegally.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene in the town of Ripley about 6:25 PM last Sunday.  Deputies say -- upon further investigation -- they found that a 17 year-old did illegally possess a revolver-style firearm.  The youth was later arrested for criminal possession of a firearm... and, will appear in Ripley Town Court at a later date.

 

A Celoron woman faces a charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs following a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Kiantone.  State Police in Jamestown say they were conducting a Road Check last Wednesday... and, stopped 55 year-old Leisa Gates... and, a trooper smelled marijuana coming from inside her car.  During the investigation... police found a pipe containing marijuana residue, a marijuana cigarette and a small amount of marijuana vegetation.  Gates was given a sobriety test... which she failed.  Gates was taken to State Police Barracks for additional testing by a Drug Recognition Expert.  In addition to DWAI... Gates was also ticketed for unlawful possession of marijuana. 

 

Exit polling shows young people turned out in big numbers for last week's New York state Primary election.  CIRCLE... an independent, nonpartisan research center at Tufts University... found that across the state, the turnout of young voters was higher than in previous presidential primaries, making up a record-breaking 18-percent of all voters.  CIRCL's Youth Coordinator, Abby Kiesa, says youth participation has been increasing across the nation this year, especially in Republican primaries. Young voters made up 10-percent of those casting ballots in the New York Republican primary, which did not mark an increase.  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has had strong support among younger voters nationwide, and that was true in New York as well.  But... Kiesa says there was a sharp divide, with 81 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds supporting Sanders, but only 53 percent of those 25 to 29.  She adds a majority of those 30 and older favored Hillary Clinton... who won the Democrat Primary.  Kiesa says the sample rate for young voters in the New York Republican primary was too small to get a reliable estimate of how their votes were divided among the candidates.

 

New Yorkers spent more on the state lottery and state-regulated electronic gaming machines than ever before last year... generating a record of almost 10-billion dollars in revenue.  The state's Gaming Commission released the numbers on Friday.  They cover the fiscal year that ended March 31st.  Most of the 9.7-billion dollars in revenue came from traditional lottery tickets and instant scratch-off games. Nearly $2 billion of it came from video lottery terminals, which are similar to electronic slot machines.  Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams says the New York state lottery remains the most profitable lottery in North America.

 

A Pennsylvania government commission is giving its divided approval to regulations toughening oil and gas industry permit requirements.  The agency that reviews regulatory changes voted 3-to-2 Thursday in favor of the new regulations, State-Impact Pennsylvania reported.  The three Democratic appointees voted "yes."  Drillers will now have to identify schools or playgrounds near wells, and if water supplies are damaged drillers will have to fix them or replace them with alternatives that meet federal standards. Natural gas drillers won't be able to store waste in pits, or use brine to keep down dust or to de-ice.  Industy officials say the changes will add costs and could threaten businesses.  Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley says the fears are exaggerated. Environmental advocacy groups supported the proposed rules, although many say they're not strong enough.

 

A sad day on the local sports scene.  Long-time Jamestown Post-Journal Sports Editor Jim Riggs passed away last Saturday morning at Roswell Park Cancer Institute at the age of 65.  Riggs had battled Leukemia for the past year, or so.  He had spent 40 years at the newspaper... and, impacted many lives through the years.  He started as a staff member... and, succeeded Frank Hyde as Sports Editor.  In recent years... Jim had been a half-time guest on many of our WJTN play-by-play football and basketball broadcasts.  He was also an avid golfer.  He is survived by his wife, Sharon... and, son Jim.

 

 

 

 

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News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 22, 2016

Meeting scheduled between Athenex representatives, state and county leaders called off after State officials say they can't do Friday meeting...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has announced that today's Athenex meeting in Dunkirk has been canceled.  But... he says it will be rescheduled for a later time.  Horrigan tell use that some state officials wanted to be present for the meeting... and, that led to some scheduling conflicts.  He says those state reps. wanted to be here for the session.  Horrigan says they'll plan to meet when "we can get everyone there."  Horrigan emphasizes that the approximately $1.5-billion project is still on track.  The state is making a 200-million dollar investment in the project... which will bring about 900 new jobs to the Dunkirk-area and Chautauqua County.  Horrigan says they are looking to reschedule the roundtable discussion at a future date. 


Man from Mayville arrested after being found in possession of "liquid Meth..."

A Mayville man is jailed without bail for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime.  Sheriff's officers and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force investigated a report of someone in possession of the narcotic at 9 East Marvin Street.  Deputies say they learned that the suspect... 35 year-old Dennis Topliffe... allegedly had in excess of four ounces of liquid Meth in his possession.  Topliffe was not at the residence at the time... and, police got a warrant for his arrest.  He was later found, and arrested in the town of Sheridan.  He was arraigned on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, sent to the county jail.


North County man arrested after traffic stop for allegedly being in possession of significant amount of Methamphetime...

Dunkirk Police made a discovery during a traffic stop on Pelican Street shortly after 2  a.m. Friday... a significant amount of methamphetamine.  It all began when officers pulled over a vehicle for a traffic infraction.  During the stop, suspicious activity by one of the occupants, Nicholas Shelley, caused officers to further investigate.  Police Chief David Ortolano says Shelley to turned over a small bag of white powder, telling officers it was heroin. Testing determined it was Meth.  That led to a search uncovering more meth in several large bags, and also finding some drug paraphernalia.  Shelley is facing several charges including fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... a Felony...  criminal possession of a hypodermic needle/syringe... and two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Shelley is being held pending arraignment in Dunkirk City Court.


Several fire departments respond to overnight barn fire in Clymer...

Several fire companies from New York and Pennsylvania responded to a barn fire in the town of Clymer early Friday morning.  Chautauqua County Fire Dipatchers say Clymer fire crews were called to the scene at 10252 Belknap Road about 12:45 a.m.  Dispatchers say crews were there about 6 hours.  There were no injuries, nor animal death's reported.  Clymer fire crews were joined at the scene by Findley Lake, Sherman, Ashville, Panama, Celoron and Chautauqua firefighters from Chautauqua County... and, Greenfield and Wattsburg from Pennsylvania.  Most fire companies were called in to bring water to the scene.  There is no word on the extent of damage.


County Democrat Chairman "not surprised" by Sanders win over Clinton in county on Primary Day...

While Hillary Clinton carried New York State, receiving 58 percent of the vote and collecting as many as 169 of the 291 delegates, Bernie Sanders won the popular vote in Chautauqua County.  Elections Commissioner Norm Green, who is also the Chautauqua County Democratic Party Chairman, says he wasn't surprised.  Green says they knew it was going to be close one-way or the other.  He adds some insiders told him that Hillary was going to win Chautauqua County... but, in his heart, he was hoping she would win Chautauqua County.  Sanders received about 54-percent of vote among Chautauqua County Democrats... while Clinton picked up 46-percent.  Green says Sanders also received the more delegates from the 23rd Congressional District, picking up 3 out of the 5 delegates.  ABC News reports Sanders finished with as many as 104 delegates... while Clinton has at least 135.


Head of Chautauqua Lake Association says lake is in "pretty good shape..."

Chautauqua Lake is beginning the season in pretty good shape.  That from Chautauqua Lake Association Director Doug Conroe... who says "so far -- it's looking good."  Conroe says the heavy plant growth hasn't started -- yet.  We spoke to him at Earthfest Wednesday at Jamestown Community College.  Conroe says, while it's hard to predict what will happen with weeds later in the season, there is the potential for another problem in the water... and, that's Algae Blooms.  He says the water is clear, and the lake is warmer now than it usually is.  Conroe says this year's warmer than normal conditions have allowed the Lake Association a head start on lake maintenance.  He says the best thing residents can do... all year... is to keep bad things from getting into the lake... everything from nutrients, to trees... to refrigerators. 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

There were lines when the polls for the 2016 Democrat and Republican Primaries in Chautauqua County -- and, in many other locations in New York state.  The polls opened later here than in some other parts of the state... but, Democrat Elections Commissioner Norm Green says many voters were ready to vote right at 12 Noon.  Some people were under the impression that the polls opened earlier.  Green adds several also thought they could vote -- even if they weren't registered with that particular party....in one of the primaries. New York is one of the states in the U-S that has "closed primaries."  That means only registered Republicans can voted in the GOP Primary... while only Democrats could vote in the Democratic Primary.  In addition... Green says you had to be registered with that party in time for last November's election.  Still... Green says turn-out... overall... was steady.  That turn-out helped GOP front-runner Donald Trump boost his delegate total.  He received 53.1-percent of the Republican vote in the county.  John Kasich was second with 24-percent... and, Ted Cruz was third with 21-percent.  On the Democrat side... U-S Senator Bernie Sanders received 53.9-percent of the vote... and, Hillary Clinton received 46.1-percent.

 

Early exit polls from New York's primary show Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they have been energized by the primary battles within their own parties.  A majority of GOP voters say the candidate with the most votes heading into the convention should be the party's presidential nominee.  In addition... voters from both parties say they're concerned about the economy and Wall Street. 

 

The Jamestown School Board has approved a $79.1-million, 2016-17 budget that includes a slight tax decrease... and, includes no lay-offs.  The board voted 7-to-0 in favor of the spending plan... which cuts the tax levy by just over 219-thousand dollars.  School Board President Joe DiMaio says board members were pleased to get an extra boost in state aid... which allows them not to use any reserve funds... and, offer a small tax cut.  School Business Manager Vern Connors -- along with his staff -- were credited for for breaking down the budget so board members understood each part of it.  Superintendent Tim Mains says the board first agreed to not using any reserve funds for the spending plan... and, agreed to a specific use for 41-thousand dollars left over after reinstating the reserves, and cutting the levy.  Mains says that will be used for possible changes in programming if additional staff is needed.  The public hearing on the budget on Tuesday, May 10.  The public vote on the 2016-17 spending plan will be held on May 17.

 

The Jamestown School Board last night formally voted to allow the Prendergast Library to hold a public referendum in June on establishing a 850-thousand dollar levy to publicly support the library.  The vote was 5-to-0... with board members Shelly Leathers, and Pat Slagle "abstaining" from the vote.  Both said they wanted to know more about the proposal before voting to permit the vote.  That vote will be held from Noon to 9 PM on Tuesday, June 7th, at the Library.  Board members emphasized that -- under state law -- they are required to hold the vote for the library.  The only voice they have is in setting the date, location, and time of the vote.

 

A city man has been sentenced to 2-years and three months in federal prison for lying to the FBI about a man he met in prison... and, who reportedly offered him money to kill witnesses in the other man's federal case.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 38 year-old Tyrell Fuqua-Hayes of Jamestown received the sentence Tuesday on charges of making false statements... and, representations to the FBI.  The prosecutor involved in the case says that in January of 2015... Hayes alleged that he met the man while they were in custody in at the same jail.  They say he claimed that the man woud be contacting him once both were on the outside.  Later... he says the man offered to pay him 5-thousand dollars to kill the witnesses in that man’s case.  However... Hayes later admitted to making up the whole story.

 

Good old-fashioned police work and building solid cases has allowed the Chautauqua County District Attorney's office to get 10 year sentences for two men involved in separate shootings in Jamestown.  Acting District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 22 year-old Trenton Grant received his determinate term for first-degree assault in County Court Monday in connection with the September 2014 shooting incident at Appleyard Terrace.  Swanson adds that 24 year-old Alexander Jewel received a similar sentence in the Tops Market shooting in July of last year.
Grant and co-defendant Isaiah Pearson were later arrested in Tennessee for the Appleyard shooting.  Pearson was sentenced earlier this year to eight-years in state prison.  In addition... Swanson says 24 year-old Alexander Jewel received a decade long sentence in connection with last July's shooting in the Tops Market parking lot.   He says his co-defendant, 31 year-old Michael Robinson, recently entered into a plea agreement on a similar charge... and, will avoid trial.  Swanson says he faces eight years in prison when he's sentenced.

 

The price for gasoline in Chautauqua County has jumped a dime a gallon this week to about 2-dollars-29 cents for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price was 2-dollars-19 cents.  The Fuel Gauge says the average is based on the price at 19 local service stations.  The national average is now up to just over 2-dollars-11 cents a gallon.   Natiionally... Triple-A says record-high fuel demand, declining refinery production and rising oil costs have pushed the national average price upward.  However... pump prices are down 33-cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.  The Fuel Gauge reports that prices may move higher during the second quarter of the year in select regional markets due to intermittent supply challenges... and, increased demand for gasoline. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he believes in the labor movement... telling union construction workers he won't sign legislation in New York that's not fair to organized labor.  Addressing a North America's Building Trades Unions conference on Tuesday... Cuomo says unions built the middle class in America and protect it, and that there's a growing anti-union movement in the country.  The second-term Democrat tells the unionists that every state construction project in New York ``is going to be built by organized labor, period.''  While he supports further affordable housing programs for New York, Cuomo criticized proposals to make government-subsidized construction projects open shops where workers don't have to join a union.  Cuomo and NABTU have both endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

 

Dunkirk Police officials are pleased with the result of an operation that attempts to clean the community of suspected lawbreakers.  "Operation Street Sweep" kicked off last Saturday night and a total of seven arrests were made for a variety of charges.  Police Chief David Ortolano says he was pleased with the results. Among the seven who are facing charges are: 22-year-old Jerry Murphy of Forestville for unlawful possession of marijuana... 41-year-old Martin Wisniewski of Dunkirk for criminal possession of a controlled substance... 50-year-old Lisa Farner of Silver Creek for criminal possession of a controlled substance, and no turn signal... and, 51-year-old Vicky Lynn Badia of Zephyr Hills, Florida for criminal possession of a controlled substance.  In addition... 36-year old Jose Correa of Dunkirk was arrested on outstanding warrants charging him with second-degree harassment, and felony criminal mischief.  Ortolano says he hopes the detail further promote the safety of the community.

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News Update for Mon., Apr. 18, 2016

French Creek man now arrested for vehicular manslaughter in fatal car-pedestrian accident...

A 25 year-old French Creek man has now been arrested for vehicular manslaughter in connection with Sunday's fatal car-pedestrian accident on Griffin Road.  Sheriff's officers say N. L. Lombardozzi of 10574 Griffin Road was formally arraigned in French Creek Town Court on one count each of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated.  Deputies say Lombardozzi was driving on Griffin Road about 8:20 AM when he struck 88 year-old George Boozel... who was crossing Griffin Road near his home.  Officers say Boozel was pronounced dead at the scene.  The investigation is continuing.


 

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WJTN News Headlines

An elderly French Creek man was struck and killed by a car yesterday morning on Griffin Road in the western Chautauqua County town.  Sheriff's officers say 88 year-old George Boozel was attempted to cross -- near his home at 10514 Griffin Road -- about 8:20 AM when he was struck by a westbound vehicle.  Deputies say the driver of the car, 25 year-old N. L. Lombardozzi -- also of Griffin Road -- was not hurt.  Officers say Boozel died at the scene.  Deputies say the crash remains under investigation... and, charges are pending.

 

Four teenagers were arrested last Friday night following a fight on Jamestown's westside that reportedly involved six subjects.  City police were called to the scene at 118 Livingston Avenue shortly after 8 PM.  Officers say the subjects allegedly refused to comply with police during the investigation.  Officers then tried to arrest one suspect when four others began fighting with officers, and resisted arrest on the porch at 118 Livingston.  Police finally arrested two 16 year-olds from Jamestown... a 17 year-old from Jamestown... and, another 17 year-old from Lackawanna.  Officers say they were all jailed on charges ranging from obstruction... to resisting arrest.  They're being held pending arraignment.  Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti Police... along with Sheriff's officers... assisted JPD at the scene.

 

New York state's now had five-consecutive on-time -- or near on time budgets.  However... the process remains flawed.  That from state Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who addressed members of the Chautauqua County Chamer of Commerce during last Friday's annual State Legislative Breakfast in Lakewood.  Goodell says there are good aspects to the new spending plan.  But... he says it was rushed through in the end without the normal, 3-day period the budget bills are supposed to wait once they reach legislator's desks. Goodell says some of the budget bills weren't printed until just after Midnight, April 1st... and, they were put on legislator's desk for a vote shortly after that because the majority approved the "emergency nature" of the bills.  The Assembly finished voting on Friday night, April 1st.  Even with all the problems... Goodell says an on-time budget is good because it was late so many times before... including one time when it dragged into August.  He says that leaves local school districts and governments having to guess what kind of aid they'll be receiving. 

 

There was no additional muncipal aid for small cities in the 2016-17 state budget... but, there were other -- positive aspects to the spending plan.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who was disappointed that the 156-billion dollar spending plan included no increase.  However... Teresi says the additional 6-billion dollars in state Department of Transporation funding will help the city through a new initiative with local road and bridge work. Teresi says the city will receive about 900-thousand dollars in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding again.  He adds they'll also get about 200-thousand in PAVE-New York funds.  Teresi adds the city will also "aggressively compete" for one of 10 Downtown Revitalization Program designations... which would provide 10-million dollars to boost "distressed cities."  In addition to not getting more muncipal aid... Teresi says he was very disappointed to see state lawmakers include no new Mandate Relief in the 2016-17 budget.  Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

Federal prosecutors say former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver abused his power to help two women, including a lobbyist, with whom he had extramarital affairs.  However... his lawyers say the papers reveal -- "unproven and salacious allegations that have no place in this case or public discussion."  Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni released documents including the allegations last Friday.  Silver initially declined comment just prior to them being released.  The 72-year-old Democrat was convicted last November in a 5-million dollar corruption case. Prosecutors say he traded favors to enrich himself and then lied about it.  He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3rd.  Lawyers for The New York Times and WNBC-TV asked the judge to unseal documents pertaining to evidence excluded from trial.  Silver's lawyers say the unsealing could jeopardize a fair trial if Silver wins an appeal.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reported earning 196-thousand dollars on his federal tax return for tax year 2015, a reduction from the previous year when his recently published memoir boosted his income.  The Democratic governor made his tax returns available for inspection by reporters on Friday ahead of Monday's filing deadline.  The returns show Cuomo's gubernatorial salary of $168,000, along with nearly $29,000 in tax exempt interest from investments.  Cuomo paid $47,000 in federal taxes and will receive a refund of $10,400, which he will apply to his 2016 taxes.  The return shows $10,000 in donations to HELP USA, a charity for the homeless that Cuomo founded decades ago.  His state return shows total New York state taxes of $12,500, with a refund of $1,728.

 

A Ripley-area woman escaped serious injuries after falling off her All-Terrain Vehicle as it was crossing a creek off East Side Road last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies say 57 year-old Dotty Woollett was riding the ATV about 4 PM last Saturday when the accident occured.  Officers say Woolett was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

 

The Dunkirk Common Council will be taking action on a resolution that would allow Mayor Willie Rosas to negotiate an agreement with a new tenant for the Chadwick Bay Marina.  The resolution was among the measures that were pre-filed for this Tuesday evening's Common Council meeting.  Rosas says Charles Pringle, owner of Holiday Harbor on Chautauqua Lake, is interested in leasing the Dunkirk area marina. Rosas could not release more details about the proposal at this time because of negotiations between Jeff Gambino and Pringle.  The Common Council meeting is set for 5:30 PM tomorrow.

 

A north county man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting another person at his home just over a week ago.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene at 38 Main Street in Silver Creek on Saturday night, April 10th.  Deputies say 37 year-old Quintin Jones allegedly choked the victim during the assault.  However... he fled the scene by the time officers arrived.  Deputies say an arrest warrant was obtained from Silver Creek Village Court... and, Jones was arrested without incident late last week.  He ws arraigned on one count of third-degree assault... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... and, sent to the county jail with bail to be set.

 

Pennsylvania is now the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program.  Democratic Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law Sunday before a jubilant crowd of supporters at the state Capitol.  Parents can legally administer medical marijuana to their children... even though the bill doesn't take effect for another month.  Bill drafters say it could take two years to get retailers open.

 

 

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News Headlines for Fri p.m., Apr. 15, 2016

Young, Goodell discuss new state budget with county Chamber of Commerce...

Fear that the governor would use a wage board to arbitrarily increase New York's minimun wage to $15 an hour for all workers led to the final agreement in the state budget.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who says the final agreement wasn't perfect... but, it slows the minimum wage growth in the upstate region.  Speaking at this morning's State Legislative Breakfast in Lakewood... hosted by the county's Chamber of Commerce... Young says it will be phased-in over 5-and-a-half years to $12.50 an hour.  However... an economic review panel will look it over after the third-year.  Young says the minmum wage provision made this the "most difficult budget to negotiate" in her 18 years in the state legislature.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell was also on hand.  He says the governor was very crafty in using the wage board to boost fast-food workers pay to $15 an hour... because he knew everyone else in the higher-skilled trades would soon be clamoring for a similar increase.


New documents show Silver was involved in at least two extramarital affairs, one a lobbiest...

In newly released documents... the government says former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had engaged in extramarital affairs with two women, one of whom lobbied him on a regular basis.  Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni released the papers Friday.  Silver declined comment a day earlier.  The 72-year-old Democrat was convicted in November in a $5-million corruption case.  Prosecutors say he traded favors to enrich himself and then lied about it.  He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3rd.  Lawyers for The New York Times and WNBC-TV asked the judge to unseal documents pertaining to evidence excluded from trial.  Silver's lawyers had opposed the unsealing on grounds they could jeopardize a fair trial if Silver wins an appeal.


Ribbon cut on new Fairway Pointe Senior Village in Lakewood...

The Fairway Pointe Senior Village had its official ribbon cutting and grand opening Thursday.  The 116-unit facility on Southwestern Drive in Lakewood provides apartments for people 55 and over.  Marc Guizzo is the facilities manager for Calamar, the firm that built Fairway Pointe.  He says it's their sixth senior apartment community in Western New York, and explained their philosophy.  Guizzo says they are providing an "affordable option for seniors" that allows them to be independent, but, not have to pay the high costs for maintaining it.  About half the apartments in Fairway Pointe have already been rented.  Susan and Roy Lindahl of Jamestown are some of the first residents.  Roy Lindahl says it's "a fantastic place, and people here are like a family."  Calamar invested $12-million in Fairway Pointe.  Among the amenities are an exercise room, community meeting area, and garages.  Amanda Chase, the local manager, will give tours to those who call 489-3601.

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WJTN News Headlines

A judge says she plans to release information later today hat puts another blemish on former New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's record in office.  Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni announced her intention late Thursday after a Silver lawyer argued against it.  Silver declined comment.  The 72-year-old Democrat was convicted in November in a 5-million dollar corruption case.  Prosecutors say he traded favors to enrich himself and then lied about it.  He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3rd.  Lawyers for The New York Times and WNBC-TV asked the judge to unseal documents pertaining to evidence excluded from trial. The judge said the evidence pertained to something that wasn't one of Silver's better moments.  Silver's lawyers had opposed the unsealing on grounds they could jeopardize a fair trial if Silver wins an appeal.

 

Another Democratic leader in Chautauqua County is coming out strongly in favor of former U-S Senator Hillary Clinton for president.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he first supported Mrs. Clinton as the state's U-S Senator... then in 2008... as the Democratic candidate for President.  However... current President Barack Obama won that year.  Still... Teresi says he remains 100-percent behind Cliton. While some polls show Clinton has a "trustworthIness" issue... Teresi says he doesn't have one with her.  He says she's the kind of person who "looks you in the eye..." and, has shown substance and results.  Teresi was among those at a rally this week in Jamestown of city and county Democrats... pledging their support to her for this "all important primary."  Clinton faces U-S Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in next Tuesday's vote.  Teresi reminds Democrats that polls are open from Noon to 9 PM. The mayor made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program that'll be heard on all five Media One Group stations.

 

The head of an organization that supports preserving Social Security says Democrat and Republican candidates for president vary widely on where they stand on the issue.  That from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare president and Chief Executive Officer, Max Richtman... who says Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both support increasing the payroll deduction cap.  Richtman says Mrs. Clinton is also proposing changes to help women. Richtman said yesterday that Sanders supported increasing the wage cap from 118-thousand-500 dollars to 250-thousand.  However... high-wage earners would also get a bump in benefits.  As for Republicans... Richtman says Donald Trump has said he won't make any cuts to benefits.  But, he adds that in one of Trump's books... the Billionaire developer called it a "ponzi scheme."  As for the other GOP candidates... Ted Cruz and John Kasich... Richtman says both are calling for "reforming" the program.  However... he says both are basically proposing cuts to benefits to keep both Social Security Insurance... and, Social Security Disability... solvent.

 

A native of Mexico, who most recently lived in Olean, has been convicted of illegally re-entering the United States.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior has announced that 48 year-old Maurilio Bautista-Feria was convicted in U-S District Court of re-entry of a removed alien, subsequent to a conviction for an aggravated felony.  He was then sentenced to one-year in prison by Senior District Court Judge William Skretny.  The special prosecutor handled the case says Feria was convicted in 2009 of harboring illegal aliens.  Subsequent to that conviction... Feria was removed from the U-S to Mexico for having illegally entered the United States and committing the felony.  In 2013... U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement found the defendant working at a Mexican restaurant in Olean. 

 

Authorities say a 19-year-old man is hospitalized after being shot by a state trooper during an altercation following a traffic stop on a western New York road.  The trooper pulled over a vehicle around 11 PM Wednesday on Routes 5 and 20 in the Livingston County town of Lima (LY'-muh)... about 20 miles south of Rochester.  Police say the driver, Tyshawn Jones of Brooklyn, got out of his car and attacked the trooper.  State police Captain Kevin Reilly says the trooper then fired three shots, hitting Jones in the shoulder and abdomen.  The trooper, who hasn't been identified, was treated at Strong Memorial Hospital for a fractured eye socket, concussion and bruises.  State police say Jones is being treated at the hospital for injuries that aren't life-threatening.

 

With the tax deadline coming up next Monday... area police departments are getting more complaints about the IRS telephone Tax Scam.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office has received dozens of calls about it. Gerace says it’s a scam that is happening across the nation.  Unfortunately... he says there's not much law enforcement can do about it... due mainly to the fact these are mostly international calls... and, the U-S does not have reciprocating law enforcement agreements with them.  Gerace says you should never give out any personal information to anyone you don't know over the phone.  He says if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Law enforcement officials are also urging anyone who may have elderly family members, or friends, to tell them about the scam and the importance of avoiding it.

 

New York has ended its ban on professional mixed martial arts, as Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law to regulate the fights.  Cuomo said Thursday at a signing ceremony at Madison Square Garden that the fights will boost the economy. New York was the last state to prohibit the bouts.  The Garden is a potentially lucrative venue for big promotions like Ultimate Fighting Championship, which plans to hold an event there November 12th.  The law takes effect in September, giving the State Athletic Commission time to add two members, adopt regulations, train staff and start licensing promoters, trainers and fighters.  The commission already regulates pro boxing.  The law also brings amateur MMA, operating unregulated in New York, under state jurisdiction.  The sport's violence drew opposition from some lawmakers.  The law requires increased medical coverage for professional fighters in New York.

 

Donald Trump was showing off his knowledge of all things Pennsylvania during a Pittsburgh rally when he asked a baffling question - about Penn State's famed football coach.  "How's Joe Paterno?," Trump asked supporters Wednesday night.  "Are we gonna bring that back?"  paterno died in January 2012 just months after being dismissed following a child sex abuse scandal involving his assistant coach.  But... the GOP presidential frontrunner wasn't asking about Paterno.  He wanted to know about his statue, which was removed from outside the football stadium four years ago.  That's what The Daily Mail's U.S. political editor David Martosko says on his Twitter page.

 


The Fairway Pointe Senior Village had its official ribbon cutting and grand opening Thursday.  The 116 unit facility on Southwestern Drive in Lakewood provides apartments for people 55 and over.  Marc Guizzo (gwee-zoh) is the facilities manager for Calamar, the firm that built Fairway Pointe.  He says it's their sixth senior apartment community in Western New York. About half the apartments in Fairway Pointe have already been rented.  Susan and Roy Lindahl of Jamestown are some of the first residents. Calamar invested 12 million dollars in Fairway Pointe.  Among the amenities are an exercise room, community meeting area, and garages.  Amanda Chase, the local manager, will give tours to those who call 489-3601.

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News Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 14, 2016

Warren Co. Teenager killed when dirt bike collides with SUV in Glade Twp...

A 16 year-old boy was killed when his dirt bike collided with a Sports Utility Vehicle in Warren County's Glade Township.  State Police in Warren say the 16 year-old... who was not identified... was riding a 1998 Suzuki Dirt Bike about 6 p.m. Wednesday night on Jackson Avenue when he lost control of the motorcycle... and, it crashed into a 2011 Chevy Avalanche, driven by 37 year old John Newton of Warren.  Troopers say the teen was pronounced dead at the scene.  Newton was not injured.  Glade Township Volunteer Firefighters assisted with traffic control.  No charges have been filed... but, the investigation is continuing.


Comedy Center announces three headliners for Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...

There will be a headliner for each of the three nights of this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown August 4 -- 7.  The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon by National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson at the Gateway Train Station in downtown Jamestown.  Gunderson say the final night... Friday, August 6... will feature maybe the top Stand-Up act in the country -- Brian Regan.  Gunderson says Regan just did the first live show from Radio City Music Hall for Comedy Central.  He's also the "favorite" comedian of last year's Headliner -- Jerry Seinfeld.  Gunderson says Night-One on August 4 will feature well-known "Political Satirist" Lewis Black... who came to Jamestown in the early days of the Lucy festivals.  The second night will feature Trevor Noah... the man who replaced Steven Colbert on Comedy Center's late night show.  Gunderson says each show will be sold separately.  For more information... go on-line to www.lucycomedyfest.com, or call 484-0800.


Lucy Comedy Festival among those saluted as "Jamestown's finest" Wednesday night...

Wednesday was a great day for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.  In addition to announcing this year's headliners, the festival won the Pride of Jamestown Award from the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce.  Accepting the award was the festival's Program and Venue Manager, Malachai Livermore.  Livermore says what "makes this event special, is that it has the ability to bring our community together for one amazing weekend."  The chamber's 'Salute to the Finest' event was held at Moonbrook Country Club, and attracted the largest crowd ever... over 150 people.  The Resource Center was given the Service to Humanity award.  Chief Executive Officer Denise Jones expressed her appreciation back to the community, and thanked them for their support.  Among the other awards presented Wednesday night was Business of the Year.  That went to Weaver Materiel Service, Inc., a fourth-generation Jamestown business that services foundries and other specialty industries. 


Sheriff's officers, and JPD warn about resurgient IRS Tax Scams...

There's less than a week before people have to file their state and federal taxes -- if they haven't already.  With that... the IRS Tax Scam is apparently back and very busy in Jamestown... and, Chautauqua County.  Both the Sheriff's Department and City Police say they've been investigating several instances where a caller... posing as an IRS Tax Agent... advised the person they called that they owed thousands of dollars in back taxes.  Police say the victim is often an elderly person... and, the caller usually advises that if they don't pay up... they will face arrest and asset seizures.  However... officers again warn the public that the IRS does not operate that way.  They say don't give out any information... just hang-up.


Social Sec. Preservation head Max Richtman outlines candidates views on Social Security and solvency...

Both Social Security funds are solvent for the next 20 years... and, there are a couple of proposals before federal lawmakers that could extend that solvency through 2085.  That from the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.  Max Richtman says there have been a "lot of myths" perpetuated by some politicians.  Richtman says some money was shifted from the main Social Security fund last year to boost the Social Security Disability fund.  He says the perception that the program is on the verge of bankruptcy "colors the view" that people have of the program.  Richtman says some "reasonable" changes would make the program solvent for at least the next 50 years.  He says money has been shifted from the SSI fund to the SSD fund has not been uncommon.  He adds it's been done about 11 times -- both ways -- in the past 20 years.  However... he says there are some simple adjustments that would be made to the Social Security withholding that will keep it solvent.  Both would increase the cap on payroll withholding... which is currently at $118,500.  One would move the cap to $250,000 a year... which he says would extend the solvency to 50 years -- beyond the next 20.  Richtman says there is also a second bill to increase the cap to $400,000.  However... he says whether it goes to either amount... those who would pay that increased amount would also get more SSI benefit when they retire. 

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News Headlines for Apr. 13, 2016

Cattaraugus County boy killed when bicycle is hit by pick-up truck in Ashford...

An 11 year-old Cattaraugus County boy has died from his injuries suffered when his bicycle was struck by a pick-up truck Monday afternoon on Gooseneck Road in the town of Ashford.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the boy -- who has not been identified -- was riding his bike about 5:15 p.m. when he was struck. Officers say he was rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital, where he later died.  Deputies say the driver of the truck, Joseph Flynn of West Valley, has not been charged... but, the investigation is continuing.  The Sheriff's Department was assisted by State Police, and the West Valley Fire Department.


Brocton-native Jason Perdue announces run for State Assembly...

A Brocton-area native, now living in Jamestown, has announced his candidacy for the 150th State Assembly District seat.  Jason Perdue was recently endorsed by the Chautauqua County Democrat Committee to run against Republican incumbant Andy Goodell.  Perdue says he grew up in the area... and, his family knew the struggles of many who are just trying to get by.  He says he's "willing to stand up and fight for everyone."  Right now... Perdue says he feels not everyone is being fully represented.  He works in retail in the immediate Jamestown-area... and, says he sees -- first hand -- the struggles of many in the community.  Perdue agrees more has to be done to create more jobs, and opportunities to enter the workforce.  He says he also supports the $15 an hour minimum wage... which will be phased-in under the new state Budget.  Perdue says Goodell did not support the increase.  He says the increased wage will help the economy.  Perdue adds he will also make it a priority to focus on the current Heroin and opiate drug crisis.


Latest Siena Presidential Poll shows Clinton and Trump still in front in Pres. Primaries in NYS...

A Siena College poll shows former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton leading Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by 10-percentage points among the state's Democratic voters ahead of Tuesday's primary.  The poll shows Clinton favored by 52 percent of likely voters compared with 42 percent for Sanders, down from 55-35 percent in March.  Among likely Republican voters...the Siena poll shows New York City businessman Donald Trump backed by 50-percent, followed by 27 percent for Ohio Governor John Kasich... and, 17 percent for Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  In the March poll, Trump had 45 percent, Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio each had 18 percent and Cruz 11 percent.  The April 6-11 polls of 538 Democrats and 469 Republicans has a margin of error of 4.5 and 5 percentage points, respectively.


Reed engaged as Trump supporters work to get the vote out for Trump on Apr. 19...

The New York state primaries are less than a week away... and, the campaigning is continuing for both Democrats and Republicans.  On the GOP side... local Congressman Tom Reed is one of the co-chairs for Donald Trump's campaign in the region.  Many of the delegates are being awarded by Congressional District.  Reed says his role has been to help get his "broad list" of supporters to vote for the Billionaire developer next Tuesday.  He says they want to make sure they "get people engaged..." and, shape the rhetoric in as positive a fashion as we possibly can."  Reed adds that it's important that the "people" make this decision.  Reed says Trump understands that the economy is a major issue for the upstate New York region... and, that boosting the manufacturing base is important to that.  At the same time... he says Trump wants to pursue fair trade agreements abroad.  Reed says both he and Trump oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement because the U.S. is "not negotiating that to the high standard that we need it to be."


Gas prices up about 1.5-cents this week in Jamestown-area...

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have jumped about one-and a half cents over the past week to just under $2.20 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the price is up from $2.17.7 cents to just over $2.19 a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says the average is based on reports from 19 local service stations.  Triple-A says the price here was $2.59 a gallon this time last year.  The national average is $2.04.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge says the price declined over the week for the first time in nearly two months, though the drop was only about one cent.  Today’s average price is the lowest for this day since 2009.  AAA says pump prices are likely to fluctuate in the short-term as the supply of summer-blend gasoline continues to make its way to terminals nationwide.

 

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WJTN New Headlines

The Jamestown City Council will vote later this month on a resolution allowing the Zoning Board of Appeals to lead the environmental review of a plan by Lynn Development to buy the Sheldon House.  A letter was read at last night's work session requesting that designation.  Lynn is asking for a Zoning Variance to allow the property to be used as a professional office building before buying the Sheldon House from Jamestown Community College.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the vote would not be an endorsement of the sale, or proposed change. Some residents along Lakeview Avenue have already voiced their objection to any zoning change for the property... noting it would change the charactor of their neighborhood.  Councilwoman Marie Carubba... who is a member of the JCC Board... says college officials have concern over the neighborhood, but, adds that keeping the Sheldon House is no a longer viable option.  Teresi says the Cattaraugus County Legislature has already approved letting the Jamestown Zoning Board to the environmental review.  The City Council and the Chautauqua County Legislature would still have to act.

 

A public input session will be held this afternoon on a 5 to 6-million dollar project to make Tracy Plaza more "user-friendly."  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says they're finishing up improvements to the plaza.. and, that will involve creating some green-space on the plaza.  Lehman says they're seeking state funding through the Consolidated Funding Application program.  He says the informational meeting begins at 4 PM in City Council chambers.  Lehman says they're trying to put in some green "vegetation" to enhance the plaza... and, create better water run-off.

 

Two Cattaraugus County residents were arrested last weekend for allegedly running an illegal Methamphetime operation out of a home in Gowanda.  Gowanda Police say they, and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force were called to the scene on Commercial Street shortly before 9 PM Saturday.  Officers say they spotted several materials used to make Meth inside... and, interviewed several people there.  A search warrant was obtained... and, police say they arrested 41 year-old Aaron Diers, and 37 year-old Ryan Pisa.  Both were arraigned in Persia Town Court on one count each of Felony third-degree illegal Manufacturing of Methamphetime... and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 10-thousand dollars bail each.  The state Police C-CERT Team was called in to clean-up the home and remove the hazardous chemicals and lab equipment from the scene.

 

Chautauqua County's new state of the art, emergency radio communications system has been working better than expected in it's first month of operation.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says the system allows police and Emergency Services to communcate point-to-point... and, from one end of the county to another.  Gerace says the new, Motorola system is already a big improvement over the 75-percent coverage they had with their old, analog system. Gerace says it's now a matter of local fire departments getting their systems upgraded.  However... he says there are "gateways" in the new system... which allows them to work with current analog radios fire companies have until they are all upgraded by early 2017.  Gerace credited Matt Trusso, their Inter-Operable Radio Communications Operator, and the Department of Emergency Services for helping to get the system tested and on-line.  Gerace adds this system will also save the county money once the FCC narrows the emergency radio band from 12.5 to 6.25 KilaHertz.

 

The local Red Cross is assisting two adults and three children after a fire on King Road near Forestville late Sunday.  Firefighters from Forestville... Hanover Center... Silver Creek... and, Sunset Bay responded to the blaze around 5 PM at 989 King Road.  According to reports, the fire involved a stove.  There were no injuries, although fire officials say the blaze caused smoke and heat damage inside the home. 

 

With the fact New York's new budget includes 200-million dollar for the new Athenex drug manufacturing plant... plans will soon be rolled out for the facility.  That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says a meeting will be held in the city of Dunkirk a week from Friday on the project.  He says community leaders will be invited to the session with company officials. Horrigan says more details are expected to be released about the facility that will be located just east of the city line in the town of Dunkirk... and, will include the schedule, and types of jobs that will be available.  He calls it a "very exciting" time.  Horrigan spoke more in detail about the plans Monday morning... and, also discussed them on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.  He says approval of the budget line-item was one of two big ticket items in the new, 156-billion dollar New York state budget.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed was part of what he calls an enlightening tour of an off-shore oil and gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico late last week.  Reed... and, six other members of the House of Representatives... were invited by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise to go on the trip... about 200 miles off the Gulf Coast.  Reed says it's important for him to see how the process works... and, those directly impacted by it. In addition to Reed... four other Republicans -- including Bill Johnson of Ohio -- were on the trip.  Two Democrats from Texas also came along.  Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, has led energy tours for his peers since he became a House member in 2008.  Reed says the trip was "eye-opening..." especially hearing from the 140 workers on the oil platform.  He says they know what rules and regulations work, and which ones don't.  Reed and the others also met and talked with industry leaders... and, toured a key oil and gas hub that services the offshore industry. 

 

Republican front-runner Donald Trump says his children will not be able to vote for him in the New York presidential primary because they didn't register in time.  In an interview Monday morning on the Fox News Channel, Trump said his children, Eric and Ivanka, ``feel very, very guilty'' not to have registered, saying they were ``unaware of the rules.''

 

U-S Senator Bernie Sanders is working Monday's roughly 5-billion dollar settlement with Goldman Sachs over mortgage-backed securities into his New York stump speech.  During a rally yesterday in Albany... the Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont senator said ``this is the system that we have to change.''

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WJTN News Headlines

Five teenagers -- four from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly being part of a large fight in the downtown area last Friday afternoon.  City police say the high school's School Resource Officer spotted a large group of people gathering in front of the First Niagara Bank at 417 Spring Street shortly before 3:30 PM.  The SRO saw several people in the group fighting... and, additional police units were called in to assist.  Police say one 17 year-old from Jamestown was arrested on several charges... including obstruction, unlawful assembly, and resisting arrest.  Officers add a 19 year-old female from Rochester was also arrested for allegedly having a large kitchen knife with her.  She faces charges including criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree menacing.  Another 17 year-old and two 13 year-olds were also arrested.  The 13 year-olds were later released.

 

A Panama-area man has been arrested for allegedly trying to attack a social worker... and, threatening a Sheriff's Officer escorting the worker last week.  Deputies say the officer was called to 57-77 Button Valley Road in the town of Harmony Wednesday afternoon to assist the worker... who was performing a welfare check on 59 year-old Randy Lawergren.  Officers say Lawergren allegedly tried attack the worker, and he was arrested for harassment.  He's then accused of threatening to kill the officer and yelling and screaming.  Lawergren was arraigned in Harmony Town Court for two counts of second-degee harassment and disorderly conduct.  He was sent to the county jail on 15-hundred dollars bail.

 

An informational session is being held tonight in Jamestown on the Heroin and opiate addiction crisis by an agency that works with the developmentally- disabled.  The Resource Center will be hosting the informal gathering from 4:30 to 6 PM at the Center's Carl Cappa Building on East Second Street.  Resource Center Spokesman Steve Waterson says several members of their counseling and psychiatric services office will be on hand to talk with people... and, answer questions. Waterson says there will be no formal presentation... nor presentations.  He says they'll have various rooms set up with different staff members that people can stop into if they want to learn more about a particular aspect of the problem.  Waterson says their goal is to help individuals -- and families -- deal with this problem.  If you're attending... you can park in TRC's large parking lot across from the Cappa Building.  For more information... call The Resource Center at 483-2344.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer is introducing legislation requiring a 25-thousand dollar reward for information generated through social media that helps thwart a terror attack.  The New York Democrat tells The Associated Press the legislation will be introduced later this month.  Schumer formally announced the bill at a news conference Sunday.  He says the public should ``say something if they see something, especially on their newsfeed.''  Schumer says current law does not specifically cover tips generated through social media.  The proposed bill would require the Department of State to pay rewards of no less than $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest or conviction in a terror case.  A State Department spokeswoman said the agency was consulting experts and would respond as soon as it could.

 

Most Chautauqua County Democrats decided to back the "home team" in the race for the White House this year.  that from County Democrat Committee Chairman Norm Green... who says the local committee supporter former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in their vote late last week.  Green says U-S Senator Bernie Sanders made a good showing... but, adds Clinton got about 60-percent of the vote.  He says Clinton personally knows people in Chautauqua County... going back to their days in Arkansas when they visited Chautauqua Institution.  Mrs. Clinton held a rally at the Pierce Arrow Museum last Friday afternoon.  Sanders is expected to be in Buffalo tonight... appearing on the UB campus at 7 PM.

 

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise took several members of Congress -- including local representative Tom Reed -- on a tour of the Gulf of Mexico's offshore oil and gas industry.  Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, has led energy tours for his peers since he became a House member in 2008.  Yesterday, he was showing off the industry to seven other congressmen -- five Republicans and two Democrats.  The politicians will visit an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, meet and talk with industry leaders and tour Port Fourchon, an important oil and gas hub that services the offshore industry.  In addition to Reed... Scalise expected to be joined by Republicans Jeff Duncan of South Carolina... Jody Hice of Georgia... Bill Johnson from Ohio... and, Dan Newhouse of Washington.  He was also expecting Democrats Marc Veasey and Gene Green -- both from Texas.

 

Several local elected officials and labor leaders will hold a news conference and rally later today at Dunkirk City Hall to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his support of the new Athenex plant.  They also want to urge him to use a Project Labor Agreement for the project.  First Ward Dunkirk Councilman Don Williams, is helping to organize the event... and, will be joined by Mayor Willie Rosas... several fellow council members and local labor leaders. Williams, who is also with the County's CSEA Unit 6300, says he favors the use of PLAs... having seen one used for the former County Home project in 2004.  He says that project finished on time... and, under budget.  Williams adds they don't cost more, either.  The rally will come nearly a month after the Association of Builders and Contractors Incorporated, Empire State Chapter, held a news conference in Dunkirk opposing a PLA for the Athenex project.  Tonight's event will get underway at 6 PM... and, Williams invites the public to attend.

 

A Buffalo-area man has been arrested for allegedly stealing an excavator from a job site in the town of Hanover this past week.  Sheriff's officers received a report last Thursday that the piece of equipment had been stolen from a job site on Routes 5 and 20 last March 29th.  Deputies say an investigation found that 42 year-old Frank Kiley-the-Third of Angola had allegedly removed the excavator... and, taken it to another location in the Town of Hanover -- without the permission of the owner.  Officers say Kiley turned himself into Hanover Town Court for arraignment on one count of second-degree Grand Larceny and criminal possession of stolen property.  He was then freed on bail.

 

New York state's top cop is stepping down.  State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico announced his resignation late last Friday to pursue ``other opportunities'' that he did not disclose.  D'Amico has spent 35 years in law enforcement, including 17 years at the New York Police Department.  He also served as the chief investigator at the New York state attorney general's office.  He became the leader of the State Police in 2011 after being nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who will also pick D'Amico's successor.  The Democratic governor called D'Amico ``an outstanding public servant'' and said he will miss him both professionally and personally.  Cuomo noted that during his tenure... D'Amico led the State Police through snow storms, hurricanes, prison breaks, a manhunt and anti-terrorism investigations.

 

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News Update for Sat., April 9, 2016

Five arrested in connection with large fight in downtown Jamestown...

Five teenagers -- four from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly being part of a large fight in the downtown area last Friday afternoon.  City police say the high school's School Resource Officer spotted a large group of people gathering in front of the First Niagara Bank at 417 Spring St. shortly before 3:30 p.m.  The SRO saw several people in the group fighting... and, additional police units were called in to assist.  Police say one 17 year-old from Jamestown was arrested on several charges... including obstruction, unlawful assembly, and resisting arrest.  Officers add a 19 year-old female from Rochester was also arrested for allegedly having a large kitchen knife with her.  She faces charges including criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree menacing.  Another 17 year-old and two 13 year-olds were also arrested.  The 13 year-olds were later released.

 

Two men allegedly involved in Dunkirk Cocaine Ring plead guilty in federal court...

Two men allegedly involved in a major drug trafficking organization in the Dunkirk area have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute... and, to distribute cocaine.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Jr. says Javier Pagan, Jr. and Samuel Hernandez entered the pleas before U-S District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford.  Assistant U-S Attorney Michael Adler, who is handling the case, says that between 2013 and June 10th of last year... law enforcement officers had been investigating a drug trafficking organization led by defendants David Jesus Pagan and Rafael Burgos, Junior.  During the investigation... it was determined that the defendants distributed multiple kilograms of cocaine throughout the Dunkirk area. Both Pagan and Hernandez were arrested in June of 2013 along with David Jesus Pagan, Burgos, and two others.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine.

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News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 8, 2016

Lakewood man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a child in town of Mina...

A Lakewood man is jailed without bail... accused of sexually abusing a child recently in the town of Mina.  Sheriff's Deputies say they arrested 68 year-old Ellis Delahoy of Jones Street without incident Thursday afternoon following an investigation by officers... and, the Chautauqua County Department of Child Protective Services.  Authorities acted on a complaint by CPS.  Deputies say Delahoy was arraigned in Mina Town Court on charges of first-degree sexual abuse... and endangering the welfare of a child.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.


NWS Forecaster Aaron Reynolds says small storm dumps 2-to-4 inches of snow, more coming early Saturday through Saturday afternoon...

Much of the snow we received early this morning around the Jamestown-area is gone now that the sun has been out... and temperatures are above freezing.  However... we're not done with Wintry weather for the weekend.  Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the snowfall this morning was 'elevation dependant... with about 4-inches of snow at our West Ellicott studios.  Generally... the area got about 2 to 3 inches.  Reynolds says we're getting a break right now before we get another blast of snow overnight.  There is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday... with between 3 and 5 inches of snow expected to fall across the area.  Reynolds says we'll see more snow over the weekend... but, that will mainly be from snow showers with little or no accumulation.  He says we'll finally see some moderation by next Monday... with rain and temperatures reaching the lower 50s.


Salamanca native seeking Democratic nomination to run for 57th State Senate seat...

A Cattaraugus County native is back in the area... and, has announced that he's running for the 57th State Senate District seat currently held by incumbant Republican Cathy Young.  Democrat Lee Hyson of South Valley says he "fully appreciates" the opportunity to represent the district... and, adds he'll "work hard to promote this important region, and it's interests."  Hyson is a 2005 graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio... and, lived elsewhere the past few years.  He says he brings a different persepctive to the race... adding he has three main issues for the campaign.  One is the need to improve local school resources and funding.  The 33 year-old Hyson says the other two legs of his platfrom for the Fall election is trying to draw younger people -- like himself -- back to the region.  He says the population is declining, and getting older.  The third "leg" is stemming the Heroin and opiate addiction crisis.  He says there needs to be a community response... which includes getting insurance companies to allow addicts who need treatment to get that treatment.


Edwards among regional residents involved in Trump campaign leadership team...

The leadership team for front-runner Donald Trump's GOP Presidential primary campaign in New York has been announced.... and, a former County Executive is among the co-chairs.  Greg Edwards, who is now the Chief Executive Officer of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown, says he's analyzed all of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination, and adds he felt the billionaire businessman was the best choice.  Edwards says Trump is someone who is not entangled in the Washington web, and is willing to try and fix what's wrong there.  He agrees there are challenges facing Trump's campaign in New York because of the tens of millions of dollars that are being spent on media campaigns to "smear" Trump here.  The former Lt. Governor candidate... who ran with Carl Paladino of Buffalo in 2010... believes Trump will score an "impressive" win over Ted Cruz in the April 19 primary.  Edwards and local Congressman Tom Reed are among the co-chairs of Trump's New York campaign.  Paladino and Congressman Chris Collins are among the team's honorary co-chairs.


New "Joe Z" Coffee Shop opens in Jamestown...
The ribbon has been cut on a new coffee shop on Jamestown's southside which has a neighborhood feel to it... yet is ready to serve the downtown area too.  Owner Patty Franco says it's a "dream come true" because she and her husband, and business partner, Tom, live just across the street from the "JoeZ" Coffee Shop at 98 Forest Avenue.  Franco says they're been open a couple of weeks now, and they're had a wonderful response to their new business.  She says they're serving Steadman Corner's Coffee fresh every day... along with tea, and cookies, and cupcakes.  She adds that Tom also makes a "Savory dough" for special dishes... including Tomato soft-side and Egg Pies.  Franco says their shop uses most of the downstairs area.  She says they like the location... adding they're also close to the downtown.  JoeZ Coffee is open Tuesday through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and, from 8 a.m. to Noon on Saturday's.

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WJTN News Headlines

A former Jamestown Police officer has been arrested by federal authorities for allegedly posting a theat on the Jamestown Topix Forum Page against two people.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says that 35 year-old Michael Bush was taken into custody... and, charged with transmitting communication containing a threat to injure the person "of another."  Hochul says the charge carries a maximum of 5-years in prison, a fine of 250-thousand dollars -- or both.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Caleb Petzoldt (Pet-Zoldt) is prosecuting the case... and, says Bush posted the threat on the Topix website back on February 26th.  Bush made an initial appearance yesterday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Schroeder.  A detention hearing is scheduled for April 7th.  Petzoldt says the investigation was conducted by the FBI... and, Jamestown Police Department.

 

The Jamestown Public School District has agreed to hold a public referendum on June 7th... allowing residents to vote on creating a "Community Based" funding initiative for the Prendergast Library.  The school board agree last night to hold the vote... which would provide a new funding mechanism for the library.  Library Director Tina Scott says the they are going directly to the public to fund 850-thousand dollars of the library's 1.3-million dollars for annual operations.  Scott says this would begin next year. Scott says the new "Community-Based" Funding initiative would begin in the year 2017... if approved by voters in the Jamestown Public School District.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says the bills for the Community-Based funding initiative would be sent out by the district, because it has the taxing authority.  He says residents of the school district will also get a bill to fund the library... but, that would be separate from the school district tax bill.  Scott says they have now undertaken a public education program on the referendum.  For more information... call the library at 484-7135.

 

The city of Jamestown's Department of Development has drawn up it's Action Plan for use of more than one-million dollars in federal money to improve housing and infrastructure.  Development Director Vince DeJoy says his department has now released the plan for use of 1.05-million dollars in Community Development Block Grant funding... and, another 255-thousand in HOME monies.  DeJoy says they've boosted funding for "target-area " Rental Rehabilitation to 100-thousand dollars because of landlord demand. DeJoy says they've spent down the monies in Rental Rehabilitation over the years... and, needed to designate more for it in 2016.  He says the biggest chunk of money -- 219-thousand dollars -- will be used for Neighborhood Target Area infrastructure improvements.  DeJoy says there is now a 30-day comment public comment period through early May before City Council votes on the plan next month.  He says there will be more dicussion of the plan... which must be voted on by lawmakers by the end of the month.  At least 70-percent of the CDBG funding must be used for low-to-moderate income projects.

 

More than 70 airports in upstate New York are eligible to compete for a share of $200 million in state funds up for grabs in a new state competition from Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The money will be divided up among the airports that submit the best plans for enhancing safety, improving service or reducing environmental impact.  Cuomo, a Democrat, came up with the idea of a competition to encourage airports to think creatively and submit their best plans for how they'd use the money.  His initial idea, announced in January, was to award five 40-million dollar grants to the winners.  State lawmakers included the competition in the 156-billion dollar state budget they passed on Friday.

 

Dunkirk city and school officials say they're pleased that the new state budget contains 'transition aid' for the north county city and the school district.  However... they will still have to make adjustments.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas praised the work of State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell on having the funding included in the final budget passed last week.  However... Rosas says the city still faces some tough funding cuts.
Dunkirk City School Superintendent Gary Cerne says word of the transition aid came just as the school district gears up for a budget vote next month.  He says they will still have to make reductions before the school board can adopt the proposed spending plan later this month.  Cerne says they are still just over 700-thousand dollars short for 2016-17 on the NRG PILOT payment.  NRG notified the local entities -- including Chautauqua County -- earlier this year that the company intended to reduce its PILOT on the Dunkirk Power Plant by 85-percent In 2017.

 

New York's highest court says courtroom spectators should be prohibited from displaying portraits of the dead during murder trials.  But... the Court of Appeals also says such displays aren't automatic grounds for mistrial, noting depictions can range from small buttons to life-size portraits.  The court said Tuesday in Joel Nelson's case he wasn't deprived of a fair trial when Leo Walton's family sat quietly in the gallery's second row wearing T-shirts bearing his image and the phrase ``Remembering Leo Walton.''  Nelson had appealed his conviction.  Judge Eugene Fahey cited ``overwhelming'' trial evidence Nelson shot Walton and Mark Maldonado in Brooklyn in 2008.  The judge notes photographs of victims when alive generally aren't allowed in evidence because they may ``arouse the jury's emotions.'' He says spectators don't have a First Amendment right to such displays.

 

New York state has banned non-essential state-funded travel to Mississippi after that state's governor signed a law allowing religious groups and some businesses to refuse service to gay couples.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the ban late Tuesday... the same day Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the measure, which supporters say will protect those who have religious objections to same-sex marriage. Opponents to the measure say it's intolerant and will lead to discrimination.  Last week Cuomo, a Democrat, banned state-funded travel to North Carolina after lawmakers there blocked anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people.  In a formal statement... Cuomo said the Mississippi law is a ``sad, hateful'' measure and that he will not allow any official state travel to that state until the law is repealed.

 

A New York health insurer's study shows 10 common conditions like sinus infections and sprains represented more than 2 million visits to emergency rooms statewide in 2013... costing about 1.3-billion dollars.  Excellus BlueCross/BlueShield examined 6.4 million emergency room visits in 2013, concluding many were avoidable with less expensive and faster treatment in doctors' offices... urgent care clinics... or even through telemedicine.

 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has given preliminary approval to banning drones over 1.5 million acres of state game lands after reports of the unmanned craft near bald eagles' nests and drones interfering with migrating waterfowl.  The commission's unanimous decision is scheduled for consideration for a final vote in July.  Officials cited at least five instances in which drones disturbed wildlife during this year's snow goose migration season in the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.  Drones have also been reported close to bald eagles' nests.  Game officials say they presume the drones are being used to take pictures or video, but the devices can spook migrating birds and disrupt their rest and feeding.  The executive director can authorize exceptions to the ban.

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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown School District taxpayers will see a slight tax levy decrease in the 79.1-million dollar budget they'll be voting on next month.  That after the school board last night voted to use additional state aid in the new budget to cut the levy by just over 219-thousand dollars.  School Superintendent Tim Mains outlined potential uses for the nearly 900-thousand dollars in additional aid they'll be getting from New York.  However... administrators first wanted to cover the 650-thousand dollars they were going to use from fund balance and reserves. School Board Vice-President Paul Abbott supported a tax cut... saying that the people of Jamestown are "taxed to the ceiling."  The board voted 6-to-1 for the tax cut with Nina Karbacka voting "no."  Karbacka says she voted to "support out students... in staffing and other areas."  Karbacka was also concerned about future years... and, whether the district could sustain the decrease.  Mains says he can have a revised budget ready for next Tuesday night.  The board is to vote on the new budget Tuesday, April 19th.  The public vote will be May 17th.

 

The investigation is continuing into a car-pedestrian accident Monday in which two 12 year-old girls were hurt while crossing East Main Street in Falconer -- in front of Falconer Central School.  Ellicott Town Police Chief William Ohnmeiss (Oh-Meess) says both girls were students at Falconer... and, the incident occured about 2:45 PM... around the time classes were letting out.  Ohnmeiss says the car was turning left from East Avenue, when the incident occured.  Neither girl was seriously hurt, and both were being treated at WCA Hospital.  Ohnmeiss says there was a crossing guard at the intersection.  He says it's a "very busy" intersection... and, adds it's not clear what led to the accident.  However... no charges have been filed as yet in the incident.

 

The county's Board of Elections is gearing up for the state's Presidential Primary... which is just two weeks away.  County Elections Commissioner Norm Green says the numbers of new voters has gone up by about one-thousand.  But... overall, he says, enrollment is down.  Green says they purged a lot of voters who had not voted in the past 10 years, leading to a net decline. There are over 25,600 Democrats and 24,900 Republicans according to the new enrollment numbers.  Green says there are a couple of ways voters can check to make sure they can vote before Primary Day.  He says you should go on-line to Votechautauqua-dot-COM... and, do a personal voter "check-up" to see if you're registered, and where to vote.  The New York state Presidential Primary for both Democrats and Republicans will be held on Tuesday, April 19th.

 

The just-approved, 156-billion dollar, New York state budget is a "special" one for Chautauqua County -- especially in two areas.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says the first big piece of news is Governor Andrew Cuomo's multi-million dollar line-item to help locate a new pharmacutical plant for Athenex in the town of Dunkirk.  State Senator Cathy Young has called the project a "game-changer" for the county... and, Horrigan fully agrees. In addition... Horrigan says Young and state Assemblyman Andy Goodell were able to get language included in the 2016-17 budget so three entities -- including the county -- can get mitigation funding if NRG follows through on dropping it's Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement on the Dunkirk Power plant by 85-percent next year.  He says 80-percent of the lost payments will also be made available to the city of Dunkirk... and, the Dunkirk School District.  Some time ago... NRG announced that the plant is being "mothballed" after Entergy Corporation announced it was suing the state's Public Service Commission over plans to repower the Dunkirk facility and one other.  That halted both projects.

 

Common Core testing is underway in schools across New York as testing supporters and opponents push to change parents' minds about the exams.  The state's third- through eighth-graders began three days of English language arts assessments on Tuesday.  Education officials say the assessments are new and improved over last year, when 1 in 5 students refused to take them.  In Buffalo... the group High Achievement New York held a news conference to urge parents to have students take the tests as a way to help identify achievement gaps and ensure educational fairness.  Opponents used robocalls over the weekend to remind parents they have the right to refuse the tests.

 

The first-ever 'Farmer Neighbor Dinner' in Chautauqua County turned out better than organizers expected.  Lindsay Eckman of Farm Credit in Mayville chaired the event. Over 150 people attended Tuesday night at St. John's Church in Jamestown.  The keynote speaker was New York's Ag Commissioner, Richard Ball.  He's excited about a new program for the state's farm products called Certified New York. The Betts grape farm in Westfield and the Frontier Brook dairy farm in Cherry Creek were recognized as 'Farmers of the Year'. Media One's Dennis Webster was named 'Friend of Agriculture'. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is pushing for federal approval of his proposal to help caregivers looking after an older loved one... or a parent.  Reed pitched his "Credit for Caring Act" to about two-dozen people on hand Monday at the North Harmony Senior Center.  The Corning Republican says the bi-partisan bill would provide a tax credit for care giving expenses.  Reed says the credit would help lift some of the financial burden of caring for loved ones at home. Reed says it's "the right thing to do..." especially as the Baby Boomer generation ages up.  He says that will produce a "demographic" shift where people who are 65 and over will grow tremendously.  Reed himself has been a caregiver for a family member... and, says he understands how difficult and "invaluable" their work is.  He says the measure has the backing of the American Association of Retired Persons -- or AARP.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone news conference with Southern Tier Media.

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WJTN News Headlines

Three Jamestown men were arrested during a weekend traffic stop for allegedly trafficking powder cocaine in the area.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and state Police C-NET Team pulled over the car... based on their investigation... just after 3 PM Saturday in the town of Ellington.  Samuelson says police seized more than 3-ounces of cocaine... and, they believe the drugs were to be sold in Jamestown.  He says police arrested 30 year-old Brook Patterson... 29 year-old Jonathan Williams... and, 26 year-old Alex Oliveras... and, charged each with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, conspiracy.  All three were arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  If you know of any suspected drug activity... you're asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

Two female students at Falconer Central School were hurt... but, not seriously... when they were struck by a car while crossing East Main Street at East Avenue yesterday afternoon.  Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene about 2:45 PM.  Officers say the two girls were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  No other information has been released at this time.

 

New York State has made some changes in this year's standardized testing for third-through-eighth-graders that begin today across the state.  Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says the English Language Arts tests will be the first one's given... and, he believes the changes are positive.  Mains says the state -- through it's new test vendor -- has made a genuine effort to address the concerns that led thousands of parents to opt their children out of the tests.  He says the questions have been "teacher-tested...." Mains says one of the biggest issues regarding the tests -- and caused the most stress -- has also been addressed.  He says that is through eliminating the time requirment for students to take the tests.  At the same time... Mains says the state tests are needed to help them know how the district is doing in teaching each student the "rich, and rigorous education" that's required of the "Common Core..." or the 21st Century learning standards. 

 

No school district should lose funding if parents opt their children out of the state's standardized testing that begins this week.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who has authored a letter that 18 other members of Congress have signed onto that's been sent to the U-S Department of Education.  It addresses a letter from the department last December that warns of financial penalties to states and school districts where the required number of students don't take the tests. Reed says he continues to hear from parents in the 23rd Congressional District who believe they should have the option of pulling their children out of those tests.  He says his letter reiterates that the department cannot, and should not withhold state funding to schools based on parent's decisions to opt-out their children.  Reed says the department indictated that 95-percent of students in each district must take the tests to receive funding.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with local media.

 

They didn't get all that they wanted... but, the head of the New York State School Boards Association says it's been a "big" year for them regarding the new state budget.  That from Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer... who says the group... which represents local school boards... had initially asked for a 2-billion dollar increase in school aid for the 2016-17 school year.  Kreamer says all local schools will benefit from the final increase. Kreamer says there are two benefits -- in particular -- with the new budget.  First is it increases "Foundation" or base aid -- by 600-million dollars.  The other is it completely eliminates the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment" the state used to "take away" aid to many schools at the time New York was running deficits.  Kreamer adds, though, there are two big items not addressed in the budget they hope will be before the end of the 2016 legislative session.  The first is to break the link between the budget increases... and, renegotiated teacher, and principal evaluations.  Kreamer says the other concern is making the state Tax Cap more "fair and equitable" for local school districts.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a law that will gradually raise New York's minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour.  Cuomo and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton marked the occasion Monday at a Manhattan rally with labor leaders and workers.  Cuomo said the law will grow the state's economy and improve New Yorkers' lives.  Clinton called it ``a great day for our state'' and predicted the movement will ``sweep our country.''  The law also establishes paid family leave for New York workers.  The law gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018 and in some prosperous suburbs by the end of 2021.  The minimum wage would only rise to $12.50 in the rest of the state by 2020, with further increases tied to economic indicators.

 

A long-time, major fund-raiser for the Chautauqua County Humane Society is underway... with a goal of reaching 26-thousand dollars by the end of the month.  The annual "Pennies for Paws" Campaign is underway through April 30th... with a goal of raising 2.6-million pennies.  That figure is up from recent years... and, Humane Society Executive Director Jeff Lubi says it's needed to pay for care of the animals they take in.  Lubi says the effort's been underway for several days now. Lubi says "Pennies for Paws" has been a unique fund-raiser that draws in the kids at local schools to help raise money for the local program.  He says they don't receive a lot of outside funding for their programs... nor their recent capital campaign.  However... Lubi says Jamestown-area foundations have been a big help to them.  The project added a 2-thousand square foot building onto their Strunk Road headquarters.  He says Pennies for Paws continues through April 30th.  The wrap-up will include a Volunteer recognition at the Strunk Road location... as well as a public Open House.

 

There was a winning "Take 5" state lottery ticket sold in the Jamestown-area Sunday.  That from the New York Lottery's headquarters... which reports the winning ticket was sold at Hogan’s Hut in Stow.  Officials say the ticket... which was from Sunday's drawing... is worth 58-thousand-979 dollars.  The Take 5 drawing is won by matching five out of five numbers..  In addition... the lottery says 167 players each purchased winning tickets worth $529.50 by matching four out of five numbers for the drawing.  In total, there were 74,830 TAKE 5 winners for the April 3 drawing.  The winning numbers for the April 3 TAKE 5 drawing were 18-19-21-32-38.

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County  is under a winter weather advisory until 2pm today.  Forescaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says we will see mixed precipitation this morning. Hamilton says there shouldn't be to much to deal with for this morning's commute with the possibility of an additional slushy half to one inch of accumulation possible on local roads. We'll still be cold Tuesday... with highs only in the upper 20s before there's a bit of a warm-up by mid-week.  However... forecasters say expect more snow and below normal temperatures by late week.

 

Three people remain hospitalized for serious injuries following a two-car crash on Routes 5 and 20 in the village of Silver Creek after one of the vehicle was allegedly involved in an earlier accident.  Sheriff's officers say they received a report of a vehicle leaving the scene of an accident shortly before 6:30 last Friday night.  Deputies say they spotted the vehicle traveling east... and, tried to stop the car.  However... the driver -- identified as 54 year-old Jeffrey Thompson of Irving -- accelerated away.  Thompson's car then crossed lanes... and, struck a westbound vehicle.  Officers say Thompson and his two passengers were flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  They adds that the driver of the second vehicle -- 50 year-old Francisco Padilla of Dunkirk and his passenger were treated at Lake Shore Hospital in Irving, and later released.  The investigation is continuing and charges are pending.

 

A plan to raise New York's minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour is getting most of the attention around the country, but there's plenty of other big ideas in a new state budget approved by state lawmakers Friday.  The 156-billion dollar spending plan also contains a plan to allow workers to take paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one and a tax cut for middle-class workers.  For schools, lawmakers set aside nearly $25 billion, which represents an increase of $1.5 billion.  Other details in the budget include more spending on environmental protection and $21 billion for roads and bridge repair.  One thing that didn't make the cut is ethics reform, despite a rash of recent corruption convictions.

 

New York state will spend 166-million dollars to expand and strengthen programs to fight heroin and opioid addiction.  The money is contained in the new state budget approved by lawmakers on Friday.  Lawmakers from both parties in the Assembly and the Senate pushed to increase funds to fight what they say is an epidemic of overdoses from heroin and opiates.  Specifically... the funds will go to strengthen and expand efforts to prevent abuse and addiction and to help users get into recovery.  The total investment was proposed by the Republican Senate majority.  Senate Leader John Flanagan said last month that addiction is a ``huge'' problem throughout the state.

 

Among the final budget bills approved by the state Assembly last Friday was authorizing the transfer of up to 10-million dollars from the workers' compensation fund to implement paid family leave for New York workers.  Some Republican lawmakers complained it's an expense for a new program pushed by Democrats that's supposed to be funded by workers through payroll deductions, the first of many expected surprises.  Democratic Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx, says she and the others in the Majority have been regularly briefed and had their individual questions addressed.  Arroyo says they know what's in the budget proposal, and it's the first time in 20 years they've been able to participate that way.  Speaker Carl Heastie last year replaced ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver, who held the leadership post for two decades.

 

The new state budget includes 500-million dollars for environmental programs including water system upgrades and rebates for electric vehicle purchases.  The budget for the fiscal year that started Friday includes 200-million dollars in additional money for clean water infrastructure improvements and $300 million for the Environmental Protection Fund, a $123 million increase.  The Environmental Protection Fund increase includes money for lead testing in school drinking water, safe disposal of pharmaceuticals, and combatting invasive species.  To decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Fund will provide rebates up to 2-thousand dollars to people who buy certain clean vehicles.  The fund also supports land acquisition, farmland protection, state land stewardship, waterfront revitalization and environmental justice projects.

 

The first elected Hispanic mayor in New York says he would like to see Hillary Clinton become the nation's first woman president in November.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas made it official late last week... announcing his endorsement of the Democratic presidential front-runner.  Rosas made his announcement in a downtown restaurant that was packed with supporters. Rosas says next month's presidential primary is creating a lot of excitement and believes the Hispanic vote could play an important role in determining the winner.  So does County Democratic Party Chair Norm Green... and, he credits Rosas with creating some of the excitement.  Green says that block of voters has become a big part of the Democrat vote in the state -- and here in Chautauqua County.  Hillary Clinton is being challenged by U-S Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  She is expected to be in western New York during the coming week.  New York's presidential primary is set for Tuesday, April 19th.

 

The state's top court is refusing to hear a challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz's presence on New York's April 19th presidential Republican primary ballot.  Plaintiffs Barry Korman and William Gallo maintain Cruz isn't ``a natural born citizen'' of the U.S. as constitutionally required for eligibility to be president.  Cruz was born in Alberta, Canada. His mother was a U.S. citizen living there.  His father is a native of Cuba.  Last week... the midlevel Appellate Division agreed with a trial judge that the challenge over his citizenship was filed too late, missing the statutory three-day deadline.  Cruz filed January 26th at New York's Board of Elections, but the objection didn't arrive until February 17th.  The Court of Appeals without comment has now declined to entertain an appeal.

 

The Maid of the Mist tour boats are back in the water at the base of Niagara Falls.  It's an early start for the popular tourist attraction after a milder than normal winter.  This is the 131st consecutive season for the Maid of the Mist.  The steamship-style boats sail passengers from the New York shore to the bottom of Niagara Falls... where they can look up at the walls of whitewater crashing from above.  Hornblower Niagara Cruises offer passengers a similar ride from the Canadian shore.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 2, 2016

Wintry weather to return to WNY -- and Chautauqua County -- late Saturday into Sunday...

We are not done with Winter Weather yet... cold air from the Artic will move in this weekend... and bring up to a half-a-foot of snow to the Jamestown-area.  The National Weather Service has now issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Chautauqua County... beginning at 5 p.m. today (Saturday)... and, continuing through 5 a.m. Sunday.  Forecasters say temperatures will begin to cool down overnight... and, highs will only be about 40 today... with a chance of snow in the afternoon.  However... Lake Effect Snow and blowing snow is predicted for Saturday night into Sunday... with 3 to 6 inches predicted for the usual Lake Effect areas.  Highs on Sunday will only reach about 26 in Jamestown... to around 30 along the Lake Erie Shoreline.  The more Wintery conditions will be with us through Tuesday.


Five injured -- three seriously -- in two car accident in Silver-Creek...

Five people were taken to the hospital... three for serious injuries... following a multi-vehicle accident on Routes 5 and 20 in the village of Silver Creek.  Sheriff's officers say they received a report of a vehicle leaving the scene of an accident shortly before 6:30 p.m. Friday.  Deputies say they spotted the vehicle traveling east on Routes 5 and 20... and, tried to stop the car.  However... the suspect vehicle failed to stop... and, the driver accelerated away.  The unidentified operator then crossed lanes into oncoming traffic... and, struck an oncoming vehicle.  Officers say three people were flown from the scene to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment.  They adds that two others were taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving for treatement of less serious injuries.  The investigation is continuing and charges are pending.


Teenager arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on plain-clothes SP Investigators in JHS parking lot...

A 13 year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly threatening a plain-clothes State Police investigator with a knife in the parking lot at Jamestown High School.  City police say the investigator -- who was not identifed -- spotted a fight in the parking lot involving several youths shortly before Noon Friday.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the plain-clothes officer approached the group -- and identified himself.  Samuelson says the group then dispersed... but, adds the 13 year-old displayed a pocket knife -- and moved towards the State Policeman.  However... he says the officer was able to disarm the youth... who was reportedly not a student at the high school.  The juvenile was held until City Police could move in an make an arrest.  The 13 year-old faces several charges... including menacing and weapons possession.  His case will be petitioned to Family Court.


State Assembly passes final budget bills Friday night...

The New York State Assembly has given final legislative approval to New York's budget for the fiscal year that began Friday... voting for the last four bills in the package last night.  Speaker Carl Heastie says provisions that will gradually raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, establish 12-weeks of paid family leave for New York workers and cut income tax rates for middle-class filers helped make it the best budget he's seen in 16 years in the Legislature.  The minimum wage increases were approved 97-to-38.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign all the bills, the product of lengthy negotiations between legislative leaders and him.  He advocated the higher wages and family leave, which were advanced by Democratic legislators.  The Republican-controlled Senate voted 61-1 earlier Friday to pass the bill with the wage and leave provisions.


Young, Cuomo tout new budget, especially for School Aid...

The State Senate -- as mentioned -- wrapped up work on the new state budget early Friday morning.  State lawmakers spent much of the night passing budget bills -- after the Midnight deadline.  Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders announced the deal late Thursday night... with Cuomo calling it the best budget New York has had in decades.  While she probably doesn't like everything in the new spending plan... local State Senator Cathy Young tells us that she is pleased with the record $24.8-billion in education aid.  Total state aid is expected to increase for all school districts in Chautauqua County.  Young, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, also announced that the final budget includes $235,000 to fund a study of the potential uses for the former J.N. Adam Developmental Center in Perrysburg.

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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown police have now identified the city woman who was struck and killed by a car on West Third Street at Lakin Avenue Wednesday afternoon.  Police officials say 69 year-old Margaret Thorn later died from her injuries at WCA Hospital.  Officers say Thorn was struck by an eastbound car about 2:20 PM... and, was severely injured.  Police say the unidentified driver will likely not be charged.  However... officers say the investigation into the acccident is continuing with the help of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team. 

 

The New York state budget is late.  Budget deliberations in the state Senate and Assembly blew past a midnight deadline and into the start of a new fiscal year today. The Senate planned to work into the early morning hours to pass the $156 billion state budget proposal. Members of the Assembly, however, are expected to return later Friday morning for final votes. On-time budgets have been seen as an indicator of government effectiveness in recent years, and have been a top priority for Governor Andrew Cuomo. Last year's budget also was late, but only by a few hours. The highlights of this year's budget are a modified version of Cuomo's proposal to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a middle-class tax cut and a program giving workers paid time off to care for a sick relative or new child.

 

A compromise is in the works in the state legislature on a new, minimum wage that includes a 15-dollar an hour wage for New York City within three years... and, a significantly longer phase-in for upstate.  The proposal, linked to the state budget, would raise the upstate wage from 9-dollars to 12-dollars-50 cents over five years.  Further increases to $15 would be contingent on an economic analysis by the state... and, could take several more years to be implemented. With that out of the way... local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says lawmakers are pretty close on other items.  On the financial aspects... Goodell says "they're pretty well agreed to."  However... Minority Republicans in the Assembly... including Goodell... were blasting the budget process Thursday... saying they're being pushed to vote before the new fiscal year begins Friday -- even though they haven't yet seen most of the legislative details.  Democratic Assemblyman Herman ``Denny'' Farrell says many parts of the budget and amounts were known already and the changes simply involve shifting funds that they'll review before floor votes.  However... Goodell says ``We ought to take our time and do it right'' and the state isn't ``going to grind to a halt over the weekend.''

 

There is good economic news for the north county in the new state budget deal.  State Senator Cathy Young said Thursday afternoon that she is "ecstatic" that the leadership in both the Senate and Assembly have agreed to put the 200-million dollars in state funding in the final spending plan for Athenex (Ah-THEE-Nex)... a pharmaceutical manufacturing center that will create 900 jobs in the Dunkirk area.  Young says it was "somewhat of a battle during the budget negotiations" to keep it in.  In fact... she says the Assembly Majority had actually removed the project from the Assembly’s one-house budget at one point.  However... Assemblyman Andy Goodell -- with some help from Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas -- helped get it back in.  He says Rosas has been able to get the Assembly's Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caucus to back the proposal.

 

The budget negotiated by New York's legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo would authorize Medicaid coverage for ``high needs'' state prison and local jail inmates starting 30 days before their release.  Assembly sponsors pushed the plan... saying it would ensure that the inmates can get prescription medications and services to keep them from relapsing and returning.  The legislation authorizes seeking federal approval for the Medicaid change.  The new fiscal year starts Friday.  New York expanded discharge planning last year for inmates getting mental health treatment.

 

A Sinclairville man has been accused of sexually abusing a child in the town of Charlotte.  Sheriff's officers say they received a complaint from the county Department of Child Protective Services of an alleged sexual abuse involving a child.  Deputies say a warrant was issued out of town court for the arrest of 46 year-old Louis Higgs, Junior of Thornton Road.  Officers say Higgs was arrested early this afternoon without incident for first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child... second-degree sexual abuse... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail on 50-thousand dollars cash bail.

 

For the most part... the stronger winds predicted for the immediate Jamestown-area only ended up to be a good breeze at times yesterday.  However... what's coming in behind those winds for the weekend is on the way.  The National Weather Service says we'll have another chance of showers today... but, temperatures will only make it to the upper 40s this afternoon as colder air moves in.  Forecaster Aaron Reynolds says we'll begin to see that colder air by this evening. Reynolds says lows tonight will drop into the mid 30s before rising to the lower 40s Saturday.  But... by Saturday night... another shot of cold air... this from the Arctic... will move in.  Reynolds says highs Sunday will be hard pressed to make 30.  He says -- in addition to the colder conditions -- there will be some "accumulating" Lake Effect Snow.  However... Reynolds says they're not sure -- at this point -- how much snow will accumulate from this storm.  He says the highest snow amounts will be south of Buffalo... and, in those traditional snow belt areas.  The complete forecast follows our news.

 

The new Chief Executive Officer at Brooks Memorial Hospital says she is excited about beginning her new duties at the Dunkirk-based hospital.  The new director... Mary LaRowe... says she's already worked at Brooks for several years now. Chris Lanski chairs the hospital’s Board of Directors.  Lanski says the board is excited about the hiring of LaRowe because of her background "in rural health care... and, being from the community."  LaRowe has more than 30 years experience in healthcare... including a stint with Westfield Memorial Hospital in administration and leadership.  She was most recently president and Chief Executive Officer for the St. James Mercy Health System in Hornell.  LaRowe steps in as Brooks Memorial Hospital, and, the TLC Health Network become partners with Kaleida Health. 

 

A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a significant quantity of marijuana... and, a hypodermic needle.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 34 South Erie Street about 9:30 PM Wednesday on a complaint of a disorderly man.  Deputies say they identified the suspect as 22 year-old Torry Kenny of the Mayville address.  Following investigation... officers say they found Kenny in possession of several bags of pot... and, the hypodermic needle.  He's been charged with criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument... and, criminal possession of Marijuana.  He was issued appearance tickets for Chautauqua Town Court.

 

 

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 10, 2018

(Corrected) A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a bicycle... and, acting suspiciously near a church and the Fenton History Center in the Brooklyn Square area of the city. &nb...

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