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Local News Headlines Archives for 2022-04

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 29, 2022

Judge orders NYS Congressional and State Senate Primaries be postponed until Aug. 23...
A New York judge has ordered the state's congressional and state Senate primaries to be delayed until August 23rd to provide enough time to replace maps that were ruled unconstitutional this week.  State Judge Patrick McAllister moved the primaries back Friday from their original date of June 28.  He said special master Jonathan Cervas will finish drawing new maps by May 20.  In the meantime... state and local election officials will prepare to once again hold separate primaries in June and August. 


Western Pa. man identified as victim in one-car fatal crash in Warren Co....
A man from Western Pennsylvania has now been identified as the person killed in a fiery, head-on car crash in southern Warren County.  State Police in Warren say 43 year-old Ryan Nicklin of Greenville, Pa. died at the scene of the April 11 accident on Hearts Content Road in Watson Township.  Troopers say Nicklin was southbound just before 4 p.m. that day... when his car missed a curve... and, traveled more than 100 feet before slamming into a large tree -- head-on.  Police say a passerby tried to pull Nicklin from the vehicle... but, was unable to before the car became fully-engulfed in flames.  Several responding fire rescue crews and the Warren County Coroner responded to the scene.


Jamestown man arrested for violating order of protection, and drug possession...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection... and, later being found with narcotic drugs in his possession.  Jamestown police conducted a warrant check on East Sixth Street just before 2 a.m. Thursday... and, saw 32 year-old Craig Vanhook inside the home.  However... the 30 year-old woman living in the home had a court order of protection for Vanhook to stay away.  He was also wanted on Felony warrants.  Vanhook is accused of ignoring police calls to come out of the house several times.  Once police entered... he tried to escape through a rear window.  But, after a brief struggle, police took Vanhook into custody.  He was found in possession of a quantity of a cocaine/MDMA/Fentanyl compound mix.  Vanhook faces charges including second-degree criminal contempt... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  


Reed applauds Trevor Reed's release...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's very happy to see the release of American citizen Trevor Reed -- no relation -- who had been detained in Russia since 2019.  Congressman Reed made his comments after Trevor Reed -- a former Marine -- was released in a prisoner swap Wednesday.  Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020 for endangering the "life and health" of Russian police officers in an altercation.  His release was ultimately secured through a swap for Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko.  Yaroshenko had been serving a 20 year sentenced on drug-related charges.  Trevor Reed's mother also advocated for the release of Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen and former Marine who was detained at a Moscow hotel in December 2018... and arrested on espionage charges, which he has consistently and vehemently denied. 


County Court Felony convictions announced...
There have been six convictions on Felony charges -- three from the Jamestown-area -- reported in Chautauqua County Court this past week.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 24 year-old Alvin Martinez-Colon of Jamestown, was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a Weapon -- Loaded Firearm -- a class C felony.  Schmidt says Colon will be sentenced by Judge David Foley on June 22 to 5 years in state prison plus 5 years post-release supervision as part of a plea agreement for a May 2021 incident.
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Schmidt adds that 20 year-old Devon Smith of Falconer was found guilty of third-degree rape... and, first-degree knowingly possessing dangerous contraband in prison.  Schmidt says Smith is to be sentenced on June 1st by Judge David Foley to 1-to-3 years in state prison on the rape charge... and 1 1/3-to 4-years in state prison on the contraband charge as part of his plea agreement.  The sentences are to be served consecutively.  Also... 55 year-old Alfred Kohl of Jamestown was convicted of second-degree burglary... and, will be sentenced in late June by Judge Foley to 4 years in state prison... plus 5 years post release supervision as per the plea agreement.  Schmidt says the incident occurred in Stockton in November 2020.
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D-A Schmidt says 32 year-old Glen Hurrell of Dunkirk was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon--Loaded Firearm... and will be sentenced by Judge Foley on July 7.  He faces 5 years in state prison plus 5 years post release supervision.  A second Dunkirk man... 45 year-old Hiram Rivera... was convicted of first-degree attempted burglary in connection with a June 2021 incident... and, will be sentenced on June 7th.  He's to receive 7 years in state prison plus 5 years post release supervision.  Rivera also pled guilty to charges in Erie County and will receive a sentence of 7 years in state prison to be served consecutively with the Chautauqua County sentence.  A third man from Dunkirk... 32 year-old Erick Threatt has been convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, will be sentenced on July 7 to 7 years in state prison plus 5 years post release supervision.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 28, 2022

Legislature approves capping local gasoline tax at $3 a gallon...
Chautauqua County residents will soon be seeing a little bit of relief at the gas pump.  County lawmakers, by a 12-6 vote, passed a resolution that will temporarily cap the local share of the gas tax at $3 per gallon, beginning June 1.  The resolution was passed following a lengthy discussion during Wednesday's monthly meeting in Mayville.  Dunkirk legislator Robert Bankoski, one of the four Democratic co-sponsors of the measure, says it's not just motorists who are being hampered by high gas prices -- it's also the agricultural community for tractors and other farm vehicles.  However... Republican Lisa Vanstrom of West Ellicott was one of the six legislators who opposed the resolution.  She says reducing or capping the tax will not guarantee in lower costs because retailers set the prices... because retailers have the final choice in where the price winds up.  The temporary tax cap will last for six months, ending Dec. 1.


State Court of Appeals rejects Democrat-drawn congressional maps...
The state's highest court has rejected new congressional maps that had widely been seen as favoring Democrats.   The Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday with a group of Republican voters who say that the district boundaries had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered... and, that lawmakers didn't follow proper procedure in approving the maps.  The shape of the districts will now be in the hands of a 'special master'... Jonathan Cervas... appointed by the judge who first heard the case.  The Buffalo News reported the timetable for new districts:  a hearing on May 6 in Bath, a new proposal by May 16, comments due by May 20, with the final determination by May 24.  Only then can a new date be set for a primary election, probably in August. 


Reed happy to see NATO standing firm against Russia in wake of oil shut-offs to two countries...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's pleased to see the Western Alliance remain strong against Russia... which has now cut off natural gas to two NATO members.  Russian President Vladimir Putin is also threatening to cut off other countries as he dramatically escalates the stand-off over the war in Ukraine.  Putin says Poland and Bulgaria will be cut-off because they refused to pay for the gas in the Russian Ruble.  Reed met Wednesday morning with the German industry representative... who said they are fully committed to developing oil and gas pipelines from north to south instead of east to west.  Reed says Germany will also indemnify that work to be done.  Unfortunately... the Corning Republican says Putin "still controls the valve on that gas pipeline" that services Europe.  European leaders decried the move as "blackmail." 


Reed believes COVID lock-downs in China are designed to "shut-down" supply chains...
Chautauqua County's congressman says he believes that China is using the recent resurgence of COVID-19 in it's most populated areas to "further strangle supply chains."  Corning Republican Tom Reed says there's especially been an effort to shut-down one major city where workers haven't been allowed to return to work for weeks.  Reed says it proves to him that the Chinese Communist Party wants to control those supply chains.  He says when you see what's being done in Shanghai... it appears more to do with shutting down the shipping industry. 


Frewsburg man arrested for alleged Hit-and-Run accident with Sheriff's Dept. vehicle...         
A Frewsburg man is accused of drunk driving after his car veered off West Main Street in Frewsburg and sideswiped a Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department patrol vehicle.  Officers say 54 year-old Mark Kyler was eastbound just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, when his car went off the road, and struck the patrol vehicle.  Officers say Kyler drove off without stopping.  But, the deputy was able to pursue Kyler and he was stopped on Ivory Road about a mile from the crash scene.  An investigation found that Kyler was highly-intoxicated and he was arrested for DWI.  He was also charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident... and failure to maintain lane.  No one was hurt in the crash.


Silver Creek man arrested after discharging gun inside Lafayette St. home...         
A north county man is jailed without bail after allegedly entering another person's home in Silver Creek... displaying and then firing off a handgun inside the residence.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a "suspicious situation" on Lafayette Street about 3:30 p.m. Monday.  Following an investigation... officers found the suspect -- 36 year-old Deron Weaver -- a short time later, and he was arrested without incident.  Weaver was arraigned on charges including first-degree burglary... first-degree reckless endangerment... and, second-degree menacing.  He was taken to the county jail for arraignment.


Dunkirk man pleads guility to cocaine trafficking...
A Dunkirk man has admitted to trafficking significant amounts of cocaine in the north county city back in the Summer of 2020.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 32 year-old Hector Santos-Morales pled guilty in U-S District Court in Buffalo to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine.  Prosecutors say a U-S Postal Inspector executed a search warrant on a package from Puerto Rico addressed to Santos on Beaver Street.  During the search... the postal Inspector seized about one kilogram of suspected cocaine.  Investigators later replaced the cocaine with “sham” and conducted a controlled delivery of the parcel to the Beaver Street address.  After a device inside the parcel alerted investigators that it had been opened, law enforcement approached the residence and took Santos into custody.  
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Apr. 27, 2022

Two homes damaged by fire that destroyed garage in Dunkirk...
The cause of a fire that destroyed a garage and damaged two nearby homes in the city of Dunkirk remains under investigation.  Firefighters in the north county city responded to a report of a garage fire at 927 Central Ave. around 2:30 a.m.  They found the garage fully involved in flames, and the fire had spread to single family homes at 925 and 927 Central.  The fire destroyed the garage and a car parked inside it.  Damage was extensive to the attic area of 927 Central and there was moderate damage primarily to the exterior of 925 Central.  There were no injuries reported.


Two killed in Mercy Flight helicopter crash in Genesee County...
A medical helicopter pilot and flight instructor have been killed in a crash during a training flight in western New York.  State police said the Mercy Flight helicopter went down at around 1 p.m. Tuesday near the Genesee County town of Elba, located about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester.  Authorities said no patients were on board.  Mercy Flight said the cause of the accident had not been determined, and called it an "unspeakable tragedy."  Buffalo-based Mercy Flight identified the pilot as James Sauer, a retired New York state police pilot.  The identity of the flight instructor who worked for the helicopter manufacturer was not released.


One person killed in motorcycle accident in eastern Warren Co., Pa...
One person was killed in an early afternoon motorcycle crash in eastern Warren County, Pennsylvania Monday.  Police officials say the accident occured just after Noon in Mead Township.  The Warren Times-Observer reports it occured on Kinzua Road... near the Kinzua Point Information Center.  Warren County Coroner Melissa Zydonik was called to the scene... and says the person killed was from outside the area.  


Wendel unsure about GOP support for capping gas tax in county...
Chautauqua County Legislature Democrats are pushing to cap the county's share of the gas tax at $3 per gallon. But... County Executive P.J. Wendel is not sure whether there will be enough support to pass a pre-filed resolution calling for the reduction during tonight's monthly meeting.  Wendel says there needs to be further review... because he understands dropping the tax would help local motorists.  However, he remains concerned over the possibility of a deficit in the budget, and having to impose a property tax increase.  Wendel says there is also concern that there is no guarantee that motorists will see the actual reduction in the local share of the gas tax if its approved by the County Legislature.  That's because wholesalers could still raise their prices.  County lawmakers are also facing a time limit,  since any action would have to be taken this evening in order to have the reduction take effect on June 1.  That's when New York State's reduction of the gas tax by 16 cents per gallon takes effect through Dec. 31.


Gas prices in Jamestown area up about 5-cents a gallon this week...
The price for a gallon of gasoline in the Jamestown-area is up about 5-cents this week... following the national trend.  The AAA's Gas Price Report says the cost has risen from just over $4.14 to about $4.19 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA says... despite several weeks of declining prices, the national average for a gallon of regular gas has risen 4 cents over the past week to $4.12 a gallon.  Concerns that less Russian oil will enter the global market combined with fears of a COVID-induced economic slowdown in China are causing oil prices to hover around $100 a barrel.  This week’s national average is still 12-cents less than a month ago... but, $1.24 more than a year ago.


Wendel says county is monitoring "high" number of COVID cases in neighboring Erie County...
Chautauqua County officials are keeping an eye on the situation in Erie County, which has been listed as a "high" COVID-19 community level by the Centers for Disease Control.  The CDC says the county's Covid-19 community level remains "low."  Executive Wendel says they continue to monitor the numbers, but sees no reason for concern because the numbers aren't where Erie County's are, and the number of hospitalizations remain low.  Wendel says if people are feeling sick, they should stay home and get tested.  He adds that COVID-19 test kits are available everywhere.


Appellate Court hears arguments over NYS redistricting...
Judges on New York's high court peppered attorneys with sharp questions as they considered whether to throw out new congressional district maps that Republicans charge are unconstitutionally gerrymandered.  Court of Appeals judges heard arguments in a lawsuit brought by a group of Republican voters challenging the legality of the new district maps.  The court's decision could play a crucial role in the battle for control of the U.S. House, where Democrats now enjoy a thin majority.  Judges repeatedly asked the Democrats' attorneys about what should happen next if the high court decides to strike down the maps.  But... they also seemed wary about overstepping their authority.


City Council okays "Community Cats" program...
The Jamestown City Council has approved establishing a "Community Cats" Program with the Chautauqua County Humane Society.  Lawmakers Monday night also approved a new ordinace creating a "Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return" -- or TNVR Program.  Council President Tony Dolce says the "Community Cats" Program will provide the Humane Society with $5,000 to have stray or ferel cats taken to a Buffalo-area clinic to have those services performed.  Dolce says the problem has become a major issue in some parts of the city in recent years. 

 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tue., Apr. 26, 2022

City lawmakers approve $5.44-million in ARPA Projects...
The Jamestown City Council has approved several resolutions to get American Rescue Plan Act funding out the door.  However... four of last night's 19 ARPA-related measure were defeated... three by tie votes.  Sixth-Ward Councilman Andrew Faulker voted 'no' on each of those, and some others that did pass.  Faulkner says he was concerned about some duplication... and, wanting to hold back on funding two programs for $1-million.  He urged those to be cut back to $500,000... and they were.  Faulkner says those funds can be replenished later if there's a need.  Those two items included creation of a Building and Property Infrastructure Improvement... and, Equipment and Machinery Upgrades Programs.  Council President Tony Dolce there was also some concern voiced over having the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, and Local Development Corporation overseeing some of those.  Dolce pointed out there are three council members -- including himself -- on the JLDC Board.  One resolution establishing a Restaurant and Retail Assistance Program had been approved last month... and, was pulled from the agenda.  The measures approved by lawmakers totaled $5.44-million.


County Fair back for 2022, but, will be a Tuesday through Sunday event...
The Chautauqua County Fair will be back this year after a two-year absense due to the COVID-19 pandemic... and, with a couple of changes.  That from Fair Board President Dave Wilson... who confirmed the event will begin on Tues., July 19.  Wilson says they're starting the fair on a Tuesday this year because their amusement contractor is not able to start that Monday.  He says they'll have the same ride company, Powers and Thomas, providing the rides.  Wilson says they weren't sure -- at first -- if they would be coming back.  New York state allowed county fairs to operate again last year in late spring... but, Wilson says there wasn't enough time to get their fair together.  While the dates aren't set in stone at this point... their Grandstand events -- beginning on Wednesday night, July 20 -- are.  He says a band from Puerto Rico will start things off... then the annual Tractor Pull will be Thursday night.  There'll be a demolition derby on Friday... and Saturday will be a horsepulling show.  Another demolition derby will be held on Sunday.


Wendel says consultant hired to investigate Lake District should have results by this time next year...
Chautauqua County officials hope to have more clarity on what a Lake District may look like by this time next year.  The county legislature recently approved hiring the engineering firm Barton & LoGuidice to investigate whether a user fee system... or property tax payers should support the district and it's programs.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says officials with Barton & LoGuidice told the county they could do their evaluation in 12-months.  Wendel says there could be a boat use tax, or there could be a taxing district.  He and county leaders have been criticized over looking into the district because they're just "looking at imposing another tax."  He says that's not the case, but, says they need some dedicated funding for the upkeep of Chautauqua, and possibility other lakes in the county.  Wendel says they want that funding to stay with "lake operations."  The idea of a Lake District has been discussed for several years now... but, this will be the first evaluation done on the concept.  


Fredonia police still investigating one stabbing, and on other injury during violent fight at village night spot...
Two people were hurt during a "violent altercation" at a bar in the village of Fredonia early Sunday morning.  Fredonia Police say officers responded to the incident around 2 a.m. at Sunny's Tavern at 43 Water St. and a crowd had gathered outside on Canadaway Street.  Fredonia Police Chief David Price says that two victims were treated by the Fredonia Fire Department and transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  One of the victim's refused medical attention and was released with minor injuries.  The second victim was treated for stab wounds received in an altercation inside the bar at the dance floor.  The second victim was treated and released from the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Price says the investigation is ongoing... and, anyone with information is asked to call Fredonia Police at 679-1531.


Hochul touts budget, new Bills stadiu in Buffalo appearance...
Governor Kathy Hochul highlighted the recently enacted 2023 New York state budget during a visit to Buffalo Monday.  Among the projects highlighted, the controversial stadium deal for the Buffalo Bills... which she says will keep the Bills in the Buffalo-area for the next 30 years.  Hochul says the $1.4-billion project is about more than keeping the team, and economic boost it provides on Sundays.  She says it'll create about 10,000 new construction jobs.  Also among the highlights in the $221-billion budget, says Hochul, is $41.8-million for rehabing three bridges that carry Interstate 86 across Chautauqua Lake. 


Man from Mayville arrested for DWAI with child in the vehicle...
A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs with a child in the vehicle Sunday night.  Sheriff's officers say 30 year-old Matthew Buck was stopped following a vehicle complaint on West Lake Road in the village about 8:30 p.m.  Buck failed sobriety tests... and, was arrested and charged after being evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert.  He was issued appearance ticket for Aggravated DWI - Child in Vehicle... and, driving while ability impaired by drugs.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 25, 2022

City police say multiple public tips helped track down Kwik Fill robber...
Jamestown police have arrested a city man who allegedly assaulted the clerk and stole the cash register from the Kwik Fill station on Forest Avenue last Friday night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 342 Forest about 11:30 p.m. on a report of a strong-arm robbery.  Samuelson says they were told that the suspect... later identified as 27 year-old Kyle Senear... entered the store and demanded cash from the register.  He says Senear then punched the clerk in the face... and, grabbed the register before running off east towards Superior Street.  The employee was treated at the scene by Jamestown Fire Personnel.  Samuelson says police received multiple tips on the case... including some that identified the person as Senear... who was also on parole.  He faces a charge of that, in addition to second-degree robbery.  Senear is jailed pending arraignment.


Olean man pleads guilty to cyberstalking...
An Olean man has pleaded guilty to cyberstalking a person from Minnesota earlier this year.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross says 29 year-old Luke Wenke recently entered the plea before U.S. District Judge John Sinatra, Junior.  Ross says the charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Prosecutors say that in late January... Wenke threatened to hurt a person identified as "RG..." who is a criminal defense attorney representing an acquaintance of Wenke’s in a criminal matter in Minnesota.  Beginning in September 2020... they say Wenke grew dissatisfied with the representation that 'RG' provided to the acquaintance, and began to harass and threaten R.G.  Between September of 2020, and January of 2022, Wenke sent R.G. more than 76 e-mails, a voicemail, made two phone calls to the person's law firm, and tried to visit the firm in-person on one occasion.  In late January... Wenke sent two extremely threatening e-mails to the defense attorney.  He'll be sentenced on Aug. 18.


Freshwater Future announces grants available for people behind on water bills through LIHWAP program...
There is funding available for low-income residents in the Jamestown-area who have fallen behind on their water bills... or have received shut-off notices.  The organization, Freshwater Future, says Congress has allocated new funding to help people through the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.  Freshwater's Executive Director, Jill Ryan, says the Michigan-based organization says they saw a lot of need during... and, coming out of the COVID pandemic.  Ryan says it was important during the pandemic for people to wash their hands, and some needed help to afford that water.  Ryan says the help is also available to low-income residents who have gone into arrears on their wastewater bills.  She says grants are up to $2,500 for water... and, another $2,500 for wastewater on a combined bill.  Ryan says they work with about 2,000 communities in the region to provide the help, along with technical expertise, and also help develop policy initiatives.  Ryan says to find out more... go to the Board of Public Utilities website... or otda.ny.gov/LIHWAP.  You can also call Freshwater Future at (231)-348-8200 and talk with 'Crystal' for help in navigating the forms and documentation needed.


"Grow Jamestown" Garden Fair returns Saturday -- outdoors...
After a two-year break due to the pandemic... the Grow Jamestown Garden Fair returned to downtown Jamestown Saturday.  For the first time ever, the fair was held mostly outdoors.  Organizer Linnea Carlson was pleased with the weather and the outcome... especially the way the community came out on a beautiful day.  The fair was held along Third Street between Main and Cherry.  Going forward Carlson... says she hopes to see the fair ‘grow’ even more with more vendors.  Linnea Carlson is the also Director of the Jamestown Public Market which will open along Third Street in June.  The Resource Center and Brigiotta’s were the presenting sponsors of Saturday’s garden fair.


Rapp announces $3.7-Million in funding being provided for WGH ER expansion...
More than 3-and-a-half million dollars is coming to Warren General Hospital in Warren, Pennsylvania for the modernization and expansion of it's emergency room.  That from State House Health Committee Chairwoman Kathy Rapp and State Senator Scott Hutchinson... who say the 3.7-million dollar grant will come from Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.  Rapp says she "was honored to offer my support for this extremely necessary ER expansion project that will significantly increase access to the already top-notch patient care that Warren General Hospital continues to deliver to the rural communities I represent."  Specifically... the Warren Republican says the project will improve patient care by renovating and moving the MedSurg unit closer to the ER.  The ER will also be expanded to include larger treatment spaces that are equipped to accommodate behavioral health patients and patients with airborne infectious disease.


Two Rochester men plead guilty to discharing chemical spray during attempted insurrection on Jan. 6...
Two New York men have pleaded guilty to discharging chemical spray at police officers inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 attempted insurrection.  Cody Mattice and James Mault entered their pleas before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., last Friday.  Each faces between three and four years in prison after pleading guilty to the felony charges.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 15.  Mattice and Mault are both from the Rochester area and were indicted in October.  Mault was arrested in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he had been stationed with the U.S. Army.  Mattice was arrested at his home in Hilton, New York.

WJTN News Headline Update

JPD on look-out for suspect involved in strong-arm robbery at Kwik Fill station...
Jamestown police are on the look-out for the person who allegedly assaulted the clerk and stole the cash register from the Kwik Fill station on Forest Avenue late Friday night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 342 Forest about 11:30 p.m. on a report of a strong-arm robbery.  Samuelson says they were told that the suspect... believed to be a male... entered the store and demanded cash from the register.  He says the suspect then punched the clerk in the face... and, took the register from the store and ran off east towards Superior Street.  The employee was treated at the scene by Jamestown Fire Personnel.  The suspect was wearing a dark-colored Philadelphia Eagles hooded sweatshirt.  A surveillance photo can be seen on the Jamestown Police Dept. Facebook page.  Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to call JPD at (716) 483 7537... of the anonymous Tipline 483-Tips (8477).  Police say all calls and tips are kept confidential.


Sheriff's Office confirms 51 year-old man dies in fall at Chautauqua Institution...
A 51 year-old man doing construction work on a fifth-story roof of the St. Elmo Hotel at Chautauqua Institution was killed Friday morning when he fell.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 8 a.m. to assist EMS crews.  Deputies say the unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene due to his injuries.  They add the incident remains under investigation.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 22, 2022

Person falls five-stories to death from hotel at Chautauqua Institution...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating an incident where a person died after falling from the roof of a building at Chautauqua Institution this morning.  County dispatchers says the victim fell five stories from the St. Elmo Hotel shortly before 8 a.m.  No further information is available at this time.


U.S. Marshalls catch West Virginia woman in Stockton who allegedly fled with infant daughter in custody case...
A missing now one-year-old West Virginia child and her fugitive mother have been found in the town of Stockton in Chautauqua County after a more than one-month long manhunt.  The U.S. Marshalls Mountain State Fugitive Task Force located Adrienne Marean and her daughter, Iris Chidester, living at a residence.  Marean was arrested without incident, and the child was found unharmed.  Marshall's say an arrest warrant was issued in Bridgeport, West Virginia for Marean after she reportedly fled the state following a decision in a court custody case.  That triggered a search of multiple states... as police followed numerous leads in the case.  U-S Marshalls thanked the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police for their assistance in the case.


City, and consultant release findings of Municipal Broadband Study...
Jamestown has take the next step in the process of determining whether or not to move fowards with creating a low-cost, but high-reliability municipal broadband program for residents and businesses.  A consultant from Salt Lake City, Utah presented the findings of a feasibility study during a presentation at the Prendergast Library last night.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says shortly after he was elected, he began looking into the matter.  However... he found that residents were having problems with access and reliability during the pandemic.  Sundquist determined it was time to look at the possibilities... to determine whether it's feasible, what the costs will be, and what steps need to be taken.  The consultant... Jeff Christenson with Entrypoint Networks... says the city has indicated they would pursue "open access" giving any Internet service provider access.  As for cost... Christenson says their first option would be just over $54.  That option would have residents, homeowners and businesses opting into the program for the base rate. 
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Mayor Sundquist later issued a press release... announcing that the city is looking for residents to sign up for the recently announced Broadband Commission.  Sundquist says the citizen panel will lead "the way to help solve the digital divide, foster economic development, and give children, seniors, and families the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century."  For more information and an application... go on-line to jamestownfiber.com.


County legislature committee decides on no action -- yet -- on suspending local gas tax...
The Chautauqua County Legislature's main financial committee held a lengthy discussion about whether to reduce the local share of the gas tax to provide relief to local motorists.  However... no decision was reached by the Audit and Control Committee during the Thursday meeting.  Panel members questioned both County Attorney Steve Abdella and county Finance Director Kitty Crow about the issue.  County Executive P-J Wendel, who also attended the meeting, says the committee, says there's a lot to consider.  Wendel says if they capped it at $2... and the price increases to $5 or higher, the county would lose out on much more revenue.  He says county officials will be seeking more input from towns and villages in the county about potential impacts on their budgets going forward.  The committee also learned that the four Democratic members of the legislature may prefile a resolution by today's deadline proposing a reduction in the county's share of the tax.  Lawmakers would have to take action at next week's monthly meeting if the change is to take effect by June 1 to be done in conjunction with New York state.


JPS board approves 2022-23 budget to be voted on May 17...
The Jamestown School Board has approved a more than $93-million budget for the 2022-23 school year that includes no tax increase.  The spending plan includes hiring and measures to help students with learning loss during the COVID pandemic... and, boosts mental health services.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the roughly 45 additional personnel will help deal mainly with those issues.  Whitaker says they're bringing in reading and academic intervention teachers and professionals.  He adds five teachers have been added for the high school.  Dr. Whitaker says the district is receiving about $4-million more in state aid from Albany, and that will mainly deal with learning loss issue from the past two years of the pandemic.  Whitaker says some positions will remain over that 5 to 10 year period... but, he adds some will be dropped as funding goes away.  The school board adopted the budget Tuesday night.  A public hearing on the spending plan will be held at the high school on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m.  The vote will be the following week, on Tuesday, May 17.


Grow Jamestown event set for Saturday...
The 'Grow Jamestown' Garden Fair returns to downtown Jamestown on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For the first time ever the fair is being coordinated by the Jamestown Public Market.  Director Linnea Carlson says what they have planned for this year is a hybrid indoor-outdoor event.  Beginning at 10:30 Saturday morning... Carlson says there will be a series of workshops at St. Lukes Church.  The first will be about reducing plastic waste... another will focus on composting... and, 'honey bee awareness' will be the third.  All events are free and will be held rain or shine.

WJTN News headlines for Thurs., Apr. 21, 2022

Wendel says county lawmakers looking at ways to suspend all, or a large part of motor fuel tax...
Chautauqua County lawmakers are looking at ways to lower the cost of gasoline at the pump that will help motorists... but, not at the expense of local taxpayers.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who made the comments at the beginning of Tuesday night's "Farewell Town Hall" hosted by local Congressman Tom Reed in Kiantone.  There's been much discussion about whether the county should eliminate the local share of the fuel tax.  However... Wendel says the law only allows it to be "capped."  He says they are investigating the matter... but, he adds they only may be able to "cap" the tax at a certain dollar level.  Wendel says the wholesale price for regular, unleaded was about a dollar lower than the retail cost when the local price at the pump hit $4.40 a gallon a few weeks ago.  He says the other issue is what kind of hole might be blown in the 2022 budget by such a move.  Wendel asks, if counties are looking at a $2-million to $4-million deficit in their budget, where are you going to make up that money?  New York state lawmakers recently approved suspension of the state's portion of the gas tax from June 1 through the end of the year. 


Gas prices in Jamestown-area fall 11-cents over past week...
Gasoline prices have fallen again this week in the Jamestown-area... even as crude oil prices rise again.  AAA's East Central Gas Report says this week's average price locally is down about 11-cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  It's now about $4.14 a gallon.  It was about $4.25 last week.  While gas prices have decreased again this week... AAA says market concerns remain about the return of seasonal gas demands and higher global oil prices.  To start the week... the price for a barrel of oil was up to about $107.  The national average cost for a gallon of gas has fallen to $4.08.  However... AAA says demand is beginning to tick up again.


Hochul says NYS continuing to monitor COVID-19 case, and hospitalization numbers...
Governor Kathy Hochul says the state is watching the COVID-19 numbers closely, but she says those numbers are likely to fall as warmer weather arrives.  Hochul gave an update during a briefing held in Syracuse Wednesday.  She says cases are up, but far from January's peak, when cases spiked at 461 a day per 100,000 people.  She says that's much lower now, even with the increases of recent weeks.  Hochul says those numbers are flattening a bit.  She adds that they are watching the hospitalization numbers very closely.  Hochul says there were about 1,400 people hospitalized in the state Tuesday.  By contrast... she says there about 12,000 hospitalized on Jan. 12.  Hochul is urging people to get vaccinated... and, if they are already vaccinated, to get boosted. 


Hochul says state will keep mask requirement for public transportation in place...
New York will continue to require masks on buses, trains and subways in the state.  That from Governor Hochul during her COVID-19 briefing in Syracuse.  Hochul adds "let's just be smart about it..." and, she believes people feel more protected with the masks on in those settings.  She adds that the requirement for face masks in nursing homes, correctional facilities... and health care settings.  The Buffalo-area Democrat adds that she expects to continue the requirement for the short-term.


SUNY JCC resumes annual Earthfest program...
It was too brisk to be outdoors... but, the Earth Awareness Club at Jamestown Community College brought back Earthfest on Wednesday.  This was the first Earthfest since the pandemic began.  The program offers vendors and exhibitors whose goal is to get the campus and community focused on the environment, the chance to do that.  This year's theme was 'Protect our Pollinators.'  Earth Awareness Club President, Charlie Milliman says choosing the right things to plant is key.  Milliman says they're urging residents to plant native flowers, and trees because the invasive species can cause harm, and even destroy native species.  JCC will also offer a special program on planting native species next Monday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Carnahan Theater on the campus.  The speaker will be Dr. John Titus of SUNY Fredonia.  The public is welcome at no charge.  


Spring snow storm earlier in week leaves 14 inches of snow at some higher elevation locations...
A late-season storm dumped six inches or more of heavy, wet snow on parts of Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northern New England.  New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the storm snapped tree limbs and interrupted power to more than 350,000 utility customers in her state alone.  Some higher-elevation areas in New York had 14 inches of snow by mid-morning, although accumulations were less for lower areas.  Work crews had reduced the number of outages by the early evening. 


Panel of judges hears arguments in NYS gerrymandering lawsuit...
A panel of appellate judges in New York are hearing arguments about whether the Democratic-led Legislature unconstitutionally passed new congressional maps.  A group of Republican voters say the maps are indeed gerrymandered.  They've filed a lawsuit asking to have the maps tossed out.  They also want to delay the June congressional primaries until late August, to give the state time to draw new maps. Democrats' attorneys say the maps are more than fair to Republicans. 

WJTN News Headlines

Late night fire Tuesday damages home in Kiantone...
A home in the town of Kiantone was damaged by a fire Tuesday night.  Kiantone firefighters were called to 1758 High St. just after 9:30 p.m.  Chautauqua County Fire Disptachers say Kiantone was assisted at the scene by Jamestown, Busti, Frewsburg and Lakewood.  The fire apparently started in a refrigerator and spread to the kitchen.  No injuries were reported.  The local Red Cross is assisting residents. 


Lakewood man arrested on drug, child endangerment charges...
A Lakewood man has been arrested after being found in possession of drugs and stolen property from a location in the city of Jamestown.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they assisted State Parole officials in performing a home check on 34 year-old Pablo Figueroa at an undislosed address in the village.  Police say he was found with methamphetamine, scales and packaging materials.  Officers say they also found several hypodermic needles spread all over the residence, which also housed several children.  Police also found the stolen items... and, another person was found at the residence who was in possession of Fentanyl.  Charges are pending in that matter.  Figueroa was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminal possession of stolen property... and, endangering the welfare of a child.


A.G. James reports money being received in first traunch of Opioid Settlement funding...
New York state's Attorney General has announced that New York's 62 counties and five major cities will soon receive their first payment from the settlements reached with major opioid manufacturers.  James says western New York's share will be more than $12.8-million.  She says there will be "more money to come..." and it's part of the state's overall payment of $1.5-billion.  James did not give figures for Chautauqua County... but, did say that Erie County will receive just over $8.3-million... while the city of Buffalo will receive $582,000.  She says the funding will be used for treatment, prevention and education efforts. 


City of Jamestown, BPU, to hold public meeting at library to present findings of muni broadband study...
The results of a feasibility study into establishing a municipal broadband program in Jamestown will be discussed during a public meeting at the Prendergast Library this Thursday night.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the city, and the Board of Public Utilities, will present the findings during the meeting... which begins at 7 p.m. in the library's Fireplace Room.  Sundquist says the presentation will go over the findings of the broadband study... as well as a discussion on the next steps going forward.  In a statement... Sundquist said he's excited to show the public their findings... adding "the potential for municipally-owned broadband infrastructure is critical to address the digital divide and attract investment.  This study charts a bold path forward and makes affordable, high-speed internet for all Jamestown residents much closer to reality.”


Reed begins "Farewell Town Hall" sessions at Kiantone Fire Hall...
Local Congressman Tom Reed kicked off his series of "Farewell Town Hall" meetings last night before about two-dozen people at the Kiantone Fire Hall.  The six-term Republican from Corning announced last year that he would not seek another term in the U-S House of Representatives.  County Executive P.J. Wendel spoke at the beginning about how Reed brought $143-million in federal funding over 10 years to the county.  Wendel says "Tom's efforts in keeping us at the forefront in getting us the funding we need from the federal government is critical."  While Reed appreciated the comments... he says the biggest difference was everyone working together.  He says more often than not... that doesn't happen in Washington.  Reed says the lines of communication were always open to local leaders.  He discussed a number of topics during the more than hour-long session in Kiantone... including the rift between the 'left' and 'right' in the U-S.  He says he heard concern about that from foreign leaders during his trip to Eastern Europe last week.  Reed says he's most concerned about the United States' loss of stature in the world.


World still being impacted by climate change as "Race to Zero" by 2050 continues...
Despite efforts to mitigate the toll of climate change... New Yorkers and billions of others around the world still are impacted by its consequences and remain at risk for future widespread disruptions.  That from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reports that even as world governments continue their 'Race To Zero' for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, more "urgent action" is needed to avoid irreversible impact.  Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan says, while his area is ahead of schedule for short-term 2030 goals, human-induced climate anomalies continue to cause serious problems.  Ryan says his county has been battered in the past decade by severe storms, and flooding that are happening multiple times a year now that are only supposed to be happening every 100 years.  


Spring snowstrom brings foot of snow to parts of Upstate NY, and power outages...
About 100,000 electric customers were without power Tuesday morning in upstate New York as a late-season storm dumped a foot or more of heavy, wet snow on some high-elevation areas.  In Binghamton... Broome County Executive Jason Garnar declared a state of emergency and issued a travel ban for nonessential workers.  Some higher-elevation areas of the Southern Tier had up to 14 inches of snow, though accumulations were less for lower elevations.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Apr. 19, 2022

City woman arrested for allegedly threatening to slash car tires during incident on Jamestown's northside...
A Jamestown woman was arrested late Monday afternoon for allegedly threatening another person was a knife... in the view of two young children.  City police were called to a northside residence shortly after 5 p.m. on a report that 30 year-old Deshawna Sparks had grabbed a large kitchen knife, and began waiving it around.  Officers say Sparks threatened to damage the tires on the victim's car... and, the incident scared and upset the children.  After a brief struggle... police arrested Sparks on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child... and, resisting arrest.  She was held pending arraignment.


Reed returns from Eastern European visit, along with stop at Ukraine border...
Local Congressman Tom Reed has returned from a whirlwind tour of Eastern Europe... including a stop at the Poland-Ukraine border... and says he see's "major storms on the horizon."  The nearly month-and-a-half long Russian-Invasion of Ukraine has already exacted a major toll on Ukraine and it's people.  Reed says his trip re-enforced his perception that you "can't rely on the unreliable."  The Corning Republican says, unfortunately, much of Europe is dependant in one way or other on Russia.  He says there's been "a turning away from America by our NATO allies... " and, they've more and more trying to extend their relationship with Russia -- especially for oil and gas."  Reed was part of a Congressional delegation that met with officials in Germany, Denmark and Poland... where they went to the Ukraine border.  Long-term... he says as the conflict drags on... it will have a world-wide impact on gas, oil and food markets because Ukraine is considered the "breadbasket of Europe."  Reed says Ukrainian farmers will be very challenged in getting crops into the ground, then getting them to market -- if at all.  He and the bi-partisan delegation... led by Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer... got to see -- first-hand -- the refugee issue at the border with Poland. 


Reed begins "Farewell Town Halls" tonight in Kiantone...
Congressman Reed will begin a series of "Farewell" Town Hall meetings across the 23rd District... beginning Tuesday night in Kiantone.  The Corning Republican says the hour-long session will be held at the Kiantone Fire Hall on the Stillwater-Frewsburg Road.  Reed says it will begin at 5:30 p.m., and, he invites the public to join him for a time of "thoughtful discussion and reflection on the last 12 years."   He says many of the ideas he's received from his more than 200 town all meetings across the sprawling 23rd District have helped him during his six-terms in Congress in crafting legislation that aids the region.  He was first elected to Congress in 2010... but, did not represent Chautauqua County until 2012 -- after redistricting put the county back in the 23rd District.  


Cold, snow and wind -- isn't this supposed to be April?  
We saw about two inches of snow fall in the immediate Jamestown-area since early Monday afternoon... and, that was mainly in the higher elevations.  There's also more to come today... though it's won't be a big problem here.  That from National Weather Service Forecaster Bob Hamilton in Buffalo... who says the higher elevations could receive six inches of snow... or more.  However... Hamilton said Monday it won't be too worrisome here, with most of the snow sticking to grassy areas, cars, and picnic tables.  The region will be caught between two storms... one to the northwest, the other to the east.  That one to the east will put down significant snow.  He says such places as Utica... Albany... and others into New England will see most of the snow.  Hamilton says the Mohawk Valley west of Albany could see a foot of snow.


Man arrested last weekend for alleged assault in Falconer...
A 42 year-old man was arrested last weekend in Falconer for allegedly striking another person in the mouth... and causing injuries that required stitches.  Ellicott Town Police say they were called to the emergency room at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital last Saturday to investigate an alleged assault.  Officers say the victim was treated at the hospital... and, their investigation led to the arrest of Ramsey Huddleston.  Police say Huddleston was arrested without incident for third-degree assault.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Head of county's Chamber of Commerce says 2022-23 state budget a "mixed bag" for businesses...
The new state budget for New York is a "mixed bag" when it comes to businesses.  That from President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Heitzenrater says there are some positives to the $221-billion spending plan... including tax cuts, and COVID relief for many -- especially small businesses.  Among the biggest concerns, according to Heitzenrater, is the State's energy policy as it addresses climate change and how it will impact businesses in the county.


SCOTUS won't hear teacher's vaccine dispute...
The U.S. Supreme Court is declining to wade into a lawsuit filed by four New York City public school employees over a policy that they be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Lower courts had previously allowed the policy to go into effect while litigation continued, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor had also rejected an emergency request that the policy be put on hold.  The justices said Monday they wouldn't get involved in the dispute.  As is typical... the justices did not say anything in rejecting the case.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 18, 2022

Pair of Jamestown residents arrested for alleged burglary on city's southside early last weekend...
Two city residents face burglary charges after allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside late last week.  City police were called to the undisclosed location shortly after 6 p.m. Friday... and, found a door to the home had been damaged.  While investigating... officers say they saw 41 year-old Brandon Guillory looking to jump out of a window on the second-story to elude police.  However... he went back inside after seeing police had spotted him.  Both Guillory and 45 year-old Kimberly Brandow were found inside the home... and, neither had permission to be there.  Guillory was also found to have allegedly stolen mail that belonged to the person living there.  He's charged with second-degree burglary and petty larceny.  Brandow was arrested for second-degree criminal trespass.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


Man from Mayville arrested following fight on Route 394...
A Mayville man is accused of choking another person during a physical altercation early last weekend at a home in the village.  Sheriff's officers were called to a location on Route 394 about Midnight Saturday... and, they interviewed the parties involved.  Deputies say they then arrested 45 year-old Bruce Kaus for criminal obstruction of breathing, second-degree aggravate harassment, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Kaus was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Up to half-a-foot of snow predicted from tonight through Tuesday night for parts of the region...
It's not what most people are looking for in the weather right now, but snow is forecast to accumulate across Chautauqua County through Tuesday.  Higher elevations could get up to six inches or more... but, Meteorologist Bob Hamilton at the Weather Service in Buffalo says it won't be too worrisome here.  Hamiton says the majority of the snow will stick on untreated and colder surfaces, and grassy areas... but, not much elsewhere.  A Winter Weather Advisory has now been issued for Warren County, Pennsylvania.  The region will be caught between two storms... one to the northwest, the other to the east.  That one to the east will put down significant snow in Ithaca, Albany... and, into New England.  The Mohawk Valley west of Albany could see a foot of snow.


Four people arrested in Lakewood on drug and weapons charges...
Two men and two teenaged boys have been arrested on drug and weapons charges after police received a complaint Wednesday about numerous subjects staying at an Airbnb illegally in Lakewood.  When they arrived... Lakewood-Busti Police say they saw a vehicle leaving the Airbnb... and, stopped the car.  Officers say they found a 16 year-old boy from Jamestown in possession of a loaded, stolen 40-calibur pistol... nearly 60 grams of methamphetamine, and 7-grams of cocaine.  Police then got a search warrant for the Airbnb... and, found Jayquan Minns of Buffalo, Oshon Goodlow of Jamestown, and a 16 year-old from Rochester inside without the owner's permission.  Officers say they found 26 more grams of meth... along with 5-grams of cocaine inside... along with another loaded, and stolen pistol with the serial numbers removed.  All four face multiple charges, and more are pending.


Jamestown's Easter Egg hunts go off indoors, and outdoors...
Foul weather led Jamestown officials to move the city’s 74th annual Easter Egg Hunt inside to the Allen Park Ice Rink on Saturday.  Parks Manager Dan Stone had no trouble cranking up the big crowd of hunters... asking if everyone was ready to get some candy, and, they cheered loudly.  Children had to remove their shoes, and wait their turn to hunt, as the youngest groups were allowed in first.  
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At the end of Woodlawn Avenue... a smaller group gathered for the 64th annual East Side Fellowship Easter Egg hunt... which was held outdoors.  10-year-old Francesca told our Dennis Webster that she had found five eggs -- three with chocolate bunnies inside.  Prior to the pandemic, the East Side Fellowship had held its event at College Park, the former Hundred Acre Lot.


NYS approves 52 pot growing licenses...
New York approved 52 licenses that will allow hemp farmers to get a head start on growing marijuana for the state's upcoming adult market.  The state Cannabis Control Board approved the licenses under a new law that allows hemp cultivators to grow marijuana for the legal recreational market for two years.  One of those licenses went to "The Releaf Market, LLC" in Chautauqua County.  The only others granted in the region went to two farms in Erie County -- near Buffalo.  Hemp is a type of cannabis plant with lower levels of THC... marijuana's active ingredient.  The granting of the licenses now means farmers will be able to take advantage of this year's growing season.


Carrubba discusses Ward neighborhood meetings on CDBG, help for tenants and landlords...
The city of Jamestown will be holding more ward meetings regarding the Department of Development's Action Plan for federal Community Development Block Grant funds.  That from City Councilwoman Marie Carrubba... who chairs the Housing Committee... during a recent council work session.  Carrubba says one meeting was held last week... and, another will take place this coming Thursday night in the Fourth-Ward at Lincoln Elementary School.  She says the Second-Ward meeting has been rescheduled for May 7 at 10 a.m. at Fletcher School.  Carrubba says the final session will be held on Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m. in Willard Park in Ward-Six.  She also announced that the city, and the area's housing agencies are moving ahead with a plan to have a "clearinghouse" type website for people looking for help from the city, CODE, COI, and CHRIC. 


  

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 15, 2022

Schumer in Dunkirk to announce $10-mill. in federal funding for water infrastructure projects...
More than $10-million in federal funding has been announced for some major water infrastructure projects in Chautauqua County.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Dunkirk Thursday to announce that he's secured that funding... which will include more than $8-million for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to do harbor projects in Dunkirk, Barcelona and Cattaraugus Creek.  However... he says the largest allotment will go to Dunkirk for it's two-part project to dredge silt from Dunkirk Harbor, and make repairs to the breakwater walls.  The fourth project... which uses about $2-million... will be to replace a contaminated water well in the village of Mayville.  Schumer says that will allow residents to have access to safe, clean water.  The senator said that these projects are long overdue, and will benefit not only residents -- but, also protect the local tourism industry... jobs and the economy of Chautauqua County and the surrounding region.  Schumer said he used his clout as Majority Leader to help ensure the projects were included in the final infrastructure legislation.


Reed among House members sanctioned by Russia for vote on sanctions against communist nation...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he and a number of other House members have been officially "sanctioned" by Russia for their actions to sanction Russia and it's president.  In a printed statement... the Corning Republican says he's proud "to be on the list of House Members to be officially sanctioned by Russia.  Being put on this permanent ‘stop list’ by a dictator like Putin can only be seen as a badge of honor.  Watching the atrocities that Putin is committing on a daily basis against the people of Ukraine is heartbreaking, and it must stop."  He concluded that "American leadership must project to Russia that we will achieve peace through strength." 


Jamestown man arrested on on drug charges following traffic stop...
A city man faces a number of drug-related charges following a traffic stop Thursday morning in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square area.  City police say they spotted 36 year-old Tyler Elsesser's car commit the infaction just after 8 a.m. in the area of Rite Aid at 50 South Main St.  Officers say Elsesser pulled into a parking lot, and got out of the car as police pulled in.  Police say they found him in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine out in plain view.  They then searched the car... and officers found another 1.25-ounces of meth... along with a quantity of Fentanyl, suboxone films and digital scales.  Elsesser faces numerous charges... including four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of drugs.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Four people arrested during drug bust in Brocton...
Four people from Brocton face a number of drug-related charges following a raid at a home in the north county village just before Noon Wednesday.  Sheriff's deputies say members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force were assisted by the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team in executing a search warrant at 14 John St.  Just prior to the raid... one of the suspects -- 43 year-old Shawn Conway -- left the home and was stopped by officers for driving with a suspended license.  He was also found in possession of crack cocaine and fentanyl.  During the raid... officers arrested three others... including 22 year-old Savannah Dorsey-Carter and 48 year-old Donald Tolbert... who were both wanted on warrants.  Investigators say they found drugs... including just over 8 ounces of cocaine... and, nearly 5-ounces of fentanyl... along with more than $447 cash inside the home.  The fourth person...57 year-old Steven Andrews... was charged with criminal nuisance for maintaining a residence for persons to gather for the purpose of engaging in unlawful conduct.  All four were taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Sundquist says final State budget includes no increase in AIM, but significant increase in CHIPS, other highway funding...
There is some good... and, some bad news for the city of Jamestown in New York state's recently approved, $221-billion budget for 2023.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says the bad news is they won't be receiving any additional Aid and Incentives to Municipalities funding.  Sundquist says that was taken out in final negotiatons with Gov. Kathy Hochul after both the State Assembly and Senate had included increases.  He says the additional funding is in addition to increases the city saw in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding... as well as Pave-New York funds.  He says the Public Works Department will soon be releasing another "aggressive" road and streets repair program for this construction season.  He says most of the work will by done by DPW crews... but, he says they do contract out some of the work, and there are fewer of them now.  That also means there are fewer able to handle state construction requirements. 


NYS still sees uptick in Homeschooling as COVID pandemic lessens...
The coronavirus pandemic ushered in what may be the most rapid rise in homeschooling the U.S. has ever seen.  Now, even with schools back open and vaccines available, many homeschooling families are sticking with it.  Data obtained by The Associated Press found homeschooling numbers this year dipped from last year's all-time high, but are still significantly above pre-pandemic levels.  Families may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans.  But... they say they're staying with it for many reasons, including continuing COVID health concerns.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 14, 2022

Borrello says Benjamin did right thing stepping down, and comments on passing of Glenzer...
A local New York state lawmaker feels Brian Benjamin did the right think in resigning from the Lieutenant Governor's post.  We heard Wednesday from Republican State Senator George Borrello... who says that Benjamin had no choice but to leave the state's second highest office.  Borrello says Benjamin, by virtue of his office, was the president of the Senate... and, would have to preside over the chamber during the remainder of the session.  However, he says that would have been difficult at best... adding that the allegations of federal election corruption are "very serious."  Borrello says Governor Kathy Hochul may find it difficult to fill the position... given the fact it's already an election year.  Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is serving as lieutenant governor in an acting capacity. 
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On another matter... the Sunset Bay Republican commented about the passing of former County Executive John Glenzer.  Borrello considered Glenzer to be a mentor and a friend since he was a young man... adding that he worked on Glenzer's first campaign for executive while Borrello was in high school.  Dr. Glenzer died last Sunday at the age of 91.  


Reed announces first "Farewell" Town Halls next week, starting in Kiantone...
Chautauqua County's Congressman for the past decade has announced he will be hold a series of "Farewell" Town Hall meetings across the 23rd District.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says his first town hall will be held next Tuesday, Apr. 19 at the Kiantone Fire Hall on the Stillwater-Frewsburg Road.  The hour-long session will run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and, Reed invites the public to join him for a time of "thoughtful discussion and reflection on the last 12 years."  Reed was first elected to Congress in 2010... but, did not represent the county until 2012.  During his time in Congress... Reed has held more than 200 town hall meeting across the huge, Southern Tier district.  Two other Farewell Town Halls will be held later next week in Geneva and Corning.


Jamestown city lawmakers to vote on creating "Community Cats Program" at April voting session...
The city of Jamestown is teamming up with the Chautauqua County Humane Society to begin a Community Cats Program to hold down the cat population... and, keep them healthy.  Humane Society Executive Director Kellie Roberts explained the program to the City Council this week... noting that the cats that dont's have an owner... and, can be either ferel, or tame.  Roberts says lawmakers will act on a resolution to create the program later this month.  She says it will set the rules for the program, which has taken time to get in place because -- until now, the organization had lacked the veterinary services that are needed.  However... Roberts says they've made contact with "Operation Pets" in Clarence -- near Buffalo -- that will spay, neuter and vaccinate cats picked up, or turned over to the Humane Society.  She says this will be for cats found in the city only.  Cats from outside the city will continue to get veterinary services at the Humane Society itself.  Roberts says the Humane Society will take the cats up to Operation Pets twice a month to have those service provided. 


Pomfret man arrested for alleged altercation in the north county town...
A north county man has been arrested on multiple charges after allegedly getting into an altercation with two other people at a town of Pomfret home Monday night.  Sheriff's officers and State Police troopers responded to a call of a disorderly person at a Berry Road residence just after 10 p.m.  Deputies say they learned that 25 year-old Cody Rodman of Pomfret had gotten into a fight with the two people.  Rodman was taken into custody and taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for an evaluation.  He was released from the hospitali a short time later... and, taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment on charges of second-degree strangulation... second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, second-degree aggravated harassment.  He was issued appearance tickets for Pomfret Town Court at a later date.


Forestville woman sentenced to jail time, probation and restitution in elder scam...
A Forestville woman has been sentenced to jail time for scamming elderly customers in Erie County.  Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says 37-year-old Breanna Rohauer was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wojtaszek to 30 days in jail followed by 5 years probation.  Rohauer, while employed at a local bank in the town of Hamburg, admitted to making numerous unauthorized withdrawals from the bank accounts of several elderly customers.  She was accused of stealing more than $124,000 in fraudulent transactions between mid-November of 2017 and early February of 2019. 


City to resume annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday...
Jamestown's 74th Easter Egg Hunt will be this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Allen Park.  The traditional style hunt hasn't been possible the last couple of years because of COVID-19. City Parks Manager Dan Stone says bringing it back is 'awesome' and they really want the kids to come, and hunt for the eggs -- especially the prize ones.  Stone recommends using East Virginia Boulevard or Springdale Avenue to get into the park, as West Virginia Boulevard will be shut down.  Each of the three age groups will hunt in separate areas with the youngest kids (1-4 yoa) by the pavillion kitchen area... and, the older ones 5 through 12 years of age... will be across the street near the baseball field and basketball courts.  In case of rain, Stone says the hunt will be moved to dry ground. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Apr. 13, 2022

Sheridan man falls to death from cliff into Lake Erie...
A town of Sheridan man has died from injuries suffered after falling about 50-feet over a cliff into Lake Erie late Tuesday morning.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on State Route 5 in the north county town to assist local fire and EMS crews just before 10 a.m.  Rescuers were able to reach 66 year-old Gregory Meadows, and pull him from the lake.  However... he later died at a local hospital due to the injuries he suffered.  


In a stunning day, Lt. Gov. Benjamin resigns after being arrested as part of federal corruption case...
New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin has now resigned in the wake of his arrest in a federal corruption investigation... creating a political crisis for Governor Kathy Hochul seven months after she selected Benjamin as a partner to make a fresh start in an office already rocked by scandal.  Hochul says Benjamin resigned Tuesday afternoon.  He was accused in an indictment of taking part in a scheme to obtain campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for Benjamin's agreement to use his influence as a state senator to get a $50,000 grant of state funds for a nonprofit organization the developer controlled.  Benjamin pleaded not guilty Tuesday.  State lawmakers from the region called the allegations "troubling..." and State Senator George Borrello was among those earlier calling for Benjamin to resign prior to the announcement.  Benjamin was a former State Senator from Harlem.


Wendel says county considering suspension of gasoline tax in coordination with NYS, while legislature Democrats announce proposal...
Now that New York state has taken action to suspend its portion of the gas tax starting on June 1... there's a push underway to take similar action to suspend Chautauqua County's share of the tax.  The County Legislature's Democratic minority has announced such a proposal.  It follows passage of the new State budget that suspends the state's motor fuel tax and sales tax through the end of the year.  County Executive P.J. Wendel tells us that Republicans are also looking to suspend the local portion of the tax... though it's not a huge amount.  But, he says it will help.  The county’s four Democratic Legislators... Susan Parker, and Robert Bankoski from the Dunkirk-Fredonia area, and Paul Whitford, and Billy Torres of Jamestown, are proposing the tax relief in keeping with Governor Kathy Hochul’s recently approved budget.


CRCF, infinity announce formation of the "Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund..."
The Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown has created a new memorial fund in the name of a long-time member who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident last New Year's Eve.  Infinity and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation have announced formation of the "Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund" to help Infinity, and the young people who are in it's programs.  Foundation Executive Director Tory Irgang says the fund came about from the collaboration of Infinity and Lexy's friends and classmates.  Irgang says Infinity's Executive Director Shane Hawkins, and members of the class contacted the Community Foundation... and, Irgang says they're more than happy to administer the fund.  She says the fund will provide grants to Infinity for them to use to support programs that were near and dear to Lexy.  Donations to the Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund can be made through the Community Foundation at 418 Spring St. in Jamestown.  For more information... call 661-3390... or go on-line to crcfonline.org.


Jamestown man arrested for alleged laundromat burglary on westside...
A city man is jailed after allegedly breaking into a laundromat on Jamestown's westside Tuesday morning... and, trying to steal money from a change machine.  City police were called to the Center Ice Laundromat at 406 West Third St. just before 8 a.m., and, on arrival... officers found someone had forced entry through a locked door inside the building.  Police found that the suspect, later identified as 50 year-old Clarence Kelwaski, Junior, was unable to break into the change machine.  Kelwaski then allegedly broke into the office, and took a security system and ran off.  Police say they found the system a short distance away... and, later found Kelwaski... who was identified through the laundromat's security video.  He was arrested for third-degree burglary... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, petty larceny.  Kelwaski was jailed pending arraignment in city court. 


East Side Fellowship to hold annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday...
The East Side Fellowship is bringing back its annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday at 10 a.m. Club Spokesman Duane Anderson says they are holding the event at their own location this year at the Eastside Fellowship Hall on Woodlawn Ave.  Anderson says the smaller kids will have the hunt out "in the open."  He adds there'll be plenty of parking close by, and adequate space for all three age groups: 1 to 4... 5 to 7... and 8 to 12 years of age.  COVID-19 prevented the club from having the hunt for the past two Easter seasons.  This is the 61st year for the East Side Fellowship Easter Egg Hunt.


Trump intervenes in Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial primary...
Former President Donald Trump is wading into Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial primary.  Trump slammed GOP candidate Bill McSwain, who had been seeking Trump's endorsement.  Trump complained Tuesday that the former federal prosecutor did "absolutely nothing" to investigate Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud in Pennsylvania after the 2020 presidential electio

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Apr. 12, 2022

New York's Lt. Gov. arrested in federal corruption case...
New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin has been arrested in a federal corruption investigation.  The U.S. Attorney's office said Benjamin was arrested Tuesday on charges of bribery, honest services wire fraud and falsification of records.  Benjamin, formerly a state senator from Harlem, had joined the administration of Governor Kathy Hochul in September, chosen by her to fill her former job a couple of weeks after she stepped into the governorship.  Benjamin was the state's second Black lieutenant governor. 


City woman pleads guilty to charges in connection with huge narcotics trafficking bust...
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to allegedly trafficking large amounts of Fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine just over two years ago.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Monday that 28 year-old Antasia Babcock entered the plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl... 50 grams or more of methamphetamine... 400 grams or more of fentanyl... and, 500 grams or more of cocaine.  Prosecutors say Babcock conspired with others -- including co-defendant Jun Martinez -- to sell the drugs in the Jamestown-area.  Martinez received the drugs through the mail from out of state... but, in September of 2020... he traveled to get more narcotics in-person... and, was pulled over by an Illinois State Trooper.  During a search of the vehicle... officers recovered more than 6,300 grams of methamphetamine, 3,100 grams of fentanyl, 2,200 grams of cocaine, and marijuana products.  While Martinez was detained in Illinois... Babcock continued selling in Jamestown.  She was arrested during a search of the Wescott Street residence that she shared with Martinez.  They recovered items including meth, drug paraphernalia, and just over $62,000 in cash.  Babcock faces at least 10 years in prison and a $10-million fine when she's sentenced in September.


Former County Executive Jack Glenzer passes at age 91...
A former Chautauqua County executive has passed away at the age of 91.  We have learned from current County Executive P.J. Wendel about the death of John Glenzer of Fredonia.  Wendel says he received word from Dr. Glenzer's daughter over the weekend.  He was among the former County Executives who were recognized during an event held last month by the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.  Wendel, who also attended, spoke about Glenzer's participation... which ended up being the last time they were all brought together for an event.  He says he appreciated the advice he received from Dr. Glenzer over the years... and says they both had a lot in common.  Those were being a county legislator first, and coming from an education background.  Glenzer served as County Executive from 1983 to 1990.  In addition to being a former legislator... he was also a Fredonia village trustee. 


North County man arrested for Felony DWI after wild accident last week...
A Silver Creek man faces numerous charges after his car went out of control... struck a tractor-trailer... and went through a fence and into a yard in the north county village.  Sheriff's officers say 48 year-old Shawn Winkelmann's car ran a stop sign at Buffalo and Howard Streets just after 2 p.m. last Monday, Apr. 4, and struck the big rig.  Deputies say the vehicle then continued across Howard... and hit the fence as it went into the yard of a residence off Lake Avenue.  The car went across that yard... and, struck another fence before hitting a small tree and stopping.  Officers say Winkelman wasn't hurt... but, was found to be driving drunk and had a revoked license.  He was charged with Failure to Yield the Right of Way at a Stop Sign, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... Aggravated DWI with Blood Alcohol Content of .18 or higher... and, Felony DWI for a conviction in the past 10 years.  Winkelmann was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court.


Northwest Arena officials discuss proposed "The Zone" children's museum...
City lawmakers in Jamestown learned more about plans to create a new, virtual and interactive experience for children at the Northwest Arena called "The Zone."  Arena officials were on hand for last night's council work session to discuss the arean's overall, $8.5-million dollar project.  That also includes the $4-million plan to develop "The Zone" in about about 5-thousand square feet of the main floor of the arena.  Arena General Manager Keith Martin says the basic, $4.5-million dollar expansion is completed... and was already funded.  Martin says they are still fund-raising for "The Zone" construction project, and have raised almost $2-million so far.  He says some of the additional money for "The Zone" has been provided by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  He says the physical expansion was funded by the Gebbie Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. 


Goodell talks child and health care spending in NYS, 2023 budget...
The new, $220-billion budget approved by the New York state legislature for 2023 includes a more than 10-billion dollar, multi-year investment in healthcare.  That also includes more than $4-billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers.  A major part of that will increase health care and home care workers salaries by 3-dollars per hour.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says that part of the bill will cost about $700-million, which will particularily help those working with infants, and young toddlers, which is more "staff intensive" to do.  However... Goodell said -- during last week's State Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce -- that that figure may not be enough.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 11, 2022

Two arrested in Barrows Street drug bust in Jamestown...
Two Jamestown men have been arrested following a drug raid on the city's eastside late last week.  Jamestown police say members of the city's Metro, and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant at 2 Barrows St. after 6 a.m. Friday... and, found three adults inside the lower apartment.  Police say they found quantities of Fentanyl... methamphetamine... crack cocaine... powder cocaine... and other drugs along with scales packaging materials and cash.  They arrested 30 year-old Kyle Lewis on charges including four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  A second person, 60 year-old Michael McIntyre, was arrested on a City Court warrant... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after begin found with a quantity of meth in his possession.


Man seriously hurt in three-vehicle crash on Chautauqua Lake Bridge...
A 25 year-old man is being treated for serious injuries following last Friday's three-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer on the Chautauqua Lake Bridge.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on the Bemus Point side of the span just after 3 PM.  They found one of the drivers was hurt... and, he was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa. for treatment.  The other two operators... a 63 year-old man and a 34 year-old woman... were not hurt.  The westbound lanes of Interstate 86 were closed for a time.  Deputies say the investigation into the crash is ongoing. 


Borrello critical of certain parts of new budget, approves others...
Governor Kathy Hochul on Saturday signed into law the $220 billion state budget that's expected to rely on an influx of federal funds and higher-than-expected tax revenues.  The bill signing came just over a week past the original Apr. 1 deadline.  Disagreements over policy issues held up passage of the spending plan, which was also used to tackle issues expected to resonate with voters during an election year.  Among those is some minor changes to the 2019 Bail Reform Law... which State Senator George Borrello says don't go far enough.  While supporters of bail reform say it hasn't had a demonstrable impact on soaring crime rates... Borrello says the New York City Police Department has collected data showing that bail reform has had a major impact on it.  The new, one-year budget will boost pay for health care and home care workers... shave 16 cents off the cost of a gallon of gas from June through December... and help New Yorkers with unpaid rent and utility bills.  Borrello made his comments during last Friday's State Legislative Breakfast hosted in Jamestown by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.


Goodell says deal for new Buffalo Bills stadium is a good deal, will help WNY economy...
The late state budget also includes $600-million in funding for a new stadium for the NFL's Buffalo Bills.  However... that measure even had opposition from downstate lawmakers.  That from Assemblyman Goodell... who says most of that will be covered by Seneca Nation Compact funding.  Goodell says the Bills provide a lot of economic bang for the buck to the region... including sales and bed taxes.  He says there's also the "community pride" factor that also helps lure people and businesses here.  Goodell says upstate lawmakers used the example of the $420-million tax credit for the film industry that primarily helps the downstate region.  There have also been new stadium projects in the New York Metro area in recent years.


Texas man arrested for DWAI in Jamestown...
A man from Texas was arrested last week in Jamestown for driving while ability impaired by drugs after being stopped on Foote Avenue for allegedly using a cell phone while driving.  State Police in Jamestown say 38 year-old Cornell Washington, of Stafford, Texas, was stopped last Tuesday... and after failing several sobriety tests, was arrested.  Washington was later evaluated by a New York State Police Drug Recognition Expert, and determined to be impaired by drugs.  Troopers add that he provided a blood sample at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... and, was later issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.


Marshals continue search for West Virginia woman, and her daughter...
U.S. Marshalls report they are still looking for a mother and child... both missing after the mother who took her from Harrison County, West Virginia, back in early March.  Marshalls say 35 year-old Adrienne Marean allegedly violated a Harrison County Family Court order... and, took 11-month-old Iris Chidester... and fled the state.  Marean had been ordered by the court in February to transfer custody of the child.  Marshalls says they believe both the mother and child are in the Chautauqua County area... as she was recently seen in western Pennsylvania... and, the Dunkirk and Fredonia areas.  Marean is believed to be driving a gray Toyota Prius with New York license plate, JJR1907.  She is a white female, about 5'7" tall and weighs about 165 pounds.  She has brown hair and brown eyes.  The child is a white female with brown hair and brown eyes.  If you any information on the case... call the U.S. Marshall's Service at 304-623-0486.


Grow Jamestown Returns in two weeks...
For the first time since 2019 the Grow Jamestown Garden Fair will be ‘live and in person’ in downtown Jamestown... from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 23.  The event is now under the auspices of the Jamestown Public Market, and director Linnea Carlson.  Carlson says they'll have a street festival, and their workshops will be held at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Fourth Street.  The street festival will go on ‘rain or shine’ and have 30 educational and retail vendors.  The workshops will focus on supporting the local ecosystem.  Presenting sponsors for the garden fair are Brigiotta’s and the Resource Center, with significant organizational help from the Cornell Master Gardeners.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 8, 2022

Borrello and Goodell join County Chamber Breakfast via Zoom during breaks in state budget debate and votes...
The New York state legislature is expected to work late into the night on several remaining budget bills that are part of a nearly, $222-billion spending plan that was due a week ago.  That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell and Senator George Borrello during the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual State Legislative Breakfast in Jamestown.  Both appeared by Zoom during a break on the floor of their chambers.  In a word... Borrello says the process has gone "poorly..." because they're getting "messages of necessity" from the governor to forego the usual three-days that legislation has to sit before it can be acted on.  In one case... Borrello says lawmakers only had 10 minutes to look at the bill.  Goodell says the approximately 12 budget bills can range from 50... to 1,000 pages in length.  The Jamestown-area Republican says the budget has ballooned from just about $180-billion a couple of years ago to more than $220-billion this year for two reasons.  One is an additional $8.5-billion in taxes added on by Majority Democrats, and the cash windfall the state got in federal COVID-19 relief.  So far... the state legislature has approved three budget bills.  Controversial changes to the state's three-year old Bail Reform laws have not been acted on yet... but, Goodell says the revenue bill was adopted with bi-partisan support. 


Hochul says she and legislature have general agreement on final state budget...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced what she calls a ``conceptual'' agreement with legislators on a $220-billion state budget.  The Democrat says New York will devote billions of dollars to help families pay for child care, boost health care worker wages and temporarily cut state gasoline taxes.  The budget was due Apr. 1, but has been held up by last-minute policy and spending disagreements.  Lawmakers planned to begin voting on it Thursday evening.  Many parts of the budget deal are aimed at easing the public's financial burden, as the state deals with the pandemic recovery, inflation and rising prices.


Three injured in four-day accident on I-86 in Cattaraugus County...
Three people suffered only minor injuries in a wild, four-car accident on Interstate 86 in Cattaraugus County between the Steamburg and Randolph exits.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to the scene shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday... and, determined the first vehicle was eastbound when the driver lost control, and the car wound up in the median on it's side.  Deputies say the driver of a westbound car saw the accident... and, stopped to help.  However... a third car -- which was also westbound -- struck the vehicle that had stopped to assist.  That car came to rest in the middle of the wesbound lanes.  Officers say the driver of the fourth vehicle tried to avoid the collision, and went off the road and struck a guardrail.  Deputies say one person had to be freed from the wreckage.  The three people injured were taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.  The other two drivers declined medical treatment.  The investigation into the crash is continuing... and, officers say charges are pending.


Tenney gets required number of GOP and Conservative signatures to get on ballot for 23rd Congressional District...
Upstate New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney says she's filed petitions with more than 9-thousand Republican and Conservative Party signatures in the new 23rd District.  The Utica-area Republican thank the more than one-thousand volunteers who helped her campaign hit this record number, doubling her total from previous elections and demonstrating her strong support in Western New York, and the Southern Tier regions.  She currently represents New York's 22nd Congressional District.  Tenney says just over 7,700 were Republican signatures... and, nearly 1,500 were for the Conservative line.  She's looking to replace the retiring Tom Reed on the ballot.


Reed confident that U.S. Senate will act in near future on new, COVID Relief bill...
A U.S. Senate vote on a compromise, $10-billion measure that would buttress the federal government's COVID-19 defenses may not take place until late April.  It seems all but certainly sidetracked in that chamber for weeks... a victim of a campaign-season fight over the incendiary issue of immigration.  However... local Congressman Tom Reed says he remains confident that a new relief package will be coming sometime in the future.  Reed says it will help small businesses... especially restaurants.  The measure has already been approved in the U.S. House of Representatives.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


North county man arrested in Gerry for driving while under the influence of drugs...
A Dunkirk man is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs after he was stopped for a traffic violation in the town of Gerry.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 29 year-old Jeffrey Holmberg on Route 60 Monday... and he failed several sobriety tests.  Holmberg was arrested... and, troopers allegedly found drugs and a digital scale containing drug residue inside Holmberg’s car.  Police took him to the State Police barracks... where he was evaluated by a New York State Police Drug Recognition Expert.  They determined he was impaired by drugs and unable to operate a vehicle safely.  Since Holmberg’s driving record revealed a DWAI conviction within the past 10 years, the charge was upgraded to a felony.  Troopers processed Holmberg... and, he was issued appearance and traffic tickets for Gerry Town Court at a later date.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 7, 2022

Two city residents arrested in southside drug bust...
Two Jamestown residents were arrested during a raid on their southside home Wednesday morning for allegedly trafficking narcotic drugs... including Fentanyl.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro, and Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant at 200 Prospect St. shortly before 9 a.m., with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  They found two adults and a child inside.  Drug agents searched the home... and in addition to the Fentanyl... they found quantities of methamphetamine... suboxone pills... scales and packaging materials.  Police took 31 year-old Nathan Owen and 24 year-old Janie Blakey into custody on one count each of third-degree criminal posession of a controlled substance... and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  They were also charged with one count each of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Otherwise... call the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 664-2420.


Reed supports new, tougher sanctions on Russia for Ukraine invasion and alleged war crimes...
Chautauqua County's congressman supports the move by the United States to further sanction Russian President Vladimir Putin's two adult daughters, and toughen penalties against Russian banks in retaliation for "war crimes" in Ukraine.  Corning Republican Tom Reed those measure... along with the United Kingdom and European Union set to impose additional sanctions, is necessary because the "aggression in Ukraine has to end."  The new sanctions by European allies include a ban on new investment in Russian, and an EU embargo on coal, after evidence of torture and killings during the invasion of Ukraine emerged in recent days from Bucha, a town near the capital of Kyiv.  Reed says he's also not against helping Ukraine with a "no-fly zone" and allowing Poland to send MIG fighter jet planes considering the pictures and video of horrific war crimes there.  The U.S. Wednesday acted against two of Russia's largest banks... Sberbank and Alfa Bank... prohibiting assets from going through the U.S. financial system and barring Americans from doing business with those two institutions.


Still no budget deal in Albany...
New York state legislative leaders and Governor Kathy Hochul have yet to reach a deal on an over $216-billion budget.  Lawmakers and aides faced a lengthy to-do list as of Wednesday afternoon.  The Legislature held a brief session Wednesday without voting on budget bills, and lawmakers extended their hotel stays as negotiations dragged six days beyond an April 1st deadline.  But... Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, a Democrat from Buffalo, said she expects negotiations won't extend over the weekend.  Negotiators still have to finalize details for seven remaining spending plans, including infrastructure, local aid and education.  But... the main sticking point has remained criminal justice reform.


Congressman says Biden budget proposal "unsustainable," will drive more federal debt...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is taking another swipe at President Joe Biden's proposed, $5.8-trillion budget for 2023... emphasizing that it's level of spending is "unsustainable."  During his weekly telephone conference call with regional media... Reed noted that the spending plan includes a lot of "partisan priorities" that aren't practical... and, will drive the United States into even further debt.  He says this "build-up" of debt from overspending is not sustainable.  The U.S. has reached a long-term debt of about 30-trillion dollars... but, Reed says that, continuing along this path, is what has brought about the fall of other superpowers, and empires, over the past 500 years.  The Corning Republican noted the example of Great Britain... which isn't as great now after leading the world for many decades.  Reed has banged the drum since first being elected to Congress the need for the U-S to reign in spending and it's debt.  He says it's time to bring the adults into the room, and show real leadership to get the country's economic ship righted.


North county man arrested following "physical altercation" in Irving...
An Irving man has been arrested after allegedly getting into a fight with at least two other people... and, choking one of them... this past Monday night.  Sheriff's officers and State Police were called to a location on Jackson Street in the north county village just before 10 p.m. on a report of a physical altercation.  Deputies say they found that 26 year-old William Burgess had allegedly obstructed one person's breathing... and, he had shoved one other person to the ground.  Burgess is also accused of damaging another person's property... and, injuring a dog.  He faces multiple charges... including criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... second-degree harassment... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and overdriving, torturing and Injuring of animals.  Burgess was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Erie, Pa. juvenile surrenders to police after shooting another student at high school...
Authorities say a juvenile suspect being sought in a shooting that injured another student inside a northwestern Pennsylvania high school has turned himself in to police.  Erie police said multiple shots were fired just after 9:20 a.m. Tuesday in a hallway at Erie High School.  The injured student was said to be in stable condition.  Officials said due to the suspect's age, only juvenile counts would be filed.  Erie High classes have been canceled for the rest of the week with the annual spring break to be observed next week. 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Apr. 6, 2022

Mayville woman indicted on Felony drug and weapons charges... 
A Mayville woman has been indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on eight Felony drug and weapons possession charges.  County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 41 year-old Alisha Klinger was arraigned Tuesday morning by County Court Judge David Foley on the indictment.  Schmidt says the indictment includes one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... one count of second-degree criminal possession of a Weapon... and, third-degree criminal possession of a Weapon.  The defendant is scheduled to appear in County Court in May.


Goodell says no movement yet on approving remainder of state budget bills...
Negotations on the overdue, 2023 New York state budget are now five-days old... but, there's been no word on any breakthroughs reported on the main sticking points.  That from local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who says the only bill that lawmakers have approved so far is the $15-billion dollar Debt Service bill... which he says is about 30% of all the tax revenues taken in by the state.  Goodell adds, though, of the more than $200-billion in total debt the state has racked up... only about $2-billion of that was approved by the voters.  He says that's been part of the state constitution since 1938.  However... the Jamestown-area Republican says lawmakers have found ways to work around that by establishing several agencies and authorities over the years... and, they were given the ability to borrow money to avoid having the public vote on it.  The legislature did approve an "extender" appropriations bill Monday, which allows New York to meet payroll and other obligations through Thursday.  


Chautauqua County to lose it's Human Resources director on Apr. 16...
The woman who has served as Chautauqua County's Human Resources director since August of 2020 will soon be relocating with her family...  and leaving county government.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says Jean Riley is resigning her position as of Apr. 16.  Riley says she and her family made the decision to relocate... but, adds they'll "miss beautiful Chautauqua County.  I thank the County Executive for the opportunity to serve my community and for all the support and encouragement I received during my time with the County.”  Wendel says for nearly two years... "Jean has been an exceptional leader for our Human Resources Department and I have been honored to have her be a part of my team.  She has worked tirelessly to foster and create a fair, consistent environment for all county employees."  He says he will begin the process of finding a replacement soon... including setting up a bi-partisan search committee to help find a new director.


Silver Creek school superintendent says allegations of elementary school Isolation Room are false...
The superintendent of the Silver Creek Central School District says a number of allegations regarding the use of a de-escalation room as an 'isolation cell' in the district's elementary school are "utterly false."  Todd Crandall issued a statement late Monday in response to the allegations, which were received by the district last Tuesday and publicized by a school administrator.  In a video message to district families... Crandall said that while the district does use a de-escalation room, it has never been used as a form of punishment or has any negative implications.  He says the district "does not now, nor has ever, utilitized an isolation cell."  Crandall says the independent people they've had investigate say there has never been a child locked inside a room at the school by themself.  He says an inspection of the room on Monday by a State Police investigator, the Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus BOCES Coordinator of Health and Safety, and the Silver Creek Fire Chief found that the de-escalation room is safe and meets all fire codes and regulations.  He adds the district has suspended the use of the de-escalation room pending a full and complete investigation.


Jamestown-area gas prices fall 11-cents a gallon over the past week...
Gas prices across the U-S... as well as the Jamestown-area... have fallen over the past week.  However... AAA says overall they still remain at or near record levels.  The East Central's Gas Price Report this week says the average price for a gallon of unleaded, regular gas is down 11-cents to just over $4.28 a gallon.  AAA says the national average is now $4.18 a gallon... which is six cents less than a week ago, and 35-cents more than a month ago.  The association says the decrease has come simultaneously with President Biden's announced plan to release one million barrels of oil per day for six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  There has also been a slight drop in demand the past few days.


Capitol rioter from NYC sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison...
A New York City man accused of taking part in the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and still facing federal charges has been sentenced to 3-and-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty in state court to a count of criminal weapons possession.  Thirty-three-year-old Samuel Fisher had been arrested a couple of weeks after the Jan. 6 2021 riot, with authorities citing posts on social media that included firearms and talked about being at the Capitol.  Prosecutors say a search of Fisher's apartment on Manhattan's upper east side turned up multiple weapons and loaded high-capacity ammunition magazines.  His attorney called the sentence "tough but fair."

 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Apr. 5, 2022

Sundquist says late budget would still include increased general municipal, and road and street aid...
There is a stop-gap funding bill that's been adopted to keep New York state government running until Thursday to allow the legislature to get a new budget in place.  The more than $216-billion spending plan was due last Friday... but, several issues ground progress to a halt.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says it does appear an increase to 'Aid and Incentives to Municipalities' will be in the final package.  Sundquist says both the Senate and Assembly one-house bills include additional funding for AIM, and street and road repair (CHIPS funding) and replacement.  However... he adds it appears that changes to Bail Reform will not be in the spending bill.  Sundquist says it may end up being a "stand-alone" bill later.  A number of local municipal government leaders, and state legislature Republicans, have pushed for ending the controversial 2019 measure eliminating bail for most offenses.  Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed a measure giving more discretion to local judges and prosecutors in those matters.  However... progressive Democrats have pushed back on the idea.


Borrello says state lawmakers had difficulty even agreeing on stop-gap measure...
A new, 2023 New York state budget is now four days late... with state leaders in Albany still far apart on several issues.  State Senator George Borrello says state lawmakers even had trouble making a 4 p.m. deadline Monday on a stop-gap measure to keep state government operating... and pay more than 60,000 full-time state employees.  Borrello says there are several sticking points that are delaying a budget agreement... with the main one being bail reform.  He says, right now, state government has been "very disfunctional."  The Sunset Bay Republican says other disagreements include childcare funding... and the deal for a new Bills stadium.


Chautauqua County's Human Resources Director leaving on Apr. 16...
The woman who has served as Chautauqua County's Human Resources Director since August of 2020 will soon be relocating with her family...  and leaving county government.  County Executive P-J Wendel says Jean Riley is resigning her position as of April 16th.  Riley says she and her family made the decision to relocate... but, adds they'll "miss beautiful Chautauqua County.  I thank the County Executive for the opportunity to serve my community and for all the support and encouragement I received during my time with the County.”  Wendel says for nearly two years... "Jean has been an exceptional leader for our Human Resources Department and I have been honored to have her be a part of my team.  She has worked tirelessly to foster and create a fair, consistent environment for all county employees."  He says he will begin the process of finding a replacement soon... including setting up a bi-partisan search committee to help find a new director.


Jamestown set to resume annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sat., Apr. 16...
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic... the annual Jamestown Easter Egg Hunt will take place on Saturday, Apr. 16 at Allen Park.  The city council's Public Safety Committee approved a measure moving ahead with the program this year from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.  Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon says there was a smaller, "drive-thru" event in 2021... but, things should be normal this year which will be "more fun" for the kids.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the city's Parks Department... led by Manager Dan Stone... has been working hard on getting the event up and going.  This will be the city of Jamestown's 74th Easter Egg Hunt.  If there is inclement weather... it would likely be held indoors at the former Allen Park Ice Rink on Apr. 16.


Two arrested on drug and weapons charges during traffic stop...
Two men face drug and weapons charges after they were found with a loaded pistol and methamphetamine when their car was stopped early Sunday afternoon in Jamestown.  City police say a patrol spotted the northbound sedan on North Main Street -- near Buffalo Street -- shortly after 12 Noon... with an expired inspection sticker.  During the stop... they found a loaded 380-calibur pistol, and just over 30-grams of a meth -- Fentanyl compound -- inside the car.  Officers arrested 34 year-old Joshua Hammer of Collins Center, and 24 year-old Dakota Murphy, Jr. of Dunkirk on several charges... including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  They were also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Further investigation found that Hammer had an additional quantity of the meth and Fentanyl Compound... and a quantity of Suboxone in his possession.  Officers also found that Muprhy was in possession of brass knuckles.  Police say their investigation also found the hand-gun had been stolen in Chautauqua County.  Both men were being held pending arraignment on the charges.


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly menacing with a knife...
A city man was arrested last Saturday night after allegedly threatening other people with a knife on Jamestown's northside.  City police were called to an undisclosed location about 8 p.m. on a report of a man threatening others.  When officers arrived... they found 37 year-old Richard Neal carrying a knife while walking in the area.  Police ordered Neal to drop the knife, and he did.  He was then arrested after police confirmed that Neal threatened to stab one victim.  Neal was charged with second-degree menacing, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 4, 2022

Two arrested Sunday during traffic stop on drug and weapons charges...
Two men face drug and weapons charges after they were found with a loaded pistol and methamphetamine when their car was stopped early Sunday afternoon in Jamestown.  City police say a patrol spotted the northbound sedan traveling north on North Main St. -- near Buffalo St. -- shortly after 12 Noon... with an expired inspection sticker.  During the stop... they found a loaded .380 calibur pistol, and just over 30-grams of a meth -- Fentanyl compound -- inside the car.  Officers arrested 34 year-old Joshua Hammer of Collins Center, and 24 year-old Dakota Murphy, Jr. of Dunkirk on several charges... including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  They were also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Further investigation found that Hammer had an additional quantity of the meth and Fentanyl Compound... and a quantity of Suboxone concealed on his person.  Officers also found that Muprhy was in possession of brass knuckles.  Police say their investigation also found the hand-gun had been stolen in Chautauqua County.  Both men were being held pending arraignment on the charges.


Sunday morning fire destroys Homestead Cafe Restaurant in Ellery...
An early morning fire Sunday has destroyed a popular restaurant in the town of Ellery.  Sheriff's Department fire investigators say Fluvanna firefighters were initially called to the Homestead Cafe Restaurant on Route 430 shortly after 2 a.m., and, found the structure heavily engulfed in flames.  Ten mutual aid companies... including Ellery Center, Bemus Point, Gerry, Sinclairville, Ashville, Maple Springs, DeWittville, Chautauqua, Sherman and Kennedy were called in to assist.  No injuries were reported... and, the countys' Fire Investigation Team is still investigating the cause and origin of the blaze.


Man from Ripley arrested during warrant check...
A Ripley man sought for allegedly choking and harassing another person has been arrested during a warrant check late last week.  Sheriff's officers conducted the check at a home on Goodrich Street in Ripley last Friday night... and, arrested 35 year-old Andrew Sanders.  Sanders had a warrant for his arrest for second-degree harassment, and criminal obstruction of Breathing/Blood Circulation.  He was arrested without incident... and, taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


JPS looking to begain Early College High School program...
A new program that's been designed for high schools by New York state may hold the key for students who may be the first in their family to attend college.  The Jamestown Public Schools have begun taking steps to form an Early College High School program that allows all high-schoolers to take courses simulaneously for high school... and, college credit.  Jamestown Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the program has great potential.  Whitaker says, once it's up and running, students will leave high school with enough credits to enter college as a sophomore, and have an associates degree.  He says the Early College program is more specific than the current "College Connections" program at Jamestown High School where students select from a limited number of 'elective' courses during their upper classmen years.  Down the road... he envisions putting the program into the former Rogers Elementary School... which may also house technology, manufacturing and other educational tracts for students.  Whitaker says the district is using grant funding to get the program underway. 


Democrats debating what to do with bail reform laws during budget deliberations...
A spike in violence during the COVID-19 pandemic has Democrats eager to show they're tough on crime ahead of this year's midterm elections.  But... the party is struggling to find a common message with progressives pushing for police reform and moderates focusing on rising crime rates.  In New York state... Governor Kathy Hochul's plan to toughen the state's bail laws is being met with criticism from all sides.  Reform advocates say the system should be left alone while police leaders, and even fellow Democrats say the proposal doesn't go far enough to roll back what they consider soft treatment of criminals.


Reed hopeful that Ukrainians taking fight to Russia may bring end to hostilities...
As Russian military forces have retreated in some parts of Ukraine... the world is watching what Vladimir Putin's military may do next in that neighboring nation.  During the retreats, or repositionings... Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russian forces leaving the capital region are creating a "catastrophic" situation for civilians by leaving mines around homes, abandoned equipment and even corpses.  Local Congressman Tom Reed is "cautiously optimistic that this horrific war situation" may end sooner rather than later.  At the same time... Reed also says China should take note of the trouble's Russia has been facing during the invasion.  Russian casualties have risen, and the invaders have lost ground in many places.  Reed hopes China will use it's influence with Russia to get Putin to draw back the attacks in Ukraine. 


Cuomo sues State Ethic board over earnings from book deal...
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against the state's ethics commission.  It's the latest move in an ongoing dispute over his earnings from a book about his efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Cuomo accuses the Joint Commission on Public Ethics of violating his constitutional rights.  The commission has regulatory oversight over lobbyists and government officials.  It's staff had granted approval for Cuomo's book deal in July 2020... after being told that Cuomo would not use state personnel or resources.  However, a state Assembly investigation later found that wasn't the case.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 1, 2022

Two men arrested following alleged incident at Crown Street home that leads to loaded gun, and significant amount of narcotic drugs...
Jamestown police arrested two men for allegedly breaking into a Crown Street home Thursday morning... and, displaying a hand-gun before fleeing the scene.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene shortly after 11 a.m., and, quickly found the suspect vehicle... and, one of the suspects in the front yard at 512 Newland Ave.  Samuelson says 22 year-old Andre Richards was taken into custody and the car impounded.  The second suspect... 26 year-old Michael Bland of Buffalo... was found a short time later in the area of Forest and Newland Avenues.  Police got a search warrant for the vehicle... and, found a loaded 9-mm pistol inside a hidden compartment of the car... and drugs... including more than 76-grams of crack cocaine... 16.9 grams of crystal methamphetamine... and, just over 68-grams of Fentanyl.  Both men face several charges... including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... multiple counts of second and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, menacing.  Both are being held pending arraignment.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity... call the JPD confidential tips line at 483-8477.


State budget is late, again, due to hangups over bail reform, and universal child care...
New York's final 2022-2023 state budget is late again this year.  However... the process of approving bills is underway.  That from State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell.  Both chambers have approved one budget bill so far -- that being the annual debt service measure.  However... the total budget includes 9 or 10 bills.  Borrello says it appears that one main hold-up is over proposed changes to bail reform... a move that's drawn protests.  He says one Assembly member is doing a hunger strike, while some nine protesters were arrested at the capitol.  Borrello says it's a "very bad sign" that the majority of bills have not "dropped" yet, because they are required to spend three-days on lawmakers desks before they can be acted on.  They could be acted on sooner if Governor Kathy Hochul issues a "message of necessity."  Borrello says progressive Democrats have "dug their heels in" regarding changes to the bail reform law.  He says another major hurdle concerns universal child care.


County's Health Dept. reports on wastewater surveillance program...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting "low levels" of COVID-19 being found in wastewater samples collected since Mar. 8 in the city's of Jamestown and Dunkirk.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler made the first report Thursday of what's been found since the legislature approved funding for the new program last week.  Schuyler says persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus -- which causes COVID-19 -- whether or not they have symptoms, shed the virus in fecal matter.  She says wastewater testing is a nonintrusive and anonymous way to detect basic levels of COVID-19 in a community without relying on ill individuals to seek out testing.  Schuyler says the wastewater surveillance program is an "early warning system" for managing COVID-19 as we transition to an endemic phase."  The testing of wastewater is being done by the University at Buffalo's Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering.


Reed pleased to see U.S. win first trade case against Canada in USMCA...
Dairy producers in the United States have won the first major trade case brought against Canada for unfair trade practices under the U.S., Mexico, and Canada Trade Agreement.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who got more information about the case while meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tei.  Reed has supported local dairy producers, who claim that Canada has unfairly kept them out of that market.  He says a dispute panel found that violation did take place, and they're awaiting resolution of the case.  The issues with getting dairy products... especially cheese... into the Canadian market was one of the goals of the USMCA, which was approved by Congress a few years ago.  So far... Reed says Canada's response has not been adequate.  But... after meeting with Tei, Reed says he was pleased to be assured the U-S will push for a full resolution. 


Gillibrand helps reintroduce postal banking legislation in the Senate...
U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has helped re-introduce legislation that would re-establish postal banking to provide financial security to millions of Americans in low-income, and rural communities.  Gillibrand says the Postal Banking Act would strengthen the U.S. Postal Service by providing low-cost, basic financial services to people who have limited or no access to the nation’s banking system.  She says it would give low-income people access to small dollar checking and savings accounts, along with debit cards, and on-line banking.  Gillibrand also released an original report, which finds that over 25-million households, including more than 1.5-million in New York, stand to benefit from postal banking.  Her report also demonstrates that postal banking could generate nearly $19-billion in annual revenue for the Postal Service.


NYS Judge rejects Congressional Maps...
A judge has ordered New York's Democrat-controlled Legislature to redraw the state's congressional and legislative districts after finding they were unconstitutional.  Judge Patrick McAllister said in a late Thursday ruling that maps redrawing the state's congressional districts were gerrymandered to benefit Democrats.  McAllister said those districts must be redrawn, along with the legislative districts, in a way that attracted at least some bipartisan support.  The judge gave lawmakers until Apr. 11 to try again.  

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