WJTN News Headlines

It's an announcement that could be historic in the effort to revitalize downtown Jamestown.
 
Those are the feelings of Mayor Sam Teresi as he introduced Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul late Tuesday morning to announce the 10 projects approved for about 10-million dollars in funding through the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  
 
She says one-million dollars will be going to a major project to redevelop the former Key Bank Building at East Second and North Main Streets.
 
Hochul adds that the biggest award, 2.4-million dollars is going to the major project to renovate the former Ramada Inn on West Fourth Street into a Hilton Doubletree Hotel.  In addition, Hochul says the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts which hosted the event, will receive 1.5-million dollars of the funding for upgrades.  
 
The Robert H. Jackson Center on East Fourth Street will also be getting 1.5-million dollars.  The Jamestown Brewing Company project on West Third Street will receive $830,000.  
 
Five other, smaller projects are receiving between $265,000 to $670,000.
 
Elected officials from Chautauqua County and the state were on hand for the final DRI announcement and, call the funding awards for the 10 projects "great news."
 
State Senator Cathy Young congratulated Jamestown adding that downtowns have taken major hits in recent years with changes in retailing and other sectors.  However Young says cities that are able to "reinvent" themselves have been able to survive and thrive.  She says the DRI can make a big difference.
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the idea of making Jamestown a destination is very much a part of what's taking place.  Goodell says it begins with the proposed National Comedy Center which is scheduled to open next year on West Second and Washington Streets.  He credited Director Journey Gunderson and Board President Tom Benson with leading the effort to turn a concept into a reality.  
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan thanked Hochul and other state leaders for helping Chautauqua County so much after the closing of the Con-Agra plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia a few years ago resulting in 600 jobs being lost.

 

 

A Buffalo-area woman has died of her injuries suffered in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident last weekend in the Cattaraugus County Town of Yorkshire.

 

Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley are not identifying the 33 year-old Clarence woman.  However officers say she was riding the ATV on Eastland Road just after 7 PM Sunday when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say the victim was unconscious and not breathing when they arrived.  But, she was already receiving CPR and, was rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville then the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo where she later died from her injuries.

 

 

A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania man is being treated for a possibly serious head injury after his All-Terrain Vehicle crashed at a Pittsfield Township intersection late Monday afternoon.

 

State Police in Warren say the unidentified 66 year-old man was riding the ATV near the intersection of State Route 27 and Hamilton Road about 5:30 PM when he lost control and, was thrown from the vehicle.  

 

Troopers say the man landed on the roadway and, was taken by ambulance to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Police are investigating whether alcohol may have been involved in the accident.

 

 

The Jamestown Jammers begin their third-season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this week and, final preparations for the season opener are being made.
 
Opening night is Thursday at Russell E. Diethrick Park and, Team and Business Manager Anthony Barone says players started coming into town this past weekend to begin preparations.  Barone says it's a short time to get his players introduced to each other and, start practicing.
 
Barone says they've been working for the first two years to get the product in place and, to get the team to be a focal point in the community.  He says they see that coming together now and, adds they're seeing an increase in ticket and sponsorship sales.  
 
Barone says the Jammers 2017 roster is shaping up nicely especially with returning veterans.  He says they include Catcher Chris Connelly Outfielder Skylar Valentine and, infielder Ben Brookover.  Barone says Connelly will be Team Captain this year.
 
 
U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer says President Donald Trump is coming up short on security for states and cities by proposing to cut hundreds of millions of dollars for anti-terrorism efforts.
 
The New York Democrat said Monday "it makes absolutely no sense" to reduce the money when terrorism remains a looming threat.  The White House has said over $1.9 million-dollars budgeted since 2013 hasn't gotten spent.  
 
Schumer's office says it can take time for cities and states to actually get and spend the money, but that doesn't mean they haven't allocated or don't need it.  
 
Trump is seeking new spending on border security but cuts in some other security efforts, including two counterterror programs for cities and states.  Schumer says they'd shrink by 25%, to $800-million.

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WJTN Headlines

The investigation is continuing into an early morning fire Monday that destroyed a vacant house on the city of Jamestown's southside. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 274 Prospect Street shortly before 5 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says they found heavy fire coming from the structure on arrival. Sigular says it took some time to bring the flames under control because the building was unstable. 

 

He says the roof eventually collapsed and, the Department of Development was called in.  Sigular says there was one neighboring structure that sustained some minor damage mainly paint blistering.  Sigular says the structure was unstable. and, crews remained on hand to douse hot spots. 

 

He ways officials decided to tear-down the building by late morning and, an emergency demolition was ordered.  No one was inside the building when crews arrived and, no services were on inside. 

 

No firefighters were hurt.  An off-duty shift of 10 firefighters and a shift commander were called in to assist.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with in possession of a quantity of powder cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's eastside last weekend. 

 

City police say a patrol pulled over the vehicle operated by 38 year-old Anthony Cunningham, Junior shortly before 10 PM last Saturday near 105 East Fifth Street for a violation.  Officers say they found that Cunningham was driving with his driver's license suspended. 

 

During further investigation they allegedly found the cocaine.  Cunninghman allegedly resisted arrest, and fled from the scene.  However police found him a short time later and, he was arrested. 

 

They say Cunningham faces several charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance aggravated unlicensed operation and resisting arrest.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


There was a threat of rain at the beginning of the day Monday but, the weather cleared enough to allow several Memorial Day Parades and commemorations to take place locally Monday. 

 

The first parade of the day in the immediate Jamestown-area was in the town of Busti where the Southwestern Middle School Band performed.
 

The Middle School Band was also joined by the Southwestern High School Marching Band for the parade along with several area fire departments, and civic organizations.  Local Pastor Lee O'Brien was keynote speaker in Busti and he recognized the nation's fallen heroes. 

 

He says they came from all walks of life but, shared several qualities including courage and self-lessness.  He says including the Revolutionary War millions have died overseas and here at home.  However O'Brien says people continue to step forward and say "I'll serve." 

 

O'Brien noted that Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day" and began following the Civil War in the mid 1860s.  He says familes began decorating the graves of those who were lost in the war.


While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect. 

 

Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed.  More than 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War-Two. 

 

That's down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren't personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. 

 

Allison Jaslow is a former Army captain and Iraq War veteran.  She says the country's "lost sight of what the day's supposed to mean."



Lawmakers in lots of states get paid extra if they hold leadership posts or oversee important committees. 

 

But few state legislatures have a bonus system as extensive as the one in New York's state senate.  Nearly all 63 state senators take home stipends nicknamed "lulus" that add between $9,000 and $34,000 to their wages. 

 

That stipend system has now drawn new scrutiny following an investigation revealing that eight senators were getting bonuses reserved for committee chairmen, even though they held no such positions.


In New York state government news, lawmakers will break for a week and the state's highest court takes up assisted suicide. 

 

The Legislature returns June 5th for the final three weeks of the session.  One item on the to-do list is a bill that raises the minimum age of marriage to 17.  Currently, New York allows children as young as 14 to marry with judicial and parental consent.  

 

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case filed by three New Yorkers with terminal illnesses who want the right to request life-ending medication from a physician. 

 

Meanwhile Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign legislation allowing Uber and Lyft to begin picking up passengers upstate in late June, just in time for the July 4 holiday.


Pennsylvania State education officials have given the green light for an educational institution to provide low-cost instruction for nine northwestern including Warren lacking a community college. 

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education last week approved plans by the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania to enroll students in the fall in a partnership with Gannon University in Erie.  The college has been offering limited courses during the summer. 

 

The college is neither an online nor a brick-and-mortar institution but aims to curb costs with video conferencing technology linking faculty to students at places such as libraries or community education centers. 

 

Officials call it the first "community college-like" institution north of Interstate 80 providing "affordable and accessible education opportunities" for Warren, Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter and, Venango counties.

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News Headlines for Sat., May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend underway, with biggest holiday travel weekend expected since 2005...
Today will be a major travel day for many Western New Yorkers as they hit the highways or the airports.  Regional AAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says more Americans will be traveling this year than 2016... and, adds that AAA projects that it will be the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.  Carey says they expect about 39.3-million Americans to travel at least 50 miles this weekend, about one-million more than last year.  With many people hitting the highway this weekend, Carey says its a good idea to get your vehicle checked out before heading out... even with todah's high-tech cars.  She says most of their roadside calls are for dead batteries... flat tires, and keys locked in the car.  Carey says it's also important to carry an emergency kit.  While many of us do it during the winter, it's still a good idea during the summer months.  Last summer in New York State, AAA answered nearly 300,000 roadside calls.
 
 
Road construction suspended on state highways over Memorial Day Weekend...
Repair crews on New York state highways are taking a break over the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Road and bridge construction projects on state highways will be suspended now through 6 a.m. Tuesday.  State officials say some work may continue behind concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.  Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year.  
 
 
Chautauqua Co. Office for Aging Director sounds concern over Senior Program funding levels in federal budget proposal...
The 2018 federal budget plan proposed by President Trump will have a negative impact on senior citizens across the U-S -- and, Chautauqua County.  That from County Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos... who says "direct funding" for programs in the Older Americans Act have not been touched.  However... Spanos says there are other programs that help seniors in the area that are either being cut dramatically... or completely.  She says one is the Senior Employment Program which helps them be retrained... a program they depend on to suppliment what little Social Security they receive.  Spanos says many just like to keep active... or lost a job and need to be retrained.  She says the program is run through the Department of Labor for a total of 20 hours a week for each person.  Another service on the chopping block... says Spanos... is Medicare Insurance Counseling.  She says it's one of the very few places seniors can go to get an unbiased look at the best plan for them.  She says while some brokers say they are impartial... they get a commission from one of the companies.  Spanos made her comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Co. Legislature approves application for CDBG funding for proposed expansion at Castelli Cheese...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved an application for state funding to support the expansion of a new cheese-producer that's been up an operating in Blockville since last September.  Lawmakers in Mayville unanimously okayed the application for Castelli America to receive up to 750-thousand dollars in Community Development Block Grant funding from the state Office of Community Renewal.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says this is great news for a "well-established" company.  Horrigan says Castelli was first interested in the plant because of it's potential for growth and capacity.  The former AFA Foods location was owned by Empire Specialty Cheese... but, the company -- which moved to Blockville from Cattaraugus County -- was unable to make a go of it.  Horrigan is still looking into the final numbers... but, adds Castelli is looking to add about 50 jobs with the expansion.  Horrigan says Castelli is a strong employer that has been around since 1892.  If the CDBG funding is approved... the Chautauqua Regional Economic Development Corporation will create a "deferred loan" fund for the expansion project.
 
 
Fredonia man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a child...
A Fredonia man is jailed without bail for allegedly sexually abusing a child in the village of Fredonia.  Sheriff's deputies joined with Fredonia Police to arrest 58 year-old Carmello Hernandez at his Temple Street home late yesterday morning.  Officers say Hernandez is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse... and, second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.  After Hernandez was located and arrested... police say he was found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance.  Hernandez was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

President Trump has proposed an "aggressive budget" for 2018 but, the review of the 4.1-Trillion dollar spending plan is just getting underway.  
 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee the chamber's main financial committee.  The Corning Republican says the president's priorities "make sense."  
 
However, the budget is already facing strong head-winds from Democrats and some Republicans.  There are deep cuts to several anti-poverty programs including an 800-billion dollar cut to Medicaid over the next 10 years.  
 
Reed says lawmakers need to help the poor, but do it in a more efficient manner.
 
There is also a larger-than-expected cut of 192-billion dollars in the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance program also known as SNAP which provides food stamps to the poor and elderly.  There are also cuts to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP.  
 
Reed acknowledges that there are some "high-poverty" areas of his district that would be affected.  But, he wants to see if Congress can find better ways to help people out of "generational" poverty.  Reed made his comments during his weekly media telephone conference call.
 
 
The Central New York teacher and coach who has announced he's seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional seat currently held by Corning's Tom Reed is one of several potential challengers for that post.  
 
That from Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green who says Rick Gallant is one of "5 or 6" people looking to run in November of 2018.  
 
Green says the Democratic National Committee is urging those who are interested in running to announce as soon as possible.
 
Green says that Tom Reed's ties to President Trump, and the Republican Party, may have sparked the interest in contesting Reed.  He says there are some who feel there's "an opportunity here."  
 
Gallant has been a teacher and coach for the past 17 years in the Corning-Painted Post School District.  There's no word on whether Lakewood Democrat John Plumb is interested in pursuing a rematch.  
 
Plumb lost to Reed last November with the incumbant receiving about 58 percent of the vote.

 

 

Waterfront property owners along Lake Ontario's New York shoreline have been braced for more flooding as high winds returned to the region yesterday.  

 

The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning until early this morning for a 90-mile stretch of shoreline from where the Niagara River flows into the lake to the Rochester area.  Forecasters say winds gusting to 30 mph Thursday afternoon and evening produced high waves that could cause flooding in some areas.  

 

A sand-bag levy in Olcott in northern Niagara County reportedly failed early last evening.  Lakeside residents and business owners have been dealing with high water levels and flooding for several weeks, placing tens of thousands of sandbags around homes and buildings.

 

 

Two years of work has produced a newly-revamped website for the city of Jamestown and, it's more "user" and "constituent" friendly.  
 
That from Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley who is also the city's webmaster.  Hanley says the idea was to clean-up the site's design and, make it easier to navigate.  
 
Hanley says it's easier for the city to keep updated and, now includes a fully-functional "search" feature.
 
Hanley says the new site is set-up to cut searches to just "one or two clicks."  He adds that also makes the city's new site "mobile friendly, and easier to use on all devices.  
 
Hanley adds there's also a new location that lists "vital" information that's easy to find and use.  He says the new site was initially in response to a report by the public service agency "SeeThrough - New York" which was critical of the old site.  
 
While it's newer he says there is no change in the website address.  It's still http://jamestownny.net/ 
 
 
A north county woman with an extensive background in human resource work in the private sector is now officially Chautauqua County's new Human Resources Director.  
 
Fredonia's Jessica Wisniewski was unanimously confirmed at Wednesday night's County Legislature meeting after two lawmakers who were part of the search committee spoke glowingly about her credentials.  
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan introduced her to the legislature and, says she's currently Human Resources Manager at Precision Abrasives.
 
Horrigan says Wisniewski will replace the retiring Joe Porpiglia on June 30th because Precision needs a little more time to find a new H-R manager.  Wisniewski thanked lawmakers for their vote of confidence and, is excited about her new post, and, says she's really felt "welcomed."  
 
She has been with Precision Abrasives since 2013.  Search committee members Ron Lemon of Frewsburg, and Paul Whitford of Jamestown praised Wisniewski's credentials which stood out among the seven candidates they interviewed for the position.  Horrigan says her impressive background in the private sector will be a "great asset to the county."

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Several fire companies remained at the scene of a structure fire late last night at a well-known restaurant in the village of Bemus Point.  

 

Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say crews were called to the Hare 'n Hounds Inn at 64 Lakeside Drive shortly after 9 last night.  Smoke and fire were reported in the area.  

 

Maple Springs crews were initially called in for mutual aid and, later Ellery Center, DeWittville, Ashville, and Lakewood were called in.  No injuries have been reported.  The extent of damage was still being assessed.

 

An overnight fire now blamed on arson has destroyed a vacant house, and damaged another home, and two vehicles on Jamestown's southside.  
 
Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says crews were called to the scene at 213 Barrett Avenue shortly after 2 AM Wednesday and, found heavy fire and smoke coming from the structure.
 
Harvey says it took about an hour to bring the fires under control.  He says fire damage was heavy to the house at 213 Barrett, while it appears 209 Barrett is salvageable.  He says three families with a total of 14 people are being helped by the local Red Cross because 209 Barrett is not habitable right now.  
 
He says 10 off-duty firefirefighters were also called in and, he says they all did a very good job with a challenging situation for 10 firefighters initially responding.  
 
Harvey says fire crews were at the scene until about 6 AM and, investigators were called to the scene.  No one was hurt.
 
A measure that would help local governments consolidate with the municipal neighbors has been approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature by a wide margin.  
 
Lawmakers in Mayville approved the legislation to assist government dissolutions, 17-to-1.  Hanover Republican George Borrello who chairs a county task force on dissoluton and consolidation praised the measure offered by Sheridan's Terry Neibel.  Borrello says, due to the county's efforts, three of four recent dissolutions have been approved. 
 
Niebel says the legislation that would offer up to $50,000 in help with unanticipated costs for towns and villages that decide to dissolve, or consolidate services.  He emphasized that this measure was not intended to "encourage" municipal dissolutions after CSEA-Local-#807 President Bonnie Peters took the idea that dissolutions save money to task.  
 
She cited that was not the case when the village of Seneca Falls dissolved a few years ago into the town of Seneca Falls.  Earlier Dunkirk Democrat Robert Bankowski earlier said he was a supporter of the initiative but, last night, after Peters spoke, said he would oppose the measure.  It still passed overwhelmingly.
 
A city man is jailed for allegedly robbing another Jamestown man at knife-point Tuesday afternoon and, taking cash and property from the victim.  
 
City officers were called to scene in the area of East Sixth and Spring Streets about 2:45 PM and, were told by the victim that he had been robbed.  Police say the suspect in the robbery, 46 year-old Daryl Coleman, and another man fled the scene before they arrived.  
 
However, officers located both men a short time later on Prendergast Avenue and, allegedly found Coleman in possession of one of the items reported stolen.  He was arrested for first-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  
 
He was also accused of violating his parole.  Coleman is being held in the city jail pending arraignment. 
 
A drug raid on the city of Jamestown's northside has led to the arrest of a city man and, seizure of a quantity of crack cocaine.  
 
City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested 30 year-old Warkim Keys during the raid conducted at 2 PM Tuesday at 1002 North Main Street.  Task Force members were assisted by the Jamestown Police SWAT Team and, found Keys in a neighboring front yard.  
 
The crack cocaine was found in Keys' apartment.  Keys was arraigned on charges including third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and, was sent to the county lock-up without bail.
 
 Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown is asked to contact the task force at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also send a tip to their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
The United Veterans Council of Jamestown is putting out an appeal for help in placing flags at Lakeview and nearby cemeteries.  
 
This year's Cemetery Chairman, Joe Paladino, says volunteers can meet at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery at 6 PM Thursday.  There'll be a brief ceremony, and then small flags will be passed out.
 
Paladino says they had the largest group of volunteers ever last year, and they hope for more this year.  Hugh Golden, the Business Manager at Lakeview, says veterans' graves have been pre-marked to make finding them easier.  
 
He adds, when the work is done, the display is something to behold with 1,200 flags at Soldier's Circle alone.  No pre-registration is required, just go to Soldier's Circle at Lakeview Cemetery Thursday at 6 PM.
 
A teacher and coach in the Corning, New York-area has announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional District seat in 2018.  
 
Painted Post resident Rick Gallant says he has "devoted his life to educating young people and serving our communities.  I look forward to taking that work ethic and focus to Congress to ensure our children have a bright future, and to bring good jobs to our district."  
 
Gallant has been a teacher and basketball coach in the Corning-Painted Post School District the past 17 years.  He says incumbant Republican Tom Reed is voting "in lock-step" with President Donald Trump and his party.  
 
Too often he says Reed has said one thing here at home and voted another way once he's in Washington.  He says it's time for a representative who will deliver more than "lip service" to the district.
 
The first-ever NCAA Division-Two Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament at Diethrick Park in Jamestown was a huge success, and featured some outstanding baseball.  
 
That from Jamestown Jammers Manager Anthony Barone who was involved with the event which was hosted by top-seeded Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Mercyhurst Coach Joe Spano wanted to hold the tournament here because the park was available, and a top-notch facility.  Barone says they "hit a home run" with the five-day event.
 
West Chester University from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area won the tournament over Winston-Salem State from North Carolina in Monday's title game.  Barone says while the Atlantic Region tends to be "pitching heavy" there were 27 home runs hit in the tournament.
 
 He says there was a lot of talent for the nearly one-dozen pro scouts on hand in Jamestown to see.  Barone says Mercyhurst and, most of the other schools involved brought plenty of fans, too.  He says aside from some rain on Sunday there were no problems.  
 
With the win, West Chester University advances to the Division-Two College World Series in Grand Prairie, Texas.
 
Dunkirk Police have located a 16-year-old runaway from Auburn who may have traveled with another runaway who died last Saturday at Brooks Memorial Hospital.  
Police Chief David Ortolano says a patrol located the teen, identified by Auburn Police as Morgan Eppinger, around 7 AM Wednesday.  She had disappeared from the Cayuga Center May 15th, around the same time as 17-year-old Destani Williams.  
 
Williams was brought into the hospital in Dunkirk where she later died from an apparent drug overdose. The medical examiner is still awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine a cause of death.  
 
Ortolano says Eppinger has been turned over to the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.  

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's directed state law enforcement officials to step up security and patrols at high-profile locations across the state after an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England.  

 

The Democratic governor says the state is increasing security at airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.  At least 22 people were killed and dozens of others were injured late Monday in the blast at the Manchester Arena.  

 

In a statement Cuomo called the explosion "an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings." 

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WJTN Headlines

State Police in Cattauraugus County says authorities have found a Franklinville area girl safe and sound, after she was allegedly abducted early yesterday morning near Shady Lane in the town of Lyndon.

 

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the child 12 year-old McKenzie Wilson and the two teenaged suspects who allegedly took her were found shortly before 5 PM Tuesday in the town of Farmersville. 

 

Troopers say McKenzie was allegedly abducted about 5 AM and, an AMBER Alert was issued.  State Police say the primary suspect was identified as 18 year-old Joshua Monette and, the other was 16 year-old John Harvey.  Troopers say given the circumstances they believed the girl's well-being was in jeopardy. 

 

The three were reportedly in a stolen, red Chevy Silverado truck that had reportedly left the Lyndon area.  But, again McKenzie Wilson has been found safe, and sound.  State Police will only say the investigation is continuing.



A Jamestown man faces several felony charges after allegedly breaking into a northside home early yesterday morning and, threatening the victim with a hand-gun. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Prendergast Avenue about 2 AM and learned that 41 year-old Miguel Angel Ramos-Flores had burglarized the home and, then threatened the women there with a gun before fleeing.  Officers say the woman had an order of protection against Ramos-Flores. 

 

Police found him near Spring Street and, he tried to run off before being captured.  Officers say he gave them a false name while being arrested. 

 

Ramos-Flores was arraigned on two counts of second-degree burglary, and one count each of first-degree aggravated criminal contempt, and second-degree menacing.  He was sent to the county jail without bail.


A number of minors were arrested late last week after state Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers found 30 to 40 people partying at a large bonfire in the Chautauqua Gorge. 

 

DEC officials say rangers were patrolling the area about 11 PM last Friday when they spotted about 30 parked cars along the State Forest area.  The rangers hiked into the woods and, spotted the people near a large bonfire, with alcohol and garbage scattered about the area. 

 

They contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department for assistance and determined that most of the partygoers were under the age of 21.  Rangers say the alcohol at the scene was collected and disposed of.  They also allegedly seized one-pound of marijuana.  Several summonses were issued and, the pot was turned over to Sheriff’s deputies, who arrested one person.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is expressing his condolences to the people of England following the suicide terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande show in Manchester. 

 

Reed opened his weekly telephone conference call by saying the attack now being claimed to have been carried out by the Islamic State group was a "horrific" act that defies description. Security has been beefed up at many locations in the United States and, while that's a good move Reed says we need to maintain our American ideals where people can be secure yet free to live as they want. 

 

The Manchester attack left 22 people dead and sent young concertgoers fleeing, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.  Teenage screams filled the Manchester Arena just after the explosion Monday night, and members of the audience tumbled over guardrails and each other to escape.


New York farmworkers are hoping a legal challenge might tip the scales in their favor after years of protesting a state law that prevents them from unionizing. 

 

Nearly 100 advocates and migrant workers rallied at the Capitol Tuesday against a loophole in state law that prevents them from organizing for better working conditions and overtime pay.  Longtime opponent New York Farm Bureau has blocked efforts to change the law, arguing small farms cannot afford the higher labor costs and strikes that might ensue. 

 

The New York Civil Liberties Union last year filed a lawsuit challenging the law as unconstitutional.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, have said they would not seek to defend the law.  The Farm Bureau has filed a motion for the lawsuit's dismissal.


There have been some basic inaccuracies in assertions made during the early stages of the annexation process Jamestown is undertaking to bring four-acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities from Falconer into the city. 

 

That from both Mayor Sam Teresi and City Councilman Tony Dolce following Monday night's meeting.  Several Falconer residents attended, and a couple spoke at the beginning of the session. The petition was approved by the BPU back in January and, Dolce says that was the first-step of a 10 step process. 

 

He says one inaccuracy was over a comment that the city talked with Falconer officials in 2004 about a possible deal to use facilities in Falconer, or Celoron to help coverage issues if a fire station had to be closed.  Dolce was on the panel at that time, and says he was not aware of any such discussions. 

 

Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve Vanstrom said such discussions never went anywhere.  Teresi says taking that small piece of property that "it owns..." and, give it access to city services will "relieve some pressure on electric rates."


A Jamestown man sought on five arrest warrants has been arrested after police spotted him mowing a yard in the downtown area of the city. 

 

Jamestown police say they spotted 27 year-old Robert Yates mowing the grass in front of 128 Water Street just before 11 AM Monday and, patrol officers went to arrest him.  However they say Yates saw them and ran off. 

 

Police say they saw in run into his home, and they set up a perimeter.  They were allowed inside by a woman who lives with Yates, and he was find hiding in the attic under a blanket.  Yates allegedly resisted arrest but, was taken into custody and, is being held pending arraignment.

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**AMBER ALERT**

State Police in Cattauraugus County have issued an AMBER Alert for a girl who has allegedly been abducted near Shady Lane in the town of Lyndon.  Troopers say the child... 12 year-old McKenzie Wilson, is a white female, about 5-foot-6 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds.  Police say she has blond hair and blue eyes.  Troopers say there are two suspects, who they believe are both armed and dangerous.  Police say the first is 18 year-old Joshua Monette, a white male who is about 6-foot-2 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.  He was late seen wearing a camouflage jacket, blue jeans, boots and black shirt.  He has short black hair and brown eyes.  The other suspect is identified as 16 year-old John Harvey... another white male.  They were reportedly in a stolen, red Chevy Silverado pick-up truck with the New York license plate number CXA5836.  They were last seen traveling southeast on road possibly heading for Allegany Mountains.  If you have any information on the abduction, call state Police in Machias as 1-866-NYSAmber or dial 9-1-1.

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WJTN Headlines

There have been opportunities for the city of Jamestown to take advantage of it's "neighborly" relationship with the village of Falconer to save money and, not have to go through the annexation of land. 

 

Those were the feelings of one of several residents on hand during last night's City Council voting session about a plan to take the land used for the Board of Public Utilities's Dow Street Substation.  Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve VanStrom told lawmakers that when the city was looking at closing fire stations there was an offer to use Falconer and Celoron facilities.

 

However VanStrom says the plan never moved forward to a vote.  City resident Doug Champ feels city lawmakers have already made up their minds because Jamestown is desperate for revenue. 

 

Champ argued that council has already made up it's minds, and last night was "nothing more than a rant session."  Ellicott town resident Tom Koss told lawmakers that the annexation process was simply a "money-grab."


There were some inaccuracies and misconceptions voiced during last night's meeting but, it's understood that emotions would run high on the annexation issue. 

 

That from Acting City Council President Tony Dolce who has been chosen by city, town and village officials to chair a public hearing on the matter on June 12th.  Dolce says the three boards would later vote individually on the proposal.  He says one inaccuracy was over the fire station matter which occured in 2004.

 

Both Dolce and Mayor Sam Teresi say they certainly want to maintain "good neighbors" to the town of Ellicott, and village of Falconer.  Teresi says "no final decision" has been made on the annexation plan. 

 

Teresi also says there has been inaccuracies about what is to be annexed.  He says people have told him they understand it is residential property or, industrial property or the business district.  He says no it's property the BPU owns on the Falconer-Jamestown City Line.  More later today.


There were no injuries but, traffic on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott was down to one-lane for nearly two-hours Monday morning on Airport Hill when fire broke out in a tractor-trailer rig. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Gerry and Fluvanna fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 7:30 AM.  Fire crews reportedly had the blaze in the empty trailer out fairly quickly. 

 

A tow vehicle was called in and, the scene was cleared just after 9:30 Monday morning.



State Police will be teaming up with local law enforcement to carry out the annual "Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket" campaign that is now underway in Chautauqua County. 

 

Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office will be part of the enforcement campaign that strongly encourages the use of seat belt and child safety seats.  While it's a small percentage, Gerace says there is still a group of motorists who refuse to buckle up.

 

New York was also among 24 states participating in a Border to Border enforcement campaign, during which law enforcement will set up safety belt checkpoints along highways connecting neighboring states. 

 

That enforcement detail ran Mondayafternoon and evening.  Buckle Up New York continues until June 4th.


A Brocton man is facing weapons-related charges following a large fight at a Dunkirk bar last weekend. 

 

Dunkirk Police, with assistance from other law enforcement agencies, broke up the large brawl outside the Halas Hotel Bar on East Second Street early last Sunday morning.  Police Chief David Ortolano says an investigation led to the arrest of a 29-year-old man.

 

Ortolano says Camacho is charged with second-degree criminal possesion of a weapon and, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third-degree.  He was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail. 

 

Ortolano says the investigation is continuing and there's the possibility that further arrests will be made.


Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was to be in Jamestown yesterday morning for an announcement regarding the projects to be funded in the city's portion of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 

 

However Governor Cuomo's office says she's been called to the southern shore area of Lake Ontario due to the state of Emergency that's been declared due to the flooding in that region.  The governor Monday announced 10-million dollars in state funding is available to assist eligible local municipalities that have been impacted by the recent flooding along the Lake Ontario coastline. 

 

The new investment program will support flood recovery efforts, including repairs to flood walls, roads, sidewalks, and culverts.


Ellicott Town Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says the problem with drug trafficking is now bigger than the town itself can handle and that's why they need to get an officer back on the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 

 

Ohnmeiss made his comments during a recent press conference about a recent, major drug bust in the village of Falconer.  Ohnmeiss said they were seeing a "definate" increase in drug trafficking, and use, in the village and surrounding town.

 

Ohnmeiss says they started assigning an officer to the task force two days a week until they realized that person needed to be full-time.  Even then, he says that officer said the situation was getting "too big" to handle. 

 

Ohnmeiss says it would cost another $40,000 to bring on a full-time, probationary officer so one could be dedicated to the task force.  He urged residents to speak up if they're going to get town officials to fund the position. 

 

Ohnmeiss and, Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings both agreed that you can "manage" the drug trafficking problem but, you'll never eliminate it.


Ellicott town lawmakers did not make the final decision to pull an officer off the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says it was a couple of situations stemming from a decision in June of last year when the town board moved to keep their new budget under the state's property tax cap.  McLaughin says an officer with the police department retired and, the decision was made to not fill that position.

 

McLaughlin says a recent news story said the town had "taken away funding" for the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  However he says they never "funded" the task force.  They provided an officer to assist the task force especially with the fact some drug traffickers were moving out of Jamestown, and into the nearby town, and it's villages. 

 

He says the police force makes up 66.3% of the town budget and, adds that grant funding for such staffing is minmal.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' plan to annex the property the BPU's Dow Street Substation is located on into the city will be the subject of a public hearing in Falconer next month. 

 

Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says they have received word that the hearing will be held at Falconer Central Middle and High School on Monday, June 12th at 7 PM.  McLaughlin says he and members of his town board will be on hand for that hearing. Dolce was reportedly agreed to by all panelists to moderate and chair the meeting where members of the public can come and voice their feelings and concerns about the move. 

 

McLaughlin says the town stands to lose $32,000 in revenue if the property is awarded to the city.  He says the biggest loss will be to the Falconer School District especially in town's that won't have a voice in the process.  McLaughlin says those include Ellington, Ellery, Poland and the town of Carroll that have areas that are part of the Falconer district. 

 

He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group Stations.


Two Panama residents had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after the motorcycle they were riding crashed on Route 474 in the town of North Harmony last Saturday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the bike, operated by 35 year-old Leroy Boutelle, was traveling just after 3 PM with a passenger when he lost control on a curve, and it left the roadway.  Deputies say the two-wheeler went into a grassy area, and went down. 

 

They say Boutelle and his passenger, 27 year-old Emma Boutelle, were both taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, for non life-threatening injuries.  Leroy Boutelle faces a charge of operating out of class.


A Jamestown man is in the city jail after leading police on a foot chase Saturday afternoon. 

 

Police received a call about a shoplifting complaint from the North Main Street 7-11 just before 1 PM.  The suspect 20 year-old Tyler Manelick was located by a New York State Police Patrol Vehicle and was told to stop walking. 

 

Manelick ran off and, the officer pursued him.  Manelick was caught by officers on the corner of West 5th and Lafayette Streets.   Manelick was arrested on charges including Petty Larceny and 2nd Degree obstructing governmental administration and taken to the city lock-up.  While in the jail Manelick provided a false name and was additionaly charged with False Personation.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has announced the next  County Director of Human Resources. 

 

Horrigan has selected Jessica Wisniewski for the post.  Wisniewski has served as the Human Resources Manager at Precision Abrasives since 2013. She has also held management and senior-level positions at Cott Beverages and GEICO. 

 

Horrigan says "her impressive background in the private sector will be a great asset to the county and I am excited to welcome her to our team."  Wisniewski’s appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Chautauqua County Legislature. 

 

If approved at the legislature meeting on May 24, Wisniewski will begin her position on June 30, 2017.  She will replace current director Joseph Porpiglia, who will be retiring at the end of June.



Vice President Mike Pence urged graduating students at a Pennsylvania college to become leaders and cited President Donald Trump's leadership as an example.

 

Pence told hundreds of graduates and their families Saturday at the Grove City College commencement that they also need courage, because "leadership brings both honor and opposition."  Grove City is a private, Christian liberal arts college about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. 

 

Pence cited Trump as an example of perseverance to applause from the crowd.  Pence told graduates to inspire those around them, since people follow those they respect and aspire to service rather than selfish ambition.  After his address, Pence stood on the platform and shook hands as each graduate passed after being handed their diplomas.

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WJTN News Headlines

An Olean man has been arrested for allegedly selling Heroin and Fentanyl in the Cattaraugus County city in recent weeks.  

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Olean Police say they arrested Curtis Frink earlier this week following an on-going investigation.  Task Force members say Frink is specifically accused of selling fentanyl to another person in the town of Randolph last November.  

 

Authorites say he is charged with one count each of third-degree criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance and, he was arraigned in Conewango Town Court.  

 

Frink was then sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.

 

All but a handful of school budgets put before voters in New York state have passed, including several that exceed the state's cap on property taxes.  
 
That from the state School Boards Association... which reports that voters defeated just five of the 676 budgets proposed by school boards around the state on Tuesday.  That's a 99.3% approval rate.
 
School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer says even districts that exceeded the spending cap did fairly well in their votes.
 
Of the five districts that rejected their 2017-18 budget proposals one was in Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County. Kreamer says they tried to exceed the state's tax cap but, were unsuccessful.  
 
Kreamer adds that residents in the Pittsford District, near Rochester also rejected their budget plan.  They and Hinsdale were the only two in Western New York.  Kreamer says the results in one district are too close to call.  
 
The new budgets include an average tax levy increase of about 1.5%.  Boards can put failed budgets before voters again June 20th or adopt a contingency budget that doesn't raise taxes.
 
The trapeze-artist wife of daredevil Nik Wallenda is planning her own stunt high above Niagara Falls.  
 
Five years after Nik Wallenda walked over the falls on a high wire, aerialist Erendira Vasquez Wallenda plans to dangle by her teeth from a helicopter as it flies over Niagara Falls.  The Niagara County Legislature late Tuesday approved a resolution setting aside $35,000 for the act.  
 
It's planned for June 15th, the fifth anniversary of Nik Wallenda's televised 1,800-foot tightrope walk from the New York side of the falls into Canada.  
 
Five members of the famed Wallenda circus troupe fell from a high-wire in Sarasota, Florida, in February while practicing an eight-person pyramid.  Nik Wallenda avoided falling by grabbing a wire.  Everyone survived.
 
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services and the Village of Brocton announced Thursday that the boil water order in effect since this past Monday for all customers served by the Village of Brocton water supply is now lifted.
 
The affected area included the Village of Brocton, all Town of Portland Water Districts and that area of Pomfret west of Shorewood Country Club. Water samples collected on May 16 and 17 from the affected areas show that the water is safe to drink and use for all other purposes.
 
The Village had a major water main leak on May 15 that was repaired the same day but due to a loss of pressure in the system, a boil water advisory was placed into effect as a precaution.
 
For more information, please contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Local Authorities would like anyone in the area dealing with the issue of unauthorized use of a credit card to contact their local police agency.  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police found a credit card skimmer placed inside a gas pump at the Mobil Gas Station located on the corner of East Fairmount Avenue and Southwestern Drive this past Monday.  
 
Anyone that paid at the pump with a credit card is advised to check your bank acccount for any fraudulent use. The operators of the station say the skimmer fundamentally disabled the pump, and they are not sure anyone was scammed.  The pump involved has been fully repaired. 

 

Six people have been arrested in the town of Hanover on drug related charges.  

 

Just before 2pm Wednesday members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Swat Team executed a search warrant at 12211 Alleghany Road.  

 

Upon entry officers say they found 21 grams of uncut Fentanyl, cocaine, concentrated cannabis, suboxone, scales, a large amount of currency, one rifle, and packaging materials.  

 

22 year old Adam Mox, 23 year old James Hurley, 21 year old Nicholas Shambo, 21 year old Amber Roush, 22 year old Joy Sprague and 22 year old Mikayla Miller all face third and fourth degree Criminal Possession of a controlled substance charges.  Other charges are expected at a later date.    

 

This investigation is a portion of a larger investigation into several overdoses, two of which were fatal in northern Chautauqua County.   All six were arraigned and sent to the county jail.  

 

Authorities ask anyone in the community to call and report suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods to 363-0313.

 

A Jamestown man is awaiting arraignment after police had to fish him out of the Chadakoin River early yesterday morning.  

 

Jamestown Police report that 41 year old James Houser of Falconer allegedly stole a 30 pack of beer from the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Brooklyn Square just before 3:30am.  Officers were alerted and able to locate Houser at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Institute Street with the case of beer.  

 

Officers say Houser then threw the case of beer into the Chadakoin and Jumped in after it.  Officers were able to retrieve both Houser and the beer from the river.  Houser faces a number of charges including Petit larceny and Tempering with physical evidence.

 

Two upstate New York breweries have been declared the winners of the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge.
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday evening that Brewery Ommegang outside Cooperstown and the Roscoe Beer Co. in Sullivan County tied for first place after a blind taste test held in Manhattan.
 
More than 70 breweries signed up to participate in the contest, and more than 42,000 votes were cast online. Ommegang and Roscoe were among the five finalists.
 
The others were the Genesee  Brewing Co. in Rochester, Prison City Pub and Brewery in Auburn, and Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood in western New York.
 
The panel for Wednesday's taste test included Cuomo, chef Mario Batali and other noted food critics, chefs and restaurant owners.
 
Authorities say a man has been charged with driving drunk in the parking lot of the New York State Police Academy.
 
State police say an off-duty trooper reported a suspicious person Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot at the academy located at state police headquarters in Albany. Troopers say they watched a man exit his vehicle and lay down in a grassy area behind the academy.
 
Troopers conducted a field sobriety test on the man and then took him to the trooper station at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany, where a breath test revealed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.28 percent.
 
The legal limit for driving in New York is 0.08 percent. The 49-year-old man was ticketed for aggravated driving while intoxicated.
 
A Sinclairville man is in the county jail on drug related charges.  
 
At 10:20pm Wednesday the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Swat team entered 6221 Route 60 in the town of Charlotte with search and arrest warrants for 55 year old Timothy Harrison.  
 
Authorities allegedly seized 49 grams of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine, and 172 grams of Marijuana, scales and a large amount of U.S. Currency.   Harrison is charged with one count of 3rd degree Criminal sale of a controlled substance.
 
He was arraigned and taken to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail pending further court action. It’s expected Harrison will face additional felony charges once the investigation has concluded.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

It was a near-record warm day across upstate New York and Chautauqua County Wednesday but, no records were set in the region.  
 
That from Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service who says a breeze off Lake Erie prevented any record in Buffalo yesterday.  However Hamilton said late in the day that there was a new record for the day set in Watertown with an 83-degree reading.
 
Buffalo got to 81-degrees yesterday but, the breeze prevented any further movement.  Here at our Media One Group studios in West Ellicott we reached 85-degrees late yesterday afternoon.  
 
Hamilton says we'll see some more unseasonably warm weather through this afternoon until a cold front comes through the region.  He says we'll likely see some showers and thunderstorms by late this afternoon and, that will help keep temperatures from getting above 80.  
 
By tonight we'll be into the mid-50s for an overnight low.  We may reach the mid-60s on Friday.
 
Some of the best players in NCAA Division-Two baseball will be at Russell E. Diethrick Park in Jamestown for the next five days.  
 
That from Jamestown Jammers Manager Anthony Barone who says Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania was awarded host school for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Touirnament which begins this morning.  Barone says he was contacted earlier this year by Mercyhurst Coach Joe Spano about hosting the seven-team tournament.
 
Barone says the first game of the day begins at 11 AM and, that features Seton Hill against Sheppard College from West Virginia.  However he says Millersville and Shippensburg will play in the 7 PM game and, Millersville brings "a ton of people" with them.  
 
Barone says Mercyhurst has hosted the tournament before at UPMC Park in Erie.  However that's more difficult to do now because the Erie Seawolves at now a Class-AA Team whose season is already underway.  
 
Again games begin at 11 this morning. Tickets will be available at the ball park it's $10  for a day-pass and, $30 for the entire tournament.
 
Two Dunkirk residents now face federal charges in connection with a major cocaine and "crack" cocaine trafficking case in the north county.  
 
With that Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased to see that federal prosecutors have taken over the case involving the pair who were charged after a drug raid in the city last month.  Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced late Tuesday that 49-year-old Minerva Maestre and, 23-year-old Hector Mercado-Torres of Dunkirk were arrested after a raid at 51 East Second Street on April 28th.  
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the Drug Enforcement Agency took over the case because of the amounts of drugs and money involved.
 
Ortolano says several family members were involved in the case which led to the seizure of nearly $172,000 in cash proceeds from alleged drug sales.  Kennedy says Maestre and Mercado-Torres have been charged by complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine; and maintaining a drug involved premises. 
 
A new audit from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development agency for failing to meet more than half of the reporting requirements for its highly touted tax credit and job creation programs.  
 
The scathing report released Wednesday criticized Cuomo's Empire State Development Corporation for sidestepping accountability and transparency.  Auditors found 27 of 57 outcome reports weren't finished and 93 of 152 program reports were never completed.  
 
The latest annual report on START-UP NY was issued 91 days late and 12 programs totaling over $500 million in state funds weren't reported on at all.  
 
DiNapoli says in most cases the agency didn't explain why reports were missing.  The agency disputes the findings and says it has worked to comply with reporting requirements.

 

The annual Chautauqua County Music Teachers' Spring Festival is this Saturday, at 7:30 PM at the State University College at Fredonia.  Frewsburg Central School Band Director, Alicia Laska, the Festival and Site Coordinator, says Chautauqua Institution is not available this year.
 
The festival involves some 800 young musicians from around the county, and will have the same format as in past years and, that's why they went with Fredonia's field house as the venue.  'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' will be the finale again this year.  
 
Members of the public are invited to go to the festival.  Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased through the CCMTA  or SUNY Fredonia websites, or at the door.  
 
Parking will be available in nearby college lots.  In order to make use of the Fredonia Fieldhouse, the festival was moved up a couple of weeks this year.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

With no tax increase and, some positions and programming being added back into the final budget a 2017-18 spending plan for the Jamestown school district was easily passed Tuesday in a light turn-out. 

 

District residents approved the 84.9-million dollar budget, 509-to-106.  Interim School superintendent Silvia Root says she appreciates the support the people who came out gave the spending plan. The proposition to lease-purchase six buses at a cost of up to $780,000 we also approved overwhelmingly, 498-to-109. 

 

Root says it's "unfortunate" that such elections and budget votes get "overlooked" but, she's pleased with the large margin of support.


Voters in the Southwestern Central School District easily approved a 27.3-million dollar budget Tuesday. 

 

District officals say the new spending plan which includes a 0.5% tax increase was adopted 242-to-59.  School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says there are mainly spending increases in the technology, and instructional areas of the budget.

 

Donahue says the district is also retaining all teaching and staff positions.  An up to $372,000 transporation proposition to purchase two full-sized buses and, one 42-passenger wheelchair bus was approved 256-to-59.  Three people Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden ran unopposed for three school board seats.


In Falconer... residents approved a no-tax increase, 22.6-million dollar, 2017-2018 budget plan handily yesterday, 261-to-69.  School Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the budget holds the line on spending and, retains current staffing and teaching levels. 

 

Penhollow thanked local state legislators for working to get them more state aid, helping keep taxes down. In addition to the budget... Penhollow says voters also approved a 22.9-million dollar capital project, 251-to-78 to make safety and maintenance upgrades. 

 

They also include an all-weather field, and track and fire alarm service upgrades.  Newcomer Jennifer Olson was leading vote getter in the school board vote with 221 tallies.  Board incumbant Tom Frederes was second with 211 votes while incumbant Cathy Kimball was third with 208 votes.  That means final results won't be known until the vote canvas is taken.

In other school district votes last night a 15-million dollar budget was approved in the Bemus Point School District, 149-to-46... while a $200,000 bus proposition was also approved.  Board incumbants Tina Hall and Bethany Seastrum were both re-elected, running unopposed.

In Frewsburg... the 2017-18 Budget was approved with 142 yes votes...while 83 residents voted against the proposition.  A bus purchase was also approved, 151-to-75.  Larry Lodestro was voted onto the school board with 201 votes while Jason Ruhlman was second with 194 and, Thomas Fenton was third with 189 votes.

A nearly 10-million dollar budget was adopted in the Sherman Central School District, 113-to-41.  A second proposition to purchase two school buses for up to 267-thousand dollars was adopted, 116-to-38.  Colleen Meeder was re-elected to the school board with 127 votes.


Two alleged drug traffickers are under arrest after an apartment in the village of Falconer was raided by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Monday afternoon. 

 

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they received information during a recent "Targeted Enforcement" Detail in the Prendergast Avenue corridor about the operation at 19 South Work Street in Falconer.  Snellings says they were assisted by other agencies in seizing a large quantity of cocaine cash and, a stolen pistol that was loaded.

 

Snellings say they arrested 38 year-old Demario Chatmon and 39 year-old Damien Thomas during the raid.  He says the amount of cocaine seized totaled about three-quarters of a pound.  Snellings adds that they also found just over $21,000 in cash and, a loaded 9-millimeter pistol allegedly stolen in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

 

Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohnmeis says drugs are an increasing problem in the town and villages of Falconer and Celoron.  Ohnmeiss expressed his disappointment over having to pull out of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force due to town budget constraints. 

 

Chatmon faces a Felony charge of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, both he and Thomas are charged with third-degree criminal possession.


A weekend spike in overdose deaths has led to new warnings from western New York health officials. 

 

The AP reports that Erie County saw eight suspected fatal overdoses over the weekend while Chautauqua County also is reporting deaths in recent days.  Erie County's health commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, says the deaths appear to have resulted from various drug combinations of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.

 

She says the fentanyl being seen in the county is increasing in potency.  During last weekend's "Fresh Start" Fund "Rockin' for Recovery" event in Jamestown Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz says this has become a major concern.

 

Here in Chautauqua County authorities say the recent overdoses have been concentrated in the northern part of the county, including in the city of Dunkirk and village of Fredonia.  At least two people have died and other victims were revived.


Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey has been sentenced to home confinement, and to pay 54-thousand dollars in restitution for stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says the 85 year-old Frey was recently convicted of wire fraud involving a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and his supporters by stealing campaign contributions.  Kennedy says he was sentenced to six-months home confinement by U-S District Judge Richard Arcara and, was ordered to pay the restitution. 

 

Frey was Dunkirk mayor from 2003 through June of 2012... and, was accused of devising and executing a scheme to defraud the co-owners of a Dunkirk hotel, and the owner of a food production company in Dunkirk by inducing them to make contributions to his mayoral and other political campaigns. 

 

After receiving checks from these people Frey simply spent them for himself, rather than depositing the funds into a campaign or official account.  Those totalled $54,361 dollars.  He also refused to disclose those contributions.

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WJTN Headlines

Local authorities are warning anyone that may be using heroin to not use heroin obtained from the northern part of Chautauqua County. 

 

The Post Journal reports that a number of heroin related overdoses in the county have police on alert for possible tainted mixes of the drug.  The Southern Tier Drug Task Force along with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deparment and Fredonia and Dunkirk police are investigating multiple overdoses that occured in the northern part of the county this past week. 

 

Two people died while other victims were revived with Narcan.  Police have not determined if substances like fentanyl were mixed with the Heroin.  Authorities are waiting on analysis. 

 

Police remind residents that any drug that is being purchased on the street, whether the dealer is known or not, may be contaminated with substances that cause the heroin to be much more potent.  Authorities are asking members of the community that may have knowledge of anyone that may be involved in distributing heroin or any other narcotics to contact them at either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.


Five people  two of them incumbants are running for three, full-time seats on the Jamestown School Board in today's board election and budget vote. 

 

One of the incumbants is seeking their second, full term on the panel.  Shelly Leathers was first appointed to the board to fill a vacancy in 2013, and won her first election in 2014.  Leathers says she and her entire family are Jamestown graduates and, she feels the schools are the "center of the community" and, can be a draw to the area.
 

The other board incumbant is third-term member Paul Abbott who is currently board president.  There is a former board member who is running again this year after being off the panel for a few years.  Christine Schnars spent 25 years on the board, and, she says things have gotten better the past couple of years, and she wants to be part of the effort to improve the distirct. 

 

One of the newcomers running for the Jamestown school board is Frank Galeazzo who is originally from Peekskill, New York.  Galeazzo says he worked in education before being hired at the Board of Public Utilities nine years ago. The other newcomer is local Baptist minister Fannel Leeper who grew up in the area and, is a 1967 JHS graduate. 

 

Leeper says she's concerned over the drop-off in the number of African-American students who graduate from Jamestown.  Jamestown school district residents are also voting on an 84.9-million dollar budget that includes no increase in the tax levy and, adds about 10 positions back after the district received a one-million dollar hike in state aid for 2017-18. 

 

Today's board vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.

All school districts locally will be holding budget votes and, school board elections.  In the immediate Jamestown-area the Southwestern School District will have the earliest vote start today.  Residents will decided on a 27.36-million dollar spending plan beginning at 7 AM

 

Voting this morning continues until 9 AM then will resume between 2 and 9 PM tonight.  There are three people running for three board seats.  They are Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden.


A state of Emergency has been issued for the village of Brocton, the town of Portland and a portion of the town of Pomfret that receives village of Brocton village water. 

 

Brocton Mayor Richard Frost says a water main break occurred early Monday morning on Central Avenue near Smith Street, prompting the action.  A boil water advisory has been issued. 

 

Bill Boria of Chautauqua County's Department of Health and Human Services says boiling the water kills bacteria and other organisms that could be present. It's anticipated the boil water advisory will be lifted by the end of the week.


A New York state lawmaker wants harsher penalties for causing harm to police animals. 

 

Republican Senator Cathy Young of Olean held a news conference in Albany Monday to promote legislation that would create a new felony offense for intentionally causing serious physical injury to a police work dog or police work horse.  Her measure also would increase the offense of killing a police work dog or police work horse to a class D felony. 

 

The bill is named Mitchell's Law for a Jamestown Police Department German Shepherd that suffered life-threatening injuries while apprehending a murder suspect last November.  The bill has passed through a Senate committee and has been added to the upcoming floor calendar.


Despite new US economic sanctions against North Korea the communist nation test launched another missile early Sunday that's being called a "serious challenge" to international peace and security. 

 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in strongly condemned the north's test-launch as a "clear" violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.  Local Congressman Tom Reed has expressed his growing concern over North Korea and hopes over the long-run, the sanctions approved by Congress will work.

 

Reed says we are now "at a critical point" where the north's nuclear ambitions are "coming to a head."  He's hopeful that China will be able to wield more influence in the matter.  The Corning Republican says he would like to see a "regime change" in North Korea but, not by use of outside forces. 

 

The North Korean missile test launch reportedly had the missile travel about 430 miles before landing in the western waters of the Sea of Japan.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Among the nation's financial elite who have helped shape the school-choice movement in recent years, Michael Bloomberg tops the list of New York's political contributors. 

 

The former three-term New York City mayor appears in an Associated Press analysis of the contributions of people who have given at least 100-thousand dollars to school-choice statewide ballot campaigns around the country. 

 

Bloomberg, who championed charter schools as mayor, has over the past decade donated $1.8 million to ballot measures and political action committees that focused primarily on school choice.  That included $490,000 in support of a failed 2016 effort to expand charter schools in his home state of Massachusetts. 

 

Bloomberg declined to comment on his support of the Massachusetts ballot initiative, or whether he favors vouchers or other choice programs beyond charter schools.


If you are looking for work or a career change the 2nd Annual Warren County Job Fair is this Wednesday from Noon to 7pm. 

 

The Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry have teamed up with Quickstaff Contigent Workforce Solutions for the event.  John Papalia with the Chamber says there will be 15 businesses on hand and participants should come ready to interveiw. 

 

Papalia says Chautauqua County residents are also urged to come down and participate in the fair. The 2nd Annual Warren County Job Fair is this Wednesday from Noon to 7pm at the Warren Days Inn, 210 Ludlow Street. Find out more information at WCCBI.ORG.

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WJTN Headlines

A Warren, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and, he and his passenger are accused of being in possession of three kinds of illegal drugs during a traffic stop in Jamestown. 

 

City Police say a car, driven by 55 year-old Dennis Denardi, pulled from the curb directly in front of a patrol car on West Seventh Street at Lafayette Street just after 2 PM Saturday.  Officers say Denardi appeared to be under the influence of drugs and, later admitted to smoking marihuana, and using crack cocaine. 

 

His passenger, 27 year-old Johnee Thompson, was asked to get out of the vehicle and, a State Police K-9 sniffed out drugs in the center console area and, found 4.3-grams of cocaine, 5.2-grams of "crack" cocaine, and, 9.5 loose oxycodone pills inside. 

 

Denardi faces charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance while Thompson is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession.  Both were being held pending arraignment on Sunday.


Jamestown Police seized quantities of Methamphetamine, Heroin and prescription pills during the latest "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" detail on the city's northside early last weekend. 

 

Officers say they and state Police conducted a vehicle stop early last Friday evening at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street and, arrested two city residents.  Police say the vehicle allegedly had inadequate tail lights. 

 

They say the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 55 year-old Chris Byrne and 28 year-old Heather Caylor.  Both are charged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession and, Unlawful Possession of marihuana. 

 

Byrne was also charged with operating a vehicle with inadequate tail lamps.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.


Drug Awareness and Prevention Week in Chautauqua County kicked off last Saturday afternoon with a special speaker and concert in Jamestown. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan welcomed an indoor and outdoor crowd for the program highlighted by a special performance by local pop star "Brielle" at Shawbuck's restaurant.  Horrigan said the local drug crisis has been a "terrible epidemic" that's brought people together from across the region. 

 

He says what's become the county's major drug forum will be held this Tuesday at Chautauqua Inns and Suites in Mayville. The featured speaker for Saturday's event was Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz who is also the only New York member of a national task force of executives and mayors dealing with the issue. 

 

Polencarz says the numbers nationwide, and in Erie County peaked in 2014-15.  In the US he says just over 54,000 people died nationally in 2015, more than died in car crashes that year. 

 

However Polencarz says a multi-faceted approach in Erie County helped slowing the number of overdose dealths last year.  He and Horrigan spoke prior to the Brielle "Rockin' for Recovery" event.


A Bemus Point man faces menacing and sexual abuse charges after allegedly pointing a pistol at several people during an altercation at a location in Greenhurst early last Saturday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 30-41 Route 430 about 1:30 AM for a report of a man with a weapon.  Deputies say they found the suspect 46 year-old Blake Davis of Dutch Hollow Road, had fled the scene following the altercation. 

 

Officers say they later found Davis at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital being treated for minor injuries.  He was arrested on three counts of second-degree menacing, third-degree sexual abuse and, harassment.  David was arraigned in Ellery Town Court, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicott Town Police.


It's shaping up as a "huge week" of comedy in Chautauqua County and the Jamestown-area during the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and, Week-6 at Chautauqua Institution. 

 

That from National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson who says there are now three headliners for this year's Comedy Festival with the addition's of stars Kevin James and Robert Klein.  They'll be appearing during the August 3rd through 6th event. 

 

Gunderson adds that's not likely the end of big announcements. The week-long program on Comedy at Chautauqua begins on July 30th and, will feature an appearance of Lewis Black, among others.  Gunderson says tickets for the Kevin James and Robert Klein shows in Jamestown go on saleTuesday on line at Lucycomendyfest.com  or call 484-0800. 

 

Kevin James will appear the second night of the festival, Friday, August 4th, at the Northwest Arena, while Robert Klein, a comedy legend will appear on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night, August 5th.  Comedic star Jim Gaffigan appears to open the festival on Thursday, August 3rd.


Former President Bill Clinton told graduating students at their commencement that they must decide whether ``our common humanity is more important or our differences matter more.'' 

 

Clinton spoke Sunday at the ceremony for Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, about 40 miles west of Syracuse.  Clinton, who received an honorary degree, focused his remarks around diversity, saying it was a strength but that the differences between people were vastly outweighed by what all people share as human beings. 

 

He told students they didn't need an America that focused more on ``us and them'' instead of trying to expand the definition of who fell in the category of ``us.''  Clinton told the graduates there were no permanent victories or permanent defeats, only lives of ``permanent possibilities.''


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be the commencement speaker at West Point's graduation this month. 

 

The U.S. Military Academy said Tuesday that Mattis will speak at the ceremony for the Class of 2017 on Saturday, May 27.  The retired four-star Marine general became the 26th defense secretary on Jan. 20, hours after President Donald Trump was sworn in.

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News Headlines for Sun., May 14, 2017

Two arrested during "Targeted Enforcement" program vehicle stop in Jamestown...
Jamestown Police seized quantities of Methamphetime, Heroin and prescription pills during the latest "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" detail on the city's northside early last weekend.  Officers say they and state Police conducted a vehicle stop early last Friday evening at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street... and, arrested two city residents.  Police say the vehicle allegedly had inadequate tail lights.  They say the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 55 year-old Chris Byrne and 28 year-old Heather Caylor.  Both are ahcarged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession... and, Unlawful Possession of marihuana.  Byrne was also charged with operating a vehicle with inadequate tail lamps.  Both are jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
Another "Targeted" action results in three drug-related arrests...
Three city men are jailed following another "Targeted Enforcement" patrol in the Prendergast Avenue area of Jamestown for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetime.  City Police say a patrol vehicle pulled over the car at the intersection of Strong and Fulton Streets -- in the general area of Prendergast -- about 8 p.m. last Thursday.  Officers say they saw the vehicle had committed a traffic infraction.  Once they pulled over the vehicle... they found the alleged Meth, and a hypodermic needle, inside.  The three men... identified as 24 year-old Robert Wappat, 30-year-old Martin Wenzell, and 28 year-old Casey Saeger... were arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  All three are being held pending arraignment.
 
 
"Rockin' for Recovery" draws good crowd, pushing drug awareness in Jamestown...
Drug Awareness and Prevention Week in Chautauqua County kicked off last Saturday afternoon... with a special speaker and concert in Jamestown.  County Executive Vince Horrigan welcomed an indoor and outdoor crowd for the program... highlighted by a special performance by local pop star "Brielle" at Shawbuck's restaurant.  Horrigan the local drug crisis has been a "terrible epidemic" that's brought people together from across the region.  He says what's become the county's major drug forum will be held this Tuesday at Chautauqua Inns and Suites in Mayville, beginning at 9 a.m. to see how they can work to get their "arms around this terrible problem."  The featured speaker for Saturday's event was Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz... who is also the only New York member of a national task force of executives and mayors dealing with the issue.  Polencarz says the numbers nationwide, and in Erie County peaked in 2014-15.  In the U-S... he says just over 54,000 people died nationally in 2015 -- more than died in car crashes that year.  However... Polencarz says a multi-faceted approach in Erie County helped slowing the number of overdose dealths last year.  He and Horrigan spoke prior to the Brielle "Rockin' for Recovery" event.
 
 
Man with a gun arrested in Greenhurst...
A Bemus Point man faces menacing and sexual abuse charges after allegedly pointing a pistol at several people during an altercation at a location in Greenhurst early this morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 3041 Route 430 about 1:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of a man with a weapon.  Deputies say they found the suspect... 46 year-old Blake Davis of Dutch Hollow Road... had fled the scene following the altercation.  Officers say they later found Davis at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital being treated for minor injuries.  He was arrested on three counts of second-degree menacing, third-degree sexual abuse... and, harassment.  David was arraigned in Ellery Town Court, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicott Town Police.
 
 
National Comedy Center announces James and Klein to appear for Lucy Comedy Festival...
There will be three headliners for this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown... with two more well-know comedians... one a legend... being added to the August festival's line-up.  That from National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson... who announced this morning that Kevin James and Robert Klein will appear during the August 3rd through 6th event.  Klein is a legend that many comedians have patterned themselves after.  Gunderson says one of those was Jay Leno... who appeared in Jamestown a couple of years ago.  Klein has been doing stand-up comedy for more than four decades... and, will appear on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night, Aug. 5, while James will appear the night before at the Northwest Arena.  Tickets for both shows go on sale next Tuesday, May 16.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

The effects of toxic substances on veterans will be the subject of a town hall meeting in Frewsburg on Saturday.  Bob Lewis, President of the local Vietnam Veterans chapter, says one of the critical issues is the long term effect of the Agent Orange, a defoliant used in Vietnam.
 
The problems caused by burn pits for current veterans will also be discussed, as well as benefits availalble to those who've been affected by toxic substances. Two nationally recognized experts will be in attendance.  
 
The town hall meeting will be at the Frewsburg American Legion from 2 to 4:30 Saturday.  Veterans, their family members, and the public are all welcome to attend. 
 
A Fredonia-area man has come forward to announce that he is running as a Democrat for Chautauqua County Executive.  
 
However Mike Ferguson is well-known in the county in both the sports management and radio broadcast industries.  Surrounded by family and friends in front of the county Courthouse Ferguson said that he wants to further develop the industrial parks that got a jump-start by former Executive Mark Thomas when he supported the construction of "spec" buildings in the parks.  
 
He also talked about dealing with quality of life issues such as the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic.  He called the drug problem a "three-headed monster."
 
Ferguson also talked about the need for Clean Water in the county and, the need to protect resources such as Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake.  As for new initiatives he says he wants to work to make Chautauqua County a "hub" for organic farming as a way to reinvigorate that industry while complimenting the local grape and wine industries.  
 
Ferguson will face Town of Hanover Republican, George Borrello this November unless there are primaries.

 

A group of 20 attorneys general, all Democrats, is calling for the appointment of an independent special counsel to continue the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.  

 

The group led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called Republican President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey during the ongoing investigation a "violation of public trust."  

 

The group, which also includes New York's Eric Schneiderman said in a Thursday letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that only the appointment of an independent special counsel "with full powers and resources" can begin to restore public confidence.  

 

Those signing the letter also include the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

 

Jamestown fire investigators are still looking into the cause of small fire that left a lot of smoke and water damage inside a vacant home on the city's southside yesterday morning.  
 
Jamestown firefighers were called to the scene at 70 Hazeltine Avenue about 10:15 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews found a lot of smoke coming from the house on arrival.  Finson says a crew went inside, and found the fire, and got it out quickly.
 
Finson says there wasn't much fire damage and that was mainly to the living room-dining room area of the house.  He says the building had reportedly been vacant for some time.  
 
No injuries were reported and an off-shift was called in.  The Board of Public Utilities is still warning of discolored water in that part of the city this morning because fire hydrants had to be opened.
 
A two-vehicle accident involving a car and tractor-trailer in the town of Gerry forced the closing of Route 60 just north of Kimball Stand to Sinclair Drive early Thursday morning.  
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the accident was called in about 5:40 AM after the big rig was struck by the car and, went off the road, and took down some guard rails when it tipped over.  
 
Dispatchers say the tractor-trailer spilled it's load, and clean-up was completed about 10:15 yesterday morning. The unidentified truck driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital with minor injuries.  
 
We have no word on the driver of the car.
 
The investigation is continuing into a robbery that took place late Tuesday night at a Dunkirk convenience store.  
 
Dunkirk Police indicate that officers responded to the incident at the ROBO Mart at the corner of Central Avenue and 5th Street.  
 
A store clerk told police that a male with a slender build entered the store and displayed what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money.  The clerk complied, and the suspect then left the store.  
 
Anyone with any information on the incident is being asked to call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266 or their confidential tip line at 363-0313.
 
New York car manufacturers can now apply to test driverless cars on public highways.  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the state will begin accepting applications from companies looking to test or demonstrate autonomous vehicle technology as part of a year-long pilot program authorized by lawmakers this year.  
 
The vehicles will have to comply with state and federal safety standards and have a $5 million insurance policy in place.  During testing on public highways, a person holding a valid driver's license must be in the driver's seat.  
 
The companies will submit reports on the tests to the commissioner of motor vehicles before March 1st of 2018. Democrat Cuomo says the program is a step toward making New York "the epicenter of cutting-edge technology and innovation."

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News Update for Thur., May 11, 2017

Ferguson announces run for Chautauqua County Executive on Democratic line...
A Democratic candidate from the Fredonia area has now come forward to announce that he is running for Chautauqua County Executive.  However... Mike Ferguson is well-known in the county on both the sports management and radio broadcast industries.  Surrounded by family and friends in front of the county Courthouse... Ferguson said that he is a Democrat that's much in the mold of the last Democratic County Executive -- Mark Thomas -- who was another Fredonia-area resident.  Ferguson says he wants to further develop the industrial parks that got a jump-start by Thomas when he supported the construction of "spec" buildings in the parks.  Ferguson also wants to make Chautauqua County a "hub" for organic farming as a way to reinvigorate that industry.  
 
 
Vacant home on Hazeltine Avenue damaged by fire...
Fire caused a smokey mess inside a vacant home on Jamestown's southside this morning.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 70 Hazeltine Ave. about 10:15 a.m., and, Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says firefighters found a lot of smoke coming from the house on arrival... and, the windows were blackened.  He says there was no fire visable from the outside.  Finson says crews were able to get inside... and, found a small blaze in the back of the house.  He says they had the flames put out quickly.  However... he says there was smoke and water damage through-out the house... which had reportedly been vacant for some time.  No injuries were reported and an off-shift was called in.  Finson says the cause of the fire is under investigation. 
 
 
Route 60 closed several hours this morning after accident...
A two-vehicle accident involving a car and tractor-trailer in the town of Gerry forced the closing of Route 60 just north of Kimball Stand to Sinclair Drive this morning.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the accident was called in about 5:40 a.m. after the big rig went off the road, and took down some guard rails when it tipped over.  A car was also reportedly involved.  Dispatchers say the tractor-trailer spilled it's load, and clean-up was completed about 10:15 this morning.  The unidentified truck driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital with minor injuries.

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WJTN News Headlines

Route 60 has just been shut down as of 5:40 AM by the Chautauqua County Sheriff due to an accident between Sinclair drive, and Kimblestand. We will have further information as it becomes available.

 

A Silver Creek-area man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  

 

Agents with the Task Force say they arrested 36 year-old Franklin Kettle of Irving at his home just after 3 PM Wednesday on an outstanding Chautauqua County Court warrant.  Police officials say Kettle allegedly sold quantities of powder cocaine to an agent and, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  

 

He was arraigned in county court and, sent to the jail in Mayville.  

 

Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking is asked to contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.

 

New York's Court of Appeals has upheld a state law that allows for permanent suspension of drivers licenses for repeat drunk drivers.

 

A unanimous opinion from five of the state's highest court judges Tuesday affirmed that the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner has the authority to refuse to relicense drivers who have had their licenses revoked due to drunk driving.  

 

Three individuals challenged the laws when they were denied new licenses after the mandatory waiting periods to reapply. The ruling by Judge Michael Garcia noted that the individuals are not "entitled to relicensing" after the time period and relicensing is under the commissioner's discretion.  

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo applauded the decision, saying his administration has "zero tolerance" for chronic drunk drivers whose reckless actions put themselves and others at risk.

 

The 84.9-million dollar, 2017-18 budget plan is one of two propositions on the ballot in the Jamestown School District next Tuesday.  
 
Voters will also decide on an up to $780,000 proposition to buy six new buses as part of a five-year lease-deal.  Director of Business and Financial Services, Vern Connors, says this allows them to maximize state transporation aid, up to 95% 
 
Connors says the proposition is part of the Jamestown district's seven-year plan to replace buses in the district.  He says this is the second-year of propositions to do so.  Connors says it's not so much mechanical problems with the buses they have, but "body fatigue" that causes buses to fail state inspection.  
 
He says that's due to the region's harsh Winters, and the use of road salt.  Connors says the school board agreed that the seven-year program was needed to provide the fleet needed to transport students.  
 
Next Tuesday's vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.
 
A two-story home in the town of Gerry was destroyed by flames Tuesday that also damaged an adjacent garage.  
 
Gerry Fire Chief James Miller tells the Jamestown Post Journal that his department was called to the scene at 20-92 28 Creek Road about 12:30 PM.  On arrival Miller says they found the home fully-engulfed in flames.  
 
He says he immediately called for mutual aid companies and, shortly after arrival the roof of the building collapsed.  Chautauqua County fire investigators were called to the scene to help determine the cause and, found a fire in a coal stove had spread to the chimney and later the residence.  
 
Gerry was assisted at the scene by crews from Fluvanna, Ellington, Sinclairville, Kennedy and Ellery.  The local Red Cross assisted the lone occupant, who managed to escape the fire.
 
Jamestown city officials and community leaders Wednesday afternoon gathered in front of Diethrick Park to celebrate the city again being named a "Tree City-USA" for Arbor Day.  
 
Officials accepted a special banner that will be hung on Tracy Plaza from the Arbor Day Foundation and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  This year City Arborist Dan Stone says they honored two men who have been big supporters of that effort.  
 
Stone says he's worked on several projects with retired city Parks and Recreation Director Russ Diethrick, and Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Director Randy Sweeney.
 
Stone and Mayor Sam Teresi praised both men adding that Sweeney was instrumental in obtaining $65,000 the past several years to help plant dozens of trees in different parts of the city.  Teresi also commended the Park's Department's 15 full-time employees who work to maintain the 550-acres of parkland and 13,000 trees in the city.  
 
Two "Purple Prince" Crabapple Trees were planted during the ceremony, in honor of each man.  Stone adds the city also received it's seventh consecutive Tree City USA Growth Award for progress made by its community forestry program. 

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain steady this week but, nationally prices have been declining for the past eight days.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the local price is holding at $2.55 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.  Like most parts of the country, AAA says drivers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are seeing regional gasoline supplies surpass demand.  

 

New York held it's place on the list of the country’s top 10 most expensive markets at $2.53 a gallon.  Other states saw prices remain stable or experienced small fluctuation.  

 

Nationally The Fuel Gauge says prices have been falling steadily, with the current average price falling 4 cents from last week to $2.35  a gallon.  Last week, 46 states saw prices drop, some by at least 9 cents with prices remaining steady in other parts of the country.  

 

The trending decline is due to an unseasonable glut of gasoline in the U.S. market, record high refinery production rates, moderate demand, and a recent drop in crude oil prices.

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WJTN Headlines

A man and a woman from Jamestown are jailed without bail following a domestic incident on the city's southside allegedly involving a gun and, where police allegedly found several kinds of illegal drugs. 

 

Jamestown police were called to the scene at 248 Forest Avenue just before 9 PM Sunday on a report of woman being threatened by a man with a shot-gun earlier in the day.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says one of the suspects 32 year-old Todd Dalton came outside to meet officers.

 

Samuelson says in addition to the shot-gun and air gun police also found a digital scale with powder residue on it, and plastic baggies to package drugs for sale.  Officers then allegedly found a small quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine, 43 grams of marijuana, and several prescription pills. 

 

Both Dalton and 32 year-old Jacqueline Delo were arrested on several charges including eight counts each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

 

Samuelson says the shot-gun had apparently been stolen from another city home Saturday.  Both Dalton and Delo were arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.


No one spoke during last night's public hearing on the Jamestown School District's 84.9-million dollar, 2017-18 budget proposal that's up for vote next week. 

 

The spending plan includes no tax increase thanks in large part to major cuts and belt-tightening in the district the past several years.  However with one-million additional dollars in state aid the district is able to do some hiring, and set aside some additional reserves. 

 

Director of Business and Financial Services Vern Connors adds they also want to do some important projects. Connors says the new budget also includes about 10 new hires namely some teaching positions that had to be cut in previous budgets.  A couple of school counselors are also going to be hired. 

 

With no dissenting voices last night, Connors says he feels pretty good about the new spending plan and, adds that the district has only had to raise taxes one year over the past 12 years.  Next Tuesday's budget vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.


In the wake of three local town halls in his Congressional District Corning Republican Tom Reed is trying to clear-up what he says is "misinformation" about the recently approved American Health Care Act. 

 

Reed said Tuesday that the biggest misconception about the new law is that people with "pre-existing" conditions will be kicked-off their current health care or be priced out of the market.  He says that will not be the case adding that he's in that situation with a son who has Type-One Diabetes.

 

Reed says there's also misinformation about what's going to happen to New Yorkers, and others who are part of the "Essential Health Plan."  That's available to low-income earners who aren't eligible for Medicaid. 

 

Reed says that program, which covers 400,000 state residents remains in place.  However he says funding could be an issue and, he understands there may be some issues with that. 

 

But he says the state should have the ability to prioritize funding for that.  Reed also says there will be no changes to Medicare under the American Health Care Act.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with local media.


The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County held steady for the second straight month to close out the first quarter of the year but, March's jobless numbers are much better than a year ago. 

 

That from State Labor Department Analyst John Slenker who says the rate remained at 6.1-percent in March the same as it was in February.  The jobelss rate was 7.1% in March of last year. 

 

Slenker says the available workforce in the county was 55,500 which was up slightly from February and, there were more people working. Slenker says job gains were seen in leisure and hospitality which gained 100 over the month and start of the year. 

 

He says a number of factors are playing into the leisure and hospitality increases as you see seasonal businesses starting to get ready for Summer by hiring workers.  Slenker says professional and business services were also up for the month while manufacturing held steady from month to month. 

 

However, he says those are down 300 for the year due mainly to some losses in the north county area.


Unemployment numbers in Cattaraugus County showed some significant improvement in March falling from 7.2% in February to 6.3% in March. 

 

The labor Department's John Slenker says it was 6.5-percent in March of 2016.  Slenker says the job count was down by 100 to 31,500. 

 

However, he says that number is steady from the start of the year. Slenker says there was some upward activity in financial activities and, professional and business services which were both up by 100. 

 

However he says leisure and hospitality was down 200 as the ski season wound down.


Legislation that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician is again before state lawmakers in Albany. 

 

Supporters of the bill include several New Yorkers who lost loved ones to painful terminal illness.  They plan to meet with lawmakers Tuesday at the state Capitol.  The bill would require two physicians to certify the patient's illness is terminal. 

 

Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.  The measure has been introduced before but hasn't received a vote. 

 

Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has proper safeguards.  Opponents worry the measure would be abused. 

 

Colorado, Washington, Vermont, California and Oregon already have current laws allowing people to request life-ending medication from a physician.



Fredonia village board members have hired a new village attorney and he will be working on a part-time basis.  

 

Monday night, the Village Board approved the appointment of Todd Thomas of Jamestown by a 4-to-0 vote.  Thomas succeeds Sam Drayo who announced his retirement late last year after serving the village for 48 years. 

 

Mayor Athanasia Landis says she is very pleased to have Thomas on board. Thomas says he is looking forward to beginning his new role and, working on the challenges the position brings. 

 

Thomas, who begins his new duties immediately, will be paid an annual salary of 40-thousand dollars.


Too much water on Lake Ontario from recent flooding has put many charter fishing businesses on hiatus, while recreational boating is on hold until conditions improve. 

 

Run-off from weeks of rainy weather has pushed the lake to near-record levels, and lakeshore erosion caused by high winds has deposited trees, large logs, docks, tires and lawn furniture in the water along the lake's southern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River. 

 

Jerry Felluca, who runs charters out of Hamlin, west of Rochester, likens the conditions to a minefield.  The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports  that many charter captains have had to cancel or reschedule trips because marina docks and parking lots are still under water. 

 

Most motor boat and sailing enthusiasts have been prevented from launching their vessels because of hazardous conditions.

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WJTN Headlines

Two people have been arrested during a raid onJamestown's eastside Monday afternoon for allegedly trafficking several kinds of narcotics. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided Apartment-#37 at 305 East Fifth Street about 1:45 PM.  Samuelson says they were joined by the state Police C-NET Team in the raid which yielded quantities of crystal Methamphetime, cocaine, marihuana, and, cash. 

 

He says investigators also arrested 32 year-old Mark Maio and 18 year-old Mariah Snyder on several drug related charges.  Samuelson says both are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, fifth-degree criminal possession.  Both are also charged with criminal possession of marihuana.  Maio faces other charges as well. 

 

With it's proximity to the Prendergast Avenue area he says this was also another "targeted" action in that area of the city.  Both are being held pending arraignment.  If you have information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.

Temperatures dropped to the freezing early yesterday and this morning. 

 

The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing a Freeze Warning until 9 this morning in Chautauqua County.  Forecaster Dave Zaff of the Weather Service's Buffalo office said Monday that an upper level low pressure system has brought unseasonably cool air to the area and, was around another night. 

 

Zaff says temperatures away from Lake Erie were expected to drop to around 30, and maybe the upper 20s in some areas.  Zaff says once things warm up today temperatures will begin warming up slightly.  Early morning temperatures Monday reached 32 at the County Airport in Jamestown and 35 at the Dunkirk Airport.


Governor Andrew Cuomo is now launching his county-wide Shared Services Initiative and, it requires each county across the state to have its Chief Executive Officer create and chair a Shared Services Panel. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's ready to comply with the requirement that's part of the state budget and the local panel will be holding its first meeting today in Mayville.

 

Horrigan says they will discuss the initiative and create a plan for the county using a $50,000 grant that the county received to do the work.  He says he will likely include initiatives that were included in the county's application for the state's Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition. 

 

Chautauqua County is one of six local governments that's competing for the $20-million dollar prize.  The county's Shared Services plan must be submitted to the County Legislature no later than August 1st.


How the new American Health Care Act deals with Planned Parenthood and pre-natal care led to some heated exchanges durling last Saturday's town hall meeting in Busti hosted by Congressman Tom Reed. 

 

Reed left no doubts about where he stood saying he does not support the organization.  One of the sharpest exchanges involved a woman who supports Planned Parenthood and, says the organization is needed because it provides pre-natal care, and other important services.
 

Reed says that the bill only addresses health insurance.  He says there needs to be a conversation further down the road about health care, and how that's delivered in the United States. 

 

Back to the health care bill Reed says he wanted to wait until the revised score on the final, amended proposal came out from the Congressional Budget Office.  However he says leadership wanted to go forward at that moment. 

 

The American Health Care Act was approved last Thursday by the Republican-controlled House, 217-to-213. 

 

Reed says that he did read the final bill unlike a few of his fellow members of Congress admitted.

New York state is accepting public comment on new learning standards that replace the Common Core. 

 

The revised standards will be presented to the policy-making Board of Regents Tuesday and public comments are being accepted until June 2nd.  State education officials released the standards last week following a two-year process that included gathering input from the public, educators and experts. 

 

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the revised standards include substantive changes while maintaining the rigor of the Common Core, which outlines what a student should be able to do in each grade. 

 

New York and most other states adopted the Common Core standards to improve college readiness, but they became part of broader backlash against testing and teacher evaluations.  The Regents are expected to adopt the new standards in June.

A 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish caught in Lake Ontario this spring sets a new state record for that species. 

 

State environmental officials say Eric Scordo of Watertown caught the 38-inch catfish on Lake Ontario in Jefferson County on April 29. He used just a nightcrawler as bait.  The catch breaks the 2002 record by nearly 2 1/2 pounds. 

 

The previous record channel catfish was caught in Brant Lake in Warren County.  Scordo submitted details of the catch as part of the Department of Environmental Conservation's Angler Achievement Awards program.

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WJTN Headlines

While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week, local Congressman Tom Reed says he did.

 

Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti last Saturday morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people. 

 

Reed favored the original bill which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it. The majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first. 

 

One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  With the House vote Reed says he hopes the U-S Senate will hold a vote on the bill sooner "rather than later."

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York." 

 

State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage and, cut up to $6.9-billion dollars in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo says Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business. 

 

New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

 

Cuomo says that could force state taxpayers to pick up the cost, but supporters say it will lead to reduced taxes at the county level.


The Republican health care overhaul remains a work in progress and, many states are planning for big changes that could swell the ranks of the uninsured and hit them with higher costs. 

 

The changes contained in a bill that passed the U.S. House last week are welcome in some states that want more autonomy but are causing alarm in others that embraced former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.  During his Town Hall meeting in Busti Congressman Tom Reed says he favors phasing in a "per capita" program versus the current "static" one.

 

The angst is especially true for states that expanded Medicaid and face the potential loss of billions in federal dollars such as New York.  The current GOP plan would undo the mostly federally funded Medicaid expansion. It provided coverage to about 11 million newly eligible low-income Americans. 

 

The plan also would allow insurance companies to charge far higher premiums on older Americans and some people with pre-existing conditions.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says local governments should share resources to ease tax burdens that could increase under federal tax proposals. 

 

Late this week Cuomo ceremonially signed a bill allowing for counties to create plans to reduce property taxes by consolidating government programs or sharing equipment in Long Island.  The plan requires the top county executive to bring together local elected leaders and come up with a plan that would require public approval. 

 

Democrat Cuomo argues that many villages, cities, towns and counties could save money by pooling their purchases or cooperating to make duplicative services more efficient. 

 

Cuomo says the plan is "more critical than ever" to ease property taxes in light of President Trump's tax proposal that could end the federal deduction for state and local taxes.


Jamestown is one of eight upstate New York communities chosen to take part in the new, 5-million dollar Graduate-to-Homeownership Program to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the pilot program late last week which he says it being made available to eight of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative communities.  City Development director Vince DeJoy says the program provides mortgage and loan assistance.

 

DeJoy says he's not sure of the timetable to start the program yet.  He does say the program will be part of an overall incentive effort to intice young people to become first-time home buyers in Jamestown and elsewhere upstate.  DeJoy says they are also working with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell to provide a property tax abatement for grads who come back and fix-up a formerly condemned home. 

 

Governor Cuomo's office says the program is being launched in Geneva to compliment it's "Finger Lakes Forward" program to boost the economy.  In addition to Jamestown and Geneva  the cities of Elmira and Oswego in Central New York are also part of the Graduate-to-Home ownership Program.


A north county man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman early Saturday morning in the village of Silver Creek. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at an address in the village for a physical altercation just after 12 Midnight.  Deputies were joined by local Emergency Management crews who transported the woman to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Officers say they arrested 22 year-old Jerrod KIrtley on one count of second-degree assault.  Kirtley was arraigned and sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail.


A crackdown on underage drinking and illegal alcohol sales in New York has led to more than 100 arrests and the seizure of more than 125 fake IDs.  Over five weeks this spring, law enforcement officers directed undercover, underage decoys to visit more than 640 liquor stores, convenience stores and bars to test illegal alcohol sales. 

 

More than 180 of the businesses made illegal sales.  In addition state Department of Motor Vehicle officers cracked down on minors attempting to buy alcohol, making 112 arrests.  The numbers were released late last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

The governor says underage drinking can have lifelong consequences and that his administration will take action against young people who seek to obtain alcohol as well as businesses willing to sell it to them.


New Yorkers can raise a glass to their favorite craft brewery in a statewide competition this week. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo urges people to cast their votes online at taste.ny.gov.  The five breweries with the most votes will be invited to the Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge event in New York City on May 17th

 

A panel of judges will decide the winner.  Seventy breweries are participating in the competition, which is being held during American Craft Beer Week starting May 15th.  New York's craft brewing industry has been expanded through a series of legislative and economic incentives including the creation of the Farm Brewery License in 2012. 

 

There are now 321 craft breweries in New York, up from 50 in 2011.

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News Update for Sat., May 6, 2017

Nearly 200 pack Busti Fire Hall for Reed Town Hall; health care bill dominates discussion and debate...
While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week... local Congressman Tom Reed says he did. Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti late this morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people.  Reed favored the original bill... which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However... the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it.  Reed says he didn't take a position until the final text came out.  It appeared the majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan... while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first.  One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  Reed says... with the House vote... it's time for the Senate to do it's work.  At several points in the town hall... Democrats and Liberals dominated the debate.  At one point... a Trump supporter, and an opponent exchanged words, and Reed stepped in to calm the situation before it went any further.  Reed began the day at a town Hall in Dunkirk... and, finished up with one in Hinsdale.
 
Cuomo criticizes GOP Health Overhaul...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York."  State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage... and, cut up to $6.9-billion in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo late Friday said Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business.  New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the slim majority of House members who voted for the American Health Care Act yesterday afternoon and, is calling it a "great victory" for the American people.  

 

Reed says "we are finally on the path to fixing our broke and broken health care system."  The Corning Republican says the new Health Care plan "upholds protections for pre-existing conditions and, the expansion of Medicaid which help our most vulnerable populations."  He says the bill will also provide much needed property tax relief for New Yorkers who are unfairly forced to foot the bill for Medicaid.  

 

Reed adds, "we care about giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions while providing promised tax relief for middle-income families and small business owners."

 

A plea agreement has allowed the Jamestown man to avoid trial for beating and stabbing his wife and step-son to death in early December of 2015.  
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says some "back-and-forth" involving the judge... prosecution and defense lawyers led 53 year-old Allen Witruke to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in the deaths of Catherine Witruke and Eric Washburn.  
 
Swanson says the manslaughter charges stem from each side's psychiatric experts determining that Witruke had an "extreme emotional disturbance" when the homicides occured.
 
Swanson says Witruke was facing the start of jury selection for his trial next Tuesday.  With the plea Witruke faces 10 to 20 years in state prison on each count of first-degree manslaughter.  
 
He's to be sentenced on August 22nd.  Swanson says members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Civil Division were executing an eviction order at Witruke's home at 235 Barrows Street on December 8th of 2015, when they discovered Catherine Witruke, and Eric Washburn's bodies.  Allen Witruke was arrested in Olean later that same day.
 
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says it has put two major cocaine drug traffickers in jail following a two-month long investigation in the Dunkirk area.  
 
Task Force members say they arrested 26 year-old Michael Pacheco and, 29 year-old Fred Santiago early Tuesday evening.  
 
Agents say they arrested Pacheco at a location on Vineyard Drive in the town of Dunkirk and found him with 4.5-ounces of cocaine in his possession.  A short time later Task Force members raided the residence at 80 Lincoln Avenue in the city of Dunkirk.  
 
They arrested Santiago during the raid and, seized about 28.5-ounces of cocaine  with a street value of about $50,000.  They also seized $46,000 in cash, postal money orders, scales, and other materials.  
 
Both men are charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Pacheco is in the county jail on $150,000 cash bail while Santiago is being held with no bail.  
 
Additional State and Federal charges are pending, and more arrests are expected.  Dunkirk Police assisted along with other departments.  
 
Anyone with information about the sale of narcotics should contact the the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.
 
New York's second-in-command helped to kick-off the first meeting of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council as it gears up for Round 7 of Governor Andrew Cuomo's chief economic development program.  
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul addressed members during the meeting held at the State University of New York College at Fredonia Thursday.  Hochul says it's not "a given" that the funding would be included in the new state budget that was approved by state lawmakers last month.
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan, one of the REDC members, says the process has helped a number of projects in Chautauqua County over the years, but there is still a critical need for funding, with projects such as moving ahead with the North County Water District, and providing sewer around Chautauqua Lake.  
 
Yesterday's meeting was the first one for University President Dr. Virginia Horvath as the Council's co-chair. Besides Horrigan, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is also a member of the Western New York REDC.  
 
A total of 10 regional councils are competing for a share of the $800-million dollar pot. 
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is touting a big jump in public education spending.  
 
The Democratic governor traveled to a school in Queens on Wednesday to celebrate a $1.1 billion dollar increase in school funding.  Overall the state will spend a record $25.8 billion on public education under the budget approved by Cuomo and lawmakers last month.
 
Cuomo says the investment recognizes the importance of public education, which he says creates economic opportunities and allows New Yorkers of all backgrounds to pursue the American dream.  Cuomo also announced a new round of awards for top teachers.
 
Sixty teachers from around the state will each receive stipends of $5,000 for professional development.  Applications and nominations are due later this month.

 

The most visable fund-raiser for Jamestown's larges soup kitchen is underway and, the need for the serves of the St. Susan's Center have been never greater.  
 
That from Executive Director Jeff Smith, as the 19th annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign kicked-off yesterday morning at the Board of Public Utilities.  Most of the campaign's sponsors gathered to rally support for the effort which raised just over $18,000 last year.  
 
Smith says, without the support of the community they wouldn't have been able to provide just over 467,000 meals the needy the past four years.
 
Smith says they've provided meals for well over 30,000 individuals during that time.  He says they appreciate the support of the BPU in running the "Cents for St. Susan's" program each year.  
 
Smith says there's been no slow-down in the need this year thanks in part to a record-setting January.  The major sponsor this year is KeyBank which is joined by National Fuel Gas and, Northwest Savings Bank as sponsors.  
 
The Media One Group is again a media sponor.  The bright yellow canisters for people's change will be out at local stores, banks and restaurants through July 4th.
 
'Help Portrait Chautauqua' will be held at the Resource Center on Dunham Avenue near Celoron this Sunday.
 
The event is organized by the Southwestern Central School Photography Club and local professional photographers. Mark Kirsch, who teaches photography at Southwestern, says it's an opportunity for ANYONE to get a professional portrait taken for FREE.
 
The hours will be 11 AM to 2 PM Sunday, at the Conference Room at the rear of the Resource Center's building.  Kirsch says help with hair will be available at the site, and the framed pictures will be ready the same day.  There is no cost, and no obligation.  

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three people on Jamestown's westside were arrested during a raid later Wednesday morning for allegedly trafficking Crystal Methamphetime in the presence of young children.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and, members of the state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant at 510 West Sixth Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  
 
Inside, Samuelson says they found drugsm, three adults and two children, ages 3 and 10.
 
Samuelson says task force members arrested 27 year-old James Blue, 31 year-old Lakeia Boyd, and, 23 year-old Sheldon Harper.  Police say all three are charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  
 
They add that Boyd was also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child as she is the mother of the two children found inside.  Anyone who may have information on the illegal trafficking of drugs can contact the Task Force's  Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips, that's 483-8477.  
 
The two small children are safe and are staying with a relative. 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested after police found a large amount of marihuana and cash inside an attic apartment on the city's northside in the neighborhood of another recent pot bust.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says agents with the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and, state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant in the apartment at 839 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 5 Wednesday morning.  Samuelson says they were able to enter the apartment with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.
 
Samuelson says they also arrested the man inside the apartment identified as 19 year-old Armando Jenks.  He says Jenks was taken to the city jail where he currently is awaiting arraignment.  Investigators were also assisted by K-9 Units from Jamestown Police, state Police, and Lakewood-Busti Police.  
 
Another major marihauna bust recently took place at 853 Prendergast Avenue where another man was shot and killed earlier this year.  
 
Anyone who may have information on the illegal sales and trafficking of drugs can call the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips that's 483-8477.  You can also leave a tip on the JPD Tips 411 App.
 
New York state lawmakers are gaining momentum in a measure to expand medical marijuana coverage to those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.  
 
Currently medical marijuana in New York can only be used to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease.  The New York Daily News reports  the Democrat-controlled Assembly approved a measure that adds PTSD to the list of state-approved ailments that doctors can prescribe medical marijuana as treatment.  
 
The bill will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate.  The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, says there's evidence that medical marijuana is effective in treating PTSD.  New York launched its medicinal marijuana program last year. 
 
Local non-profit leaders, professionals, and people who deal with poverty every day met last night to brainstorm ideas on how to deal with poverty in the city of Jamestown.  
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County was selected to administer the Empire State Poverty Reducation Initiative a state program that Jamestown and 15 other communities are taking part in.  One of the people heading up the local effort is United Way Community Impact Coordinator Krista Cammerata.
 
Cammerata was the leader of a group dealing with Jobs and Job Training.  Other groups dealt with Public Assistance, Early Education and, Transportation.  Cammerata says better connecting young with potential or actual job opportunities is key adding she heard a lot about the need for more internship opportunities.  
 
She says another key is getting people trained for the right job that might be or will be available is also important.  The Center for Regional Governance in Rochester is helping to develop a program that will be implimented using one-million dollars from the state.  Cammerata says CRG will help produce a report on last night's session.
 
 
New York public school students are sitting this week for the second round of Common Core tests.  
 
Students in grades three through eight across the state's 700 school districts began the first of three days of math testing on Tuesday. The students took English language arts assessments in March.  For the past two years, at least 20% of eligible students have opted out in protest of the annual assessments that are required by the federal government but, opposed by many parents and teachers as unfair and unnecessary.  
 
State education leaders have responded by including fewer questions and giving students more time to complete them.  About 39% of students who took the math assessments last year scored in the proficient range.  About 38% scored proficient in English.

 

Congress is "very close" to having the votes needed to pass new health care legislation, and there could be a vote today.  
 
That from House Republican leaders last night.  Local Congressman Tom Reed said Tuesday that the GOP was one or two votes shy of the 218 needed to pass the measure.  However the GOP lost an influencial moderate Tuesday when Michigan's Fred Upton announced he was opposed to the way the new proposal deals with pre-existing conditions.  
 
In New York, though, Reed says the pre-existing issues are not as much in play as elsewhere. Reed says, if the votes are there, the new American Health Care Act will be voted on.  Upton worked with with the Congressional Republican Leadership on an amendment that would provide 8-billion dollars over five years to help people with those conditions pay premiums.  
 
With that now settled he is on board.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed will be holding three town hall meetings this Saturday, May 6th and, two of them will be held in Chautauqua County.  
 
Reed's Communications Director Samantha Cotten says the first will be held at 9 AM the West Dunkirk Fire Department in Dunkirk.  The fire hall is located on Willow Road.  
 
Cotten says the second wil be held at the Busti Fire Department located on Mill Street at the five-corners beginning at 11:30 AM.  
 
Congressman Reed's final town hall meeting will be held at the Hinsdale Fire Department in Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County beginning at 2 PM.  
 
All town halls are open to the public and, were heavily-attended earlier this year.  Reed says "we choose to hold town halls because we believe in responsive and accessible government.  I look forward to a respectful conversation and finding common ground so that we implement fair changes to benefit all of those in our region."
 

 

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WJTN Headlines

The Trump Administration and Congressional Democrats are verbally sparring over who won in the 2017 budget battle. 

 

However the western Southern Tier faired pretty well in the new spending plan which runs through September. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says a number of programs and projects under threat in the 2018 spending plan are included in this year's budget deal including the Great Lakes Initiative. President Trump has proposed cutting funding for the Great Lakes Initiative by 97% in the 2018 budget blueprint. 

 

However Reed believes this appropriations bill will help prioritize what will be funded in the 2018 bill.  He says that should "bode well" for the 23rd Congressional District.  He adds that funding for the Appalachin Regional Commission was at least continued at 2016 levels 

 

But he says the ARC was given an additional 20-million dollars for the year.  President Trump touted the budget deal declaring: "This is what winning looks like."  Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says they did find 347-million dollars to begin work on the border wall.


A New York program that allows court-ordered therapy for thousands of seriously mentally ill people will expire next month if the Legislature doesn't renew it.   

 

Advocates say research supports making the 18-year-old policy permanent, but opponents say involuntary psychiatric treatment violates rights and stigmatizes the mentally ill.  More than 4-thousand New Yorkers are treated annually under Kendra's Law, which passed in 1999 after Kendra Webdale was pushed in front of a subway train by a man with untreated schizophrenia. 

The Fredonia native died in the attack. 

 

The measure  proposed by State Senator Cathy Young has been temporarily reauthorized twice, but New York lawmakers have balked at making the law permanent.  The Republican-led Senate this week passed a bill to make the law permanent, and it is now up for consideration in the Assembly.



Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency to free up resources to help communities hit by flooding along the Lake Ontario's southern shore in western New York. 

 

The Democratic governor says Tuesday a state response team has been created.  It consists of the National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police and Monroe County Sheriff's Office. 

 

Cuomo says equipment including generators and pumps will be made available to suburban Rochester towns where wind-driven floodwaters have been affecting hundreds of homes.  The National Weather Service has issued flood watches and warnings for Lake Ontario's southern and eastern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River.


The numbers are in and arrests from the non-Fred Fest celebration in the village of Fredonia were down from last year's event and, that pleases Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers. 

 

The village's top police official says they have compiled the figures from the three-day event that wrapped up late Saturday night and there were signs of improvement. Fredonia Police announced changes in the way they were handling the event last week.  Among the changes, police used body cameras for the first time and they promised that the arrests would be posted on the department's Facebook page. 

 

Meyers believes the changes helped to make a difference and he is hopeful the weekend event will eventually fade away though he says that wasn't the case this year. 

 

For those who are wondering, Meyers says they will be posting the names of all 67 people were arrested on Facebook.


New York lawmakers are questioning the cost and motives of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to bail out three aging upstate nuclear reactors. 

 

Members of the Assembly used a legislative hearing on the subsidies Monday to question state energy officials about the need for the state subsidies, which will cost ratepayers up to $7.6-million dollars over 12 years.  Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money will ensure the plants continue to operate and prevent greater reliance on fossil fuels as the state shifts to renewable energy. 

 

At Monday's hearing state officials said that while $7.6 billion is the top estimate, the subsidies are likely to cost energy consumers far less as the plan proceeds.  Projections now indicate the average electricity consumer will pay about $2 more per month.


The new Lakewood Diner on Chautauqua Avenue in the village held it's official grand opening this morning. 

 

The diner has actually been open for a few months now but, the downtown eatery held it's official opening today with village officials, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce on hand.  Morgan Hetrick and his wife, Sara, bought the former Mindy's Place as one of seven buildings he recently purchased. 

 

Morgan Hetrick says they decided to fill the void when the previous owner decided to close.  He says they have a lot of good, hearty dishes but, have several healthful ones as well. Hetrick says they still specialize in different kinds of pancakes and, other breakfast specials. 

 

Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri says she was sad to see Mindy's close but, adds the Hetrick's have created a terrific, new restaurant to get great coffee, and a variety of breakfasts and lunches.  Morgan Hetrick says they are open seven days a week from 7 AM to 2 PM and, he says business is picking up after a lull over the Winter months.


An effort to ban the declawing of cats in New York is back before lawmakers. 

 

Legislation to prohibit the procedure for aesthetic purposes has been introduced in the Senate and Assembly.  Supporters include animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians who say declawing a cat is inhumane since it involves the amputation of a cat's toes back to the first knuckle. 

 

The state's largest veterinary association opposes a ban, however, arguing that the procedure should remain a last resort for felines who won't stop scratching furniture or humans.  The bill failed to get a vote last year. 

 

 On Tuesday supporters including the Humane Society and several veterinarians who oppose the procedure plan to lobby lawmakers at the state Capitol.

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Fire has destroyed the Trillium Lodge in Cherry Creek. 

 

The Jamestown Post Journal reports that around 100 firefighters from 14 companies battled the blaze Monday afternoon. The initial call was sent out at 5:45pm for the report of "smoke with flames showing".   

 

Firefighters faced some unique challenges including the possibility of electric lines coming down across Main Street in Cherry Creek and nearby propane and gasoline tanks at Noco Energy.  The Trillium Lodge was closed on Mondays.


No major problems have been reported due to yesterday's severe thunderstorms that passed through the Jamestown-area. 

 

However there were some downed trees and power lines.  At one point late Monday afternoon National Grid reported about 700 customers in Chautauqua County were without power. 

 

Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service says it was a fast-moving storm with gusty winds. With a cold front having passed through the region Mitchell says cooler air from Canada is moving in and, we'll be cold and damp for the next several days. 

 

After a wetter than normal March and April Mitchell says that trend is continuing into the month of May.  So far he says we've seen the rainfall deficits from last year "completely erased." 

 

Mitchell says it appears that Thursday and Friday will be the days where the rainstorms will be more likely and, we won't see much in the way of drier weather until the middle of next week.


Two Jamestown brothers have been indicted on federal drug charges for allegedly trying to traffic a large amount of Methamphetime and, maintaining a "drug-involved" premises. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late Monday that a federal grand jury had returned a three-count indictment against 32 year-old Beau Jones and, his 30 year-old brother, Matthew.  Kennedy says both are charged with one count each of narcotics conspiracy possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Meth, and maintaining a drug-involved premises. 

 

Assistant U-S Attorney Laura Higgins, who is handling the case, says both men were arrested last December 1st after a shipment of more than 360 grams of methamphetamine was mailed to Beau Jones’ home at 70 Colfax Street.  Shortly after the delivery Higgins says Beau Jones was arrested during a vehicle stop and, the parcel containing the meth was discovered in the backseat of his vehicle. 

 

She says Matthew Jones was arrested later that day during a separate car stop.  A safe was found in the trunk of his car containing another approximately 80 grams of Meth.  Higgins says the charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of 10-million dollars.  Both men were arraigned Monday and are being held without bail.


A Westfield man is being treated for serious injuries after his motorcycle crashed about mid-evening Sunday on Route 20 in the town of Ripley. 

 

State Police in Fredonia say a trooper's marked patrol car was passed by the motorcycle which was traveling at a high rate of speed just after 9 PM on a double-solid line.  Trooper's say the 45 year-old operator then failed to negotiate a slight curve in the road and ,struck a guiderail. 

 

The unidentified man was then ejected from his motorcycle and came to rest in a field adjacent to the roadway.  He was flown to a Youngstown, Ohio hospital where he is listed in critical condition.  The State Police investigation into this accident is continuing.


Five people including two incumbants are running for three seats on the Jamestown School Board in the May 16th school board elections. 

 

The district has announced the candidates, who received at least 100 valid signatures on petitions they've circulated.  The incumbants include current Board President Paul Abbott, and Shelly Leathers. 

 

Current Board member Thomas Pope has decided not to run for re-election.  Abbott says he "enjoys the opportunity to be involved in decision-making" that has a positive impact on the district, and it's students.

 

In addition to Abbott and Leathers a former board member and president Christine Schnars is running for the board again.  Schnars served on the panel for 25 years until she ran unsuccessfully for re-election a few years ago. 

 

There are also two newcomers running for the school board May 16th.  They are Fannell Leeper who along with her daughters are JHS alumni.  She is retired from The Resource Center.  The fifth candidate is Frank Galeazzo who is currently Information Services Manager at the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  He is also a member of the Jamestown City Council P-T-S-A.


The Excelsior Scholarship, New York's new, free tuition program could be a real boon for students at Jamestown Community College. 

 

JCC's Vice-President for Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, Kirk Young, says a significant number of current students fall under the $100,000 income cap.  Young is quick to add that JCC's popular USA scholarship will still be needed. 

 

The USA program offers free tuition to the top 20% of area high school graduates who choose JCC. Given a choice between USA and Excelsior, Kirk Young says some students might take the USA scholarhip, which, unlike Excelsior has no residency requirement. 

 

This is the time that many high school seniors are making college decisions, but he says full detail on the new state scholarship won't be available until sometime later in the month.  The Higher Education Services Corporation is handling the new Excelsior Scholarship.  Links to their website are available at SunyJCC.edu.


Increased recycling, greater reliance on renewable energy and less use of copy paper have saved New York state government nearly 20-million over five years. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office released a list of savings Friday that it says are the result of efforts to reduce the state's environmental impact.  Since 2011 the state has reduced its use of copy paper by 35%. 

 

It's also increased the recycling of debris from transportation projects, invested in greater renewable energy and expanded its use of recycled products.  Cuomo says the state is "leading the nation" by reducing state government waste and saving tax dollars while it protects the environment.


A hunting accident early yesterday morning in the town of Cherry Creek sent a teenager to the hospital for treatment of a birdshot wound. 

 

State Police in Jamestown say they wre called to the scene on Pickup Hill Road about 6:30 AM.  Troopers say two parties were turkey hunting in the vicinity of each other on private property at which time one party allegedly fired at a turkey.  Police say part of the discharged round struck a member of the other hunting party in the torso. 

 

Troopers say the 17 year-old victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.  The shooter has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.


New York is giving more than one-million dollars to a group of farms in an effort to boost the state's Grown & Certified program. 

 

The money is available through the Environmental Protection Fund and will be split among 29 farms.  The state program assures consumers the food they're buying is local and produced by farms enrolled in an environmental management program. 

 

Orleans County in the Finger Lakes region is getting the lion's share of the funding. Ten farms will split nearly $415,000, while six farms in Saratoga County will divvy up $223,000. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Friday to coincide with Earth Week. The hope is to help more farmers adopt green practices.

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A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly theatening a woman, who had an order of protection against him, with a paintball gun last weekend. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Chandler Street shortly before 9 PM last Saturday and, learned that 40 year-old Grant Monroe, Junior had gone to the residence and threatened her.  Officers say their investigation led them to another house on the southside where they found and arrested Monroe. 

 

Police found that he had been convicted of a domestic violence charge within the preceeding five-years.  He was arrested for Aggravated Family Offense,  a Felony and, three counts of first-degree criminal contempt, another Felony.

 

Monroe was also charged with second-degree menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

A Sinclairville man faces burglary and other charges after he allegedly entered a building in the village and, removed property that didn't belong to him. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 26 year-old Peter McTaggart following an investigation into the incident late last week.  Deputies arrested McTaggert without incident and, charged him with third-degree burglary, petty larceny, and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 

 

McTaggart was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $30,000 cash bail.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is moving it's Spring Water Main Flushing program to mornings and afternoons beginning a week from today. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers say officials with the Water Division worked for the past 8 to 10 months to come up with a plan that's less disruptive and, works better for the utility and it's customers.  Leathers says one of the main considerations for the change was the safety of their workers.

 

Leathers says they initially looked at doing the flushing in two shifts from 7 AM to 9 PM each weekday.  However, he says they finally decided on an 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM time period.  Leathers says the only difference will be when they start the flushing next weekend in the village of Falconer. 

 

He says that will remain an overnight flushing program starting this Friday, April 28th with some pre-flushing work.  Leathers says that runs through next Sunday afternoon. 

 

The new schedule will begin on Monday morning, May 1st on Jamestown's eastside.  Leathers made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs. 

 

A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies. 

 

In this case it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. 

 

It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.


U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York says he has spoken with President Trump about a U.S.-Canada trade dispute involving dairy products. 

 

Schumer said Sunday that he is working with the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other stakeholders to develop a plan to tackle the issue that has left dairy farmers in Wisconsin and New York without a market for their product. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says there are some ways right now that lawmakers can address the issue. Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including "ultra-filtered" milk that compete with the U.S. product. 

 

Reed says, long-term the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to deal with dairy and, with the wine industry.  He says both need to be involved in any discussion of NAFTA. 

 

Reed made his comments during a recent conference call with Southern Tier Media.  Schumer says the new policy "violates our agreements and hurts our farmers."


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says an investigation by his office found hundreds of vehicles had been sold to consumers without disclosing serious safety issues. 

 

Schneiderman says he has reached settlements with 104 car dealerships around the state that sold vehicles without telling customers about recalls for defects such as unintended acceleration and steering or brake loss.  Under the settlements, dealers are required to follow a set of guidelines to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls. 

 

Each dealer will also pay a $1,000 fine to the state.  The attorney general's office says consumers can check the recall status of any vehicle by entering its Vehicle Identification Number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website .


New York state is investing 112-million dollars in federal funding into several dozen projects intended to enhance bicycle and pedestrian transportation. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced the projects late this past week.  They include new and improved sidewalks, trails and bike paths, crosswalks, safety upgrades at traffic intersections and expanded public transportation services around the state.  The money will pay for up to 80 percent of the work. 

 

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money is "critical" to expanding transportation options that are healthier for people and better for the environment.


Facing huge deficits, Pennsylvania could become the first state to allow both its casinos and lottery to take its games online. 

 

It's a quest for money from new and younger players.  The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering allowing Pennsylvania's licensed casinos to control new online gambling sites.  It's legal in just three states, including New Jersey. 

 

Meanwhile Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wants to expand the lottery's reach to cyberspace.  Just four states allow that.

 

 

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