**NEWS ALERT**


Authorities have recovered the Body of 48 year old Ricky Whipple who was lost in Chautauqua Lake following a tubing incident last Saturday.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says they found Whipple's body at 5:45 this morning.   Whipple's family has been notified, and Gerace hopes that this helps bring them some closure. Gerace thanked everyone who helped in the recovery - The Sheriffs Department, Volunteer Firefighters, State Police and others that put in hundreds of man hours over the past few days.  Authorities have been working in a joint effort since this past Saturday evening to locate the body of 48 year old Ricky Whipple.

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown men are jailed for allegedly being involved in stealing nearl 100 guns from three gun shops in North Central Pennsylvania.  However... it was "good old-fashioned police work" that led to their arrests and indictments by a federal grand jury.  That from Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says a simple street check on one of the suspects -- 36 year-old Jason Thorn -- helped lead to the federal investigation by the Burea of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Samuelson says the combined investigation led to the seizure of 55 of the 93 guns allegedly stolen. Samuelson says they arrested Thorn on South Main Street at Axtel.  He says 31 year-old Ben McCormack was arrested a short time later.  He says they, and the ATF were able to find the 55 guns inside a vehicle, and at a home on Wescott Street by June 21st.  The federal indictment says authorities are still looking for the other 38 guns allegedly taken.  Samuelson says Thorn is being held locally on the weapons possession charge... while McCormack is already being held on the federal weapons charges.

 

Search conditions were better Wednesday for emergency-rescue personnel during the on-going effort to find a Cattaraugus County man whose been missing -- and presumed drowned in Chautauqua Lake.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department's Water Emergency Team divers ended their efforts in the north basin of the lake late yesterday afternoon to find 48 year-old Ricky Whipple of Conewango Valley.  However... Gerace says the Chautauqua Fire Department deployed more resources last night to further assist in the search until night-fall last evening.  Earlier... he says they did a 45-minute helicopter search of the area.  However... while conditions were good for an aerial search... it didn't turn up any sign of a body.

 

New York state is funding the creation of six new recovery centers to help people trying to overcome heroin and opioid addiction.  The new facilities will be located in Buffalo... Staten Island... Long Island... Saratoga Springs... Watertown... and, Newburgh.  They're being funded by 10.5-million dollars in state money announced Wednesday by Goveronr Andrew Cuomo.  The centers will offer services to recovering users such as workforce training, peer support and help with insurance and health care.  It's one piece of a broader state effort to address the rise in heroin and opioid use and abuse.  Lawmakers recently passed a series of new measures that limit opioid prescriptions to seven days, require insurers to cover initial impatient drug treatment and expand rehab and treatment options around the state.

 

City lawmakers are lending their support to the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's effort to get a state grant for the second-phase of the Wintergarden Plaza project.  The City Council Monday night approved sending a letter of support for the JRC's efforts to obtain an Environmental Protection Fund grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the JRC is looking to improve the plaza so it can host more outdoor activities. The Renaissance Corporation tore down the former Wintergarden Theater on North Main Street back in 2010... and, work on the plaza began.  It has been used primarily as an outdoor-concert, and other "live" entertainment venue.  An outdoor canopy is one of the items the JRC is looking to obtain.  Last year... the JRC tried to obtain a competitive grant through the Consolidated Funding Application process that's overseen by the Western New York Economic Development Council.  However... the project was not funded.

 

A Celoron man has been arrested for allegedly stealing nine checks from another person's checkbook... and cashing them for more than 800-dollars.  State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 24 year-old Zachary Card late Tuesday on nine-counts of first-degree Forgery... and, petty larceny.  Troopers say they received the larceny complaint a day earlier... and, it revealed that Card had stolen the checks over a six-month span.  He's then accused of making out each check out to himself... and, forging the victim’s signature.  Card reportedly obtained 835-dollars initially.  Card was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court... and, sent to the county jail with bail to be set pending a recommendation from the District Attorney's Office.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says oil companies should be required to make their crude less dangerous to transport before loading it onto trains.  The New York Democrat said Wednesday that much of the oil being shipped via train can be rendered less hazardous by removing flammable gasses first.  Oil coming from North Dakota's Bakken Shale formation is considered more volatile than other types of oil because it contains a greater amount of gas.  Schumer says he's asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to impose the requirement, which he says would reduce the risk of train car explosions.  Albany is a hub for crude-by-rail shipments from North Dakota to East Coast refineries.

 

Fredonia's Public Works Director is back-to-work following a two-week unpaid suspension. Village DPW Director Jack Boland is once again present at the village board meetings following his recent suspension. Mayor Dr. Athanasia Landis, who would not disclose the reason or reasons behind Boland's suspension, says it's not her goal to fire people. When asked about his suspension... Boland did not have any comment... saying it was between him and the board.  Boland returned to work with the village Public Works Department this past Monday.

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WJTN News Headlines

A combination of a rain storm and shifting wind conditions made for another difficult day of searching the northern end of Chautauqua Lake for a man who is missing and presumed drowned.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department's Water Emergency Team divers ended Tuesday's search of the water's north of Chautauqua Institution just after mid-afternoon for 48 year-old Ricky Whipple of Conewango Valley.  Gerace says it wasn't as hot for divers today... but, search conditions were worse in other ways. Depending on what kind of head-way is make in the next day or so... Gerace says emergency officials may have to decide whether to discontinue the search.  However... he says they're not at that point yet because it's an important time for Whipple's family, and others who use the lake.  Whipple was thrown from the inner tube he was riding on shortly before 7 last Saturday night... and, has been missing since.  The search will resume at first light this morning.

 

A federal grand jury has returned a 14-count indictment against three men... one from Jamestown... for allegedly conspiring to distribute illegal drugs in the Buffalo-area.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced the indictments against 47 year-old Richard Clarke, a Canadian citizen residing in Buffalo... 32 year-old Barrett Johnson of Jamestown... and, 31 year-old Joshua Castro of Buffalo.  Prosecutors say a complaint was initially filed against Clarke and Johnson in February of 2015, and the investigation began.  Clarke was allegedly found to be supplying MDA and MDMA, also known as ecstasy or "molly," to Johnson over a 10-month period.  This past January... Hochul says surveillance was set up at Clarke’s Nottingham Terrace home, and Johnson’s business... Iconz Barbershop on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo.  Johnson was later arrested during a raid at the barbershop... where he allegedly threw all of the items in his hands to the ground... including a cup which contained a substance similar to "molly."  The defendants were arraigned in U-S District Court... and, given conditional releases on conditions.  The charge against each carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of one-million dollars.

 

Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly trafficking illegal durgs following a vehicle stop on the city's eastside.  Jamestown police say they pulled over 24 year-old Ryan Baker on Willard Street near -- Winsor -- just after 10 o'clock Monday night.  Officers say they found several items used to package and distribute drugs with inside the vehicle.... as well as a small amount of Heroin.  Police say they also found drug paraphernalia... and, charged both Baker and his passenger, 20 year-old Alyssa Sheldon... with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument... and, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  Sheldon was also charged with tampering with evidence after allegedly trying to hide some heroin and a syringe.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail.  Sheldon is being held without bail... Baker on 45-hundred dollars bail.

 

An early morning incident on West Fourth Street in the north county city of Dunkirk Tuesday not only led to the arrest of two people on outstanding warrants... but it also resulted in drug possession charges.  Dunkirk Police were called to 34 West Fourth where they located 25-year-old Nicholas Bailey and 35-year-old Jenna Matney.  Police Chief David Ortolano says what officers found inside the apartment led to additional charges. As a result... Ortolano says Bailey and Matney have been charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... a Felony... and, unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.  Both were being held without bail pending arraignment.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is praising the work of the Select Committee on Benghazi... and, ripping the Obama Administration for "refusing to acknowledge it's responsibility in this tragedy."  Reed says that's -- quote -- "not right.  Those who serve our country must know that we will always stand with them, and will not abandon them in their time of need."  The Corning Republican says he is calling for the administration, and all those involved, to be held accountable.  The committee Tuesday turned over it's more than 800-page report on the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attack on the American Consultate in Libya that left four Americans... including U-S Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens... dead.  The attack also led to the deaths of Sean Smith... Tyrone Woods... and, Glen Doherty,

 

A prominent American conservative columnist and TV Commentator has decided he can't support presumptive Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.  In addition... George Will says he's also giving up his registration as a Republican.  Will told Fox News Sunday he made the decision "after Trump went after the Mexican judge from northern Indiana... and, then House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed him."  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't agree with Will... and, says he should stay and use his position to "influence" how things are addressed. Will said he was inspired by Arizona Senator, and former Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who founded the conservative movement.  Will's decision mirrors those of members of a long-time conservative publication... the "National Review."  While he's disappointed... Reed says he's not overly concerned.  He came out several weeks ago in favor of Trump after his initial favorite... Jeb Bush... pulled out of the GOP Primary race.

 

New York state has created a new consumer hotline to help identify vacant properties.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the number -- 1-800-342-3736 -- on Tuesday.  It's part of a larger effort by the state aimed at addressing the large number of vacant and abandoned properties known as 'zombie homes.'  The hotline will allow local residents and officials to report vacant properties.  The state is now compiling a list of all such homes and will require banks and lenders to ensure the property is maintained before foreclosure.  Officials estimate that New York state has more than 6-thousand zombie homes.  Many fall into disrepair when residents move out while the lengthy foreclosure process drags on.  Cuomo says zombie homes can bring down property values and negatively impact entire neighborhoods.

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WJTN News Headlines

The search for a Conewango Valley man missing since last Saturday night... and, presumed drowned in Chautauqua Lake... will resume this morning.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace following a second, full-day of searching an area just north of Chautauqua Institution for 48 year-old Ricky Whipple.  Gerace says it was another, difficult day... due mainly to the warm and humid conditions.  He adds they've used every resource available to try and find the victim. Gerace says the search has been "very frustrating" as -- all told -- the department has rung up "hundreds of man hours" looking for Whipple... who was thrown from an inner tube he was riding on about 7 PM last Saturday.  The operator of the boat pulling the tube said Whipple went under the water... and, never re-surfaced.  Gerace says the water in the area where the victim fell in is abut 25-feet deep.  By Sunday... the search had become a recovery operation. 

 

A Jamestown woman is dead... while a city man was seriously hurt... in a single-car accident at the intersection of Buffalo Street and Willard Street Extension in the town of Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Police now tell us that 42 year-old Mark Myers was eastbound on Buffalo Street Extension shortly before 10 PM last Saturday night when he lost control of the vehicle.  Officers say Myer's car slammed into a tree at the intersection with Willard Street Extension.  Myer's passenger... 49 year-old Debra Wigren... was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police add that Myers was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.  He was then transported to the University of  Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh for further treatment.  A witness tells us the 1968 model Chevrolet Camero was operating at an apparent high-rate of speed when the accident occured.  The Sheriff's Department Accident Recontruction Team is now investigating.

 


City lawmakers have approved a 350-thousand dollar loan from the Jamestown Local Development Corporation to help get a new, downtown hotel up and running.  The City Council voted 9-0 last night to approve the loan for the Hamister Group to acquire the former Ramada Inn location at 150 West Fourth Street... and, convert it into a Doubletree Inn.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the loan is a crucial piece of the funding picture for Hamister... doing business locally at H-H Jamestown. DeJoy adds that the JLDC Loan will actually be doled out near the end of the 14.1-million dollar project early next year.  It was initially hoped that the hotel would by up and running by August of last year.  However... DeJoy says the discovery of some kind of gas or oil residue in the ground slowed the project down.  In fact... he says it took about a year for Hamister to address the issue to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's satisfaction. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says elimination of the nation's export tax will help increase manufacturing jobs because more companies will bring their headquarters back to the U-S.  Reed offered the proposal as part of the House Republican's plan to cut, and streamline the 70-thousand page tax code.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media... the Corning Republican said a "simpler and fairer" tax code is the "right policy...."
Reed believes that eliminating the United States' export tax will intice the return of at least some of the 14 of the top 20 largest corporations... who have moved their headquarters out of the country since the 1960s.  He also noted that -- under the GOP Plan -- the individual tax code will be reduced from seven to three brackets... which may allow tax returns to filed on a form the size of a postcard.  Reed says the U-S workforce is "second to none... and, federal tax policy robs them of the jobs they need and deserve."

 

A former corrections officer who inadvertently helped two killers escape from a northern New York prison is free after serving four months in the county jail.  Gene Palmer was released Monday after serving two-thirds of his six-month sentence.  He declined to comment to reporters outside the jail.  The 58-year-old Palmer admitted providing Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools, paint and access to a catwalk electrical box at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.  But... he said he never knew they planned to break out.  Palmer gave the inmates frozen hamburger containing the hacksaw blade they used to escape.  He was convicted of promoting prison contraband, tampering with evidence and official misconduct.  After a three-week manhunt last June, Matt was shot and killed.  Sweat was wounded and caught.

 

Showers and thunderstorms brought some much needed rain to portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties very early Monday morning.  However... it hasn't made much of a dent in the abnormally dry conditions that have been gripping the region since early April.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo, who says some locations saw nearly an inch of rain overnight. But... while that sounds like a lot of rain, the area is still facing a significant rainfall deficit.  Reynolds says there's actually been a rainfall deficit for the past three months.  A cold front will bring some more moisture today... but Reynolds doesn't expect any major change in the weather pattern over the next week to ten days.

 

Creative expression is being explored during this first week of the 2016 season at Chautauqua Institution.  Author Roger Rosenblatt is back to talk with his many friends about their writting... and, what's behind it.  Monday... News Broadcaster and Author, Jane Pauley and her husband, Doonsbury creator, Garry Trudeau... are being interviewed on the Amphitheater stage.  Rosenblatt told our Dennis Webster that Pauley and Trudeau are very unique.
Pauley has authored two books... but, doesn't really consider herself an author.  Her first book was "Skywritting."  The second was called "Your Life Calling... which included the stories of 37 people who have wound up living longer than they thought they would... and, what they wound up doing with the "extra time."  Pauley says it was interesting to do the book because most of the people read up on re-inventing themselves... and, kind of floundered in the dark until they decided what they were going to do.  Several other authors will talk with Rosenblatt through the week... which concludes Friday with Actor and Author Alan Alda and his wife, Arlene, taking the stage.

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News Update for Mon., June 27, 2016

Names, details released on fatal weekend crash in town of Ellicott...

A Jamestown woman is dead... while a city man was seriously hurt... in a single-car accident at the intersection of Buffalo Street Ext. and Willard Street Ext. in the town of Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Police now tell us that 42 year-old Mark Myers was eastbound on Buffalo Street Extension shortly before 10 p.m. last Saturday night when he lost control of the vehicle.  Officers say Myer's car slammed into a tree at the intersection with Willard Street Extension.  Myer's passenger... 49 year-old Debra Wigren... was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police add that Myers was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.  He was then transported to the University of  Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh for further treatment.  A witness tells us the 1968 model Chevrolet Camero was operating at an apparent high-rate of speed when the accident occured.  The Sheriff's Department Accident Recontruction Team is now investigating.

 

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**News Update**

One person was killed, and another seriously hurt, in a single-car accident at the intersection of Buffalo Street and Willard Street Extension in the town of Ellicott.  A witness to the crash tells Media One News that the accident occured about 10 PM Saturday night.  The witness says the 1960s model Chevrolet Camero was operating on Buffalo Street at an apparent high-rate of speed when the driver failed to stop at the stop sign.  The car then slammed into a tree.  A county coroner declared the passenger dead at the scene... while the driver was flown by Starflight Helicopter to a regional trauma center.  More information when it becomes available

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WJTN News Headlines

A Conewango Valley man is missing and persumed drowned after he was thrown from an inner tube being pulled by a boat on the northern end of Chautauqua Lake.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department's Marine Division and members of the county's Water Emergency Team were called to the scene by the boat operator shortly before 7 PM.  Gerace says the location where 48 year-old Ricky Whipple went missing was just north of the northern end of Chautauqua Institution. Gerace says crews searched for about two-hours before calling it a night... and, resuming at 5:30 AM Sunday.  He says it was an exhaustive day for divers... due mainly to the extreme heat.  They concluded their dives by 4 PM... but, Gerace says boat patrols were still checking the area.  He says Whipple's problems were compounded by the fact that he was not wearing life jacket or vest.  He says the search has now become a recovery operation... and, his department's search will resume at about 6 this morning.

 

Chautauqua Institution President Tom Becker opened his final summer season Sunday with the the traditional '3 Taps' address.  Becker began by thanking the Amphitheater staff for preparing to work through the summer without a backstage area... which has been torn off in preparation for the new Amp a year from now.  The outgoing President also commended Chautauqua's senior staff for its hard work and the Board of Trustees for thinking 'rigorously and combatively' about how to 'do the right thing'.  Tom Becker will leave the Chautauqua Presidency at the end of this year.  A new President is expected to be named in the fall. 

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening another person with a knife at a southside home early last weekend.  City police were called to the scene at 109 Newland Avenue shortly after 8 PM last Friday... and, learned that 58 year-old Patrick Liberte had allegedly gone after another person during an argument.  The victim was not identified.  Officers arrested Liberte for second-degree menacing, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was sent to the county jail on 10-thousand dollars cash bail.

 

The Class of 2016 from Jamestown High School received a lot of good advice from a number of speakers at last weekend's Commencement at Chautauqua Institution.  That from Keynote Speaker, Kim Sinatra, a member of the JHS Class of 1978.  However... the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas also had some wisdom to pass along.  Sinatra equated the graduate's situation with her own... growing up in Jamestown... and, learning valuable lessons working in her father's doctors office as a teenager. She says Jamestown, New York is a place that fosters "care, compassion, emphathy, and dedication."  Valedictorian Matthew Elia used the most famous quote from late President John F. Kennedy... "ask not what your country can do for you, but, ask what you can do for your country."  Elia urged his classmates to realize and use their "talents and abilities..." but, to also help the "less fortunate."  JHS Graduates also heard from Salutatorian Luke Kindberg...  School Superintendent Tim Mains... and, High School Principal Mike McElrath.

 

A Ripley man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking narcotic drugs... and, violating his probation... following a raid late last week.  Sheriff's officers say members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... state Parole officials went to the apartment of 28 year-old Rance Freeman, Junior at 94-99 Route 20 late last Thursday night.  Task Force agents say they arrested Freeman without incident for a parole violation... and, third-degree criminal sale, and possession of a controlled substance.  Members say Freeman allegedly sold quantities of oxycodone to undercover agents.  But... after the arrest, a search of the apartment uncovered an additional quantity of oxycodone... as well as a large quantity of cash.  With that... he was charged with a second count of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Freeman is being held in the county jail without bail on the parole violation count... but, will also be arraigned in Ripley Town Court on the new drug sale and possession charges.  Anyone with information on suspicious, or narcotics-related activities is urged to call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.

 

New York lawmakers have voted to gradually pay for public defenders statewide to ensure the poor have lawyers at arraignments and fill other gaps in their constitutionally required legal counsel.  The bill heading to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk follows his administration's settlement two years ago with the New York Civil Liberties Union.  The group sued seven years earlier alleging New York systematically provided inadequate staff and money.  New York City and 57 counties currently fund defenders.  The settlement requires the state fund staff or contract defenders in Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Suffolk and Washington counties, which were named in the suit.  The legislation would require the state reimburse the rest in 2023, starting with 25 percent payment next year.  It cost almost 400-million dollars last year.  Required improvements would cost more.

 

President Barack Obama is designating New York's Stonewall Inn as a national monument - the first to honor gay rights.  Obama says the Stonewall National Monument will tell the story of the country's struggle for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  He says he believes that America's national parks should reflect "the full story of our country" including the diversity that has always defined the U.S.  The tavern in Greenwich Village became the site of an uprising after police raided it in June 1969, triggering what's widely viewed as the start of the gay rights movement.  The monument will cover 7.7 acres in Manhattan, including the bar, a small park across the street called Christopher Park... and, the streets around it where the uprising took place.

 

The state attorney general's office is offering help to homeowners who want to get solar power.  A new brochure available on the attorney general's website discusses the different types of solar contracts available, and what to look for when choosing a solar company.  It also details the steps involved in going solar and points out important considerations such as future sale of the home, protecting the roof, and getting a power production guarantee.  It recommends that landowners consult with an attorney before leasing land for large solar projects.  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the tips will help homeowners become more savvy consumers as they look into solar projects.

 


 

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News Headlines for Sun., June 26, 2016

Search continues for missing man in Chautauqua Lake, divers call it a day at 4 p.m. due to extreme heat...

A Conewango Valley man is missing and persumed drowned after he was thrown from an inner tube being pulled by a boat on the northern end of Chautauqua Lake.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department's Marine Division and members of the county's Water Emergency Team were called to the scene by the boat operator shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday.  Gerace says the location where 48 year-old Ricky Whipple went missing was just north of the northern end of Chautauqua Institution.  He says they said Whipple had gone into the water, and he hadn't come up.  Fire rescue crews were called in from Chautauqua, Ashville, Bemus Point, and DeWittville.  Gerace says crews searched for about two-hours before calling it a night... and, resuming at 5:30 this morning.  He says it was an exhaustive day for divers... due mainly to the extreme heat.  They concluded their dives by 4 p.m., but, Gerace says boat patrols were still checking the area.  He says the water is about 25-feet deep in that area... but, he adds it's a big area... but, you start from a "rough area" to search and it's like "looking for a needle in a haystack."  Gerace says Whipple's problems were compounded by the fact that he was not wearing life jacket or vest.  He says the search has now become a recovery operation... and, his department's search will resume at about 6 tomorrow morning.


City man arrested for menacing...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening another person with a knife at a southside home early last weekend.  City police were called to the scene at 109 Newland Avenue shortly after 8 p.m. last Friday... and, learned that 58 year-old Patrick Liberte had allegedly gone after another person during an argument.  The victim was not identified.  Officers arrested Liberte for second-degree menacing, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


About 300 JHS graduates receive diplomas at Commencement at Chautauqua Institution...

It was a night of tradition... and, pomp and circumstance at the Chautauqua Amphitheater.  However... it was mainly also the "graduate's night" for some 300 Jamestown High School seniors who received their diplomas.  The Keynote Speaker was 1978 JHS Graduate Kim Sinatra... who is Executive Vice-President and General Counsel for Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas.  Sinatra first congratulated the graduates on their big accomplishment.  However... Sinatra also challenged them to do their best, like she has tried to do.  She says, while their celebrating today, they're going to go out into the world, and they're "going to own it."  However... she believes they make it because she did, too.  Sinatra says that's because they come from Jamestown, New York... a place she says fosters "care, compassion, emphathy, and dedication."  She says she learned that working in her father's doctors office when she was a teenager... and, that's stayed with her even though she's lived elsewhere for 38 years.

 

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News Headlines for Friday, June 24, 2016

Two city men arrested following vehicle chase on Jamestown's eastside Thursday...

Two Jamestown men... one wanted on numerous Felony warrants... have been arrested following a vehicle on the city's eastside late yesterday afternoon.  City police say patrol officers spotted 38 year-old Cesar Soto as he drove past them about 4:40 p.m. at the intesection of King and Hebner Streets.  Officers then began the pursuit... and, Soto is accused of nearly hitting an on-coming patrol car at a high rate of speed.  Police say the pursuit traveled down Maltby Street to Pleasant Avenue before Soto's car left the road... and, struck a tree.  Soto then tried to flee on foot... but, was caught after a brief chase.  A passenger in the car... 24 year-old Mark McKay... was also arrested after being found in possession of drug paraphernalia.  Soto faces several charges... including first-degree reckless endangerment... and those Felony warrants.  Three local K-9 units assisted at the scene.


Local head of Mental Health Association reacts to Opioid Legislation approval...

The four measures to curb the problems with Heroin and opioid addiction signed Wednesday by Governor Cuomo is not likely enough... but, is "a good start."  Those are the feelings of Chief Executive Officer Rick Huber with the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County.  Huber recently responded to the legislation... passed in both the state Senate and Assembly before the end of the 2016 session.  He agrees there needs to be state help -- especially in dealing with health insurance issues -- but, he adds that they have all the resources needed right now in Chautauqua County.  Huber is pleased to see the number of days that an opioid pain-killer is prescribed reduced from 30 to 7 days.  He says if a person has the "right type" of brain-receptors... they can become addicted very quickly.  There are also other side effects.  Local leaders have also complained about the fact that health insurance companies would not cover certain types of addiction issues because the person wasn't considered "sick enough."  Huber agrees it's been frustrating.  The new measure regarding insurance would require them to cover initial inpatient drug treatment without prior approval... and, extend from 48 to 72 hours the time someone can be held for emergency treatment.


Major illegal Fireworks seizure reported in Buffalo...

Law enforcement officials say they've confiscated $75,000 worth of illegal fireworks during a raid of a Buffalo self-storage unit.  Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard says members of the bomb squad and Buffalo police were acting on a tip when they searched the unit Wednesday.  They found dozens of boxes of fireworks and aerial display devices in two units, more than they've ever seized at one time.  Authorities say several of the boxes were opened or empty, indicating that some of the illegal explosives have been sold.  Buffalo resident Fred Punturiero is now charged with felony illegal storage of explosives and a misdemeanor count of unlawfully selling fireworks.  He didn't immediately return a telephone message left at his home Thursday.


Class of 2016 Graduates from Falconer Central Schools...

The first HIgh School graduation in the immediate Jamestown-area was held last night... as 93 members of the Falconer Class of 2016 got their diplomas during a ceremony at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.  That from School Superintendent Steven Penhollow... who says graduation is always an exciting time for the students... their parents... and, school officials.  Penhollow says the Class of 2016 accomplished a lot... but, he says the biggest part of this group that stand-out is their philanthropic work.  He says they were a "charitable" group of kids... who were involved in the Honor Society being able to raise nearly $8,000 for Relay for Life.  Penhollow adds that this group has also stood-out in their efforts to futher their educations.  He says -- as a group -- the Class of 2016 amassed more than 500 credit hours of college work... due mainly to their relationship with Jamestown Community College.  The Falconer Class of 2016 Valedictorian is Zachery Smith... and, the Salutatorian is Walker Black.


Chautauqua Amphitheater ready for start of 2016 season...

This is the last season for the old Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution.  A new one is to be built starting this fall.  As part of the preparation, most of the back of the old Amp has already been torn off.  Amphitheater Manager Keith Schmitt says the 2016 events will go on as scheduled... even without the 'back of the house.'  Schmitt says it's going to "very much be like camping -- and harken back to the ancestors of Chautauqua when they did a 'tent circle.'"  A number of trailers have been set up as dressing rooms, and a replacement 'back porch' has been created for the public to 'meet and greet' the artists and speakers.  Schmitt thinks his staff and the performers will adapt to the temporary accommodations, but some things aren't known yet.  He says the biggest concern is over a downpour rain storm.  Schmitt's in his 33rd summer as the Amp Manager.  He adds crews have worked this week to clean all of the benches for the first Amphitheater events of the summer... the JHS graduation tonight... and a sold-out concert by the Temptations and the Four Tops on Saturday. 


Cherry Creek woman gone missing found Wednesday night...

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office has located a 72 year-old woman who went missing in the town of Cherry Creek late Wednesday.  Deputies were called to the scene on Route 83 just after 6:30 p.m., and, found the woman after a brief search.  She was not identified... but, officers say she was stuck in a wet muddy area... and, stayed with her until assistance arrived.  Cherry Creek Fire Rescue crews also responded to the scene and assisted deputies.

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News Update for Thurs., June 23, 2016

Chautauqua County lawmakers act on changes to stem nearly $500,000 shortfall in DHHS budget...

County lawmakers have taken action to help fill a $495,000 shortfall in the 2016 budget caused by a Health and Human Services Department clerical error.  Legislators last night approved a measure that will use $230,000 in juvenile care funds to help cover the department's under-budgeted Medicaid expense.  County Legislator Pierre Chagnon, who chairs the Audit and Control Committee, says the gap has been significantly reduced.  Chagnon says it covers all but $94,000 of the gap, and he commended the DHHS staff for their efforts.  But, that doesn't mean there aren't other concerns -- including the NRG Payment in Lieu of Tax payment reductions.  Still... County Executive Vince Horrigan says he isn't overly concerned at this point.  Horrigan says he's optimistic... partly because sales tax revenues have been strong so far this year.  In other action, the County Legislature approved $10,000 in bed tax funding to help offset the costs of an air show that will be held over the 4th of July weekend in the city of Dunkirk.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

For the first time ever... the deer tick population in Chautauqua County is showing the presense of the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.  That from the county's director of Environmental Health, Mark Stow, who says they recently received word from the state Department of Health that the bacteria showed up their most recent tick surveillance across New York state.  Stow says Lyme Disease was initially more of a concern for hikers in the woods.  But, he says now you can get it from a tick in your backyard. Stow says deer ticks are around from May through November... though they are now primarily what he calls "Nymph Ticks..." which are about the size of a poppy seed.  He says they are a little larger later in the year.  Stow says deer ticks tend to live in shady, moist areas at ground level.  Stow says it's best to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation, as much as possible.  Stow also says check yourself within a couple of hours of being outdoors to more easily find ticks.  For more information... call 1-800-604-6789.

 

New York will now limit opioid drug prescriptions to seven days of painkillers, following a patient's initial visit to a doctor.  During a ceremony late Wednesday morning... Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the new law... saying it's among four significant measures that he and state lawmakers are enacting to address the addiction crisis across the state with opioids and heroin.  Cuomo says his own daughter was prescribed a 30-day painkiller supply after having her tonsils out, far more than anyone needs for that procedure.  Other new measures require insurers to cover initial inpatient drug treatment without prior approval and extend from 48 to 72 hours the time someone can be held for emergency treatment.  The governor says another measure will add 2,500 addiction treatment slots statewide.

 

A village know for it's popular night spots along Chautauqua Lake is teaming up the Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System to provide free rides home on Friday and Saturday nights during the Summer.  Starting this Friday and continuing through August 13th... County Executive Vince Horrigan says CARTS buses will have two runs each night as part of the program called "Get Home Safe From The Point...." Horrigan says the program... which involves the Village Casino, Southern Tier Brewery and Arthur R. Gren, Company... encourages people to be responsible by not drinking and driving.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says he "fully supports" the program... calling it an "innovative way to help keep intoxicated drivers for operating on our roadways."  He says it may very well avoid potential tragedy.  The free service will drop off riders directly to their homes or hotels in the Bemus Point, Mayville, Lakewood or Jamestown areas.

 

An increase in state funding has allowed the University of Buffalo's Dental School to greatly expand it's services to underserved areas of the western Southern Tier.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who was able to get 371-thousand dollars in the 2016-17 budget for the "S-miles To Go" program that visits more than 20 area school districts during the year.  UB Dental School Dean Joe Zambon (ZAM-bon) says the added funding has allowed them to expand the program by 30-percent. The "S-miles To Go" trailer was at Bush Elementary School yesterday... where some 12 to 15 children will be seen each day it's there.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says the collaboration with the University is an "incredible asset" because the school district doesn't have the ability to do this.  In addition to seeing more children who may never see a dentist until their later years... the program also provides hands-on experience for it's dental students.  She adds it may also influence them to work in underserved areas.  For more information on the program... call 1-866-254-0052.

 

A council representing the eight Great Lakes states has voted to allow Waukesha, Wisconsin, unprecedented access to Lake Michigan as its drinking water source.  The city of 70,000 in the Milwaukee suburbs won unanimous approval earlier this week from eight states that are members of a regional compact designed to prevent water raids from afar.  Waukesha is only 17 miles from Lake Michigan... but, lies just outside the Great Lakes watershed boundary.  It needed unanimous approval from the compact states to draw water from the lake.
The city says its groundwater is tainted with radium.  The council approved several amendments designed to ensure that conditions it placed on Waukesha's application could be enforced.

 

The village of Fredonia's Department of Public Works Director is not on the job... and, it's not known when he will return to his duties.  We have learned that Jack Boland has been placed on suspension.  We asked Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis about Boland's status and the mayor did confirm the suspension.  Dr. Landis also confirmed that she has not re-appointed him to the position... but, she would not elaborate further.

 

State wildlife management workers have safely removed a black bear from a tree on a western New York college campus.  Local media report that the bear was first spotted early Wednesday morning in a tree next to a parking lot at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  A crew from the Department of Environmental Conservation arrived on the scene and set up a net under the tree.  A dart fired from tranquilizer gun was used to sedate the bear, which fell into the net.  A DEC official says the bear... believed to be about a year old... will be checked out before being taken by truck to the Southern Tier south of Rochester, where it will be released into the wild.

 


 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown man arrested for last December's double-homicide on the city's eastside has now been formally indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on two counts of first-degree manslaughter.  City Police report the District Attorney's Office just secured the indicment.  They say 53 year-old Allen Witruke (Wih-Truck) was arrested several hours later in Olean for the alleged murders... which occured at this home at 235 Barrows Street last December 8th.  He allegedly killed his wife, 52 year-old Catherine Witruke... and, step-son, 34 year-old Eric Washburn.  Witruke remains jailed on one-million dollars cash bail... 2-million property bond.

 

A Sinclairville teenager is being treated for non-life threatening injuries at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital following a single-car accident in the town of Gerry.  Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Rachel McCarthy was southbound on Route 380 shortly after 5 PM yesterday when she lost control of her vehicle... and, it left the road.  Deputies say McCarthy's vehicle then went into a ditch and overturned.  Officers say McCarthy was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center for evaluation of her injuries.  No charges have been placed.

 

A family of three is being helped by the local Red Cross after the trailer they were living in sustained heavy damage in a fire in the town of Busti late Sunday night.  Fire Chief Mike Volpe says Busti fire crews were called to the scene at the Bosco Trailer Court at 611 Busti-Sugar Grove Road shortly before 10 PM.  Volpe says it was initially called in as a dryer fire. Volpe says they called in Panama and, Frewsburg... and, Sugar Grove and Lander from Pennsylvania... to provide water to the scene.  He adds that Celoron was called in to stand-by at the Busti Fire Hall.  Volpe says the three residents inside got out safely... but, another resident of the trailer park suffered a minor injury.  Volpe says they confirmed the blaze started in the laundry room of the trailer.  He says no firefighters were hurt.  He adds that crews were at the scene until about 12 Midnight.

 

Several fire companies were called in Sunday night to put out a house fire that damaged the basement of a Silver Creek home.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dispatch Center reports that Silver Creek had assistance from Forestville, Hanover Center and Sunset Bay at the fire scene at 22 Lafayette Street about 5:30 PM.  According to the Silver Creek department's Facebook page, Evans Center, East Dunkirk and the heavy rescue unit from Fredonia, also responded.  Crews were able to contain the fire to the basement area.  Crews were at the scene until around 8:45 PM Sunday.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene, but the cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time.

 

City lawmakers will vote next week on approving a 350-thousand dollar, Jamestown Local Development Corporation loan to the Hamister Group's 14.1-million renovation project at the former Ramada Inn.  The city council's Finance Committee last night approved the loan, at 4.25-percent interest over 10 years.  The loan was recently approved by the JLDC for the project to convert the hotel at 150 West Fourth Street into a Doubletree Inn.  Mayor Sam Teresi says he got more good news while in Niagara Falls earlier in the day on another Hamister project. Teresi says it's been a while coming... but, he adds -- with council approval -- the project in Jamestown will get underway in the 3rd quarter... and, it should be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2017.  The city council must approve the JLDC loan because -- under it's by-laws -- any loan of more than 100-thousand dollars using Urban Development Action Grant monies must be approved by lawmakers.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is coming under fire for what his Democratic opponent calls a "disasterous" record of failing to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists or would-be terrorists.  But... in response... Reed says he remains solidly behind the second-amendment... and, American's rights to own a gun.  The Corning Republican says making the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida out to be a "gun control" issue is not calling it for what it is... and, the need to combat "Radical Islamic Terrorism...." However... Democrat John Plumb... in a recent press release... says Reed has not been focused on solutions to keep Americans safe.  He says the Republican is trying to cover up his record in which he has "voted 12 times to block legislation that would prevent terrorists from buying guns."  Four bills were to be taken up in the U-S Senate today... but, they were all rejected in mainly party-line votes.  The measures were offered by both Democrats and Republicans in response to recent mass shootings -- including the one in Orlando, Florida.

 

Officials with the Jamestown Audubon Nature Center say they have made a lot of progress in eliminating the invasive Water Chestnut plant... but, add an additional 30-thousand dollars from the state should help further those efforts.  State Senator Cathy Young helped obtain the funding from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to treat the "Big Pond" area this year.  Audubon Nature Center Director Ruth Lundin says they began treating affected areas with the herbicide Rodeo Monday morning. A contractor from Oswego, New York is applying 'Rodeo' in about 25-acres of the Big Pond area.  Lundin says they've pretty much been able to eliminate Water Chestnut in the smaller, Spatterdock Pond at the Audubon.  Senator Young was on hand to tour the area affected... and says she's pleased to have obtained the money.  She says it's a major problem in all of New York state... but, she says efforts by people like those in the Audubon are helping.  Lundin says the drier than usual conditions have actually helped in ridding Spatterdock of the invasive water plant.

 

The New York Farm Bureau wants to get in the middle of the lawsuit that would give farm workers the right to organize.  Farm Bureau President, Dean Norton, said Monday, that since New York state is not taking action... the Farm Bureau will go to court. Farm workers have been prohibited from forming unions since the 1930's.  The New York Civil Liberties Union is challenging that rule.  The Farm Bureau says agriculture should be exempt because the planting and harvesting of crops, and the milking of cows can't be disrupted by strikes or similar actions. 

 

 

 

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News Update for Mon., June 20, 2016

Witruke formally indicted for manslaughter in double-homicide in Jamestown last December...

The Jamestown man arrested for last December's double-homicide on the city's eastside has now been formally indicted by a county Grand Jury on two counts of first-degree manslaughter.  City Police report the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office just secured the indicment.  They say 53 year-old Allen Witruke was arrested several hours later in Olean for the alleged murders... which occured at this home at 235 Barrows St. last Dec. 8.  He killed his wife, Catherine Witruke... and, step-son, Eric Washburn.  Witruke remains jailed on $1-million cash bail... $2-million property bond.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Cattaraugus County woman was killed early last weekend when her car went through an intersection... and, slammed into a tree not far from her Great Valley home.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 34 year-old Teresa Bergeron of 4875 Humphrey Road was southbound on Route 219 shortly after 6 PM last Friday when her vehicle failed to stop at the four-way intersection with Humphrey Road.  Deputies say the car struck the tree... and, Bergerson and her two children were taken to Olean General Hospital.  She was later transferred to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo... where she later died.  Bergeron's children... ages 2 and 4... were treated at Olean General and released.  The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

 

A north county man faces several charges following a domestic dispute in the town of Hanover early last weekend.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Buffalo Street in Silver Creek shortly after 11 PM Friday for a reported altercation.  Deputies say... upon further investigation... 36 year-old David Brill, Junior... got involved in a fight while two youths were present.  Brill was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child... and, one count each of of second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, harassment.  He was arraigned in Hanover Town Court... and, posted bail after being sent to the county jail in Mayville.

 

State lawmakers ended the 2016 legislative session early last Saturday morning, missing another opportunity to significantly address Albany's corruption problem.  The legislature adjourned shortly after 5 AM Saturday after passing only a handful of more modest ethics-related measures.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he was pleased to see some legislation approved... but, was disappointed that others -- including one he proposed -- did not go forward. Good government groups support 'pension-stripping...' but, say it's unlikely to deter future corruption, since apparently federal prison time hasn't stopped it in the past.  Another would strengthen laws restricting supposedly independent political groups from working with campaigns to circumvent campaign finance laws, and make changes to disclosure rules for lobbyists and political consultants.  Otherwise... Goodell says he was pleased with a number of actions lawmakers were able to take... including the increase lawmakers added to education aid.  He was also pleased to see road and bridge projects funded on par with the downstate region.

 

Popular daily fantasy sports sites still face uncertainty in New York even after state lawmakers passed legislation designed to regulate them.  The state attorney general says Saturday he'll pursue previously filed false advertising and consumer fraud claims against the country's top two companies.  Companies FanDuel and DraftKings had stopped operating in New York in March pending the passage of a bill that would legalize the online games.  Legislators in Albany voted early Saturday to regulate and tax the matches.  But... under the March stipulation, the companies can't start operating until the legislation is signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
FanDuel and DraftKings have long argued their contests are games of skill, not chance.  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman disagreed.  He sued them, and called them illegal gambling operations.

 

A Frewsburg man has been charged with resisting arrest... and, refusing to comply with officers following an incident last week in the town of Carroll.  State Police say troopers approached 69 year-old Richard Ockerhausen when he was observed standing in the middle of Wigren Road.  Police accuse Ockerhausen of acting disorderly by refusing to move for traffic... and, yelling obscenities for no apparent reason.  He then refused to comply with officers after being advised that he was under arrest.  Once restrained, Ockerhausen was arraigned in Carroll Town Hall on two counts of disorderly conduct, and one of resisting arrest.  He posted bail, and was released.

 

There'll again be plenty of fun and exercise on tap with Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program... beginning a week from today.  However... the 5 to 13 year-olds will also get help this year with their reading and other skills.  That from City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley... who says they've teammed up with the Prendergast Library to take part in their Summer Reading Program. In addition... Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have their "Tree Day" program again this year... led by City Arborist Dan Stone at Nordstrom Park.  The kids will get to help plant a tree at the park, and learn more about Jamestown's tree program.  Ciesla-Hanley... adds though... that they'll still have their usual games, and other activities including Kick-Ball and arts and crafts.  The five locations for the Summer Playground Program will be Fletcher Elementary School... Allen Park... the Lillian Dickson Tot Lot... Nordstrom Park... and, Ring Elementary School.  The program runs through August 5th.

 

State environmental officials say the regular harvest season for largemouth and smallmouth bass is now open.  That means that beginning Saturday, anglers will now be able to keep up to five bass with a minimum size of 12 inches on most waters.  The deadline marks the end of catch-and-release season.  Once the bass season is underway, all New York fishing seasons will be open.  There are still some special regulations on certain waterways.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos says anglers should check the current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide before heading out.


A state agency says it has published a resource guide for new and expectant fathers in time for Father's Day.  New York's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance says the "Driver's Manual for New Dads" has been distributed to hospitals.  It covers topics ranging from establishing legal paternity to changing diapers.  The booklet emphasizes the importance of fathers being involved in their children's lives and being a good partner to the child's mother.  More than 40,000 of the brochures are being distributed to birthing hospitals across the state.

 


 

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News Headlines for Sat., June 18, 2016

State legislature ends session early this morning; approves Mayoral control of NYC Schools one-year, and Heroin opioid addiction measures...

Legislation allowing bars and restaurants to serve alcohol before noon on Sundays is on its way to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.  The bill would also allow establishments to begin serving alcohol at 10 AM on Sundays.  It's an effort launched by the Democratic governor to help businesses cater to the brunch crowd as well as fans of morning sporting events like European soccer.  Lawmakers also passed legislation Friday that would restrict opioid prescriptions to seven days and expand treatment options for addicts as part of a comprehensive plan to combat addiction.  Cuomo and top lawmakers also reached a deal to end the 2016 session that extends Mayor Bill de Blasio's control of New York City schools for one year.


Dispute reportedly leads to shooting death on Jamestown's northside...

A dispute lasting at least one day may have triggered the shooting death of a Jamestown man as he stood on his porch early last Thursday night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson has now identified the victim as 28 year-old Obryan Ramos.  Samuelson adds the man who allegedly shot Ramos remains at-large.  He says officers were called to the scene at 853 Prendergast Ave. about 5:45 p.m. Thursday... and, they found Ramos... who had been shot several times... laying on the porch.  Witnesses say the shooter was apparently a black or Hispanic man wearing dark clothes... and, who walked up to the porch from behind the house.  Samuelson says the suspect then shot Ramos, and ran off.  Ramos later died at WCA Hospital.  Samuelson says anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the JPD Confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Drug busts in Busti and Ellicott lead to three arrests...

Three people have been arrested for allegedly being involved in the trafficking of Methamphetime in the towns of Busti and Ellicott... and, the city of Jamestown.  Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti Police joined with the State Police C-NET Team to raid two locations Friday morning... one in Busti and the other in Ellicott.  The first raid, at 10:30 a.m. at 883 Big Tree Road in Busti... led to the arrests for 28 year-old Chyanna Muntz... and, 22 year-old Zachary Wilson.  Later... police raided the home at 3246 Young Street in Ellicott.  However... they arrested 28 year-old Todd Bloomberg outside the residence first.  Both he and Muntz are accused of trying to sell Meth to undercover officers.  All three were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.  If you see illegal narcotics trafficking in your area... you're asked to call the Southern Tier Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.


Huber very pleased with week of "Hope and Healing in Chautauqua" on dealing with Heroin and opioid addiction issue...

The week-long "faith-based" program that works turn-around the lives of drug addicts in Chautauqua County has been a major success.  That from the head of one of the local agencies involved with the "Hope and Healing for Chautauqua" program... which began last Saturday.  Mental health Association in Chautauqua County Chief Executive Officer Rick Huber... says he's really pleased how the program went.  Huber says the key was bringing in Pastor Tracy Strawberry... who worked earlier in the week with all the churches involved.  Strawberry and her husband -- retired major league outfielder Darryl Strawberry -- had been here in late 2015.  Huber says the churches have already begun their "Addiction Reponse Ministry..." and, they have also brought the Strawberry's "Clean, Sober, and Saved" program to suppliment it.  He says training was extensive this past Monday with seven-hours of programming.  Huber says he says he was "very pleased" to see 142 people attend a five-hour training session earlier in the week.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group of stations.

 

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News Update for Fri., June 17, 2016

Man killed in Jamestown shooting identified... police say dispute between victim and suspect may have led to the incident...

City police have now identified the Jamestown man who was shot several times late Thursday afternoon... and, later died at the hospital.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the investigation is continuing into the death of 28 year-old Obryan Ramos... and, adds the man who allegedly shot him remains at-large.  Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 853 Prendergast Avenue about 5:45 p.m., and, they found Ramos, who had been standing on his porch at the time.  He adds that witnesses say the shooter was a black or Hispanic man who was wearing dark clothes... and, who walked up to the porch from behind the house.  Samuelson says the suspect then shot Ramos several times before running off.  Ramos later died at WCA Hospital.  Samuelson says the two men were apparently involved in some kind of ongoing dispute leading up to the shooting.  He asks anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the JPD Confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

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WJTN News Headlines

One man is dead... and, another is being sought by Jamestown Police after an early evening shooting on the city's northside Thursday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 853 Prendergast Avenue about 5:45 PM... and, the found a man who had been shot several times as he was standing on his porch.  Samuelson says witnesses in the area say the assailant was a black or Hispanic man who was wearing dark clothes... who walked up to the porch from behind the house.  He says the suspect then fired several shots before running off.  Samuelson says the victim... who has not been identified... was rushed to WCA Hospital... where he was later pronounced dead.  He says this homicide was  not a "random act..." but, says the victim was targeted.  Samuelson asks anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the JPD Confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

Cattaraugus County Sheriffs are investigating what they are calling the accidental drowning death of a Town of Conewango man.  Authorities were called out to 5405 Route 241 in Conewango Valley just before 8pm Thursday.  42 year old Todd Newman was swimming in a pond there when he drowned. Deputies say the investigation is ongoing.  New York State Police, Ellington, Conewango and Randolph Fire Departments were all at the scene.

 

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating a strong-armed robbery reported by a woman who was picking up mail at the Stow Post Office branch Wednesday night.  Sheriff's officers say the victim was at the drop boxes on Old Bridge Road about 7:30 PM when she was assaulted by an unknown male suspect... who then grabbed her property, and fled.  The victim was not seriously hurt.  Anyone with information on the robbery -- or was in the area at that time -- is asked to call Investigators Holder at 753-4925... or Morton at 753-4912.  You can also call the Sheriff's Department We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME... that's 1-800-782-7463. 

 

Showers and thunderstorms hit the Jamestown-area again yesterday... but, they did not bring enough relief from one of the driest springs in decades.  That from Meteorologist Jim Mitchell of the National Weather Service says the area is experiencing a significant rainfall deficit with only 6-and-a-half inches of rain for the season... when we should have about a foot of rain so far.  Showers moved across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties late yesterday afternoon and early evening.  However... Mitchell says it's not likely that what fell will deal entirely with the deficit.

 

A motor vehicle accident on Jamestown's eastside led to a power outage for more than 90-minutes in the Allen Street area late yesterday.  Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outage occured about 3:50 PM when the accident damaged to two utility poles in the area of 20-27 Allen.  Robbins says BPU Linemen reset the poles, and completed repairs about 5:30 PM... and, then restored power to the Allen Street industrial-area.  She says Rand Machine and Bush Industries were two of the affected companies. No other problems were reported in the BPU service area... nor around the county as thunderstorms hit the region late yesterday afternoon and early evening.

 

New York state lawmakers are heading to the finish line but several unresolved items could delay their adjournment.  The most significant debate concerns Mayor Bill de Blasio's request to extend his control of New York City schools.  Senate Republicans support a one-year renewal of the policy first enacted in 2002.  Assembly Democrats and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo want three years.  Other remaining issues include regulations for daily fantasy sports... and, measures addressing government corruption.  Deals have already been struck on bills to combat opioid addiction, expand breast cancer screening and allow bars and restaurants to sell alcohol before noon on Sundays.  Lawmakers must pass those bills before adjourning Thursday or Friday.

 

WCA Hospital has been on a "Path of Transformation" over the past year... and the future looks exciting.  That from WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright... who presided over the 21st annual "Meeting of the Corporations" at the hospital yesterday morning.  Wright first expressed her appreciation for a "foward-looking" board of directors, which has taken a hard-look at how the hospital was delivering health care to the community.
Wright touted the arrival of new services... such as WCA's Stroke Center... which allows patients and their families to stay here for their care.  She says they were developed through a community survey... and by working with other providers and the Chautauqua County Health Department.  Wright was also pleased to report that WCA finished in the black for the past year.  They had a one-million dollar surplus.  She adds their new affiliate agreement with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recently got the first of three needed regulatory approvals to move forward. Also represented at WCA's Meeting of the Corporations was it's four other entities... which include the WCA Foundation... Starflight Helicopter... and, Alstar Ambulance.

 

Could there be a new building in Brooks Memorial Hospital's future?  The hospital has not made an official statement... but, Brook's Chief Executive Officer Mary LaRowe told members of the hospital's auxiliary Wednesday that the hospital is developing a plan as part of the 57-million dollars in state funding that Brooks and TLC Health Network will be receiving from New York's Essential Health Care Provider Program.  According to a story in the Times-Observer... LaRowe indicated that a new facility could be part of the plan that will also look at the services the hospital would offer as part of moving forward.

 

Local officials are hearing more about plans for the eagerly awaited Athenex plant that will be opening in the Dunkirk-area in the near future.  A representative of the company spoke at a meeting organized by Jamestown Community College, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation's Local Economic Development Committee.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says they learned more about the jobs that will become available... but, he adds the time-table for the plant has still not been finalized.
Horrigan says as the county prepares for the plant... they will be putting together a group that will focus on work force development.  It will include representatives from the colleges, the Work Force Investment Board, the Chamber, and area high schools, to discuss the jobs of the future that will be coming to Chautauqua County.  The project was first announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo when he traveled to Dunkirk back in February.

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News Bulletin! for Thurs., June 16, 2016

One man is dead, another being sought after "targeted" shooting on Jamestown's northside...

 

One man is dead... and, another is being sought by Jamestown Police after an early evening shooting on the city's northside Thursday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 853 Prendergast Avenue about 5:45 p.m., and, the found a man who had been shot several times as he was standing on his porch.  Samuelson says witnesses in the area say the assailant was a black or Hispanic man who was wearing dark clothes... who walked up to the porch from behind the house.  He says the suspect then fired several shots before running off.  Samuelson says the victim... who has not been identified... was rushed to WCA Hospital... where he was later pronounced dead.  He says this homicide was  not a "random act..." but, says the victim was targeted.  Samuelson asks anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the JPD Confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

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WJTN News Headlines

The clock is ticking on the state legislature... and, final negotiations are underway on ethics reforms and the extension of mayoral control in New York City.  Lawmakers today (Wednesday) hoped to work through a long list of bills before adjourning the session Thursday or Friday.  While talks continue over ethics and Mayor Bill de Blasio's request to renew the policy giving him control of city schools, supporters of other measures are mounting final pushes.  Bills banning toxins from toys, mandating minimum staffing levels for hospital nurses and legalizing daily fantasy sports are among the items facing uncertain fates.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers have already reached agreements on bills to combat heroin addiction, expand breast cancer screening and allow restaurants to sell alcohol before noon on Sundays.

 

Now that a deal has been worked out by state leaders to address the growing problem of heroin and opioid abuse, local officials are still awaiting the details.  Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan did get a copy of a report from Governor Andrew Cuomo's task force... and, he says many of the recommendations from the report seem to be addressed by the legislation. Horrigan says the announcement of the agreement arrived as the county continues its "Hope and Healing for Chautauqua" week, which continues through Friday.  He welcomes the assistance as organizations in the county continue to work with those who are struggling with Heroin and other opiate addictions.  Cuomo says the package of about 20 bills expands supports for "New Yorkers in recovery... increases treatment beds by 270... and, expands program slots for substance abuse disorders by 2-thousand-335 in the state."

 

State legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo have agreed to legislation they say will "modernize" New York's 80-year old Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.  Cuomo said late Tuesday that the agreement would allow alcohol to be sold earlier on Sundays... and, reduces burdensome fees for wineries, distilleries, breweries and cideries statewide.  In addition... the governor says the measures add commonsense provisions to broaden retail sales by producers.  The measure regarding sales on Sunday's has often been refered to as the "Brunch Law..." and would allow sales at restaurants to beginning at 10 AM.  It would also allow those licensees to apply for up to 12 permits a year to sell on premise between 8 AM, and the new 10 AM.

 

Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly stealing 12-hundred feet of electric cable from a home in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania.  State Police in Warren say someone stole the wiring... which was on a wooden spool... sometime between last April 1st and May 31st from the location on Pine Ridge Road.  Troopers say their investigation led to the arrests of 55 year-old Jimmie Williams... and 24 year-old Joshua Bang.  Police say the pair allegedly took the wire, and stripping the coating off it... and, sold it for scrap.  They are also accused of burning the wooden spool.  Both are charged with theft... receiving stolen property... and, conspiracy to do both.  Further court action is pending.

 

A Frewsburg couple who have been very involved with youth and other activities in the Jamestown-area are this year's "unsung heroes" of southern Chautauqua County.  Jerry and Norma Eklund were presented with the Axel W. Carlson Award Tuesday night at "The Relief Zone" in Frewsburg... an organization both have been very involved with.  The award is presented by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and, director Randy Sweeney says both have exemplified the spirit of Carlson. Sweeney says the Carlson Award is given to a person... or individuals like the Eklunds... who have made a positive difference in the community without the expectation of fanfare, nor monitary gain.  The Relief Zone was originated in a former church in Frewsburg to provide a good, positive place for children in the area... that has now expanded it's programming.  The Eklund's names have been engraved on a plaque... and they received 15-hundred dollars cash.  One-thousand dollars is for them... while the other 500-dollars goes to the charity of their choice.

 

Another past Jamestown High School graduate will be this year's Commencement Speaker at JHS's graduation at Chautauqua Institution on Friday, June 24th.  High School Principal Mike McElrath says 1978 graduate Kim Sinatra will address the graduates and their families that night.  Sinatra is currently the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Wynn Resorts, Limited... which owns and operates luxury destination casino resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada... and, elsewhere.  She joined Wynn Resorts in January 2004.  Sinatra received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wellesley College in 1982 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago in 1985.  Jamestown's commencement ceremony will begin at 7 PM on June 24th at the Chautauqua Amphitheater.

 

The five newest graduates of WCA Hospital's School of Radiologic Technology have received their certifications... and, most are now working at the hospital.  The school's Program Director, Christina Slojukowski says it's an exciting time for the graduates... who have completed an intensive, 22-month program that's taught entirely at the hospital.  Slojukowski says the program has also been good for WCA. Slojukowski says the School of Radiologic Technology has several courses on background of the science, and new technology for scans and MRIs.  Three awards were also given out... including the relatively new Vince Messina Memorial Award that provides 15-hundred dollars for the tuition of a current student.  Slojukowski says that award was presented to Brooke Ludwiczak.  The Murray Marsh Award... with a 500-dollar scholarship... was given to Holly McIntyre... while the Radiologic Technology Certificate of Excellence Award went to Laura Tillburg.  The other graduates recognized at the school's 47th Commencement were Bethany Chapman... Kylie Wilson... and, Jonathan Caprino.

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says Sunday's massacre at an Orlando, Florida nightclub where 49 were killed... and, 53 others were wounded was a "horrific loss" to that community and the nation.  During his weekly conference call with regional media Monday... Reed said "our throughts and prayers go out to the families, and parents" of the young people killed. Reed also says it's time to call mass shootings... like the one's in Orlando, and San Bernadino what they are... "Radial Islamic Terrorism."  The Corning Republican says it's also time for those who deny that we are at war with that ideology to treat it as such.  Reed add's that it's to look also into possible failures at the FBI that allowed Omar Mateen to remain free.  He says Mateen had been interviewed three times some time back... but, had been cleared and apparently had fallen "off the agency's radar."  Reed says adds that Mateen was also apparently on a Terror Watchlist.  He says he wants answers to those questions as he returned to Washington, D-C Monday.

 

Some people -- including elected officials -- have already called for more gun control... or, an all-out ban on assault weapons in the wake of Sunday's mass shootings in Orlando, Florida.  However... local Congressman Tom Reed is not among them.  Reed says he's going to remain on the side of freedom-loving Americans who support the second-amendment. Reed says there are also reports that Mateen's "spriritual advisor" was recently released from prison early... and, was apparently behind his radicalization.  He says that radicalization... in this case within the U-S... should be more of the focus of the investigation.  Reed is also again pushing to deal with the mental health issues surrounding mass shootings.  He believes there may be some common ground found to deal with the assault rifle issue.  However... he has concenrs over due process rights for people who end up on Terrorist Watch lists.  He also says it's time for the Obama administration to call these attackers what they are - "Radical Islamic Terrorists."

 

Rainbow colors will shine from the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada in remembrance of the victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  Public Bridge Authority officials say Monday it's one of several landmarks worldwide being illuminated in the colors symbolizing gay pride.  One World Trade Center in New York City and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia also are illuminated in honor of the victims.  A gunman with an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside the club early Sunday, leaving at least 49 people dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.  The Peace Bridge links Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ontario.

 

An electrical problem is believed to have triggered a house fire on the city of Dunkirk's eastside Sunday morning.  Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews responded to the call at 148 East 2nd Street about 10:40 AM.  Edwards says there was heavy smoke coming from the attic space of the home. Tenants told firefighters they discovered smoke coming from around an exhaust fan on the second floor and evacuated the structure.  Edwards says that's apparently where the electrical fire started.  No injuries were reported.  The local Red Cross is assisting two adults and three children who lived in the home.  Fredonia fire crews stood by with an engine at City Fire Headquarters.  Alstar ambulance also assisted at the scene.

 

A Republican from Allegany County has announced that he intends to run a primary challenge against incumbant State Senator Cathy Young.  Thomas Randolph of Cuba said Monday that he has "nothing against" Young... but, says he's had enough of the dysfunction in Albany.  Randolph says he and his wife experienced that first-hand when they pushed for "Brittany's Law..." which would require those convicted of domestic violence incidents be listed on a registry.  He says that happened to his own daughter, Shannon Pepper, in 2013.  She was viciously beaten by her boyfriend... but, she didn't know he had been convicted of assault. "Brittany's Law is named for the victim of another domestic incident in 2009.  The Senate has approved the Domestic Violence Prevention Act a number of times.  But, it has always stalled in the Assembly.  Randolph says he's announcing now because he has a very 'narrow' window in which to get one-thousand signatures from 57th District Republicans to force a primary vote.  Randolph says the system is pretty much rigged to favor the incumbant in any race.

 

State Senator Cathy Young says the people of her 57th Senate District know "how hard" she works for them... and, says she has gotten "a lot done."  Young made the comments in response to comments by Cuba Republican Thomas Randolph... who is working to force a GOP Primary.  She says she'll put her record up against anyone running for office. Young also says she was able to help get 26-million dollars in additional funding for WCA Hospital in Jamestown.  While Randolph feels there needs to be a "clean-sweep" in Albany... the Olean Republican says matters pertaining to public safety often get blocked in the Democrat-led Assembly.  Young says that was the case with Brittany's Law.  She says "I only have control over how I vote in the Senate."  However... she adds the Senate has approved Brittany's Law six times.  Young has yet to formally announce her intentions to run for office.  Since the legislature is still in session... she says her focus is legislative matters.  She says she'll shift to the campaign once the session concludes.

 

New York is poised to expand access to breast cancer screening under an agreement reached by top state lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Cuomo made combating the cancer a priority after the successful cancer treatment of his girlfriend, Food Network star Sandra Lee.  Under the deal, the state will order 210 hospitals to expand hours when mammograms are offered and require insurance companies to eliminate deductibles and co-pays for the screening and some other diagnostic tests.  The proposal is expected to be formally approved by lawmakers this week.  Cuomo says the idea is to allow more women to get screened because early detection saves lives.  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in New York, with some 15,000 across the state diagnosed each year.

 

A balloon handler has died following an accident in Western New York.  State police say 34-year-old Ryan Almeter was holding onto the basket allowing passengers to get off when wind caused the balloon to take flight about 9 PM last Friday.  The balloon climbed to approximately 100 feet above Letchworth State Park when Almeter let go of the basket and fell to his death.  The balloon was participating in a festival called Balloons Over Letchworth in Livingston County.  A telephone recording for festival organizers said weather conditions on Saturday and Sunday would not allow the festival to continue.  The message said no further information would be available until eastly this week Monday.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been contacted about the accident.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A house fire in Warren, Pennsylvania has claimed one life.  The Warren Times Observer reports that the fire at 23 Plum Street was first called in about 2:30pm Sunday.  Warren Firefighters were unable to locate the victim during a first search due to the roof collapsing.  The victim was found during the second search of the home. The Victim's name has not been released.  The investigation is continuing.  Warren was assisted by volunteer firefighters from Pleasant, North Warren and Glade Volunteer Fire Departments.

 

A 48 year old Columbus, PA Man was killed when the firework he was attempting to light prematurely exploded.  Pennsylvania State Police tell the Warren Times Observer that the incident happened about 9pm this past Saturday.  The man was not identified, and no foul play is suspected.  The investigation is continuing.

 

Three people have been arrested... and quantities of Methamphetime and Heroin were seized... during a raid late last Saturday morning in Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a female occupant at 218 Fulton Street shortly before 10 AM.  Samuelson says... when police arrived... the woman -- identified as 33 year-old Tiffany Mahoney -- ran into the upper apartment.  When officers located her in the apartment... they also found suspected Meth and drug paraphernalia inside.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were then called in... and, a search warrant was obtained.  Police found more Meth... totaling about 10 games all together... a quantity of Heroin and about 35-hundred dollars cash.  Mahoney and two others in the upper apartment... 34 year-old Wallace Peck and 22 year-old Jacob Trippy... were arraigned on two counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one count of criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  They were sent to the county jail without bail.  Anyone with information on the illegal trafficking of narcotics is asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

A week-long, collaborative program is underway to help local residents who are dealing with... or may have family members dealing with drug addiction issues.  The "faith-based" program... entitled "Hope and Healing for Chautauqua" actually began last weekend with a "Day of Faith" program at Zion Covenant Church... and, a special program with Pastor Tracy Strawberry at Healing Word Ministries last night.  The big event is a day-long program today at Chautauqua Suites and Expo Center in Mayville.  Local Pastor Ron Lemon... who is also a member of the County Legislature... recently urged fellow lawmakers to take part. Tracy Strawberry will be joined by many others who work in the drug addiction field to discuss ways to help get people off drugs, and provide support for them once they do.  County officials say the biggest event is today's "Hope and Healing" program at Chautauqua Suites... beginning at 9 AM.  That program will include several speakers and break-out groups.  The programs conclude this Friday.

 

New Yorkers gathered it an historic bar in Manhattan Sunday to grieve the deaths of at least 50 people in a Florida gay nightclub.  People began assembling at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village Sunday afternoon following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.  The Manhattan bar became a national symbol of gay rights after a 1969 police raid led to violent street riots.  Gunman Omar Mateen was shot to death by police at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, after holding hostages for hours.  Activist Andy Humm, host of the "Gay USA" TV show... says Stonewall is "where we go when things like this happen."  He says Sunday's gathering is spontaneous for individuals feeling a need to be together.

 

Late yesterday... New York Senator Charles Schumer condemned the shootings. Schumer says he's -- quote -- "horrified and saddened by the appalling attack at the Orlando nightclub.  We must double down on our efforts to prevent evil people from doing these dastardly acts. I am praying for the innocent victims and their families and the first responders who put their lives on the line to prevent even more casualties."

 

A Fredonia man has been arrested in Dunkirk for allegedly having sexual contact with a child under the age of 11 late last week in the town of Pomfret.  State Police in Fredonia say they arresed Scott Pierce on Third Street in Dunkirk last Friday night.  Troopers say Pierce resisted arrest... but, they were able to take him into custody with the help of Dunkirk City Police.  Pierce was arraigned in Pomfret Town Court for one count of first-degree Criminal Sexual Act... and, resisting arrest.  He was released to the county's Probation Department pending a court appearance today.  State Police are also asking any persons with information regarding any additional victims to contact them at 679-1520.

 

City officials in Jamestown are "very optimistic" that they may win a regional competition for 10-million dollars in state funding to help renew the downtown area.  Mayor Sam Teresi calls the Downtown Revitalization Initiative a "terrific opportunity" for the city.  Teresi says he and the city's Department of Development have put together... and, submitted a plan to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.  He says the money will go to a small city in the region that has experienced some decline, and has "mixed" uses. Teresi adds that... in addition to certain challenges... the city also has an "asset base" and has different groups and others that have shown the ability to work together to solve problems.  There are no guarantees... but, Teresi feels the city has a "real shot" at getting the money.  He believes the city has submitted a "very compelling story" to the Western New York Council.  Teresi says they hope to hear something in about 60 days.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

New York's comptroller reports that state agencies were generally late in approving contracts with nonprofit service providers last year.  The report Thursday shows half of the agencies with late contracts 90 to 100 percent of the time, including the Education Department, the Department for Economic Development, and the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.  In 2015... the state paid $129,824 in interest payments for late contracts.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the chronic delays create financial problems for the nonprofits that often provide services for the most vulnerable New Yorkers, though there was some improvement last year.  The number of late contracts decreased to 61 percent last year, down from 77 percent the year before.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested in the town of Mina for allegedly being a fugitive from justice from the state of Pennsylavnia.  Sheriff's officers say they were investigating a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 86 about 1:15 AM Saturday when they interviewed a person in the area not involved in the crash.  Deputies say they confirmed the person was 26 year-old Randy Miller of 1091 East Second Street.  Following an investigation... officers say they found that Miller was wanted on two arrest warrants out of Pennsylvania.  One was for driving while under the influence... and, the other was for failure to return leased property.  Miller was arraigned on the fugitive charge... and, sent to the county jail pending extradition to Pennsylvania.

 

Harriet Tubman's upcoming debut on the $20 bill is just half the good news in the upstate New York town where the Underground Railroad conductor settled down and grew old. A long-sought national historical park honoring Tubman could be officially established as early as this summer. The move would give a boost to preservation efforts at her old home and church just as the former slave is poised to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is urging the federal government to approve 5.1-million dollars in funding for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in homes throughout western New York.  Schumer says Erie and Niagara Counties are especially vulnerable because more than 40 percent of the homes there were built before 1950, when lead paint was commonly used.  It was banned in the late 1970s.  Based on the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,... more than 2,300 children in upstate New York were found with blood-lead levels associated with permanent neurological damage and behavioral disorders.  In western New York, 585 children, or approximately 13 percent, tested positive for lead poisoning in 2014.  The funding would come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

 

At St. James Church in Jamestown Sunday, a clear, blue sky was suddenly dotted with orange and black... as the 7th annual Kidney Challenge Walk got underway with the traditional 'butterfly release'.  Southern Tier Kidney Association President, Sam Pellerito, announced it. Around 150 walkers then made their way along the Riverwalk to Panzarella Park, and back... raising funds to help those with kidney disease.  The goal was $15,000.  Walk chairman Mitch Stone said the totals will be added up later this week.   

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News Headlines for Sun., June 12, 2016

Historic bar in New York City scene of people gathering to grieve deaths in mass terror shootings in Orlando...

New Yorkers are gathering in Manhattan at a historic bar to grieve the deaths of at least 50 people in a Florida gay nightclub.  People began assembling at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village Sunday after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.  The Manhattan bar became a national symbol of gay rights after a 1969 police raid led to violent street riots.  Gunman Omar Mateen was shot to death by police at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, after holding hostages for hours.  Activist Andy Humm, host of the "Gay USA" TV show... says Stonewall is "where we go when things like this happen."  He says Sunday's gathering is spontaneous for individuals feeling a need to be together.


Three arrest in Jamestown drug raid that leads to seizure of Meth, Heroin and cash...

Three people have been arrested... and quantities of Methamphetime and Heroin were seized... during a raid late last Saturday morning in Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a female occupant at 218 Fulton St. shortly before 10 a.m.  Samuelson says... when police arrived... the woman -- identified as 33 year-old Tiffany Mahoney -- ran into the upper apartment.  When officers located her in the apartment... they also found suspected Meth and drug paraphernalia inside.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were then called in... and, a search warrant was obtained.  Police found more Meth... totaling about 10 games all together... a quantity of Heroin and about $3,500 cash.  Mahoney and two others in the upper apartment... 34 year-old Wallace Peck and 22 year-old Jacob Trippy... where arrested on two counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one count of criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  They are jailed pending arraignment.  Anyone with information on the illegal trafficking of narcotics is asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


City man arrested in town of Mina as fugitive from justice...

A Jamestown man has been arrested in the town of Mina for allegedly being a fugitive from justice from the state of Pennsylavnia.  Sheriff's officers say they were investigating a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 86 about 1:15 a.m. Saturday when they interviewed a person in the area not involved in the crash.  Deputies say they confirmed the person was 26 year-old Randy Miller of 1091 East Second St.  Following an investigation... officers say they found that Miller was wanted on two arrest warrants out of Pennsylvania.  One was for driving while under the influence... and, the other was for failure to return leased property.  Miller was arraigned on the fugitive charge... and, sent to the county jail pending extradition to Pennsylvania.


Schumer urges feds to okay $5.1-million for lead eradication...

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is urging the federal government to approve $5.1-million in funding for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in homes throughout western New York.  Schumer says Erie and Niagara Counties are especially vulnerable because more than 40 percent of the homes there were built before 1950, when lead paint was commonly used.  It was banned in the late 1970s.  Based on the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,... more than 2,300 children in upstate New York were found with blood-lead levels associated with permanent neurological damage and behavioral disorders.  In western New York, 585 children, or approximately 13 percent, tested positive for lead poisoning in 2014.  The funding would come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Harriet Tubman National Park coming next?...

Harriet Tubman's upcoming debut on the $20 bill is just half the good news in the upstate New York town where the Underground Railroad conductor settled down and grew old.  A long-sought national historical park honoring Tubman could be officially established as early as this summer.  The move would give a boost to preservation efforts at her old home and church just as the former slave is poised to replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

 

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News Headlines for Fri., June 10, 2016

Jamestown man arrested for allegedly being found in possession of "large" amount of marijuana and cocaine...

A city man has been arrested... and, a large amount of marjuana and cocaine has been seized... following an early morning raid Friday on Jamestown's northside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and members of the State Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant at 904 North Main St. just after 6 a.m.  Samuelson says task force members found... and, arrested 62 year-old Wayne Leeper, Sr. inside the residence.  Inside... he says they found Leeper in possession of a quantity of cocaine... and, about 5.5-pounds of marijuana -- which is a "substantial amount" of the drug.  Samuelson says they also found some drug packaging... and, seized about $2,000 in alleged drug proceeds.  He adds that residents are continuing to help them with such investigations through their confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Cuomo proposes 25-point strategy to deal with state's Heroin and Opioid Addiction problem...

A new 25-point strategy for dealing with New York's heroin and opioid problem calls for limiting prescriptions, boosting treatment and greater support for those trying to stay clean.  Governor Andrew Cuomo released the recommendations late Thursday.  They now go to the state Legislature, which is expected to approve a comprehensive plan to combat the rise in heroin and opioid addiction before ending the 2016 session next week.  The proposals announced by Cuomo include changes in insurance rules to encourage addicts to get help, greater funding for treatment, new training for doctors who prescribe opioids, new rules to limit acute pain medication to seven-day prescriptions, and expanded access to overdose antidotes.


Teresi says city leaders already looking at a $2.5-$3-million, 2017 Budget shortfall...

Jamestown city officials say ever-increasing costs, and "flat" revenues are the reason they are already looking at a projected, $2.5-million to $3-million shortfall in next year's budget.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says his budget team is already looking at a signficant deficit... due mainly to cost hikes, primarily in three areas.  Teresi made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group of stations.  He says they're looking at increased insurance costs -- especially for retirees, increased Worker's Comp costs, and utility costs.  The cost for health insurance for retirees in the city's self-insured program were a big problem in the current year's budget... and, will continue to be so in the future.  Teresi outlined the issues while talking about whether the city would be able to help fund the Prendergast Library again in 2017.  A referendum for an $850,000 "Community Funding Initiative" was soundly defeated earlier this week... and, Teresi says the library will probably be a "smaller fit" in the city's budget in 2017.


WCA Hospital officials announce new affiliate agrement with UPMC clears on regulatory hurdle...

Another step has been taken towards final regulatory approval of WCA Hospital's affiliation agreement with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  WCA Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says the agreement was approved late Thursday by the state Public Health and Health Planning Council Establishment and Project Review Committee.  Wright says the next regulatory steps include approvals from the state Office of Mental Health... and, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.  She says "we are very excited and appreciative of the State’s approval to move forward.  This is a great day for WCA and UPMC and more importantly, the citizens that we are so privileged to serve in southern Chautauqua County."  The boards of directors of WCA Hospital and UPMC announced a formal affiliation agreement to integrate WCA Hospital into the UPMC network on back on December 15th of last year.


Gas prices down -- slightly -- in Jamestown-area this week...

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are down -- slightly this week -- to just over $2.48 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is down 2-10ths of a cent to $2.48.5 this week.  The Fuel Gauge says the price was based on reports from 19 local service stations.  Last year at this time... the price was $2.94 a gallon.  AAA says the current national average is now about $2.36 a gallon.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge says a "tightening supply," combined with strong gasoline demand contributed to pump prices moving higher over the past week.  Today’s average price of $2.36 a gallon is a 4-cent per gallon increase since last week’s Memorial Day Holiday.


Celoron Rib Fest heading into busy weekend...

A total of six ribbers are on hand for this year's seventh-annual Celoron Rib-Fest... which is underway through Saturday at Lucille Ball Memorial Park.  Mayor Scot Schrecengost says... after a cool, damp start Wednesday... things were looking up... and, there should be warmer weather through the weekend.  Schrecengost says five of the rib teams are back again this year.  They include 'Sgt. Oinks...' which has been around most every year they've held it in Celoron.  In addition... there's 'My Happy Place...' 'Smokin' Joes Hog Wild...' and 'Pigfoot Barbecue.'  There's also the new one, "After Hours Barbecue."  Schrecengost says eight non-profit organizations in and around Celoron will benefit from the event's proceeds.  Today... they'll have two country bands performing... and, they'll have the "Friday Night" bike night at the Rib Fest.  They'll have the annual Classic Car Show on Saturday.  Hours today are 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and, on Saturday it's 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Sponsors include the Shults Auto Group... Cummins Engine Company... Harley-Davidson of Jamestown... Freedom Communications... and, the Media One Group of Stations.


 

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News Headlines for Thurs., June 9, 2016

Schneiderman asks Charter to fix servide problems with Time-Warner after acquistion...

New York's attorney general is asking Charter Communications to fix the service problems of the state's Time Warner Cable subscribers following its recent acquisition of the broadband internet provider.  In a letter to Charter... Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his office's investigation has shown Time-Warner's actual internet speeds often didn't match those promised... and, that it failed to keep up with customer demand, leading to congestion and lost data.  He says the problems have been particularly bad at prime time when many customers connect.  Stamford, Connecticut-based Charter says it has made significant investments in its infrastructure and will continue to do that as it integrates Time Warner, bringing enhancements like broadband speeds up to 60 megabits per second.


Chautauqua Lake Central substitute bus driver charged with child endangerment...

A substitute bus driver with the Chautauqua Lake Central School District has been arrested for alleged child endangerment during a bus run back in late April.  Sheriff's officers say they arrested 58 year-old Edward Farnsworth of Meadows Road, DeWittville following an investigation into the alleged incident on-board Bus-#142 the afternoon of April 28.  Deputies would only say that Farnsworth had "allegedly engaged in actions which constituted endangering a juvenile on his bus."  He was issued an appearance ticket for Chautauqua Town Court.


City man arrested on Felony warrants, and drug possession...

An investigation into a suspicious situation in front of the Boys and Girl's Club of Jamestown has led to the arrest of a city man on multiple drug possession charges.  City police were called to the scene at 62 Allen St. shortly after 1:30 Tuesday afternoon... and, tried to identify the man.  They later identified him to be William Tilyou... who was wanted on a Jamestown City Felony Drug Court warrant.  Police add they allegedly found Tilyou with quantities of "crystal" methamphetime... heroin... marijuana... and drug paraphernalia.  Police say they arrested Tilyou on charges including Felony third-degree... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, two counts of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  He's also charged with second-degree criminal personation. He's jailed pending arraignment in City Court.


City officials announce expanded Jamestown Summer Concert Series...

There will be more chances to catch the annual Summer Concert Series at Jamestown's Allen Park this year because there are more concerts on the schedule.  That from city Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley... who says there will be nine concerts this year -- which is three more than last year.  Ciesla Hanley says there would be eight concerts total put on by the Jamestown Municipal Band.  Band Director Rick Lundquist says they're pleased to do it, and while there are some new shows this year... there are also some old stand-by nights... including the Italian, and Scandinavian Nights.  There'll also be the annual Patriotic concert around July 4th.  During yesterday's announcement at Allen Park... Ciesla-Hanley said the season gets underway with the annual Jamestown High School Concert Band performance next Wednesday, June 15 at 7 p.m.  Band Director Meghan Murray says they're excited about the concert because -- due to weather conditions -- their event was rained out last year.  However... Murray says the weather is looking good for nex week.  She adds it'll be a fun, laid-back concert... with more "popular music" and show tunes.  The following week -- June 22 -- will begin the eight-week run for the Municipal Band.


City looking to move Summer Concerts indoors if rain is falling, or threatens to fall on concert nights...

The Summer Concert Series has always been pending because of the weather from week to week.  However... this year... that may not be  the case.  Among the announcements made at the Gorenson Bandshell Wednesday is that the city is working on an alternative, indoor site if rain becomes an issue.  Julia Ciesla-Hanley says... on days when rain appears to be a factor... they hope to move the concert into the Allen Park Ice Rink.  Ciesla-Hanley says... if they do have to move the concert that particular night... they will contact the media to get the change announced by 2 p.m. that day.  She adds it will also be put on the city's webpage at www.jamestownny.net.


Reg Lenna Center for the Arts holds 2016-17 Season preview Wednesday...

Local fans of stage and screen got a "sneak peak" of what's in store for the 2016-17 season at the Reg Lenna Center for The Arts yesterday.  A drop-in day "open house" was held at the area's "community theater at East Third Street location.  Marketing Director Len Barry says tickets for the season go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. on June 21.  Barry says you can buy tickets individually... or a "Reg365" season's pass.  He says the season formally gets underway Sept. 24 with the return of illusionist Jason Bishop... who wowed a Reg Lenna audience two years ago with his optical elusions.  Barry says the show with Jason Bishop show begins at 8 p.m. on the Reg Lenna stage.  The next big event will be on Oct. 30 when the Robert H. Jackson Center and the Center will commemorate World War-Two with the Abby Mann production "Judgement at Nuremburg."  Barry says this is the Reg's third-season... and, he says their attendance numbers continue to grow.  For more information... go on-line to www.reglenna.com, or call the box office at 484-7070.    


 

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News Alert!! - Ellison Bronze Fire

**Alert!! Dust bin fire out at Ellison Bronze; no one hurt...

A problem with a dust collection system is the apparent cause of an industrial fire at a Falconer maker of custom crafted "balanced doors."  However... Falconer fire crews were able to get the blaze out at Ellison Bronze about 11 a.m.  The call came in from the plant at 125 West Main Street shortly after 10 this morning.  Falconer Fire Chief Bryce Webster says three firefighters were working on the roof when a couple of "explosions" occured inside the building. However... no one was hurt.  Damage was reportely confined to the dust collection system and area around it.  Falconer was joined at the scene by Frewsburg, Gerry, Kiantone and Fluvanna fire crews. West Main Street in Falconer is now open after being closed for about two-hours from Tiffany Avenue at the Jamestown city line to the four-corners. 

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WJTN News Headlines

A proposal to establish a "Community Funding Initiative" for the Prendergast Library in Jamestown was soundly defeated Tuesday in what was a huge voter turn-out.  Library officials say the 850-thousand dollar referendum was rejected with 13-hundred-6 "no" votes... to just 856 "yes" votes.  Library Board President Tom Rankin called it a "very sad day for the library, and a very sad day for Jamestown...."  Rankin says... while no decisions have been made on cost cutting... or possibly selling some of the library's art work... all options will be "on the table."  Library Director Tina Scott says they had no real "feeling" for which way the vote was going to go... but, was obviously disappointed.  She says you never "really know how people feel until you ask."  At the same time... Scott expressed her appreciation to those who took the time to vote during the 9-hours of voting Tuesday.  Officials with the Jamestown City School District... who conducted the vote... say vote totals are still unofficial at this time.  However... the totals do include absentee ballots.

 

Jamestown school officials celebrated the more than four decades that Joe DiMaio has taught... coached... and, been a school board member in the city district last night.  It was DiMaio's final school board meeting... and, he was presented several gifts by the board and Superintendent Tim Mains.  DiMaio was presented with a life-time Harley-Davidson of Jamestown membership and a commemorative clock.  Mains called DiMaio the board's "QB" who didn't take state funding cuts "laying down."  He presented DiMaio with a special "Jamestown" football.
DiMaio was a bit overwhelmed by the recognition... but, says he feels good about his decision to retire from the board because he feels the district is in "good hands."  He especially noted that he was "very pleased" to see that his old board seat had been won by former Board Member Joe Pawelski... who'll take his seat on the panel at next month's reorganizational meeting.

 

A traffic stop in Salamanca has led to the arrest of a Buffalo man for allegedly trafficking cocaine in the Cattaraugus County city.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 34 year-old Ronald Mitchell of Brinkman Street shortly after 7 AM Tuesday.  Deputies say they found a quantity of the narcotic drug... and, a large sum of cash in Mitchell's possession.  Officers arrested him on one count of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Mitchell was arraigned in Great Valley Town Court... and, sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.  The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force includes members of the Salamanca City Police Department.

 

Dunkirk City Police made two drug-related arrests early Tuesday morning after a routine check of Wright Park.  City officers picked up 52-year-old Darryl Devore of Irving... and, 39-year-old Amber Harrison of Lemming Street, Dunkirk after investigating a suspicious vehicle located in the city park around 1:30 AM.  Police determined that Harrison was wanted on several outstanding bench warrants for failing to appear in Dunkirk City Court.  Police also observed a makeshift pipe commonly used for smoking crack cocaine and located a package of crack cocaine under the pipe.  While being booked at headquarters, police found two more packages of crack cocaine concealed in Devore's socks.  A substantial amount of cash was also seized from Devore.  Both are jailed pending arraignment.

 

The author of a bill in the U-S Senate designed to make it easier for the victims of sexual assault in the military to come forward is calling on lawmakers to again consider the measure.  The Military Justice Improvement Act was proposed last year by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand... but, after testimony by a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... it was fillibustered and died.  Gillibrand says today she is bringing it foward again because she says that testimony has now been proven to be false. Gillibrand says... unlike last year's testimony stateed... there are still a number of alleged victims who haven't come forward because they have "no faith" in the current system.  She says there is one change in the legislation... which she says empowers the prosecutor involved to now bring charges against anyone who retaliates against a victim.  Gillibrand says that's mainly because there have been no prosecutions for retaliations over the past two years.  She's urging the public to contact their Congressman to support the bill when it comes up in the House.

 

New York corrections authorities say they have made several security upgrades at the prison in northern New York where two killers escaped a year ago.  The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision says new cameras and security gates have been installed at Clinton Correctional Facility at Dannemora... near the Canadian border.  Spokesman Thomas Mailey says the prison also has retrained staff, disciplined employees responsible and named a new superintendent and senior administrators.  The department says it's reviewing the inspector general's investigative report released Monday into security failures and will implement reforms throughout the prison system.  The union representing 18-thousand corrections officers at New York's 54 prisons says this "disturbing incident" shined a light on the need for sustained investment in training, technology and tools.

 

Getting on the CBS Morning game show... "The Price is Right..." has become a family thing for the Johnson's in Lakewood.  Mother Lisa has been on... then son Michael... now, daughter Morgan has made it on.  Morgan -- a Senior at Southwestern High School -- won a spot on Contestant's Row for Tuesday morning's show... and, made it to the final wheel spin for a chance at the Final Showcase Showdown. Morgan didn't make the final round... but, she did win some video equipment, and 8-thousand dollars more in cash and prizes.  She won't have much time, though, to celebrate her success -- and meeting host Drew Carey on "The Price is Right."  Morgan is the 2016 Distinguished Young Woman of the Year in New York State... and, will be traveling this weekend to Mobile, Alabama for the National competition... which will be held June 23rd through 25th.

 

Five 'strong women' were honored Tuesday night at the Jamestown YWCA's 'Women of Achievement' awards at Moonbrook Country Club.  Jan Bowman, Coordinator of JCC's Environmental Science Program, won the education award. In the arts and culture category, Sue Huther, the director of choirs at Southwestern Central... and the vocal group Serendipity, was named the winner.  The 'Leader of the Future' honor went to Christina King, manager of the Jamestown Farmer's Market for the Renaissance Corporation.  The health and wellness honor was given to Christine Schuyler, the county's Director of Health and Human Services.  Julie Rockcastle, one of the founders of the Blue Heron Festival, was named 'Outstanding Entrepreneur'. 

 


 

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News Alert! for Tues., June 7, 2016

Library Referendum defeated in Tuesday vote by 450 votes...

A proposal to establish a "Community Funding Initiative" for the Prendergast Library in Jamestown was soundly defeated Tuesday in what was a huge voter turn-out.  Library officials say the $850,000 referendum was rejected with 1,306 "no" votes... to just 856 "yes" votes.  Vote totals are still unofficial.  Library Board President Tom Rankin called it a "very sad day for the library, and a very sad day for Jamestown."  Library Director Tina Scott says they had no real feel for which way the vote was going to go, but, expressed her appreciation to those who took the time to vote.  Rankin says there have been no immediate decisions on how the library will move forward.

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WJTN News Headlines

Officials with the National Weather Service confirm a small tornado did roar through North Warren, Pennsylvania late Sunday afternoon.  That from Warren County Public Safety Director Todd Lake... who requested that forecasters from State College come up and investigate wind damage that went from west to east... across Route 62.  Lake says some of the downed trees were "criss-crossed...." Lake says the funnel cloud apparently formed in an area on the hill behind the Dairy Queen on Route 62... just north of the city of Warren... and, knocked down some trees.  He says it then moved into a cemetery across the road, and knocked down several more trees.  Lake says the EF-1 twister... with sustained winds of 90 miles an hour... then moved along Conewango Creek... to Conewango Avenue... where several more trees were taken down.  He says a lot of clean-up work has been done so far... but, adds one intersection remained after high-power lines were pulled down.  Lake says PENELEC crews still had part of Conewango Avenue in Glade Township closed while repairs are made.  No one was hurt in the twister. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace calls a car-pedestrian accident that severely injured a 4-year-old boy on Route 20 in the town of Ripley a "horrific" crash.  It was the first of two car-pedestrian accidents that occurred just a few hours apart in the county this past Sunday.  Gerace says the accident in Ripley happened near the New York-Pennsylvania line. The driver who was operating the vehicle... 51-year-old Keith Potter of Ripley... was not charged.  The second crash occurred on Routes 5 and 20 in the town of Hanover about six hours later.  Gerace says 71-year-old Thomas Victor of Olean was driving the vehicle when he did not see 19-year-old Daniel Barker-the-third who was walking in the eastbound lane of the highway.  Barker was seriously injured... and, was rushed to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  The driver was not charged.  Gerace says its "rare" to have two such crashes happen during the same day.

 

There's been plenty of information put out... but, it's nearly time for Jamestown residents to decide on how to fund the Prendergast Library.  An 850-thousand dollar Community Funding Initiative will be voted on today from Noon to 9 PM at the library.  Officials have been holding community meetings the past several weeks about what the vote entails.  Library Director Tina Scott says this would provide stable funding for the library... which has been running deficit budgets in recent years... and, adds the future isn't looking good either. Scott says the 850-thousand dollars makes up about 65-percent of the library's budget.  She adds that most of the other 35-percent comes from the library's endowment... while a small portion comes from fund-raising.  Library Board President Tom Rankin says -- unlike the vote on a Special Library District 11 years ago -- this vote would allow them to need to raise less money... and, have more ability to use their endowment.  Rankin says the library doesn't have the authority to hold the vote... which is why the Jamestown School District is running it.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued the first executive order in the country forcing state entities to drop investments linked to boycotts of Israel.  Cuomo signed the order Sunday before marching in Manhattan's Celebrate Israel parade.  The Democratic governor expects state agencies to divest all public funds from any ties to the movement known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.  BDS was founded in 2005 to protest Israel's actions toward Palestinians by boycotting Israeli products and companies.  State officials must compile a list of businesses and groups engaged in activities targeting Israel.  Baher Azmy, of the nonprofit Center for Constitutional Rights, says Cuomo's action violates free speech and is a form of "21st century McCarthyism."  The United Jewish Appeal in New York praised the governor for standing with Israel.

 

Presumptive GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments regarding the ethnicity of a federal judge involved in one of the court cases against Trump University is "concerning."  However... Congressman Tom Reed would not condemn Trump's remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel... which have be widely-criticized by Republicans nationally.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday... Reed said he has been concerned with Trump's rhetoric early on... and, still is. Reed maintains that Trump is his own candidate... and, is responsible for what he himself says.  Asked if Trump should apologize to the judge... Reed said it was up to Trump himself to do that.  However... he did question if the whole Trump University controversy was a "red herring" because there are so many other issues lawmakers need to be focusing on.  Reed Monday touted several Anti-Poverty bills in the House of Representatives that he supports, and will begin moving people out of public assistance, and on the path to self-sustainability.  He says a key on would allow people to move in that direction without losing benefits until they are self-sustaining.

 

Several New York City elected officials have rallied outside Trump Tower to denounce Donald Trump's comments about a federal judge's Mexican heritage.  City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito claimed Monday that any Republican who has backed Trump shares in the blame for his divisive rhetoric.  Mark-Viverito is a Democrat and is supporting Hillary Clinton.  She criticized Trump's unwillingness to apologize.  Trump has come under fire for suggesting that Judge Gonzalo Curiel ``should have recused himself'' from the fraud case against the presumptive Republican nominee's now-defunct Trump University.  Curiel is from Indiana.  His parents emigrated from Mexico.  Trump claims the jurist can't be impartial in the case since Curial is of Mexican heritage and Trump plans to build a wall along the southern border.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer is introducing legislation that would require phone companies to offer a free service that would block robocalls from bill collectors, politicians and other sources.  The New York Democrat says that the legislation would require both mobile and landline service providers to offer the blocking technology.  A companion bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat.  Schumer says robocalls are technologically identifiable and that the blocking services work much like email spam filters.  Some phone companies already offer the service.  According to statistics from voicemail provider YouMail Inc., there were nearly 50 million robocalls made to two New York City area codes in April.  The company tallies which cities send and receive the most robocalls.

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News Update! for Mon., June 6, 2016

(**Update)NWS confirms EF-1 tornado in Warren County Sunday afternoon...

The National Weather Service now says a small tornado did roar through northwestern Pennsylvania... downing trees and power lines as far east as Warren County.  The storm that spauned the EF-1 twister hit parts of Warren... Erie... and, Crawford counties about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.  No injuries were reported... but. Warren County Public Safety Director Todd Lake says several trees were downed... and, several PENELEC customers remain without power.  Most should be restored by late tonight.  The main area affected in Warren County was around Route 62 in North Warren.  Lake says he asked the weather service to investigate because some of the downed trees were ''crisscrossed'' which he says is ``a major tell-tale sign of tornadic activity.''  EF-1 tornadoes produce winds of about 90 miles per hour.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

It's being called a "significant wind event..." and it's taking down a number of trees and utility wires in the North Warren-area.  Warren County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say they had a severe thunderstorm roar through the area -- just north of Warren, Pennsylvania -- about 5:30 PM yesterday.  Dispatchers say they have no official word of any tornado activity... and say the damage was centered about the Route 62 area of North Warren.  However... they add no injuries were reported.  The storm hit about the same time as a severe thunderstorm moved through the Jamestown-area.  There was a severe thunderstorm warning here from about 4 to 5 PM.

 

A fire late Saturday morning that destroyed a vacant, two story apartment house on Jamestown's eastside is being blamed on arson.  City Fire Lieutenant Donald Mowery says firefighters were called to the scene at 192 Falconer Street about 11 AM.  Mowery says the flames had a pretty good head start on fire crews. Mowery says the blaze began in the back of the building... and, spread through-out the structure.  He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to bring under control because the flames were able to move inside the walls and ceilings.  Mowery tells us the building is a total loss... and the order was given by the Department of Development late Saturday to tear down the structure.  Mowery says one firefighter was treated for a minor injury.  An off-duty shift of 12 firefighters and one commander was called in to assist.  Mowery says firefighters were at the scence for about 4 hours.  City police and fire investigators are looking for whoever may have set the house on fire.

 

A Jamestown man is accused of selling more than 10-thousand un-taxed cigarettes in the area following a joint investigation by local and state authorities.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department reports the arrest of 35 year-old James Chapman of 273 South Main Street late this past Friday during two separate raids.  Officers say Chapman was arrested by members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... the state Tax and Finance Investigative Unit... and, the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  Deputies say the first raid occured at 275-277 South Main Street... where they seized a large quantity of untaxed cigarettes and cigars... a quantity of cash, sales records, marijuana and scales.  As a result of that search... they were then able to search Chapman's 273 South Main address.  He's been charges with two counts of Sales of Untaxed Cigarettes... and, one count of Tax Fraud under the New York State Tax Law.  Those are all felony charges.  Police add that more charges are pending.  Chapman has been issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.

 

New York state lawmakers are entering the final days of their 2016 session, with big votes possible on measures to combat heroin addiction, allow Uber to expand upstate and regulate daily fantasy sports.  Another item on the to-do list is the renewal of Mayor Bill de Blasio's control of New York City schools.  De Blasio wants a seven-year extension but lawmakers, particularly in the Senate, have concerns.  While polls show corruption remains a top issue to voters... lawmakers have shown little interest in addressing the chronic problem.  Instead, lawmakers are debating measures to combat heroin and opioid abuse, legislation authorizing Uber's expansion outside of New York City and regulations allowing daily fantasy sports operators like FanDuel and DraftKings to operate within the state.  The Legislature plans to adjourn on June 16th.

 

The Salvation Army of Jamestown is well-known for it's program that helps and houses the victims of sexual and domestic assaults.  Local Congressman Tom Reed -- a strong supporter of such programs -- got the chance last weekend to learn more about that they do.  Several years ago... Reed's niece was raped the night of her high school prom.  Reed met with Salvation Army Major John Merchant... and, Anew Center Director Stacy Tanner... about what resources they provide... and, what types of help they need. Reed also got to tour the Anew Center's shelter... the location of which is kept secret for safety reasons.  He says he learned that the demand for their sexual abuse and domestic violence services remains high... with about 200 people -- mainly women -- helped each year.  Reed says he got a lot of input about the need to make programs more efficient, and provide more help to the victims.  He has been part of the non-partisan "No More" effort to raise awareness to the problems of sexual assault.

 

During his visit to the Salvation Army's Anew Center... Reed learned about the need for a new shelter for the victims they help.  The Corning Republican says the multi-story home the Salvation Army uses is old... and, really not worth putting the money into to upgrade.  Reed says the Salvation Army... led by Merchant and his wife... is putting an effort together to develop a new facility. In addition to having 13-beds... the current shelter has several rooms.. including a bath, shower, and kitchen.  Reed pledged his support to finding a new facility... and, getting it up and running.  The Anew Center receives about 4-thousand calls a year to it's 24-hour hot-line.  The number is 661-3897... or 1-800-252-8748.

 

The New York state Senate has passed legislation to increase the exemption of private pensions from state income taxes.  Seniors have been able to claim tax exemptions for the first $20,000 of pension or retirement income for 35 years.  The bill would raise that to $25,000 for the 2017 tax year, rising in increments to $40,000 in 2020.  Senator Hugh Farley, a Schenectady County Republican, says the exemption hasn't kept up with the cost of living.  Senate Republicans say the adjustments will help more than 377,000 seniors save hundreds of dollars... and, address the inequity of private pensions compared to government pensions that are tax-exempt under the state constitution.  A companion bill with 17 sponsors is pending in the Assembly, where the legislation died last year after the Senate passed it.

 

Saturday's Jim Roselle Read-a-thon at the James Prendergast Library was a great success.  People read aloud all day long to raise money for the library.  The library had a major booksale, petting zoo, and hotdog sale going at the same time.  Joni Blackman of the library's board of trustees says over 4000 dolllars was raised.  Board President Tom Rankin was delighted with the turnout. The read-a-thon was named for WJTN radio announcer Jim Roselle, who died earlier this year. 

 

Two Falconer residents were hurt -- and one had possible serious injuries -- after the motorcycle they were riding hit a tree stump Memorial Day Weekend... and, crashed.  State Police in Warren say the motorcycle... operated by 71 year-old Ernest Simmons... was southbound on Pleasant Drive in Watson Township about 2:20 PM Saturday, May 28th.  Troopers say Simmons lost control of the bike... and, it went off the road -- hit the stump -- and flipped over.  Police say the motorcycle landed on top of Simmons, and, his passenger, 74 year-old Bertha Simmons.  Both were taken to Warren General Hospital for treatment.  Ernest Simmons reportedly had serious injuries... Bertha had minor injuries.

 

A Corry, Pennsylvania man is jailed without bail in Chautauqua County for allegedly being a fugitive from justice.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 27 year-old Jared Goodwill on the Corry-Clymer Road in Clymer last Saturday for a seat-belt violation.  After identifying himself... Troopers confirmed there was an active warrant for Goodwill out of Meadville, Pennsylvania for a violation of probation.  He was taken into custody... and, arraigned in Clymer Town Court... and, sent to the county lock-up.

 

 

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News Headlines for Sat., June 4, 2016

Horrigan says Chautauqua County is preparing for "life without NRG..."

There will be two basic considerations to moving Chautauqua County forward if -- and when -- the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk closes for good.  Those are the feelings of County Executive Vince Horrigan... as he spoke Friday morning to more than 100 members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce during the group's annual County Executive's Breakfast in Mayville.  Horrigan says growing the tax base is first and foremost... while merging govermment services is next.  He adds, though, that there are infrastructure needs to bring that about.  One is hooking up sewer services all around Chautauqua Lake.  Horrigan says the Chautauqua Height's area will see it's wastewater sent to the north county for treatment under the plan.  In addition... Horrigan says moving the North County Water District across the finish line is another big consideration.  In fact... he says officials with Athenex pharmacutials -- which is locating a major, manufacturing facility in the town of Dunkirk -- say the new district was an important draw for them.  Horrigan adds that his Regional Solutions Commission is looking at a number of potential cost-cutting measures... with the biggest area being public safety.


Horrigan says consolidations are hard because localities don't want to give up identities; need to look 5 and 10 years down the road...

Getting people to look down the road 5 to 10 years is often times the hardest part of trying to consolidate or merge government operations.  That from County Executive Horrigan during Friday's Executive Breakfast at Webb's Captains Table in Mayville.  Horrigan talked about how difficult it is to get buy-in to the idea of merging governments... or services.  He talked about the situation in Forestville... where residents voted last year to dissolve the village government into the town of Hanover.  Horrigan says people decided they didn't need the village after the facts and figures were laid out by the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester.  He says Forestville residents had seen huge increases in village taxes and other issues before that.  Asked if it takes "a crisis" to bring about such change... Horrigan said it doesn't hurt.  But... he says it shouldn't.  Horrigan adds the silent majority needs to speak up because you'll always hear the 'nasty and the negative' from on-line bloggers.  Horrigan joked that they even call him "Grampa Horrigan."  But... he says he gets a lot of encouragement from residents he runs into one-on-one.


Dunkirk still waiting for confirmation on transition aid to stem loss of NRG PILOT...

The State budget was approved in April, but Dunkirk City School District officials are still waiting for official confirmation that the district will be getting a share of the transition aid that's been included in the spending plan. That's the word from School Superintendent Gary Cerne, who says they have been in touch with State Senator Cathy Young's office.  NRG notified local officials about a significant reduction in the payment in lieu of tax agreement following the moth-balling of the Dunkirk power station... so Cerne says it's "up in the air."  Earlier this week... Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas noted that he's had conversations with Senator Young who reassured him about the funding.  Cerne says that District Business Manager Will Thiel will  continue to stay in touch with state officials about the matter.  The school district, the city and the county have applied for the special funding that would cover up to 80-percent of the PILOT from NRG in the coming fiscal year.


Two Falconer residents hurt in Warren Co. Motorcycle accident...

Two Falconer residents were hurt -- and one had possible serious injuries -- after the motorcycle they were riding hit a tree stump last weekend... and, crashed.  State Police in Warren say the motorcycle... operated by 71 year-old Ernest Simmons... was southbound on Pleasant Drive in Watson Township about 2:20 p.m. last Saturday.  Troopers say Simmons lost control of the bike... and, it went off the road -- hit the stump -- and flipped over.  Police say the motorcycle landed on top of Simmons, and, his passenger, 74 year-old Bertha Simmons.  Both were taken to Warren General Hospital for treatment.  Ernest Simmons reportedly had serious injuries... Bertha had minor injuries.


State lawmakers look for pass legislation regarding Daily Fantasy Sports...

New York lawmakers have begun advancing legislation to regulate daily fantasy sports, which would enable thousands of people to resume playing.  Committees in the state Senate and Assembly with jurisdiction over gambling this week separately advanced bills that detail proposed registration fees for commercial operators and prohibitions against minors playing.  They would also bar contests based on collegiate or high school sports or horse racing.  Differences between the bills would have to be reconciled and passed.  The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn in two weeks.


 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly firing two shots with a stolen gun during an altercation with another man on the city's northside last night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 811 Prendergast Avenue about 8:20 PM on a report of several shots being fired.  Samuelson says police learned that another man with the alleged suspect... 28 year-old Jonathan Negron-Rosario... had gotten into a verbal argument with the victim.  The victim then grabbed a bat... and, Rosario allegedly fired the .357-calibur hand-gun into the air.  No one was hurt.  He was arrested... and, the gun was found to have been stolen in Camden, New Jersey in 1993.

 

A Jamestown man was arrested during a raid Thursday afternoon for allegedly trafficking "crack" cocaine from a home on the city's eastside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 40 Thayer Street shortly before 2 PM... and, found the suspect, 22 year-old Darin Butts, Junior, inside.  Samuelson says they also found an 18 year-old woman, and a small child along with 11-grams of "crack" cocaine.  He says Butts was arrested on charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  The 18 year-old was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

 

A second kind of Methamphetime has surfaced in the Jamestown-area in addition to what is made locally.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force found 7-grams of Crystal Meth in the possession of alleged "street-level" dealer Garson Butcher during a raid yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon at 230 Forest Avenue.  Samuelson says police got a search warrant just before some apparent customers were coming out shortly after 1:30 PM. Samuelson says there were 13 Amphetime pills in Butcher's possession.  He says investigators can't say where exactly the "Crystal Meth" is coming from... but, adds it's the lowest quality of the illegal drug... and, is often made in southwestern states -- like Texas.  He says the state Police C-NET Team also took part in the raid... where drug agents also seized a digital scale.  Butcher was arraigned on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminally using drug paraphernalia... and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was sent to the county jail without bail.

 

A nearly four-year-old murder case in the Cattaraugus County town of Great Valley has finally seen an arrest.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say a joint investigation with the District Attorney's office has led to the arrest of 24 year-old Jaron Ruth of Buffalo.  Deputies say Ruth is accused of shooting and killing Heney Ackley during a robbery at Ackley's Route 417 home back in September of 2012.  Officers say Ruth is currently serving a prison sentence at the Orleans Correctional Facility on an unrelated charge.  He was indicted by the Cattaraugus County Grand Jury for second-degree murder... two counts of first-degree robbery... and, two counts of first-degree burglary.  Ruth is to be arraigned on the new charges on June 20th.

 

State Police in Warren have now identfied the person killed in Wednesday afternoon's fatal car accident in Warren County's Springcreek Township.  Troopers now say that 18 year-old Jordan Ayala of Corry was pronounced dead at the scene of a single-car crash on Old Route 77.  Police say Ayala was driving east at an apparent high-rate of speed when he lost control just after 1 PM... and, the car cross the road, and slammed into an embankment.  Troopers say the vehicle flipped over and traveled about 100 feet down a hill and struck a ditch.  Police say Ayala was ejected from the vehicle.  His three passengers... 18 year-old Bret Anderson of Corry, and two 16 year-olds from Corry... were taken to Corry Memorial Hospital for treatment.  The investigation is continuing.

 

When you attend this summer's Chautauqua County Fair, you will be able to see poultry exhibits.  State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball announced the end of the ban on all live fowl competitions and exhibits at the State Fair in Syracuse and at all county fairs across the state.  Emily Reynolds of Cornell Cooperative Extension says it will be a great chance for kids in their 4-H program to demonstrate what they've learned about their poultry. Because of the ban... Reynolds says modifications had to be made so 4-H members could still have a program last year.  However... the competition took place at a location away from the county Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  The State Agriculture Department had issued the ban in May 2015 to prevent the spread of avian flu.

 

The county's Chamber of Commerce will hear more about what's happening in local government this morning during it's annual County Executive Breakfast.  Chamber leaders say Executive Vince Horrigan will address the business group about 8:30 AM at Webb's Captains Table in Mayville.  About 100 businesses will be represented at the event... which will feature some short remarks by Horrigan... then a question and answer session.  Chamber officials say the pending closure of the NRG Plant in Dunkirk... and, the move by the Athenex pharmacutial company to the county... will be two of the main topics discussed.

 

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News update! for Thurs., June 2, 2016

(**Update)Corry, Pa teen identified as victim of fatal crash in western Warren County...

State Police in Warren have now identfied the person killed in the second of two fatal accidents in Warren County Wednesday.  Troopers now say that 18 year-old Jordan Ayala of Corry was pronounced dead at the scene of a single-car crash on Old Route 77 in Spring Creek Township.  Police say Ayala was driving east at an apparent high-rate of speed when he lost control just after 1 p.m., and, the car crossed the road, and slammed into an embankment.  Troopers say the vehicle flipped over and traveled about 100 feet down a hill and struck a ditch.  Police say Ayala was ejected from the vehicle.  His three passengers... 18 year-old Bret Anderson of Corry, and two 16 year-olds from Corry... were taken to Corry Memorial Hospital for treatment.  The investigation is continuing.

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WJTN News Headlines

Authorities in Warren County, Pennsylvania are investigating two fatal crashes that occured Wednesday.  State Police say the most recent accident occured yesterday afternoon when the driver of a car lost control on Old Route 77 in Spring Creek Township.  Troopers say the vehicle slammed into an embankment shortly after 1 PM... and, came to rest upside down in a ditch.  Police say one male was pronounced dead at the scene.  Two other males and a female were taken to Corry Memorial Hospital for treatment.  More when it's available.

 

A tractor-trailer accident in southern Warren County Wednesday morning has taken the life of the Minnesota man who was driving the big rig.  State Police say the 66 year-old man from Plymouth, Minnesota... who has not been identified... was southbound on Route 666 in Sheffield Township as he approached the bridge at Henrys Mill Road shortly after 8 AM.  Troopers say the victim failed to negotiate a curve... and, the rig hit the guide rail on the eastside of the span.  Police say the tractor then rolled-over... and, went over the guide rail before falling onto the bank next to Tionesta Creek.  Troopers say the driver was pronounced dead at the scene by Warren County Coroner Jerry Borden.

 

The mayor of Dunkirk says he'll be doing his best to convince the State's Public Service Commission not to terminate the 10-year repowering agreement between National Grid and NRG.  Democrat Willie Rosas spoke yesterday morning about the latest development in the on-going struggle to get the Dunkirk plant repowered using natural gas.  Rosas indicated that he will be sending a letter to the PSC and Governor Andrew Cuomo's office.
But... while Rosas joins other officials -- including State Senator Cathy Young in trying to keep the project alive -- he is already looking at a future without the plant being repowered.  He says he met Tuesday with the Common Council's Finance Committee Chairman about that issue... and, how they move forward on their budget "without NRG."  Rosas says he has also been in touch with Young about the transition aid that has been included in the state budget for communities like Dunkirk which are facing the closing of coal fired power plants. He says the State Senator assures him that the city will be receiving the transition aid, although Rosas wants to see it in writing.

 

Several labor unions and environmental groups have teamed up to push New York lawmakers to do more to address climate change.  The coalition... called NY Renews... rallied outside the state Capitol Wednesday ahead of an Assembly vote on legislation that would codify some of Governor Andrew Cuomo's clean energy goals.  The Democratic governor wants half of New York's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.  But... that effort could be canceled by a future governor.  The bill before lawmakers would codify the goal in state law... and, make other changes designed to reduce the state's carbon emissions.  President Hector Figueroa of 32-BJ Service Employees International Union, says clean energy is vital to the state's future and will also create good jobs for workers.

 

A student with the Cassadaga Job Corps is jailed on one-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being found in possession of a large amount of prescription pills late last (Tuesday) night.  Sheriff's deputies say they arrested 18 year-old Bader Soliman of Malverne, New York about 9 PM following an investigation by Job Corps Security into allegations Soliman was bringing narcotics into the Job Corps.  During the investigation... they found he had a pill jar containing 144 tablets of a controlled substance hidden in his pants.  Soliman was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... arraigned in Pomfret Town Court... and, sent to the county lock-up.

 

It was a good year for school budgets in Chautauqua County... and, across New York state.  That from the head of the state School Board's Association... who says 98.5-percent of the nearly 700 spending plans were approved back on May 19th.  Executive Director Tim Kreamer says budgets were definately helped by the 1.5-billion dollar boost in Foundation Aid... and, eliminating the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment."  Kreamer says the moves allowed most school boards to stay under the state's Property Tax Cap. Kreamer says while the state billed the cap as a 2-percent cap... it would default to the rate to the cost of inflation -- which ever is lower.  Those budgets were approved by more than 78-percent of those districts.  However... Kreamer says it's too early to say if this is a trend against the cap.  However... he believes there's a growing number of people who now believe the tax cap is "too onerous" to local schools and governments.  Kreamer says... he doesn't believe that those who created the Property Tax Cap... wanted to see "negative caps."

 

He's been on the Jamestown School Board before... but, it's been about eight years since he last served.  With that... Joe Pawelski says he'll be getting up to speed over the next several months on the newer issued facing the board.  Pawelski says he decided to run for the board again after hearing the news that incumbant Board President Joe DiMaio would not be running for re-election.  In fact... he says that was the main factor behind his successful run. However... while he was quick to jump into a write-in campaign... Pawelski says he'll spend a lot of time listening to all the issues for the next 4 to 6 months to get a "full-grasp" of what's happening.  The other board incumbant... Patrick Slagle... says he was pleased to be re-elected... and, see their budget pass.  He says they were able to keep staff intact... and, that should help going forward.  With an improved budget picture... Slagle says he wants to see some staff added back to balance out the district's educational programming.  He was the top vote-getter in the May 19th election, with 851 votes.... while Pawelski was second with well-over 600 write-in votes.

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have increased another penny this week... and, are hovering just under 2-dollars-49 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge Report... which bases the average on reports from 19 local service stations in the area.  Last week's average was just under 2--48 a gallon.  At this time last year... gasoline was 2-dollars-94 cents per gallon.  The national average is currently 2--32 a gallon.  Nationally... the 2016 summer driving season is officially underway... and, drivers are paying the lowest gas prices for this time of year in more than a decade.  Gas prices for the Memorial Day holiday were the cheapest since 2005 and were down 42-cents per gallon versus last year’s holiday.  Today’s average price of 2--32 represents an increase of three cents per gallon on the week, and consumers are paying 11 cents more per gallon on the month.  This Summer's driving season is expected to be characterized by higher -than- normal gasoline demand, and demand remains on pace to test record levels reached in 2007.  Refineries nationwide are working in preparation for what is likely to be record breaking season and if they are able to keep pace, pump prices should remain relatively lower.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

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 Monday.  Horrigan says the decision was based on three factors. Entergy Corporation... which owns a downstate 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.  He says the county will be losing 175-thousand dollars this year... and, 250-thousand next year.  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.  The company announced earlier this year that it was cutting it's PILOT payments to all three by 85-percent... beginning this year.

 

The state Public Service Commission's decision to terminate the contract between National Grid and NRG to repower the Dunkirk plant is being blasted by the area's Congressman.   Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments after County Executive Vince Horrigan confirmed that the PSC is requesting public comment on discontinuing the contract.  Local media asked Congressman Reed for his reaction to the latest development... which he calls part of the "War on Coal...." State Senate Cathy Young... who has been on the front-line in the fight to keep the NRG plant open... and, be repowered by natural gas... also issued a statement.  Early this afternoon... Young said it's -- quote -- "upsetting and disappointing," noting that the community worked so hard to rally for repowering.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says he will pursue "all possible avenues" to get 74 names -- including one from Chautauqua County -- on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall.  Schumer met Tuesday afternoon with the family of Terry Lee Henderson in Mayville... including Henderson's mother, Maryann Buettner, and brother Randy Henderson.  Schumer updated his effort to enshrine the names of Henderson, and 73 others on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D-C.  Schumer also heard first-hand from the Henderson family on how Terry "bravely served his country" during the Vietnam War and died tragically in a war-related training exercise in the South China Sea in 1969.  He says "by withholding these names from the wall, we are continuing to deny individuals who perished while valiantly served our nation the tribute they deserve."  The names were reportedly left off the wall because the deaths occured outside the Vietnam War "theater" area.  He introduced an amendment to include the names.

 

Flames have extensively damaged a room and it's contents in an upstairs apartment on Jamestown's east side.  City fire officials say crews were called to the scene at 303 Crescent Street shortly before 4 PM Monday.  Officials say there was fire damage to a wall and up to the ceiling.  The two adults and two children living there got out safely... and, are being helped by the local Red Cross.  Crews were there until 5 PM.  No one was living in the downstairs apartment.  No firefighters were hurt.  Officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

Two kayakers who went missing in Zoar Valley near Collins Monday have reportedly been found safe.  Media reports say the kayakers, who weren't identified, apparently went missing Monday evening.  Several police and fire agencies became involved in the search including the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office.  The search lasted about four hours, with the kayakers being located without injury around midnight. 

 

Baseball returns to Jamestown's Diethrick Park tonight as the Jammers begin play in the 2016 Perfect Game League against rival Newark.  It's the first of two games against the Pilots... and, Manager Anthony Barone says the first pitch will be at 7:05 PM.  Barone and four of his players were on the Dennis Webster Show Tuesday morning... and, the manager pulled no punches about their intense dislike for Newark. Victor will be in on Friday night before the Jammers take their first road trip to Elmira on Saturday.  One of the players from the University of Texas -- at San Antonio on hand this morning was second-baseman C-J Pickering... who has played every infield position in College.  Pickering says he takes pride in the ability to play all four positions... but, he says second will be his "main position" at Jamestown.  Outfielder Skylar Valentine plays most outfield positions... but, will be a centerfield for the Jammers.  Valentine is another player from U-T San Antonio.

 


The chancellor of New York's public university system says the next school year will be her last at the helm.  Nancy Zimpher announced Tuesday her exit plan from the State University of New York system that she has led for seven years.  SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall says a national search for her successor will begin soon.  McCall credited Zimpher with making SUNY a national model of higher education and positioning the 64-campus system as an economic engine in the state.  The 69-year-old Zimpher says she will spend her final year as chancellor focused on increasing college completion... improving teacher preparation programs and securing an extension of "SUNY 20/20..." a program of tuition increases and investment in SUNY.

 

Members of a community band in downstate New York didn't let the cancellation of a Memorial Day parade stop them from paying tribute to a recently stricken World War-Two veteran.  The Middletown Times Herald-Record says 90-year-old Walter Hughes donned his old uniform before dawn in anticipation of attending Monday's parade in Port Jervis.  But, the event was cancelled because of severe weather warnings, leaving the former paratrooper disappointed.  Hughes suffered a stroke in March and had been regaining his health so he could attend the parade.  Friends in a local band came to the rescue, giving Hughes an impromptu concert of patriotic songs on the front lawn of his home as neighbors and friends gathered around.  Hughes said it was "one of the best things" to ever happen to him.

 

The annual 'all-county' music festival is this Saturday, and it will be at the regular location- The Chautauqua Amphitheater in Chautauqua Institution. That's Alicia Laska, Spring Festival Coordinator for the Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association.  Considerable 'prep-work' for the new Amphitheater has been going on this spring, but that will be wrapped up in time for the 'all-county' event that starts at 7:30 PM, Saturday.  The program brings some 800 Chautauqua County music students to the stage, performing in five separate groups... including the elementary, junior high and senior high choruses... and the junior high and senior high bands.  The concert will conclude with the traditional finale "Battle Hymn of the Republic"... to be conducted this year by a long-time Cassadaga Valley music teacher- John Cross.  Tickets for the CCMTA festival are $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens.  They'll be available at the Amphitheater gate... or in advance at CCMTA.net.  Alicia Laska says the 2017 festival is being planned for SUNY Fredonia... as constuction of the new Chautauqua Amphitheater will be finishing up in early June, next year.  

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