A bi-partisan group of Congress members in Washington, DC including Chautauqua County's representative have reached consensus agreement on a proposal to stabilize the Affordable Care Act markets. 

 

That from Congressman Tom Reed who co-chairs the Problem Solvers Caucus that reached the agreement over the past weekend and, in the wake of the Health Care defeat in the U-S Senate. 

 

Reed says the move would take effect for heatlh insurance plans offered in 2018 and, would include three basic reforms:  Eliminating the employer mandate up to 500 employees, recognize a 40-hour work week for health insurance being provided versus a 30-hour week originally in the ACA, and eliminating the medical device tax. 

 

Reed says a stablization fund would be set up to help stabilize the markets in those areas of the county where the ACA also known as ObamaCare are collapsing.  The Corning Republican says they're also working on cost-sharing reductions. 

 

He says he's already been attacked by "the right" on the proposal and, adds that his co-chair New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer has also been attacked for the proposal.  Reed adds that he has not "abandoned his position" on Repeal and Replacing the ACA.  However he say this is a step in the right direction for the people.


A major bio-pharmacutical company planning to put a new anti-cancer drug production facility in the Dunkirk-area is now a publically-traded entity. 

 

With that, excitement is continuing to grow towards Athenex which celebrated it's Initial Public Offering or IPO Sunday during a dinner event in Buffalo. 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan was among the local officials involved and, he says company officials from Taiwan, Chicago and Buffalo all took part in the dinner and teleconference there.  He says they're now looking at a 2 to 3-week period to a ground-breaking. 

 

Horrigan says all the financing is in place for the project on Route 5 near the Dunkirk City line.  He says the final piece was a 20 year Payment in Lieu of Tax agreement with the county's Industrial Development Agency that was approved last week. 

 

In addition to the more than $1-billion investment Horrigan says they'll have an estimated payroll of $50-million.  He says Athenex's President and Chief Executive Officer is also talking about other opportunities once their western New York facilities are on-line.  Officials say they are hoping the intial offering of stock in the company will raise about $100-million at $11 a share.


The Jamestown City Council has tabled action on a proposal to abandon a portion of Osborne Street on the city's southside to look into drainage and tree issues. 

 

The decison was made during last night's Council voting session, following a public hearing in which several neighbors spoke.  One Steve Muscarella of Sampson Street, said he believed the neighbor's would like a letter from the city to clarify what they would be responsible for if the abandonment took place. 

 

Muscarella says they would hope the city would improve drainage there, as well as get rid of old and dying trees.  One of those people who didn't want to deal with the tree issue was Jim Fusco of Colfax Street.  He says he took down some pine trees that he thought he owned but, later learned they were on city property.  He says he gets high water in that part of the property now. 

 

Steve Atwater of Colfax Street says he's not opposed to the abandonment but, says he'd also like to have more clarity on drainage and, property tax issues. 

 

Public Works Committee Chairman George Spitale urged lawmakers to table the matter until his committee could look further into the matter.


New York state now considers an inmate's age at the time of the crime to ensure that offenders receiving long sentences as juveniles have a legitimate chance at release. 

 

Corrections officials say the Board of Parole made the change immediately after a 2016 ruling that juveniles must be granted a meaningful chance at release during parole proceedings. 

 

Though New York has never sentenced juveniles to life without parole, groups including the New York Civil Liberties Union had criticized officials for looking only at crimes, and not youth, in parole determinations.


The town of Gerry becomes "Rodeo City" later this week as the 73rd annual Gerry Fire Department's PRCA Rodeo gets underway Wednesday evening. 

 

Spokesman Paul Cooley with the rodeo says this year's event will have a record number of competitors for all four nights 256 cowboys and cowgirls from 34 states.  Cooley says they'll be vying for about $45,000 in prize money each night, Wednesdaythrough Saturday

 

He adds that word getting around about the success of the rodeo and the fact is drawing some top names in the sport.  He says one of the top saddle-bronc riders, Cody DiMass, who has won over $2-million in the professional ranks will be here again this year. 

 

Among the fan favorites at the rodeo is the delicious beef barbecue dinners which are served from 5 to 8 p.m. each day during the rodeo.  Cooley says you can get more information about this year's rodeo on-line at www.gerryrodeo.org.


The Trump administration says a Pennsylvania-based coal company has won a contract to supply coal used for heating to Ukraine's state-owned power company. 

 

The deal announced Monday calls for X-coal Energy and Resources to ship 700,000 tons of thermal coal to the Ukraine to heat homes and businesses.  The first shipment is expected to leave the Port of Baltimore next month at a cost of $113 per metric ton. 

 

Energy Secretary Rick Perry hailed the deal with state-owned Centrenergo, saying such partnerships "are crucial to the path forward to achieve energy dominance" for the U.S.  President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the struggling coal industry.

LOCAL NEWS

WJTN Headlines for Tuesday, 10/17/2017

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