Clean-up underway after Winter Storm drops 8 to 18 inches of snow on much of Chautauqua County...
The clean-up is now underway following the half-day long snow storm that struck the region... dumping one to one-and-a-half feet of snow in many parts of Western New York.  The National Weather Service discontinued a Winter Storm Warning late Friday morning as the snow was beginning to end.  Snowfall totals -- in many cases -- mimiced what we see when we get Lake Effect.  The higher amounts tended to be around the Chautauqua Ridge to the north.  Forecaster Steve Welch says the highest official amount was found in two places... one of them Dunkirk.  Welch says both the Dunkirk Aiport and East Aurora, received 18 inches of snow by mid-morning Friday.  Unofficially... we heard about 19 inches of snow in the town of Arkwright... and, there was a report of 16 inches in Cassadaga.
 
 
Winter storm that hits WNY moves into Central and Eastern New York, forming Nor'easter...
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says more than 350,000 utility customers were still without power late last night across the state as winds and snow down tree limbs and power lines.  Most of those have been in Central and Eastern New York.  Cuomo says tractor-trailers are banned on bridges during the severe winter storm that is expected to continue through this afternoon.  He says truck drivers who violate the ban will be arrested and fined.  Overturned tractor-trailers on the Verrazano Bridge and the new Mario Cuomo Bridge caused major traffic delays Friday.
 
 
Jury Selection for Ruiz trial set to begin...
Jury selection is expected to get underway next week in Chautauqua County Court for a Dunkirk woman who is accused of murdering her boyfriend last summer.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson confirms that jury selection in the trial for Rebecca Ruiz is set to begin on Tuesday, March 6.  Ruiz allegedly shot to death 21-year-old Julian Duman on July 6th at a residence near the intersection of Lake Shore East and South Zebra Street in Dunkirk.  Besides second degree murder, Ruiz was also indicted by a county grand jury on second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence.  
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested for forgery...
A north county man is being held on $5,000 bail for allegedly stealing and cashing checks that did not belong to him.  Sheriff's officers received the report of a larceny that previously occurred on February 16th at an address on Bennett Road in the town of Dunkirk.  Following an investigation... deputies say 28 year-old Michael Bobik -- of Dunkirk -- had stolen bank checks that did not belong to him. He is alleged to have forged a signature and cash the checks for a total of $2,000.  Bobik was arraigned and sent to county jail on charges of petty larceny... fourth-degree grand larceny... second-degree forgery... and, criminal possession of a forged instrument. 
 
 
"Alarming sign" of financial stress on small dairy farms being seen in Northeast...
When some Northeast dairy farmers received their milk checks last month, their dairy cooperative included a list of mental health services and a suicide prevention hotline.  It was an alarming sign of the financial stress small dairy farms are enduring.  The Agri-Mark Inc. dairy cooperative says it felt obligated to get the resources out to its one-thousand farmers in New England and New York following the suicide of a member farmer in January.  Agri-Mark economist Bob Wellington says farmers are facing their fourth year of payments well below their cost of production, due in part to a national and global oversupply of milk.  Minnesota has set up a free 24-hour confidential helpline for farmers, and calls have been pouring into FarmNet, a help line in New York.
 
 
Democratic candidates for 23rd Congressional race sound off on Health Care...
Health care was a major focus of this past week's Democratic candidate's forum for the 23rd Congressional District in Celoron.  All six candidates vying for a chance to run against incumbant Republican Tom Reed support creaton of a "single-payer..." or "Medicare for All" program.  However... the issue becomes how to pay for it.  Jamestown attorney Eddie Sundquist says he supports a special tax to help cover that projected 25 to 40-percent tax increase that would be needed.  Sundquist says the tax would be on corporate profits being held overseas to avoid taxes.  All six candidates support the concept of "Medicare for All" because -- they say -- health care outcomes would be better... and, it would be more cost-effective over the long-run.  One of them is Ithaca's Ian Golden... who says citizens pay about $3.2-trillion for health care each year.  He says projections are that "Medicare for All" would cost $1.8-to-$2.5-trillion.  Most of the candidates -- including Ithaca's Tracy Mitrano -- supported a "phasing-in" of a lower age for people to go onto the "Medicare for All" program.  Another candidate from the eastern part of the district... Linda Andrei... agrees with a phasing-in of a lower age.  Mitrano added that there is currently a House bill that would eliminate the current "profit-motive system" of health care.
 
 

Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 17, 2018

A Cattaraugus County has been arrested for allegedly raping, and sexually assaulting a child in the city of Olean...   Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 32 year-old Shawn Sayers, Sen...

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