While the Senate has now announced a plan aimed at stabilizing America's health insurance markets, local Congressman Tom Reed says a bi-partisan caucus he is part of already has a plan in place. 
 
Reed said Monday in Lakewood that the effort by the Problem Solver's Caucus would help continue subsidies to help low-income Americans afford their health insurance premiums for the short-term.  Reed has touted his group's plan which he says would at least "stabilize" the current exchanges until a new plan is in place.
 
The Trump Administration says the subsidies that were a hall-mark of the Affordable Care Plan under President Obama, are illegal because Congress never approved them. 
 
However, he said Tuesday that he would be willing to look at such a short-term plan.  Reed was in the area Monday touting two pieces of legislation Monday that he's introduced that will boost local hospice and palliative care programs, which he says should be part of any health care legislation.  
 
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is "continuing" his record-breaking fund-raising having brought in more than $1.4-million so far for the 2017-18 election cycle. 
 
The Corning Republican's campaign reports that they are also continuing to add new volunteers to their "grassroots" organization.  In a printed release, Reed says he's "thankful to have the support of the hundreds of people who have given to our campaign this year."  He says the donations "represent real people who are responding to our bipartisan, practical approach to government." 
 
Campaign Manager Nicholas Weinstein says "the campaign is growing every day and is in its strongest position ever at this point in the election cycle."  Weinstein adds they are "building momentum" for 2018. 
 
Meantime, Reed's potential Democratic opponents are way behind in fund-raising.  Among those who have filed, the Reed Campaign says Rick Gallant has raised about $4800 and, currently has just over $17,000 in the bank.  Jamestown Attorney Eddie Sundquist has raised $26,000 and, has just over $15,000 in the bank.
 
 
Southern Tier Environments for Living has received two awards from New York State that would aid in developing 35 new housing units in Chautauqua County though its Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program and, proposed Gateway Lofts Program in Jamestown. 
 
The $790,000 award is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $2.6-billion Empire State Supportive Housing Iniative, a plan to create 6,000 supportive housing units across the state.  STEL's Dunkirk Renovation and Ownership Program is a affordable housing project to create rental housing for low income individuals and families. 
 
Officials say the award provides $165,000 for 10 units for individuals that are homeless with serious mental illness.  The Gateway Lofts Project is still in the planning phase but, the housing project would be located in Jamestown and include 74 housing units, 25 of which homeless individuals with serious mental illness or a substance abuse issues.
 
 
We had a very frosty start to the day Tuesday but, it'll be warming up now through the end of the week. 
 
National Weather Service Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo says it reached 34 degrees at the Dunkirk Airport... but, it was even colder away from Lake Erie. 
 
Temperatures rebounded to near 60 Tuesday afternoon and, Reynolds expects the warm up to continue.  By the end of the week he says we'll see 70 to 71-degrees.  The meteorologist doesn't expect the next cool down to occur until early next week.   
 
City lawmakers will vote later this month on hiring two health insurance companies with local ties to provide Jamestown's new voluntary, Medicare-eligible health insurance plan for retired city employees. 
 
City Comptroller Joe Bellitto and Mayor Sam Teresi rolled out the $1.5-million program Monday night, which the state is helping to fund to lower the health cost burden on the city.  Bellitto told the City Council during it's work session that those choosing to go into one of the plans will have an incentive grant set aside for them to use to pay premiums only.
 
Bellitto says... depending on the union they were represented by the premiums for the new plan will cost the retiree between $108-$128 a month.  He says the top pay-outs will go to the younger retirees who are 65 to 69 and will receive a one-time grant of $17,000. 
 
The grants fall to $3,000 for retirees ages 80 and up.  Bellitto says four companies offered proposals and, he says they selected Northwest Financial, and Arcade Financial Services. 
 
 
New York is poised to adopt new standards for the treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement in local jails. 
 
The state's Commission on Corrections approved the new rules Tuesday.  The changes come at the urging of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The new regulations will mandate that all prisoners held in solitary at local jails get at least four hours of time outside their cell each day. 
 
The rules also require local authorities to tell the state whenever a prisoner under 18 is placed in solitary or when an inmate is held in solitary for more than a month. 
 
Cuomo says the standards will create consistent rules and prevent prisoner mistreatment.  The state has already implemented changes to reduce the use of solitary confinement in state facilities.
 
 
Buffalo police yesterday afternoon found the officer who went missing during a training dive last week in the Niagara River. 
 
The Buffalo Police Department said Tuesday afternoon that the body of 34-year-old Officer Craig Lehner was recovered in the area where a search had been going on since Friday afternoon.  Authorities say Lehner was participating in a routine training exercise on the river at Buffalo near Unity Island when he failed to resurface. 
 
Police, emergency crews and the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the search.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace earlier said one of his units assisted Tuesday.
 
The A-P reports that a procession brought Lehner's body to Erie County Medical Center as police and firefighters lined the route.  Lehner, a nine-year veteran of the force, was a member of Buffalo's K-9 unit and underwater recovery team.
 
 
State police in Warren are investingating a hit and run accident that occurred between Farmington and Sugar Grove Townships early yesterday morning.
 
Troopers say the incident occurred as an unknown vehicle was traveling west on State Route 957 near Lanning Hill Road between midnight and 1 a.m. 
 
The vehicle struck a horse in the roadway and continued traveling in an unknown direction. Anyone with information is asked to contact state police. 

 

LOCAL NEWS

WJTN Headlines for Monday Nov. 20, 2017

The Southern Tier has seen it's first measurable snowfall of the season.   Bob Hamiliton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says since the Winter Weather Advisory was put...

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