News Headlines for Tues., May 31, 2016

NRG Plant to pending PSC comment period on proposal to terminate NRG contact with National Grid...

The state's Public Service Commission says it will terminate the 10-year contract between NRG and National Grid to repower the Dunkirk Generating Station.  That's pending a public comment period... but, it now appears the Repowering project is dead.  That "very disappointing news" from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who confirmed the news earlier today.  Horrigan says the decision was based on three factors... one being the lack of progress on repowering.  Second is a new state Independent System Operator's emphasis on distribution... and, third is the pending lawsuit by Entergy Corporation against the public service commission.  Entergy... which owns a nuclear power plant that's in jeopardy of being closed... sued the PSC over allowing the repowering of NRG's plants in Dunkirk and the town of Tonawanda, near Buffalo.  Horrigan adds that they are thankful that the state will be providing mitigation funds to the county, city of Dunkirk... and, Dunkirk School District to stem the loss of tax dollars.  However... officials for both Dunkirk entities say they are going to have to make major cuts in order to deal with the expected loss of tax dollars from NRG.


Apartment fire in Jamestown extensively damages room wall and ceiling...

Fire has extensively damaged a room and it's contents in an upstairs apartment on Crescent Street on Jamestown's eastside.  City fire officials say crews were called to the scene at 303 Crescent just before 4 p.m. yesterday.  Officials say there was fire damage to a wall and up into the ceiling.  The two adults and two children living there got out safely... and, are being helped by the local Red Cross.  The first floor was vacant.  Fire crews were there until 5 p.m.  No firefighters were hurt.  Officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation.


Kibbe applaudes American's move to view Memorial Day as more than just another holiday..."

A crowd of several hundred people gathered at Soldier's Circle in Jamestown's Lakeview Cemetery following Monday's Memorial Day Parade for the annual service.  The featured speaker was retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant, Doug Kibbe... who is also pastor of the 'Church on the Rock' in Lakewood.  Kibbe says he's seen a turn-around from Memorial Day being 'just another holiday.'  He says there's been a new awareness in recent years of "the sacrifices that our military members are making is emerging."  Kibbe encouraged the audience to be more mindful of the sacrifices veterans have made to "ensure that the legacy of our heroes endures in what has become a sound bite culture."  The Soldier's Circle ceremony is rich in tradition... with patriotic readings, the placement of wreaths, acknowledgement of veterans who've died in the last year, a rifle volley, and raising of the flag at noon.  Music was provided by the Jamestown Municipal Band, the 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums, and two buglers. 


Busti honors fallen veterans with annual Memorial Day Parade and service...

People in Chautauqua County... and, across the United States... paused yesterday to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in word and song.  The Southwestern High School and Middle School Bands provided a patriotic sound to begin Busti's Memorial Day Parade Monday.  The Reverend Roy Ferguson gave the main address at the Busti Gazebo at the five-corners... and, recalled his visit to Washington, D-C, and the Arlington National Cemetery this past March.  Ferguson thought hard about the sacrifices those buried there made... adding "today is a day that we gather to remember and honor those who put each one of us ahead of him or herself."  Keeping along the lines of sacrifice... Ferguson also recalled his father-in-law talking about his decision to join the military and fight in the Korean War.  Monday's program in Busti also recognized the winners of the annual Southwestern Middle School essay contest.  This year's theme was, "How I can make America a Better Place to Live."  The Sixth-Grade winner was Emily Kimball... seventh-grade winner was Marshall Crisanti... and, Benjamin Livingston was the eighth-grade winner.


Horrigan believes all-around county effort will make Web.com tour stop at "the Peak" a success...

Chautauqua County's elected officials are fully on board with again bringing the PGA's Web.com Tour to the Peek 'n Peak Resort in Findley Lake the first week in July.  The LECOM Challenge is set for July 7--10 after county lawmakers approved using $150,000 from the 3-percent occupancy tax to support the tounament.  Lawmakers approved the measure last week unanimously... and, County Executive Vince Horrigan says their commitment is for the next four years... and, LECOM is putting $3-million toward the effort.  He adds they have nearly 500 volunteers set up for that four day period.  Unlike the PGA's old "Nationwide Tour" stop... Horrigan says there is a non-profit affiliate of the county's Industrial Development Agency providing "robust" backing for the tournament -- which will showcase Peek 'n Peak.  He says the Chautauqua County Regional Economic Development Corporation.  More information can be found at pga.com/webcom. 

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Memorial Day Holiday weekend got off to a tragic beginning last Saturday afternoon when a Pennsylvania teen accidentally drowned in Warren County.  State Police in Warren say a 13 year-old boy from Mount Jewitt was swimming with friends in Tionesta Creek about 50 yards south of the Bull Hill Bridge -- about 5 PM -- when the boy went under the water and did not resurface.  Troopers say the unidentified victim was found near the Tionesta Boat Launch in Sheffield.  The boy was pronounced dead at the scene by the Warren County Coronor.

 

More than a dozen post '9/11' heros from Chautauqua County were remember during a commemoration last Saturday morning at Jamestown's Veteran's Memorial Park. Two women from the Blue Star... and, Gold Star Mothers led the more than 100 residents and local officials in "God Bless America" to conclude the 4th annual Blue Star Mothers "Fallen Heros Recognition."  Among the dignitaries was the county's Congressman Tom Reed... urged those at the gathering to "never forget" those who go to war... and, don't come back.   He also said remember those who come back as well. Reed says he learned the meaning of Memorial Day from his mother after his father -- who was a military man -- passed away when he was 2 years-old.  The head of the Blue Star Mother's Lake Erie-4 Chapter, Susan Rowley, thanked the less than one-percent of the population that volunteers to defend their nation.  The Blue Star Mothers gave special recognition to the family of Marine Lance Corporal Mason Vandewark... a Jamestown native... who was killed in an accidental Mortar explosion at a Nevada military base in 2013.

 

Several Memorial Day Parades and services dot the schedule today... with the first parade taking place in Busti at 9 AM.  The procession begins at the former New Beginnings Restaurant Parking lot... and, will wind through the 5-corners to the Gazebo Park for the annual service.  Jamestown's annual parade kicks off at 10 AM on West Fourth Street -- near Baker Park.  The procession goes to Prendergast Avenue... then moves onto Lakeview Cemetery.  Chautauqua County native... and, retired U-S Air Force Staff Sergeant Doug Kibbe will speak at the service at Soldier's Circle.  Kibbe... whose father is a World War-Two veteran... served as a Cryptologic Linguist during his time in the service.  There will also be a parade on Hunt Road... which starts at Southwestern High School... at 10:45 AM.  A service at Sunset Hill Cemetary will follow.

 


The state Division of Veterans' Affairs is reminding New Yorkers over the Memorial Day weekend that the flags of the U.S., New York, military branches, military services and prisoners of war are exempt from sales taxes.  Tax authorities say U.S. flags are fully exempt from state and local sales taxes year-round.  That also applies to Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flags.  Military service flags are those that have been approved by the Defense Department, including Blue Star and Gold Star banners put on display by family of military personnel who died in the armed forces or currently serving.  Certain military decorations, including ribbons, medals, and lapel pins, are exempt from sales tax when sold to active military members or veterans.

 

Fast moving airport security lines at the start of the Memorial Day weekend may bode well for return travelers Monday.  Travelers reported moving quickly through airport checkpoints early last weekend, after authorities opened extra screening lanes, and used bomb-sniffing dogs to give some passengers a break from removing their shoes.  The extra dogs were concentrated at the nation's largest airports, but they were not used for all screenings.  Many travelers still had to observe the usual procedures.  The federal Transportation Security Administration was trying to offer travelers some relief after weeks of slow-moving lines blamed on an increase in the number of air travelers and a shortage of TSA security officers.  A TSA spokesman said the extra dogs would remain well beyond the holiday.

 

New York lawmakers are considering legislation that would limit the amount of prescription opioid drugs patients can get after an initial visit to the doctor's office, part of an effort to curb a statewide addiction crisis.  The bill would allow patients five days-worth of short-term prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and hydrocodone to treat acute pain from procedures such as recovery from surgery.  Patients would need another consultation with a doctor to get more medication.  Advocates say the limit would prevent distribution of unneeded pills that can end up being sold or left for anyone in a household to use.  But opponents... including the Medical Society of the State of New York, say the potential limit would inhibit physicians' ability to exercise their best judgment when dealing with patients.

 

Some New York lawmakers want to mandate that complaints about possible abuse or neglect of disabled or mentally ill people in state care be made first to 9-1-1... and local prosecutors.  Currently, such complaints are routed directly to New York's Justice Center, the agency set up three years ago to protect the more than one-million people in state care.  Supporters of the legislation have questioned how aggressively the Justice Center pursues such cases, and they say getting local authorities involved sooner could help stop abuse and start potential cases faster.  The Justice Center has yet to take a position on the legislation.  Opponents, led by the public employees union, argue 9-1-1 could be overwhelmed with such complaints and that it should be reserved for medical, fire and safety emergencies.

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News Headlines for Fri., May 27, 2016

Authorities say elderly Cattaraugus County man drowned after falling into Allegany River...

An elderly Olean-area man has been found dead in the Allegany River behind St. Bonaventure University in the Cattaraugus County town of Allegany.  State Police in Olean say the body of 83 year-old Robert Granger, Sr. of Allegany, was found shortly before 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.  Troopers believe Granger was on a bike ride, when he rested on a park bench nearby.  They say it appears that Granger fell down an embankment entering the river.. and, he was located a short time later.  Police say their investigation reveals that foul play was not a factor.  The investigation is continuing... and, an autopsy will be performed.


Salamanca man struck by car in accident... driver charged with Manslaughter...

A Salamanca man is dead after being struck by a car on a decommissioned section of Old State Route 17 Wednesday in the Cattaraugus County town of Redhouse.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 23 year-old Watson Cooper was hit by a speeding 2002 Dodge Caravan driven by 19-year-old Cyrus Spruce of Steamburg.  Deputies say Spruce then allegedly fled the scene without helping the victim... and, also hitting two nearby parked cars.  Officers say Cooper was rushed to the Erie County Medical Center... where he later died from his injuries.  Spruce was arrested following an investigation by the Sheriff's Office's Criminal Investigation Bureau... and, he was arraigned Salamanca Town Court, and held without bail on charges of second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault. 


Cuomo plans advertising blitz to education New Yorker's about Zika Virus...

New York state is launching an ad blitz to remind New Yorkers about the dangers of the Zika Virus... just in time for the mosquito season.  Governor Cuomo's office late Wednesday announced what it's calling an "aggressive" campaign involving TV, radio and online ads as well as billboards and bus and subway signs.  Zika is primarily transmitted by specific species of mosquito.  In addition... a growing number of cases in the world have occurred through sexual transmission.  The virus has been linked to birth defects in babies of infected mothers. 


Schuyler says county has Action Plan in place for any possibility of Zika...

Chautauqua County is ready in the unlikely event of a Zika outbreak.  That from county Health and Human Services Commissioner Christine Schuyler... who says they now have a state-approved, local Zika Action Plan in place to deal with mosquito populations that may carry the virus.  But... at this point... Schuyler says they are more concerned about West Nile Virus... and, Eastern Equine Encepholitis... both of which have been seen here over the past few years.  She recommends mosquito bite prevention by eliminating standing water on your property, and using repellant including DEET.  Schuyler says the only Zika situation that's a real concern right now is about people traveling elsewhere... and, bringing the virus back with them.  At this point... Schulyer says none of the county's mosquito pools show the species carrying the disease.  If you are traveling... she says search the state Health Department... and, CDC websites.  Schuyler says the county Health and Human Service Department's mosquito surveillance program is underway... and, adds they are fortunate to have someone with the state's Department that does that work for them.  She adds that the type of mosquito carrying the virus is now on their list.


County lawmakers approve local law allowing Sparkler-type devices...

County lawmakers have approved a local law that will allow the sale and possession of sparkler-type devices in Chautauqua County.  The legislature Wednesday night approved the measure, 17-to-0.  Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel... who sponsored the measure... cited three reasons for approving the measure.  He says the first is local residents can go to Pennsylvania to buy not only sparklers... but, much more dangerous fireworks.  He's hoping the move will keep people from traveling elsewhere.  Secondly... he says fewer of the more dangerous fireworks will hopefully lead to fewer police calls... and, police can better use their time.  Both Niebel and County Executive Vince Horrigan strongly urged adult supervision when sparklers are being used... even though they are not as dangerous as M-80s... Roman Candles... and, others.  Horrigan says he will set a public hearing on the measure in a few days... but, adds he has no problem with allowing sparklers.  Chautauqua County will join a few other western New York Counties... including Cattaraugus... in legalizing their purchase and use.


Duckworth thanks county legislature, others for approving Sheldon House sale...

All three sponsors of Jamestown Community College have now approved the sale of the Sheldon House to Lynn Development Group.  The County Legislature voted 17-to-0 last night in favor of the move after no one from the public came forward to oppose the sale.  There was no discussion by the legislature.  However... the measure had been fully discussed in committee.  JCC President Cory Duckworth express his appreciation to the legislature for helping to move the $250,000 sale forward... and, acknowledged there was some public opposition to the sale.  He called that unfortunate, but, adds there are really good neighbors in that area and they believe the Lynn group will be on as well.   The county legislature's approval follows approval earlier this week by the Jamestown City Council... and last month by the Cattararaugus County Legislature.  Lynn Development plans to use the Sheldon House for business offices... and, continue it as a "community" meeting and reception location. 


Soap Box Derby Sign-Up is today...

The last chance to sign up for the Jamestown Area Soapbox Derby will be held today at Rapid Moving and Storage in Falconer.  Rapid Moving and Storage is located at 1599 Route 394 in Falconer... and, the sign-up will be out front of the business from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Any questions... call John Williams at 664-2508.  The cost is 30-dollars per participant.  The race will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

City lawmakers have approved the Jamestown Department of Development's 2015 Community Development Block Grant... and, HOME Program action plans for 2016.  The unanimous vote took place at Monday night's City Council meeting... and, will bring just over 1.3-million dollars in combined monies to help fund low-to-moderate income housing and infrastructure projects.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the CDBG money will go primarily towards five different areas. DeJoy says they've allocated a little less money this year for the demolition of condemned homes.  He says they still have some money left from a grant they got through the State Attorney General's Office.  DeJoy says with approval of the Action Plan... the proposal now goes to the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development in Buffalo for final approval.  He says that should take place by late Summer or early Fall.  The largest amount of funding... nearly 220-thousand dollars... will be used for the city's Neighborhood Target Area Infrastructure Improvement Program.  DeJoy adds that the HOME Program funding has been increased by about 5-thousand dollars this year to just over 255-thousand dollars.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says tightening campaign finance laws and fighting the heroin epidemic are two of his top priorities as lawmakers near adjournment.  The Democratic governor unveiled a new proposal Tuesday to close a loophole allowing limited liability companies to skirt existing donation limits... and, pump huge sums into political races without much disclosure.  The state Senate has so far blocked efforts to close the loophole.  Cuomo's proposal includes several options for lawmakers, including one that would apply to gubernatorial races only.  Senate Republicans called Cuomo's plan a ``red herring.''  Senate Democrats said the loophole must be closed for legislative candidates as well.  The governor says passing a comprehensive plan to address heroin and opioid use is another priority.  Lawmakers plan to adjourn next month.

 

The local Special Olympics memorialized late, long-time WJTN Morning man Jim Roselle by naming it's annual track and field meet in Jamestown after him.  The first "Chautauqua County Special Olympics -- Jim Roselle Memorial Meet" was held yesterday morning in honor of Jim's long-time commitment to the organization... and, his fund-raising efforts for it.  Local Special Olympics Coordinator Bob Goold hosted the opening ceremonies at Strider Field... where the games were officially re-named. Goold noted that Jim, every year, would be on hand to host the track and field meet for the better part of four decades.  A special banner was unfurled... renaming the games after Jim... and, it included a picture of Jim on it.  Jim's long-time friend and co-host on the Saturday morning "Times of Your Life" program on WJTN -- Russ Diethrick -- also spoke.  Russ talked about how important the event -- and, competitors were to Jim.  More than 400 special athletes were on hand for the event at Strider Field.

 

A quick response by Jamestown firefighters early yesterday morning prevented serious damage to a second-floor apartment on the city's southside.  City Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says fire crews were called to the scene at 84 Victoria Avenue just after 1:30 AM.  Harvey says crews spotted flames in the kitchen area of the apartment... and, had the flames doused in about 15 minutes.  Harvey says no one was hurt.  The people living there were alerted by the downstairs residents.  He says there was only minor damage to a wall.  The cause was reportedly electrical in nature.

 

Gasoline prices in the county have held steady over the past few days... heading into the long, Memorial Day Holiday Weekend.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price has gone up since Monday, May 16th... by 9 cents a gallon.  The puts the average price at just under 2-dollars-48 cents per gallon.  Triple-A says 19 local service stations were surveyed for the average price.  At this time last year... the price locally was 2--93.  The national average is now 2-dollars-28 cents per gallon.  The Fuel Gauge Report says gas prices are at their highest point for the year as we approach Memorial Day... and, the national average has increased for 12 days in a row.  Despite that... drivers remain on target to pay the lowest prices for the Memorial Day holiday since 2005.

 

The mayor of the north county city of Dunkirk is disappointed that Fredonia village officials will no longer be pursuing a combined police facility with the city.  First-Term Democraat Willie Rosas says he believes such a project would benefit both communities... and, adds that that they had a potential site in mind. Fredonia trustees and Mayor Athanasia (Ah-Tha-Naa-See-uh) Landis discussed the issue during a workshop Monday night and determined that having a combined police facility will be too costly.  She cited concerns that included finances.  She says it appears the combined facility will cost about 2-million dollars more than was originally projected.  However... the state has only talked about providing 400-thousand in aid to help.  While disappointed by the outcome... Mayor Rosas says he was pleased that both communities had the dialogue.  He says it means that they are willing to work together to try and do what's "best for both communities."

 

A group of angry U.S. military veterans lined up in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue to say that Donald Trump would make a ``reckless and dangerous commander in chief.''  Monday's protest on the street below his luxurious apartment was led by a Marine Corps veteran, Alexander McCoy.  McCoy accused the presumptive Republican nominee of being ``a fraud'' for saying he collected $6 million for struggling veterans at a January fundraiser.  He says Trump has failed to show where that money went.  A Trump spokesman says the candidate did raise $4.5 million.  About a dozen anti-Trump protesters held up signs, including one that said, ``Vets vs. Trump.''  They said they were being used as props for the presidential campaign, as well as what they called ``props for hate.''

 

A bill that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician has cleared a hurdle in New York's state Legislature.  The proposal would require two physicians to certify the patient's illness is terminal.  Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.  The Assembly's Health Committee passed the bill Monday. It faces significant challenges in the full Legislature... but, advocates hailed the committee's vote as a ``historic'' step.  Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has proper safeguards.  Opponents worry the measure would be abused and say the bill is being rushed through the Legislature without proper study.  Later this year... California will become the fifth state to allow end-of-life assistance.

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The two-year effort to find a suitable buyer for the Sheldon House on Jamestown's northside has led city lawmakers to approve it's sale to Lynn Development Group.  The City Council last night unanimously approved Jamestown Community College's quarter-of-a-million dollar sale to the local developer... which plans to use it their business offices... while continuing it as a "community meeting" location.  City Councilwoman Kim Ecklund says JCC performed it's due-diligence... and, it was time for lawmakers to make a decision. Council President Greg Rabb... who was out of town and unable to attend... sent a letter of support for the sale after much time and thought.  Councilman Tony Dolce served as temporary Council President... and, echoed Rabb's sentiments that Lynn Development has a long, solid history in the city... and, that lawmakers want to see the Sheldon House remains something that remains a "community asset."  Last night's vote was 8-to-0.  The sale must now be approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature at it's meeting this Wednesday night.

 

A second-offer by a Florida man who was reportedly interested in buying the Sheldon House was not considered becuase it was too late to be considered.  However... Lakeview Avenue resident Paul Leone -- who has strongly opposed the sale to Lynn Development -- says he received a call from the man... whom he identifed as Joseph McNeil... late last week.  McNeil apparently wanted the Sheldon House for single-family use... but, initially had bid 225-thousand dollars for the property. However... JCC President Cory Duckworth said college officials had not received the new offer from McNeil until Monday morning through a local broker.  Duckworth says the bid was only 100-dollars more than the one made by Lynn Development.  He adds there are also a number of contingencies within the bid... some of which he says were still "unclear" last night.  Duckworth urged lawmakers to move ahead with the bid by Lynn Development.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is recognizing the sacrifice made by our veterans this week before Memorial Day by supporting several bills up for likely consideration this week.  Reed says the bills have come from discussion over how to prioritize the use of 73.5-billion dollars for veteran's services.  The Corning Republican especially focused on two bills.  The first is the Family Caregiver Act to support family members who are caring for a veteran.
Reed says there are some other bills being finalized that deal with transitional aid to help veteran's dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... and, other issues as they return from active duty.  He says one of those is a Democratic bill coming out of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, which he believes will be approved in a bi-partisan manner.  Reed also urged residents of the 23rd Congressional District to honor veteran's by attending local Memorial Day ceremonies and parades.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

It's a sad day Monday at Panama Central School... and, across Chautauqua County where Steve Swanson's love for music and his talent were felt.  Swanson passed away last Friday night at WCA Hospital at the age of 59.  Swanson... who was known by friends as "Swandog..." was a music teacher at the Panama Central for 28 years.  School Superintendent Bert Lictis says he had known Swanson since he became superintendent in 2001.  In fact... he says Swanson was one of the first people he ever met there. Lictis says Swanson loved everything about music... and, adds that his greatest gift was making people feel good.  He says that was most apparent when Swanson worked with the 4 year-olds in Panama's Pre-K Program.  Lictis says he touched virtually everyone who went to school there in the past three decades.  He says that's one reason why Swanson's funeral will be held at 1 PM Wednesday at the Panama Central School auditorium.  The school will be closed that day for the funeral observance.

 

The local stock car racing community is also mourning the loss of arguably it's best super late model racer ever.  Bobby Schnars was a dominant name in the region for two decades from the mid 1950s to the mid-70s.  The Busti, New York native was atop Stateline Speedway's all-time winner's List with 79, until a few years ago when Dick Barton passed him with his 80th victory.  Local racing Historian Randy Anderson calls Schnars the "Babe Ruth" of Stateline. Schnars was especially dominant from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s... when he won the majority of his feature races... and, Stateline and Eriez Speedway championships.  However... for as good as he was on the racetrack... Anderson says Schnars was "very modest..." and soft spoken about his accomplishments.  Barton probably paid Schnars the ultimate compliment after getting his 80th A-Main win at Stateline... saying he may have the record for feature wins... but, adds that Schnars was still the "King" of the Late Models at the Busti speedway.

 

A Virginia woman escaped injury last weekend when she lost control of her car... and, it crashed on the Chautauqua Lake Bridge on Interstate 86.  Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Kayla Luce was eastbound about 3 PM Saturday when she came upon a slower vehicle in the driving lane.  Deputies say Luce swerved into the passing lane... and, lost control of her vehicle and struck the south side of the bridge, spun around and came to rest in the passing lane.  Luce was checked over at the scene by Emergency Medical personnel... and, refused further treatment.  State Police assisted at the scene.

 

While they don't control the supply side of the bill... National Grid's prices for delivering electricity to local customers will remain at the same levels into 2018.  This following regulatory approval of a plan that will allow the company to continue investment in its networks.  Spokesman Steve Brady of National Grid says current energy delivery prices will be maintained through the Spring of 2018. As a result, the company also will be increasing its capital investment in its electricity and natural gas networks over the next two years to approximately $1.3 billion. The plan does not effect the portion of the bill dealing with supply costs, which are based on wholesale markets conditions.  Brady says National Grid does not profit from the supply side of the bill.   

 

The New York State Police and other law enforcement agencies across the state are launching their annual ``buckle up'' campaign.  State troopers, including those assigned to the detail that patrols the Thruway, will be joining with local and county law enforcement officers across New York to make sure motorists are using their seatbelts as the summer travel season gears up.  The two-week, zero-tolerance enforcement campaign started Monday, and lasts through June 5th.  Police will be looking for drivers and passengers who aren't buckled in properly.  State police say seatbelt usage saves the lives of thousands of motorist each year.

 

An ambitious program to install solar panels at New York's public schools, already off to a slow start, has to recruit a new partner after the financial collapse of one of the nation's largest solar companies.  The New York Power Authority says SunEdison's move into bankruptcy court protection last month means the agency has to find at least one other company to join SolarCity as a contractor for the ``K-Solar'' initiative.  The companies had been given territory as recommended contractors by the authority, with SunEdison to handle work in western and central New York and Long Island.  SolarCity, already the beneficiary of major support from Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration, got the balance of the state, excluding New York City.  Cuomo announced K-Solar, part of his one-billion dollar NY-Sun Initiative, in September 2014.
 

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Three people -- two from Pennsylvania -- were hurt in a two-car crash on Route 83 at Balcom Corners in the town of Villanova.  Sheriff's officers say 31 year-old Guochang Wang of Duncansville was traveling on Route 83 just before 9 AM yesterday when he allegedly ran a stop sign.  Deputies say Wang's car then struck the other car... which was traveling on Route 322... driven by 66 year-old Walter Boldt of Java Center.  Officers say Wang and his passenger, 51 year-old Chunxie He -- also of Duncansvile, were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening.  Boldt was taken to Lakeshore Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, as well.  Wang was ticketed for Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign in Villenova Town Court.

 

A Jamestown man is free on 20-thousand dollars bail following an alleged hostage situation on Jamestown's Southside last Friday night, and early Saturday morning.  City police say 25 year-old Darin Buvoltz locked himself in a room with his 8-month old child at 136 Park Street shortly before 9 PM last Friday.  Officers say he was also allegedly in possession of a shotgun at the time.  Some homes in the immediate area of the stand-off were evacuated for resident's safety.  Following several hours of negotiations... Buvoltz surrendured himself without incident to officers, and members of the JPD SWAT Team.  City police were also assisted by the Jamestown Police Crisis Negotiation Team... Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, and state Police.  Buvholtz was arraigned on charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child... criminal possession of a weapon... and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.

 

The higher education she received... first at Jamestown Community College... is what helped Jessica Goodell find meaning in life after she returned from the war in Iraq.  The 2007 JCC graduate spoke this past weekend to some 780 graduates of the college's Jamestown and Olean Campuses.  Goodell says she had trouble reconnecting with American society after returning from Iraq in the mid-2000s as one of the first two women to be part of the U-S Marine's new Mortuary Affairs Unit. Goodell says she didn't seek help for some time... and, later was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disoder... Major Depression... and, an Anxiety Disorder... to name a few.  She began getting help for that... and, taking classes at JCC.  Goodell says JCC gave her a "clearer understanding of how a goal -- large than the self -- must contain a concept of the common good."  Goodell has since received her Bachelor's Degree from the SUNY College at Fredonia... and, is now pursuing her doctorate's Degree in counseling psychology at the University at Buffalo.  She was one of three people to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards during the graduation at Jamestown.  JCC President Dr. Cory Duckworth delivered the president's address.  He says 60-percent of JCC's 2016 graduates are female... and, 30-percent are the first people from their family to graduate from college.

 

Vice President Joe Biden says that greater diversity in the military, including more women and openly gay soldiers, will strengthen the country's armed forces.  Biden made the remarks at the graduation ceremony last Saturday for the U.S. Military Academy's class of 2016.  More than 950 cadets are receiving their degrees and commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

 

Two more of the men involved in a major drug trafficking ring in the city of Dunkirk have now pleaded guilty to possessing and selling cocaine.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says Rafael Burgos, Junior pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 5-kilograms or more of cocaine.  He says that's punishable by a mandatory minimum 10 of ten yeas to life in prison... and, a 10-million dollar fine.  In addition... Hochul says the other man... Alvin Torres, Junior... pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, cocaine.  He says that carries a maximum of 20 years in prison... and a one-million dollar fine.  Between 2013 and mid-2015... local, state and federal authorities investigated the trafficking organization... led by Burgos, and David Jesus Pagan.  Two members of the ring... Samuel Hernandez-the-third, and Javier Pagan, Junior... have already been convicted and are awaiting sentencing.

 

Dunkirk city officials are looking into the availability of federal funding to help with economic development efforts should the NRG plant close on a permanent basis.  That from Mayor Willie Rosas, who met late last week with representatives of the Appalachian Regional Commission... including Co-Chair Earl Gohl.  Rosas says there is grant funding that's available to communities such as Dunkirk with coal fired power plants that are closing across the nation. While the city of Dunkirk is in line for transition aid from Albany, the funding is only available on a short-term basis.  Rosas says the federal funding would help the city diversify its economy.  He says the city would have to apply for federal assistance... which he says is competitive.  The Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board is assisting with the process among others.  Rosas is also asking for any other groups that would like to help out to contact his office at City Hall. In another development... Mayor Rosas confirms that he had a brief meeting with the Village of Fredonia on the concept of a combined police.  A representative of the New York Department of State attended the session and discussed the possibility of study.  Fredonia officials say they want more information on the study first.

 

An antiques dealer from Cattaraugus County, convicted of trafficking in elephant tusks and other prohibited wildlife, has been fined 30-thousand dollars in federal court.  The U.S. attorney's office says 78-year-old Ferdinand Krizan of Franklinville was sentenced Thursday in Buffalo for illegally buying and selling tusks.  The owner of Fred's Antiques bought two elephant tusks from a Canadian auction house in 2013... and, illegally brought them into the U.S. via the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls.  Prosecutors say he later sold the tusks and four others to a buyer in Massachusetts for 50-thousand dollars.  In all... Krizan bought and sold tusks and ivory carvings worth nearly 142-thousand dollars.  Officials say as part of Krizan's plea he'll also abandon about 100 pieces of elephant ivory carvings.

 

New York state is making a new investment in helping first responders train for oil fires.  The state will use 500-thousand dollars in federal funds to purchase a ``live fire'' training prop to help fire fighters and other emergency personnel learn how to respond to crude oil fires.  It is part of a broader effort to prepare for possible accidents involving oil shipping by rail or boat.  The money will go to the New York State Academy of Fire Science, which trains more than 6,000 first responders each year.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced the funding decision on Friday.  The administration says other efforts to address the risk of oil trains include regular inspections of rail cars and track and joint preparedness planning by state, local and federal officials.

 

 

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown Police arrested two city men Thursdsay afternoon after they were found with a large quantity of Heroin. Police report that an ongoing investigation into sales and trafficking of illegal narcotics led investigators to apartment 1 of East 4th Street just after 1:20pm where 61 year old Juan Garcia Pinto and 53 year old Jose Diaz Solis were allegedly found to be in possesion of 120 bags of Heroin, cash and a shotgun. Both were taken into custody on a charge of third degree posession of a controlled substance.

 

The primary actor in the August 2014 murder of a Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra violinist spend 25 years in federal prison once he completes a 25-years to life sentence in his state murder case.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced Thursday afternoon that 45 year-old Jonathan Conklin of Sherman received the added 25 years in U-S District Court in Buffalo for federal carjacking.  Conklin and his accomplice... 32 year-old Charles Sanford... pled guilty to the local, second-degree murder charges in the shooting and stabbing death of 61 year-old Mary Whitaker.  Hochul says Sanford received 15 years for unlawful possession of a firearm... and, conspiracy to transport a stolen vehicle in interstate commerce.  Hochul says Whitaker "represented the best of our community.  While the defendants' cowardly actions may have taken her life, they will never extinguish her generous and caring spirit which continues to live on in all who knew her."  Sanford will be sentenced on his local charge in Chautauqua County Court this morning.

 

A Brocton man has been arrested for allegedly making Methamphetime... and, a large quantity of Meth oil in his apartment.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 28 year-old Aaron Clark earlier this week on an arrest warrant issued out of village court.  Task Force members say the raided the upstairs apartment at 96 Central Avenue about Noon Wednesday... and, found materials used to make Meth, and the oil.  However... task force members say some items had to be destroyed because they were so toxic.  Agents say Clark was arraigned on one count of third-degree unlawfully manufacturing methamphetime.  They add that the Meth oil will be processed at a laboratory... and, then an additional charge of second-degree criminal possession of Methamphetamine will be placed against Clark.  After arraignement... he was sent to the County Jail on 20-thousand dollars cash bail.  Task Force members continue to ask residents to report any suspicious narcotics related activity by calling them at 1-800-344-8702... or 363-0131.

 

The first-ever, one-day Business Expo in downtown Jamestown is being viewed as a huge success.  The event at the former Artone Manufacturing plant in Brooklyn Square drew some 60-plus businesses in the Greater Jamestown-area to learn more about each other.  The expo was put on by the Lynn Development Group... the city of Jamestown.... and, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  Lynn Development Founder Gary Lynn says his son's now run the business... and, says they've taken off with it. Lynn says his partner... Jason Span (Spain) was also involved in putting the "business to business" expo together in about two-weeks.  Gary Lynn says he started the business as Allied Fire Protection in 1975... and, it later evolved into what's now Lynn Development Group.

 

In addition to hosting the Jamestown Business Expo... Lynn Development was also showing off the former Artone Manufacturing plant to a New York City developer looking to start up a solar energy business.  Gary Lynn says they've been looking bring new entreprenuers to the Jamestown-area to use places like the Artone building... which they now own.  Lynn says he met the unidentified developer a while ago. Lynn says the principle owner is a man who immigrated from Hungary about 30 years ago... and, he's been looking for a smaller city-area to develop his invention.  He says the creator of the "Solar Booster" has already been offered a lot of money to go elsewhere.  Lynn says he and his group have been taking the investor around to meet local leaders during the course of the day Thursday.  He says he wanted to bring them to Jamestown to see the facility... and, what the city offers.  Lynn says they envision employing about 50 people to start with.  Details and logistics have yet to be worked out.

 

Local community leaders and elected officials got a better idea Thursday about the Athenex manufacturing facility that will be located in the town of Dunkirk and the types of jobs that will be offered.  Senior Vice-President of Corporate Development and Legal Affairs at Athenex, Teresa Bair, was among the speakers who took part in a presentation held by the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation's Local Economic Development Committee.  Bair says skills and training will be important for many of the production jobs at the plant. Bair expects many of the jobs will include production operators, production mechanics, warehouse associates and laboratory technicians.  Bair, who is the first company official to discuss the project since Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement in Dunkirk earlier this year, says the hiring process will begin well before the start of production.  Bair took part in the presentation that also featured Michael Fancher of SUNY Polytechnic Institute and County Executive Vince Horrigan.  Officials would not give a specific timeline for project.  About 75 people turned out for the event held at the SUNY Fredonia Science Center.

 

The Jamestown Community College board of trustees have approved a 33.6-million dollar, 2016-17 budget, that cuts spending by 6-percent.  JCC President Cory Duckworth says the spending plan was approved at the board's meeting this past Tuesday.  Duckworth says the 6-percent cut reflects operating budget "efficiencies" as well as personnel reductions that include retirements and vacant positions that will not be filled.  He says "JCC is not alone in facing an enrollment decline."  Duckworth adds the budget includes a state aid amount of 2-thousad-697 dollar per Full-Time Equivalent... which is up slightly from the 2015-16 budget.  Officials say full-time New York resident tuition will increase by $55 to $2,315 per semester.  The out-of-state tuition rate will be $4,630 per semester.

 

Two local firefighters have been given prestigious local awards from WCA Hospital for being top Emergency Medical Technicians in the Jamestown-area.  Jamestown Fire Lieutenant and EMT Donald Mowery was given the Lisa Heath Memorial EMT of the Year Award during this week's ceremony at WCA Hospital.  Mowery trains and re-certifies EMT's for the city department.  He says he's both "honored and humbled" by the award. Mowery also called the award "special" because he and Lisa Health were good friends in High School... and, went through early EMT training together.  The other award winner was Cassadaga Fire Chief Terri Penhollow... who is the first woman fire chief ever in the county.  She has also been involved in EMT Service for the past 26 years.  Penhollow was given the Denny Skeels Distinguished Service Award during a ceremony at WCA earlier this week.  Penhollow was unable to attend... so, fellow EMT Laura Logan accepted the award on her behalf.

 

New York health insurers have proposed premium increases averaging 17 percent for next year in the market for individuals and 12 percent for small groups.  The Department of Financial Services often reduces proposed increases before approving them.  Approved rates are expected in early August.  The amounts posted Wednesday by the department are averages for an insurer's various plans, including those offered on the New York Health Exchange.  In the individual market... they range from 6.1 percent by MVP Health Plan and HealthNow New York to 89.1 percent by Crystal Run Health Plan.  The small groups proposals range from 5 percent for Healthfirst Health Plan to 61.9 percent for Crystal Run.  The New York Health Plan Association says the higher premiums are necessary for the financial stability of New York's market.

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WJTN News Headlines

The main actor in the August 2014 murder of a violinist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra has been sentenced to the maximum in state prison for second-degree murder.  Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 45 year-old Jonathan Conklin of Sherman was given an indeterminate term of 25 years to life by County Court Judge Richard Kloch (Clock) in the death of 61 year-old Mary Whitaker.  Swanson gave full credit to former District Attorney David Foley... who originated the case. Swanson also thanked the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office... and, it's Forensic Investigation Team for their efforts at the Sherman-area crime scene... and, tracking down Conklin and co-defendant Charles Sanford a short time later.  Both men were found with Whitaker's stolen vehicle in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Swanson says... with the fact Conklin faces 15 years in his federal case related to the murder... he will be a very old man if he's ever released.  Sanford will be sentenced in County Court in his case this coming Friday morning.

 

Jamestown police are asking for the public's help in finding two men allegedly involved in a "brutal assault" against another city man early this past Monday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the incident occured just before 2:30 AM on a pathway betwen North Main and Institute Streets.  Samuelson says the pathway ran along the Chadakoin River.  He says -- for investigative purposes -- details of the assault are not being released.  However... due to the nature of the crime... Samuelson says they believe that one -- or both of the suspects involved may have disclosed to others what happened.  The victim was treated at WCA Hospital and released... but, will require follow-up treatment.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call JPD at their confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  

 

Four Jamestown residents were arrested following a traffic stop early Tuesday morning that uncovered a drug "trifecta" for police.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says patrol officers pulled over a car on Stowe Street -- at the intersection with East Second Street -- shortly before 4 AM for failing to signal a turn.  Samuelson says their investigation turned up quantities of a number of drugs. Samuelson says they allegedly found two passengers -- 27 year-old Joshua Berg... and, 22 year-old Jacob Trippy in possession of Methamphetime and cocaine.  He says another passenger... 34 year-old Tiffany Mahony... had more than 73-grams of pot in her possession, along with Meth, cocaine, suboxone strips, and some Heroin.  Samuelson says the driver... 32 year-old Michelle King... was allegedly in possession of a quantity of Meth... and, faces multiple vehicle and traffic charges.  She was released on bail.  The other three were being held pending a preliminary hearing.  If you have any information on alleged drug trafficking... call JPD at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

Four people -- three from Jamestown -- have been arrested for marijuana possession during a traffic stop on Route 60... just north of Jamestown... late last week.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over the vehicle... driven by 19 year-old Karla Fontanez... for a traffic violation.  While speaking with Fontanez and the other occupants... troopers noticed a smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  They then searched Fontanez... and 24 year-old Angel Roman... and, 25 year-old Christian Nazario of Jamestown... and, 21 year-old Jose Torres Perez of Puerto Rico.  They were allegedly found in possession of several marijuana cigarettes... a pipe containing marijuana residue... and, a bag containing a small amount of marijuana.  All four were arrested... and, issued tickets for unlawful possession of marijuana for Ellicott Town Court. Nazario was then turned over to Jamestown Police due to an outstanding warrant for unpaid parking tickets.

 

The state Senate's Republican majority has released a list of 35 recommendations for addressing New York's Heroin and opioid epidemic.  The proposals announced Tuesday are the result of two years of work by a Senate task force created to study the rising rates of addiction and overdose throughout the state.  State Senator Cathy Young is a member of the panel.  Fellow Republican Rob Ortt of Niagara Falls, who is the panel's co-chairman, says the recommendations include suggestions from addiction experts, physicians, law enforcement and even addicts and their families.  Specific proposals include efforts to prevent prescription drug abuse, enhanced educational outreach in public schools, insurance regulations to make treatment more affordable, tougher penalties for heroin dealers and expanded treatment options.  Senators say they hope to pass each proposal this year.  The state budget includes $166 million in funding to fight opioid addiction.

 

The mayor of Fredonia says she is still keeping an open mind... but, admits it's looking more likely that the village will be going on its own rather than joining the city of Dunkirk with a combined police facility.  This following a workshop meeting the village board held last night on the issue.  Dr. Athanasia Landis says that she and village trustees still have a lot questions about a joint facility. The village has not completely shut the door on a combined facility.  Dr. Landis says she will be attending another meeting today with Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas, and a representative of the state Department of State.  But... she says she needs more answers before saying yes to a joint facility.  The village is still looking at a proposal to relocate its current police station out of village hall.  A committee appointed by Landis is currently looking at a list of potential locations.

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have gone up about six-cents a gallon the past couple of days after showing little change earlier in the week.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the local price was 2-dollars-39 cents last week.  The Fuel Gauge says the 19 service stations they surveyed at the beginning of the week showed an average of 2-38.8 Monday.  However... most stations are now showing a price of 2-dollars-45 cents at mid-week.  Triple-A says the average national price is now 2--22 a gallon for self-serve, regular.  The national average price increased slightly over the past week, and it is likely that prices are heading for a new 2016 high.  Gas prices are rising due to more expensive crude oil costs brought about by wildfires in Canada... and, supply disruptions in other oil-producing countries. 

 

The Ellicott Town Board will review and act on bids for repair work to part of the roof on the town's Highway Garage in Falconer during a special meeting today.  Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says the meeting will take place at 12 Noon today at the Town Hall.  Erlandson says board members will review the bids... and, make a decision on who to award the work to during this construction season.


 

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News Alert! for Wed., May 18, 2016

JPD asking for public's help in finding two suspects involved in "brutal assault" early Monday morning...

Jamestown police are acking for the public's help in finding two men allegedly involved in a "brutal assault" against another city man early this past Monday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the incident occured at 2:27 a.m. on a pathway betwen North Main and Institute Streets.  Samuelson says the pathway ran along the Chadakoin River.  He says -- for investigative purposes -- details of the assault are not being released.  However... due to the nature of the crime... Samuelson says they believe that one -- or both of the suspects involved -- may have disclosed to others what happened.  The victim was treated at WCA Hospital and released... but, will require follow-up treatment.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call JPD at their confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  

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WJTN News Headlines

In what was the largest voter turn-out in many years -- and may have even set a record -- the Jamestown School District's 2016-17 budget was overwhelmingly approved.  And... a past school board member was voted back onto the panel -- in a write-in vote.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says he was very pleased by resident's approval of the 79.1-million dollar spending plan, 757-to-207. The past school board member is Joe Pawelski... who decided not to run again for the panel after several terms in 2008.  He was second in the board tally with 638 write-ins... and, wins the seat being vacated by current Board President Joe DiMaio.  Mains believes the huge voter turn-out was directly related to DiMaio's decision... and, the need for leadership and stability on the board.  Board incumbant Patrick Slagle was leading vote-getter in Tuesday's election with 851 tallies.  A second proposition to lease-purchase seven new buses for up to 930-thousand dollars was also adopted overwhelmingly, 772-to-191.

 

Both Joe Pawelski and Patrick Slagle say they are honored and humbled by the vote totals they received in Tuesday's board election.  Pawelski was especially impressed by the voter support he received after waging a write-in campaign after Joe DiMaio decided it was time to step down from the board after the end of the current school year. Pawelski received more than 600 votes on the write-in line... while Slagle was leading vote getter.  Finished third in the vote was Jeffrey Yeates... who received 258 votes... and, another newcomer, Todd Rushforth, was fourth with 198 tallies.  Even though he withdrew from the race... Joe DiMaio was still on the ballot, and received 101 votes.

 

Residents in the Southwestern Central District have also overwhelmingly approved a 26.6-million dollar budget by a better than 5-to-1 margin.  District officials say the vote was 287-to-56.  A 290-thousand dollar transportation proposition was also approved easily, 287-to-53.  Incumbant School Board member Bill Burk received 286 votes.

 

In Falconer... the nearly 22.4-million dollar, 2016-17 budget was approved by more than 150 votes.  The final tally was 182-to-27 for a spending plan that included no tax increase.  School Board member Jamie Zaranek was re-elected, unopposed.

 

In Bemus Point... district residents approved a just over 14-million dollar budget 162-to-63.  A 225-thousand dollar bus proposition was also approved, 176-to-50.  Both incumbant Barry Swanson and newcomer Brian Whalen were elected to the school board.  Whalen had 205 votes... Swanson, 200.

 

In Sherman... voters approved a 9.6-million dollar spending by a 130-to-41 margin.  They also approved a 360-thousand dollar transporation measure, 129-to-40.  Jennifer Ferraira won a school board seat with 149 votes... while Gary DeLillis also got one with 112 votes.  Robert Head was third with 67 votes.

 

The Frewsburg Central School Budget Passed 167-50.  Proposition 2 regarding bus purchases also passed 172-47. Proposition 3 regarding establishment of capital improvements also passed 167-50.  John Spacht, Polly Hanson, and Randle Wiltsie were all elected to the board of education.

 

Panama School district voters have also overwhelmingly approved their budget... a 13.15-million dollar spending plan, 104-to-19.  In addition...  school board incumbant Donald Butler was re-elected with 107 votes.

 

Voters in the Cassadaga Valley School District also overwhelmingly approved the 20.1-million dollar budget, 162-to-20.  A 330-thousand dollar transportation proposition was also approved, 168-to-14.  Marcus Clark was re-elected to the Cassadaga Valley School Board with 170 votes.

 

Brocton district voters approved the 2016-17 budget plan, 227-to-79.  They also voted Michael Riforgiato to the school board with 202 votes... and James Rizzo, Junior was second with 158 tallies.  Todd McFadden was a close third with 154 votes... and, Kevin Weaver was fourth with 97 tallies.

 

Voters in the Pine Valley District approved a 15.6-million dollar budget, 142-to-49.  A 315-thousand dollar bus proposition was approved 149-to-45.  All four candidates running for the school board, Lawrence Zollinger... Patricia Krenzer... Jeffrey Chase and Rose Kruszka were elected.

 

At Chautauqua Lake... residents approved a 21.4-million dollar spending plan, 203-to-90.  Kim Weborg-Benson and Ken Shearer were re-elected to the school board.

 

The age to legally buy tobacco and e-cigarette products in Chautauqua County will increase to 21 at the beginning of next October.  County Executive Vince Horrigan announced yesterday that he has signed a local law increasing the purchase age from 18 to 21.  Horrigan says the measure was passed by a "supermajority" of county legislators -- 13-to-6 -- last month.  He adds that he received a lot of comments... both for and against... during and prior to last week's public hearing. While he understands local business arguments against raising the age to 21... Horrigan says the evidence of the health risks and addictive nature of smoking are undisputable.  He understands there will be some business loss... but, says the scales were tipped when he looked at the plus-side of signing the measure... mainly because of the legislature's overwhelming approval... and, strong testimony in favor of the higher age.  Horrigan adds that it's true that 18 to 20 year olds will go to other counties... or Pennsylvania... to buy cigarettes.  However... he says he also believes that surrounding counties -- and nearby states -- will soon begin adopting similar laws.

 

Fire has extensively damaged a house and attached garage at a single-family home in the village of Falconer.  Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says his crews were called to the scene at 519 Central Avenue shortly before 4:30 AM Tuesday morning.  Upon arrival... Piazza says they found heavy fire coming from the garage area of the home. Piazza says they had the blaze under control in within 45 minutes.  But... he says there was heavy damage to several areas of the home.  Piazza tells us they were joined at the scene by several mutual aid crews... including Jamestown... Kiantone... Gerry... Kennedy... and, Ellery Center.  He says the Jamestown Board of Public Utililties and National Fuel Gas were called in to shut-off electric and gas services.  The local Red Cross is helping the family.  The mother and a son were home at the time... but, got out safely... and no other injuries were reported.  The cause is under investigation... but, Piazza says it appears accidental.

 

Three people were hurt... but, not seriously... in a two-car, head-on crash on Route 83 in the north county town of Villenova.  Sheriff's officers say the accident occured just after 1 PM Monday when a northbound vehicle -- operated by 39 year-old David Doner of Conewango -- crossed the center-line.  Deputies say his car then struck an on-coming car... driven by 51 year-old John Korbar of Helox, Texas.  Korbar and his passenger... 73 year-old Sandra Korbar of Gowanda... and, Doner... were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  Doner was issued a traffic ticket for failure to keep right.

 

 

 

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News Headlines for Tues., May 17, 2016

Flames heavily-damage house in village of Falconer...

Fire had extensively damaged a house and attached garage at a single-family home in the village of Falconer.  Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says his crews were called to the scene at 519 Central Ave. shortly before 4:30 a.m.  Piazza says the garage was heavily engulfed in flames on arrival... and, the flames had started moving into the home.  He says fire crews were able to make an interior attack... and, had the blaze knocked down in about half-an-hour.  They were joined at the scene by Jamestown... Kiantone.. Gerry... Kennedy... Fluvanna and Ellery Center.  The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and National Fuel were called to the scene to turn-off utilities... and the Red Cross is helping the family.  No one was hurt.  The cause is under investigation.


Hinsdale man arrested for alleged series of car break-ins and property thefts...

A Cattaraugus County man is jailed on $15,000 bail for allegedly breaking into several cars and other vehicles over the past week in the town of Hinsdale.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they arrested 39 year-old Daniel Wilson of Hinsdale after officers spotted him walking on Route 16 shortly before 7 a.m. last Saturday.  Officers say they allegedly found Wilson in possession of property stolen in the break-ins... as well as burglar's tools.  Deputies were assisted by State Police in Machias... and, people missing any items are asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 938-9191.  Wilson was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of stolen property, petty larceny, and criminal possession of buglary tools.  He was then sent to the Cattaraugus County lock-up.


City Council to consider sale of Sheldon House by JCC to Lynn Development next week...

The Jamestown City Council will vote next Monday night on whether to allow Jamestown Community College to sell the Sheldon House to the Lynn Development group.  Council's Finance Committee last night voted in favor of the approximately $250,000 sale... over the objections of a representative of a Lakeview Avenue neighborhood improvement group.  Paul Leone again voiced his concerns over what may happen in the future if professional offices are allowed.  Leone says there are "many formerly grand houses that have been cut up into ugly apartments," and... "it's sinful, it's awful what's happened to that street."  However... proponents of the sale -- including JCC officials -- say they tried to market the property for two years... with little success.  College President Cory Duckworth went before city lawmakers last night... and, says they took the area around Lakeview Avenue, and Falconer Street, into consideration.  Duckworth says they also wanted to see the buyer continue the Sheldon House's "community use."  A representative for Lynn Development says the company plans to renovate... and, upgrade the Sheldon House... which officials acknowledge has fallen into disrepair in recent years.  Duckworth says JCC can no longer to justify spending the money needed to keep up the facility.


Falconer also among school districts to vote on budget, and school board seats today...

The Falconer Central School district -- like most other Chautauqua County districts... is looking at a zero-percent tax increase in the 2016-17 budget proposal.  That from School Business Manager Brent Agett... who the $22.4-million spending plan is up for a vote today.  Agett says it includes no change in the tax levy... due mainly to an increase in state aid.  He says that helped offset increase in some areas -- namely health insurance costs.  But, he says the rate locally went up minimally for them, and others in a local consortium.  As for state school aid... Agett says that was a big help... especially elimination of the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment."  He says that restored nearly $300,000 to Falconer's aid.  Agett says they also got an increase in their Founation Aid.  He says there are no other propositions on the ballot this year.  There's one school board seat up for a vote Tuesday.  But... Agett says incumbant Jamie Szaranek is the only name on the ballot.  Voting at Falconer Central runs from 2 to 8 p.m. today in the Falconer Gym Foyer.


School budget votes, and board elections across Chautauqua County, and NYS today...

Residents of Chautauqua County's 18 school district go to the polls today to vote on budgets, propositions, and school board members.  The first votes in the immediate Jamestown-area are being cast in the Southwestern Central District... where the polls opened for two hours of early voting at 7 a.m. on a $26.6-million spending plan.  School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says the second part of voting hours is from 2 to 9 p.m.  There's also a $290,000 transportation proposition... and, school board member William Burk is running unopposed.
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In Jamestown... district residents will decide on a $79.1-million spending plan that cuts the tax levy by $219,000.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says there's also a proposition to lease-purchase seven new buses for up to $930,000.  School Board incumbant Patrick Slagle is on the ballot... along with Board President Joe DiMaio.  However... DiMaio withdrew his name from consideration last week.  Two newcomers... Todd Rushforth and Jeffrey Yeates... are also on the ballot.  We also understand there is a write-in campaign for past board member Joe Pawelski.  Voting is from 12 to 9 p.m.


State legislators looking at proposed Pension Stripping Legislation...

Negotiations over a proposal to strip pensions from corrupt lawmakers continue in Albany -- though broader ethics reforms are going nowhere despite recent scandals involving top lawmakers.  The Senate and Assembly disagree on the details of a proposed Constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would allow judges to revoke convicted lawmakers' pensions.  Both sides hope to find agreement before lawmakers adjourn their session next month.  The measure would have to be approved again next year to go on the ballot.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown teenagers have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a maintenance building at Lakeview Cemetery... and, stealing a four-wheel Gator vehicle.  City police were called to the scene at 907 Lakeview Avenue about 7:30 last Saturday night.  Officers saw that the building had been forcibly entered... and, that the John Deere vehicle had been taken.  They found the two 17 year-olds a short time later with the vehicle on Winsor Street -- near Price Street.  Officers say one teen was quickly taken into custody... while the other fled on foot.  However... he was also apprehended -- with the help of witnesses -- minutes later.  Both were arrested for third-degree burglary... third-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and, criminal mischief.  The boy who fled was also chared with obstruction.  Both teens were jailed pending arraignment.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trying to flee from police... then fighting with arresting officers early Saturday morning.  City police say a patrol officer was in the area of 316 Stowe Street shortly after 1 AM... when he spotted a suspicious person in a yard.  Officers say the patrolman investigated, and questioned the man.  However... the suspect refused to talk, and then ran into a nearby house.  The officer tried to stop the suspect... who then allegedly fought with the policeman.  A second officer then came to assist... and, the man gave a phony name.  He was arrested, and police learned he was Kevin Klemens -- and, that there was an active bench warrant for his arrest.  Klemens was arraigned on charges of resisting arrest, false personation, and second-degree obstruction... and, sent to the county jail on one-thousand dollars bail.

 

Former New York Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is asking to remain free pending appeal of his criminal conviction.  Lawyers for the Democrat say Friday the U.S. Supreme Court is considering changing the limits of a law used to convict him.  They say the change may cause a reversal of Silver's conviction.  The 72-year-old Manhattan resident was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison in a 5-million dollar corruption case.  The lawyers also asked U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni to block collection of a 1.75-million dollar fine... and, $5.3-million forfeiture order until appeals are completed.  They say he otherwise will have to sell homes he jointly owns with his wife.  A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan declined comment. Silver is scheduled to report to prison July 1st.

 

The city of Jamestown has the title of "Best Tasting Water" in Chautauqua County for the second-straight year.  The city's Board of Public Utilities' water won out over two other six municipal water supplies in last weekend's annual contest in Lakewood.  It coincides with National Drinking Water Week.  Water Specialist Bill Boria with the county's Health and Human Services Department says it's used to call attention to the importance of having a good, clean water supply. Boria says they had a great turn-out of "judges" who each tasted the water over three rounds of judging.  One round was held for surface-water supplies... and, the other round was for ground-water supplies.  Boria says some 50 people voted in the final round... which determined the winner and runners-up.  He says Jamestown will next take part in the Western New York regional water tasting contest in Rochester in early August.  The winner there will move onto the state finals at the State Fair in Syracuse around Labor Day.  In the past... both Jamestown and Mayville won state "Best Tasting Water" titles.

 

New York's state comptroller says fast-food companies Wendy's and YUM! Brands have agreed to assess labor standards and risks to human rights in their operations and supply chains and post findings on their websites.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of New York's roughly 180-billion dollar pension fund for public workers, says he has withdrawn shareholder proposals asking the companies to hold their suppliers more accountable on human rights issues.  YUM! Brands, parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell's, has 43-thousand restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories.  Wendy's is the third largest quick-service hamburger chain globally, with more than 6,500 restaurants.  The New York fund owns about 1.3 million shares of YUM! Brands and 475,900 shares of Wendy's.

 

It's believed that at least one-thousand people attended the sixth-annual National Train Day recognition and activities at the Gateway Train Station in Jamestown.  That from Train Day Organizer Lee Harkness... who says the event keeps getting better each year.  By mid-afternoon... Harkness said there were had about 700 people come through that entrance alone... and, adds that did not include the other two entrances that people can use. Harkness says the activities they have going on as part of National Train Day are usually the big draw.  He says the first was the arrival of an actual steam engine that belongs to a local man, Scott Simmons, that's been there before.  Harkness adds they also had the first of two "Great American Train Robberies..." and a Civil War re-enactment.  The Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad was unable to bring one of their engines.  But... he says having Simmon's "Viscose-6" engine made all train enthusiasts happy.  Events continued into the evening... with another Great American Train Robbery, and a Civil War Encampment.

 

Vice President Joe Biden told graduates at Syracuse University's College of Law early last weekend that they should pursue success without losing sight of family or their values.  Speaking at their convocation... Biden reflected on the death of his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who succumbed to brain cancer last year.  The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that Biden told the graduates they should pursue their careers but not forget ``what's really important'' -- family and their values.  He said this generation of students would make the world a better place.  The vice president graduated from the law school in 1968. His son was also a graduate of the school.

 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany has sued state insurance regulators over requirements that workplace health plans cover employee abortions.  The complaint filed in state court late last week says the Department of Financial Services lacks legislative authority to impose the requirements.  The lawsuit claims the mandate is unconstitutional... and, forces employers with religious and conscientious objections to abortion to help pay for them.  The diocese calls it ``an invidious governmental coercion of religious institutions, employers and individuals.''  The lawsuit faults DFS-issued ``model language'' to insurers requiring individual and small group health plans to include coverage of ``therapeutic'' and ``non-therapeutic'' abortions.  The suit also says that abortion coverage ``is encrypted in health insurance contracts under the rubric of `medically necessary' surgery.''

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News Headlines for Sat., May 14, 2016

Rochester man jailed for allegedly trafficking "crack" cocaine in Jamestown...
A Rochester man is being held on $15,000 bail for allegedly trafficking "crack" cocaine from an apartment in downtown Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were ready to raid the residence at 30 Charles St. Thursday afternoon... when they stopped the suspect, 28 year-old Timothy Wilson... outside the house.  Samuelson says he was apparently trying to get away in a car.  He says drug agents found just under 4-grams of "crack" in Wilson's possession... along with several hundred dollars in alleged drug proceeds.  There was also drug paraphernalia.  Wilson has been charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminally using drug paraphernalia.. and aggravated unlicensed operation.  Wilson was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail.  Again... anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking in the Jamestown-area is asked to contact the Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Buffalo man jailed for allegedly selling powder cocaine at various locations in Jamestown...
A Buffalo man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling cocaine at several different locations in Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says uniformed officers, and Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force members were able to identify 35 year-old Anthony Calloway as he was stopped inside a taxi cab about 9 a.m. Thursday on Stowe St.  Samuelson says police found Calloway in possession of a small quantity of cocaine, some marijuana, and cash.  Once they got him to the city jail... police determined Calloway had more cocaine hidden away on his person.  Further investigation found about 3-grams of powder cocaine within a body cavity.  Calloway is jailed on one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Anyone with information on alleged drug trafficking and sales is asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... or 483-8477.


Fresco's employee accused of burglarizing his employer...

A man who was employed at one of Jamestown's favorite eateries has been accused of breaking into the restaurant... and, stealing money out of a cash register.  City police say 37 year-old Peter Golonka allegedly entered Fresco's Pizzeria at 2 East Second Street without permission about 11:30 p.m. last Saturday.  Officers say surveillance video picked up Golonka forcing his way into the cash register... where he took at quantity of cash.  Investigators used the video to identify Golonka... and, arrest him.  Golonka was arraigned on one count of third-degree burglary... and, sent to the county jail on $10,000 cash bail.


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly attacking cab driver, and stealing the vehicle...

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly assaulting a taxi cab driver early Friday morning... and, stealing the cab before he was stopped and arrested.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at Maple Street and Everett Avenue just before 2 a.m. on a report of a man assaulting the woman driver.  Officers say the driver told them the man had stolen the vehicle and fled the scene.  Police later located the cab... and, stopped it on Camp Street at the city line.  Officers say they the suspect, 40 year-old Victor Rosa, Jr., was allegedly drunk.  Police say Rosa was apparently riding in the cab when he grabbed the driver by the hair... and, shoved her into the seat.  He then held her down while stealing the vehicle.  Rosa faces several charges... including second-degree robbery... driving while intoxicated... and reckless endangerment.  He was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.


National Train Day activities underway in Jamestown...

It's an annual event that draws train enthusiasts by the dozen to Jamestown, and Chautauqua County.  The 6th National Train Day celebration is taking place today at the Gateway Train Station on West Second Street.  Organizer Lee Harkness says they have a full-day of activities, and displays set for people who attend.  Mayor Sam Teresi will be on hand to help open the program at 10:15 a.m.  Harkness says one of the high-lights will be the annual appearance of a well-known Railroad Author, Ken Springirth, who has penned some 20 books about the railroad.  Harkness says one fo the big high-lights will be two "Great American Train Robberies..." the first at trackside will take place sometime after 1 p.m.  He says they'll also have their yearly toy train show going on.  Food and refreshments will also be available.  After the evening reception... Harkness says they'll have candlelight tours of the robbery and encampment areas.  They'll also recognize the joining of the east and west railroad tracks to form the Trans-Continental Railroad in 1869.


It's graduation day at the SUNY College at Fredonia...

It's one of the biggest days of the year for the State University college at Fredonia... Commencement Day, and nearly 1,400 students will be taking part in graduation ceremonies set for today.  Fredonia Spokeswoman Lisa Eikenburg says there will once again be two ceremonies, one at 10 a.m., and, the other at 3 p.m.  The commencement address will be given by Dr. Jeffrey Kelly who is lead professor for Chemistry at Scripps Research Institute.  He is also a Fredonia alumnus.  Eikenburg says this year's ceremonies will feature something new.  She says that's large projection screens so the speakers and students will be more easily seen by guests.  If you can't make the ceremonies, you can view them on local cable access.  There will also be live streaming video at Fredonia.edu.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

With two straight days of water sampling that showed normal levels of bacteria... the Boil Water Order in Sinclairville has been lifted.  That from Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Water Specialist Bill Boria... who says water samples collected this past Tuesday  and, Wednesday showed the water is safe to drink.  The Village had a major water main leak on Monday, May 9th that was repaired the same day... but due to a loss in pressure, a boil water order was put into effect as a precaution.  Village and county officials thank residents, and water customers for their cooperation, and patience while the boil water order was in effect.  If you have any questions... call Sinclairville Mayor Tami Berg at 962-9455... or the Chautauqua County Health Department at 753-4481.

 

Chautauqua County residents and businesses got their opportunity to voice their opinions on proposed legislation that would raise Chautauqua County's legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old.  County Executive Vince Horrigan held a public hearing Thursday afternoon on the local law in Mayville.  He says that more than a dozen people showed up for the 40-minute long hearing. Horrigan says a number health professionals spoke in favor of the law... and, some business owners spoke against the measure.  He says he's also received 34 comments via e-mail or fax.  Horrigan says he will consider the views heard at Thursday’s hearing... as well as those electronically sent.  He could reach a decision on the proposed tobacco law by next Monday.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says "justice prevailed" after the state's former Senate majority leader... and, his son were sentenced to prison for corruption.  Cuomo issued a statement after Manhattan federal Judge Kimba Wood sentenced Long Island Republican Dean Skelos (SKEH'-lohs) to five years in prison Thursday.  She also sentenced his son, Adam, to 6 1/2 years in prison.  Both men were convicted last year of conspiracy, extortion and bribery.  Prosecutors say the men used Dean Skelos' clout to force companies to funnel over 300-thousand dollars to Adam Skelos.  The father and son did not comment as they left court.  The judge says the men caused "immeasurable damage" to New Yorkers' confident in the integrity of government.

 

Much cooler weather is on the way... that after the Jamestown-area enjoyed near 80-degree temperatures yesterday afternoon.  In fact... our first shot of cooler weather moved through overnight when a cold front came through the region.  National Weather Service Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo says the first front is dropping temperatures about 10 to 15-degrees. A second front will move into the region early Saturday... and, Reynolds says that'll bring much cooler air from Canada to the area.  Reynolds says it may get so cold Sunday, that the higher elevations of Cattaraugus and Allegany counties may see some snow showers mixing with rain showers.  That's NOT forecast for Chautauqua County.  Reynolds says it can still get pretty cool this time of the year... but, adds temperatures should return to more normal levels by the middle of next week.

 

A town of Dunkirk woman has been arrested for allegedly stabbing her husband during a domestic dispute Wednesday morning.  State Police in Fredonia say troopers were called to the scene at the Lakeside Trailer Park at 37-11 Route 5 about 6:30 AM.  Police say the domestic incident escallated... and, 24 year-old Kristi Jones stabbed her husband in the chest.  Troopers say the male victim was treated at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk... and, is now listed in good condition.  Police arrested Kristi Jones for second-degree assault... and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  She was arraigned in Dunkirk Town Court and sent to Chautauqua County jail on 30-thousand dollars cash bail.  Animal control officers were also called to the scene, along with Child Protectiive Services.  Dunkirk city police also assisted at the scene.

 

The chairman of the Republican Party says Thursday's meeting with Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan was ``a very positive step toward party unity.''  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's also working to bridge the rift between Trump and some party members... and, he adds that he believes all Republicans will come together ahead of the November election.  Reed...who recently came out in favor of Trump... says the stakes this Fall are too high. Reed says he's been listening to the people in the 23rd Congressional District he represents, who say they are backing Trump for president.  He adds that party members don't have to be in 100-percent agreement with Trump... but, they appear to be on the same page on a number of national issues... namely getting the economy going... and, a strong national security policy.  Speaker Ryan says today that he's "encouraged" by the meeting... but, still has not endorsed Trump as yet.

 

An Erie County, New York man is accused of possessing and selling illegal drugs in the north county village of Silver Creek.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 19 year-old Joshua Heimerl of Angola on a warrant in the village late Wednesday.  Drug agents say Heimerl was taken into custody without incident.  Police say they allegedly found a quantity of crack cocaine... and, a number of hydrocodone pills... both of which were packaged for street sale.  In addition to the outstanding County Court warrant... Heimerl was charged with third and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned in Silver Creek Village Court... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.

 

There are more than 100 major road and bridge projects on this year's Summer schedule of work for the city of Jamestown's Public Works Department.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says those projects are already underway due to the nice weather we've had so far this Spring.  Teresi says the work is above and beyond the typrical filling of potholes... and, other repairs from the Winter season. Teresi says there are a couple of major projects coming up shortly... both within a few blocks of each other on North Main Street.  He says the first is replacement of the Main Street Bridge in Brooklyn Square.  Teresi says that's a county bridge...but, adds the city is working with the county on the one-million dollar effort.  However... he says that will take away important access for one business located between the Chadakoin River and the railroad viaduct -- Blackstone-Ney Ultrasonics.  Once the bridge is out, he says the only access will be from North Main... heading south.  He says -- for tractor-trailers -- that's going to require the city to lower the road around and under the span... by about two-feet.

 

One of the few people to ever attempt suicide from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge... and live... addressed the Resource Center's Annual Syposium Thursday.  In an interiview with Media One, Kevin Hines said people in crisis need to know they have options. Hines told the symposium that society needs to reduce the stigma of 'disease above the neck'.  He continues to fight bi-polar disease and he tours the country...hoping to get people to realize that mental illness is often a chronic disease that needs long term treatment.   The Resource Center's Educational Symposium was held at Bellinger Hall at Chautauqua. 

 

At Saturday night's choir concert at Jamestown High School, the late Denise Snyder-Norberg will be honored with the Acappella VIP award.  Last Saturday, Denise was named to the JHS Band's Hall of Fame.  Acappella Director, Norm Lydell says it's the first time the band and choir have honored the same person, in the same year. Snyder-Norberg was a JHS graduate.  She died in April at the age of 53.  The annual spring choir concert begins at 7 PM on Saturday night at Jamestown High School.  

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News Alert! for Thurs., May 12, 2016

(**Update)Boil Water Order lifted in Sinclairville...

With two straight days of water sampling that showed normal levels of bacteria... the Boil Water Order in Sinclairville has been lifted.  That from Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Water Specialist Bill Boria... who says water samples collected Tueday, May 10... and, yesterday (May 11)... showed the water is safe to drink.  The Village had a major water main leak on Monday, May 9th that was repaired the same day... but due to a loss in pressure, a boil water order was put into effect as a precaution.  Village and county officials thank residents, and water customers for their cooperation, and patience while the boil water order was in effect.  If you have any questions... call Sinclairville Mayor Tami Berg at 962-9455... or the Chautauqua County Health Department at 753-4481.

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News Headlines for Thurs., May 12, 2016

North County man in good condition after being stabbed by wife during domestic incident...

A town of Dunkirk woman has been arrested for allegedly stabbing her husband during a domestic dispute Wednesday morning.  State Police in Fredonia say troopers were called to the scene at the Lakeside Trailer Park at 3711 Route 5 about 6:30 a.m.  Police say the domestic incident escallated... and, 24 year-old Kristi Jones stabbed her husband in the chest.  Troopers say the male victim was treated at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk... and, is now listed in good condition.  Police arrested Kristi Jones for second-degree assault... and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  She was arraigned in Dunkirk Town Court and sent to Chautauqua County jail on $30,000 cash bail.  Animal control officers were also called to the scene, along with Child Protectiive Services.  Dunkirk city police also assisted at the scene.


Angola man arrest for alleged drug possession -- with intent to sell...

An Erie County, New York man is accused of possessing and selling illegal drugs in the north county village of Silver Creek.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 19 year-old Joshua Heimerl of Angola on a warrant in the village late yesterday.  Drug agents say Heimerl was taken into custody without incident.  Police say they allegedly found a quantity of crack cocaine... and, a number of hydrocodone pills... both of which were packaged for street sale.  In addition to the outstanding County Court warrant... Heimerl was charged with third and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned in Silver Creek Village Court... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.


Nushawn Williams denied release again from Civil Confinement...

The state Court of Appeals has denied a pair of motions to overturn the civil confinement of Nushawn Williams -- Chautauqua County's most notorious sex offender.  The court reports that the now-38 year-old Williams will remain confined under the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act indefinately.  In the report... issued back on May 6... the court upheld a lower court ruling made in March of 2014.  Williams has already served his 12-year prison sentence for rape and reckless endangerment in the late 1990s.  He pleaded guilty several years ago to having unprotected sex, knowing he was HIV positive and not telling his partners about his health status.  Two inmates and two correction officers testified in the matter.


National Comedy Center acquires George Carlin artifacts from his archives...

It was last year's trip to take part in the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown that convinced the daughter of late comedian George Carlin to give his archived material to the new National Comedy Center.  That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who was in New York City Tuesday night for the announcement by Kelly Carlin.  She says the contents of the archives contain material saved by the comedian over his 50-plus-year career.  Gunderson says Kelly Carlin had heard about the comedy center idea... and, wanted to check into it further during the festival, and fell in love with the site as the perfect place for her "father's stuff."  She says the term "stuff" is in reference to George Carlin's routine called "A Place for My Stuff."  She says the archived material will be used in the Comedy Center’s future museum experience on West Second Street.  Gunderson says Carlin "meticulously" saved everything regarding his legendary career.  Carlin himself appeared at the old Palace Theater in Jamestown around 1980.  Coincidently... today would have been Carlin's 79th birthday.  Gunderson says earning the trust of Carlin's daughter to provide the permanent home for his "stuff" lends even more credibility to the new center... which is slated to open next year.


Mains says DiMaio will be "sorely missed" on Jamestown school board...

The Jamestown School Board is losing a "very strong, capable leader."  Those are the feelings of School Superintendent Tim Mains about Board President Joe DiMaio's decision to not seek another term on the panel next Tuesday.  DiMaio's name will still be on the ballot for the board elections... but, he won't accept if he gets the most... or second-most votes.  Mains says DiMaio... who will have spent 12 years on the board at the end of June... won't be easily replaced.  However, after a 31 year teaching career -- in addition to his dozen years on the board - he understands DiMaio's desire to retire.  Mains says he and DiMaio had talked a few times the past couple of weeks about DiMaio's future... but, says it was the board president's decision.  The superintendent says he accepted DiMaio's letter of withdrawl from next Tuesday's school board election... meaning that DiMaio will decline the seat -- even if he gets enough votes.  Mains got emotional while talking about DiMaio... whom he says has been the "face of Jamestown" as board president.  In recent years... DiMaio has also been president of the Small City School District's Association board. 


Jamestown School officials discuss School Bus purchase proposition before next week's vote...

In addition to the 2016-17 budget... Jamestown School District voters will also decide on a $930,000 proposition to buy seven new buses.  That measure was raised as a concern by one resident during Tuesday night's budget hearing at Persell Middle School... who questions the district's decision to lease-purchase the vehicles.  Superintendent Tim Mains says they clarified that the intention is to buy the vehicles once state aid is in place.  Mains says Business Manager Vern Connors explained that the reason it's done is because of a "new way" the district will get aid for those purchases.  Connors says the actual purchase price is $912,000.  He says the additional $18,000 -- if needed -- will be used for financing and handling the legal ends of the purchase.  Connors says two of the buses will be wheelchair accessible... a first for the district.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

He was ready to run for re-election to another full term on the Jamestown School Board... but, President Joe DiMaio has decided that 12 years is enough.  DiMaio made the stunning announcement prior to last night's public hearing on the 2016-17 budget at Persell Middle School.  He says he is withdrawing his name from consideration... though his name will still be on next Tuesday's ballot.  DiMaio gave no particular reason for bowing out... just adding that the timing is right. DiMaio did say the past several years had been a "roller coaster" with state aid being cut... then brought back.  He's also been at the fore-front of Jamestown's effort to win it's "fair share" of aid through the Small Cities School District lawsuit against the state.  However... DiMaio says he's been most proud of the local board's support of that... and, the fact they put "students first."  DiMaio's name is also on a "reminder" postcard that's been mailed out to district residents about the budget, and school board vote next Tuesday.  Incumbant Board member Patrick Slagle... and, newcomers... Todd Rushforth... and, Jeffrey Yeates... are on the ballot. One person spoke during last night's public hearing on the proposed, 2016-17Jamestown school budget.  However... it pertained to proposition-#2... which is for the lease-purchase of seven new school buses.  School Business Manager Vern Connors explained the approximately 930-thousand dollar proposition.

 

A fire that originated in an upstairs bedroom has left a two-story home in Frewsburg heavily-damaged.  Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene at 27 Denman Street about 12:30 yesterday afternoon.  Fire Chief John Lindsey, Junior says they found a lot of fire coming from the upper portions of the house on arrival. Lindsey says they immediately called in mutual aid from Falconer, Busti, and Kiantone... and, adds they were able to attack the blaze from both the inside and outside of the home.  He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to knock down the flames and get them under control.  Lindsey says fire damage was confined to the upstairs... and, there was water damage to the downstairs.  He says Frewsburg was also joined at the scene by firefighters from Lakewood... and Kennedy was on stand-by.  He says no one was hurt.  Lindsey says a mother and her five children were home at the time... but, got out safely.  He says the cause is under investigation.

 

There is a boil water in effect for the village of Sinclairville... and, all customers of it's water system.  The county's Department of Health and Human Services is also asking all customers of the village's water supply to conserve water used for drinking and cooking.  County Executive Vince Horrigan's office reports a major leak developed last night in one of the water mains in the village, causing a drop in pressure and partial loss of water in the village's water system.  The break has been repaired... but, you will have to still boil the water for at least one-minute before consuming.  Residents will be notified when tests confirm that no harmful bacteria are in the system, and you no longer need to boil your water.  For more information... call the Mayor's office at 962-9455.

 

It was business as usual yesterday for an area school district that’s being affected by the boil order.  Cassadaga Valley Central School Superintendent Charles Leichner said Tuesday afternoon that they've been using bottled water to help handle the situation.  Leichner says they have enough cooler space through-out the elementary and high school buildings.  He says they got extra water from Cassadaga... which has no water issues.  Leichner says the district should be able to manage through Thursday.  He credits the teachers and staff for being flexible and able to roll with any challenge the district has to meet. 

 

The increase in gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area has slowed slightly this week... with Triple-A reporting a 2-cent per gallon jump over the past seven days.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price has increased during that time from 2-dollars-37 cents, to 2--39 this week.  The average price for self-serve, regular is based on prices reported at 19 local service stations.  Last year at this time... the price was just over 2-dollars-85 cents a gallon.  Nationally... Triple-A says the price is just under 2-dollars-21 cents a gallon.  The national average price of gas declined slightly on the week... and, it is possible that prices have begun to stabilize as refineries increase production to meet record-high demand.  Despite this recent trend... retail averages are down by a penny a gallon this week.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed a task force aimed at ending what he called a crisis of heroin and opioid addiction continuing to plague families and communities in New York.  The group will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.  The other 21 members include representatives of health care, drug treatment, advocacy, law enforcement and education.  They're expected to hold public listening sessions and develop a statewide coordinated plan.  State efforts so far include expanding insurance coverage for treatment and a law requiring drug prescribers to consult a state database to check patient prescription histories.  Officials credit that for a 90 percent decrease in "doctor shoppers" seeking multiple opioid prescriptions.  The task force was announced Tuesday.

 

With it's latest Parking Ticket Amnesty program ended... the city of Jamestown will now be "aggressively pursing" collections on fine and fees that are still outstanding.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says the latest program -- which brought in more than 35-thousand dollars -- was successful.  However... Teresi says there are nearly 395-thousand dollars in fines and fees outstanding.  To try and collect what's remaining... he says two notices will be publishing in this Sunday's Post-Journal. Names have been included with the plate numbers on that list.  Teresi says the second list is of people who failed to show up for City Court on their tickets... and, have had arrest warrants issued.  He says the city has also resumed it's parking ticket enforcement... including booting tires, and towing of vehicle with plates that have more than 150-dollars worth of parking violations.  Teresi says his office, along with the City Clerk, will be listing all remaining 4-thousand-516 plates that have any outstanding tickets on the city's website shortly.  That can be accessed at Jamestownny-dot-NET.  

 

The New York Senate Elections Committee has briefly considered legislation to close a campaign finance loophole for limited liability companies and its Republican members have voted to send it to another committee.  Senator Daniel Squadron, a Manhattan Democrat and sponsor, urged the Elections Committee to send it to a floor vote in the Republican-controlled chamber instead, where all senators would have to publicly show their positions.  Chairman Fred Akshar, a freshman Republican from Binghamton, says Monday the referral was requested by the Codes Committee, though he wasn't sure by whom.  Akshar says there needs to be ``a global conversation'' about campaign finance issues, including union donations.  

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News Bulletin for Tues., May 10, 2016

(**Bulletin)DiMaio withhdraws from school board race, saying "it's time," but, name will still appear on the ballot...

The man who has headed up the Jamestown School Board has decided that 12 years on the panel is enough.  Board President Joe DiMaio made the stunning announcment prior to last night's public hearing on the district's 2016-17 budget at Persell Middle School.  DiMaio says he is withdrawing his name from consideration... though his name will still appear on next Tuesday's ballot.  He says the timing is right... but, did say the past several years had been a "roller coaster" -- mainly due to the fight for Jamestown's fair share of state aid.  DiMaio has been at the fore-front of Jamestown's effort to get a fair shake on it's state aid through the Small Cities School District lawsuit against New York state.  He also spent 31 years in teaching and coaching prior to his time on the board.  In addition to still being on the ballot... district officials say DiMaio's name is also on a "reminder" postcard that's been mailed out to district residents about next Tuesday vote.  Incumbant Board member Patrick Slagle... and, newcomers Todd Rushforth, and, Jeffrey Yeates, are on the ballot.

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News Alert for Tues., May 10, 2016

(**Alert!)Sinclairville water customers under Boil Water Order after water main break...

There is a boil water in effect for the village of Sinclairville... and, immediate area.  The county's Department of Health and Human Services is also asking all customers of the village's water supply to conserve water used for drinking and cooking.  County Executive Vince Horrigan's office reports a major leak developed last night in one of the water mains in the village causing a drop in pressure, and partial loss of water in the system.  Officials say... when the distribution pipes and mains lose pressure it increases the chance that untreated water and harmful microbes could enter the system.  The break has been repaired... and, the water is being re-pressurized.  You will be informed when tests confirm that no harmful bacteria are in the system and you no longer need to boil your water.  It’s anticipated the boil water order will be lifted by the end of the week.  For more information... call Mayor Tami Berg in Sinclairville at 962-9455... or the county Health Department at 1-866-604-6789.

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News Alert for Tues., May 10, 2016

(**Alert!)Sinclairville water customers under Boil Water Order after water main break...

There is a boil water in effect for the village of Sinclairville... and, immediate area.  The county's Department of Health and Human Services is also asking all customers of the village's water supply to conserve water used for drinking and cooking.  County Executive Vince Horrigan's office reports a major leak developed last night in one of the water mains in the village causing a drop in pressure, and partial loss of water in the system.  Officials say... when the distribution pipes and mains lose pressure it increases the chance that untreated water and harmful microbes could enter the system.  The break has been repaired... and, the water is being re-pressurized.  You will be informed when tests confirm that no harmful bacteria are in the system and you no longer need to boil your water.  It’s anticipated the boil water order will be lifted by the end of the week.  For more information... call Mayor Tami Berg in Sinclairville at 962-9455... or the county Health Department at 1-866-604-6789.

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WJTN News Headlines


A second Jamestown man accused of shooting a third man in the Tops Market parking lot on Washington Street last year has been sentenced to 8 years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 31 year-old Michael Robinson received the sentence Monday morning from County Court Judge Paul Wojtaszek for first-degree assault.  Swanson says the other primary suspect... Alexander Jewel... was sentenced earlier this year in the case.  The shooting occured at about 6 PM on July 24th of 2015.  The motive for the shooting was believed to be drug-related.  The victim has since recovered from his serious wound.  Robinson will also serve 5-years post-release supervision. In addition... Swanson says a Brocton man convicted of arson... has been sentenced to 4 to 8 years in state prison.  He says 33 year-old Daniel Frey received the determinate sentence today in county court.  Frey was convicted of third-degree arson.

 

A member of the Lakeview Avenue neighborhood improvement group is urging the Jamestown City Council to fully consider the ramifications of approving the sale of the Sheldon House.  Resident Paul Leone addressed lawmakers at last night's work session about the Zoning Board of Appeals approval of a variance for the Lynn Development Group to allow professional offices in the structure.  The property is being sold by Jamestown Community College.  But... Leone urged them to remember what the city, and local planners are striving for.
City officials and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation have been working on a Neighborhood Revitalization Plan that emphasizes primarily, single-family homes.  Leone says there has been some success in the Lakeview Avenue area to take homes that were converted to business use -- back to homes.  He says they include his own house... which had been the home of Dr. Barone.  The Zoning Board approved the variance in a 5-to-1 vote.  However... the final sale of the property must be approved by several entities... including the city council -- which is a sponsor of JCC.

 

The city of Jamestown's latest Parking Ticket Amnesty Program was a success... with just over 35-thousand dollars in parking tickets paid up.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who told lawmakers at last night's work session that the 30-day program actually closed out on Monday, May 2nd... with receipt of 17-hundred dollars in fines that were paid-up.  Teresi says their biggest day was Friday, April 29th... which saw 47-hundred-65 dollars paid.
However... Teresi says that leaves nearly 460-thousand dollars in tickets and fees that have not been paid.  He says those scafflaws go back on the books... and, will be aggressively pursued.  Teresi says people whose license plates have rung up 200-dollars or more in tickets and fees will be listed in this weekend's Post-Journal... and warrants have been issued for dozens of people who have failed to appear in court in their cases.  More on that later today.

 

A Kennedy man has been arrested for allegedly stalking another man... to the point of chasing him in a vehicle from Falconer to Stockton... and, running several other cars off the road.  State Police in Jamestown say they received a 9-1-1 call about the incident shortly before 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon.  Troopers say 34 year-old Matthew Haskins is accused of trying to get into a fight with the victim... then chasing him on Route 60 -- through Cassadaga -- to just south of Fredonia.  At that point... Haskins was stopped... and, arrested.  He was arraigned... and, freed on 3-thousand dollars cash bail.

 

A north county man is jailed without bail for allegedly stabbing a co-worker with a set of grape shears last weekend in Dunkirk.  State Police in Fredonia say the unidentified victim appeared last Saturday at their barracks with an inch-and-a-half wound to his chest.  Troopers say the victim identified 31 year-old Rafael Zabala as the suspect.  Police went to his home... but, he had fled the scene.  He was arrested sometime later.  The victim was later taken to a local hospital for treatment.  Troopers say Zabala was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault.. and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was then sent to the County Jail without bail.

 

A package of bills awaits Congress when lawmakers return to Washington later this week to address the Opiate Drug crisis in the U-S.  That from local Representative Tom Reed... who says the measures are part of the Opioid Reduction Act.  The Corning Republican says the measure will ensure that all bills dealing with the epidemic have  "priority" rating for lawmakers.  Reed says Congress wants to provide the necessary money to provide more In-Patient Treatment for Heroin -- or other opiate addiction -- but, wants to make it goes to the right place. Reed says there also needs to be money spent on prevention... and, other education.  He says Heroin addiction has become a huge issue in his district... which includes Jamestown.  Reed adds this is one issue where he believes Democrats and Republicans will come together and stand united against this "terrible drug."  He says nearly 44 people -- on average -- die each day from prescription painkiller overdoses in the U-S.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone news conference with Southern Tier Media.

 

An Iraqi War veteran from the area who was part of the U-S Marine Corps' first official mortuary affairs unit will deliver the commencement address at Jamestown Community College later this month.  Jessica Goodell, who is the daughter of state Assemblyman Andy Goodell, will deliver the 2016 commencement address at JCC’s Cattaraugus County Campus on May 20th... and, at the Jamestown Campus on May 21st.  JCC Vice-President of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications Kirk Young says the choice of a speaker begins with the JCC Alumni Association. Young says Goodell is a 2007 graduate of JCC... where she completed her Associate's Degree in social sciences in just two semesters.  Following her service in the Mortuary Affairs Unit... she work about her work in the book, "Shade it Black..." just a few years ago.  Jessica Goodell was one of two women in the unit... where she rose to the rank of Lance Corporal.  Commencement at the Jamestown campus will be held on Saturday, May 21st, at the JCC Physical Education Complex.

 

New York labor officials say more than 10-million dollars in stolen wages have been returned to more than 17,000 victims in the first three months of the year.  The quarterly total exceeds $9 million in the same period last year, when the state returned $31.5 million overall.  According to state officials... common methods of wage theft include paying tips only, paying day rates below the minimum wage, not paying overtime, withholding final paychecks, not paying for training time and charging workers for required uniforms or equipment.  The quarterly report shows $7.4 million returned to 11-thousand-318 workers in New York City and nearly $1.4 million returned to 1,434 workers on Long Island.

 

A woman believed to be Pennsylvania's oldest resident has died at the age of 113.  The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Irene Ciuffoletti died Saturday at the St. Anne Home in Greensburg.  She was born on Januar 19th of 1903 in Santa Arsenio, Italy and emigrated to New Kensington, Pennsylvania in 1912.  She married in 1922 and never re-married after her husband, Emilio, died in 1957 at age 66.  She's been was preceded in death by four sons and is survived by one, Julius, who lives in Arnold, Pennsylvania.  She's also survived by 11 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren.  The Gerontology Research Group, which tracks people older than 110 worldwide, says she was Pennsylvania's oldest resident.  Her funeral is Tuesday at Mount St. Peter Parish in New Kensington.

 

A former long-time local union leader and retired teacher died unexpectedly over the weekend.  We have learned that Joseph Sweeny, who served as the President of the Dunkirk Teachers Association for a number of years, passed away Sunday morning at Buffalo General Hospital following a brief illness.  He was 68.  Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested on two charges... including being found with an illegal weapon... after he was pulled over on the city's eastside.  Jamestown Police say they spotted 57 year-old Thomas Lauer driving on Bowen Street -- near Peach Street -- Saturday morning... and, knew his driving privledges had been revoked.  Officers pulled Lauer over... and, found a set of Chuka Sticks in the back seat of his car.  He was taken into custody for second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon --  a Felony.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the federal government to investigate cases of exploding electronic cigarettes.  The New York Democrat said Sunday that at least four New York residents have been injured within the past few weeks when electronic cigarettes suddenly exploded or burst into flames.  Schumer says new federal regulations give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the power to investigate the incidents and require warning labels, or even product recalls, if the agency determines the devices pose a risk.  The federal government announced this month that it will subject electronic cigarettes to regulations requiring manufacturers to submit their products for review.  The new rules will prohibit sales to anyone under the age of 18.

 

Local organizations and other groups with economic development projects that could use a funding boost to get off the ground are encouraged to apply to the state's sixth-round of funding opportunities.  Western New York received 83-million dollars for 125 projects during last year's fifth-round of the Consolidated Funding Application program.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says applications are now being accepted through the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. Horrigan says about 750-million dollars are available for projects -- such as the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  He says you can learn more about what kind of projects fit the state's criteria by going on-line at Regionalcouncils-dot-NY-dot-GOV.  Horrigan adds you can also contact Planner Don McCord at the county's Planning Office for more information... or to get help with the application.  He expects Chautauqua County to do well again in the funding program.  Last year... the county received the most funding outside of Buffalo and Erie County.   Horrigan made his comments during last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

New York students won't see a tuition hike at state colleges next year... but, it's still possible for out-of-state students.  A provision in the recently passed state budget won't allow the State University of New York board of trustees to vote on raising in-state tuition, effectively freezing it for at least a year.  However... trustees are permitted to vote in June on whether to increase out-of-state tuition by up to 10 percent at SUNY's top university centers: the University at Albany, Binghamton University, Stony Brook University and the University at Buffalo.  That has raised concerns SUNY will be less competitive.  While the system's first mission is to educate New Yorkers, it does look outside the state to fill seats.

 

There's a lot of activity in Dunkirk's Department of Development, with the recent announcement of the Athenex facility and the potential for waterfront development.  Mayor Willie Rosas says the department has received a lot of inquiries following word of the Athenex plant that will be coming to the town of Dunkirk.  Rosas says that should bode well for Dunkirk's future. Rosas also says the department is working closely with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency on waterfront development.  He says Charles Pringle... who owns Holiday Harbor on Chautauqua Lake... are taking over operations at Chadwick Bay Marina.  Rosas says the IDA helped them put that deal together.  The Common Council this week approved the appointment of Deborah Williams of Buffalo to become the city's new Director of Planning and Development.   She will succeed Duane Beard who was serving as an interim director.

 

They have a swing set... now they need to raise funds for a new slide to make Kallie's Playground at Allen Park complete.  That from one of the co-presidents of the Allen Park Women's Club... which helped lead last year's effort to set up the new swings near the park's pavillion.  Shannon Neubauer made the announcement at the end of last Friday afternoon's tree planting ceremony near the swings.  Neubauer says they're trying to raise 73-hundred dollars. Neubauer adds they'll also be raising money for the effort during the Summer Concert Series at the Goranson Bandshell at Allen Park.  The women's club provides the refreshments during the series.  Kallie Swan's mother, Tara, thanked the women's club... and, adds they decided to plant a tree next to the swings on the one-year anniversary of Kallie's passing.  Kallie Swan was three when she passed away from Acute Lymophoblastic Leukemia.  Her fight against the disease led her parents to form "Kallie's Krusade" Foundation.  It raises money to help families with children fighting Leukemia or Cancer.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is supporting a legal challenge to North Carolina's new law limiting the rights of LGBT people.  Cuomo says the state will file an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit filed by Lamba Legal, the ACLU and Equality North Carolina seeking to overturn the law.  The North Carolina law restricts transgender people to public restrooms aligned with their biological sex and prevents governments from passing their own anti-discrimination rules.  Shortly after the law passed, Cuomo banned state-funded travel to North Carolina to protest what he says is a discriminatory and illegal law.  The U.S. Justice Department has warned North Carolina officials that the law violates federal civil rights rules and should not be enforced.

 

A woman employed at an upstate residence for disabled New Yorkers has pleaded guilty to endangering a client whose leg was broken during transport.  State authorities say 21-year-old Sabrina Allen is expected to face five years' probation at sentencing July 7th in Saratoga County Court.  Allen worked for AIM Services.  The Justice Center says Allen admitted she disregarded the client's warning that his wheelchair wasn't properly secured in a van.  When he was thrown from the chair... she admits she ignored his demand to call 9-1-1, leaving him on the floor in pain for 10 to 20 minutes before staff at his residence called for medical help.  The Justice Center investigated and prosecuted the case.  AIM Services is certified by the state Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

 

A man who's taught music for 50 years in Jamestown was honored by the Jamestown High School Bands at their spring concert Saturday night.  Bill Knight was hired to direct the Lincoln Junior High School Bands in 1966, and since then has conducted a number of other bands... and taught over 400 brass students in his private studio.  Jamestown High School Band Director Meghan Murray was among those praising Knight's work. Knight said, "When you're surrounded by greatness, it's easy to be successful" and added. A special video was shown during the concert, featuring a number of Knight's teaching colleagues. 

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News Headlines for Sat., May 7, 2016

Horrigan sets public hearing on increasing local tobacco purchase age to 21...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has scheduled a public hearing for the proposed local law that would raise the tobacco purchase age in the county from 18 to 21.  County lawmakers approved the measure last week by a 13 to 6 vote.  It also affects e-cigarettes.  Horrigan says the hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 12, beginning at 3 p.m. in county legislature chambers.  He says he's leaning toward signing the legislation, although he is still keeping an open mind.  Horrigan has received a lot of comment about the proposed measure... and, is looking for more input.  He adds that a number of other counties... including Cattaraugus and Erie... are reportedly looking at similar legislation.  So far... only New York City and Suffolk counties have actually raised the age for tobacco purchases. 


Parents of Kallie Swan mark one-year annIversary of her death with Allen Park tree planting...

The family of a little girl who brought the community together to support her battle against a form of childhood Leukemia honored her with a tree planting at Jamestown's Allen Park yesterday.  Kallie Swan passed away a year ago Friday at the age of 3.  Her parents, Tara and Shane Swan, were joined by dozens of supporters of the Kallie's Crusade Foundation near the swing set in the park named after Kallie.  Tara Swan says they thought it would be nice to get their supporters together for the tree planting.  She says they were planting a Flowering Cherry Tree in honor of Kallie.  The Swan's worked with the city Parks Department and City Arborist Dan Stone to plant the tree.  Shane Swan also took a moment to thank those on hand... especially supporting their effort to help other families with children battling Leukemia or Cancer.  The Swans were joined by numerous supporters... including members of the Falconer Modified Baseball Team Shane Swan helps coach... in planting the tree. 


Goodell proposes legislation to eliminate "Pay-to-Play," but, it faces uphill battle in state Assembly...

The area's state Assemblyman has introduced legislation that would end the practice of lawmakers receiving campaign contributions in return for a favorable vote on legislation that benefits the donor.  However... Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell admits his proposal to end what's commonly called "pay-to-play" faces an uphill battle in the chamber.  Goodell says currently... there are no rules regarding the practice... and, there are no limits on how much a donor can contribute.  He adds that currently... there isn't even a limit on the amount of money a lobbyist can contribute to a campaign where the state lawmaker would be able to cast a favorable vote.  He says he does have some co-sponsors for the proposed bill.  However... no Democrats -- who make up the Assembly's majority -- have signed on.


Young calls for DOT study of busy Falconer intersection where two students were hit by a car last month...

The area's State Senator is calling on the state Department of Transporation to install a traffic light at a Falconer intersection where two children were struck by a car last month.  Olean Republican Cathy Young has sent a letter to the DOT to review "serious traffic safety concerns" at the intersection of East Avenue and Route 394, near Falconer Middle and High Schools.  Following the accident... Falconer Mayor James Rensel... and, School Superintendent Steven Penhollow contacted Young about the incident... and, requested a study, since Route 394 is a state highway.  She says the safety of the children at the school "should be everyone’s utmost priority.  This hazardous intersection continues to be plagued with problems, and the situation deserves another thorough review.  The conditions at the intersection warrant the DOT’s serious attention, so that the circumstances are not repeated again in the future."


Lakewood-Busti Police catch two alleged scammers, looking for four others...

Two of the six people accused of being involved in an alleged payroll check cashing scheme in the Lakewood-area have now been arrested.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they took John Kellom, Junior... and, Richard Kerchner into custody late Thursday.  Investigators say they still have outstanding warrants for Jacklyn Long... Jason Thom... Kimberly Ferguson... and, Ryan Newell.  Police say they've received numerous complaints of false, fictitious or altered paychecks being cashed in the area.  If anyone or any business receives a suspicious check... call your local police department... or Lakewood-Busti Police at 763-9563. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County's representative in the state Assembly says the 12 year-sentence handed down to former Speaker Sheldon Silver is "fair and reasonable."  Those are the feelings of Republican lawmaker Andy Goodell... who says his Democratic colleagues feel the term handed down in U-S District Court in Manhattan was too stiff.  But... at the same time... Goodell says most everyone knew that Silver was up to no-good. Goodell says Albany insiders basically knew that Silver was receiving kick-backs for his influence that added up to "hundreds of thousands of dollars" over a long time period.  Given that fact... Goodell feels the sentence is just.  At the same time... he says Silver should have to forfeit his full-New York state pension... which he is still receiving.  That's because both the Assembly and state Senate have not approved the same bill to take those away.  Goodell says, last year, each passed a pension-forfeiture bill.  However... the language was not exactly the same in each one... so they had to be reconcilled... but, that never happened.

 

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says computer data breaches are "an escalating threat" to personal security.  Schneiderman's office reports receiving 40 percent more notifications of data breaches involving New Yorkers so far this year compared to the same period last year.  The office has received 459 data breach notices from the first of the year through May 2nd... compared with 327 before.  State law requires companies notify the office and consumers or breaches in computer systems that can expose their personal information.  Schneiderman has proposed legislation to would broaden the scope of information that companies are responsible for protecting, along with stronger technical and physical security measures.  A 2014 report from his office showed breaches more than tripled between 2006 and 2013... exposing 22.8 million personal records in 5,000 incidents.

 

The Robert H. Jackson Center was honored in a unique way this week, at a ceremony in Krakow, Poland.  The center's Director of Development, Marion Beckerink, says the International March for the Living presented a shofar to co-founder Greg Peterson.  The Showfar is a significant ram's horn that is used to signify major high holy days in the Jewish faith. Speakers at the Wednesday event in Poland spoke about the continuing relevance of Robert H. Jackson's work at the Nuremberg War Crimes trials 70 years ago. 

 

A Buffalo-area woman has now been ticketed in connection with a two-vehicle crash on North Main Street Extention in the town of Ellicott... which sent one car into the foundation of a home near Palm Road.  Ellicott Town Police say the crash occured about 3 PM Wednesday... when a northbound vehicle slowed to make a left hand turn into a driveway.  Officers say the driver of the second vehicle... 57 year-old Maureen Weir of Tonawanda... apparently didn't see the front car slowing until it was too late.  Police say the impact pushed the first vehicle into the house at 31-40 Route 60.  Police say both drivers signed of on medical care at the scene.  No other injuries were reported.  Weir was charged with Speed not reasonable and prudent.

 

All 18 school districts in Chautauqua County will be using the county Board of Elections' optical scan voting machines for this year's school district elections a week from next Tuesday.  That from County Elections Commissioner Norm Green, who adds that Randolph, in Cattaraugus County, will also be using the optical scan machines on May 17th. Green says the Board of Elections has designed and printed ballots for all 19 districts and will program and service the voting machines.  He says the school district clerk remains the chief election officer for all school elections. Sample ballots for all districts can be seen at Votechautauqua-dot-COM.

 

Children are the fastest growing group of new people coming in record numbers to the city of Jamestown's largest soup kitchen.  That from St. Susan's Center Executive Director Jeff Smith... who says they've seen just over 52-hundred more people come through the doors at their Water Street location the first four months of this year... compared to last.  Smith says St. Susan's provided record of just over 119-thousand meals in 2015... and, he says they're on pace to serve 125-thousand this year. That's because school will be out... and, that's typically where a lot of children in the Jamestown School District can take advantage of the district's Free Breakfast and Lunch programs.  Smith says with their record numbers... they can always use new volunteers at St. Susan's.  He says just call their volunteer coordinator... Katie Murdoch... at 664-2253.  The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and St. Susan's kicked-off the annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign earlier this week.  The fund-raiser runs through July 5th.

 

The federal government is handing out over 3-million dollars to help Lake Erie.  The money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will go toward projects that include tracking invasive species and controlling farm runoff that feeds toxic algae.  Federal officials say the $3.3 million in grants are critical to protect the lake's future.  Local Congressman Tom Reed voted for the funding as part of the recently approved Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  Close to half of the money will go toward helping farmers lessen the runoff that plays a big role in the rising number of algae blooms in the lake.  Over $1 million is targeted for fighting invasive plants and fish.

 

A unique Sherman business is celebrating a century of service this Friday and Saturday.  Farmer's Mill was begun as an agricultural co-op in 1916, and still operates that way. That's Ron Meeder, the manager of Farmer's Mill.  He says the co-op was first organized as a way to market milk for farmers around Sherman, and then evolved into a farm supply business.  Meeder says they'll make it special for their customers this weekend with 10 percent off farm supplies in the store, certificates and cake and ice cream! The business has been in the same place for the last 100 years... Kendrick Street in Sherman.

 

Jamestown-area residents will have the chance to sample dozens of types of wine at the second-annual "Taste of the Trail" event at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.  The Media One Group and Lake Erie Wine Country are putting on the program this Saturday afternoon.  Speaking with our Lee John... Lake Erie Wine Country Executive Director Julie Ellis says it's also a chance for their wineries to show off their product in a fun atmosphere.Ellis says... while the Lake Erie Region -- which is the largest east of the Mississippi River -- is known mostly for it's sweet wines... they'll also have plenty of good "dry" wines on hand as well.  She says the "Taste of the Trail" event runs from 1 to 5 PM at the arena... and, they'll have 11 local wineries on hand... along with food and other refreshments.  Ellis says the local wineries involved in the program Saturday include the first Winery in Pennsylvania... the Penn Shore Vineyards.  From Chautauqua County there will be 21Brix... and, Merritt Estate, among others.  There are still tickets left for the event... and, for more information... call 484-2624.


 

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WJTN News Headlines

Lawmakers and New Yorkers molested as children are pushing state lawmakers to lift New York's statute of limitations on suing abusers, saying the law closing the window at age 23 guarantees repeated victims.  Their effort has faced years of opposition from the Catholic Church and other institutions.  Lawmakers say the prospects are improving with a recent change in legislative leadership in Albany.  They also credit Massachusetts' passage two years ago of a similar measure and the recent Academy Award-winning film ``Spotlight'' about priest abuse of boys in Boston.  The film is being shown in a state building near the Capitol.  A dozen victims who spoke at a forum Wednesday recounted sex abuse by sports coaches, clergy and older family members.  Most said it took years into their adulthood to begin to process what happened.

 

Methamphetime has become more and more of a problem in the past couple of years in the Jamestown-area... and, a recent fire is being blamed on someone allegedly making the drug.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says officers and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were called to the scene of an apartment fire at 136 Maple Street shortly after Noon last April 18th.  Samuelson says they arrested 36 year-old Richard Brown late Tuesday for manufacturing Meth... and, for sparking the blaze. Samuelson says fire investigators indicated that they had found several items in the fire debris that appeared to be used to make Meth.  He says police and drug agents later confirmed that... and, a warrant was issued for Brown's arrest.  Samuelson says they're still looking into whether he was making Meth at the time of the blaze... which heavily damaged the apartment.  Brown was located by police... and, arraigned on one count of Felony Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime.  He was then sent to the county jail without bail.  Police say more charges are expected... including a possible arson count.  If  you have any information on the production and trafficking of any illegal drugs... call the JPD confidential tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

A preliminary meeting to introduce local officials to the leaders of a new, pharmacutical company that'll be locating a major manufacturing plant in the north county has been set for later this month.  The session with representatives of Athenex was to be held back on April 22nd... but, County Executive Vince Horrigan says some state officials wanted to be at the meeting... but, had a scheduling conflict.  Horrigan says that meeting has now been rescheduled for Thursday, May 19th at the SUNY College at Fredonia's Science Center. Horrigan says the 1.5-billion dollar project is so large... that it has a lot of areas that need to be carefully coordinated.  With that... he says Governor Andrew Cuomo and state economic development officials want to be involved each step of the way.  Athenex is headquartered in Buffalo... and, the new plant was to be built in the town of Dunkirk -- pending approval of a 200-million dollar incentive package in the state budget.  The 300-thousand square foot facility is expected to employ about 900 people.  Ground-breaking should take place later this year. Horrigan made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly bilking nearly 3-thousand dollars from public assistance in Chautauqua County.  Sheriff's officers say they charged 31 year-old Joathylet (Jo-ah-Thilet) Ruedas with several Felony counts related to welfare fraud.  Deputies conducted a joint investigation with the Department of Health and Human Service's Program Integrity Unit.  Police also accuse Ruedas of failing to report earned income to social workers.  They say she allegedly filed five separate false applications from September of 2014 to late May of 2015 which did not report her income.  As a result... officers say Ruedas received unentitled benefits totalling 29-hundred-72 dollars.  She is charged with five counts of first-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing... Welfare Fraud... Grand Larceny... and, Misuse of Food Stamps.  She was issued appearance tickets for  Jamestown City Court. Deputies say instances of suspected welfare fraud may be reported by calling the hotline 1-800-288-5365.

 

The first term mayor of Fredonia says she was "very worried" as the weekend long event that was formerly known as 'Fred Fest' un-folded... and, vows to follow up on the situation.  Athanasia Landis says she can't prevent the event from happening... but, wonders if an alternative can be found. Police officials say they responded to 171 calls and made 44 arrests during the event on Friday and Saturday.  Fredonia Fire and Alstar ambulance were also kept busy throughout the weekend.  Landis says they have to find a way to contain it... because what happened was "unacceptable."  She has been the village mayor since New Year's Day and says it's the first time she has had to directly deal with the unsanctioned event. 

 

Aeropostale, once the vibrant epicenter of the U.S. mall scene, is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The New York company said late Wednesday that it is closing 113 of its 739 U.S. stores and all 41 locations in Canada.  Going-out-of-business sales at those U.S. stores will begin this weekend.  The store in the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood closed some time ago.  Aeropostale expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection within six months as a smaller company after renegotiating contracts and resolving an ongoing dispute with the investment firm Sycamore Partners, a major shareholder that pushed through changes in company leadership.  The company's shares traded for more than 30-dollars about six years ago, when annual sales exceeded $2 billion.  Two weeks ago, it was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange with shares having failed to break the $1 barrier since last year.

 

Wealthy Buffalo developer Carl Paladino has been re-elected to the city school board by narrowly defeating his 18-year-old student challenger.  Unofficial results show Paladino beating high school student Austin Harig by a little more than 100 votes out of about 3-thousand cast in the Park District Tuesday.  Harig took on Paladino despite Paladino's experience as a former candidate for New York governor... and, current campaign co-chair for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in New York.  Paladino won his first three-year term on the nine-member school board in a landslide in 2013... becoming part of a new voting majority.  Two other members of that majority were defeated on Tuesday.

 

Finally... there's another state Broadcasting Hall of Famer in Chautauqua County.  Long-time north county Sportscaster Dan Palmer has received the ultimate honor for broadcasters around the state.  He will be inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Hall of Fame... where he joins our own Jim Roselle.  Dan called play-by play in more than 2,000 games he has covered in his 45 years in broadcasting. Dan will be part of the class of 2016 which includes; Liz Bishop, Janice Huff, CNN's Chris Jansing, and Yankees broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.  The induction ceremony will take place on June 10th in New York City.  Dan joins the late Jim Roselle and Van Miller as Chautauqua County representatives in "the Hall."  He's also a member of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly operating a Methamphetime Lab that apparently caught fire... and, extensively damaged his second-floor apartment last month.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were called to the scene at 136 Maple Street shortly after Noon last April 18th.  Fire crews were called to the scene about 11:45 AM.  Samuelson says investigators noted that they had found several items in the debris that appeared to be used to make Meth.  He says police and drug agents confirmed that... and, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the tenant, 36 year-old Richard Brown.  Brown was located late Tuesday... and, arraigned on one count of Felony Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime.  He was then sent to the county jail without bail.  Police say more charges are expected.

 

A Lakewood man faces several reckless driving, and stolen property-related charges following a high-speed chase early Monday night in the town of Busti.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they... along with Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force agents, and State Police... tried to serve a warrant on 22 year-old Dylan Abby of Packard Way.  But... as Jamestown Police followed Abbey... he drove off at a high-rate of speed. After fleeing for a short distance... officers say Abbey abandoned the vehicle... and, fled on foot.  Officers gave chase and later took him into custody.  Police arrested Abbey on a state Parole warrant... and, later found he was allegedly driving a stolen car.  Further investigation led police to obtain a search warrant for 22-91 Fairmount Avenue in Busti... and, several additional items were found... and, more charges will be filed.  Abbey faces charges including first-degree reckless endangerment... criminal possession of stolen property... and, unlawfully fleeing police.  He also faces a drug-related charge.  Abbey is jailed in Jamestown pending further court action.

 

Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a backroom master whose name was synonymous with political power in New York for a generation, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison.  With that... officials believe he is destined to take his place atop the state's crowded lineup of crooked politicians behind bars.  Silver, a 72-year-old Manhattan Democrat, lowered his head slightly and closed his eyes briefly as a stern U.S. Judge Valerie Caproni announced his fate.  Caproni said -- quote -- "I hope the sentence I impose upon you will make other politicians think twice until their better angels take over -- or, if there are no better angels, perhaps the fear of living out his golden years in an orange jumpsuit."  She also ordered Silver to forfeit $5.3 million and pay a $1.75 million fine.

 


"It's very disappointing to say the least."  Those are the feelings of Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan regarding the decision by a Falconer-based maker of custom hose and tube assemblies to phase-out it's local plant operations... and, move them to Buffalo.  Horrigan is reacting to the decision by Power Drives, Incorporated of Allen Street to move to 801 Exchange Street in Buffalo this Summer.  Company officials say they need larger facility for their plant.  But... Horrigan doesn't believe space was the only issue. As he understands it... Horrigan says Power Drive is trying to consolidate it's three locations into two... and, also considered moving to Erie, Pennsylvania.  He also believes workforce development was an issue for the company, and may have factored into the decision.  As for losing Power Drives... and, it's nearly 100 jobs... Horrigan says his administration has still has a good record in retaining local business.  An announcement issued by Power Drive said it's 98 employees were notified Monday about the move.  Company officials say about two-thirds of the employees will be given a chance to move with the company to Buffalo.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are on the rise again this week... up by about 8-cents for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel.  The Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge Report says the average price locally is up from about 2-dollars-29 cents to 2--37 this week.  That's based on reports from 19 local service stations in the area.  At this time last year... the price was 2-dollars-74 cents a gallon.  The national average is now almost 2-dollar-22 cents.  Nationally... Triple-A says gas prices are at their highest levels in more than six months... and, the national average has remained above 2-dollars a gallon for 40 consecutive days.  The Fuel Gauge says today’s average price represents an increase of eight cents per gallon.

 

Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson has announced that no charges will be filed against a homeowner who was involved in a shooting that occurred on Liberty Street in Fredonia on April 23th.  Swanson says charges, though, are forthcoming against two others involved... including the person who was shot.  Swanson, who is also a gun owner, says the homeowner did use discretion in utilizing the .45-caliber handgun that police say was legally owned. Swanson did not identify the homeowner.  He would also not identify the other parties involved in the early morning shooting.  However... he says they each face a charge of criminal trespass.  Otherwise... he would not comment further on the matter.  Police officials did identify the person who was shot as James Duman of Dunkirk.  He was treated at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo... and, was later transferred to the Chautauqua County Jail where police say he was being held for a parole violation. 

 

The 17th annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign is underway to help Jamestown's largest soup kitchen raise money to help feed the hungry in the community... and, it's importance is still high.  The campaign was kicked-off yesterday morning at the Board of Public Utilities' headquarters... with most of the fund-raiser's sponsors on hand.  BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins helps lead the effort... and, says the BPU can't directly donate to charities... but, they can help lead this "very important" effort. Robbins says the sponsors help in two ways... donating money to the campaign, and putting out those bright yellow canisters people can drop their change into.  St. Susan's Executive Director Jeff Smith says those donations help them run the center, and feed the area's needy.  Smith says they're on a pace to serve another record number of meals this year... with more than 5-thousand meals already served OVER last year's pace.  The Cents for St. Susan's campaign runs through July 5th.  Local sponsors include: National Fuel... Northwest Savings Bank... and, the Weinberg Financial Group.  The Media One Group is a media sponsor of the Cents for St. Susan's effort.


 

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News Headlines for Tues., May 3, 2016

Randolph native found murdered with fellow missionary in Jamaica...

A Cattaraugus County native has become the second U.S. National found dead in Jamaica after being reportedly attacked and killed last weekend.  We have learned that 53-year-old Harold Nichols of Randolph worked for many years at New Directions Youth and Family Services in Randolph.  Officials at New Directions -- which includes the Randolph Children's Home --  say they are "devastated" by the news that Nichols has died.  In a printed statement... Development Director Brad Sande says "the entire Randolph Children’s Home and New Directions community mourns the tragic and senseless death of Harold Nichols."  Both Nichols and fellow American Missionary, Randy Hentzel, were found dead in the St. Mary-area of Jamacia.  Both did outreach work for the TEAMS for Medical Missions.  Nichols served as a liason for all Mission teams in St. Mary.  The Salamanca native is survived by his wife, Teri.  More on this developing story as it becomes available.


Teenaged girl found dead after fall down embankment on Cattaraugus Indian Reservation...

Authorities are investigating the death of a teenage girl who fell down an embankment on an Indian reservation in western New York.  The Erie County Sheriff's Office says the teen fell early Sunday morning about 100 feet down an embankment along the Cattaraugus Creek on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation... just northeast of Silver Creek.  Officials say deputies and other emergency responders tried to revive the girl, but she was already deceased.  The girl's name and other detail haven't been released.


Power Drives, Inc annouces move to Buffalo this Summer...

A Falconer-based maker of custom hose and tube assemblies has announced that it's phasing out it's local plant operations... and, moving to Buffalo.  The Jamestown Post-Journal today reports that Power Drives, Incorporated... located at 2148 Allen Street... is moving operations to 801 Exchange Street in Buffalo this Summer.  The companies 98 employees were notified Monday of the move... which will take about three months to complete.  Company officials say about two-thirds of the employees will be given a chance to move with the company to Buffalo.  The need for a larger facility for their operation was given as reason for the move.


Reed votes in favor of increased funding for annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative...

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the majority that recently voted in favor of the Great Lake Restoration Initiative.  Reed says the $300-million measure helps protect the lakes because it is "critically important" to preserve these natural resources for future generations.  The Corning Republican says it allows eight members states -- including New York -- to come together to implement a 'science-based and outcomes-focused plan' of action for restoring and protecting the Great Lakes and their watersheds.  Reed says he's confident that once the measure gets through the Senate, he's confident the president will sign the bill.  He says President Obama had proposed $250-million in his budget plan... but lawmakers wanted to maintain it at $300-million.  He says the funding has been a "on-going issue..." and, is a step in the right direction.  Reed says the measure -- which now goes to the U-S Senate -- also cuts through bureaucracy to accomplish it's goals and objectives.  Reed made his comments during his weekly conference call with regional media.


Horrigan and Schuyler comment on budget shortfall caused by DHHS, Medicaid miscalculation...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is not too concerned at this point with a nearly half-million-dollar budget shortfall.  Horrigan says he doesn't blame the County Legislature for rejecting a proposal the take $495,000 from the fund balance to offset a shortfall involving the line-item to pay the county's share of Medicaid.  Christine Schuyler, Director of Health and Human Services, admits they made a mistake.  Schuyler says her office and the county's Budget Office missed the fact that 2016 has 53-weeks in it... not the normal 52.  Last week... legislators rejected the proposal to make up the difference through fund balance by a 19-0 vote.  Horrigan says they will continue to monitor the situation... because the county still wound up with a slight budget surplus last year.  He says there are other issues including a slight budget gap caused by the reduced NRG PILOT payment.  He says they are also keeping an eye on sales tax revenues for the year.

 


 

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News Headlines for Mon., May 2, 2016

WNY Teenager dies in fall on Cattaraugus Indian Reservation...

Authorities are investigating the death of a teenage girl who fell down an embankment on an Indian reservation in western New York.  The Erie County Sheriff's Office says the teen fell early Sunday morning about 100 feet down an embankment along the Cattaraugus Creek on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation... just northeast of Silver Creek.  Officials say deputies and other emergency responders tried to revive the girl, but she was already deceased.  The girl's name and other detail haven't been released.


Mayville man not seriously hurt in rollover crash, but, faces speeding and other charges...

A Mayville man escaped serious injury when his truck missed a curve on a town of Chautauqua road... and, rolled over several times last weekend.  Sheriff's officers say a patrol came up on the scene of the accident on Plank Road shortly before 6 a.m. last Saturday.  Deputies say 49 year-old Craig Hayward was northbound when he failed to negotiate the curve... and, the vehicle overturned multiple times.  Hayward was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of apparently non-life threatening injuries.  Hayward was ticketed for third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator... speeding... speed not reasonable or prudent... failure to stop at a stop sign... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He'll appear in Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.


Sherman school budget to feature no tax increase, thanks mainly to bump in School Aid...

There will be no tax increase in the approximately $10-million budget going before voters in the Sherman Central School District next month.  That from School Superintendent Kaine Kelly... who says the school board recently approved the spending plan that'll be up for a vote May 17.  Kelly says -- thanks to a boost in state school aid -- they're able to strike a balance of providing a quality education for students -- yet looking out for the district's taxpayers.  He says the spending plan is "fiscally conservative, but still keeps the needs of the students in mind."  Kelly says there were changes to two areas of their state school aid that helped Sherman a lot.  One was the elimination of the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment."  The other is an increase in their Foundation -- or base aid.  In addition to the budget... Kelly says there will also be a transportation proposition on the ballot for two, new, 66-passenger buses... and, one 15-passenger van.  Kelly says there will also be three people running for two school board seats.  They are incumbants Gary DeLillis... and, Jen Ferrara... and, challenger Robert Head.


Jamestown woman arrested for forgery...

A city woman is jailed on $2,500 bail for allegedl committing five acts of forgery.  Sheriff's deputies say they took 28 year-old Erica Burkholder into custody last Saturday on a warrant at 3295 Fluvanna-Townline Rd.  Officers say she faces five counts of second-degree forgery... and, was later charged with one count each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree endangering the welfare of a child... and, third-degree possession of a forged instrument.  Burkholder was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.


COI leader talks about Community Needs Assessment survey now underway...

A local human service agency that strives to help the poor get out of poverty and have a better life is conducting a survey to see what the needs are for low-income residents in the county.  Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated does a "Community Needs Assessment" every three-years to help develop it's new strategic plan.  COI Executive Director Roberta Keller says the Needs Assessment asks a number of questions to get an idea of what needs to be in place to help the poor... including income, education, and housing status.  Keller says they also look at race and ethnicity... as well as age and education.  She says they also look at the health of people... and, determine where the biggest problems are.  Keller says they use the Needs Assessment to develop the three-year plan... which gives them direction on what to tackle, and how they're going to go about it.  She says they have copies at COI's headquarters in Jamestown and Dunkirk... and, it's also on-line at www.chautauquaopportunties.com.  She made her comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group Stations.


State Legislature to return to session Tuesday...

A proposal to allow Uber to expand outside of New York City... and, long-awaited reforms to address government corruption are among the top issues facing state lawmakers as they return to wrap up their 2016 session.  The Senate and the Assembly will reconvene in Albany Tuesday for what's expected to be seven weeks of work.  One item that must be resolved is the renewal of mayoral control of schools in New York City, which expires this year.  Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio wants a longer extension, but Senate Republicans are wary.  The ride-hailing service Uber wants lawmakers to pass regulations allowing it to expand into upstate cities.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says he'll push for ethics reforms to address Albany's history of government corruption, but so far lawmakers have shown little interest.

 

 

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