News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 30, 2017

JHS JV Player takes a knee during anthem in Thursday night game, Superintendent responds...
The issue of football players kneeling during the National Anthem has reached Chautauqua County... as a Jamestown High School Freshman reportedly took a knee during the anthem at Thursday night's Junior Varsity Game at Dunkirk.  School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe Friday confirmed multiple media reports that Lebron Fisher quietly knelt down during the national anthem with his teammates around him.  Apthorpe says teachers and students had already been talking about taking stands against racial injustice in school.  He says -- historically -- civil disobediance can be dry stuff for kids, but, he says the issue has their attention right now.  Apthorpe says there are no rules in New York state, Section 6, nor in the Jamestown District that order students to stand for the anthem.  He equates it with the situation surrounding the Pledge of Alligiance the kids... Kindergarten through 12th grade... recite in the morning before school.  Apthorpe says nearly every student recites the pledge, though they are not required to.  He adds that there will be no disciplinary action taken... and, there has been no call to institute such a rule in the district.
 
 
Borrello pledges to have more IDA meetings on "the road" if elected Executive...
The Republican candidate for Chautauqua County Executive this November says he would like to see the county's Industrial Development Agency hold it's monthly meetings on the road.  Irving's George Borrello says -- if elected -- he plans to hold the meetings in various venues throughout the county.  Typically... Borrello -- who is a member of the IDA Board -- they meet at the agency's south county headquarters.  Once is a while... they meet at the Dunkirk Incubator facility.  Borrello says taking the meetings "on the road" will help get more people engaged with the IDA... and, economic development around the county.  He says he's also proposing other reforms in the way the IDA conducts business, such as revisions in the methods for seeking public input, and in the process leading up to board meetings themselves.  Borrello and Democrat Michael Ferguson are vying for the office now held by Vince Horrigan.
 
 
Brooks Hospital files "certificate of need" for new hospital site in town of Pomfret...
The Brooks Memorial Hospital board of directors has announced that they have filed a "certificate of need" with the New York State Department of Health for its new hospital project. The new, 29-bed hospital, will be located just east of the Routes 20 and 60 intersection in the town of Pomfret.  Hospital President Mary LaRowe and Board Chair Chris Lanski held a conference call yesterday afternoon on the announcement.  Lanski says the board, working with hospital relocation specialists... and, Turner Brokers in Lakewood... reviewed over dozen potential sites.  He says they looked at convenience to businesses, and where people live.  The 25-acre site is currently owned by Countryside Sand and Gravel.  LaRowe says they hope to have a ground-breaking next spring for the 100,000 square foot project.  She says they've been working closely with the state Department of Health, which has said they speed along the process.  Hopefully... LaRowe says they hope to have it done in 30 to 60 days.  They hope for a Spring 2018 ground-breaking... and, completion of a new hospital is slated for 2019.  Meanwhile, a Hospital Reuse Project Advisory Committee is being formed.
 
 
Local relief efforts for Puerto Rico well underway...              
Local relief efforts to get water and money to the people of Puerto Rico are well-underway in both the Jamestown and Dunkirk-areas of Chautauqua County... and, will continue through the month of October.  That from Director Max Martin with the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County after Hurricane Maria ravaged the U-S Island territory last week.  Martin says after the hurricane hit... he was approached by about 15 people... most of them natives of Puerto Rico... and, they mobilized a drive in the city of Dunkirk through the Salvation Army.  There is also a drive taking place through the Hispanic Church affliate at First Covenant Church in Jamestown.  Pastor Alfonso Pagan is a native of Puerto Rico... and, says -- with most communications down on the island -- it's been tough on people who have relatives there.  He says most of his family is here... but, his father is still there.  If you would like to contribute to the effort... contact The Salvation Army in Dunkirk at 499-5622... or the Hispanic church at First Covenant Church in Jamestown at 708-8184. 
 
 
More state help being sent to Puerto Rico...
New York state is sending more help to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late Friday that the state is deploying additional personnel from the Port Authority and State Police to help the Caribbean commonwealth following Hurricane Maria.  The 77 Port Authority workers will help reopen and operate the island's ports and airports.  Fifty-three state troopers will provide security and public safety assistance.  Cuomo says 10 employees from the New York Power Authority will also join utility officials in Puerto Rico as they work to restore power on the island.  Cuomo said a shipment of medication and supplies left Long Island's Republic Airport Friday morning.  
 
 

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A spokeswoman for Equifax says her company is "actively engaging" with state and federal officials following a data breach that exposed personal information for 143 million Americans. 

 

The company decided not to attend a legislative hearing on identity theft and data breaches Thursday in New York, however.  One lawmaker called that a "slap in the face" to New Yorkers. 

 

New York legislators are considering proposals to impose greater regulations on credit monitoring companies like Equifax, TransUnion or Experian following the cyberattack on Equifax. 

 

Representatives from TransUnion and Experian were also invited to Thursday's hearing but did not attend.  Eight million New Yorkers were among those whose sensitive information was exposed in the Equifax breach.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has agreed to a three-year extension of the board's contract with it's full-time employees in the solid waste division. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board this week approved the extension, which takes effect October 1st with Teamsters Local-264.  Leathers says there are 11 full-time employees covered by the contract, which includes a 2.36% wage increase for Tier-One employees and  consolidation of the bottom two tiers to bring stability.

 

The previous contract ended in 2018.  Leathers says Tier-One workers wil receive $20.40 an hour while the second-tier will receive $16.40 an hour.  He says they also agreed to stay with the Teamsters Health Insurance coverage, which will be frozen through 2021. 

 

Leathers say they have two years to go on it's contract with their biggest union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 459 and adds their wastewater treatment employees are under contract through the end of 2020.  Leathers says he believes it's a good agreement for both sides.


After some debate county lawmakers Wednesday night approved selling the South County Office Building, and two others, to a Jamestown-area developer. 

 

In fact, a couple of legislators wanted to table the measure until the proposal was looked at more closely.  However, a significant majority felt the sale had already been through enough scrutiny and, wanted to move foward on the sale.  Legislator Chuck Nazzaro says he wanted more review but, added that he was also concerned about losing "control" of the building.

 

The county legislature approved sale of the South County Office Building and two others to Jody Peterson, doing business as Jamestown Rental Properties, LLC.  The sale of the South County building was approved, 15-4. 

 

The other sales of the Bratt Agricultural building in the town of Ellicott, and the Sherman Shop Maintenance Facility to Jamestown Rental properties were approved unanimously.


The Chautauqua County Humane Society has again opened their arms and hearts to furry friends this time three dogs from South Florida that were displaced by Hurricane Irma. 

 

The dogs started out as part of a group of 25 from the Brevard County Animal Care Center in Florida, but, were removed from the center after issues with flooding and power following the storm.  CCHS was chosen to house the three dogs because of previous cooperative efforts with the Ten Lives Club in Buffalo. 

 

Sue Bobek, Director of Animal Services at the Humane Society says "we have had a partnership with Ten Lives Club for many years.  After the dogs arrived to them, circumstances had changed for a few of their fosters and they had three dogs without a place to go.  When approached about taking them, we said we could help just as they have helped us in the past." 

 

The three dogs are healthy and available for adoption.  If you are interested in adopting one of them, call 665-2209; visit SPCAPETS.COM or message CCHS through Facebook at Chautauqua County Humane Society.


New York state is home to more than one-million people of Puerto Rican background and, is sending a lot more than thoughts and prayers to the hurricane-ravaged island. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has organized an aid package including 34,000 bottles of water, more than 10,000 meals ready to eat, 1,400 cots, and four Black Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters. 

 

The Democratic Governor says more than 100 New York City firefighters, police officers and other workers are in Puerto Rico to help, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expecting an influx of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the storm's damage.  Most of the immediate Jamestown-area's 4,000-5,000 Latinos are from Puerto Rico.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan's final budget plan will be a "challenging" one for county legislators. 

 

Those are the feelings of the chairman of the legislature's main financial committee.  Audit and Control Chairman Pierre Chagnon says, on first blush, a lot of the spending increase in the 2018 budget proposal is in response to the ongoing Heroin and Opioid Abuse epidemic. He says they were able to reduce taxes during the first three years of Horrigan's administration.  However he says it'll be more difficult this year with a 10-cent per thousand full-value tax rate increase. 

 

Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown says he's concerned about seeing a $7.6-million, 3.3-percent spending increase in the $236-million plus budget and will dig into the details with the panel next week.

 

Nazzaro is the ranking minority member of the Audit and Control Committee says they're ready for four full-days of budget deliberations with department heads, and home committees.  Lawmakers hope to act on the budget by the end of October.


A Falconer man faces several charges, including criminally possessing a hypodermic intstrument after trying to flee on his bicycle from Jamestwn Police early Wednesday morning. 

 

City police say the spotted 30 year-old Sam Critzer riding a bicycle with no lights or horn on the 40 block of Eagle Street about 12:30 a.m..  Officers pulled up to the suspect, got out of the vehicle and told him to stop. 

 

However, Critzer refused and got back on his bike and tried to get away in the opposite direction.  Officers say they were able to stop him a few houses down the street. 

 

After a search, Critzer was also found to be in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, marijuana, several hypodermic needles, and several prescription drugs outside their original container.   Critzer was arraigned, and sent to the county jail on $3500 bail.

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A former employee of a housing agency in the city of Jamestown has lost his job and arrested for misconduct after allegedly running up a more than $500 bill on a company credit card. 

 

City police say they investigated the matter and took 37 year-old Joey Weise into custody on one count of official misconduct.  Weise was a maintenance worker for Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality, Incorporated (CODE), when he allegedly rang up the unauthorized charges on the credit card last May.  He was also allegedly found in possession of a small amount of Crystal Methamphetime and was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Weise arraigned, and released on bail.


The legislature last night approved resolutions to sell three county buildings to private owners, but one stirred some controversy. 

 

Lawmaker eventually approved selling the South County Office Building in Jamestown, 15-4.  That came after an effort was made to table the measure for further study. 

 

The legislature also agreed to sell the Bratt Agricultural Building on Airport Hill and the Sherman Shop Maintenance Facility in the town of Sherman.


Local bakeries are getting a holiday dedicated to them, their service, and their delectable treats. 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi proclaimed Wednesday, the first-ever National Local Bakery Day at Ecklof as today September 28th.

 

In his proclamation, Teresi highlights the significance local bakeries provide. He also encouraged all residences of the greater Jamestown area to come out and celebrate not only on National Local Bakery Day, but throughout the year. 

 

All day today, Jamestown bakeries will be celebrating in one-of-a-kind ways with promotional activites including a spinning prize wheel at Ecklof's Bakery on Foote Avenue.  National Local Bakery Day is expected to become an annual event.


In the Dunkirk area statewide collection is continuing to help with the hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. 

 

Mayor Wilfred Rosas says the city is working with the city of Buffalo as part of the statewide effort that's being coordinated by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He says the local collection will run from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. 

 

Non-perishable items are being accepted.  Rosas says funds may be dropped off at Dunkirk City Hall.  By the way, the Mayor has yet to make contact with his mother, who lives on the Island.


New York state has allotted $50-million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms. 

 

The money is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.5 billion dollar Clean Water Infrastructure Act.  It's aimed at helping large livestock farmers make sure there's proper management and storage of nutrients, such as manure.  New York State has over 500 farms with more than 200 livestock, and most are dairy farms with 300 or more cows. 

 

Projects that get funded will help farmers meet new environmental requirements first announced in January.  The first of three application periods is currently open and closes Nov. 20. Grant awards will be made by mid-December. 

 

An additional $15 million will be available in both 2018 and 2019.


The mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania says he's skipping the Pittsburgh Penguins' October 10th White House visit because of recent tweets by President Donald Trump. 

 

Democrat Bill Peduto accompanied the NHL team when they met with President Barack Obama following last year's Stanley Cup championship.  But, Peduto says he's not going this year because of Trump's tweets criticizing NFL players for kneeling or otherwise protesting during the national anthem. 

 

Peduto says the visit could bring negative attention to the city so he'll "take a knee on this one and stay home."  Peduto previously criticized Trump for pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord and saying it was because he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."


A German-based company with a manufacturing facility just outside of Jamestown is confirming that it will end operations in the town of Ellicott by the end of the year. 

 

MD Electronics President Bruce Dudgeon says, in a printed statement, that increasing global competition and the need for shorter supply lines were "primary drivers" for the decision. 

 

Dudgeon says MD Electronics began manufacturing operations on Precision Drive in 2009 and employs 90 full-time workers.  He says MD makes communication cables for the automotive industry. 

 

Late Tuesday, local Congressman Tom Reed said in a printed release that "this is also a direct result of the unfavorable business climate in New York State."


The still-growing Latino community in the Greater Jamestown-area is rallying around the devastated island of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. 

 

Relief efforts across the United States are well-underway and locally, a handful of people are collecting bottled water and non-perishable goods for the people of Puerto Rico. 

 

One of them, Miguel Correa, says they have three places locally that are taking donations. Correa says there a several, basic items needed on the tiny U-S Territory, including bottled water, and baby food.  He says communications are improving on the island, though it's still hard to send or receive calls from the United States mainland.  He says communications on the island itself have improved. 

 

The A-P reports today that conditions have improved in San Juan, but more rural areas are still struggling.
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Reviews of the U-S response to the disaster in Puerto Rico have been mixed.  However, Miguel Correa says the Federal Emergency Management Administration has been a big help. 

 

Correa says FEMA has especially helped provide gas generators for hospitals and other critical needs.  He's lived in Jamestown for the past 17 years after moving here from New York City and, his family is from Puerto Rico.

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A electronics company is reportedly planning to move 87 jobs out of it's Jamestown-area plant and take them out of the country. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who says the "trend of moving good paying jobs out of the country has to end".  Reed overnight commented on the potential loss of 87 "hardworking employees" at MD Electronics on Precision Drive in the town of Ellicott. 

 

A company spokesperson recently told the Post-Journal that work on the company's third-shift had ended.  In a printed release late yesterday, Reed said "this is also a direct result of the unfavorable business climate in New York State. 

 

Having seen firsthand the work ethic of these employees, I will make sure MD Electronics does not leave their workers in a lurch and that the company upholds their prior commitments to each and every employee."


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's very pleased with how yesterday's bi-partisan meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House went regarding tax reform. 

 

Reed was one of several members of the House Ways and Means Committee that met with Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence on the matter, which the Corning Republican adds may be fully introduced by President Trump later today in Indiana.  Reed has pushed hard for tax reform in the past few years and he's happy to see the general frame-work come together.

 

However, local lawmakers say they're concerned about the possible loss of the "State And Local Tax" or SALT Deduction.  Reed says he's sensative to that, but adds that may be replaced by an expansion of the Standard Deduction.  He says lawmakers are looking at doubling that. 

 

The Jamestown City Council went on record Monday night supporting retention of the SALT Deduction which allows state and local taxes to be written off.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


A Buffalo mother was arrested for several charges including a violation of Leandra's Law, after rolling-over a stolen vehicle with four unrestrained children aboard late last week in Cattaraugus County. 

 

State police tried to make a traffic stop for a speeding SUV on East River Road in the Town of Olean last Friday night.  Troopers say  the driver, 24 year-old Alesaundra Allen, failed to comply to troopers emergency lights and turned onto Steam Valley Road. 

 

After a short distance, Allen lost control of the SUV and entered a culvert causing the vehicle to roll once and land upright.  Further investigation revealed that the SUV was reported stolen out of Buffalo on September 19th. 

 

The suspect failed a sobritey test and the 26 year-old passenger and four children were not injured in the crash.  Child Protective Services responded for the children involved.


It was another record day of warmth for western New York yesterday as Buffalo nearly reached 90-degrees. 

 

However, Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it did reach 88-degrees at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport yesterday.  Wood says it's not quite as warm as the past two days when the mercury reached at least 90.

 

The three-consecutive days of record setting warmth was only exceeded by six-straight days in March of 2012.  However, Wood says having a stretch like this in late September is "highly-unusual".  Wood adds our string of much warmer than usual temperatures comes to an end later today, but says it will still reach into the lower eighties today in front of a cold front that moves in later in the day. 

 

The record high temperatures started over the weekend when it reached 90 at the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Airport on Sunday; it then reached 91-degrees on Monday

 

While temperatures get into the sixties and even upper fifties over the weekend, temperatures are expected to rebound into the seventies again early next week.


A few Jamestown residents were critical Monday night about what they called the lack of openness on the part of city lawmakers leading up to August's final vote on annexing four-acres of land from the village of Falconer. 

 

One took the added one more step by criticizing lawmakers for lack of transparency and the media for being complicit.  Lovell Avenue resident Raven Mason said she didn't mean to be critical, but questioned how much discussion is taking place before important measures are voted on.

 

Mason also said that she was concerned that the City Council never addressed any of a series of questions she had about the proposal to take the land used by the Board of Public Utilities for the Dow Street Substation.  However, Rabb says residents who only come to the monthly voting sessions aren't seeing the start of the process, just the end of it. 

 

Mason also took exception with the wording of a letter she received from Rabb following the August meeting.  He says he simply stated that if she had a question about an issue that comes up to call his cell number.


Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son have been granted new trials in their corruption case. 

 

A federal appeals court said Tuesday the jury was wrongly instructed.  That's in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of what it takes to convict a public official.  Prosecutors say they'll retry the case. 

 

Dean Skelos' lawyer, Alexandra Shapiro, says he "looks forward to the next steps."  Prosecutors said the Republican politician strong-armed three companies into giving his son, Adam Skelos, $300,000.  Father and son were convicted in 2015 of extortion, conspiracy and bribery in one of a series of corruption cases that roiled the state. 

 

Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison. His son got six and a half years.  Both remain free on appeal.


A Jamestown man was arrested after he was discovered with a signifcant amount of marijuana, paraphernalia, and plants in the Town of Ellery last week. 

 

While state troopers were investigating an unrelated complaint, they were approached by an individual who told them that 55 year-old Stephen Watson was growing marijuana plants. 

 

Investigation affirmed that Watson was in possession of 145 grams of marijuana, two marijuana smoking devices and three marijuana plants.  He was charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the fourth-degree and unlawful growing of cannabis. 

 

Watson was issued appearance tickets for the Town of Ellery Court.


New York state has allotted $50-million in grant funding for water quality projects on livestock farms. 

 

The money is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act.  The first $20-million will be disbursed in mid-December after an application process.

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For the second-day in a row Monday, our Summer like hot weather was a record setter. 

 

Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it got into the low 90s by mid-afternoon.  This comes a day after the Weather Service reported that the mercury hit 90 degrees on Sunday breaking the old record set in 1970. 

 

Yesterday Thomas says Buffalo reached 91-degrees at 3 p.m which beat the old record of 87.  He adds that most areas at least hit 90. 

 

Earlier fellow Forecaster Kirk Apfell said temperatures will drop to more seasonal levels on later on Wednesday.  Apfell says a cold front will move through the area but, the cooler air will still be about seasonal. 

 

Forecasters say high temperatures by Thursday and Friday will be in the 60s.  Night-time lows will be in the 40s away from Lake Erie.


It was a rare night of back-and-forth public discussion during last night's Jamestown City Council voting session with the main focus on the proposed annexation of four-acres of land in the village of Falconer. 

 

It began with questions about the transparency surrounding the decision to try and make the property the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on part of the city.  Raven Mason of Lovall Avenue voiced that concern, given the fact there was no discussion about the resolution the night of the vote. 

 

However, Council President Greg Rabb says it was discussed though briefly due to legal concerns, during work sessions.  Resident Chris Gardner again asked who sponsored the resolution by the BPU.  Mayor Sam Teresi interrupted, and, told Gardner it's a matter of public record, and there were two ways to get it. 

 

One was through the city clerk's office while the other was through the BPU Secretary.  Teresi later noted that the BPU is made up of nine members most of them citizen panelists   He noted that both he and Council President Greg Rabb were members of the board, Teresi because he is mayor. 

 

The mayor also said that neither he, nor Rabb brought forth the BPU resolution to the board for a vote.


A city man is jailed following a suspicious situation last Sunday night in the 300 block of Palmer Street. 

 

Jamestown Police say, just after 8 p.m., they responded and found that James Spitale had stabbed a car with a knife belonging to another person.  Officers say Spitale also allegedly threatened that person with the knife.  He was arrested, and charged with second-degree menacing third-degree criminal mischief and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Spitale was jailed pending arraignment.


A Cattaraugus County man is now jailed for an alleged incident involving a gun late last week in the town of Randolph. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested 37 year-old Joshua Dash last Friday morning and, he was later charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, criminal possession of a firearm. 

 

Deputies say additional charges are pending.  Dash was arraigned and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $300,000 cash bail.


Two parents face child endangerment charges following a domestic disturbance at their home in the Cattaraugus County Community of Limestone early last Sunday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to 501 Parkside Drive for multiple people fighting.  On arrival there was a report of a missing child and all parties involved in the altercation were separated. 

 

The child was later found safe with his grandmother in Bradford, Pennsylvania after a sober party had driven the child there.  The child's parents 23 year-old Tyler Carlson and 25 year-old Samantha Simonds were charged with one-count each of endangering the welfare of a child. 

 

They were issued appearance tickets for Carrolton Town Court.  Child Protective Services was also notfied of the incident.


A pair of western New York members of the House of Representatives will be part of a bi-partisan meeting on tax reform with President Donald Trump today at the White House. 

 

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that local Congressman Tom Reed and Buffalo-area Congressman Brian Higgins have been invited to be part of the meeting because both are members of the powerful Ways and Means Committee that writes the tax code. 

 

During a recent town hall meeting in Kiantone that real progress was being made in reforming the nation's tax code.  He says this would be the first time since 1986 that "substantive" policy reform is being looked at. 

 

Higgins who represented Chautauqua County several years ago after the county was put into a district with Southern Erie County is back on the House Ways and Means Committee through Seniority.
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During today's meeting, Higgins is expected to voice his support for keeping the State and Local Tax deduction otherwise known as SALT. 

 

In a tweet on Friday Higgins indicated that eliminating SALT "takes money from hardworking Americans and gives it to people who don't need it and won't spend it to benefit the economy."

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A Sinclairville man has been arrested for allegedly selling and, being in possession of a significant amount of Crystal Methamphetime inside his car in the town of Sheridan. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they, along with members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, and Fredonia Police, pulled over 26 year-old Benjamin Gray on Route 20 late last week on an arrest warrant for allegedly selling Meth to undercover drug agents. 

 

Deputies say the warrant was issued out of Fredonia Village Court and, charged Gray with third-degree criminal possession and, third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He's also wanted for burglary in the Allegany County town of Belmont. 

 

Following arraignment officers say Gray was sent to the county jail without bail.  Police say they later seized more than 20 grams of Meth as well as scales and packaging material inside the cause. 

 

Additional Felony charges are pending.  Task Force members urge residento to call when they see suspicious or narcotics related activity at 1-800-344-8702.

 

 

In response to the addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County, community members held the "Rally to Recover Jamestown" this past Saturday

 

The event, put on by grandmother-granddaughter duo Adrian Smith-Madden and Chanda Lynn Germain was open to all with free resources for those looking for recovery options and even those looking to get involved with stopping the epidemic in our community. 

 

The founder of the national "Fight For Recovery" program, Richie Webber, says they had two moms reach out to help get their children into treatment.  He says his goal for each event is to at least help one person, and helping two is great. 

 

The Rally began at 1 p.m. in the former Dahlstrom Manufacturing plant on East 2nd Street and involved live music and guest speakers.

 

Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan were also on hand and, addressed the spectrum of drug addiction and drug related deaths.

 

 

A Lakewood woman escaped serious injury early last weekend when she fell asleep at the wheel of her car and, it crashed in the town of Ripley. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 35 year-old Tiffany Green was traveling on Route 76 about 6:30 a.m. Saturday when she fell asleep, and the car left the road and rolled-over, coming to rest on it's roof. Deputies say Green suffered minor injuries and was treated at Westfield Memorial Hospital. 

 

Further investigation showed that Green's vehicle registration was suspended and, she was issued a traffic ticket for Ripley Town Court at a later date.

 

 

A city man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and, 10 years supervised release for his conviction for distribution of Child Pornography. 

 

Acting U.S. James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that U-S District Court Judge, Elizabeth Wolford, hand down the sentenced on Friday to 46 year-old Christopher Whitford. 

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Baumgarten, who handled the case, says that in May of last year Whitford shared files using a 'peer-to-peer' file sharing program with an undercover police officer. 

 

In June of 2016 she says a federal search warrant was executed at the defendant's residence and, investigators found several electronic media items that were seized.

 

 

People were trying to keep cooler on a very hot, Fall Day at the annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival some were under a tree listening to a string quintet. 

 

Another place people were staying cool was inside the Miller House across from the Busti Grist Mill.  Some members of the Busti Historical Society, who put on the event were inside. 

 

Among them member Judy Schultz said, while many people left by late afternoon it was a "great day."  Schultz says the demonstation building was full "constantly.." and, adds there were new demonstrators this year. 

 

Judy Schultz says their new demonstrations this year included a glass-blower and, horseshoer.  Her husband, Bob, was talking to people about the Miller House which the historical society acquired about 10 years ago.  He says it was originally built in 1846 for the person running the gristmill. 

 

Both Bob and Judy Schultz were among several historical society members dressed in 1840s-to-1850s clothing for the event.

 

 

In New York state government news, Governor Andrew Cuomo is once again slamming a proposal from Washington Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The Democratic governor says the latest idea, from Republican U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy, would cut billions in critical funding for the state's health care system.  Cuomo says that while the measure would give states greater flexibility in how they design their own health care system, the cuts would devastate hospitals and jeopardize coverage for as many as 2.7 million New Yorkers. 

 

Meanwhile, Democratic Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein of Brooklyn has been tapped to lead the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee.  It's the first time a woman will chair the powerful committee, which oversees the Assembly's work on the state budget.

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News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 22, 2017

Hung Jury declared in Saeli trial...
A "hung jury" has been confirmed in the trial of a north county man accused of kidnapping a 13 year-old autisic boy in Fredonia last year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says a mistrial was declared this afternoon in the case of 38 year-old Samuel Saeli because the 12-member jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision.  The jury spent Thursday... and, today deliberating for several hours.  Swanson says the jury continued deliberations today... but, following an eighth note from jury in which the foreman said they remained deadlocked... Acting County Court Judge Paul Wojtaszek declared a hung jury.  Swanson says the case will be re-tried... but, did not yet have a date for a pre-trial conference yet.
 
 
City man arrested for allegedly assaulting woman on westside...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman... and, taking her credit card during a domestic incident early this morning.  City police say they were called to the scene in the 300-block of Jefferson Street about 12:30 a.m., and, on arrival, they found that 56 year-old David Payne, Junior had allegedly taken the victim's credit card.  After returning to the home... Payne allegedly struck the victim in the face several times, injuring her eye.  He was arrested on charges of fourth-degree assault... and, Grand Larceny.  Payne is being held pending arraignment.
 
 
NWS Forecaster says unseasonably warm weather to remain until early next week...
Fall is getting off to a start that feels more like summer than fall!  The Autumnal Equinox began at 4 this afternoon... but, the unseasonably mild weather will continue for several more days.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Reynolds explains no major pattern changes in the works, at least in the short-term.  Reynolds says a "real strong ridge of high pressure" has allowed a lot of warm air to move into the region.  He says we may see some upper 80s in some places over the weekend and into early next week.  Temperatures are expected to hit the 80s over the next several days... away from Lake Erie.  The National Weather Service is out with the latest three-month outlook and it appears the same weather pattern will continue with above normal temperatures for Western New York.  He says there will be some colder days in there, but, not as many as usual.  There are also equal chances for above and below normal precipitation levels.  The record high in Buffalo for this Saturday is 86 degrees.  Forecasters say that's one record that could be broken.
 
 
Disagreement comes over use of bed tax dollars in County Executive's debate in Jamestown...
The "balanced" approach that Chautauqua County has taken regarding the use of it's occupancy tax revenues... and, other assets... have helped boost local tourism and the economy.  Those are the feelings of Republican County Executive Candidate George Borrello during a candidates debate in Jamestown last night in response to a point by Democrat Mike Ferguson.  Ferguson noted that the county should have provided the money needed for shoreline clean-up for Chautauqua Lake sooner -- not in late August.  Borrello defended the way the county uses it's bed tax monies... saying it's the only one in New York state that goes to where it should -- tourism and the county's lakes.  Ferguson also said the county should not be using the bed tax to support events like the PGA 's Web.com Tour event at Peek 'n Peak in Findley Lake.  The county approved $75,000 for the event this year... and, provided $150,000 last year.  Ferguson says he supports the golf tournament... but, believes that money could have been better spent taking care of the lake's issues.  However... Ferguson says that's what sponsorship and other funding mechanisms are used for in supporting such events.  He says he did that sort of work with the Jamestown Jammers, and at the Northwest Arena several years ago.  Borrello says the county's investment in the tournament helped draw thousands of people and millions of dollars in tourism to the county.
 
 
Annual Busti Apple Festival ready to go Saturday...
Final preparations are taking place for the annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival... which is set to go this Sunday on the Busti Historial Society grounds... near the five-corners in the hamlet.  Historical Society members are urging people to come early this year because it's expected to be unseasonably warm... and, there's usually a crowd to buy all the apple and other items being sold.  One of the organizers... Judy Schultz... says they'll have 85 vendors this year -- and they all have one distinction -- they have to be hand-crafted.  Schultz says they'll have a glass-blowing vendor this year... who will also do some demonstrations.  She says this man makes several unique kinds of glass-ware.  Of course... she adds they'll have all kinds of Apple items... and, others... including pulled pork and flour.  The Busti Apple Harvest Festival runs Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is $5 each.  Proceeds are split between the Historical Society and Busti Fire Department.  Schultz says parking is free... but, no pets please.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Two Jamestown residents have been arreste for allegedly being found in possession of of a loaded assault rifle in their southside home. 

 

City police say during an investigation of 40 year-old Gabriel Harrison and 37 year-old Stacy Thayer

 

they determined both had the gun in their possession.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and State Police C-NET Team raided the home at 103 McKinley Avenue late Tuesday afternoon. 

 

Police say they found the loaded, SKS 7.62 rifle, with ammunition inside the residence.  Both Harrison and Thayer were arraigned on one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

Representative Tom Reed met with local farmers Wednesday afternoon to update them on three issues yet to get through Congress: immigration, trade and tax reform. 

 

He believes all three will eventually get attention but, he says tax reform will get immediate attention.  The Corning Republican says the next item will be immigration and DACA because of the president's six-month deadline for legislation. 

 

Reed says recent bi-partisan efforts in Washington leave him 'more optimistic' that all three issues will be successfully dealt with.  Much of the hour long discussion at the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield focused on some of the technical issues in tax reform and immigration currently under debate. 

 

Chautauqua County Farm Bureau President Dick Kimball says action is needed but hard to come by for all the issues Reed discussed.  Kimball says it's "simple" when you just look at "your side" of the issue. 

 

Around 30 farmers and ag leaders attended the event along with Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan.

 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has finalized his proposed 2018 county budget but, we'll have to wait another week before we can find out the details. 

 

Horrigan will be unveiling his final budget as County Executive during the next County Legislature meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27

 

Horrigan spoke yesterday about what he intends to include in the budget presentation to county lawmakers.  He says the budget will highlight investments, challenges they face, and revenues and taxes. 

 

We asked Horrigan whether the approval of an extension of the 8 percent sales has been helpful in putting together the budget plan.  He says it's "an important aspect" of the budget in being able to hold down property taxes. 

 

Horrigan, who is leaving public office at the end of the year, says he will also address issues such as infrastructure and the environment of the county's lakes. 

 

The Legislature has until December 1st to pass a 2018 budget.  County residents are invited to attend the presentation at the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.

 

 

The Jamestown Policeman's union has announced it's backing Republican candidate George Borrello for Chautauqua County Executive. 

 

The Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association announced the endorsement this week for the town of Hanover legislator.  Borrello is finishing up his fourth-term on the panel. 

 

Kendall Club-PBA President Jason Donato says members "overwhelmingly passed" the endorsement at their Sept. 13 meeting.

 

 

After announcing a new venue for an event to raise money and awareness to aspects of the drug addiction epidemic in Chautauqua County the first-ever "Rally to Recover Jamestown" will be held this Saturday at the Sherwood Arts Complex. 

 

Co-organizer Chanda Lynn Germain says that not only local, but national support centers will be available for those struggling with addiction through scholarships to help them get into treatment. 

 

Centers on the roster for Rally to Recover Jamestown include "No More Heroin" from Flordia, "Hope" from Ohio, and the Addiction Response Ministry of Chautauqua; as well as several other non-profit organizations. 

 

Germain and her grandmother Adrian Smith-Madden add they are also trying "to bring hope" to those suffering because of addiction and knowledge to those who may unaware of the epidemic in the community. 

 

National speakers and musical artists are also scheduled to take the stage for the event which runs from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.  For more information, please visit the "Rally to Recover Jamestown" Facebook page.  The event is free and open to everyone.

 

 

The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Neighborhood Block Challenge program has been successful in improving several smaller neighborhood areas across the city. 

 

With that the JRC is looking to expand the program into four target areas starting in 2019.  Corporation leaders presented the findings of a study done by czb Consultants at Monday night's City Council meeting. 

 

Neighborhood Project Manager Mary Maxwell says these projects will be longer term taking up to five-years to complete. 

 

JRC Board Co-Chairman Len Faulk says that when they helped fix homes in specific areas of the city the effect spread to other homes in that area.  He adds that when they helped fix up properties that also had a positive impact on home values. 

 

Faulk says those properties have seen a 5-percent increase in what they sell for.  He says that's a "great trend." 

 

The four target areas are the northside along Lakeview Avenue the westside along Fairmount Avenue Hazeltine and Forest Avenues and, the area of Allen Park and UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  Applications will be available next year.  For more information go to the JRC website.

 

 

There is no change in prices at the gas pump this week for Chautauqua County motorists. 

 

That from the AAA's Gas Price report.  Gas prices in the Jamestown-area held steady at $2.69-cents per gallon.  As gas prices drop for the majority of the country, so does the nation's gasoline inventory, which can mostly be attributed to motorist filling their tanks by the droves in preparation for Hurricane Irma. 

 

Today's national gas price average is $2.60.  Motorists can find current gas prices along their route at Gasprices.aaa.com.

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WJTN News Headlines

Forecasters are keeping an eye on two major storms in the Atlantic Ocean but, the storms are not expected to have impact on Western New York's weather. 

 

That from Meteorologist Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says Tropical Storm Jose has 65 MPH winds and may bring heavy rain and strong winds to Long Island and lower New England as it moves northward. 

 

Mitchell says there'll be high waves and a lot of surf.  We may only see some high clouds from Jose.  Meanwhile, there's a lot of concern in Puerto Rico about Hurricane Maria, which has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm.  Mitchell says San Juan has been getting hit hard by the hurricane. 

 

Here in Western New York, expect mid-summer conditions to continue over the next several days with highs close to 80 away from Lake Erie.  He says high pressure has built into the region and with overnight lows in the 60s the A/C is coming on in a lot of homes.

 

 

The cause of a fire at a vacant home on Jamestown's westside early yesterday morning remains under investigation. 

 

City Fire Battlion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 8 Whitley Avenue shortly before 3:30 a.m. 

 

Finson says, on arrival, they found a lot of fire coming from the front portion of the house coming initially from the basement area.  He says firefighters saw an open side door but, a quick search found no one inside.  Finson says they got the blaze under control in about 10 minutes.

 

 

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is pressing TransUnion and Experian to explain what cybersecurity they have in place to protect sensitive consumer information following a recent breach at Equifax that exposed the data of 143 million Americans. 

 

In letters to executives at the two credit monitoring companies the Democratic attorney general asked them to describe their existing security systems as well as what changes they've made since the Equifax cyberattack. 

 

Schneiderman also wants to know whether the companies will consider waiving the fees for consumer credit freezes in light of the breach.

 

 

The city of Jamestown has been given a "clean-bill" of financial health for it's 2016 budget. 

 

That from local accountant John Trussalo who did the city's independent, third-party audit for the past year and, presented his 66-page report to the City Council Monday night. 

 

Trussalo says the best news was in the beginning summary of the audit report on the approximately $35-million spending plan.  He says the first-page includes the summary that their opinion is "unmodified" which is the "cleanest" opinion the city could get. 

 

Trussalo says there were no significant weaknesses or problems found with the city's finances.  Trussalo noted that the city failed to meet it's revenue projections in the 2016 spending plan.  However they were able to keep spending well under what was budgeted. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says that helped the city only wind up being $20,000 in the red.  Trussalo says the city started the year by using $409,000 from it's 2015 fund-balance to help balance out the 2016 spending plan.

 

 

The Cummins Engine Company Tuesday took the wraps off it's new, $47-million X-12 Engine line at the Jamestown Engine Plan that is both state-of-the art, and energy efficient. 

 

Plant managers were joined by officials with National Grid Company which assisted in putting in new LED lights, and other improvements. 

 

Cummins Plant Manager Mike Abbate says with the fact they have a one-million square foot facility near Ashville they need to think in terms of being environmentally-friendly, and more efficent. 

 

Abbate says they're trying to position the plant so that they can be their customers "first choice" for the best engines and drive-trains.  Plant Director of Machining, Faclities and Central Services, Randy Myers, outlined many of the projects they undertook noting that they have taken on a total of 12 energy efficiency and environmental projects in the past five years. 

 

Myers says that includes 3,000 LED lights alone.  With the X-12 line Cummins now has five engines they manufacture at the Jamestown Engine Plant.  Four of them run on diesel fuel while one runs on natural gas. 

 

Abbate says Cummins plans to introduce another heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022.  However, no details are being released at this time.

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WJTN Headlines

An overnight fire has extensively damaged part of a vacant, two-story home on Jamestown's westside. 

 

City Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 8 Whitley Ave. shortly before 3:30 this morning. 

 

Finson says, on arrival, they found a lot of fire on the front corner of the house extending from the basement area to the roof.  He adds that firefighters found a side door open, and did a quick search, but found no one inside.  He says it took about 10-mintues to bring the blaze under control and, they spent about 45 minutes overhauling the scene. 

 

Finson says an off-duty shift of 15 firefighters was called in.  He adds that two of them suffered minor injuries, but, were able to stay at the scene. 

 

Finson says crews were at the scene for nearly two-hours.  He says all services were shut-off to the house.  The cause remains under investigation.

 

 

The first "Rally to Recover Jamestown" event to raise money and awareness in the fight against drug addiction is a go at a new location on the city's eastside this Saturday

 

The city has been working closely with organizers to have the event staged at the Sherwood Arts Complex in the former Dahlstrom's building on East Second Street. 

 

City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Maria Jones says since organizers Chanda Lynn Germain and her grandmother, Adrian Smith-Madden, moved the event to a private location they didn't need to go through council. 

 

Jones says they had been working with the fire chief and building inspector to address safety matters.  She says they still have to comply with building and fire codes to hold the event. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi was asked to speak at the event but, will be at a family function out of town.  He says he's asked Council President Greg Rabb to represent him there. 

 

"Rally to Recover Jamestown" will feature a number of local and national speakers on the Heroin and Opioid Crisis and, several regional bands will also take part.  It will run at the Sherwood Arts Complex from 1 to 11 p.m. this Saturday, September 23rd.

 

 

The deployment of more than 100 members of the New York Army National Guard and state police to the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with hurricane recovery efforts is on hold because of another storm approaching the region. 

 

National Guard officials said Monday that the departure of 100 soldiers in a Buffalo-based military police unit and 30 troopers has been delayed because of Hurricane Maria, which has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it pushes toward the eastern Caribbean. 

 

The New York contingent was set to depart from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station aboard a military aircraft for St. Thomas, one of several Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he was sending aid to the U.S. Virgin Islands during a one-day visit to the U.S. territory last Friday.

 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's finance team will have a couple of extra days to work out a new budget plan for next year and, they'll need that time to get a spending plan ready. 

 

Teresi says due to the actual deadline day being on a Sunday, and the following Monday being a holiday, the budget will be due on Tuesday, October 10

 

Teresi says he, City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, and new Administrative Services Director Todd Thomas, have been meeting often lately on the proposal.  He says they'll be meeting almost daily from here on. 

 

Teresi says the challenges include exceeding budgeted overtime costs this year in the police and fire departments and, the department of Public Works.  He says due to budget constraints in recent years they start every year in a "deficit" situation. 

 

The state had agreed to give the city a one-time, $1-million infusion of cash for 2017 but, Teresi says they haven't received that money yet.  Teresi says another strain on the budget has been providing the money to support the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force to deal with the city's on-going Heroin and Opioid Abuse crisis. 

 

The date the budget presentation will be made was incorrection on a couple of our stations this morning.  However, it will be on Tuesday, Oct. 10th.  Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.

 

 

The problem of overcrowding is once again a concern at the Chautauqua County Jail. 

 

That from Sheriff Joe Gerace who says they have had to board out 22 inmates to other county jails in Western New York.  Gerace says one of the factors has to do with parole violators which currently number 22.  He called it very frustrating. 

 

The Sheriff says the county has to pay $85 per inmate per day, and does not receive any reinbursement from the state.  Gerace says he is working with area State Senator Cathy Young on possible legislation to get those people back to state prison. 

 

The cost of boarding out inmates comes at the same time as County Executive Vince Horrigan is finalizing his proposed 2018 budget.

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WJTN Headlines

A Dayton woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in a drunk-driving crash in the town of Villanova early yesterday morning. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene on Flucker Hill Road shortly after Midnight Sunday and, found that 30 year-old Ashley Knopf was driving at a high rate of speed when her vehicle left the road and became airborne and struck a tree and utility pole.  She was taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Further investigation determined that Knopf was drunk and, she was charged with speeding and DWI.  She was issued appearance tickets for Villenova Town Court.

 

 

A Frewsburg woman suffered minor injuries early this morning when her car reportedly ran a stop sign at a town of Stockton intersection and crashed into a ditch. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Bobbie Jo Ostrom was traveling on Munger Road shortly before 4 a.m. when she failed to stop for the sign at the intersection with Route 380. 

 

Deputies say that Ostrom's car then went into the ditch.  She was taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries but, a male passenger was not hurt. 

 

Ostrom was ticketed for failure to stop, and being an unlicensed operator.

 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed spent much of last Saturday's town hall meeting in Kiantone addressing the issue of health care and, what's happening right now. 

 

Several residents asked the Corning Republican about proposed legislation in the U-S Senate that would "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. 

 

However, Reed says he doesn't agree with the Cassidy-Graham bill because it doesn't consider three areas the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs deal with.  He says they are to first stablize the current ACA exchanges, provide options where they aren't available and stop the 30 and 40% premium exchanges.  He adds the GOP wanted to have a "small business" in the law defined as 500 workers as opposed to 50. 

 

However, one woman expressed worries about losing provisions for pre-existing conditions and re-instatement of "high-risk" pools.  She called those "death panels." 

 

There was also heated discussion over how the Trump Administration has been dealing with the immigrantion issue.  Town Halls were also held last Saturday in Fredonia and, Ellicottville in Cattaraugus County.

 

 

The president genially calls them "Chuck and Nancy." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his House counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, have used two White House meetings to become Trump's dealmaking partners on the budget and immigration. 

 

They have a combined 67-year record of being willing negotiators in Congress.  But they're also partisan Democrats who are perfectly happy to rumble.  Each has clashed often with Republicans. 

 

The GOP even uses Pelosi's image in campaign commercials to vilify Democrats, while President Trump has derided the New York Democrat as "Cryin' Chuck."

 

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies or state officers from inquiring about or sharing a person's immigration status.  The new rule bars state police and other state law enforcement agencies from asking about a person's right to be in the country when they're the victim of a crime or a witness. 

 

It also means state agencies won't be able to share a person's immigration status with federal authorities, except in certain situations, such as a law enforcement investigation.  The Democratic governor issued the executive order late last Friday.

 

 

Chautauqua County's new director of Emergency Services says he's excited to get started and, working to provide better services to county residents. 

 

John Griffith comes to the position with about 35 years of experience in fire and emergency services, as a businessman, and former town supervisor. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan announced late last week that Griffith will begin his new position on October 2nd.  He replaces Julius Leone who will be retiring at the end of October. 

 

In addition to supporting the county's 42 fire departments, Horrigan says Griffith will head-up two ongoing programs, one is the county's new Fly-Car program.  He says the other will be helping local departments with recruitment efforts. 

 

In addition to being Fire Chief in Ellington Griffith was Ellington Town Supervisor from 1992-to-1999.  He has also been co-owner of Zahm and Matson, based in Falconer.

 

 

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2017 General Campaign is off to a "strong start." 

 

Even before last Friday night's official kick-off at the Southwestern Varsity Football game the effort had already gotten a major "kick-start." 

 

Executive Director Tory Irgang says the annual Pacesetter's Campaign brought in 11-percent of the $1,325,000 goal.  Irgang says they a few new activities planned and, workplace campaign's will begin within the next month or so. 

 

Irgang says she's excited by this year's Campaign Chairwoman.  Jane Cleaver-Becker who is chairing her first campaign and, has some new ideas for this year's effort. 

 

A new video presentation helped the effort last year and, Irgang says there's a new one for this year.  She says a group of employees who contribute get to take an "impact tour" of local agencies to see how their dollars are used. 

 

Irgang says this year's goal is a slight increase over the past couple of years.  For more information on the 2017 General Campaign she says go on-line to uwayscc.org or call 483-1561.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 16, 2017

Reed hosts first of three town hall meetings in Kiantone this morning...
There were smaller numbers... but, the passions were just as high for a couple of federal issues during a town hall meeting hosted by local Congressman Tom Reed in Kiantone this morning.  There were about 50 people on hand at the Kiantone Fire Hall... and, many expressed concerns over two proposals now being considered by the U-S Senate.  Reed says he opposes the Cassidy-Graham bill because it doesn't consider three areas the Problem Solvers Caucus he co-chairs deal with.  He says one was to stablize the current Affordable Care Act exchanges... and, guarantee payments to insurance companies, a stability fund that states would have access to exchange funding, and that would also help states that have only one, or no exchanges left.  On the Republican side... Reed says they were able to get Democrats to agree to increasing the number of employees to be considered for a small business from 50 to 500 workers... and, set the "work week" provision at 40 hours instead of the current 30.  There were also heated discussion over how the Trump Administration has been dealing with the immigrantion issue.  Town Halls are also being held today in Fredonia and Ellicottville.  The 50 people on hand this morning was about a quarter of the number at two previous town halls this year in the immediate Jamestown-area.
 
 
Former Ellington Supervisor John Griffith named as new county Emergency Services Director...
An Ellington man with more than 35 years experience in the fire and emergency services, and many years as a businessman, has been named Chautauqua County's new Emergency Services Director.  County Executive Vince Horrigan Friday afternoon announced that John Griffith will begin his new position on October 2nd... replacing Julius Leone... who will be retiring after 15 years as director at the end of October.  Horrigan says Griffith has a wide variety of experience in the fire service... including Battalion Coodinator, Hazmat crew member, and fire chief.  He adds that Griffith has also been a successful businessman in the Jamestown-area.  Griffith has been Fourth Battalion Coordinator since 2012.  He was Ellington Town Supervisor from 1992-to-1999.  For nearly 20 years... Griffith was also co-owner of the Zahm and Matson John Deere dealership in Falconer.  He thanked Horrigan for the appointment... saying it's an honor to be chosen.
 
 
Jamestown man arrested for allegedly robbery late this week...
A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly robbing a woman of $300 in cash at knife-point early Thursday afternoon on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say officers were called to the scene at 124 Barrows Street just after 1 p.m., and, found the female victim visabily upset and crying.  Police say she told them that 26 year-old Terin Butler took the money and fled the scene on foot.  They later found Butler at a location on Pine Street... and, he was detained there until the victim could arrive and identify him.  She positively identified the man... and, he was arrested for first-degree robbery and, first-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, second-degree menacing.  Butler was arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
United Way of So. Chautauqua County kicks-off -- literally -- it's 2017 Campaign...
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County kicked-off it's 2017 General Campaign last night -- literally -- at a local high school football game.  Leaders with this year's campaign held a "Live United" banner that players from the Southwestern Trojans ran through before last night's home opener against Allegheny-Limestone.  United Way Executive Director Tory Irgang says School Superintendent Maureen Donahue is a member of the Campaign Committee, and said Southwestern would like to host the unique kick-off.  Last night's kick-off event that was the first public event to begin the annual fund-raiser for the local human service agency.  Irgang says they're pleased to have Jane Cleaver-Becker as this year's chairperson. She adds that this year's goal is higher than in the past couple of years -- $1,325,000 -- which she calls "very achievable."  The United Way recently finished up it's Pacesetters Campaign... which has brought in 11-percent of their goal for this year.  For more information on the campaign... go on-line to www.uwayscc.org... or call 483-1561.
 
 

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News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 14, 2017

Remnants of Hurricane Irma brings about 2-inches of rain to Jamestown area...
The remnants of Hurricane Irma moved out of Western New York late yesterday morning... but portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties got some heavy rainfall during the early morning hours.  Enough in fact to cause some localized flooding.  In some locations, Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service says rainfall amounts reached over 2 inches in some places.  Reynolds says most places received at least an inch of rain.  There were reports of over 2 inches in the Jamestown area.  Kennedy received 2.3 inches, the greatest amount of rainfall in Chautauqua County.  Conditions slowly improved during the afternoon Thursday... with some sun breaking out later in the day.  Meanwhile, the Dunkirk-Fredonia area received only about a tenth of an inch of rain. 
 
 
Irma's rains cause High Water issues at JPD...
There were a few flooding problems in the immediate Jamestown-area Thursday due to the remnants of Irma.  Jamestown police have had flooding issues at headquarters in the basement of City Hall since early yesterday morning.  Officials say they had high water at the front entrance... as well as the command desk and entryway to the headquarters on the Second Street level of the building.  That are is closed until further notice.  Anyone needing to make a non-emergency call to JPD call the Mayville 9-1-1 center at 661-7232.
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The other issue was high-water on Route 394 in the area of Route 62 area near Kennedy.
 
 
Cuomo sends Air National Guard to southern states to help with relief efforts...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has sent units of the New York Army and Air National Guard to two southern states to assist in the response to Hurricane Irma.  The Democrat says 10 Blackhawk helicopters and 55 soldiers from the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade deployed Monday to Florida. The unit operates out of airports in Rochester, Albany and Ronkonkoma on Long Island.  The crews are flying to Richmond, Virginia, and are scheduled to arrive in Jacksonville on Tuesday.  Cuomo also has dispatched to Mississippi a C-17 cargo plane from the 105th Airlift Wing based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.  The seven-member crew is handling satellite communications in support of the Florida National Guard.  A plane from the 106th Rescue Wing based on Long Island also deployed Monday to Kentucky to transport military personnel to Florida.
 
 
City man arrested for trespassing...
A Jamestown man faces several charges for allegedly breaking into an apartment house on the city's southside, and then resisting police when he was being arrested.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 45 Baker Street late this past Tuesday night on a noise complaint.  On arrival... officers say they heard the sound of breaking glass... and, spotted a man climbing into a second-story window.  They later found 27 year-old Israel Aponte Camacho... and, tried to arrest him.  However... Camacho actively resisted verbal commands... but, he was taken into custody for second-degree criminal trespass... criminal mischief.. and obstruction.  He was jaile dpending arraignment.
 
 
Olean Man faces federal Bank Fraud charges for stealing nearly $500,000...
An Olean man has been arrested for alleged bank fraud following an investigation into his alleged withdrawl of nearly half-a-million dollars from a local business owner's account.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 53 year-old Joseph Stevens was recently arrested after he was found to have taken the money out over a three-and-a-half year period.  Kennedy says they found that Stevens had been hired by the unidentified business owner as a bookkeeper... and, was given responsibilities, including paying vendors, employee payroll, and personal and business tax return preparation.  The owner began learning about the problems in the Fall of last year... and, that Stevens had received a couple of checks -- not authorized -- that were made out to him.  Stevens was later arrested.  He faces up to 30 years in prison... and, a one-million dollar fine.
 
 
Horrigan to announce new Director of Emergency Services Friday...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has made a decision on who will be his new director of Emergency Services... and, will be announcing that choice this afternoon.  Horrigan says he'll be making the announcement outside the Office of Emergency Services on Academy Street at 3:30 PM.  Horrigan says he'll be joined by current director Julius Leone, Junior... and, members of the bi-partisan Emergency Services Director Search Committee.
 
 
State Budget borrowing in PA debated...
Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House of Representatives is sending the Senate a no-new-taxes borrowing package to help plug state government's $2.2-billion dollar budget gap.  The GOP-penned measure passed, 103-91, late Wednesday night, with heavy opposition by Democrats.  Pennsylvania's budget stalemate is in its third month and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf says the House GOP's plan doesn't solve the state's underlying financial problems.  The plan follows the collapse of earlier House GOP proposals. Republican Representative Paul Schemel of Franklin County, says it uses money the state already has.  But critics say it "robs Peter to pay Paul."
 
 
PA Uninsured Rate drops again in 2016...
The number of people without health insurance in Pennsylvania continues to decline, reaching what Democratic Governor Tom Wolf's office says is the lowest uninsured rate on record.  U.S. Census Bureau data released this week shows Pennsylvania's 2016 uninsured rate at 5.6 percent, tied for the 12th lowest rate in the nation.  That's down from 9.7 percent in 2013 and 6.4 percent in 2015.  The national uninsured rate was 8.6 percent last year.  The Census Bureau estimates 700,000 Pennsylvanians lacked health insurance last year, about 500,000 fewer than in 2013.  Pennsylvania expanded Medicaid in 2015 under the Obama administration's signature health care law, and Wolf's administration says more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians are covered through the law's Medicaid expansion or individual policies sold through the Healthcare.gov exchange.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Flames have destroyed a two-story home along Chautauqua Lake in the Vukote area of the town of Busti, just west of the village of Lakewood. 

 

Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene at 2398 Lakeside Drive shortly after 7 o'clock last night.  Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says firefighters found heavy fire coming from "all four sides" of the home on arrival. 

 

Hallberg says they also had to dodge a "live wire" that was down in the driveway.  He says they began pouring water on the home and, the exposure side of the home next door on the west side of the house.  Hallberg says the family inside the home escaped safely. 

 

Hallberg says it took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says the cause is under investigation but, says the residents heard a "popping noise" and then the fire started. 

 

Hallberg says they were joined at the scene by Ashville fire crews and Celoron was on stand-by.  No firefighters were injured.  However two pets perished in the blaze.

 

 

Due to last night's fire in the Lakewood-area Board of Public Utilities water customers on Fairmount Avenue and west toward the Ashville BOCES may see discolored water. 

 

A hydrant was used in fighting the blaze on Lakeside Drive.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says when hydrants open, the water stirs up any sediment that may be in the water lines.  Don't do laundry unless your water is clear.

 

 

There's been an unexpected turn in the attempted murder trial of a Buffalo-area man accused of attacking a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy last September. 

 

We learned late this afternoon that Chautauqua County Court Judge David Foley declared mistrial in the case.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the decision was made after Public Defender Ned Barone said a DNA report was never provided to his office.  It's a report he'd had since Spring and, adds he had fully-intended to get the report to Barone.  However it was not provided until the prosecution had begun presenting it's case.  It was then that Barone began asking for a mistrial. 

 

Barone says it's disheartening because he was feeling good about how the case was going from the defense's perspective.  However he adds he needs to have the evidence he's requested before trial.  Barone says not having that evidence made it harder for him to prepare his defense. 

 

Swanson says he takes responsibility for what happened and says they need to make upgrades and improvements to their procedures because technology and information gathering has changed a lot in the past 20 years. 

 

Judge Foley did deny Barone's initial request to dismiss the charges against Haffa including first-degree attempted murder.  A pre-trial conference has now been scheduled for Sept. 22.

 

 

A city man is jailed on a number of charges, including drug possession counts after allegedly leading police from several local agencies on a high-speed vehicle pursuit Monday night that started and, ended in Jamestown. 

 

City Police say officers spotted a pick-up truck, operated by 47 year-old Thomas Kimbrough, Senior, run a stop sign at the corner of Prather and Barrett Avenues shortly after 9 p.m. 

 

Police say they tried to stop the vehicle but Kimbrough allegedly sped off and police pursued him onto Baker Street Extension and into the town of Ellicott.  The chase then went into Lakewood, and West Ellicott before Kimbrough stopped on West 15th Street, and he fled on foot. 

 

Police say he was caught after a short foot chase, and found with 6.8-grams of cocaine packaged for sale.  He was also accused of driving while impaired. 

 

Kimbrough faces several charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.

 

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown area jumped 10-cents this week to $2.69 per gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

That from the AAA East Central's Gas Price Report.  The price for regular, unleaded at the pump continues to reflect the offline refineries in the south due to Hurricane Harvey, while simutaneously shortening the supply available. 

 

The current Energy Information Administration report says that regional gasoline supplies dropped to 60.5 million barrels last week.  At this time last year local gas prices sat at $2.39 per gallon a 30-cent difference.  Nationally the price is holding steady at $2.67 this week.

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WJTN Headlines

A medical emergency reportedly led to a motor vehicle accident in the town of Hanover that sent a north county woman to a Buffalo-area hospital early last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the car, operated by 60 year-old Linda Dolce of Irving went off Routes 5 and 20 last Friday afternoon, and struck a utility pole.  Deputies say Dolce was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  No charges have been filed. 

 

 

A Lakewood man accused of striking and killing another man in Ellery last year has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter in Chautauqua County Court. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that 29 year-old Jude Gagliano entered the plea late last week before County Court Judge David Foley in Mayville. 

 

Gagliano is scheduled to be sentenced next Nov. 6 for the September 2016 accident.  The newspaper says the guilty plea stems from an incident in which Gagliano's truck struck a car driven by 22-year-old Charles Clutter at the intersection of Sinclair Drive and Route 380 in the town of Ellery. 

 

Clutter, who was from Stockton, died in the crash.  Gaglino was allegedly driving drunk when the accident occured and, failed to stop at a stop sign.

 

 

The harmful Blue-Green Algal Blooms that have been widespread in the south basin of Chautauqua Lake are now showing up in the north basin, as well. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan who says he's not surprised by the development.  In recent weeks there had been wide-spread blooms in the shallower south basin with some around Bemus Bay in the area north of the lake bridge.  He says the county, and lake groups have been working on a number of fronts to fight the blooms and, the ongoing weed issues. 

 

Horrigan says lower lake levels and, warmer temperatures late this Summer have contributed to the problem, along with phospherous and other nutrients getting into the lake.  He says the phosphorous levels will be cut as a new, closed sewer system is installed around the lake.  He says another group the Chautauqua Lake Partnership just recently held it's wrap-up meeting in Bemus Point, and discussed the Bemus Bay situation. 

 

Horrigan adds that there are also widespread Algal Blooms in Findley Lake.

 

 

President Donald Trump has commemorated his first commemoration of the "9/11" attacks as commander-in-chief. 

 

Both Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump observed a moment of silence this morning in Washington in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people killed 16 years ago when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

 

There will be a ceremony in front of the Chautauqua County Courthouse at Noon today.  A Jamestown-area native was killed in the attacks in New York City. 

 

Amy King of Celoron was a flight attendant on the second-plane that hit the World Trade Center towers.

 

 

The city of Jamestown's effort to annex four-acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities in Falconer will be heading to court after the Falconer Village and Ellicott Town Boards rejected the proposal last week. 

 

The City Council approved the annexation of the Dow Street Substation property at it's late August voting session.  That left the matter to be voted on in Falconer and Ellicott before Sept. 12

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says the BPU recently prepared for the likelyhood of more legal action by approving up to another $60,000 to pay future legal fees. 

 

Teresi says that'll bring the total available to pay legal costs will be $105,000.  He says the BPU first approved a change-order on the original contract with their legal counsel to pay an additional $5,000 in fees.  He says they then voted on the additional legal fees for both the board, and the city. 

 

The town and village are fighting the move, saying it would cost them as well as the county and the Falconer School District, about $320,000 in tax revenues they take in. 

 

However, the BPU would save that money and, the school district and city would split about $160,000 in payments in-lieu of taxes.

 

 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says her visit to Westfield last Friday is an example of how the state is transitioning to a new economy. 

 

Hochul was on hand to help announce the opening of a high-tech fish production facility. 

 

TimberFish Technologies is putting into operation a treatment production system at the Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing facility on Route 20 in Westfield.

 

This will grow fish by reusing all by-product nutrients from the distillery and brewery production at the site combined with locally produced wood chips which she calls a "fascinating" way to take us to "a new economy." 

 

TimberFish is investing $555,000, and utilizing a Empire State Development's grant of $100,000 for the system.  The company intends to create 200 to 200 future jobs.

 

 

Some 8 million New Yorkers were affected by the massive cyberattack targeting the credit monitoring company Equifax. 

 

The figure comes from the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has launched an investigation into the massive breach.  In total, the cyberattack targeting the credit monitoring company exposed data belonging to 143 million Americans including Social Security numbers, birthdates and driver's license numbers. 

 

Schneiderman says his office aims to "get to the bottom" of how the breach occurred.  He says anyone worried about their own information should call the Equifax response line at 866-447-7559.  He also encouraged consumers to monitor their credit and their accounts to check for unfamiliar charges or activity.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 9, 2017

Randolph man arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin in the Catt. County town...
A Cattaraugus County man accused of selling Heroin to another person late last Spring in the town of Randolph has now been arrested.  Sheriff's deputies in LIttle Valley say they and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested 32 year-old Brandon Reynolds Thursday at this home at 28 Sheldon Street.  Officers accuse Reynolds of selling the illegal narcotic to another person back on May 25.  He was arraigned on charges of third-degree criminal sale... and, possession of a controlled substance and was taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.
 
 
Hochul in Westfield Friday to cut ribbon on new eco-tech business...
New York's second-in-command visited a new business in the town of Westfield that is using eco-technology to raise fish to benefit the local economy and the environment.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at yesterday's grand opening of TimberFish Technologies High-Tech Fishery located on the grounds of Five&20 Spirits & Brewing.  Hochul spoke about the state's investment of over $100,000 into the new tech approach to raising fish using wood chips and the by-products of local wineries and breweries... saying that it's needed because old technologies aren't working anymore.  State Senator Cathy Young first heard about TimberFish in 2008.  She feels it's a great way of reinventing what we are doing in agribusiness using waste products from businesses in the area.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Executive Vince Horrigan were also among the elected officials taking part in Friday's event.  
 
 
Horrigan says budget team is wrapping up work on 2018 spending plan...
The finishing touches are being put on Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan's final budget so it can be presented to county lawmakers by late this month.  Horrigan says much of the 2018 spending plan is coming together... but, the majority of it is mandated by the state.  He says there are a couple of state costs his budget team is still working to get a handle on with local state legislative representatives.  As for his budget team... Horrigan says both are very seasoned.  Horrigan says his former Budget Director, Kitty Crow, is now the Finance Director and is working with new Budget Director, Kathleen Dennison on the approximately $270-million spending plan.  Dennison was budget director for the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office before moving to overall budget director.  At this point... Horrigan still can't say whether there will be a tax increase or decrease next year.  However... he says he's confident that they will be under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  Horrigan says he will formally present the 2018 executive budget at the county legislature's September 27th meeting.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Penhollow says Falconer Schools off to "smooth" start...
They've had a "very smooth start" to the new school year in the Falconer Central School District.  That from School Superindent Steve Penhollow... who says they got in four full-days of school this week... and he says a big help was something they normally did at the beginning of the year... but, this year did it before the start of classes.  For the second year in a row... they have held all of their orientations and open houses prior to the start of the school year on Sept. 5.  Penhollow says enrollment in the Falconer School District is right around 1,200 -- right about where it has been in recent years.  He says they're currently down about 25 students total... mainly in the high school.  He says Fenner Elementary School is up about 15 this year.
 
 
The 30th anniversary "Battle of Businesses" underway...
It's the 30th anniversary of the YMCA's "Battle of the Businesses..." and competition gets underway in several sports and other contests today.  It's again being sponsored by the Lakewood Family "Y..." and, begins with it's most popular event -- pitch softball.  Lakewood Branch Manager Tom Anderson says several other events take place later for companies across the Jamestown area.  He says golf, bowling and pickle-ball begin Sunday.  Anderson believes the "Battle" brings companies-- and the community closer together.  He says it's "neat" to see top management people working together on a team with people who do maintenance work at a local company.  Anderson says it also allows businesses to become more familiar with others in the area.  This year's battle will take place September 9 -- 16.
 
 
Lakewood to pick up storm debris on Monday...
Storm debris from last Monday night's storm in Lakewood will begin next Monday morning...Sept. 11.  Mayor Cara Birritierri says this is a "one time" pickup.  She says if anyone has branches, or brush that came down in their yards due to the heavy winds that were part of that storm... you are asked to pile up the "Storm" debris only in the right-of-ways by Sunday night. 
 
 
 
 
   
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Due to today's rainy weather Stateline Speedway has postponed opening night of it's Fall Classic racing weekend tonight

 

Track officials say they will run the two-day show now on Saturday and Sunday nights. 

 

Again tonight's opening night for Stateline's fall weekend show has been called off until tomorrow night.  Saturday's program will now take place Sunday night.

 

 

A Bemus Point man, already wanted by police, has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of one-and-a-half pounds of Methamphetamine during a raid in the town of Ellery. 

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 41 year-old Gary Hannold of the Ellery-Centralia Road shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday on an indictment warrant. 

 

During the investigation Hannold was earlier stopped by a Sheriff's Department Patrol which allegedly found a quantity of Meth in the car.  Hannold was later indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, and charged with Unlawfully Possessing with Intent to Distribute more than 50 grams of Methamphetamine. 

 

The total found in the house was 680 grams.  Hannold was arrested and taken to the county jail without bail.  He will be arraigned in U-S District Court at a later date. 

 

Authorities continue to ask residents to contact them if they see suspicious or narcotics related activity 1-800-344-8702.

 

 

A Warren County, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and marijuana during a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside. 

 

City police say they and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force pulled over the car for an alleged traffic infraction and, arrested 55 year-old William Dale, Senior of Russell. 

 

Officers say they found that Dale's driving privledges were suspended in New York and, they also found 11.5-grams of Meth and, 2.6-grams of pot.  Police add their investigation also led to a location where they also found another 6-ounces of Meth. 

 

Dale was charged with second and third-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment. 

 

Anyone with information on any illegal drug activity is asked to call their anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also send a message to their Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

 

Weather forecasters in western New York are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma, as residents of Florida either evacutate or brace for the deadly hurricane which could be record-breaking storm. 

 

The hurricane has devastated parts of the Carribean already with winds up to 185 MPH.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there are long range forecasts showing the remnants of the storm bringing rainfall here by the middle of next week. 

 

Chautauqua County Emergency Services Coordinator Julius Leone says they're working with state and federal officials that includes the New York State Emergency Management Office, and NOAA. 

 

At this point Jim Mitchell says it's still too early to tell how much rainfall we could get out of storm system because the storm will have lost a lot of it's punch once it gets here.  Leone says the area has been impacted by floods caused by previous storms where we've had tremendous amounts of rain from them. 

 

The remnants of Hurricane Agnes in 1972 brought record rainfall amounts to parts of the region.  In fact Wellsville received a record 13.9-inches from Agnes.

 

 

The Ellicott Town Board has followed it's colleagues in Falconer in voting unanimously against two resolutions rejecting the city of Jamestown's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village that is owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says the panel yesterday afternoon voted against a "negative declaration" on the city's Environmental Assessment Form for the effort. 

 

McLaughlin says they also rejected the actual annexation measure, 5-0.  McLaughlin declined to go on tape but, did say this is, quoted - "the saddest day I've had here since I became town supervisor."

_____

 

Wednesday night the Falconer Village Board voted 5-0 on the same two measures.  That means that, outside of the city council the two other boards directly involved have rejected the resolutions. 

 

Village Mayor Jim Rensel says both items were voted down unanimously, 5-0.  Rensel declined comment Thursday morning. 

 

The proposed annexation would cost the village, the Falconer School District, Chautauqua County, and town of Ellicott, about $320,000 total in tax dollars that the four entities would lose if the annexation goes through.

 

 

The retiring director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has received the organization's highest award in his final year of service. 

 

Randy Sweeney became the 25th recipient of the John D. Hamilton Community Service Award last night during a dinner presentation at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville. 

 

Selection Committee Chairwoman Bridget Johnson said Sweeney is not only director of the foundation but, gives his time to help several local organizations carry out their missions. 

 

Those organizations include the Robert H. Jackson Center, and the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Sweeney's son Adam, and wife, Peggy also spoke.  Peggy Sweeney presented a tongue-in-cheek slide show about the Randy Sweeney those attending didn't know. 

 

In accepting the Hamilton Award, Sweeney recalled moving up to be a Vice-President at the former Quality Markets.  He says the owners wanted to do more with the community and, that's when he realized "how important that service is to the communities and the individuals involved."  He is celebrating his 20th year as director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation during his final year with the foundation which has seen continued growth during his tenure.

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WJTN Headlines

Falconer village lawmakers have voted unanimously against the city of Jamestown's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village that is owned by the Board of Public Utilities. 

 

Village Mayor Jim Rensel confirms the 5-0 vote took place at Wednesday night's meeting at village hall. Rensel says there were two votes taken, the first was to reject the city council's "negative declaration" that the annexation would have no environmental impacts and, the other regarded the annexation itself. 

 

Rensel declined further comment Thursday morning.  Village officials have rejected the proposed annexation which would cost the village, the Falconer School District, Chautauqua County, and town of Ellicott about $320,000 total in tax revenues all four entities would lose if the annexation goes through. 

 

The Ellicott Town Board is voting this afternoon on the annexation which has been approved by the Jamestown City Council.

 

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman believes it was a wise move by President Trump to phase-out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA Program. 

 

The Corning Republican says he agrees with the president in not just cutting off DACA but for providing a six month window of opportunity for Congress to finally act on the issue. 

 

Reed says he would like the 800-thousand people, who were brought here as children, be allowed to stay.  However he says legislative action is needed to deal with the matter not just executive orders, because "what can be done by executive orders can be undone by executive orders." 

 

Reed says he is hopeful that some kind of legislation can be enacted by the Senate and House and, that it may ultimately lead to comprehensive Immigration Reform.  He says it could also be part of a border security measure.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 

 

Hurricane Harvey is having a significant impact on the prices of gasoline across the nation and, Chautauqua County. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded, is up 15-cents a gallon from last week.  AAA says the local price which was $2.44 a gallon last week is now nearly $2.59 a gallon. 

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that prices across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region continue to follow the trend of having some of the most expensive states in the country.  Nationally AAA says the average price is now $2.65 a gallon.  Motorists in 26 states are paying 25 to 44 cents more for a gallon of unleaded compared to seven days ago.

 

 

The new head of the Jamestown Public Schools says they had a good and "uneventul" start to the new school year Wednesday. 

 

Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says there were no significant problems reported to him yesterday during the opener which was a half-day of school. 

 

Apthorpe had been working with former interim Superintendent Sylvia Root late this Summer to get ready to hit the ground-running on September 1st after coming from the Frontier District.  He says he's excited to be back in Chautauqua County where he grew up in Mayville. 

 

Apthorpe says there's something special about the area and, it's really "the jewel of New York State."  He says there have been some capital projects taking place at Bush Elementary and Jefferson Middle Schools but, adds both schools were "buttoned up" about two-weeks before classes started.  He comes to Jamestown after serving a few years as superintendent at Frontier.  He says he was impressed with the Jamestown district from the moment he got to meet members of the school board. 

 

Apthorpe is a 1983 graduate of the former Mayville Central School District.

 

 

A coalition of more than 100 nonprofit community service organizations is urging New York's congressional delegation to reject proposed budget cuts to food stamps, Medicaid and other social programs. 

 

The group wrote to the state's federal lawmakers Thursday asking them to fight the cuts, which they said would devastate services for the most vulnerable residents.  Groups that signed on to the letter include child advocacy organizations, food banks, community service groups and religious organizations like Catholic Charities and the state's Council of Churches. 

 

In the letter, the groups say that proposals to cut billions of dollars from family assistance programs, the Child Tax Credit and Medicaid are "deeply disturbing."  They say Congress should find a bipartisan solution that protects services and avoids big problems at the state and national level.

 

 

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency has been named a fellow at the Fordham University School of Law's Center on National Security. 

 

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who led the agency from 2013 until January of this year, took the new position Tuesday.  The New York Times reports he has been named a distinguished fellow for global security and will participate in the Center on National Security's programs. 

 

Brennan says he also will mentor students at Fordham University who are interested in government service and national security. He graduated from the school in 1977, earning a degree in political science. 

 

Karen Greenberg, the founding director of the center, says Brennan will be the first fellow with the title of distinguished fellow.

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WJTN Headlines

The search is continuing for two men who allegedly held up the 575 Convenience Mart on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott early Tuesday morning. 

 

Ellicott Town Police say the two male suspects entered the store about 5:30 a.m., armed with knives.  They then assaulted the store clerk.  Police say a quantity of cash was taken from the cash register. 

 

At this time, Ellicott Police are asking for the public's help in finding the robbers.  If you have any information call Ellicott Police at 665-7083.

 

 

A sharp cold front moving through western New York late Monday into early Tuesday triggered a wave of severe thunderstorms that caused damage across portions of both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

 

That from Forecaster Jeff Wood with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Wood says there was a "clashing" of air masses involved one was very warm, while a sharp cold front pushed through it with strong winds aloft.  Wood says there were many reports of trees and power lines down across the region and, adds that top winds were in the north county, where there was a 60-mph an hour wind gust in Fredonia and a 59 mph gust at the Dunkirk Airport.  Among the many damage reports, a tree toppled onto a house in Silver Creek.

 

 

Thousands of students across Chautauqua County began school Tuesday while some others start today. 

 

Among those starting classes today is the Jamestown Public Schools which will have a half-day of school for all grade levels. 

 

That from new School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who began his tenure last Friday, Sept. 1.  However, Apthorpe has been working closely with former interim Superintendent Sylvia Root on the transition.  He says he's been catching up and, is enjoying his work especially seeing the excitement in the kids. 

 

Apthorpe says the main word for opening day is "safety" because so many students walk to school in Jamestown.  He says that number totals more than 4,000 students will be attending this year.  He says most of the kids are just learning their routes to school so motorists need to exercise care.

 

 

Four teenagers had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after their car was involved in a rollover crash in the town of Mina.

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Sulpher Springs Road about 8 p.m. Sunday night on a report of an accident.  Deputies say the teens were in a westbound car at an apparent high rate of speed, when the car left the road and overturned several times before hitting a utility pole, shearing it in half. 

 

All four juveniles were taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.  The accident remains under investigation.

 

 

It appeared by late yesterday that everyone who lost power in the Jamestown Board of Public Utliities' service area had power back after dozens of customers in the city and surrounding area lost elecricity during powerful overnight storms. 

 

That from BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins, who says the outages began shortly after 11 p.m. Monday when a line of storms with strong winds hit the area. 

 

Robbins says they had Electric Division crews out quickly and, they had portions of Jamestown and Celoron restored by late Tuesday morning.  She says they had a long-list of places that had lost power including the area of King, English, and Tower Streets which also includes the English Hill Substation as well as a Water Division pump station. 

 

In addition Robbins says that several customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna and, on Elmwood Avenue in Falconer lost power during the overnight hours.  She says in West Ellicott Howard, Warwick and Elmwood Avenues also lost power for some time. 

 

Robbins says there may still be an outage here or there.  If you have not had power restored call the BPU at 661-1660 and dial Extension 3.

 

 

There's a major vote being taken by Teamster's Union members across New York state today that would reduce their pension benefits significantly. 

 

That from Local Congressman Tom Reed who is urging retired members of the Teamsters union to make sure to vote by today's deadline and, to vote "no" on the proposal. 

 

Reed says he has been working with some of the local retirees who are among the 35,000 who would be impacted by the final vote.  Reed says they're facing a 29% reduction in their pensions.  He says he doesn't know how many of them are going to survive with such a cut in their pension. 

 

Reed says retirees can vote over the phone or on-line.  Reed says under the plan, present workers are also looking at an 18-percent reduction due to problems in the pension fund.   Teamsters leaders say they need the concession because they don't have the money to fully fund the pension plan. 

 

However, Reed says retirees need to have their voices heard especially regarding the need for an alternative that doesn't cut funding like the union is calling for. 

 

Reed adds that if a retired member doesn't vote directly he will be counted as a "yes" vote.

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WJTN Headlines

Electric crews with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are continuing to work on several scattered outages in the area that occured during the overnight storms that hit the region. 

 

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outages occured shortly after 11 p.m. Mondaywhen a line of storms with strong winds hit the area. 

 

Robbins says the gusty winds were especially a problem with many tree and limbs falling onto power lines across the area.  She says one trouble area on the city's westside, King, English and Tower Streets had power restored by late morning. 

 

The English Hill pump station also lost power for a while.  Robbins said late this morning that there were still some outages in the village of Celoron due to a downed tree on Duquesne Avenue. 

 

Power remains out on parts of Jackson Avenue, and, Livingston Avenue.  A few customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna and, on Elmwood in Falconer lost power. 

 

West Ellicott streets of Howard, Warwick and Elmwood have also been out of power.  She says crews will be into your area soon if not already but, if your power has not come on by early afternoon call the BPU at 661-1660 and customer service is at Ext. 3. 

 

 

Several waves of severe thunderstorms moved across Western New York overnight, causing damage across portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. 

 

The storms were ahead of a strong cold front that crossed the area according to Meteorologist Jeff Wood of the National Weather Service.  He says the storms left behind toppled trees and downed power lines with the strongest gust reported in Fredonia at 60 mph. 

 

A 59 mile an hour wind gust was also reported at the Dunkirk Airport.  Among the many damage reports, a tree toppled onto a house in Silver Creek.

 

 

There were a couple of scary moments during last night's abbreviated fireworks show at the Labor Day Festival. 

 

Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley says, preliminarily, a couple of people suffered what appeared to be very minor burns when hot embers from the fireworks went into the crowd shortly after the show began. 

 

Hanley says the winds really picked up shortly into the 12-minute program but, once they were alerted about the embers blowing into the crowd the fireworks were immediately stopped. 

 

An announcement was made saying there was a safety concern, and the fireworks show was concluded. 

 

 

For the third-time Jamestown's 38th annual Labor Day Festival was held at Bergman Park on Monday due to the storm system that passed through the area Sunday morning and early afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says it was the "right call" to make given the forecast for not only rain but, cooler than normal temperatures in the area.  He thanked the large number of people who turned out for the event on a sunny and warmer, but, breezy afternoon Sunday

 

Teresi also recalled what happened with David Willkinson was given the Ritzer award in 2013 and, just as they were wrapping up a storm system with 50 mph winds roared through and they had to evacuate people from the park. 

 

Teresi says the safety of their workers, volunteers and residents was their first consideration in deciding to move the festival to Monday

 

The storm included the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.  Teresi also recognized the city's 450 employees for the work they do every day for the residents of Jamestown.

 

 

For only the third time in the past 34 years a woman has received the Jamestown Central Labor Council's "George Ritzer Labor Award." 

 

Current Civil Service Employees Association Local #807 President Bonnie Peters was presented the award during yesterday afternoon's ceremony at the Jamestown Labor Day Festival. 

 

Peters who has headed up the unit representing most Chautauqua County employees says she's "extremely honored" to be one of the few women to have been honored.  She also used the opportunity to urge women involved in labor to take on more leadership positions to "help labor unions" regain the stature they once had. 

 

Central Labor Council President David Wilkinson echoed those sentiments, adding women are needed in the labor movement.  Peters was presented with a plaque and other accolades including a citation from the New York State Assembly.  Local Representative Andy Goodell presented it acknowledging that he and Peters don't always agree on labor matters. 

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also presented Peters with a proclamation recognizing her and, also declared this week as "Labor Appreciation Week" in Jamestown. 

 

The Ritzer Award not only recognizes union leadership but, community involvement.

 

 

New York state had more jobs last year than at any time since the Great Recession, though upstate regions continue to struggle with job losses. 

 

The figures were published Monday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and first reported by The Associated Press. 

 

According to DiNapoli's statistics more than 9.1 million New Yorkers were working last year. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in 2016, its lowest point in nine years.

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News Alert for Tues., Sept 5, 2017

BPU Power Outage update!!...
 
Crews with the Electric Division of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is working to repair several outages that began occurring around Midnight this morning... due to storms and high winds.  Power has been out in the Village of Celoron in the vicinity of Jackson Avenue, Livingston Avenue, 5th and 7th Streets.  A few customers in the Bonita-area of Fluvanna... and, on Elmwood in Falconer lost power.  West Ellicott streets of Howard, Warwick and Elmwood have also been out of power.  
 
Jamestown electric outages are reported in the Palmer, Norton and Pershing areas.  Electricity is off in the areas of King,  English and Tower Streets. The BPU's English Hill water pump station has been off due to the outages... and, they've caused some low water pressure and discolored water in that area.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says damage to electric lines appears to be caused by high wind conditions bringing down trees and tree branches.
 
BPU crews are working to restore electricity... but no time estimate can be made at this time.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 4, 2017

Peters becomes third woman to receive Ritzer Labor Award...
For only the third time in the past 34 years... a woman has received the Jamestown Central Labor Council's "George Ritzer Labor Award."  Current Civil Service Employees Association Local #807 President Bonnie Peters was presented the award during this afternoon's ceremony at the Jamestown Labor Day Festival.  Peters... who has headed up the unit representing most Chautauqua County employees... says she's "extremely honored" to be one of the few women to have been honored... and, used the opportunity to urge women involved in labor to take on more leadership positions to "help labor unions" regain the stature they once had.  Central Labor Council President David Wilkinson echoed those sentiments.  Peters was presented with a plaque and other accolates... including a citation from State Assembly Andy Goodell.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi also presented Peters with a proclamation recognizing her... and, also declared September 3rd through 9th as "Labor Appreciation Week" in Jamestown.
 
 
City couple arrested after 2-year-old child is found unattended to...
A Jamestown couple is under arrest after their 2-year-old child was left unattended for more than 30-minutes last Sunday night... and, was found walking around in the 700 block of East Second Street.  City police were called to the scene at East Second and Thayer Streets just before 6:30 p.m., and found the child wandering alone.  However... officers couldn't locate the parents.  Police say about 30-minutes later... the parents called police... saying they couldn't find their child.  Further investigation revealed that one parent had left the house, and the other was sleeping when the 2-year-old left the house unattended... and, walked nearly a block before being found okay.  Police say the child was turned over to a family friend... and, they arrested the parents, 29 year-old Christina Scivener and 25 year-old Andrew Morton for endangering the welfare of a child.  Child Protective Services was also called.
 
 
City man arrested for Cocaine possession during traffic stop...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of cocaine during a traffic stop on Allen Street early yesterday morning.  Jamestown Police say they pulled over 42 year-old Scott Moore's car shortly before 3 a.m. for failure to dim his high-beams.  Officers say they found Moore had a suspended non-driver ID only... and, he was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Police say they found the cocaine during a search prior to his being put in the city jail on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... unlicensed operation... and, on two bench warrants.
 
 
Reed believes there will be no government shut-down over Trump's proposed Border Wall...
Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says he believes lawmakers can avoid a government shut-down... and, provide what's needed for border security.  That from Corning Republican Tom Reed in the wake of President Donald Trump's threat to shut the government down if there's no funding for a border wall in the final budget that Congress needs to pass before the end of September.  Reed says the bi-partisan Problem Solver's Caucus has been working on House measures that have broad support among Republicans and Democrats.  As for a border wall... Reed believes there are other -- less expensive means -- to secure the southern border.  Increasing the debt ceiling is another matter that Congress needs to take-up once lawmakers return from their August recess.  However... officials on Sunday talk shows feel that should happen due to the need for federal Hurricane relief in southeastern Texas.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
Capitol Watch on new SUNY Chancellor...
In New York state government news, the state's higher education system is getting a new leader and its Court of Appeals faces a busy week.  Kristina Johnson formally takes over as chancellor of the State University of New York on Tuesday.  The Stanford University-educated scientist and engineer holds 118 patents and has held top positions at Johns Hopkins and Duke University.  Meanwhile, the court will hear arguments in several cases, including one centering on DNA evidence lost to floods during Superstorm Sandy.
 
 
Jamestown man and woman arrested on drug and other charges following traffic stop...
Two city residents have been arrested on several traffic infractions... and, for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and drug paraphernalia.  Jamestown Police say they pulled over a Ford Brono on South Main Street about 4 a.m. Saturday for a loud muffler, and suspended registration.  Officers say they found the operator, 27 year-old Zachary Legere, was driving with a suspended license... without a registration... and, no insurance.  Police say his passenger, 29 year-old Maddie Seiler, was found in possession of a quantity of Meth, drug paraphernalia, and a hypodermic needle.  She's charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Seiler was being held pending arraignment... Legere was cited and released.
 
 

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News Alert for Sun., Sept. 3, 2017

(**Announcement!!!) The city of Jamestown's annual Labor Day Festival has been postponed to tomorrow due to the forecast Sunday of inclement weather from remnants of Hurricane Harvey passing through the region.  Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley says the forecast tomorrow is much warmer, and it'll be sunny for ALL the activities -- including the Dan Feather 5-K Run/Walk.  Again, all activities planned for Jamestown's 38th annual Labor Day Festival have been moved to tomorrow, Sept. 4.

 

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 2, 2017

Remnants of Harvey claims one event today; Stateline is cancelled tonight...
We have learned that Stateline Speedway has cancelled tonight's racing program due to the remnants of Hurricane Harvey arriving in the area later today.  There has been no make-up date scheduled... because Stateline will have it's three-day racing festival next weekend.  Again... due to remnants of Harvey arriving later today... tonight's final night of the regular season has been cancelled.
 
 
Jamestown's Labor Day Festival still on for Sunday -- as of now -- here's a preview...
Remnants of Hurricane Harvey are expected to reach the Jamestown-area by late today... But, the forecast late this week improved late this week for Sunday's 38th annual Labor Day Festival.  The event remains on track to start at 9:30 a.m. at Bergman Park with the annual Dan Feather 5-K Run/Walk... with other activities beginning at 11 a.m.  That from the festival's main organizer... Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley... who says there'll be plenty for everyone of all ages.  There'll be free kids games, Pepsi Bingo, and several food booths put on by local non-profits, or for them by local businesses.  For the first time this year... those organizations will include the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village at the Ashville BOCES.  Another organizer is Mayor's Assistant Matt Hanley... who says the 24 arts and crafts booths will open at 11 a.m.  Music will begin on the "second-stage" on the festival grounds at 12 Noon... with the main stage starting at about 12:30 p.m.  There'll be fireworks just after 8:30 p.m., and, the annual George Ritzer Labor Award will be presented at 4 p.m. on the main stage.
 
 
Gerace says Sheriff's Office is part of latest Stop-DWI Crackdown...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department will be joining wit state Police and other agencies for this weekend's latest STOP DWI Crackdown over the Labor Day Holiday period.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says it's part of a national crackdown on impaired and distracted driving.  Gerace says this will be the last "high traffic" weekend of the Summer season... and, they'll be out looking for people driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted driving.  He says drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints during the campaign... along with more troopers and other law enforcement on major highways.  With more people traveling on the highway... motorists need to think safety.  Gerace adds they'll be watching for people who are not properly buckled up... as well as drivers who are violating the Move Over Law.  The Sheriff's Department receives grant funding to help support the Stop DWI Crackdown efforts.
 
 
Kolb looking into run for Governor...
The top Republican in the New York state Assembly says he's considering running for governor next year.  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb told The Auburn Citizen that he's giving "serious thought" to a campaign after being approached by Republican leaders and business owners.  The Canandaigua lawmaker acknowledged the challenges of taking on Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has already raised more than $25 million for his bid for a third term.  Kolb has criticized Cuomo's handling of the economy and has pushed for tougher state ethics rules.
 
 
Ellicott Town Board sets meeting to vote on proposed Annexation of Dow St. Substation by Jamestown...
One of the other muncipal entities that has to vote on the proposed annexation of four-acres of land at the Jamestown City line with Falconer will vote on the measure next Thursday.  Ellicott Town Clerk Mike Erlandson says the town board will hold a special meeting next Thursday, Sept. 7 at 12 Noon.  The annexation would bring the property the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on into the city.  The property is assessed at between $7-million and $7.5-million.  The city council voted unanimously this past Monday to approve the annexation.  It must also be voted on by the Ellicott Town... and, Falconer Village Boards.  If either rejects the measure... it will go to state appellate court.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., July 21, 2018

Bear Lake man arrested for threatening people with shot-gun while high on Meth... A Warren County, PA man is accused of assaulting one person... and, threatening three others with a 12-gauge sh...

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