WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 14, 2018

The Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office and not the New York State Attorney General's Office will lead the investigation into Monday's police involved shooting at 76 Liberty Street in Fredonia....  

That from D-A Patrick Swanson yesterday.  He says the decision was based on evidence gathered in the case.  Swanson says an investigator from the A-G's Office was sent to the scene of the fatal shooting on Monday.

Swanson says the investigation is continuing, but he admits it has been a slow process, which is probably the "right way to do it."  He says there are several pieces of evidence his office still needs from the incident.  Police officials said Monday night that the officer fatally shot the man who was wielding a knife.  Swanson did indicate that he met with the man's family today and they did not want authorities to release his identity.  The D-A says he will leave it up to Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers to decide whether to release the officer's name.

 
A newspaper is now identifying the man suspected of fatally stabbing another man in western New York last weekend and, is being held in a Nevada jail....  

The Olean Times-Herald reports police in Henderson, Nevada say 22-year-old Brandon Francis is being held in a local jail on an outstanding warrant from Cattaraugus County.  Francis is accused of fleeing to Nevada after allegedly stabbing 22-year-old Juwaan Holt, of Buffalo, to death.  The victim's body was discovered Saturday at a home in Salamanca.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office has declined to identify the suspect for investigative purposes but, deputies have said the man is charged with second-degree murder.  Francis is awaiting extradition proceedings to be brought back to New York.  It couldn't be learned from prosecutors if he has a lawyer.


Jamestown police have arrested a city man on 13 Felony charges stemming from a late November investigation into a rash of criminal mischief complaints....  

In a printed release, Police Chief Harry Snellings says 21 year-old Kyle Seekings and three male juveniles are allegedly responsible for damages -- in excess of $30,000 -- to homes, business and vehicles along First Street and the Riverwalk.  In addition, Snellings says the four are also accused of throwing rocks and snowballs from the viaduct on North Main Street and Foote Avenue.  Seekings is being held pending arraignment on 6 counts of second-degree criminal mischief and 7 counts of third-degree criminal mischief.  Snellings says the three juveniles will be petitioned to Family Court. 


Local Congressman Tom Reed is joining with other GOP House members from New York in calling on the Justice Department to investigate the state's Justice Center for failure to investigate crimes involving death and abuse of people with disabilities...  

Reed says those people are directly under the state's care and, says they were made aware of these "egregious and unreported crimes" by an advocate whose son died while in state care.

Reed says nearly 1,400 allegations related to staff abuses, patient neglect, sexual assaults and even patient deaths have been reported to the New York State Justice Center, which is authorized to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect and prosecute criminal offenses.  However... he says it has only investigated about 2.5-percent of those.  That's why he and others have written the Justice Department.  Reed says they include fellow Repubicans Lee Zeldin, Peter King and Elise Stefanik.  He adds that "for Governor Cuomo’s Justice Center to sweep these crimes under the rug is unfair for the people our government is charged with protecting." 


Members of the New York state Assembly are getting an early start to 2019.  Members of the Assembly's Democratic majority are gathered in Albany for a few days of meetings....  

Senate Democrats are also meeting this week to prepare for 2019, when they will have the majority in the Senate.  The Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs held a hearing Wednesday on veteran employment programs.  Lawmakers say the early meetings, many held behind closed doors, help them pick priorities and plot strategy before the session begins.  The full Legislature is scheduled to convene January 9th for the beginning of its six-month session.  Meanwhile, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo will get the new year started when he delivers his third inaugural address on January 1st on Ellis Island.


The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is now over 80-percent of it's goal for the 2018 General Campaign....  

Committee officials met Thursday and, learned the campaign was at 82-percent of their $1.335-million goal.  United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler says they're pleased with where they are at but, she adds they still have to get over the finish line.

Rohler says she and others with the United Way are in the midst of making presentations to local businesses and companies to generate excitement about the campaign.  She and others were at our Media One Radio Group headquarters yesterday to talk about what their dollars do for one local human service agency, the Chautauqua Blind Association.  Rohler says all United Way campaign dollars stay local to support 39 programs at 26 member agencies.  She says the best way to keep up with the campaign and, learn more about their visits, is to go to their Facebook page.  You can also got to their website at UWaysCC.org.  You can also call 483-1561.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 13, 2018

Two boys from Jamestown face charges in Family Court after allegedly stealing several items from a number of cars on the city's northside over the past several weeks......  

City police say -- among the items stolen -- were an AR-15 Rifle, and a loaded, 9-millimeter pistol.  Officers say the pair was taken into custody late Wednesday after they allegedly tried to use a stolen credit card at a local retail business.  Police say the boys, who were not identified, were found on surveillance video and arrested.  Investigators are trying to recover the other items stolen during the rash of vehicle thefts.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson reminds residents to never store any firearms in their cars and always lock your vehicle when you leave it parked.  He says the juveniles will face charges in Family Court.


Congress has approved a new, five-year federal Farm Bill that includes "some substantial reforms"....  

Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed, who says he voted for the measure, which had been reconciled in both chambers.  Reed says there is some trade-off in the final measure provides some additional relief for dairy farmers -- especially those with up to 200 head of cattle.  The Corning Republican adds that, while it doesn't go far enough in his mind, there were some gains in limiting food stamp benefits.

Reed says the dairy component would increase the ability of farmers to get margin insurance if they have up to 200 cows in their herd.  He says the bill would also encourage expansion of milk markets, both in the U-S and internationally.  However, he says the latter part is also dependent on the U-S wrapping up the new USMC trade deal with Mexico and Canada.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.


U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she's "very excited" about the new federal Farm Bill, which has now been approved by both houses of Congress....  

Gillibrand says she supported the measure as a member of the agriculture committee and, adds that she like many aspects of the five-year bill, including two in particular.  She says one is that it helps smaller dairy farmers who will get margin protection over the past three years.

Gillibrand says the Farm Bill also protects the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamp benefits.  She says it rejects the House GOP plan that would have cut benefits, and created a "massive paperwork nightmare" for low-income families trying to get help from the program.  Gillibrand made her comments during a conference call with state media this week.


The former head of the State University of New York's Polytechnic Institute has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for his role in corrupting the state's Buffalo Billion project....  

Alain Kaloyeros was sentenced Tuesday in Manhattan federal court by Judge Valerie Caproni.  She also fined him $100-thousand dollars.  The judge said he can remain free on bail pending appeal because there was a substantial legal question that the appeals court must consider.  However, she said he must report to prison two months after the appeals court rules, if it upholds the conviction and sentence.  Kaloyeros, who apologized to New York state residents, was convicted in July of conspiracy and wire fraud.  His lawyers said afterward they still believe him to be "an innocent man."


A 22 year-old man -- who fled to Las Vegas Nevada -- is awaiting extradition to Cattaraugus County on a second-degree murder charge in connection with a fatal stabbing incident in Salamanca....  

Sheriff's Officers in Little Valley report the arrest was made following an investigation into the death of 22 year-old Juwaan Holt at 357 Broad Street last Saturday.  Deputies say the unidentified suspect allegedly stabbed the Buffalo-area victim in the abdomen, resulting in his death.  The investigation is continuing in conjuction with the Salamanca City Police and, more charges are pending.  Officers say this was an isolated incident, the suspect is in custody and there is no current danger to the public. 


The village of Fredonia's neighboring police agency has assisted with the response, and the investigation into this past Monday's police involved shooting in the village....  

Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says his department sprang into action when they learned of the shooting at 76 Liberty Street around 2 PM. Ortolano called the shooting a tragedy, not only for the man who was shot and killed, but also for the police officer and his family.  He says the officer is obviously going through a lot right now.  Ortolano says police officers in both communities work closely together and continue to show support following the difficult ordeal.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office along with New York State Police are assisting with the investigation. 

 
Through some good work from their finance department, there will be no rate hikes for any of the five divisions of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities next year....  


That good news this week from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers, who says the board recently approved all five 2019 budgets.  Leathers says the panel, during it's last meeting, approved both the electric and water division spending plans.  That news was conveyed to the city council this week.

Leathers says both the water and wastewater budgets do reflect the new, 10-year agreement with the town of Ellicott.  Customers there will pay 200-percent of the city rate going forward but, the BPU takes on more infrastructure responsibilities.  That includes sewer and water main replacements when needed.  Leathers says the board approved the other three division budgets for wastewater, solid waste, and District Heating in late October. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 12, 2018

A 22 year-old man -- who fled to Las Vegas Nevada -- is awaiting extradition to Cattaraugus County on second-degree murder charges in connection to a stabbing incident in Salamanca... 

Sheriff's Officers in Little Valley report the arrest was made following an investigation into the death of 22 year-old Juwaan Holt at 357 Broad Street last Saturday. Deputies say the unidentified suspect allegedly stabbed the Buffalo-area victim in the abdomen, resulting in his death. The investigation is continuing in conjuction with the Salamanca City Police and, more charges are pending. Officers say this was an isolated incident, the suspect is in custody and there is no current danger to the public. 


A Fredonia woman has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk in a two-car accident on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret Monday night....  

Sheriff's officers came across the accident scene shortly after 11 p.m. and, found that the driver of one vehicle, 60 year-old Andrea Tarnowski, drove into the intersection with Straight Road, and struck a southbound vehicle.  No injuries were reported, but deputies found that that Tarnowski's license had been suspended due to a prior impaired driving arrest.  After processing, officers say Tarnowski was released with tickets for Pomfret Town Court at a later date to answer charges of DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, and failure to yield right of way.


The attorney representing the officer involved in Monday's police involved shooting in Fredonia believes it was a "legitimate and lawful use" of deadly force under New York State law...  

Police officials say the incident at 76 Liberty Street was first reported as a medical call, before village police were sent to the scene.  The officer involved is being represented by attorney Thomas Burton from the Buffalo area, who has handled a number of police-involved shooting cases over the years.  He says the man who brandished a knife did not obey the commands from the officer.

The man, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene by a county coroner.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, with the help of the State Police, are handling the investigation that is being overseen by District Attorney Patrick Swanson.  The Attorney General's Office was contacted and sent an investigator to the scene on Monday, but Burton does not believe the AG's Office will take over jurisdiction of the case because a weapon was obviously seen and recovered. 


A pair of people essential to the growth of the Robert H. Jackson Center were honored in a ceremony there on Tuesday.....  

Fran Galbato began as a docent, giving tours of the fledgling facility as it started over 17 years ago.  Her husband, Tom, quickly joined on.  Greg Peterson, one of the founders of the center, said the couple stepped up on many fronts when help was needed the most.

The Galbatos' -- whose family business is Brigiotta's -- organized fund raising spaghetti dinners, took long trips to bring 'Jackson memorabilia' back to Jamestown, and helped organize the office as the center began to grow.  Because of health issues, neither Tom nor Fran could be present at the ceremony.  Their daughter, Carla Kays, spoke on her parents' behalf, saying her mother loved what Robert Jackson stood for-- equality, justice, and treating one another with respect and kindness. The Jackson Center's Interim President, Tom Schmidt, said a brick honoring the Galbatos' commitment will be installed in the front sidewalk next spring.    


The Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council will hold a forum tonight to try and clarify the differences between medical marijuana and recreational pot....  
 

CASAC Executive Director Melanie Witkowski says the forum will be held at McEwen Hall at the SUNY College at Fredonia from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.  Witkowski says she'll be on the panel in addition to health care, and local task force officials.

Witkowski says Chautauqua County Health Commissioner Christine Schulyer, Will Jones of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and, retired UPMC Chautauqua Hospital Clinical Director Andy O'Brien will also be on the panel.  She says there is a lot of concern about recreational marijuana being legalized in New York state because there is already a lot of substance abuse here already and, the area's poverty numbers are high.  The forum will be held in Room 209 of McEwen Hall at SUNY at Fredonia.  For more information or to register, go on-line to casacweb.org.


Several nationwide food contamination outbreaks has led U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to call on the Food and Drug Administration to implement legislation approved several years ago by Congress...  

The New York Democrat says the Food Safety Modernization Act was drafted -- by her -- in 2010, but the FDA has yet to enforce the standards.  While grocery stores are good at getting those products off the shelves, Gillibrand says they don't do as well in notifying their customers of those recalls.

Gillibrand says -- often -- people will have items left in their pantry or freezer that has been recalled and, they don't realize it.  She adds that -- with the use of current technology -- shoppers can be informed quickly through various means.  Gillibrand says supermarkets and grocery stores know what was sold and often to whom and, can connect with those people through a phone call, e-mail or text.  She says there are four store chains -- including Wegman's -- in New York that have already implemented such measures on their own. 


With less than two weeks to Christmas and one major distribution yet to come, Toys for Tots in Chautauqua County has run out of toys....

Heather Brown, one of the Toys for Tots Coordinators from the Resouce Center, speaking at Toy Central in Falconer Tuesday, said donations have been a little down this year, and applications way up, reaching 3,000 for the first time in TRC's 18 year history with the project.  Terri Johnson, another of the coordinators, hopes people will purchase toys for any age range over the next couple days and place them in one of the over 100 barrels at stores and other locations throughout the community.   Toys should  be new and unwrapped.  They final distribution is set for Saturday, when they hope to have toys for another 1200 young people.  More information on Facebook, or call 661-1042.


A Pennsylvania man convicted of killing his wife and tossing her body into Lake Erie has been sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole....  

The Erie Times-News reports that Erie County President Judge John Trucilla imposed the mandatory sentence Tuesday on 49-year-old Christopher Leclair.  He also added three years and nine months to 17 years for counts including abuse of a corpse, evidence-tampering and false reports.  Leclair reported his wife missing in June 2017 but surveillance images showed the two leaving and him returning alone, and he later put out a distress call.  Her body was found in July off Dunkirk, New York.  The judge ordered him to pay nearly 706-thousand dollars in restitution to the Coast Guard for the search.  Defense attorney Bruce Sandmeyer said Leclair maintains his innocence.


Authorities say three snowmobilers have died in separate crashes in northern New York since last Friday...  

Two crashes took place on Friday, with 46-year-old Thomas Hetherington of Middlesex, New York killed after crashing into a tree while snowmobiling in the Adirondack town of Inlet.  New York Upstate reports that 23-year-old Jonathon Black of Somerset, New Jersey died that same evening near Old Forge.  Webb Police Chief Ronald Johnson says conditions in the area were very icy, and the causes of the crashes were "imprudent speed for the conditions."  New York State Police say 18-year-old Luke Tyrrell of Adams, New York died Sunday morning after losing control of his snowmobile and crashing into a tree.  Tyrrell was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 11, 2018

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, with assistance from the State Police, are continuing to investigate a police-involved shooting that claimed a life Monday afternoon in the village of Fredonia....  

Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers says police responded to 76 Liberty Street around 1:45 PM to assist Fredonia Fire with a medical call at the location. According to Meyers, the man, armed with a knife, attacked one of the officers.  The officer retreated to the street and shot the man who was pronounced dead at the scene by a county coroner.  Meyers says its was a difficult situation.

Meyers says the officer has not been identified.  However, he did indicate the officer, a 15-year veteran of the department, has been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation. Police involved shootings are very rare in Fredonia.  Ryan Wysong, a nearby resident, heard the gunshots and knew something wasn't right. Wysong says he heard a total of four shots that were fired.  The last police involved shooting in the village was when a police officer was shot in the leg in 2003.  


An unidentified female was flown to a regional hospital for treatment of serious injuries following an altercation in the town of Hanover Sunday evening....  

Sheriff's deputies were called to an undisclosed address and, arrested 41 year-old Kenneth Monture -- of Jamestown -- for allegedly striking and kicking the female at 11 PM.  Officers say Mercyflight took the victim to Erie County Medical Center for her injuries.  Monture was charged with second-degree assault and sent to the county jail without bail. 


Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says he will be reviewing the recommendations issued from a countywide task force that's been focused on the county's opioid crisis...  

The Countywide Alliance for Enforcement and Rehabilitation, or CAER, recently issued a report entitled - "2018 Summary and Recommendations."  Borrello tells us that he is pleased with the work of CAER and will be discussing the recommendations with the County Legislature.

Among the recommendations is combining the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force with the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  Borrello says he agrees that the two task forces need to either merge or work more closely together.  He's hopeful that the major stakeholders will work towards one of both of those outcomes.  Another recommendation is adding a full-time investigator to the District Attorney's Office.  Besides the recommendations, the task force reports that drug overdose and drug-related deaths in the county appear to have dropped during the past year.  Direct overdose deaths were down from 29 at this time last year, to 10 this year.


Grants totaling $2.6 million have been awarded to 28 organizations around New York state to support projects that address environmental and health concerns in low-income and minority communities...  

The money is from the Department of Environmental Conservation's environmental justice community impact grant program.  Money will be used to clean up vacant lots, create organic urban farms, improve waterways, expand environmental education and promote community-owned solar.  Since the program began in 2006, 145 organizations have received almost $5 million for projects addressing environmental issues in their communities, including research and outreach projects.


Two young women who have been able to forge major collaborations in their professional lives in Chautauqua County have been given one of the county Chamber of Commerce's most prestigious awards...  

Dunkirk's Monica Kemp-Simpson and Jamestown's Simone Sellstrom are this year's co-recipients of the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award.  Sellstrom is a midwest native and, moved here to become Communications Coodinator at Jamestown Community College more than 6 years ago.  Most recently, she has worked with the Small Business Development Center at JCC to distribute a social media guide and, says their help has been vital.

Simpson is a Forestville native, who is program manager for the Fredonia Technology Incubator and, has worked on a number of programs and projects in the north county area.  But, she says she's also very proud of what she's been able to do with the local "young professionals" group. The Pam Lydic Awards were presented at last Friday's annual meeting of the chamber at the Chautauqua Harborfront Hotel in Celoron.  The main speaker at the event was hotel owner--operator David Hart.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure that would have allowed big lottery jackpot winners in New York to remain anonymous....  

Bill sponsors wanted New York to follow the lead of a handful of other states that give jackpot winners the option of anonymity so they can avoid being besieged by people seeking money.  The bill would have applied to jackpots over $5,000.  Cuomo said in a veto message issued late Friday that people should know there are actual lottery winners and that the state is not merely padding its coffers.  The governor says winners seeking anonymity in New York can form a limited liability corporation.
 A New York City resident who won a $344-million Powerball jackpot last month told newspapers he wished he could remain anonymous.


A Sherman man has been arrested for drunk driving, speeding and having no headlights early Sunday morning in the town of Sherman....  

Sheriff's officers say a patrol stopped 24 year-old Martin Hostetler on Route 76 shortly before 2:30 AM for speeding and, he was found to be intoxicated.  Hostetler was arrested and, after processing was released with traffic tickets for Sherman Town Court.  He was charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed operation, speed in zone, and no/inadequate headlights.


Two committees of the New York state legislature will examine the level of mental health services provided in the state's juvenile justice system...  

The Assembly's Committee on Children and Families and the Committee on Mental Health are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the topic later today in Albany.  The meeting will focus on the level of care given to juvenile offenders struggling with some type of mental health challenges.  Experts, advocates and relatives of offenders are expected to participate.  Findings from the hearing could play a role next year as lawmakers take up a variety of reforms to the juvenile justice system.  Critics say too many youthful offenders don't get the mental health help they need.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 10, 2018

(Corrected) A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a bicycle... and, acting suspiciously near a church and the Fenton History Center in the Brooklyn Square area of the city.  

The Jamestown Police K-9 unit was called to the scene near the New Creation Assembly of God at 116 South Main St. just after 8 p.m. last Saturday.  Officers found 26 year-old Luca Brownlee behind a bush outside... but, he immediately ran off when police called for him to come out.  Brownlee allegedly left the bike behind.  K-9 "Mitchell" later found Brownlee reaching into his waste band near the Fenton History Center on Washington Street, and he resisted arrest.  However... nothing was taken from the center.  He was finally arrest, and arraigned on two counts of petty larceny... and others including obstruction.  Brownlee was sent to the county jail on $1,000 dollars cash bail.
 

New York state spent a lot of money to win the recent competition to land the second U-S headquarters for Amazon, but did the state and New York city, give up too much?  

A group of economists last weekend said while New York will bring in another $27-billion in new tax money over the next quarter century, the state's analysis does not consider added expenses... including costs to educate the children of workers, and public transportation needs.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says -- if the state had a better tax and regulatory climate -- huge incentives would not be needed.

Reed believes the $2.8-billion economic development package given to Amazon is a "slap in the face" to businesses currently here that did not get such sweetheart deals to locate or stay here.  He says, by his own admission, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that unless the state and city provided those incentives, Amazon was going to go to Texas.  Reed recently wrote a letter to the governor that calls for more tax and regulatory relief.  He adds that a deal that large should be approved by a three-fifths majority of the state legislature.


In New York state government news, good-government groups are cheering new restrictions on legislative moonlighting....  

A state compensation committee voted Thursday to raise legislative salaries from the current $79,000 to $130,000 over the next three years.  The raise is the first in 20 years and comes with restrictions capping lawmakers' outside income at 15 percent of their salary.  Government watchdogs say outside jobs can be a conduit for bribes, and groups such as Common Cause and Reinvent Albany say the new restrictions are a long-needed reform.  Meanwhile, members of the Assembly return to Albany this week to get ready for the start of the 2019 session next month and, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been tapped as vice chairman of the National Governors Association, a job sure to raise the Democrat's national profile.


It appears that state lawmakers may be getting their first pay raise in 20 years... 

However, that's not sitting well with at least one local state legislator.  A special panel created by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature voted to increase the base pay for state legislators.  However, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is not pleased with the move and says he opposed the creation of the pay commission.

The move would raise annual salaries from $79,500 to $130,000 by 2021.  They would make $110,000 to begin 2019.  Goodell says he doesn't have a problem with the current annual salary, but, adds he can understand the concerns of downstate lawmakers.  He says he "knew what the salary was when I ran..." but, he says he understands the cost of living in the New York City area is "much higher" there.  The pay raises will take place unless the state Legislature decides to overrule the committee's decision.  Goodell believes there should be a vote. 


The Jamestown High School Acappella Choir was tested in an unexpected way Sunday, as more than 500 people gathered for the first of this year's Vespers Services....  

Brian Bogey, the choir's Director Emeritus and accompanist, said, moments before the start, one of the 4,000 pipes in the organ at First Lutheran Church developed a cipher, a note that wouldn't stop playing.  Bogey scrambled across the choir loft and played the entire program at the piano. Acappella President, Corin Derby, was very happy with the performance, saying "We rely on the organ, but we rely on Mr. Bogey more."  Acappella Director, Norm Lydell, gave credit to his students for being flexible as they adapted to the breakdown.  Brian Bogey said repair people will be summoned immediately, so the organ will be ready for the second Vespers, next Sunday, December 16 at 4 PM.


A coalition of New York education groups says schools will need a $2.2-billion increase in state aid to meet the needs of students next year....  

The Educational Conference Board's budget recommendation late this week includes a $1.3 billion increase in the base Foundation Aid, as well as $400 million more for reimbursements for services including transportation and special education.  An additional $500-million is being sought for priority areas like school safety and supporting struggling schools.  The conference board, which comprises agencies representing administrators, parents and teachers, cites increases over the past decade in students who are poor, disabled or are English language learners.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to release his budget proposal next month.


Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says legislation boosting federal investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure must include efforts to curb global warming....  

Lawmakers have cited infrastructure investment as ripe for bipartisan agreement next year, but, the New York Democrat's position could complicate things.  The Trump administration has prioritized undoing the Obama administration's efforts to slow climate change.  Schumer said Friday in a letter to President Donald Trump that climate change will cause "untold human suffering and significant damage to the U.S. economy" if left unchecked.  He is calling for permanent tax credits to boost production of wind and solar energy and to make homes and offices more energy efficient.  Schumer also is calling for loans to communities that would invest in projects that limit the damage caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 7, 2018

Snowfall totals weren't what they were predicted to be early Thursday, but there was still more than enough to slick up roads across Chautauqua County and making driving conditions hazardous last night...  

Local police report several cars off the road, or involved in minor fender-benders.  Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Weather Service also say there will be some snow around this morning's commute, making travel tricky.  Kelly says our Winter Weather Advisory expired early this morning.

Earlier predictions called for 5 to 9 inches in the persistant lake snow areas.  Kelly said late yesterday that we may also see some significant snow again tonight, with between 2 to 3 inches of snow through early Saturday morning.  However, Kelly says after that, the weekend should be relatively uneventful.  

The city of Jamestown's ad hoc Salary Review Commission has unaniomously approved pay increases for both the mayor, and city council members, beginning with the next term....  

However, it's not clear yet how the City Council will receive those increase.  City Clerk Todd Thomas says members voted Wednesday to increase the mayor's pay from $72,000 a year to $85,000 while city council members would double from $5,000 a year to $10,000.  The Council president would still receive an additional one-thousand dollars a year.  The mayor's pay was last increased in 2008, while council members haven't seen an increase in more than 30 years. 

New York lawmakers could be getting their first pay raise in 20 years....  

A state compensation committee on Thursday voted to increase legislative pay from $79,500 dollars annually to $130,000.  The increase would be phased in over three years, beginning with a bump to $110,000 on New Year's Day.  With the increase, members of the New York Legislature will be the best paid state lawmakers in the country.  Many legislators say their compensation hasn't kept up with inflation and doesn't reflect the work they do outside of the six-month legislative session.  The four-member compensation committee was created to study the issue and render a decision.  Commission members also called on lawmakers to cap how much they can earn from outside jobs, often seen as a potential conduit for bribes.

The House of Representatives and Senate have now approved a two-week extension of the current Continuing Resolution to keep the federal government running through December 21st...  

Work on a new appropriations measure ground to a halt most of the week with the national days of mourning and funeral for late President George H.W. Bush.  However, local Congressman Tom Reed said he was confident there will be a measure in place by today's deadline to give lawmakers more time to negotiate a final resolution.

Reed says the biggest sticking point remains President Trump's insistance on having $5-billion in the new spending bill for border security, namely a new wall, at the southern border.  The Corning Republican says, though, that it's up to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to decide what he wants.  While Republicans say it's up to Schumer to decide on whether there will be a government shut-down or not, Schumer has insisted it's up to the GOP because they Congress and the presidency.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.

One of the Jamestown area's most famous and longstanding holiday programs will begin this weekend...  

The Jamestown High School Acappella Choir will present the first of its annual Vespers Services on Sunday, at 4 p.m. at First Lutheran Church.  Director Norm Lydell says this year's program offers something for everyone, including traditional works with new harmonies.  This is the 94th year of the choir's performances. This year's Vespers will be accompanied by the choir's Director Emeritus, Brian Bogey, who says First Lutheran, on Chandler Street, seats over a thousand people and with 90 foot ceilings, is a an extraordinary place to make music.  There is no charge to attend Acappella Vespers.  A free-will offering will be collected to help defray expenses.  The second of the two Vespers Services will be on Sunday, December 16th. 

New York's farmers are in the gift-giving mood....  

The New York Farm Bureau announced this week that so far this year farmers from around the state have donated nearly 11 million pounds of food to regional food banks so far this year.  That's enough food to serve nearly 9 million meals.  The Farm Bureau announces the total each year around the holidays. This year's haul is more than 1.6 million pounds higher than last year's total.  Since the initiative began farmers have donated more than 85 million pounds of food to food banks.  New York state food banks distribute more than 225 million pounds of food to almost 3 million people annually.

A Syracuse executive has been sentenced to 2-and-a half-years in prison for defrauding the state's Buffalo Billion project...  

Joseph Gerardi was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni.  The judge said the sentence should serve as a warning to anyone who wants to cheat as they compete for contracts involving government funding.  Gerardi was convicted by a jury of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to federal officers.  Gerardi was a top executive at COR Development.  Prosecutors say Gerardi bribed a senior official in the governor's office in one of the schemes.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 6, 2018

Two fundraising events are scheduled for Jamestown's Spire Theater on Saturday-- a 'Pop Up Holiday Market' and a jazz concert....  

The Spire's Angelo Guiffre, says they're raising money for a new roof on The Spire... the oldest public assembly building in the city.  From noon to 6p.m., Saturday, the holiday market will feature 30 artisans and craftspeople from the local area.  A 6 p.m., Ralph Rasmusson's band 'Pearl City Jazz' will present a holiday concert. 'Dem Bones,' a trombone choir, will join the event.  Tickets for the concert at $10.  The craft show is free.  The cost to replace The Spire roof is $62,000.  So far they've raised $11,000.  The Spire is located on East Third Street opposite the Post Office.  More information on their Raise the Roof campaign can be found at inspirejamestown.com.


The nation continues to pause to mourn the passing of the 41st President, local Congressman Tom Reed is among those praising the man that was George H.W. Bush....  

Reed says while Bush-41 served just one-term, he will ultimately be recognized as one of the "more successful" presidents of the modern era.  On the day of his state Funeral in Washington, the Corning Republican says Mr. Bush was a "true leader and war hero."

Reed says Bush's success actually dates back to when he served as Ronald Reagan's vice-president for eight years.  He says George H.W. Bush's sense of service to country was unparalleled starting as an 18 year-old in World War-Two and, the years after being in the White House.  Reed, who says he did get to meet the elder Bush a couple of times, made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott late last week...  

Lakewood-Busti police say they received a call about the theft of a car from a garage at a home in the village of Lakewood last Thursday.  Police spotted the car on Fairmount Avenue and, they tried to stop the vehicle.  However, they say the driver, 22 year-old Tyler Tedesco, would not comply and, a chase ensued.  Police say speeds reached 90 mph, but police later found Tedesco and his girlfriend and their 3 year-old child a short time later.  He was arrested on several charges including criminal possession of stolen property, unlawfully fleeing a police officer and speeding.  Tedesco was later released to County Probation.


A Jamestown woman -- wanted on 6 active bench warrants -- was arrested as an unwanted person late Tuesday night....  

City police responded to a Price Street residence.... and, found 38 year-old Noel Luciano lying in a bed under the influence of an unknown substance. Officers say she was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment, where she was allegedly found to be in possession of methamphetamine and one suboxone strip. Luciano was transported to the Jamestown City Jail after she was released from the hospital and, was additionally charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down by nearly 14-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel....  

The East Central Triple-A reports the average price is now 2-dollars-72 cents per gallon.  Statewide, AAA says gasoline is five cents less expensive this week in New York at $2.79 a gallon.  Despite a draw of nearly 700,000 barrels, they say gasoline stocks continue to measure above 61-million in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region.  Regional refinery utilization has increased to 86 percent, indicating that a large build could be coming in the week ahead and contribute towards reducing gas prices even further.  Prices are now the lowest they have been for all of 2018.  The average price last year at this time was $2.75 a gallon.


The budget just approved by the Jamestown City Council for 2019 is the one that will go into effect for next year....  

That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who says he has no vetoes to the nearly $36-million spending plan that is essentially what he proposed in early October.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the problem is the mayor and council have made so many cuts in previous years, there's nothing left they can cut.

Dolce says, while the 2019 budget includes no tax increase and a slight 13-cent per thousand tax rate decrease, the situation is tenuous.  That's because the city still faces an arbitration ruling for two-percent pay increased for city police, going back to 2016.  Dolce says the city is fighting the ruling because the ruling could eat up most of next year's entire fund balance of $1.8-million. He says the ruling would cost the city about $400,000 for each year and, would then be compounded in future years.  Lawmakers last month agreed to challenge the ruling.


Dunkirk Common Council members approved a 2019 city budget during Tuesday's session....  

Council approved the nearly $23-million spending plan by a 4-1 vote.  Third Ward Councilman Shaun Heenan cast the lone no vote and has concerns about the continued reduction of transitional aid from NRG. Meanwhile, Second Ward Councilman Marty Bamonto was among those approved the budget.  He felt it;s a good spending plan that had no tax increase and, does not raise water and sewer rates.

 
Village of Falconer Announcement.... 

Due to the unexpected passing of long time firefighter and past Falconer Fire Chief Wayne Oste, the village of Falconer has postponed the Comprehensive Plan Open House.  The Open House was scheduled for this Saturday, December 8.  Officials say this will allow committee members, village administration and residents who would like to pay their respects to firefighter Oste to do so.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 5, 2018

A Lakewood man was taken into custody following a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle on Interstate-86 late Tuesday morning.... 

Troopers from the Jamestown Barracks say 22 year-old Collin Slack was pulled over for driving 87 mph in a 65-zone, but allegedly drove away as a trooper approached the vehicle.  A pursuit was initiated as the vehicle accelerated over 100 mph Police later deployed stop sticks, which successfully disabled Slack's vehicle.  As the car came to rest, police said Slack jumped out and fled into the woods, but he was later found and arrested.  Investigation revealed Slack allegedly took the vehicle from LUV Toyota in Lakewood and, was additionally found in possession of two stolen dealer platers and a key fab. Slack was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail. 


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating the owner of a group of young cows that fell off a truck on Interstate-86 Tuesday morning....  

Just before 4 a.m., deputies received a call of several loose calves in the westbound lane of I-86 in the Town of Sherman.  Five injured calves were located in New York and three more were found in Pennsylvania, along with another found dead.  The five calves found in New York were taken by a local farmer for the time being.  Anyone who locates any more calves are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.


There's another bout of lake effect snow coming our say later in the day today, but this time the Buffalo Metro-area may be getting more of a taste of it...  

That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds at the National Weather Service in Buffalo, who says the lake effect snow will develop this evening and, then move north of the area by Thursday morning.   Meanwhile, Reynolds says there are indications of a major warm up for the second half of the month.  He says we'll get back to near normal temperatures by early next week, then go above normal for the middle of December. 

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his third inaugural address at Ellis Island on New Year's Day...  

The Democrat announced his plans on Tuesday, calling Ellis Island a "fitting" location to begin a new term that he says will be focused on fighting for New Yorkers and setting a "progressive example" for the rest of the nation.  Ellis Island was the nation's busiest immigration station for decades, welcoming millions of immigrants from around the world.  Cuomo calls it an "enduring symbol" of America's core values of hope and opportunity.  Cuomo won a third term last month, beating Republican Marc Molinaro and three third-party candidates.  The speech's location is likely to encourage speculation that Cuomo may run for president, though the 60-year-old has said he has ruled out the idea.


A measure used for the past seven years will be considred during the next legislative session by state lawmakers...  

That the local two-percent property tax cap.  Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the tax cap during his first year in office, calling it one of his top economic achievements.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he supports keeping the cap in place and says it has helped local property tax payers.

Goodell says there is a change he would like to see made regarding the tax cap on school budgets... and allow a simple majority public vote, but keep it at a 60-percent majority for school boards.  Whether or not the change is made, Goodell intends to support extending the tax cap.  He also expects the legislature pass the measure, since it seems to be very popular with state lawmakers. 

 
Southwestern Central School Superintendent, Maureen Donahue, said "It's great to be a Trojan tonight," as the new school's new gym officially opened Tuesday...  

The gym is part of a $15.9 million project and took just over a year to construct.  Donahue says it brings the facility into the 21st century with safer bleachers, a broader perimeter around the playing floor, and new technology.  One of the most distinctive exterior features of the new addition is the 'tilt-up' concrete walls.  Architect Brian Kulpa, of Clark Patterson Lee, says the walls make the building to 'stand out' and gave them the speed and savings they needed.  The addition also includes five new classrooms.  Following the opening ceremonies, the Southwestern boys and girls bastketball teams took to the floor and won their first games in the new gym.


There is still an urgent need for more bellringers for the The Salvation Army of Jamestown's annual Red Kettle Campaign across southern Chautauqua County...  

That from Major Kim Merchant, who says they're only at $27,200 of their $112,000 goal they want to reach by Christmas Eve.  Merchant says there are only 18 days left in the drive, but adds you can make one quick phone call to help them.

Merchant says they have just over 670 hours as their several red kettle locations that need to be filled between now and Christmas Eve day.  She adds they're also into the final stretch of their "Angel Tree" program, where gifts need to be turned in by Friday, December 14.  They also need non-perishable food items to help provide the Holiday Food baskets they provide to the needy.  If you would like to help them, contact the Salvation Army at 664-4108.

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News Headlines for Tues., Dec. 4, 2018

Salamanca man arrested for alleged bar shooting in Ellicottville...
A Cattaraugus County man is being held on $50,000 bail following a shooting in the village of Ellicottive last Saturday.  Members of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation say the incident occurred during an altercation at the corner of Monroe and Washington Streets... when 25 year-old Damien Marvin of Salamanca allegedly shot one-round into the abdomen of a 41 year-old victim with a legally possessed Glock.  Troopers say Marvin remained on scene and surrendered without incident.  The victim was taken to Erie County Medical Center where he's in critical condition.  The incident remains under investigation.


Savlation Army's Red Kettle Campaign way behind... still looking for bell ringers...
The Salvation Army of Jamestown is still in urgent need of bellringers for their annual Red Kettle Campaign across the Jamestown-area.  That from Major Kim Merchant... who says they're only at $27,200 of their $112,000 goal they want to reach by Christmas Eve.  Merchant says there's only about three-weeks left in the drive.  Merchant says they have just over 670-hours left to fill in the final 18 days of the effort.  She adds people can also mail donations to them at 83 South Main St. in Jamestown.  Merchant says if someone would like to ring the bells at their many locations... they can call 664-4108 and ask for Holly... who schedules all of their ringers.  She adds they're also into the final stretch of their "Angel Tree" program... with gifts due by Friday, Dec. 14.  Merchant says they are also looking for donations of non-perishable food items that they can place in their food baskets for the Holiday Season.  Again... if you would like to help out with the Red Kettle Campaign, or the Angel Tree program... contact the Salvation Army of Jamestown at 664-4108.


Martin to again host annual Holiday Haul for St. Susan's Center Dec. 13 -- 15...
One of the St. Susan's Center's biggest fund-raisers and food drives is set for next weekend to help the Jamestown area's largest soup kitchen get through the holiday season.  Northwest Arena Executive Director Keith Martin is again hosting the event.  Martin says the fifth-annual Holiday Haul will be held in the parking lot of the Jamestown Cycle Shop Dec. 13 through 15.  He says they hpe to accomplish what they have over the past few years, bringing in a few tons of supplies, and a nice monitary donation to the soup kitchen... which is again on track to provide more than 120,000 meals to the area's needy.  Last year, Martin says they were able to bring in 4-and-a-half tons of supplies, and over $14,000 for the St. Susan's Center.  In addition to the 100-percent juices and non-perishable foods, he says the center is in greatest need of a few specific things... such as paper towels, and dishwashing soap.  Martin says they also need the money so they can buy milk every other day.  The 2018 Holiday Haul will run 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. next Thursday and Friday.... and, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. next Saturday.  More information is available by calling Keith Martin at 484-2624.


State legislature to again consider pay raises...
In New York state government news, legislators will soon learn whether they will get their first raise in two decades.  A commission created to study a possible pay increase for the Senate and Assembly is due to make its decision by Dec. 10.  Lawmakers now make $79,500.  Many argue the pay hasn't kept up with the cost of living and doesn't reflect work they do outside the six-month legislative session.  Meanwhile, Attorney General-elect Letitia James is urging lawmakers to close a loophole in state law that could hurt the state's ability to bring charges against anyone pardoned by the president.


Wright says $20-million in very capable hands when she retires...
A major project to upgrade the emergency department and develop a new maternity area at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown will be in good hands once the current head of the hospital retires.  The approximately $20-million project began under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright... but, it will finish under a different leader next year.  While the hospital will be led by interim president Brian Durniok from UPMC Northwest... Wright says the project has really been led by Vice-President of Operations Cecil Miller.  She says Miller will also take on some other responsibilities once she retires on Dec. 31.  Wright says that Durniok will only be in Jamestown two to three days a week.  As for her nearly 20 years of heading up WCA -- now UPMC Chautauqua -- Wright says there were two huge challenges she was able to help the hospital get through.  She says the main one was navigating the changing "reimbursements" for Medicare and Medicaid.  Wright is retiring after about 35 years in the Health Care industry... nearly 30 of those alone at UMPC Chautauqua -- formerly WCA Hospital.  


Erie, PA woman assaults, crushes boyfriend to death...
An Erie woman has pleaded guilty to killing her boyfriend by stabbing him, hitting him with a table leg and crushing him.  Windi Thomas faces a sentence of 18 to 36 years after pleading guilty to third-degree murder.  She had been scheduled for trial next week, but instead will be sentenced on Dec. 21.  The 44-year-old Thomas admitted killing Keeno Butler last March, partially by lying on top of him.  Thomas weighs about 300 pounds, while the 44-year-old Butler weighed about 120 pounds.  The Erie Times-News reports Butler's sister said her family is still coping with her brother's death and had been hoping for a longer prison sentence for Thomas.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 3, 2018

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly unhooking the gas line to a stove inside a westside home and, poured lighter fluid on a bed with people inside the home....  

City police were called to the scene at 11 West 10th Street shortly before 7 p.m. Friday night and found the suspect -- identified as Justin Traver -- outside the home.  Officers along with Jamestown fire crews, got everyone else out of the home and, firefighters re-hooked the gas line.  Police say Traver intended on harming the people inside and, faces several charges, including first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree menacing and, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.


A Jamestown woman has been arrested for alleged stalking, and being at a home she was supposed to stay away from in the town of Carroll....  

Sheriff's officers say they conducted a warrant check at a home on Bragg Road in Frewsburg last Saturday afternoon for Victoria Miller and, found her inside the residence.  Deputies arrested Miller on three counts of second-degree criminal contempt and one count of fourth-degree stalking.  She was arraigned and sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.


Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says he's disappointed by the county legislature's vote to reject a proposal to hire qualified Assistant D-As from outside the county...  

Swanson says Chautauqua County is not alone in facing difficulty in finding qualified assistants and he says the requests are becoming more common in the more rural counties where D-A's have had a problem finding enough qualified applicants.  He says he will continue seeking the most qualified candidates he can.

He says the most recent request to the state came from Oswego County.   The measure was defeated at the legislature's November 28th meeting, 12-5.  All 12 no-votes came from Republicans on the County Legislature, something Swanson found somewhat troubling.  He considers his office non-partisan and, he has Democrats and Republicans and they really don't care what party someone is from, so long as they can do the jobs. 


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have ordered government flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of George H.W. Bush...  


Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement Saturday that the Republican president was "a great unifier of Americans, always putting country before party."  He said Bush showed "the compassion, decency and good humor that is often lacking in our politics today."  On Twitter, de Blasio, also a Democrat, said Bush had "devoted his life to serving our nation."  The 41st U-S president died Friday at his Houston home. He was 94.


The head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for New York and New Jersey says she'll spend a month in a public housing apartment to "fully understand" the challenges public housing tenants face....  

Lynne Patton's plan to move from her Trump Tower home to the Grant Houses in Harlem was first reported by WPIX, Channel 11 in New York.  Patton's spokeswoman, Olga Alvarez, told the New York Daily News on Friday that Patton will move into a public housing apartment in January if HUD's general counsel approves.  Patton was named to her HUD position after serving as an event planner for the family of Republican President Donald Trump.  The New York City Housing Authority is mired in scandals over falsified lead paint inspections as well as failure to provide heat.


New York state has opened another of its welcome centers located along major interstate highways.  Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced the grand opening of the Capital Region Welcome Center....  

The Democrat says the new facility located along the Thruway in Greene County will help boost the Albany area's tourism industry for decades to come.  The new welcome center is located off Interstate 87's northbound lanes, between Exit 21B and Exit 21A, across from the New Baltimore Service Area about 15 miles south of Albany.  The welcome center features a Taste NY Market and displays and information on historical and natural attractions from the Albany area north to the Saratoga-Lake George region.  The welcome center is now one of 11 located across the state, including three along the Thruway system.


With the holiday shopping season underway, the U.S. Postal Service wants to make sure you send all of your holiday cards and presents on time...  

Karen Mazurkiewicz, spokesperson for the Postal Service's Buffalo office, has some tips to help you beat those deadlines.  Mazurkiewicz says it is very helpful to track your mailings with the Postal Service's official website -- usps.com. There are several shipping options, including overnight and expedited. Mazurkiewicz says if you're sending someone a gift domestically, please have it in the mail by December 20.  For international mailings, December 8.

 
Members of the New York state Assembly are heading to Long Island for a public hearing on proposals to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults....  


Monday's 10:30 a.m. hearing at Babylon Town Hall is intended to gather input on legalization and how it has worked in other states.  Lawmakers expect legalization to be a big debate in next year's legislative session, which gets underway in January in Albany.  There's broad support among many lawmakers for legalization, but figuring out the details of the regulations and tax rules for the drug will be challenging.  This is fourth hearing on the topic held by the Assembly.


Nine new members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will be formally inducted during the hall's annual Banquet next February 18 in Lakewood....  

That from Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson, who says the living inductees are amateur and professional soccer player and coach Cheryl Bailey, Trapshooter Tiffany Decker, long-time north county baseball coach Vince Gullo, professional sports trainer Mike Lopriore, college and pro football coach Bob Palcic and, matial arts master Mark Weaver.  Anderson says those to be inducted posthumously are pro baseball player Jack Harper, north county baseball coach, Charles Johnston and, softball and baseball umpire Luella Kye.  The induction banquet will be held at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club and, will bring the total number of inductees to 200.  Dinner tickets are $50.00 each. For more information, call Chairman Chip Johnson at 485-6991.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Dec. 1, 2018

Jamestown celebrates start of Christmas Season with parade, tree lighting at Tracy Plaza...
Thousands of people lined Third Street from the bridge to City Hall in Jamestown for the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration last night... but, 13 year-old Riley Kolstee started it all with a rousing rendition of the National Anthem.  Mayor Sam Teresi did the honors... and, was helped with this year's countdown by Audrey and Elijah Evans... to light the city's 40-foot tall Colorado Blue Spruce Tree.  Joining Teresi on the stage were Paul and Jennifer Liuzzo, who donated the huge tree that is anchored on Tracy Plaza through the Christmas and New Year's season.  The annual Christmas Parade was put on again this year by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation with the help of The Resource Center, the Shults Auto Group and others.  Former St. Susan's Center Director Jeff Smith... who now heads up the Food Service Program at Jamestown Public Schools... was the grand marshall for the parade.


JPS Board accepts teachers resignation, reason not announced...
The resignation of a high school teacher in Jamestown has been accepted by the city school board after he alleged engaged in inappropriate behavior.  The board acted on the resignation of Scott Lumia at Friday's special meeting, after spending about 20-minutes in a closed-door executive session.  School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe declined to discuss specifics of the matter... but, adds the board acted in the interest of student safety... which he says is "very important" to himself and all members of the board.  School officials say Lumia has been on administrative leave since this past Monday.  The board also authorized Apthorpe to negotiate a separation agreement with Lumia.


Dunkirk area man arreste for stealing several guns in town of Portland...
A north county man was arrested for grand larceny for allegedly stealing seven firearms from a home in the town of Portland.  Sheriff's deputies say they received the intial report last October.... and, determined 39 year-old Jarrett Sikes was responsible for the theft.  Officers found a portion of the missing firearms at Sikes residence in the city of Dunkirk.  An arrest warrant was later issued for felony charges.  Sikes was arrested Tuesday and sent to the county jail without bail... pending a future court appearance in both the City of Dunkirk and the town of Portland.


Falconer man arrested in Gerry for resisting arrest...
State Police in Jamestown arrested a Falconer man for allegedly interfering with a traffic stop in the town of Gerry Thursday.  Troopers say 65 year-old Ronald Eddy was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over on Gerry-Levant Road... but, say he allegedly got out of the vehicle to prevent the trooper from speaking to the driver.  Officers say Eddy refuse instructions to stop.... and continued to act belligerent.  Troopers say he physically resisted being handcuffed, but was later taken into custody and arraigned in Ellicott Town Court.  The driver received a traffic ticket. 


City, Town of Ellicott, sign new 10 year Water and Sewer Agreement...
The final step has been taken to put a new, 10-year water and sewer agreement in place between the city of Jamestown and town of Ellicott to provide water and sewer services to parts of the town.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi and Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin were at the BPU Offices Friday afternoon to formally sign the new agreement... which increases the amount the city is paid, and in return... the city takes on maintenance and repair on those lines.  Teresi says this is what can happen when people work together... even if they don't agree on everything in their negotiations.  He adds there was "give and take" on both sides.  McLaughlin praised everyone involved in the negotiations... which lasted for many months.  He thanked city and BPU officials for keeping their many meetings friendly... and that's the way negotiations should go.  The BPU will charge Ellicott residents... includling those in the villages of Falconer and Celoron... 200-percent of the city rate.  That's similar to what all other out-of-city BPU customers pay.  


UPMC Chautauqua announces Betsy Wright's retirement...
The woman who has headed up UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... formerly WCA Hospital... for nearly the past 20 years is retiring at the end of the year.  The hospital formally announced Friday that current President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright will step down on Dec. 31 of this year.  Hospital Board President Steve Kilburn says Wright will step down after more than 35 years in the health care industry... nearly 30 of those at the Jamestown-based hospital.  Kilburn says Wright has been "exceedingly instrumental" in maintaining high-levels of employee engagement... community support... and positive relationships with national, state and local officials.  In the interim... Kilburn says UPMC Northwest President, Brian Durniok, will serve as UPMC Chautauqua's interim president, until a replacement is selected.  Kilburn says all other management remains in place.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 30, 2018

Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of drugs, as well as a loaded handgun in a parking lot at Jamestown Community College Thursday night....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol was checking out the area on Falconer Street about 10 p.m. and, checked on a suspicious vehicle with several people inside.  Officers found several items littering the ground near the car and, called in a K-9 unit to search the vehicle.  Police found a small amount of marijuana and, a 22-calibur handgun under the passenger seat.  Samuelson says 18 year-old Andre Richards -- a former JCC student -- was arrested for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and Felony possession of a weapon on school grounds.  He was also charged with trespassing.  Samuelson says 21 year-old Damone McNamee was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana. 


A Westfield man has been indicted on two counts of second-degree murder in connection with a 10 year-old homicide case in the village of Westfield...  

District Attorney Patrick Swanson announced Thursday that 31 year-old Rance Freeman, Junior was arraigned on the two counts for the death of 55 year-old Jeffrey Johnson.  Swanson says Johnson was found dead in his home on November 8 of 2008, the cause was not included in the press release.  However, the D-A extended his thanks to Westfield Police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office for their "continued efforts in investigating this case."  Freeman pleaded not guilty to the charges and, was remanded to the County Jail on $500,000 cash bail pending a future court appearance.

 

Chautauqua County has been awarded $1.2 million through New York State's Municipal Restructuring Fund to develop a Water and Wastewater Cooperative....  

County Executive George Borrello says the project was originally included in the 2017 Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition.  Borrello says the funding will be released in phases, provided the project continues to advance, with the Phase-One award of up to $50,000 to develop a formal project plan and structure.

 
Three members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department -- one of them a deputy -- have received the Sheriff's Award for Excellence in helping to save three people....  

Sheriff Joe Gerace presented the awards at the beginning of this week's legislature meeting, including one to Deputy Adam McAdoo, who saved the life of an eight-month old child who stopped breathing at the Mayville Diner back on November 8.  Gerace says McAdoo was having lunch when he heard the child's mother scream. McAdoo used "back-blows" to get the child breathing again.

Gerace also presented an Award of Excellence to two dispatchers, one who is out on maternity leave.  He says Kim Muscato took a 9-1-1 call November 9 from a mother whose four-week-old baby had stopped breathing.  Gerace says he heard Muscato -- over his car radio -- calmly instruct the parents on how to do CPR on the child.  Gerace also recognized Dispatcher Steven Jagoda, who took a call from a "very upset" woman on September 16.  He says her husband had stopped breathing and Jagoda was able to help the woman get her husband positioned so he could breath until EMTs arrived.


The annual Jamestown Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration is tonight!  

Marketing and Events Manager Zach Agett for Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, says the over 20 year-old tradition starts with the line-up at 5 p.m. on West Third Street between Hallock and Porter Avenue.  Agett says this year's theme is a "sweet" ode to the Candyland board game and features Jeff Smith as the Grand Marshall for 2018.

Agett says there will also be live music leading up to the parade from We Speak Canadian, as well as hot chocolate provided by Meals on Wheels, Fowler's Taffy and kettle corn for sale.  Agett says there will be fireworks after Santa arrives and helps light the tree at the end of the parade.   He says the lighting of the city's Christmas tree begins the parade, while fireworks will be displayed above the Spring Street parking ramp about 8:00.  The Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration is sponsored by the Resource Center. 


Democratic members of the Congressional "Problem Solver's Caucus" have struck a deal with the new majority leadership to change House rules regarding bi-partisan bills to pass....  

That from Republican Problem Solver's co-chairman Tom Reed, who says the changed were agreed to by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern.  Reed says "these rule changes represent a hopeful and substantial breakthrough to empower the people we represent, enable rank-and-file members to truly govern and, make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass." The eight measures include a "consensus calendar" which states a bill with 290 co-sponsors needs to be reported out of committee within a 25-day period.  If not, it will go onto a new calendar until the bill is considered.

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 29, 2018

Nearly two feet of snow has piled up in southwestern New York, where a winter storm finally moved out last night....  

The National Weather Service in Buffalo says the city of Jamestown received nearly 18-inches by 8 a.m. yesterday and, that led to school and other closings across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  Perrysburg in northern Cattaraugus wound up with more than 30-inches of new snow since late Monday, while Randolph reported about 24-inches by last night.  We also had an unofficial report of nearly two-feet in Sherman in western Chautauqua County.


A resolution that would allow Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson to hire qualified Assistant D-A's from outside of the county was defeated by lawmakers at last night's meeting....  

The measure, which would allow the assistants to be hired from "adjoining counties" was rejected, 12-5, along party lines.  All 12 Republicans voted against the proposal, noting that they didn't want to encourage hiring ADA's from outside the county.  Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzaro emphasized that hiring locally is always the goal.

However, Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel pointed out what an official with the Jamestown Bar Association said earlier when she said that -- when positions are open -- Swanson has not availed himself of ways to find more local applicants, including the county's Human Resources Department.  Niebel adds that Swanson also has a website, but there is nothing on it about how to apply for positions.  It was noted in the measure that several other counties in upstate New York, including Yates and Wyoming, have been authorized to hired Assistant DAs who reside in adjoining counties. 


County lawmakers last night did table what was an emergency resolution to use just over $25,000 from the county's two-percent bed tax to help clean-up the huge "weed mass" in Chautauqua Lake...  

Legislator Jay Gould of North Harmony noted two reasons for delaying action on the measure.  Gould says the main one is the early onset of Winter weather, which doesn't allow the use of weed harvesters by the Chautauqua Lake Association in Burtis Bay.  He adds that -- since it's no longer an emergency resolution -- it would go back through the committee process.  The vote was unanimous.  The move will also allow the project to be bid out. 


New York lawmakers are taking a close look at state spending on agricultural programs....  

The state Assembly's agriculture committee is undertaking the review as the Legislature prepares to return to Albany in January to begin work on the next year's budget.  Agriculture is one of the state's leading industries, with apples, grain and dairy products as some of the leading products.  Each year lawmakers set aside millions of dollars in the state budget to support programs that conserve land, protect water sources and help farmers.  The committee has scheduled a public hearing Wednesday in Albany to go over how the money is being spent, with an eye toward improvements in next year's budget.  The full Legislature will reconvene at the state Capitol in early January.


President Trump says he will shut-down the government next week if there's no funding for a border wall in the latest continuing resolution lawmakers need to act on by December 7...  

However, local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't believe it will come down to that.  Reed says the possible shut-down is the major issue facing lawmakers right now, but he feels if it's part of a "border security" measure, a shut-dow will be avoided.

Reed says he believes lawmakers will be able to approve a package that deals with improved security in light of what's happening now at the southern border.  Otherwise, the Corning Republican says the other issues to be hammered out include a new Farm Bill, additional tax reform and a full disaster package to deal with the California wildfires, and hurricanes up and down the East Coast.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

 
A Jamestown woman faces assault charges following an alleged stabbing Tuesday morning....  

City Police were called to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital about 8:30 a.m. and found that the unidentified victim was stabbed during a domestic incident that occurred earlier on Windsor Street.  The suspect -- who was also at the hospital -- was identified as 33 year-old Damaris Lopez-Mendoza and arrested for second-degree assault.  She was taken to city pending arraignment.  The victim was treated and released. 


Four police departments from across the region have been honored with the AAA's most prestigeous traffic safety and education award....  

East Central AAA Regional Spokewoman Teri Rae Anthony was in Lakewood for a Wednesday luncheon to present their Platinum, and other awards to nine regional departments.  Anthony says they annually honor those departments who put on program to increase road safety, including seat belt use and problems with driving while intoxicated.

Anthony says the Platinum Awards were presented to the Jamestown and St. Marys, Pennsylvania departments, along with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, and New York State Police based in Jamestown.  There were also four agencies that got Gold Awards -- which are the next level.  They are the Youngsville and Warren Police Departments and, the Warren and Elk County Sheriff's Departments.  The Silver Award went to the Conewango Police Department in Warren County. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 28, 2018

Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is issuing a travel advisory for Chautauqua County due to weather conditions.... 

Speaking to Dennis Webster this morning, he says Department of Public Facilities Director Brad Bentley is estimating about one-inch an hour is falling, with the most accumulation across the Chautauqua Ridge south.  With blizzard-like conditions this early in the season, Borello says snow crews are doing the best they can.

Borello says representatives from Homeland Security are also here in the county to assist with snow removal at the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Individuals who are traveling are advised to slow down and use extreme caution. The National Weather Service in Buffalo has Winter Storm Watch remains in effect through 6 p.m. tonight.  


An unidentified man is being sought after he allegedly held up the Dollar General Store in Warren County's Pine Grove Township last weekend....  

State Police in Warren say the white male had his face covered as he entered the store on Route 62 shortly after 2 p.m. last Sunday afternoon.  Troopers say the man was wearing camoflage pants, and a greenish colored hoodie.  He allegedly demanded cash from the register, and left with an undisclosed amount of money.  He was last seen driving north on Route 62 in what appeared to be a blue Ford Explorer with tan trim.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call State Police at (814)728-3600.

 

Some places in Chautauqua County are looking at upwards of a foot and a half of snow by tonight that's causing tough travel conditions and power outages across the region...  

The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing a Winter Storm Warning through 6:00 tonight and -- as the snow continues to pile up -- Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says you may want to consider putting off a trip if it's not necessary.

Route 60 was closed earl Tuesday morning in both directions from Route 83 near Laona to Bard Road in Cassadaga because of a disabled tractor-trailer.  Meanwhile, a slew of accidents were reported throughout the county including one that shut-down a portion of Interstate-90 near Silver Creek.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is again dismissing talk that he will run for president....  

Asked about a possible presidential run on New York City public radio Tuesday, Cuomo said he is ruling out the idea.  The Democrat won a third term earlier this month and has repeatedly said he isn't planning to run for the White House in 2020.  Before the election he said only his own death would prevent him from finishing a third term as governor.  Cuomo's repeated denials haven't ended the speculation.  The Associated Press reported last week that Cuomo has contacted some Democrats in Iowa, home to the influential Iowa Caucus.  Cuomo dismissed the report as false.  He said Tuesday that Democrats need someone with both experience and credibility to beat President Donald Trump.


Some lengthy negotiations and a lot of "give and take..." has allowed the city of Jamestown and it's Board of Public Utilities to reach a new water and sewer agreement with the town of Ellicott...  

The BPU approved the agreement during it's regular meeting Monday afternoon and, City Council approved the proposal unanimously at Monday night's meeting.  Mayor Sam Teresi, who is also BPU President, says he voted for the new agreement at the BPU meeting because it's "good for the city."  Customers will now pay 200-percent of the city rate and he says this new, 10-year deal is unique.

Teresi says the 200-percent payment rate on water is in-line with what they have with the village of Lakewood, towns of Busti and North Harmony and, parts of the town of Kiantone.  In return, the BPU and the city will be providing maintenance and repair services for the town's water and sewer lines.  Teresi and Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin will now sign the new municipal agreement.


The homeless, and others in need of shelter with the arrival of cold weather was the focus of "Giving Tuesday" across the Jamestown-area....  

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County pushed donors to help several local programs that helps people in need of housing.  That from United Way Coordinator of Marketing and Resource Development Cynde Johnson, who says prizes were being offered to people who donate to programs like the UCAN City Mission and, The Salvation Army's Anew Center.

The phone number for the United Way is 483-1561.  Johnson says the UCAN City Mission alone has provided more than 4,000 safe and secure bed nights to homeless men so far this year.  Giving Tuesday also high-lighted the work of the YWCA in Jamestown's Transitions program for women as part of #NYGivesDay.  


A Democrat who came close to unseating indicted Republican Chris Collins in New York's most conservative congressional district has formally conceded....  

Nate McMurray told reporters Monday he's decided against pursuing a recount or possible legal action after losing in the western New York district by less than a percentage point.  Instead, he announced the creation of a grassroots organization, "Fight Like Hell", that McMurray says will be a voice for people who feel disenfranchised or apathetic toward politics.  McMurray, the town supervisor of the town of Grand Island, says his concession comes with "some regret."   He says he'll run for office again "when the time is right."  Collins is scheduled to stand trial in 2020 after pleading not guilty to federal charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI.


Authorities in western New York are seeking the public's help in finding the driver of a pickup truck that struck a sheriff's deputy after last Sunday's Buffalo Bills game, leaving him with a serious arm injury....  

The Erie County Sheriff's Office says the deputy was directing traffic at Big Tree Road and Route 219 in Orchard Park around 4:30 p.m. Sunday when he was hit by a dark-colored Ford F-250 pickup with a full, rear window hunting-related decal.  Deputies say the vehicle continued traveling east on Big Tree Road and turned left onto Route 219 and drove north.  The deputy was taken to a Buffalo hospital for treatment.  Deputies asking anyone who may have seen the vehicle or knows of a similar truck to call the sheriff's office.

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 27, 2018

There is now a Winter Storm Warning in effect for much of western New York -- including Chautauqua County -- through early Wednesday evening...  

With that, the National Weather Service is calling for a large amount of the white stuff in Chautauqua County.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the weather service's Buffalo office, who says it started with dropping temperatures and rain changing to snow.

Reynolds says a low pressure system to our west is what's bringing the snowfall.  He says it will slow-down once it reaches New England and, that will touch off lake effect snow off Lake Erie.  Reynolds says the snowfall is expected to taper off about late afternoon on Wednesday.  The National Weather Service asks motorists to prepare for travel accordingly.  


After some brief -- but heated debate -- the Jamestown City Council last night approved a nearly $36-million budget for 2019 with no amendments....  

First-year Councilman Andrew Liuzzo did try to offer some last minute amendments, arguing that only Police Chief Harry Snellings took his proposal to cut two-percent from his proposed spending plan seriously.  Liuzzo says he heard from no other department heads on the matter, but wanted to at least consider a further, smaller across-the-board cut.

That triggered a back-and-forth with Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce, and committee member Kim Ecklund, who accused Liuzzo of last-minute grandstanding without having followed through on getting the information needed for council to consider.  The proposed amendments by Liuzzo went no further and, the budget was approved 7-1 with Liuzzo casting the lone "no" vote.  The approved budget includes no tax increase.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo for his support of a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses...  

Reed says, for Cuomo to support such a measure, is "reckless."  The Corning Republican says giving licenses to illegal aliens is "not fair for the men and women who immigrated here legally, for hardworking taxpayers or the mothers who worry about the safety of their children."

Reed says he and the "Problem Solver's Caucus" he co-chairs is working to change the House rules "so we can reform our immigration system responsibly and make it easier for bipartisan bills to pass."  He says they have a two-part plan to better secure the border... and, deal with the "Dreamer" or DACA issue to allow those people a path to citizenship.  Another lawmaker chiming in is local State Senator Cathy Young, who says "all New Yorkers should be alarmed about the Governor's support of a proposal that would allow illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses."  Reed made his comments during his recent telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


There is great optimism that the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County will meet -- or exceed -- it's 2018 General Campaign goal of $1.335-million.....

That from Marketing and Resource Development Coordinator Cynde Johnson, who says they were at $989,000 by the middle of last week.  Johnson says United Way volunteers and staff have has several short meeting with local employers about the campaign, including the County Landfill, Weber Knapp and, New Flyer.

Johnson says they are ready and able to go out and meet with any local employer or agency and, their workers, to discuss the campaign and where the money goes.  She adds that 100-percent of all the money they raise stays here.  Johnson adds that they are seeing some new employers taking part this year -- including New Flyer.  The United Way Campaign funds 39 local programs at 26 member agencies.  For more information on the campaign, call the United Way at 483-1561 or go online to UWaysCC.org.


A woman is poised to lead the New York state Senate for the first time in history...  

Senate Democrats on Monday plan to formally tap Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers to lead the Senate when the 2019 session begins in January.  Democrats won a majority of Senate seats in this month's elections, eliminating the Republican Party's last bastion of political power in state government.  Stewart-Cousins was first elected to the Senate in 2006 and has led the Democratic minority since 2012.  Democrats already hold all four statewide offices and have a big majority in the state Assembly.  Now that they control the Senate, Democrats are predicting passage for several bills long blocked by Senate Republicans.  They include protections for abortion rights, legalization of recreational marijuana and voting reform.


A state lawmaker is proposing a change to New York's gun laws to allow authorities to search social media for potential red flags before approving a handgun license...  


State Senator Kevin Parker's bill would mandate that applicants provide investigators with their Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram passwords and access to their Google, Yahoo and Bing searches.  The Brooklyn Democrat wants investigators to look at the last three years of an applicant's social media postings and a year of their search histories for "any good cause for the denial of a license," such as racial slurs, threats of violence and terrorism-related posts.  The bill, submitted on November 14, appeared to come in response to recent mass shootings whose suspects had posted threats or ranted about potential targets.  No vote is scheduled.


Thanksgiving is over but for many around Pennsylvania Monday marks the start of an unofficial holiday: the opening of deer rifle season....

The season goes until December 8.  Hunters are only allowed to take deer with antlers until Friday.  After that, both antlered and antlerless deer can be taken.  The game commission says unseasonably warm weather, high levels of precipitation and a later-than-normal leave drop have made it more difficult to track deer movements this fall.  The commission is encouraging hunters to scout for deer before setting up their spot.  Also this year, deer hunters are helping to feed those in need around the state.  The state's Hunters Sharing the Harvest program lets hunters donate their deer to food banks, soup kitchens and hungry families.

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 26, 2018

Three people were arrested early last weekend in Jamestown during a traffic stop for allegedly being in possession of methamphetime and marijuana...  

City Police say a patrol stopped a car, driven by 33 year-old Maranda Lopez of Jametown, in the area of Newland Avenue and Charles Street for not signaling a turn.  Officers say they found Lopez had a suspended license, and were given permission to search the vehicle.  They found drug paraphernalia, and several small baggies of meth and pot.  Lopez and her passengers, 28 year-old Corey Keeler of Jamestown and 26 year-old Jennifer Wozniack of Kennedy, were all arrested on several charges, including three counts each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful possession of marijuana and, tampering with physical evidence.  They were all jailed pending arraignment.


One person had to be hospitalized after they were hurt in an apartment house fire early last Saturday morning on Jamestown's southside...  

City Fire Lieutenant Don Mowery says crews were called to the scene at 39 Prospect Street -- near the corner of Prather -- about 12:30 AM.  Mowery says they found a lot of fire and smoke coming from parts of the structure.

Mowery says first-arriving crews and city police helped several people out of the home and, one male was hurt, and suffered some burns.  He was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, where he's being treated for his injuries.  Mowery says an off-duty shift was called in to assist at the scene.  He says it some some time to bring the blaze under control, and crews were there until about 9:00  Saturday morning.  No other injuries were reported and one person is being helped by the local Red Cross.  Mowery says the cause is under investigation.


The Resource Center's annual Toys for Tots campaign is underway...  

Anyone who'd like to help is encouraged to place a new, unused toy in any of the many boxes throughout the county.  For those who want to receive toys for their children this year, Terri Johnson, one of the coordinators, says there's something new this year-- signups will be taken on-line at ToysForTots.org by following the links to Chautauqua County.  In person applications will be accepted at the Resource Center's Administrative Offices outside Celoron on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  Terri Johnson expects the need will meet, and possibly exceed the 2017 record of 2600 children served.  Volunteers are needed at 'Toy Central' at Allied Alarm on Allen Street Extension in Falconer on Saturdays, December 1st, 8th and 15th.  More information on Facebook, or call 661-1042. Toys for Tots is coordinated nationally by the Marine Corps Reserves.


In New York state government news, talk of legalizing recreational marijuana is heating up ahead of the 2019 session....  

Lawmakers last week held hearings on the topic in Buffalo and Binghamton and advocates are planning for a big conference on legal pot next month.  Proposals to legalize, regulate and tax recreational marijuana are expected to loom large over next year's legislative session.  Meanwhile, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is dismissing a report that he has contacted Iowa Democrats about a potential run for president.  Cuomo was elected to a third term this month and has said he intends to serve a full four years.  Cuomo told reporters this week that he intends to "stick with New York state."


A group of graduate students at the University of Buffalo have now issued a report that offers strategies for how Chautauqua County can harness the food system for economic development and health...  

County Executive George Borrello says the study analyzed the county's food supply and, how it can better utilize it's agriculture to create a better supply.  Borrello says the report was funded by federal grants for the partnership, called "Growing Food Connections."

Borrello says the study led county officials to seek funding to create a Food Policy Council, which the legislature recently passed.  He says they will now try to identify the gaps found in the county, and better utilize local food producers to help.  Borrello says having a strategy to strengthen the local food system will benefit everyone in the county and the region.  Community partners are working with county government to implement the ideas in the report.

 
Wegmans Food Markets and five liquor stores affiliated with the Rochester-based company have been fined a total of more than $1-million dollars by the New York State Liquor Authority...  

The SLA says Wegmans was fined $750,000 for "availing their license to five affiliated liquor stores."  The Albany-based agency says the supermarket chain was managing five liquor stores without a proper license.  Those stores include two in the Rochester area and one each in the Buffalo, Binghamton and Syracuse areas.  Each store was fined $75,000 by the SLA for availing their license to Wegmans and accepting illegal gifts and services from a liquor wholesaler.
 Wegmans denied any wrongdoing.  The company said each store is individually owned by a member of the Wegman family trying to offer "low prices, great selection and great service."


Budget-busting road salt prices are leaving municipal officials in the Snow Belt areas hoping for a mild winter...  

Salt supplies are tight on the heels of a harsh winter last year that depleted reserves, leaving many localities in the Northeast and Great Lakes to pay prices ranging from five-percent higher to almost double.  The increases are frustrating to local officials who are locked into tight budgets.  Some highway superintendents say they could choose to make their salt supplies last by mixing in cheaper materials, such as sand. And others say it could force them to defer other road projects.  Production issues at two major North American salt mines have contributed to the tight supplies.


The city of Jamestown's Historical Marker Committee recently dedicated the City's 76th  historical marker in recognition of the over 100-year-old Hundred Acre Lot, now known as Jamestown Community College's College Park....  

The ceremony was held at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, just across Curtis Street from the marker location, with JCC and RTPI officials on hand.  City Historian B. Delores Thompson says the "Hundred Acre Lot" owes its existence to Jamestown public school teachers, students, and alumni who worked for between 1913 and 1916 to raise the necessary money to buy the land.  Through their efforts, Thompson says the beloved patch of forest became one of the first school parks in the United States in 1916.  The Fenton History Center's Jennifer Champ says Jamestown school teachers played a key role in helping to save the land from timbering.
 

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News briefs for Sat., Nov. 24, 2018

Several residents displaced in Prospect St. fire in Jamestown, one is hurt...
One person had to be hospitalized after they were hurt in an overnight fire at a two-story apartment house on the city of Jamestown's southside.  City Fire Lieutenant Don Mowery says crews were called to the scene at 39 Prospect Street -- near the corner of Prather -- about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.  Mowery says they found a lot of fire and smoke coming from parts of the structure.  He says they found heavy fire coming from the second-floor windows... and, the back apartment.  Mowery says first-arriving crews and city police helped several people out of the home... and, one male was hurt, and suffered some burns.  He was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... where he's being treated for his injuries.  Mowery says an off-duty shift was called in to assist at the scene.  He says it some some time to bring the blaze under control, and crews were there until about 9 this morning.  No other injuries were reported... and, the cause is under investigation.

Flags at half-staff in NYS following Peralta's passing...
Flags have been lowered to half-staff on New York state and New York City buildings to honor state Senator Jose Peralta, who died unexpectedly at age 47.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's office announced the tributes Friday.  They are Democrats, as was Peralta.  He died Wednesday night after being taken to a hospital.  Medical examiners haven't yet determined what caused his death.  His widow, Evelyn, said he'd been feeling ill and his condition suddenly worsened. 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., Nov. 23, 2018

Buffalo records coldest Thanksgiving Day ever...                     
Expect a warm up after the coldest Thanksgiving Day on record.  The National Weather Service reports that this year's holiday set a record for both the high and low temperatures.  That from Meteorologist Tony Ansuini at the weather service's Buffalo office... who says they had a low of 9 degrees, and a daytime high of 20... which produced a daily average of 15.  That beat the old record of 18-degrees.  Ansuini says the good news is that we'll see more normal temperatures for this time of year with temperatures texpected to reach the 40s on Saturday and Sunday. 


Borrello touts Small Business Saturday...
There are a number of small "unique" retail businesses across Chautauqua County... and, County Executive George Borrello is urging residents to check them out for Small Business Saturday.  Small Business Saturday follows "Black Friday..." and many offer great deals on gifts and other items for sale.  Borrello is touting the county's many small businesses... in particular those that have created a special "niche" for themselves... including local artisans with Peaceful Designs in Westfield to the Bio-Dome in Jamestown.  Borrello says it's been a good year for many local shop owners... but, he says this time of year is critical for many of them... because they want to be "in the black" by the end of the year.  That's where the name "Black Friday" comes from.  Borrello made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Jamestown Mayor also commemorates Small Business Saturday...
In observance of this year's Small Business Saturday... Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi this week joined with more than a dozen small business owners to promote the shop "small and local" today.  The Mayor was with the local owners earlier this week at Crown Street Roasting Company on West Third Street to promote supporting small businesses during both the busy holiday shopping season and throughout the year. 


Stockton man arrested on drug-charges following crash in Ellery...
A Stockton man suffered minor injuries... but, is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs... after a one-car crash in the town of Ellery last night.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 380 shortly after 5 PM Thursday... and found a vehicle in the distch.  Deputies were able to identify the driver as 23 year-old Robert Keech... and, on further investigation... they found he was high on drugs.  Officers say they found that Keech was in possession of multiple hypodermic instruments.  He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs... criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument... third-degree Aggravated unlicensed operation... failure to keep right... and, unsafe tire.  Keech was taken into custody on the charges, and issued appearance tickets for Ellery Town  Court at a later date.


United Way of Southern Chautauqua County near's $1-million mark in campaign...
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County has now raised nearly $1-million of it's $1.335-million goal for 2018.  Executive Director Amy Rohler says they have currently raised just over $989,000.  Rohler says they've been working hard, and are right on track due to their "committed team of volunteers."  In addition... Campaign Chair Kurt Eimiller added that -- "our community business leaders and employees should all be proud knowing that their time and investment is going to help the people who need it most, including the working families of our community.”  He says their presentation to local businesses only lasts about 10 minutes... and, most businesses fit it into their weekly meeting routines or start to their day.  For more information... call the United Way at 483-1561... or go on-line to uwayscc.org.

 

Clymer/Sherman/Panama win HS Football Class-D Championship at Carrier Dome...

The Clymer/Sherman/Panama Wolfpack completed their outstanding season Friday afternoon with a huge defensive effort to defeat Moriah in the Class D High School Football Championships in Syracuse.  CSP kept Moriah off the board until about mid-way through the second-half on way to a 26-to-6 win.  Congratulations to Clymer/Sherman/Panama.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 21, 2018

The investigation into an alleged shooting in the city of Jamestown's northside last Friday afternoon has pretty much ground to a halt because of lack of cooperation of the victim and witnesses...  

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they are hoping to get a break in their investigation into the incident at the corner of West Eighth and Cherry Streets which occured after the two men got into a fight.  Snellings says the suspect pulled back and fired multiple rounds towards a nearby home.  Snellings says officers were called to the scene about 2 p.m. and, the suspect who fired the shots reportedly ran north on Cherry Street towards 9th Street.  If you have an information on the incident, call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS (8477).  You can also contact them through the Tips 411 app.  All tips will be kept confidential.


The newly-reconstructed entryway to Jamestown Police Headquarters on Second Street has now reopened and includes some improvements for workers and the public.....  

Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings says the work was undertaken after heavy rains caused flooding in that part of the department in September of 2017.  Snellings says repairs ended up being lengthy because the project was done in two-phases.  Snellings says there are several changes that have been made to the entryway during the reconstruction project, mainly to make operations safer and more user-friendly.  He says their command room was reconfigured, and they rewired the entire department.  Snellings says the construction work was done by Empire Development, while the electric and electronic work was done by Ahlstrom-Shaefer Electric.  He adds that FSC installed new cameras in the interview rooms, which were also upgraded.


How the Jamestown City Council is going to handle an arbitration panel's recent decision to give city police a two-percent pay increase was one of the focuses of last  night's public hearing on the 2019 budget....  

The panel recently voted 2-1 to give those pay increases to rank-and-file members for 2016 and 2017.  Resident Doug Champ says the city will likely have to dip into it's undesignated fund balance to cover that cost going forward. City officials have been tight-lipped about the decision, but Mayor Sam Teresi recently told Media One News that the city is weighing it's legal options on the ruling.  Otherwise, Champ says the nearly $36-million spending plan is "out of balance" because it still depends on a one-million dollar aid payment from New York state.  City leaders argue the state has recognized the fact the city has lost state aid -- unfairly -- because assets of the Board of Public Utilites are used in determining what they are paid.  City lawmakers will vote on the budget next Monday. 


Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have dropped about 10-cents a gallon over the past week, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday week.  

The AAA's East Central Office says the price for regular, unleaded fuel is $2.86, down from $2.97 last week.  On the week, the Gas Price Report says average prices are three to eight cents cheaper in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region with prices ranging from $2.88 in Connecticut to $2.28 in Delaware.  Statewide, gas prices are four-cents cheaper across the Empire State, which is good news for the three-million New Yorkers that AAA projects will drive 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving Holiday. 


The National Comedy Center opened its doors for the first time during the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...

 Since then, guests nationally and internationally have already visited the location on West Second Street in Jamestown during its first 100 days of operation.  Executive Director Journey Gunderson says that 79-percent of visitors are from outside Chautauqua County.

Prior to the Aug. 1 grand opening, Gunderson says the focus was on production for the center.  However, she says the focus now shifts to marketing the National Comedy Center's attractions.  Gunderson says they have a new marketing and communications director, Gary Hahn, who previously worked at Graceland.  She says the center currently holds a 5-5 rating on Trip Advisor, which, she says is rare in the attraction industry.  In addition, Gunderson says they will be hosting two night's of live comedy featuring Caitlin Peluffo and Steven Rogers this weekend.  For more information, go to the center's website. 


A college athlete who says she was cut off by her parents when they found out she is gay has stopped accepting donations from a crowdfunding site...  

GoFundMe donors pledged $100,000 for 19-year-old Emily Scheck, of Webster, New York, after Outsports.com reported Scheck's financial struggles since losing her parents' support.  Scheck's father told The Buffalo News there's more to the story.  Timothy Scheck says the family was only trying to get Scheck to return home.  He says he accepts her sexual orientation.  The GoFundMe campaign's organizer posted Tuesday that Scheck has received more than enough donations and won't accept more.  Scheck, who is on the cross-country team at Canisius College in Buffalo, says her parents cut off contact in August after her mother found a picture of Scheck and a girlfriend.


State police are investigating a two-car, head-on crash that occured on Route 83, just north of Cherry Creek...  

Troopers in Jamestown were called to the scene shortly after 9 a.m. yesterday morning, and found that a southbound car and one vehicle traveling north had collided.  Police say both drivers were hurt-- one with a head injury, the other had a neck injury.  They were treated at the scene, and one was transported to the hospital.  No other details have been released.

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 20, 2018

BPU Water Alert... 

Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Water crews repaired a broken water main overnight on the northside.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says crews made repairs at Washington and 12th Streets and restored service about 1:30 AM.  Robbins says customers in the area and the northside may see discolored water through this evening and should not do laundry unless their water appears clear.


The newly reconstructed South Main Street Bridge in downtown Jamestown will be opened to the public this Wednesday morning...  

That from Chautauqua County Public Facilities Director Brad Bentley, who says contractors had to work through some "challenging weather conditions this Fall" to get the span re-opened by the Thanksgiving holiday.  Bentley thanked Union Concrete, GPI, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and, the citys Public Works Department for all their efforts.  He adds that the bridge's asphalt base and winter wearing surfaces have been constructed and, are sufficient for the travelling public to use.  However, due to the extremely wet Fall weather, high water levels experienced on site in October and the early on-set of winter conditions in November, the top asphalt layer will be constructed next spring. 
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In addition, Bentley says the DPF also plans to open two new bridges on County Touring Route 42 -- Poland Center Road -- between state Route 394 and U.S. Route 62 in the Town of Poland Wednesday.  He says "the asphalt base and winter wearing surfaces for these two bridges have been placed.  The extremely wet weather this fall and high water levels experienced at these sites delayed the construction of the new bridges, such that the top asphalt layer will be constructed next spring with the return of warmer weather."


A more than year-long wait for the reopening of the front entrance to the Jamestown Police Department will end later this morning...  

The major repair project to the entry-way, lobby and reception area has finally been completed following significant rain storm that produced flooding on Tracy Plaza in 2017.  Police Chief Harry Snellings announced Monday afternoon that the front entry-way will reopen at 9 this morning.  However, Snellings says until that time, anyone needing help at police headquarters should continue with procedures that are currently in place.


At the request of the Cuba Town Police Department, a Missing Vulnerable-Adult Alert has been issued for an 82 year-old woman with dementia.... 

State officials say Lorena Fritts was last seen on State Route 305 in Cuba at 5 PM Sunday.... and, was driving a gold 2000 Dodge Caravan with New York plates HTH-6674. Fritts has red hair and green eyes and, was wearing a brown coat, black jeans and a baseball cap. Officials say Lorena may be in need of medical attention. Information indicates she was on North Union Street in the city of Olean Sunday evening. Anyone who may have seen Lorena Fritts can contact the Cuba Town Police at 585-968-1666.


Jamestown city lawmakers reviewed the three remaining department and outside organizations during last night's final work session on the proposed 2019 budget...  


The Department of Development's budget, along with that of the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, were discussed.  Development Director Vince DeJoy says the city has budgeted $410,000 to provide code enforcement, zoning, planning and community development.  DeJoy says the majority pays for salaries, including one new one last year.

The main source each year is from the federal Community Development Block Grant program... which provides just over one-million dollars for the DOD, with another $200,000 coming from the state's HOME Program.  He outlined many of those... including projects that were part of the city's $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative program.  Fenton History Center Director Noah Goodling was on hand to discuss the 26-thousand dollars they receive from the city, which includes $10,000 for utilities payments.  The other outside organization funded by the city is the James Prendergast Library, which is slated to be cut in half to $50,000 this year. 


If Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi agrees to bi-partisan legislation to reform the rules of the House of Representatives, local Congressman Tom Reed says he'll support her when the House votes on a new speaker next January....  

However, he reiterated Monday that he won't vote for her if she doesn't agree with those reforms.  However, the Corning Republican says there are now several Democrats who said they would not vote for her that are starting to have second thoughts. That furthers the belief that Pelosi may need Republican help to be elected speaker.  President Trump tweeted over the weekend his support for Pelosi -- if she wants the position -- and included Reed's name in that tweet.  Reed admits that his public stand has not endeared him to some fellow Republicans.  However, he says it's worth it to finally get reforms that allows bi-partisan legislation to be acted on.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


A wanted Conewango Valley man was arrested in the Town of Ellington for allegedly damaging property in front of a child over the weekend... 

Sheriff's officers responded to a residence on Route 62 for a disorderly male and, identified 31 year-old Darrin Hill as the suspect. After he was taken into custody, deputies report Hill was found to have an outstanding federal warrant for Desertion from the United States Army. Hill was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail due to the outstanding federal warrant. He will answer to charges in Ellington Town Court at a later date. 


A Dunkirk man who was wanted on a weapons charge is being held after he led police in a vehicle pursuit in the city of Dunkirk...  

Dunkirk Police say that 21-year-old Trevon Tripp was wanted on a warrant for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Police Chief David Ortolano says Tripp failed to comply when officers attempted to a perform a traffic stop around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Ortolano says Tripp is not only facing the weapons charge, but he is also charged with third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, unlawful possession of a marijuana, aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and, reckless driving and six other vehicle and traffic infractions.  Tripp is being held in the city lockup, pending arraignment.


The Chautauqua County Board of Elections has certified the November 6 election results in local races that were too close to call on election night...  

Election's Commissioner Norm Green says Republican Yvonne Park defeated Democrat John Robinson, Senior for a Villanova Town Council vacancy, 204 to 195.  Both candidates were tied at 190 votes each on election night.  In the Mayville Mayor's race, Democrat Ken Shearer, Junior was still the winner.  Shearer actually grew his lead from 38 on election night to 48.  He received 326 votes, to Republican Rick Syper's 278 votes. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 19, 2018

A pair of young hunters are safe now after they became lost in a wooded area of the town of Charlotte last Saturday afternoon on the first day of shotgun deer hunting season....  

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies and a K-9 unit were called to search an area off Boutwell Hill Road after receiving a call from the youths shortly before 2 PM.  Using GPS, dispatchers tried to guide the pair out of the woods, but lost their connection once the hunter's cell phone battery died.  The K-9 unit was called in and searched the area when the phone last pinged.  However, the two youths moved from that area and, more searchers -- including a state Forest Ranger -- were called in.  They soon after found the pair unharmed.


Four people are being helped by the local Red Cross after fire damaged their mobile home in the town of Portland last Saturday night....  

Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team members were called to assist in finding the cause of the blaze at the New Horizons Mobile Home Park.  Following an investigation, investigators determined the fire originated on a water pipe which was layered with heat tape.  The fire spread throughout the underside of the home, but it was put out before it cause significant damage to the structure.  The four household members were not hurt, but have been displaced. 


Two north county police officials say they look forward to working with Chautauqua County's new sheriff when he takes office in January...  

Both Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano and Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers commended the work of Sheriff Joe Gerace, who has held the office since 1995.  The Democratic Sheriff lost to Republican challenger James Quattrone last Tuesday.  Meyers says they believe the Sheriff's Office needs to work more closely with local police agencies in the county and to share resources. Ortolano echoed Meyers comments, saying that resources are limited for all departments.  He says if they can work better "together" that will be the best for the taxpayers and residents.  Gerace indicated last week that he would work with Quattrone on a smooth transition. 


Jamestown High School senior Elyse Jones' piano solo, playing a Chopin ballade, helped propel her to first place in the annual Chautauqua Area Scholarship Program....

Elyse received an $8,000 scholarship, and won additional awards in the areas of talent and scholastic achievement.  She is the daughter of Michele and David Jones.  Surprised by the win, Elyse says being a part of the program has helped her appreciate the 'little things in life.'

Fourteen young women from several area schools participated in this year's event, which offered a total of $18,000 in scholarships.  Shannon Mc Kee of Chautauqua Lake Central School was named 'First Runner Up.'  The CASP program, formerly known as 'Junior Miss' and 'Distinguished Young Women' was held Saturday night in the newly renovated Southwestern Central School Auditorium.  (Media One announcer, Sofia Isabella, won two category awards-- for talent and personal growth.)


A Cassadaga man has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography earlier this year and, faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced next year...  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior said late Friday that 23 year-old Daniel Villafane-Lozada pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to one count of possession of child pornography involving a pre-pubescent minor.  Prosecutors say this past April, law enforcement officers Raided Lozada's residence and seized a digital memory card which contained 30 videos and 22 images of child pornography.  Some of the images depicted pre-pubescent minors, or minors under 12 years old, the sexual abuse or exploitation of an infant or toddler, and depictions of violence.  As part of his plea, Lozada admitted that between 2014 and 2017, he engaged in sexual contact with two minor victims under the age of 18 years old.


Jamestown police continue to ask for the public's help in finding a man who allegedly got into an altercation with another person on the city's northside last Friday afternoon and, then turned and shot multiple rounds towards a house....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at West Eighth and Cherry Streets about 2 p.m. and, found that the two men had gotten into a fight, and then pulled out guns when the one suspect began shooting.  No one was hurt.  The suspect who fired the shots reportedly ran north on Cherry Street towards 9th Street.  However, Samuelson says neither the victim nor witnesses are cooperating.  If you know anything about the incident, you're asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS (8477).  You can also contact them through the Tips 411 app.  All tips will be kept confidential.


Two Jamestown residents have been indicted for conspiring to retaliate against a witness regarding information in a case involving a federal offense...  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says a federal grand jury has indicted 26 year-old Bobby Hunt, Junior and, 29 year-old Amy Dean on charges of conspiracy to retaliate against witnesses, witness retaliation, and taking action harmful to a witness.  Prosecutors say that, according to the indictment, on or about last October 25, the defendants threatened to and caused bodily injury to a person in retaliation for information the victim gave to a law enforcement officer.  Hunt and Dean were arraigned in U-S District Court late Friday and, are being held pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.  Jamestown police were also involved in the investigation.  Kennedy says the charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


In addition to Jamestown-area organizations -- like the St. Susan's Center -- a group in the north county will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for people who have made sacrifices for the community and country....  

"Partners in Kind of Chautauqua County" is holding an event called "Thanksgiving for Heroes" next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in Fredonia.  Melissa Pietrkiewicz says the dinner is meant to honor people such as police, firefighters, and emergency personnel who often have to work on Thanksgiving. The location of the dinner will be given to those planning to attend.  It will be held from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. next Thursday.  If you would like to attend, you must let them know by tomorrow.  The number to call is 401-9218.


State Senator Cathy Young is making it known that she wants a major leadership role in the Republican Minority Conference during the coming year, in the wake of several "devastating losses" in this month's election....  

Young, who was re-elected without opposition, says the conference has been "reassessing its strengths and weaknesses and envisioning a path forward."  The Olean Republican says she is seeking a leadership post to be "a strong voice for upstate New York. The majority of our remaining members are from upstate."  She congratulated current Majority Leader John Flanagan of Long Island for being elected Minority Leader.  While not mentioning Democrats by name, she says that "New York City now controls all of state government and I will continue to stand up and fight against their destructive policies that hurt upstate.  I will be an unwavering advocate for our people, our economy and our way of life."

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News Headlines for Sat., Nov. 17, 2018

JPD still investigating Friday afternoon shooting incident, and seeking the public's help...
City police are asking for the public's help in finding the man who allegedly got into a fight with another person on Jamestown's northside Friday afternoon... and, then turned and shot multiple rounds towards a house.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at West Eighth and Cherry Streets about 2 p.m., and, found that the two men had gotten into a fight, and then pulled out guns when the one suspect began shooting.  No one was hurt.  The suspect who fired the shots reportedly ran north on Cherry Street towards 9th Street.  However... Samuelson says neither the victim nor witnesses are cooperating.  With that... they're asking anyone who may know anything about the incident to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS.. that's 483-8477.  You can also contact them through the Tips 411 app.  Police say all tips will be kept confidential.


AAA warns of increase in Car-Deer crashes during hunting season...
There are signs across the Jamestown-area that warn of deer crossings.  However... you may want to make sure to heed those today because it's the opening day of shot-gun deer hunting season.  That from the AAA of Western and Central New York... which is warning drivers about the opening... which began at dawn.  Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says there are a few ways you can avoid such crashes.  Carey says be on the look-out for deer -- especially in the early morning or evening hours... and, scan both sides of the road.  She says November is a peak month for car-deer crashes... because in November of 2016... there were 104 car-deer crashes in Chautauqua County. 


Briggs leaving MHA for new job in Brocton, Cobb new director at association...
There has been a change of leadership at the organization that has been at the fore-front of the Jamestown-area's fight against the opioid drug epidemic.  The Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County formally recognized outgoing Executive Director Kia Briggs for her 11 years of service... the past three as director.  Brigg is leaving for a new job in the Brocton-area where she lives.  But, she talked about when she first came to MHA as a young woman struggling with drug addiction.  She admitted that she felt she had "destroyed my life..." and, she had no support system until she came to MHA.  Briggs will be replaced by another long-time employee and case worker at the MHA.  Steven Cobb is also a recovering addict... who returned to Jamestown more than 9 years ago -- to get sober.  Cobb says he was ashamed after going to a meeting for alcoholics... but, he had been shooting up with crystal methamphetime.  He says Briggs knew he was really struggling... and, talked with him for about two-hours.  Cobb says he looks forward to continuing the Mental Health Association's message of recovery for everyone who comes to them for help. 


Cassadaga man admits to possessing Child Porn in federal court...
A Cassadaga man has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography earlier this year... and, faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced next year.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior said late Friday that 23 year-old Daniel Villafane-Lozada pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to one count of possession of child pornography involving a pre-pubescent minor.  Prosecutors say this past April... law enforcement officers Raided Lozada's residence and seized a digital memory card which contained 30 videos and 22 images of child pornography.  Some of the images depicted pre-pubescent minors... or minors under 12 years old, the sexual abuse or exploitation of an infant or toddler, and depictions of violence.  As part of his plea... Lozada admitted that between 2014 and 2017, he engaged in sex with two minor victims under the age of 18.


Jamestown Plastics celebrates 60th Anniversary in Brocton...
A Brocton company is celebrating a major milestone.  Jamestown Plastics held an open house at its plant on Highland Avenue this past Thursday night.  The company has been operating for 60 years.  It went into business when Dwight Eisenhower was president... and, it was the same year NASA began operations.  Company President Jay Baker says Jamestown Plastics has undergone various changes over the years, and that's allow it to be competitive in an ever changing global economy.  Deputy Chautauqua County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, presented the company with a proclamation from County Executive George Borrello.  Geise says the Brocton facility was one of the stops during the County Executive's visits to 100 businesses in 100 days.


Weed Mass problem in Burtis Bay focus of meeting this week...
The biggest weed mass in recent memory on Chautauqua Lake has produced an odorous mess in Burtis Bay due to tens of thousands of fish being killed off by the weeds.  That from Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin... who says there were a number of factors that played into the weeds piling onto the shoreline area.  One... says McLaughlin... is the fact the Chautauqua Lake Association stopped it's annual weed harvest sooner than usual... secondly, there was an unusual amount of rain earlier in the Fall, and there were a lot of gusty winds that helped blow the masses towards the shoreline.  McLaughlin says the weed mass was the focus of a meeting at the Newell residence in Burtis Bay that he attended along with Celoron Mayor Scot Schrecengost, three county officials, and three members of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  In addition to having the CLA continue weed harvesting later in the year... McLaughlin says the town is setting aside $20,000 next year to deal with weed issues in Burtis Bay, and Fluvanna. 

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WJTN News Bulletin for Fri., Nov. 16, 2018

(**Bulletin)Shooting suspect involved in incident on northside sought by police...
Jamestown police are on the look-out for a man who allegedly got into an altercation with another person on the city's northside this afternoon... and, then turned and shot multiple rounds towards a house.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at West Eighth and Cherry Streets about 2 p.m., and, found that the two men had gotten into a fight, and then pulled out guns when the one suspect began shooting.  The suspect who fired the shots reportedly ran north on Cherry Street towards 9th Street.  However... Samuelson says neither the victim nor witnesses are cooperating... so they are asking for the public's help.  If you know anything about the incident... you're asked to call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS.. that's 483-8477.  You can also contact them through the Tips 411 app.  All tips will be kept confidential.

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 16, 2018

Chautuaqua County officials are reminding motorist to use caution when driving through the early weekend due to a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain...  

Sheriff Joe Gerace tells drivers to clean all snow and ice off their vehicles before driving, slow down and, turn your headlights on when visibility is low so other drivers can see you. He also says to make sure you have an updated emergeny kit including a shovel,  phone chargers, flares, and blankets. 


Conditions were changable for motorists on the commute home last night and, it could be tricky this morning...  

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through 7 a.m. today.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service... who says some places have seen some frozen precipitation,  but others yesterday afternoon had more in the way of liquid precipitation.  Reynolds says it was all snow from late evening on. A Winter Storm Warning has been in effect for areas to our south and east.  Reynolds adds areas just east of here have the potential for significantly more snow over the next day or so. 


A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic a large amount of heroin in the city between early 2016 adn early 2017...  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced that 39 year-old Alex Mercado entered the plea to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin in U-S District Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Mercado was a "mid-level" dealer of heroin and cocaine for the organization run by Sigfredo Martinez.  They say Mercado and co-defendant, Bryan Ferrer-Vazquez, would receive a couple hundred bundles of heroin from Martinez every few days and they were tasked with distributing it to smaller dealers and users.  Drug Enforcement Agency undercover agents made several drug purchases from Mercado and he was arrested along with the other two men during raids that took place in April of 2017.  Charges are pending against Martinez and Ferrer-Vazquez.  Mercado faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10-million fine.  


The owner of a Cattaraugus County business faces charges of fraud after allegedly telling the village of Ellicottville that he had a minority and/or women-owned business to get a construction contract, and he was not....  

Ellicottville Police say they arrested 30 year-old Bradley Kyler Wednesday on charges of first-degree intent to defraud, and offering a false instrument for filing.  Police say Kyler submitted documents with the village engineer, stating that his business -- Bucket Pro -- was an MWBE business, which was required for the project.  However, police say they informed the village engineer that they had found Bucket Pro was not an MWBE business.  If the village had awarded the contract, police say the municipality could have lost a substantial amount of grant funding for the project.  Kyler will appear in village court at a later date.


It's one day out of the year, but it's an important one for smokers and anti-smoking organizations...

Yesterday was the annual Great American Smoke-Out, a day where the American Cancer Society urges smokers to quit for the first time if they've never tried before.  Speaking with our Dennis Webster Thursday morning, Tobacco Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties Community Engagement Coordinator Ken Dahlgren said it's okay to try and fail -- but, you need to try.  He says the problem for many is the fact they started smoking at a very young age-- some as young as 12 years old.

Dahlgren says smoking is one of the hardest addictions you can face and, the smoker should not be blamed for it.  He says the best resource to help you quit is the New York state Smoker's Quitline.  He says you can talk with a counselor and, also learn more about materials that can help you quit.  Dahlgren says the phone number for the quitline is 1-866-NY-QUITS, or you can go on-line to NYSmokefree.com.


The 2020 Elections are nearly two-years off, but the Democrat who was defeated by local Congressman Tom Reed on Nov. 6 says she's running again....  

Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano says she will again seek the party's nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional District seat.  In a printed release, Mitrano says -- "running for Congress over the last 16 months was the honor of a lifetime.  My 2018 campaign was about so much more than me, it was about the families, farmers, students, and seniors in this district who deserve better than they're getting."  She adds that the election results don't change the facts, including that "the people of Western New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier deserve affordable healthcare, education that doesn't come with a lifetime of debt, modern infrastructure, and tax policies that serve the working and middle class." 


Local Congressman Tom Reed, who defeated Tracy Mitrano a week ago last Tuesday, says the election is over and it's time to get back to work in Washington...  

The Corning Republican adds that it's too early to make a decision about running for a sixth-term.  With that, he says there are still a number of priorities he would like to accomplish before he is done in the House of Representatives.  Reed adds any decision about running for a sixth-term in the House of Representatives will be made at a later time.

During his weekly telephone conference call, Reed said there were still goals to be met, including getting a new rules reform package approved in the House that makes it easier for bi-partisan legislation to be approved.  The measure has strong support in the House "Problem Solver's Caucus" that he co-chairs.  Reed says other issues to tackle include heath care coverage and immigration policy. 


New York officials say the state's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level on record, dipping to four-percent for the first time in 30 years...  

The Department of Labor says Thursday that October's four-percent unemployment rate was last reached in May 1988.  The agency says its labor force data goes back to 1976.  The state unemployment rate in September was 4.1 percent.  The national unemployment rate in October was 3.7 percent, unchanged from September.  New York City's jobless rate in October was also four-percent, the same as the previous month when it reached its lowest level on record.  The labor department says the overall number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased last month to just under 388,000, the lowest level since April 2001.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 15, 2018

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking crystal methamphetime in the area from a home on the city's northside....  

JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a home at 1107 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday with the help of the department's SWAT Team.  Samuelson says they arrested 28 year-old James Smouse and, found more than 19 grams of crystal meth, suboxone and multiple items of paraphernalia, and scales.  He says they also found a switchblade knife, and a baton club.  Smouse faces several charges, including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a weapon.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Anyone with information on suspected drug activity in the city is asked to call the anonymous tips line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.


Evergreen Health of western New York cut the ribbon on it's third facility to expand care in the Greater Jamestown-area Wednesday afternoon...

Evergreen President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Ganoe was on hand to help open the new location at 320 Prather Avenue, which will be the "central hub" to coordinate specialty care in the region, including care for people with HIV and Hepatitis C, among others.

Ganoe says they'll be using 2,600 square-feet of the former Prather Avenue Medical Office building, not far from UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  During the ribbon cutting ceremony, he thanked local staff for their help in getting the new location up and running, adding that their "passion is what sets them apart."  Ganoe says the STI testing is one of the new offerings they'll have at the new facility, which includes a large waiting area, three examination rooms, and one space for private patient consultations.  For more information, call 664-7855.


Volunteers are needed for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's free, annual income tax return preparation program...  

Rose Lancione coordinates the agency's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program... also known as VITA.  Lancione says they are in need of a handfull of new volunteers to do taxes for low-to-moderate income members of the community.

Lancione says volunteers do not need to have tax preparation experience because the Chautauqua County VITA Coalition will provide the training and teach the software being used.  She says they will have an instructional session this coming Saturday at the Prendergast Library, beginning at 10 AM.  Lancione says if you would like to volunteer, to be a preparer -- or just help out the effort, contact her at 483-1561.  She says the program is provided for people who make up to $54,000 a year in income.


Skiiers and snowboarders across western New York have nine-days to get ready for the 2018-19 winter season, because Holiday Valley resort is hoping to open their slopes on November 23.....  

That from Director of Marketing Jane Eshbaugh, who says snow-making is underway in Ellicotville.  Eshabugh says they are continuing to make snow through Thursday and will re-start again this weekend.  She adds, they've also made some $3.4-million in improvements for the season including snowmaking equipment, groomers and a new lift.  Eshbaugh says -- as long as the weather cooperates-- Holiday Valley with have 5-to-6 various trails and slopes ready to go next Friday. Lodges for food and refreshments will also be open. For more information, visit HolidayValley.com.


A familiar face is returning to Fredonia village government...  

Former Village Administrator James Sedota has been appointed as full-time treasurer.  Mayor Athenasia Landis says Sedota's appointment comes at a time in which the Village is currently involved with several major projects. Sedota says he is pleased to be returning to village government and, says he's happy to help fill a need there.  He had been hired as village administrator back in 1977 and, retired from that position twelve years ago.


A Harlem man has been revealed as the winner of $343 million in a Powerball drawing, the biggest jackpot in New York state lottery history....  

Lottery officials introduced 67-year-old Robert Bailey at a New York City news conference Wednesday.  Bailey says he has "faithfully" played numbers a family member gave him over 25 years ago.  The retired federal government employee bought his lucky ticket at a Harlem deli. The drawing was held October 27th.  He is taking the winnings in a lump sum of over $198 million. After taxes that's roughly $125 million.  He plans to get a house for his mother, "with a little land around it."  Bailey also hopes to travel.  He says Las Vegas comes to mind.

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 14, 2018

The Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office and not the New York State Attorney General's Office will lead the investigation into Monday's police involved shooting at 76 Liberty Stree...

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