Community Spotlight, the area's longest running local public affairs radio program, airs on all six Media One Radio Group stations each weekend and is also available to hear in our Podcast Section.  Each week we sit down with a community leader or another special guest to talk about issues within our community.  

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News Headlines for Sat., Feb. 29, 2020

Most places in Jamestown-area receive about a foot of snow since early Thursday morning...
Our Lake effect snow has wound down... but, not before about 5 to 6 inches of new snow fell since Friday afternoon.  A Lake Effect Snow Warning expired this morning, and another 2 to 3 inches may fall across the region.  A Winter weather disturbance came through the area... dropping most of the snow between late last night and this morning.  That from Meteorologist Steve Welch in Buffalo... who says a wind shift off of Lake Erie was the culprit.  A warming trend is expected to begin Sunday and continue through much of next week when temperatures reach close to 50 on Monday and Tuesday.

Jamestown man accused of seriously assaulting another person during Hazzard St. incident...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly threatening to kill a person with a knife to their throat in front of two young children late Thursday.  Jamestown police were called to a Hazzard Street home for a reported fight... and, on arrival, identified the suspect as 33 year-old Shawn Washington, Jr.  Officers say further investigation revealed Washington also assaulted the unknown victim by punching them in the eye, causing bleeding, and, allegedly choked the victim.  Police say Washington also broke a door inside the home.  He was taken into custody for third-degree assault, second-degree menacing, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.... fourth-degree criminal mischief and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. 

National Comedy Center wins USA Today's "Best New Museum" vote...
The National Comedy Center has been named as the Best New Museum in the country following an on-line vote put on by USA Today.  The honor is part of the national newspaper's Travel Award Series.  The Comedy Center bested 19 other new museums from the past two years that were all nominated for the honor.  Center Spokesman Gary Hahn says they're "thrilled" with the news.  Hahn says it brings a "nice, National spotlight" onto the center, and he thanked everyone who voted for the center during the four weeks of voting.  Hahn says the center was in second after the first day of balloting last Jan. 20.  However... they quickly made up ground... and were in first place a short time later.  However... USA Today took the leaderboard down over the final week... so they weren't sure exactly where they wound up until now.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they are "tremendously proud" of winning the distinction.

Reed happy to see talks on "Trusted Traveler" programs being restored in NYS underway...
A federal official says it looks "promising" that a compromise may be on the horizon that would allow New Yorkers back into federal "trusted traveler" programs.  Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf says he likes Governor Andrew Cuomo's latest offer to work with federal border and immigration officials, and says talks are continuing.  Local Congressman Tom Reed was in Albany recently to help get talks going about allowing residents back into programs, such as NEXUS.  Reed says DHS has also offered to work on any change in the law so it meets federal requirements.  He says he stands ready to work with Homeland Security, and state officials to get it right, and avoid something like this again.  Reed says this is not directly related to the state's "Green Light" law... which currently does not allow federal immigration and border officials to access state Department of Motor Vehicles data.  However... Cuomo did talk with Wolf and President Trump about allowing agents access to those records without social security numbers.  Other states with "Green Light" laws do allow access to all such records.

House fire leaves family homeless in Lakewood...
Chautauqua County fire investigators say a blaze that's left a Lakewood family temporarily homeless was accidental in nature.  Fire investigators were called to 40 Ohio Avenue in the village late yesterday morning.  Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene just before 5:30 a.m., and, were able to get the fire under control very quickly, then put it out.  Officials say the residents inside awoke to the smell of smoke and were able to quickly get out of the house without injury.  County fire investigators looked into the blaze... and, found the cause was accidental and that the fire started in the wall next to the fire place which spread to the walls upstairs.

Fire in Hanover severely damages house in...
Firefighters from several departments responded to a structure fire that occurred last evening in the town of Hanover.   The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Communications Center confirms that crews from Hanover Center, Silver Creek, Forestville, Sunset Bay, Irving and East Dunkirk's Rehab Unit were called out to the blaze at 12278 Allegany Road around 9:30 p.m.  Firefighters were on the scene until around midnight dealing with the flames.  No word on what caused the fire.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy...
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has filed for bankruptcy protection.  Friday's filing is another step in the western New York diocese's efforts to recover from a clergy misconduct scandal that`s been the basis for hundreds of lawsuits, Vatican intervention and the resignation of its bishop.  The western New York diocese becomes the second in the state to file for Chapter 11 reorganization, and one of more than 20 dioceses to seek bankruptcy protection nationwide. 



WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 28, 2020

Near blizzard-like conditions yesterday afternoon on Interstate 86 north of Jamestown played a part in a multi-vehicle crash involving two tractor-trailers.  

State Police in Jamestown tell the Post-Journal the accident occured about 2:30 PM when one big rig jack-knifed... blocking both lanes of I-86 between Exits 9 and 10.  Another westbound semi then struck the jack-knifed truck... causing the trailer to disconnect, and spilling part of it's load of 40-thousand pounds of yogurt on the road.  The paper reports the trailer continued over a guardrail... and, fell onto a westbound access ramp below.  One person was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dispatch confirms the westbound lanes of I-86 between Exits 9 and 10 were closed several hours, only re-opening to motorists about 6:30 this morning.

Cold temperatures and frigid wind chills have prompted the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services to issue a Code Blue Warning through tomorrow.  

Director Christine Schuyler says the warning is triggered when temperatures reach 32 degrees or lower... and, requires shelter access to anyone in need of assistance.  During normal business hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday, people seeking emergency shelter should report to the Department of Health and Human Services offices in Dunkirk or Jamestown, where shelter will be arranged.  After business hours and on weekends, persons seeking emergency shelter or knowing people who need's it should contact the Sheriff’s Office by dialing 9-1-1 and shelter will be provided.  In addition to law enforcement... UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... the county's Department of Mental Hygiene... and, the UCAN City Mission in Jamestown can be utilized.  The mission is for adult males.

Drivers are being asked to stay off of roads and schools are closed in areas of upstate New York bracing for continued high winds and up to four feet of snow.  

Gusty winds and blowing snow are reducing visibility Thursday in western and northern New York.  Law enforcement agencies are fielding numerous reports of vehicles off of roadways.  Police and emergency officials in some areas east of Lake Ontario issued travel advisories because of snow-covered roads and blowing snow.  Winds as fast as 55 mph are expected in some areas.  Dozens of school districts closed ahead of the storm.

Federal lawmakers should move ahead with allocating $2.5-billion to the Trump Adminstration to fight the current and potential impacts of the Coronavirus.  

If more is needed later... it can be allocated at that time.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed... who took part in a House Ways and Means Committee briefing with Health and Human Services Director Alex Azar.  Reed was pleased to hear Azar say they are taking "aggressive measures" to contain the virus.

There is now word that a person in California has contracted the COVID-19 Virus who has not traveled abroad... nor had contact with anyone believed to have Coronavirus.  Reed says while there are very real concerns... Congress should not give the administration a "blank check."  The A-P reports that House and Senate Leaders are negotiating for between $6-billion and $8-billion to fight Coronavirus... but, Reed says it's important to get the $2.5-billion to officials so they can do their work.  The Corning Republican made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.

President Trump needs to take issues of national security matters more seriously... such as cyber security, and potential spread of the Coronavirus.  

Those are the feelings of Democratic Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano... who considered is a cybersecurity policy expert.  Mitrano says she's disappointed that incumbant Republican Representative Tom Reed is standing with a president who has politicized Russian interferance in the 2016 Election.
Mitrano says she is very concerned that the president has replaced the head of national security with the former Ambassador to Germany.  However... she says Rick Grennel has no security experience.  The Penn Yan Democrat says that doesn't promote confidence when your talking about the security, or health of the nation.  The A-P is reporting today that... while the president has proposed 2.5-billion dollars in federal funding to battle Coronavirus... House and Senate Leaders are negotiating for larger amounts.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 27, 2020

Co. Leg -- Winter Ready #1 SHORT 6:30                2/27

Chautauqua County officials say they are ready to deal with the latest winter storm.  County Department of Public Facilities Director Brad Bentley told the County Legislature during Wednesday evening's meeting that the fleet of snow plows are ready to go.

County Executive PJ Wendel reminds local residents that they need to follow any warnings or advisories... and, for motorists to exercise caution in inclement weather.  Bentley says drivers who do venture out need to watch out for snow plows and give operators plenty of room to do their work.

We're having a full return to Winter weather conditions... and, a Blizzard Warning is in effort through Friday afternoon.  National Weather Service Forecaster Tony Ansuini in Buffalo says the Jamestown-area will see about 3 to 5 inches of snow through early morning... then another 2 to 4 inches accumulating.  He says the Blizzard-like conditions will create whiteout conditions across the area today and tonight.  

Two men were arrested Thursday morning in Jamestown for allegedly stealing more than $20,000 worth of computers and accessories from an on-line digital company.  
City police say they received information that the pair had broken into Digitell, Incorporated at 4 East Third Street just after 11 PM Tuesday.  Officers say surveillance video showed 29 year-old Bryan Novaro allegedly leaving with several computers.  Police say they found Novaro walking on North Main Street the Thursday morning with several of the stolen lap tops, and he was arrested.  Officers earlier found the other suspect... identified as 24 year-old Anthony Lackner... at a Franklin Street home with several more computers.  Police allegedly found several others at Lackner's East Second Street home.  Novaro is charged with Grand Larceny and third-degree burglary... while Lackner is charged with criminal possession of stolen property.  Both are being held pending arraignment.

Jamestown Police add that there are still several lap top computers that were allegedly stolen from Digitell... and, say if you come into possession of a "System 76..." MSI... or Eurocom computer... contact JPD to turn it in without charges.  City officers say that anyone later found with a stolen computer in their possession will face prosecution.  If you have any information... call JPD at 483-7537.

A Silver Creek-area juvenile faces several charges in connection with two alleged arson fires earlier this year in the village, and town of Hanover.  

Sheriff's deputies say investigators linked the juvenile to the January 11th blaze that destroyed the former Hideaway Bay Restaurant on Lake Avenue in Silver Creek.  They also found evidence the child set a January 14th fire at Gernatt Asphalt Products on Buffalo Road in Hanover.  As a result of their investigation into both arson cases... officers say the unidentified juvenile was charged with third and fourth-degree arson... third-degree burglary... second-and fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, third-degree criminal trespass.  

Two men who went to college in Upstate New York and have a successful business in California making several types of architectual ceilings has announced plans to open a second manufacturing facility near Jamestown.  

Arktura owners Kevin Kane and Chris Kabatsi presented their preliminary plans to the county's Industrial Development Agency Tuesday... and, say they are working to obtain the former Acu-Rite/Heidenhain location on Precision Way in the town of Ellicott.  County Deputy Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says they love the 135-thousand square foot building.

Geise says Kane and Kabatsi  have been in business about about 10 years.  He says they are looking at a Payment-in-Lieu of Tax Agreement with Arktura... along with some sales and mortgage tax breaks.  The two men are graduates of Renssaler Polytechnic Institute near Albany.  Geise says Kabatsi and Kane initially plan to have about 50 "well-paying" jobs at the local facility.  He says the project is expected to move ahead quickly over the next 6 to 9 months.  The building has been vacant for about two-years.

A city man accused of trafficking methamphetamine, and being in possession of a gun while dealing drugs, has pleaded guilty to federal charges.  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says that 33 year-old Kyle Kamholtz entered his pleas  before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara Wednesday to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Prosecutors say Kamholtz was identified as a drug dealer during an investigation by the Jamestown Police Department in November of 2017.  Undercover drug agents made a series of "controlled purchases" of meth from the defendant.  They also conducted a raid on Kamholtz's McKinley Avenue home... and, seized a fiream... quantity of methamphetamine... scales and packaging.  Kennedy says the charges carry a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a one-million dollar fine.  Kamholtz is to be sentenced next June 4th.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 26, 2020

A long-duration, Lake Effect snow event is on the horizon for Western New York as a Lake Effect Snow Warning goes into effect tonight through Saturday evening.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock says Jamestown will see up to a foot of snow --or more-- as snowfall rates may reach 1 to 2 inches per hour at times. He says a low pressure system will move through the area Wednesday, before reaching Quebec Thursday morning.  Hitchcock says that will maintain a wind direction to produce the lake effect snow, which normally would not happen this year.  However... the mild Winter has left Lake Erie wide-open.  Hitchcock says winds may gust as high as 50 mph, causing significant areas of blowing snow. 

Students, faculty and staff at the Cassadaga Valley School District are mourning the loss of a first-grader at Sinclairville Elementary school who was killed in Monday's fatal three-vehicle crash in the town of Pomfret.  State Police in Fredonia say 7-year-old Emmaline Wilcox died of her injuries at Brook's Memorial Hospital after being rushed to the facility.  Cassadaga Superintendent Chuck Leichner  says a special team assembled early this morning after the district first learned about the death.

Leichner says counselors will be available for students and staff throughout the next few days.  Emmaline was a passenger in the car that got struck from behind by another vehicle on Route 60 about 4 PM as the unidentifed 35 year-old driver was stopped to make a left turn.  That car was then pushed into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer, and was struck.  The driver suffered non-life threatening injuries.  The accident remains under investigation.


 The Jamestown City Council has approved a $350,000
Local Development Corporation loan to allow the main operator of the city's Chrysler Dodge-Jeep dealership to buy out his two partners.  In addition... Dave Warren of the Dave Warren dealership at 1001 Washington Street says he's looking to expand his business as part of a nearly 2-million dollar project.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk was pleased with last night's unanimous vote.

Warren is planning to open up a new body shop... which will create some new positions... and, he is working with Jamestown Community College, and others, to create a hands-on program to teach students about auto tech, and auto body.  He says finding skilled workers now is a challenge to the industry.  Warren adds the expansion... which will be part of the current business campus... will necessitate moving some people to the newer part of the dealership.  The loan was recently approved by the JLDC... but, because it was for more than 100-thousand dollars... it required City Council approval, as well.

A Jamestown man has been arrested on a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender in Cattaraugus County... and, not appearing in court.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they served the warrant on 31 year-old Bryan Carroll of Tower Street early Monday while he was being held in the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville.  Carroll was taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail pending arraignment.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 25, 2020

State Police in Fredonia are investigating a three-car accident, in which a child was killed Monday afternoon.  

Troopers with the Bureau of Criminal Investigations responded to scene on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret just after 4 PM... and, say a 2009 Hyundai was northbound on 60 when it rear-ended a 2016 Kia that was stopped to make a left turn. Troopers say the Kia was pushed into the southbound lane and struck by a tractor-trailer. The unidentified 35 year-old driver and 7-year-old passenger were transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead.  The operator was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit, Commercial Vehicle enforcement Unit and, Fredonia Police Department assisted at the scene.

The city of Jamestown is moving foward with resuming the process of annexing about four-acres of land -- most of it belonging to the Board of Public Utilities -- from the village of Falconer.  

The City Council last night approved two resolutions by 7-to-2 votes to move ahead with the annexation of the Dow Street Substation, and approve a "negative" environmental declaration on the action.  Council President Tony Dolce says he's disappointed that village, town of Ellicott, and Falconer school officials walked away from talks.

Mayor Eddie Sundquist, who campaigned saying he wanted to negotiate a deal that could benefit everyone involved... says he remains willing to talk.  Dolce says all parties involved looked at and discussed a number of possible scenarios in the first meeting... including a partial... or phased-in annexation.  They also discussed a proposal that would involve the county's Industrial Development Agency.  The two new Republicans on council, Grant Olson and Jeff Russell, voted against the annexation measures.  

City lawmakers also approved the purchase of eight new surveillance cameras for the Jamestown Police Department to track activity in the busiest parts of the city. 

 Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings says the cameras they have put up in the downtown areas have already helped with several of their investigations.

Snellings says the eight cameras from DFT Communications will cost just under $48,000, and two systems at Second and Washington Streets, and Third and Washington, will be replaced.  He says these will NOT be used for traffic enforcement.  Snellings says they do have live feeds to their command room, so if they get a call about an incident in a particular area, they can see what's happening before a patrol gets there.  The city will use $24,000 in contingency funds to buy the camera systems... while the other $23,899 will come from local drug seizure proceeds.

The Chautauqua County Democratic Committee has issued its endorsement for County Executive in the November election.  Committee Chairman Norm Green says Dunkirk City Attorney Richard Morrisroe was unanimously endorsed by the committee.

Meanwhile, the current county executive intends to announce his candidacy this week.  Interim "PJ" Wendel says county Republicans will meet tonight to make their endorsements.  He says once that takes place... he'll be making a formal announcement of his candidacy.  Wendel was appointed by the County Legislature in January and will face a special election in November.  The Democratic Committee is also looking for a candidate to run for state Assembly... or to be considered for Democratic County Election Commissioner.  Norm Green will be retiring at the end of the year... and, the new commissioner would start in 2021.  If you're interested... send a resume to chqdem@gmail-dot-COM... or call Green at 499-9628.... or Jamestown Committee Chairman Jim Walton at 499-5001.

A Jamestown man faces several charges after allegedly ramming a police cruiser during a pursuit through the city Sunday night.  

Officers say they attempted to pull over 27 year-old Samuel Gagliano for driving recklessly in the area of South Main and Harrison Streets, but he refused to comply and fled the scene.  Gagliano continued driving recklessly and struck another car traveling near Fairmount and Whitley Avenues.  Police say he drove to a residence on Catlin Avenue and struck the police car, causing heavy damage.  He was later taken into custody without further incident and is being held in the city jail pending arraignment. 

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 24, 2020

An attorney representing the City of Dunkirk received the unanimous endorsement to run for Chautauqua County Executive by the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee.  

In a printed release this morning, the committee announced 45 year-old Richard Morrisroe as its candidate for the November 3rd election. Democratic Chairman Norm Green says --in addition-- District Attorney Patrick Swanson and 23rd Congressional District candidate Tracy Mitrano also received endorsements. Green says they are still on the lookout for a contender in the New York state Assembly. He says anyone interested in running can send a resume to or call 499-9628. 

A city man is jailed for allegedly holding a woman against her will... and trespassing during a domestic incident early Sunday morning on Jamestown's northside.  

City police were called to an apartment at 101 Bush Street about 3:30 AM on a report of a person being hurt.  Officers were told that the female victim was choked by 26 year-old Antonio Hall... and, she tried to escape... but Hall pulled her back inside.  The woman was later able to get out, and run to her car.  However... she was confronted by Hall, who then broke a mirror on the car with a hammer.  The victim was able to flee to a Jefferson Street home, where Hall tried to force entry.  Police, though, arrived and quickly arrested him with no further incident.  Hall faces several charges... including second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and second-degree criminal trespass.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

   Hearings resume this week on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's $178-billion executive budget proposal... and local State Senator George Borrello is part of those discussions.  

Borrello, who is a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Budget and Revenues, says one area that needs to change is school aid because he increased foundation aid... and reduced other areas.  The Hanover Republican says another area that needs attention is infrastructure.

Borrello says that's not the way to deal with a $6.1-billion budget shortfall, nearly $4-billion of which is attributable to Medicaid.  He says Cuomo should not be "proud" of the fact that that nearly one-third of New Yorkers -- six-million people -- are on the health care and social service program.  Borrello says he does agree with govenor's creation of a Medicaid Redesign Team, but questions whether the panel will have enough time to do its work before the April 1st budget deadline.

Chautauqua County Four-H held its 8th annual Green Tie Affair Sunday night at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville.  

Cornell Cooperative Extension Four-H Educator, Kate Ewer, says 72 tables, around 500 guests, were there for dinner. The famous pie auction, handled by Mike and Dakota Peterson, raised over $10,000.  Pete James of Chautauqua Transportation Services invested a total $2,900 in five pies at the auction.  James says he met his late wife through Four-H, and really believes in the organization.  The highest price for any pie was $1350, a red raspberry pie purchased by H & H Enterprises of Bemus Point. While the crowd was a little smaller than some years, Kate Ewer believes they have a good shot at making their $25,000 goal.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is keeping the $15-million in funding added last year for county Offices for the Aging in his new budget proposal.  

However, more is need to significantly reduce the local waiting lists for home-aid services.  That from Chautauqua County Office Director Mary Ann Spanos, who says the in-home aids are their most expensive program... but, it helps many seniors stay in their homes.

Spanos adds there is some concern about a few, smaller cuts in other areas.  However, she says the state Offices for the Aging will need another $19-million to completely eliminate their wait lists state-wide.  Spanos says it costs about $150,000 a year to keep each senior in a nursing home and, most people run out of what money they have quickly.  After that, the cost is mostly picked up by Medicaid.  However, Spanos says keeping a senior in their home -- on average -- only costs about $7,000 a year.  She made her comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

WJTN Headlines for Sat., Feb. 22, 2020

Cuomo offers to allow most information on illegal immigrants who obtain driver's licenses to feds...
New York's governor is offering to allow federal officials access to the state's motor vehicle database but not to drivers' Social Security numbers.  It's part of an effort to persuade the Trump administration to let state residents back into Global Entry and other frequent traveler programs.  The proposal is the latest compromise that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is publicly floating in hopes President Trump's administration will reverse its decision announced earlier this month to prevents New Yorkers from enrolling or re-enrolling in programs that let them skip long security lines at airports.  But Cuomo says the Trump administration rejected the idea when he proposed it privately weeks ago.

The nation's top immigration enforcement official says that New York's new law allowing people who are in the U.S. illegally to get driver's licenses goes far beyond other states' measures in restricting his agency's access to motor vehicle records.  In response to that law... the Department of Homeland Security blocked New York residents from enrolling or re-enrolling in Global Entry and other "trusted traveler" programs.  Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence says the new law's restrictions could hinder his officers from assisting in ongoing criminal investigations and running license plate searches.

Jamestown woman arrested after falling through ceiling trying to avoid arrest...
A city woman allegedly trying to hide from police in an apartment ceiling in Jamestown... and, was arrested after she fell through Thursday afternoon.  Officers responded to a reported Order of Protection violation at a residence on Charles Street about 3:30 p.m., and, determined 31 year-old Ashley Inserra was unlawfully in the home of the victim.  Police say Inserra had climbed into the ceiling when she learned of their arrival... and, was later taken into custody without further incident.

Jamestown BPU warns of new telephone scam...
Another phone scam has surfaced that the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is warning customers about.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says... in this case... a caller claims to be from the BPU, and says the customer was overcharged.  Robbins says the caller is checking to be sure the money was refunded to the customer's bank account... but, Robbins says customers are asked for bank account numbers and other personal financial information.  She says never give out those numbers... and adds the BPU is not making such calls.  Robbins says hang up if you receive such a call.

Schumer calls on federal government to provide better coverages for Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange...
New York's senior U.S. Senator is calling on the federal government to approve the addition of four health conditions to a benefits list that would help give coverage to Vietnam veterans who suffer from conditions linked to the chemical Agent Orange.  Democrat Charles Schumer made an appearance Thursday at Memorial Park in Dunkirk and was joined by local Vietnam veterans.  Schumer says there are more than 240,000 Vietnam veterans in New York State, with approximately 32,000 of them from Western New York.  Schumer says there are 82,000 nationally who have confirmed Agent Orange-related illnesses now.  He is demanding to know why the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Veterans Affairs is continuing to block billions of dollars in health care coverage and benefits for thousands of Vietnam-era veterans. 

Mitrano says it does not appear there will be a Democratic Primary this year for 23rd Congressional District race...
At the moment... it appears there won't be a Democratic Primary for the nomination to run against incumbant Republican Tom Reed for the 23rd Congressional District seat.  That from Penn Yan Democrat Tracy Mitrano... who says the only other person who has announced is Tompkins County Oral Surgeon, Dr. Scott Noren.  However... Mitrano says he's had a minimal campaign... and, tends to run against Democratic women.  She says he ran against incumbant U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand the last time she ran for re-election.  But, she says he doesn't campaign, has no election team, nor does he fund raise.  Noren has also never been put on a ballot, either.  Mitrano says her campaign has looked, and Noren has very little campaign finances.  Conversely... Mitrano says she's been able to raise almost half-a-million dollars for the campaign after raising about $1.8-million in her first run against Reed.  Reed announced shortly after defeating Mitrano in November of 2018 that he would be running for another two-year term this year.  On his website... Noren makes his case that health care is a "basic human right..." and offers other views. 

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 21, 2020

A Clymer man was ticketed for failure to keep right following a fatal motor vehicle accident in the Town late last week. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says the crash occurred on Clymer Center Road just before 4:30 PM last Thursday. Deputies say 52 year-old Michael Wade reportedly failed to keep right and struck another vehicle in the on-coming lane. The driver of the other vehicle was identified as 69 year-old David Bensink, of Wattsburg-Pennsylvania. Futher investigation revealed he was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. Both men were transported to UPMC Hamot Medical Center for treatment. Police say Bensink succumbed to his injuries yesterday. No additional charges were filed. 

A city man is in federal custody in Buffalo after local drug agents executed a search warrant at a home on Jamestown's eastside... and, arrested him on drug and weapons charges.  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces had been searching for 35 year-old Richard Kinsey, Junior for sometime, and found him staying at 126 Hedges Avenue home early Thursday morning.  Samuelson says Kinsey tried to flee police, but, was quickly taken into custody.  He was then found in possession of more than 25-grams of methamphetamine, and a loaded handgun.

Samuelson says police also found some brass knuckles, and drug paraphernalia.  He says Kinsey is to be arraigned later today.  If you have any information on illegal drug trafficking and sales in Jaemstown... Samuelson says you are asked to call the JPD Tips-line anonymously at 483-TIPS  You can also go to their Tips 4-1-1 app.

Chautauqua County's public bus system is receiving a $1.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation for the modernization and enhancement of its transportation fleet.  

State Senator George Borrello says the county applied for this grant for CARTS over a year ago, when he was County Executive.
Borrello says the money will be used to upgrade the CARTS system by purchasing clean-fuel hybrid trolley buses and associated equipment.  In addition, he says it will make the system more user-friendly... using new technology to make it easier and more convenient to get tickets, and check bus routes.  Borrello says modernizing CARTS was a priority for him when he was County Executive.  The grant is part of $14.2-million awarded to 13 counties, cities, and regional authorities statewide to modernize and enhance municipally sponsored public transportation services.

The city of Jamestown and it's Board of Public Utilities have officially signed new, 10-year water agreements to provide water service to the towns of North Harmony and Busti.  

Officials with both municipalities were on hand at the BPU's offices this afternoon to sign the agreements... which run through the year 2030.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the new contracts replace an extension of the last agreement... which expired in 2015.  Leathers says there are no big changes from the previous agreements.

North Harmony Town Supervisor Louise Ortman, and Busti Supervisor Jesse Robbins were on hand to sign the new pact... and, Robbins says they're both pleased with the agreement... which he says shows all three municipalities are willing to work together for the betterment of their respective communities.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he's pleased with the outstanding collaboration that's again been shown between the city and, the surrounding towns.  Leathers says both municipalities will be paying the BPU 280-percent of the city rate for water.

The woman who ran against local Congressman Tom Reed two years ago says he's done little to help make health care more affordable... and it's time to do something comprehensive about it.  

However... Yates County Democrat Tracy Mitrano says it doesn't have to be done all at once.  Mitrano says those were her big takeaways from five recent town halls she hosted about health care reform in the district.  She likened her approach to something she did when she was in charge of Information Technology at Cornell University.  She had a 14-point policy that people initially balked at.
During the town halls... one of which was held in Jamestown... Mitrano says while her audiences were mostly Democrats, there were some Republicans there as well who wanted to see changes.  Reed argued that the Democratic policy used artificial means to bring down prescription drug costs, instead of allowing free market forces to dictate those costs. 

An Amish buggy was extensively damaged after a passenger vehicle struck it from behind in the Village of Panama Wednesday. 

State Police in Jamestown responded to the scene on Rock Hill Road... and, learned the driver of the car reportedly became distracted by the sun when the crash occurred.  Troopers say occupants of both vehicles... as well as the horse... were not hurt.  The unidentified driver of the car was ticketed for Failure to Reduce Speed for Special Hazards.

A couple dozen people gathered in light snow and a stiff breeze on Central Avenue in Silver Creek around 5 PM last evening for the ribbon cutting of a new restaurant... Villaggio Italiano.  

Among the crowd were FOUR Chautauqua County Executives: P.J. Wendel, Andy Goodell, Greg Edwards and George Borello.  The restaurant project is the work of Borello's wife, Kelly, who already owns the nearby Sunset Bay Beach Club and Cabana Sams.  Since those are just seasonal businesses, she's hopeful the year-round restaurant will allow her to keep key staff members employed.  George Borello, now a state senator, says he's mostly a 'silent partner' in the restaurant, but added they're proud to bring a full service restaurant back to Silver Creek for the first time in decades.  Villaggio Italiano features pizza and pasta.  More information is available at or on Facebook. 

News Bulletin for Wed., Feb. 19, 2020

Fire damages home in Cottage Park area of Busti between Lakewood and Ashville...
(**Alert)Fire has gutted the first-floor of a small, single-family home in the Cottage Park area of Ashville... just outside of Lakewood.  Lakewood firefighters were called to the scene at 2244 First Ave. about 11:30 this morning.  Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says they found a lot of smoke coming from the front of the house... and, there was fire and smoke visable from the driverway side windows.  Hallberg says they got initial word of entrapment in the home... but, soon found that everyone was out and accounted for.  However... two pet dogs perished in the blaze.  Hallberg says fire damage was confined to the first-floor... while there was smoke damage on the second-floor.  He says they called in mutual aid from Ashville and Celoron Fire Departments... and, a member of the Panama Fire Department also stopped to assist.  No firefighters were hurt.  Crews were still overhauling the scene early this afternoon.  The county's Fire Investigation Team was called in to look for a cause.

BPU reports discolored water from hydrant use in Lakewood-area fire...
The use of a fire hydrant in battling the blaze in Lakewood has caused some discolored water in that part of the Board of Public Utilities service area.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the water has been stirred up on the west side of Jamestown, West Ellicott, Lakewood, Celoron, Cottage Park and west.  Robbins says water customers should avoid doing laundry until water appears clear.  Water generally takes 12-24 hours to clear.


WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 18, 2020

Nine more people who achieved greatness in the world of sports were officially inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame during the annual induction dinner in Lakewood.  

Frewsburg's Bob Goold made a name for himself by coaching several sports at Frewsburg and Maple Grove schools.  He also achieved national and international recognition with the Special Olympics.  He says it's great being recognized for doing something "you love."

Former Jamestown High School Basketball Stand-out Justin Johnson was recognized for setting several varsity records his senior year in 1994 and, having a fine career at Army.  The "Father of Jamestown Community College Athletics," the late George Bataitis, was also inducted.  Former Pine Valley Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Tim Nobles, was recognized for leading the Lady Panthers to six state titles during his varsity coaching career.  Other inductees on hand included former Panama and Grove City College sports stand-out Christine Carlson-Jenkins, Professional baseball and football official Elly Norton of Bemus Point, and Westfield's Mark Orlando and Dunkirk's Mike Tramuta.

Two people were seriously hurt in a two-car, head-on, crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph early Sunday morning.  
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they were called to the scene on Main Street just after 12 AM and, found that a Jeep had crossed the center line, and struck an older model car head-on.  Officers say the drivers of both vehicles were taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment of serious injuries.  Neither has been identified.  Officers say two passengers in the van were treated for lesser injuries at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.  Charges are pending.

State Senate Republicans are slated to hold more bail reform hearings during the month of March, following the first one held in Buffalo on February 6th.  

That from State Senator George Borrello, who chairs the Repeal Bail Reform Task Force.  Borrello tells us that the task force would like to finish the series of hearings before the state budget deadline of April 1st.

The Hanover Republican says the first bail reform hearing, which featured law enforcement officials from Chautauqua County, gave him the sense of frustration from those officials.  Borrello says District Attorney Patrick Swanson, who shared a letter he now shares with victims and witnesses about how evidence is now being handled.  The police chiefs expressed their frustration with the fact many of the accused are now failing to show up for court dates.  Borrello says their testimony was "frustrating to listen to..." and, that Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers need to hear those stories.

New York retailers have begun giving up single-use plastic bags as the state prepares for the March 1st implementation of a ban aimed at reducing pollution.  

A new state law bars many types of businesses from sending shoppers home with the single-use plastic sacks that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas.  As the deadline to drop the bags nears, though, not all environmentalists are ready to celebrate.  Some worry the state's new regulations include a loophole that could potentially allow stores to phase in plastic bags thick enough to be considered multiuse.  Others note the proposed rules include exemptions that allow for some use of single-use bags.

Water quality advocates are worried that major cuts to clean water programs in the Trump administration’s proposed national budget would be a big loss for the Great Lakes.  

The budget proposal would maintain the current level of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $320-million. But according to Laura Rubin, director the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition, cuts proposed for other programs would undermine efforts to reduce algal blooms and invasive species, and to repair the infrastructure that keeps pollution from entering the Great Lakes in the first place.

The Coalition estimates that New York alone will need almost $54-million over the next 20 years to repair and replace crumbling drinking-water and wastewater infrastructure.  The president’s budget also would cut the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund by almost $266-million. She says the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition will be in Washington, D-C, next month to urge Congress to make full funding of clean water programs a top priority.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 17, 2020

An inmate in the Cattaraugus County Jail has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of unidentified prescription pills late last year....  

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they found 27 year-old Holton Pierce, Junior in possession of the pills last November.  Deputies had the pills tested, and they were found to be a controlled substance.  Pierce has been charged with second-degree promoting prison contraband and, he'll be arraigned in Little Valley Town Court at a later date.

Disagreements over revenue and reparations have held up proposals to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, but opportunities for compromise could come up in the weeks ahead....  

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to soon release suggested tweaks to his budget proposal, which included a plan to legalize the drug.  Lawmakers plan to unveil their own legalization bill.  In addition, marijuana legalization could be part of the state budget proposals being prepared now by the Assembly and Senate.

A number of data breaches in recent years has led New York's junior U-S Senator to propose legislation to create a new agency to help protect American's private information.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has authored the Data Protection Act, which would lead to the Data Protection Agency....  

Gillibrand cited the 2017 breach of credit reporting company Equifax as one of the reasons such an agency is needed.  Gillibrand cited her own situation with her two sons going on-line to play games, and chat with friends.  She says Americans have expressed a desire to have their personal information guarded so they don't fall prey to unscrupulous "data mining" companies.  She says data is routinely sold to companies that then target those people with ads and e-mails.  Gillibrand says there are three "core" missions the DPA would undertake.  The first is working to allow people to have protection and control of their personal data.  The second is the agency will work to ensure "fair competition" in the digital marketplace and, thirdly, will prepare the government for the digital age we have entered. 

Lake Erie has is less than 5% ice covered....  

It's a subject of concern for Jennifer Russo, Viticulture Specialist for the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program. An ice covered lake helps protect tender buds from the wide swings in temperature that often come in March and April.  Over 95% of the grapes grown in the Lake Erie belt are concords, sweet grapes.  Russo says returns per ton for that kind of grape have been 'frozen' for many years, in the range of $220 to $300, while the costs to grow them have gone up significantly.  Chautauqua County is the largest grape growing county in the state.

Work is set to begin on the site of a massive Amazon warehouse in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State....  

The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that nearly 190 acres of trees in the Town of Montgomery will start being cut down on Tuesday after the $75.2-million project was granted a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement.  The warehouse, 50 miles north of New York City will be one of the company's more than 75 fulfillment centers across the country.  The roughly one-million-square-foot warehouse will house bulky items such as patio furniture and outdoor equipment.  

Congress has approved legislation that will relieve some of the financial burden put on the U-S Postal Service in funding it's employee retirement program.  

Local Congressman Tom Reed and others in the bi-partisan Problems Solvers Caucus drew up the Postal Fairness Act and, get it on the calendar for a vote through the new House Rules.  The Corning Republican says they were able to get 290-plus members to agree to bring the measure to the floor just over a week ago.

What helped get the legislation through the House was that the pension fund is now stable and appears fully funded after several years of the mandate being in place.  Reed says this shows that the new Consensus Calendar rule in the House works if leadership is unable or unwilling to bring forth good legislation.  He says the measure now moves onto the Senate for it's approval before it would go to President Trump for his signature.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.

Today is the final day to vote on USA Today's "Best New Museum" on-line competition....  

At last word, the comedy center was atop the standings of 20 nominees for the honor.  To keep entities from "stuffing the ballot box..." USA Today is not showing the most recent rankings.  The Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums in the U-S nominated for this award back on January 20th by a panel nationally-recognized travel experts for the USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences.  Votes can be cast until Noon today at  The National Comedy Center is the only museum in Western New York that has been nominated for this award.  It was voted number-two last year in USA Today's "Best New Attraction" award.

WJTN Headlines for Sat., Feb. 15, 2020

City police vehicle involved in accident in downtown Jamestown...
A Jamestown Police officer suffered minor injuries when his patrol car crashed into another vehicle at a downtown intersection early Friday morning.  City police confirm the accident at Second and Main Streets occured about 6:30 a.m., and, the officer was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, and was later released.  The intersection was closed for a short time while the accident scene was cleared.  There's no word yet on any tickets being issued.

Police in Dunkirk investigating alleged shooting incident...
Dunkirk Police are investigating an incident involving a gunshot victim that occurred Thursday evening.  Police indicate they were called to Brooks Memorial Hospital's emergency room around 7:30 p.m. for a victim with an apparent gunshot wound.  No further details are available at this time... including the location of the shooting.  Police say the investigation is ongoing, and that anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Dunkirk Police Department at 366-2266 or the confidential tip line at 363-0313.

Cuomo and Trump hold talks about suspension of Trusted Traveler programs in NYS...
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited the White House Friday in hopes he can persuade President Donald Trump to reverse a decision to boot New Yorkers from programs that allow travelers to avoid long lines at U.S. at the border.  The Democratic governor and Republican president met Thursday afternoon to discuss their dispute over New York's new "Green Light" law, which lets unauthorized immigrants obtain state driver's licenses.  It also bars federal immigration agents from accessing state motor vehicle records.  Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf says the leaders held a "productive meeting." 

Gillibrand votes in favor of War Powers legislation regarding Iran...
New York's Junior Senator voted in favor of a bi-partisan measure that limits President Donald Trump's authority to launch military operations against Iran. The resolution says Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against the arab country.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says the resolution is now about Trump or even the presidency, but instead is an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.  Gillibrand says it would reclaim the authority for Congress that it's given up during the time period after "9/11."  She says they voted on a number of amendments prior to the final vote on Sen. Tim Kaine's proposal.  In addition... Gillibrand says she will soon be offering a proposal that would limit the president's ability to get the country into "Forever Wars..." like Afghanistan.  Under the proposal... she says the president would have to name the country involved, and secondly, the authorization would only late two years.  At that point... the president would have to come back to Congress.  The House could take up the Senate resolution later this month.  Two-thirds votes in the House and GOP-run Senate would be needed to override an expected Trump veto.

Sundquist takes part in lobbying by NYCOM for increased state road and bridge maintenance funding...
Jamestown's new mayor took part in the New York State Conference of Mayor's annual Winter Legislative session in Albany... which included rallying for more funding to maintain state roadways in the city.  Democrat Eddie Sundquist attended the two-and-a-half day program earlier this week... and, says he was part of the effort to lobby members of the State Senate and Assembly to boost Arterial Maintenance funding.  He says the rate has not changed on reimbursements since 1987, but, he says the city's costs to do that have gone up, and they now lose money on the program.  Former Mayor Sam Teresi was part of a several year effort to get that funding increased.  Currently... Jamestown receives $220,000 a year from the state, and they're looking to at least double that amount.  Sundquist says he made some valuable contacts while at NYCOM... because he feels it's important to see how other cities are dealing with common issues they face.  Generally... Sundquist adds that the mayor's also discussed other implications of Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2020-2021 budget proposal on their communities.  There was also continuing discussion over dealing with the state's new "cashless bail" reform law.

Former Assembly Minority Leader Kolb says he's not running for re-election...
A state Republican lawmaker who was charged with drunken driving and blamed his wife for a New Year's Eve crash says he will not run for re-election this year.  Brian Kolb previously served as the top Republican in the New York State Assembly, but stepped down from the leadership post after being charged with driving while intoxicated.  Kolb was behind the wheel when his state-issued 2018 GMC Acadia slid off a driveway and down an embankment near his home in western New York, according to authorities.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 14, 2020

A state Appellate Court Judge has dismissed the final part of a lawsuit brought by a waste company that had wanted to locate a landfill in the town of Carroll.  

Town Supervisor Russ Payne says they announced the court's ruling during Wednesday night's board meeting.  In the lawsuit... Payne says Sealand was challenging a 2007 local law prohibiting a landfill from being located off Dodge Road.  However... the judge ruled the company has no "vested property interest" because it never owned the property.

Payne says Sealand also argued that a past board member -- who was also part of a citizen's committee -- had a conflict of interest regarding the 2007 law.  Since the woman left the citizen's group before the law was acted on... he says there was no conflict involved.  He says the latest action was taken on February 5th.  Payne says the biggest part of the decision is that it shows that "Municipal Home Rule Law alive and well and works in New York state."

Lawmakers in Washington are looking over President Donald Trump's $4.8-trillion dollar budget for fiscal year 2021... which includes about $2-trillion dollars in cuts that would eliminate entitlements and social safety net programs.  

That number includes food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security disability benefit programs... as well as the Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program.  Local Congressman Tom Reed expressed concern over cuts to medical research and development.

Reed says he will fight to retain that funding... which includes money to help with diabetes research.  That's an important program to the Corning Republican.  The cuts will take place over 10 years... and, Reed says it'll again force lawmakers to defend spending they want restored, or added.  At the same time... the proposed budget does not eliminate the deficit in the next 10 years... but 15 years.  Reed has been concerned about ringing up the deficit... which the Congressional Budget Office has reported, will add up to one-trillion dollars annually.  He made his comments during his weekly telepone conference call with area media.

A portion of North Work Street in the Village of Falconer was closed due to a motor vehicle accident early yesterday morning that knocked out power over a wide area.  

Chautauqua County dispatchers say the accident occurred shortly before 7 AM... when a truck hit a utility pole and knocked out power to parts of the Village.  They say thru-traffic was blocked off on North Work between Mosher and Mapleshade.  Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says BPU electric crews restored power about 8 AM. 

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he's hopeful that the city will get a good response to request for proposals they've sent out to private emergency ambulance service.  

Sundquist's office shared the FRP's with City Council members at this week's work session.  Sundquist says they received a list of potential, private EMS companies in the region before sending out those proposals.  Current service provider, Alstar EMS, says they're experiencing a shortage of EMTS.

Sundquist says th city is continuing to get back-up from surrounding departments, such as Falconer and others... and, he recently thanked them during a meeting for that.  The meeting also included Police Chief Harry Snellings, and Deputy Fire Chief Sam Salemme.  Alstar recently told city officials that they were getting out of their agreement with the city in early April.  Sundquist says the city is asking for the RFPs to be returned by Wednesday, March 11th.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Group stations.

A report of shots being fired in the backyard of a residence on Ruggles Street in Dunkirk Wednesday afternoon has led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man.  

Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says police quickly located the man and recovered a loaded firearm. In another development... Ortolano says Dunkirk Police have arrested a Forestville man on charges stemming from two separate crashes in the city on Wednesday. Ortolano says 25-year-old Jerry Murphy is facing several charges, including driving while under the influence of drugs.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb 13, 2020

A portion of North Work Street in the Village of Falconer is shut-down due to a motor vehicle accident this morning.  

Chautauqua County dispatch says the accident occurred shortly before 7 AM... when a truck hit a utility pole, knocking out power to parts of the Village.  Dispatch says thru-traffic is shut down on North Main between Mosher and Mapleshade. Chautuauqua County Fire Police, Gerry and Falconer Fire crews are at the scene.... there's no word on any injuries at this time. 

A storm system moving in from the southwest has dumped several inches of snow on the region... including Chautauqua County.  

Snow moved into the Jamestown-area about mid-evening last night... and, Meteorologist Kirk Apfell from the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the snow will begin tapering off as we go through the morning.

Some 3 to 6 inches generally are expected for the Jamestown-area... but some spots near the Pennsylvania state line may see 4 to 8 inches of the white stuff.  Apfell says the high on Friday will only be about 15... but, the wind chlls will make it feel much colder than that.  The projected low on Friday night into Saturday morning is forecast to be one-above zero.  Some places may fall to below-zero.  However... he says we'll see temperatures begin warming up fairly quickly on Saturday, when the high is expected to reach 30.

For the 15th year... the Chautauqua County Humane Society is holding it's "Pennies for Paw's" fund-raiser to help support their efforts to save, and find a home for the animals they take in.  

However... there is something new with this year's program.  That from Community Relations Director Brian Papalia... who says you can still give at a number of locations where their cannisters are located.  However... he says you can also donate on line.  Papalia says it's all part of finding a "forever home" for their stray animals.

Brian says you can go to their Facebook Page... and, give there.  He says click on "fund-raisers..." and, you can set it up on your own account, and invite people to give... or volunteer.  He says they are also high-lighting the new effort provide support to keep animals in their current homes.  The "Pennies for Paws" campaign runs now through April 30th... and, Papalia says their goal this year is $13,000.  For more information... go to their website at, you can also call 665-2209.

Following an extensive statewide search... the Dunkirk City School District has announced a new superintendent.  

During Tuesday's school board meeting, the board approved a resolution naming Bemus Point Central Superintendent Michael Mansfield as Dunkirk's new superintendent.  Mansfield, who also has experience working for Jamestown Public Schools, says he is "very honored" to be selected.

Mansfield says his goal for the Dunkirk School District is to create a positive experience for every student so they can reach their potential and be ready to contribute to society.  Mansfield's first day on the job in Dunkirk will be April 20th.  Interim Superintendent Sylvia Root will continue in that position until then.

The city of Jamestown has now sent out requests for proposals from ambulance service companies to provide emergency medical transport coverage.  

The proposals were shared with City Council members at Monday night's work session.  The RFPs come in the wake of current provider, Alstar EMS, announcing that it would be ending it's current agreement with the city in April.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the city is asking for proposals to be returned by Wednesday, March 11th at 4 PM.  After that point... he says they will review those through March 27th... and, have something for council to vote on at it's March voting session.  

New York's governor plans to propose that the state could share some driving records with federal immigration agencies if the Trump Administration reverses its move to block state residents from Global Entry and other programs that allow travelers to avoid long border security lines.  

Democratic Governor  Andrew Cuomo's comments in a Wednesday radio interview come a day after New York officials filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security's move to block New York residents from "trusted traveler" programs.  Federal officials said it was necessary because of a new law that bars federal immigration agents from accessing New York state's motor vehicle records.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 12, 2020

Local Congressman Tom Reed says it was the state's decision as part of it's new "Green Light" bill which led the U-S Department of Homeland Security to block residents from being part in it's "trusted traveler" programs. 

 Reed has been accused of pushing DHS to block the access... but, the Corning Republican says New York is the only one of 15 states that prohibits the sharing of ID information with Customs and Border Security.  Reed and fellow GOP Congressman Lee Zeldin did write to Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli about the matter. 

Reed say most of the other 14 states that have "Green Light" laws only restrict the sharing of information with ICE Agents, and domestic law enforcement.  The ban has caused headaches for Western New Yorkers who use the "NEXUS" program, and others, to travel and do business in Canada.  Reed says the state could solve it's own problem by repealing the part of the law that blocks information from immigration and border officials.  He was on conference call with 25 local and regional officials -- including Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist -- about the matter last Saturday.

A more than 100 year-old Jamestown company has purchased a Falconer-based roll forming manufacturer.  

In a recent press release, Dahlstrom Roll Form said it's agreed to purchase DC Rollform, along with DC's 13,0,000 square foot building.  Dahlstrom Owner Robert White says the consolidation, and move to the new building is scheduled to be complete by the third-quarter of this year.  White says they are putting inventory buffers in place, and with careful planning, they expect no disruption to any of their customer-supply programs.  He adds that seven DC Rollform employees will move over to the Dahlstrom operation. 

The Jamestown City Council is holding off on having another Parking Ticket Amnesty Program, opting instead to go with stronger enforcement actions against violators. 

 That was the determination after much discussion in the council's Finance Committee Monday night.  Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says they've decided to continue going after the biggest offenders.

The city has increased it's "booting and towing" efforts to ensure that people are paying their tickets when they should be.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist recently called attention to some $587,000  in tickets and fines that have piled up among motorists.  Sundquist pitched the idea of a possible Amnesty Program,  which was last done about four years ago.  Monday night, lawmakers discussed ways to deal with the ticket fees and fines that have piled up since the last program, which they felt was successful.  An Amnesty program would allow people to pay up their past tickets, but, not have to pay penalties, for a short period of time.

The Jamestown School Board has selected a consultant for it's search for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Bret Apthorpe on July 1st.  Board members agreed yesterday morning to hire New York State Leadership Group as their search consultant.  

The Leadership Group is a non-profit educational organization that's part of the SUNY Buffalo State College Foundation.  Under the leadership of Executive Director Robert Christmann, the group has completed over 50 school district leader searches.  Their process assures board members of receiving many high-quality candidates.

An officer with the Fredonia Village Police Department has been given a meritorious service award for saving the life of young man who suffered a severe cut to his bicep when he went through a plate glass window.  

City Police Chief Phil Maslak says Officer Zack Hand responded to the incident last December 14th.  Maslak says Hand... who was recently promoted to a full-time officer. was credited by first responders with saving the man's life.

Maslak presented the award to Officer Hand at Monday night's Fredonia Village Board meeting.   Maslak says Hand has made quite an impression on the department considering he is a young officer.  Hand was on a foot patrol when he came across the incident.

The Jamestown Tarp Skunks are partnering with the Jock Shop this week to celebrate the upcoming baseball season, but also support those who use the area's largest soup kitchen.  

That from the team's General Manager Frank Fanning, who says 10-percent of sales of their "Skunk Junk" from the Jock Shop will benefit the Saint Susan's Center.  Fanning says the entire point of the team's re-branding was to find different ways to help the local communities in the city. He says you can purchase "Skunk Junk" -- including hats, shirts and hoodies -- at the Jamestown Cycle Shop or online through their team shop at 

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 11, 2020

A Jamestown manufacturer of painted and stainless steel furniture and equipment will be laying off nearly 40 employees by this Spring, cutting it's workforce by half.  
The New York State Labor Department reports it received an official WARN Notice from Institutional Casework, Incorporated on February 5th,  stating that Jamestown Metal Products on Blackstone Avenue has notified employees that 37 workers will be laid-off on or about May 8th.  The reduction would leave 40 workers at the plant.  JMP was purchased in 2009 by Institutional Casework, which is based in Tennessee.  Our efforts to reach the local company, and it's Tennessee parent company have been unsuccessful.

Jamestown's Public Works Department will begin work later this year on a new, storm water management system to hopefully end a major stormwater flooding problem on the city's northside.  

Public Works Director Jeff Lehman outlined plans to deal with to help slow down water coming off private property on Federal Place that's heavily-impacted Fluvanna Avenue and Roseland Park area.

Lehman says the rushing water has also caused problems for the Pepsi-Cola plant on Washington Street.  He says the plan now is to use three "arch pipes" with stone placed around it to slow the water down from that 47-acre area.  He says the system will allow them to hold much of the run-off uphill so that it drains slowlly to the lower level.  Lehman says they have a similar set up, using six arch pipes, on Huxley Avenue.  He says the DPW is looking to add more storm water drainage into that area of Fluvanna Avenue in the future.  The City Council's Finance Committee last night approved using just over $14,700 from a 2015 bond to finance the project.  The full council will vote on the plan in two weeks.

Jamestown's chief financial officer says the city had another "very good" quarter for sales tax revenues during the final three months of last year.  

In fact, Comptroller Joe Bellitto told lawmakers last night that the city had just received it's fourth-quarter payment of $1.66-million, which was $94,000 more than the 4th Quarter of 2018.  With that, he says they exceeded their record amount received in 2018.

Bellitto says State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently announced sales tax revenues were up across the state by about 4.7-percent, so he says they were very close to the average.  In 2018, Bellitto says the city received just over $6.4-million in sales tax revenues.  Since 2009, he says they've now had three consecutive years of solid growth in those revenues, after seven difficult ones.  Bellitto says the city's 2020 budget includes an anticipated $6.5-million in sales tax revenues.  Jamestown will receive it's first-quarter sales tax payment on or around May 1st.

Two people were arrested for endangering the welfare of a child after one allegedly overdose in a motel room last Wednesday.  

Ellicott Town Police were called to the Budget Inn on East Main Street just before 1:30 AM and, found a female who overdosed on drugs.  During the investigation, police say a 2-month-old infant was reportedly in the room during the incident and both parents were under the influence of drugs while caring for the child.  Officers say 36 year-old Joshua Lincoln and 24 year-old Tanisha Babcock were issued appearance tickets for Town Court at a later date. 

One of the candidates in the Democratic Presidential Primaries is seeking a campaign headquarters in Chautauqua County.  

That from county Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green, who is back after a quick weekend in New Hampshire in advance of today's first party primary of 2020.  Green also says he has been contacted by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign about a location in the Jamestown-area ahead New York's April 28th primary.

Both Bloomberg and fellow Billionaire Tom Steyers have been spending millions of dollars on advertising, which has created a lot of political buzz.  There's still a lot of buzz about last week's disasterous Iowa Caucuses.  Green says there are often issues that arise during voting, but he says Iowa needs to do a better job and, maybe have their caucus and votes handled by professionals.  The New York Primary is one of several that will be held on Tuesday, April 28th, also known as "Super Tuesday."  Michael Bloomberg skipped the Iowa Caucuses and, has mainly been eyeing Super Tuesday states.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 10, 2020

A Sinclairville man has been arrested on menacing and drug possession charges after allegedly threatening other people with a knife in two Chautauqua County towns....  

Sheriff's officers were intially called to a location in the Town of Stockton last Thursday and following an investigation, they learned the suspect was 24 year-old Austin Schwab.  Schwab allegedly threatened another person's life while brandishing a knife.  A warrant was issued for his arrest for second-degree menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon charges.   Last Friday, deputies stopped Schwab's car in the town of Gerry, and he was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs.  He was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance, and numerous hypodermic needles.  He was charged there with driving while ability impaired by drugs, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and aggravated unlicensed operation.

A north county man has been sentenced to eight-years in federal prison and 25 years supervised post-release for his conviction on child pornography charges...

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that 56 year-old Joseph Harvey of Forestville, received the sentence from federal Judge Lawrence Vilardo.  Prosecutors say Harvey was accused of being found in possession of 37 videos and 51 images of child pornography in May of 2016 and, some included prepubescent minors, and depictions of violence.  They also say he exchanged text messages at that time with another man in which they discussed child pornography.  During those text exchanges, Harvey distributed and received images of child pornography.

The city of Jamestown's Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department has had to take down five old and damaged trees that are part of the West Third Street "Cathedral Oak Trees."  

City Arborist Dan Stone responded last week to a number of public inquiries about the work that was taking place along the street between Hall Avenue and Hallock Street.  Stone says they were taken down over several days.

In recent years, the Oak Trees across the city have been impacted by the Emerald Ash Borer.  Stone says that led to the removal of 317 oaks last year alone.  He says they've been able to treat and fertilize several trees, but, some done several years ago are at the end of their life cycles.  Stone says parks crews cut down 200 to 300 trees a year but, he adds they replace them.  He says they have 255 trees that will go into the ground this Spring.  In 1986, Stone says there were 67 Oak Trees in that five-block area of West Third Street.

Two major projects should be having a positive impact on the Dunkirk area's economy during 2020....  

Mayor Willie Rosas announced late this past week that the Cold Storage Warehouse located on South Roberts Road is ready for operation.

Rosas also gave an update on another project that is expected to get underway in 2020 at Fieldbrook Foods.  He says that expansion effort has been in the design and planning stages, and they are looking to receive the necessary approvals and permits to begin.  The $89-million expansion is expected to employ about 70 workers. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says his state will file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's plan to block New Yorkers from enrolling in "trusted traveler" programs...  

The lawsuit announced Friday is the latest salvo in an escalating fight over immigration policy between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in his home state.  Federal officials say they took the step of blocking New Yorkers because of a new state law barring immigrant agents from getting access to state motor vehicle records.  The law allows New York residents to apply for driver's licenses without having to prove they are in the U.S. legally. 

The Chautauqua County Office buildings and courthouse in Mayville had to be evacuated for a while last Friday after a power outage triggered their emergency system....  

County Executive PJ Wendel's office confirms that, due to the winter weather, evacuees were taken to the nearby Mayville Catholic Church.  Wendel says at first officials were not sure why the system was triggered, but after they determined there was no threat to public safety, the campus was re-opened.  He says no other county facilities were effected by the outage and subsequent evacuation.

WJTN Headlines for Sat., Feb. 8, 2020

Green in New Hampshire for Democratic Presidential Primary...
Chautauqua County's Democratic Party Chairman is heading to New Hampshire this weekend to help with organizing leading up to next Tuesday's first presidential primary vote.  Norm Green was on his way Friday afternoon to the Granite State... and, says he's excited to be heading back.  Green says he visited New Hampshire last Fall, and looks forward to working to unify the party through the November election.  He's the guest of Jeremy Zellner, who is chairman of the Erie County Democratic Committee, for a major fundraiser tonight in Manchester.  Green says he and Zellner have yet to endorse a candidate... and, he says the nomination remains up in the air after the disasterous Iowa Caucus.  Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg were neck-and-neck for the top spot in Iowa... with others close behind.  Green says former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg has become an interesting addition to the race. 

Congressman Tom Reed says a new Infrastructure Bill could come in late 2020 or mid-2021...
While political rancor has been on full-display in Washington, D.C. this week... there has been some talk about working to get a new infrastructure bill in place.  A $1-trillion dollar measure has been discussed by President Donald Trump, and many members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle.  Prior to the State of the Union Address... U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said she would like to work on such a bill... and, local Congressman Tom Reed followed up those sentiments.  Reed says most of the vetting and solution work has already been done.  However... he's not sure anything will be agreed to during the current election season.  Still... Reed, who is running for re-election himself this November, says he believes that if a major infrastructure isn't voted on this year... it very well could be in the first half of 2021.  The Corning Republican says he believes that will be the case whether President Trump is elected to a second-term or not.  He made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.

Cuomo announces state lawsuit opposing Trump administration blocking New Yorkers from being enrolled in "trusted traveler" program... 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says his state will file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's plan to block New Yorkers from enrolling in "trusted traveler" programs.  The lawsuit announced Friday is the latest salvo in an escalating fight over immigration policy between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in his home state.  Federal officials say they took the step of blocking New Yorkers because of a new state law barring immigrant agents from getting access to state motor vehicle records.  The law allows New York residents to apply for driver's licenses without having to prove they are in the U.S. legally. 

Ripley man arrested for sexual offense in case involving juvenile...
A Ripley man has been arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a juvenile in the town of Ripley.  Sheriff's officers say their Criminal Investigation Division was called to investigate a "suspicious situation" at a Ross Street home.  Deputies say they found that 19 year-old Cortland Hepfner did engage in the inappropriate relationship with the juvenile.  Hepfner was issued an appearance ticket for a later date in Ripley Town Court for one count of sexual misconduct. 

County office buidlings in Mayville evacuated briefly after power outage triggers alarm...
Chautauqua County’s Mayville Office Buildings and county courthouse had to be evacuated Friday morning after a power outage triggered their emergency alarm system.  County Executive P-J Wendel's office confirms that, due to the winter weather, evacuees were taken to the nearby Mayville Catholic Church.  Wendel says at first officials were not sure why the system was triggered, but after they determined there was no threat to public safety, the campus was re-opened.  The executive said no other county facilities were effected by the outage and subsequent evacuation.

Two major projects set to begin at cold storage facility, and Fieldbrook Foods this year...
Two major projects should be having a positive impact on the Dunkirk area's economy during 2020.  Mayor Willie Rosas announced late this past week that the Cold Storage Warehouse located on South Roberts Road is ready for operation.  Rosas says the facility is already open and looking to hire more people.  Rosas also gave an update on another project that is expected to get underway in 2020 at Fieldbrook Foods... and says they're getting their approvals and permits in place for a major expansion there.  He says the $89-million expansion is expected to employ about 70 workers. 

City woman arrested for stealing nearly $350 worth of merchandise at Lakewood WalMart...
A Jamestown woman was arrested for allegedly stealing nearly $350 worth of items without paying at the Walmart Superstore in Lakewood.  Village Police were called to the Fairmount Avenue location Wednesday night... and, took 38 year-old April Crawford into custody.  Officers says Crawford allegedly under-rang $349.16 in merchandise at the self-checkout.  She was issued an appearance ticket for Busti Town Court on a charge of petty larceny. 


WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 7, 2020

Opponents and supporters of the new Bail Reform law were heard from Thursday afternoon during a hearing by the state Senate Repeal Bail Reform Task Force.  

Some 17 people testified during the first of a statewide series of hearings on the impact of the cashless bail, and other criminal justice reforms that took effect on January 1st.  State Senator George Borrello, who chairs the task force, says the goal is to get testimony from people who he says were ignored in the process of creating the new laws.

Borrello says the new reforms have resulted in a more than 70-percent increase in bench warrants for failure to appear in court in the city of Jamestown.  He says the last count was 119 people who have not shown up for their court dates.  Borrello says Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone and District Attorney Patrick Swanson were on hand, along with Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings and Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano.

Also in Buffalo, local Assemblyman Andy Goodell joined other members of the chamber's minority Republicans calling for an immediate repeal of the criminal justice reforms -- namely cashless bail.  

The press conference was hosted by Gowanda Assemblyman Joe Giglio and other Republicans.  They were also joined by families directly impacted by the new bail reform laws and law enforcement professionals who expressed serious concerns with the new requirements.  The members also discussed their recently issued report, “Criminal Justice Reform: Addressing the Issues with Bail and Discovery Reforms."  Goodell says "catch and release’ is great for fishing, but is a terrible criminal justice policy.  Lives are being lost and New Yorkers are losing confidence in their safety; we know what we have to do.  It’s far past time to repeal this ‘catch and release’ policy."

Local Congressman Tom Reed spent some time meeting and, getting to know new muncipal and county officials recently in Mayville.  

He says it was also a chance to get updates on local issues facing those officials.  Reed says the meeting included people like Interim County Executive P-J Wendel, and new State Senator George Borrello.  The Corning Republican says the health of Chautauqua Lake remains a big issuesone local issue... along with workforce development.

Reed says the third major issue is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent proposal to cap state Medicaid aid at 3-percent growth.  Cuomo is making the proposal to try and reign in spending on the program.  However, local leaders say the state runs the program, and New York needs to find cost cuts.  Reed says it's wrong to shift any added costs onto local counties.. and, he'll oppose any such move.  

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says it will no longer let New York residents enroll in its "trusted traveler" programs because of a new state law that blocked federal immigration officials from accessing motor vehicle records.  

The so-called "Green Light" law went into effect in December and allowed people without legal permission to be in the United States to apply for driver's licenses.

  Acting Director of the Homeland Security Department, Chad Wolf, called New York's new law "disappointing" during a Fox News interview late Wednesday night.  A senior adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, says the move by DHS was politically motivated.  Local Congressman Tom Reed recently sounded a warning on the potential move by DHS and, again called this morning for the "Green Light" law to be repealed.

The 2019 Hunting Seasons for New York State are the safest on-record in history.  That from Department of Environment Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos, who says nearly 55,000 hunters enjoy the sport in New York state each year.  Seggos says the declining number of incidents confirms that today's generation of hunters are the most safety-conscious yet.  The DEC documented seven tree stand incidents, 12 Hunting-Related Shooting incidents and one fatality last year, compared to 166 incidents -- 13 of which were fatal -- in 1966.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 6, 2020

Local Congressman Tom Reed agrees there was a lot of partisanship on display during the State of the Union Address.  

But... the Corning Republican says "enough is enough."  Reed says lost in the theatrics was President Trump saying it's important to remember they're all working for the American people.

Reed says he took the president's address in "a positive way..." and, high-lighted some bi-partisan successes over the past three years.  One of those was the recent approval... and, signing of the new United States, Mexico, and Canada Trade agreement.  He says lawmakers came together to advance a policy that will help manufacturers, farmers and workers.  Reed adds that other bi-partsian measures... such as Crimnal Justice Reform... was put in place through the efforts of Congress and the president.  He did note that one area he wished the president would have discussed was the ballooning national deficit... which has now reached $23-trillion.

A crowd of about 25-to-30 people gathered in a peaceful protest in Fredonia late Wednesday afternoon in response to the Senate's acquittal of President Trump...

The protest, organized by the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Women's Action Group, was one of several across the nation known as "Reject the Cover-Up".  A few Trump supporters held a counter-protest at the event.

One of the high-lights of the State of Union for Chautauqua Countys' Congressman was having a Jamestown-area teenager on hand to watch the speech with him.  

Tom Reed says it was "great" to have a young leader in the area of Type-One Diabetes research and treatment in the gallery.  Bemus Point's Ben Cornell is a regional ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Reed says the 14 year-old Cornell was "very appreciative" of being selected to watch the State of the Union in person.  The Corning Republican's son, Will, is also a Type-One Diabetic, and he says he can appreciate what the Cornell family has dealt with.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.

A broken drainpipe at Ring Elementary School in Jamestown has forced city school officials to close the school for today while repairs are made.  

District Spokeswoman Cathy Panebianco says the pipe is in the cafeteria area of the school.  While Ring will be closed... all other Jamestown schools will be open.  In addition... she says students should not report on Friday due to scheduled Inservice Day. 

Officials with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown say they're excited to have four legendary comedians coming to this year's 30th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.  

Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says first... Jeff Foxworthy will be performing his "Red-Neck humor" show on Friday night... August 7th at the Northwest Arena.  Gunderson says Foxworthy is the "highest selling comedian" of all time.

In addition... Gunderson says they'll be celebrating the 45th anniversary for Saturday Night Live on Saturday night, August 8th with stand-up shows by SNL legends David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Kevin Nealon.  She says all three have "fantastic" stand-up shows.  Gunderson says pre-sale tickets for the two shows at the Northwest Arena go on sale to National Comedy Center members only on Tuesday, February 25th at 12 Noon.  The general public has it's crack at tickets on March 3rd, beginning at Noon. 

Comedic legend Jeff Foxworthy has never been to the National Comedy Center... but, he did an extensive interview with it's producers about stand-up comedy.  

Director Journey Gunderson says it's part of one of their stand-up comedy displays at the center... breaking down "the anatomy of a joke."  Gunderson is also reminding residents that the Comedy Center is still in the lead for USA Today's "Best New Museum" contest nationwide.  The center is one of 20 new museums that are vying for the title.  You can vote everyday now through Monday, February 17th... at

The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame's annual induction dinner in Lakewood has again sold out....  

That from Chairman Chip Johnson... who says every ticket has been handed out for the February 17th event at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  This years inductees include: George Bataitis, Bob Bender, Bob Goold, Christine Carlson-Jenkins, Justin Johnson, Tim Nobles, Elly Norton, Mark Orlando and Mike Tramuta.  Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson adds they'll also be honoring nearly 50 high school, collegiate and community athletes... and, Legacy Awards will be presented to 17 deserving individuals. 

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 5, 2020

Jamestown school Superintendent Bret Apthorpe will leave the district at the end of June.  

The announcement was made at Tuesday's school board meeting, with Apthorpe saying he was retiring -- effective June 30th -- and is doing so because it is time to put his family first. Board President, Paul Abbott issued a statement saying this "Dr. Apthorpe has made many improvements during his tenure and has also guided us through some challenging events".  Bret Apthorpe became the Jamestown Superitendent in September of 2017.  His work with JPS includes launching the Success Academy and the Jamestown LEAP summer literacy program. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, with Apthorpe helping in the selection and transition process.

It may only be February, but the National Comedy Center announced their celebrity line-up for the 30th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival this morning.  

The Center's Steve Neilans says comedian Jeff Foxworthy will be performing August 7th.  Neilans says the Comedy Festival will also celebrate the 45th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, with performances by SNL legends David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon on August 8th.  Pre-sale tickets for National Comedy Center members starts Tuesday, February 25th and the public on-sale date will be March 3rd at 12-noon. 

Fire has extensively damaged the upper portions of a single-family home on Jamestown's southside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 121 Cole Avenue shortly before 2 PM Tuesday.  Coon says nine firefighters and one commander responded.

Coon says no one was home at the time but, they were able to rescue three dogs inside.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the flames under control... and, another 15 minutes to put the fire out.  He says fire damage was confined to the upper story of the house and that was extensive.  He adds there's water and slight smoke damage to the first floor.  Right now, Coon says the house is uninhabitable.  He says the three occupants are being helped by the Red Cross.  He says crews were at the scene until about 3:30 this afternoon and, the fire remains under investigation.  No one was hurt.

The investigations into three separate and targeted shooting incidents in the city of Jamestown the past month are ongoing and, have been linked to two factors.  

Mayor Eddie Sundquist said during a news conference at City Hall yesterday that it's drugs and gang violence.  Sundquist, who was joined by Police Chief Harry Snellings, is asking the community to get engaged in helping to solve those incidents.

Snellings says the most recent shootings... one on Hazzard Street and Newland Avenue on January 25th, has been tied to another incident that occured about a month earlier.  That one occured on Newland Avenue in late December.  Snellings says they have identified the suspects involved in those shootings.  However, he adds they need to interview the victim first.  Snellings says their investigation of the shooting at the Bullfrog Hotel has not been solved because the victim won't cooperate with police.  If you have any information on these incidents, you can call the JPD Tips line -- confidentially -- at 483-8477.  You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she was hopeful that there may be a couple of areas where Democrats may be able to work with President Trump and Republican lawmakers.  

Gillibrand was among the lawmakers on hand for last night's State of the Union Address in Washington.  The Democrat was looking forward to hearing about some areas where her party would be able to work with the president on at least a couple of areas.

Gillibrand says there had been renewed discussion in recent months about the possibility of some kind of infrastructure bill that would likely cost at least one-trillion dollars.  However, she's not sure whether it will be brought up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Gillibrand, who has pushed a number of bills to help veterans, is now pushing a "Burn Pits" bill that would help soldiers who were exposed to those overseas.

There are no known cases of the novel coronavirus in Chautauqua County and in New York State.  That from the county's Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Division.  Breeanne Agett, an epidemiologist with the county, says the risk to the general public remains low.

Agett says there's a greater risk of getting the flu, which is prevalent across the county and the state.  While there is no vaccine for the coronavirus, Agett says there are everyday preventive actions that can be taken to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and many other respiratory illnesses.  She says wash your hands often during the day with soap and water for at least 20-seconds, not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoiding people who are sick.  The World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a global emergency.  The state Health Department says it will to provide updated information about the outbreak, ensuring appropriate protocols are in place.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 4, 2020

Jamestown police are now being tasked with serving warrants for more than 100 people arrested under the state's new bail feform law eliminating cash bail.  

Members of the City Council's Public Safety Committee got the latest update on the law's impact from Police Chief Harry Snellings.   Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon says Snellings told lawmakers that 107 people in January alone were issued appearance tickets... and failed to show up on their city court date.  He says the chief will testify before a State Senate Republican task force this week.

Snellings says the hearing in Buffalo will be held by the new "Repeal Bail Reform Task Force.." which is co-chaired by local State Senator George Borrello.  He says Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone, and Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano have also been asked to testify at the 2 PM hearing in Buffalo.  Borrello says it's meant to give voice to police agencies, and the victims of crime committed by suspects issued appearance tickets under the new bail reform law.

Jamestown police arrested a driver operating his vehicle with a suspended license and drugs in his possession Sunday afternoon.  

Officers say 39 year-old Steven Gaddy was taken into custody at the intersection of Superior and Park Streets when they allegedly found numerous pills packaged for sale.  Gaddy was released with an appearance ticket for Jamestown City Court on charges of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.... Expired Registration.... fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, traffic violations. 

An early evening fire in the town of Cherry Creek Sunday night has extensively damaged a barn.  

Chautauqua County Sheriff's dispatchers say Creek Creek crews were called to the scene at 17-10 Thornton Road about 5:45 PM... and, found the barn fully-engulfed in flames on arrival.  Dispatchers say mutual aid was called in from Kennedy, and Falconer... and Leon and Conewango from Cattaraugus County.  The fire was reported out about 8 PM.  No one was hurt... but, there's no word on whether any animals were injured.  No cause has been released.

A $3-million grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation will be used to help the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities replace old and deteriorated water mains through-out it's service area.  

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the matching grant was recently announced by the state and, says it will help with a $5-million project they have planned to start this year.  Leathers credited his Water Division Team, led by Deputy GM Mike Saar, for identifying where most breaks occur.

Leathers says the BPU is providing the $2-million share, as required, to receive the grant.  He adds that this Winter has been pretty mild in terms of number of main breaks.  He says November and December were "fairly mild" in that regard.  Leathers says the water mains to be replaced include those on Washington Street, Hazeltine Avenue, West 18th Street and, West Virginia Boulevard.

Officials with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are warning customers about a local scam that has resurfaced in the city.  

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says a customer new to the area said she received a call from a person saying she owed the BPU $200.00 and that her utilities would be shut off if she didn’t immediately pay a person posing as a BPU employee.  Customers should remember that they can initiate BPU bill payments in our Customer Service Office, online, in their drop boxes and by phone.  Robbins adds the BPU does not call people, and threaten to turn off service if payment isn’t made immediately to a private person.  She says customers should hang up the phone in such a situation.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a 3-percent increase in public school aid for the coming fiscal year.  

But, as he calls for more aid to poorer districts to help increase student achievement, does his new budget reflect that?  To a degree it does, but the state School Boards Association is still trying to get more information.  Association Spokesman David Albert says Cuomo appears to have consolidated some aid areas into base, or "Foundation Aid."  However, Albert says they're leery of such moves, including proposals to change building and transportation aid.

Albert says the Association is also concerned about possible changes to BOCES Aid.  He says that aid helps districts work with BOCES to find more efficiencies and cost savings.  The governor's budget plan adds about $826-million to the school aid portion of his $178-billion budget plan for 2020-2021.  The legislature has to approve a new spending plan by April 1st.

A Type-One diabetic from Bemus Point, who has talked about the disease and how it's impacted his life, will be on hand for President Trump's State of the Union Address tomorrow night.  

Local Congressman Tom Reed says 14 year-old Ben Cornell will be his guest for the address in Washington, D-C.  Reed says he's gotten to know Ben and his family through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  He says "Ben recently invited me to attend the JDRF of Western New York’s 20th anniversary Gala to hear him share his story as the “Fund a Cure” Speaker, and I am pleased to return the favor by inviting him to the State of the Union.”  Cornell thanked Reed for the invitation... and says "you can tell that Type I Diabetes is an issue he truly cares about, and I appreciate his work to improve the lives of those affected by this disease."  Reed's son, Will, also also a Type-One Diabetic.

A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting another man with a softball bat in the town of Yorkshire.  

State Police in Machias say they arrested 70-year-old Leslie Spencer of Yorkshire last Saturday for first-degree assault.  Spencer is accused of striking the victim with the bat at a home on Route 16.  Troopers say he was arraigned in Yorkshire Town Court and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $15,000 cash bail, pending a future court appearance.

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 3, 2020

Two Brocton residents have been arrested for allegedly harassing another person during an incident in the north county village late last week....  

Sheriff's officers and State Police were called the the scene on East Main Street shortly before 5 PM last Friday for a disorderly person.  Their investigation revealed that 50 year-old David McLaughlin allegedly damaged another person's property, and subjected the victim to unwanted physical contact.  The victim also accused 41 year-old Bambi Hawkins of spitting on them during the incident.  Both were found a short time later and arrested for second-degree harassment, while McLaughlin was also charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.  They were issued appearance tickets for Portland Town Court at a later date.

Chautauqua County's most famous groundhog is in agreement with Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog in revealing an early spring is on the way....  

At sunrise on Sunday, members of Punxsutawney Phil's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed the furry forecaster's prediction. The annual event has its origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on February 2nd, winter continues.  If not, spring comes early.  In Dunkirk, "Dunkirk Dave" also saw no shadow Sunday morning at Sunrise, and is in agreement with Phil.

Jamestown's new mayor laid out a lenghty and daunting list of initiatives that he would like to begin work on in the new year that's a big turn from where the city has been....  

That from City Council President Tony Dolce, reacting to Mayor Eddie Sundquist's vision for the coming year in his State of the City Address this past week.  Dolce says he wants to see more details but, adds that zoning changes to help development are usually a continually changing issue.

Sundquist is also proposing a look at the city's tax structure to provide more incentives for building new homes, and local businesses in the city.  Dolce cautions that Sundquist needs to be mindful of the city's tenuous financial situation, which has had to be a major focus the past two decades.  City lawmakers were able to make a small tax cut for 2020 after some addition savings were found in it's health insurance program.  The city council will hold it's first February work session tonight at City Hall beginning at 7:30 PM.

An employee of the Lakewood Wal-Mart Superstore has been accused of taking money from the cash register for the past month for her own use....  

Lakewood-Busti Police say they charged 23 year-old Brianna Bloom of Jamestown with petty larceny.  Officers say their joint investigaton with Wal-Mart security found that Bloom had taken money from the register she was working at from last December 29th through late last week.  Bloom was processed and released with an apparance ticket for Busti Town Court at a later date.

Tickets are now available for this year's Four-H 'Green Tie Affair,' to be held Sunday, February 23rd at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville....  

Kate Ewer, Four-H and Youth Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County, says it's the 8th such dinner, and as a result, will have a '1980's theme.'  Pre-sale tickets are $20, $25 after February 10th.  Tables of eight that include special advertising are $200.  More information is available from Cornell Cooperative Extension at their new offices in the Carnahan Center at Jamestown Community College.  Kate Ewer says the 5:00 PM dinner will preceded by a bake sale and basket auction... and followed by the famous Four-H pie auction.  She adds, the dinner is more than just a good time, a successful fundraiser is essential to the continuation of the program in Chautauqua County.  Four-H serves 300 young people with programming year-round, while reaching another 1,000 youth with one-time programming.   

The mayor of the north county City of Dunkirk outlined the city's accomplishments in 2019... and, his goals for the city in 2020 during his annual State of the City Address late last week....

In his presentation at City Hall, Democrat Willie Rosas emphasized economic achievements, including the city having a $1.3-million increase in its fund balance since he took office in 2016.

Rosas added that his primary goal in 2020 is improving the downtown area by helping existing businesses expand and bringing in new businesses.  The mayor says, in order to do that, the city will offer incentives for businesses to locate downtown and apply for grant assistance for facade improvements.  Rosas also gave updates on several ongoing projects in the city, including the North County Water District. He says that project is ahead of schedule, and the city will soon be able to supply water to customers in the Town of Sheridan.

The New York State Bar Association is endorsing the legalization of recreational marijuana, a move that comes as state lawmakers consider proposals this session to legalize the drug...  

Governor Andrew Cuomo has put forward legislation to legalize marijuana in New York.  Under the governor's proposal, sales to retail dispensaries would be taxed at 20-percent and people could have one ounce of marijuana before getting in trouble.  A separate proposal, backed by Democrats in the Legislature, would permit people to have to have three ounces of marijuana. 

WJTN Headlines for Sat., Feb. 1, 2020

Jamestown man arrested following high-speed chase in city...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly leading Jamestown on a high-speed car chase early Thursday morning.  City police say an officer spotted a northbound black-colored Lincoln Sports Utility Vehicle speeding shortly after 4 a.m. on Washington Street... and, began a pursuit.  Officers say the driver then make a reckless right turn onto Fluvanna Avenue, and traveled east to North Main Street.  The driver then sped at more than three-times the speed limit to the intersection of North Main and Interstate 86 where 24 year-old Braedon Kim finally pulled over.  Police say Kim was arraigned on charges including speeding in zone, third-degree unlawfully fleeing an officer, and reckless driving.  He was released with appearance tickets for City Court.

Borrello, other officials, join in rally to save TLC/Lakeshore in wake of news of Emergency Dept. closing...
The Brooks-TLC Hospital System has announced that the emergency department at the TLC/Lakeshore Campus in Irving will be closing this Sunday night due to the lack of available medical coverage.  The hospital system added that a paramedic-staffed ambulance will be stationed at the at the facility in the event there is need for emergency care.  Meanwhile, at a news conference and rally held outside the hospital Friday afternoon... State Senator George Borrello said that he believes Brooks-TLC did not have permission from the Department of Mental Health to close the emergency department.  Borrello says he was on the phone with OMH just prior to the rally, and he says nothing was said about the Sunday closing.  A coalition of community leaders, healthcare workers and elected officials attended the event.  Peter DeJesus of 1199 S-E-I-U says the hospital system's board needs to "do the right thing" and stop the closure.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Allison Hunt from Congressman Tom Reed's Office, and healthcare worker Lillian Harrington were among the other speakers at the rally.

Buffalo Diocese facing imminent bankruptcy...
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo says bankruptcy is imminent after posting a $5-million loss in 2019, with a barrage of clergy sexual misconduct lawsuits still pending.  The western New York diocese released its annual financial report Thursday.  It says a bankruptcy filing would best allow the diocese to manage sexual misconduct claims fairly.  The diocese would become the second of New York's eight dioceses, after Rochester, to seek bankruptcy protection.  Buffalo's financial report cites lower revenue from donations and investments as hundreds of alleged child victims of clergy abuse have come forward with claims.  The news comes as the Diocese's Catholic Charities begins it's $10-million Appeal for 2020.

Rosas high-lights improving downtown area, other goals, in State of the City address in Dunkirk...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas outlined the city's accomplishments in 2019... and, his goals for the city in 2020 during his annual State of the City Address late last week.  In his presentation at City Hall... Rosas emphasized economic achievements, including the city having a $1.3-million increase in its fund balance since he took office in 2016.  He says that came out in the 2018 audit.  Rosas added that his primary goal in 2020 is improving the downtown area by helping existing businesses expand and bringing in new businesses.  The mayor says, in order to do that, the city will offer incentives for businesses to locate downtown and apply for grant assistance for facade improvements.  More on that Monday.

Activists pushing to get New York to do more to fight Climate Change...
New York state has set some of the nation's most ambitious goals on fighting climate change, but some activists say it isn't moving fast enough.  Lawmakers holding budget hearings this week faced protests from environmental and left-leaning groups who criticized the lack of new solar and wind projects breaking ground in the state.  This year, the governor has proposed borrowing $3-billion for food protection projects, wildlife habitat restoration, and construction of small renewable energy systems.  Still, the state has a long way to go to reach its environmental goals.

Wendel and other officals meet Friday with Truck-lite officials... 
The effort to try and preserve about 100 manufacturing jobs at Truck-lite Company just outside of Jamestown was the focus of a meeting Friday between company and elected officials.  New Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel and others met with Truck-lite officials at the Falconer plant to try and see if the facility can be kept operating beyond this year.  The maker of vehicle lighting systems announced tentative plans earlier this month to end production at the end of 2020.  Wendel says they want to keep all of Truck-lite's current operations here.  He says Truck-lite was founded in Jamestown back in the mid-1950s.  Wendel says company officials have so far indicated that management, financial and accounting departments will stay in Falconer. 

PA State Senate passes tougher drunk driver law...
The Pennsylvania State Senate has passed legislation to substantially increase penalties for motorists who have multiple DUI convictions to end what the bill's sponsor called it's ``revolving door system'' for the most serious drunk drivers.  The bill passed Tuesday, 43-6, and has gone to the House of Representatives.  Under the bill, penalties would rise for those who receive multiple driving-under-the-influence convictions and have higher blood alcohol content levels.  In addition, the bill would create a court-administered sobriety monitoring program and make it a condition of bail for at least three months for someone who is charged with their second DUI offense.  



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