A fire that broke out in the basement of Falconer High School earlier this morning has been deemed "accidental" following an on-scene investigation... 
 
At 1:30 a.m. the Falconer Fire Department along with other area fire departments responded to a fire alarm at the high school. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says on arrival,  responding fire companies dealt with a heavy smoke issue inside the school. A short time later, the fire was found in the custodian work shop area in the basement. Sheriff's Officers say the fire was quickly extinguished and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called. The fire was investigated and found to be a contained to a plastic garbage can inside this custodian work shop area. Following investigation, the fire was determined to be accidental due to a spontaneous combustion of mineral oil saturated cotton rags confined in a plastic garbage can. No fire damage to the building was observed.
 
 
 
It's already that time of year again, when those pesky potholes pop up on area roads and highways, causing problems for drivers and highway crews alike...  
 
While we have seen some extreme weather conditions this winter, Chautauqua County Public Facilities Director George Spanos says it doesn't appear to be any worse than usual. What makes potholes pop up?  Spanos says you can blame it on the freeze-thaw cycle.  He says it stresses pavement by expanding and contracting and, it causes the asphalt to break-up.  Spanos says county highway crews are responding to reports of the pesky potholes, but they can only make temporary repairs until the asphalt plants open in April.  He encourages the public to report any major potholes on county roads to the Chautauqua County DPF dispatcher at 716-661-8401.
 
 
 
The 31st annual President's Day Winter Festival in Mayville will again be held at Lakeside Park and, include a number of activities through late Sunday afternoon...
 
That from Mayville/Chautauqua Chamber President Sally Andriaccio, who says the festival kicks into high gear late Saturday morning and includes several "family-oriented" activites.  Andriaccio says the annual Polar Bear Plunge and Chili Cook-off will run starting at 2 p.m. Saturday and the annual fireworks display will be held in the park at 8 p.m. Saturday.  For more information on the President's Day Winter Festival, call the chamber at 753-3113 or go online to dmarsala@chautauquachamber.org
 
 
 
The Ice Castle for this year's President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville is nearly finished and crews are taking steps to preserve it for the weekend in light of a forecast of warmer temperatures...
 
That from Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce President Sally Andriaccio, who says construction of the Ice Castle is about 90% complete.  Andriaccio said Wednesday that, given how solid the ice blocks are, it should be okay through Sunday.
 
Andriaccio says the insulated blankets they're using on the castle helps in two ways-- it holds in the cold and keeps out the rain, which tends to be the ice castle's biggest enemy.  She says the crew has also been "slushing" the castle, which helps strengthen the bond between the huge blocks of ice.  Overall, she says the ice castle is pretty good sized compared to the last one they had.  Andriaccio says nearly 1,000 blocks of ice will be used to make the ice castle, which features an "Ice Seat" for picture takers.  This year's castle will be officially lighted at 6 p.m. this Friday to start the festival.
 
 
 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's "gravely concerned" about the federal government borrowing nearly one-trillion dollars to support additional non-military spending in the budget agreement reached late last week...  
 
Corning Republican Tom Reed says the agreement reached in the U.S. Senate allowed spending caps to be taken off a number of areas, including defense spending.  It also added another $300-billion in non-defense spending.
 
Reed says he traces the problem back to last year's Presidential budget... which did include an increase in military spending.  However, he adds that the House and Senate both approved an additional $61-billion for the military, which he says set the stage for this year's increases.  He says it's easy to broker a deal when "you're spending other peoples money."  Reed says the changes just "didn't add up in a responsible way..." and that's why he voted against the final bill.  He made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
 
 
The budget proposed by President Donald Trump on Monday would slash funding for food assistance for low-income Americans... 
 
Under the Trump budget proposal, the USDA would substitute packages of "shelf-stable" food, such as pasta, cereal and canned goods, for about half of the value of the SNAP benefits.  Hunger Free America's Joel Berg says that -- combined with other program changes -- would reduce the overall SNAP budget by $213-billion over ten years, 20-billion more than Trump proposed cutting it last year.
 
The administration says supplying packages of government-selected food would reduce costs through bulk purchasing.  However, the recent bipartisan budget agreement makes passage of the cuts to SNAP unlikely.  Still, Berg is concerned that the proposal could serve as an opening for Congress to reduce funding for the food program by a smaller amount, which he says is bad because they have already been cut twice.  He points out that 41-million Americans-- including two-million New Yorkers--struggle against hunger every day.  Berg says in two weeks Hunger Free America will travel to Washington with low-income people and other hunger advocacy groups to ask Congress to spare SNAP from any further budget cuts.
 
 
 
Several "legacy society" awards will be handed out during next Monday night's Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner in Lakewood and a member of the Media One Group family is one of them...  
 
Officials say they'll be honored outstanding contributors to the local sports scene during the annual event.  One of them, the James A. Sharp Legacy Award, will be given to our own Dennis Webster.  The Ted Olson and Bill Present Legacy Wards for outstanding Jamestown High School student/athletes will be given to Andrew Pumford, and Allie Stockwell.  Next Monday night's inductees include Fran Sirianni, Sheila Lingenfelter-Gulas, and Phil Young.  The dinner begins with a hospitality hour at 5 p.m. at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
 
 
 
The ribbon was cut late yesterday morning at the new on-site Health and Wellness Center in the Jones Memorial Health Center in Jamestown...  
 
The "MyHealth @ Work Center" is available to UPMC Chautauqua WCA employees that are in need of medical services -- at no cost.  UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital Medical Director of Occupational Services, Dr. Todd Jacobson, says those services include treatment for minor illnesses and health coaching referrals. 
 
Jacobson adds that an employee can stop in during their break or even after work hours for an appointment.  He says the goal of the MyHealth @ Work Center is to administer services to employees without them having to miss work, or go to the emergency room.  Jacobson says they want to keep their people healthy as possible all year-long.  Jacobson says the clinic is available to all UPMC employees in the system.  Additionally, there are MyHealth centers located in Pittsburgh and Erie, Pennsylvania for employees as well. 
 

WJTN Headlines for Sept. 20, 2018

There are problems with an overpopulation of deer in some parts of Jamestown, but now there is also an issue with the predators that hunt them....     That was brought into c...

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