The first arctic blast of the season has arrived, and we are seeing a major change in our weather through later this morning.
Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says an arctic cold front crossed the region overnight and, says rain showers and even some evening thunderstorms turned to lake effect snow late last night.
Hitchcock says snowfall amounts will range from 1 to 3 inches over the higher terrain, with only dusting along the lake shore. A flash freeze is still a concern, especially over bridges and overpasses.
Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the majority of lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee who gave final approval to a tax reform package he continues to say will save the average taxpayer in his district $1,600 a year.
The Corning Republican says the tax-writing committee approved a number of changes to the original legislation, including keeping the top individual rate of 39.6% for the highest income-earners. Reed says that means four versus three tax brackets in the House bill.
Reed says the House bill also keeps the Local and State Property Tax Deduction but, it does not continue other SALT provisions. He says that may slow things down when reconciling their measure with the U.S. Senate's.
That bill would completely eliminate ALL parts of SALT and, Reed says he will fight to continue the Property Tax deduction provision in the final bill. The Senate bill would also include seven, not four income tax brackets.
During his weekly media conference call, Reed said the House bill will also save small business owners about $3,000 a year. He expects a House vote next week.
For possibly the first-time ever, there will be a female majority on the Jamestown City Council next year.
That after Democrat Vanessa Weinert won one of three at-large seats up in last Tuesday's election. Weinert was second-leading vote getter among the at-large candidates with 1,954 votes. There were almost 450 absentee ballots issued in the city but, Weinert says she's pretty comfortable there won't be much change in the results, mainly because of who the absentees were sent to.
Republican incumbant Kim Ecklund got the most votes Tuesday, with nearly 2,300 tallies. After Weinert Republican newcomer Andrew Liuzzo was third with one-thousand-952 votes. Fourth place finisher, Republican Michael Laurin, received 1,854 votes, while incumbant Democrat Greg Rabb was fifth with 1,852.
Barring any significant swing, Weinert would become the fifth woman on the panel. She feels that's important, regardless of what political party you belong to. In addition to Ecklund, Weinert, and Liuzzo, Council winners on Tuesday included Democrats Marie Carrubba, Maria Jones, Vickeye James and Tom Nelson and, Republican Tony Dolce.
Running for public office for the first-time often ends up being a real learning experience and, a lot of that comes from putting a lot of mileage on your shoes.
Democrat Vanessa Weinert says she found that out by campaigning for Jamestown City Council. Weinert says, when you run locally, there's not a lot of research about what issues are important to voters. She says you need to talk with them about what matters to them and, use a little "intuition" to determine what people care about the most.
Speaking with our Dennis Webster Thursday's morning on WJTN's morning show, she agreed it's "shoeleather research."
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County has passed the half-way mark in it's General Campaign and officials with the agency are optimistic they will reached their $1.325-million goal.
United Way Campaign Chairwoman Jane Cleaver-Becker says they are "thrilled" to have reached 55% of the 2017 goal. Becker says many of their workplace campaigns are well-underway and the results have been "great news".
Becker says the United Way has been seeing more new donors taking part and, adds there's been an emphasis on getting new people under the age of 40 involved. Becker also adds that raising the last 45% will be a challenge, and that may involve a new emphasis on getting more new donors involved and, showing them "why their gift matters."
The United Way again stresses this year that 100-percent of the donations made to them remain here to be used for United Way programming, and, for some 41 community-based programs in the Jamestown-area. For more information on the United Way, call 483-1561. You can also go on-line to UWayscc.org
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are up by 6-cents this week to nearly $2.76 for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel.
That from AAA's Gas Price Report which says the price at this time last year was $2.38 per gallon. With a 2.9 million barrel decrease in inventory the region saw the biggest drop of any in the country. AAA says the U-S Energy Information Administration reports the highest demand measurement for gasoline since 2006.
At $2.53 per gallon, the national fuel price increased by 6-cents as of Monday. The increase of prices at the pump is attributed to the high demand and low supply, bringing a 7-million barrel deficit compared to this time last year. Motorists can find gas prices along their route at AAA.com/mobile