News Update for Fri., Oct. 31, 2014

Four arrested during drug raids in Falconer, and West Ellicott...

Two more drug raids just outside of Jamestown have netted four arrests by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the first raid occured at 11 a.m. at 308 Central Ave. in Falconer... not far from Falconer Central School.  Samuelson says they found a significant amount of "crack" cocaine... and Heroin inside -- along with cash.  He adds that task force arrested 35 year-old Watkine Watkins at the home.  He faces one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Three small children were found inside.  Task Force members later raided the home at 112 Frederick Boulevard in West Ellicott... and, found a father and son.  Samuelson says 44 year-old Thomas Kimbrough, Sr., and Thomas, Jr., were arrested after being found in possession of more than an ounce of powder cocaine... and, marijuana, in addition to cash.  Both Kimbrough's face criminal posession charges.  A fourth person who arrived after the raid began at the Falconer location was also arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.

 

Young makes her unopposed run for re-election official...

State Senator Cathy Young faces no opposition in next Tuesday's election... but, is now officially announcing she is seeking re-election.  The 57th District she represents includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and part of Livingston counties.  Young says it's been a "tremendous honor and privilege to represent the people in my district, and we have had many successes, but there is more that must be done."  The Olean Republican is endorsed on the Republican, Independence and Conservative lines.  Senator Young highlighted job creation and economic growth, tax relief, quality education and access to health care as her top priorities.  She says "New York needs to become a more affordable place to live, work and do business."  In her next term... Young says she'll push to expand workforce training so people can get the job they want... and, bolster mandate relief to lower costs to local governments that drive up local property taxes.

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News update for Fri., Oct. 31, 2014

Four arrested made by Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force following raids in town of Ellicott...

Two more drug raids in Falconer and West Ellicott this afternoon have netted four arrests by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  Ellicott Town Police confirm they executed one search warrant on Central Avenue in Falconer... where two people were arrested.  Police officials say the second warrant was carried out on Frederick Boulevard in West Ellicott.  No names have yet been released... but, a quantity of drugs were seized during the raids.  The task force is made up of members of the Jamestown and Ellicott Police Departments, and the State Police C-NET Team.  More information when it becomes available.

 

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News update for Fri., Oct. 31, 2014

City police investigating suspect(s) throwing rocks, vandalizing businesses and homes in downtown area...

City police are investigating a number of complaints about broken windows in businesses and homes recently in the downtown area.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a surveillance video caught the latest one i nwhich a man is caught throwing a rock at a window at the Prendergast Library at 509 Cherry Street.  The incident occured at 8:24 p.m. this past Monday night.  The man threw the rock... then ran off towards Sixth Street and then Seventh.  We have the pictures on our Facebook page at facebook/radiojamestown.com.  Anyone who may recognize the suspect is asked to call the JPD Investigative Unit at 483-7531... or their tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

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News Alert for Thurs., Oct. 30, 2014

(**Bulletin)Elite Midwestern collegiate wood bat, Prospect League, to play in Jamestown starting next season....

It took less than two months to find a comparable replacement for the Jamestown Jammers Class-A Baseball team to play at Russell E. Diethrick Park.  City officials, members of the Jamestown Baseball Advisory Committee, and officials with the Prospect League, and RS Entertainment announced this afternoon that the league's Lorain, Ohio franchise would be relocating to Jamestown in 2015.  RS Partner Kevin Rhomberg, was among those on hand for the announcement at home plate at Diethrick Park.  Rhomberg says they're excited to be bringing their brand of collegiate star-baseball to Jamestown.  The new franchise, which doesn't have a name yet, will play 60-games next season in the 12-team league.

  

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Air travelers can now begin booking flights from the Greater Chautauqua-Jamestown Airport -- Robert H. Jackson Field with the airport's new carrier -- Sun Air Express.  Chautauqua County officials... and, representatives of Sun Air were in Jamestown today to announce details of the air service... which begins this Saturday morning.  Airport Manager Bill Tucker says they're excited to have Sun Air providing 24 weekly round trip flights to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Tucker says Sun Air... which is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida... is an independent regional carrier... which means it doesn't have to answer to a bigger, parent company.  However... he says there will be plenty of connecting opportunities to other locations.  Tucker adds they're going to be using smaller, Piper Navajo Chieftan planes.  He says they're eight-seat aircraft... and, he says passengers will be dropped off at the intersection of all the main concourses in Pittsburgh.  Sun Air officials add that local travelers will enjoy single-ticket, low-fare conections to more than 40 cities served non-stop from Pittsburgh.  Ticket prices begin at 29-dollars when booked on-line at Flysunairexpress-dot-COM.  For more information... you can also call 1-(877)-849-4998.

 

An Ashville man is jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail for allegedly sexually abusing a young girl.  Sheriff's Deputies say they recently began investigating allegations that 57 year-old Edwin "Chino" Millan of Church Street was having the inappropriate relationship with the juvenile.  Officers were assisted by county Child Protective Services... and, the Child Advocacy Program... and, charged Millan with two counts each of first-degree sexual abuse... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Officers say Millan was arrested without incident... arraigned in North Harmony Town Court... and, sent to the county lock-up.


There won't be any further cuts... but, nothing will be added to the police and fire department budgets in the city of Jamestown next year.  That from City Council President Greg Rabb... who says lawmakers this week met with Police Chief Harry Snellings and Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey about their spending plans.  Rabb says -- in the minds of council members... there is nothing more important than public safety.  He says that's especially when it comes to "cracking down" on drug dealers. However... Rabb says fire also faces similar issues with fires in vacant buildings... or being called to an alleged "Meth" house... like they have in recent days.  He says Snellings has asked for a number of items to be returned, or added to the budget... but, he says that's not going to happen.  Rabb adds they also learned that getting assets from drug forefeitures can be a tricky matter... and, he says the department needs a new patrol car.  Rabb adds a request for more officers can't be filled due to budgetary constraints.  The budget hearing will be on Monday, November 17th at 6 PM in City Council Chambers.

 

Jamestown's new Veteran's Memorial Park will be officially dedicated a week from this Saturday as the city's Veteran's Commission nears it's fund-raising goal.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says most of the major work has been completed at what had unofficially been called "Logan Park."  Teresi says completion of the project has been a long-time coming... but, says it's been well-worth it.  He urges residents to be there on Saturday, November 8th, at 10 AM. Teresi says the final cost will be 150-thousand dollars... and, he commended those heading up the mainly private effort by Chairman Ron Cotton of the Veteran's Commission... and, it's members -- including Councilman George Spitale.  The commission still needs 65-hundred dollars to reach it's goal.  Teresi says the city's Public Works... and, the Parks and Recreation Departments... have been very involved in getting the memorial in place.  City lawmakers this past Monday night unanimously voted to name the park "Veteran's Memorial Park."

 

The problem of "Zombie" properties across the state -- and parts of Chautauqua County -- has been raised by the challenger in the 150th District Assembly race.  Democrat Barrie Yochim says he backs legislation being pushed by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the 'Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief' Act.  It would require banks to notify homeowners who've fallen behind in mortgage payments that they are still allowed to live in the home during the foreclosure process.  They would also be given every opportunity to catch up on mortgage payments.  Yochim says it  would also require the bank to take over the upkeep and maintenance of the property if the homeowner leaves before the foreclosure is completed. Yochim's opponent... incumbent Republican Andy Goodell... opposes the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act since it could result in higher interest rates and liability costs for all property owners. Yochim says he understands Goodell's concerns, but says it's worth the effort.  He says he's for this "bottom up" approach that will help people trying to stay in their homes.  When the legislation was announced announced earlier this year... there were over 15-thousand properties across the state involved in "zombie" foreclosures.  

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen almost five-cents a gallon this week to just over 3-dollars-46 cents.  That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the price for regular, unleaded is based on reports from 18 service stations in the area.  The Fuel Gauge reports the actual price is now 3-dollars-46.5 cents... compared to last week’s 3--51.2.  The average price for unleaded, regular now in New York is just over 3-dollars-40 cents.  Nationally... the average price is now 3-dollars-3 cents per gallon, the lowest mark since December 27th of 2010.  Today’s price is six cents less than one week ago.

 

The retiring director of the St. Susan's Center in Jamestown says she's just as "passionate" about her work now as the day she first began as a volunteer at the soup kitchen.  Center Director Sue Colwell was honored last night for her eight years of work at the Water Street location... especially her past five as director.  A retirement party for Colwell was held at St. Susan's for Colwell... who says it's been an overwhelming experience. Colwell says it's hard to pick out what she's most proud of during her near decade of service.  However... she says a large part of it is the people she's worked with -- directly and indirectly.  As for the future... Colwell says she's going back to being a volunteer because she says she "wants to still be involved."   Colwell has presided over the faith-based organization... which has been housed the past several years in the Gateway Center... during a time of unprecidented growth.  However... Colwell says the community response to the need has been phenominal.  Her last day is Friday.  New Director Jeff Smith officially takes over Saturday.

 

New infestations by two devastating forest pests have been detected at opposite ends of New York state, endangering pines in Long Island and hemlocks in a rugged canyon south of Buffalo.  A Cornell Cooperative Extension scientist discovered a tree infested by hemlock woolly adelgid this fall in Deer Lick Conservation Area in Cattaraugus County.

 

State environmental officials say remaining deer management permits will be available to hunters beginning Saturday.  The state DEC has announced that the permits in some wildlife management units will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Deer management permits allow hunters to take antlerless deer in specific wildlife management units as a way to control deer populations.  The remaining permits are in areas where the target has not been reached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 27, 2014

(**Alert)Pagan appointed to City Council...

The Jamestown City Council has unanimously approved the Rev. Alfonso Pagan to be the new representative from Ward-Three.  Lawmakers okayed Mayor Sam Teresi's appointment at Monday night's meeting.  Pagan replaces Tamara Dickey, who resigned from the panel last week due to a job promotion that would take her out of town more often.  Pagan is pastor of the First Covenant Church's Hispanic branch, which meets at the church.  He is the first Hispanic member of the city council in nearly 20 years.  More tomorrow.

 

 

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 27, 2014

**JHS Band back victorious from state championships in Syracuse...

The JHS Red Raider Marching Band is back from the state championships in Syracuse, after winning the Large Division-2 title.  We have a picture on our Facebook page, and full details later on our Media One Group stations!!!

 

Accused sex offender from Falconer gets 20 years in prison, 20 years post-release supervision...

A Falconer man will spend the next 20 years in state prison following his guilty plea to first-degree Criminal Sex Act in Chautauqua County Court.  District Attorney David Foley says 29 year-old Brandon Byard received the sentence this morning from County Court Judge John Ward.  Foley adds that Byard will also spend 20 years in post-release supervision.  He says the plea and sentence -- "send a clear message that we are committed to prosecuting child sexual cases to the fullest extent of the law."  Foley also commended the Jamestown and Ellicott Police Departments... and, Child Advocacy Program for their dedication to investigating these incidents.  He says he was pleased with the outcome because it helps the victims "avoid the necessity and trauma of a trial."


Teresi calls Jamestown receiving $1.6-million in federal funding for part of Rivewalk Project...

The city of Jamestown is receiving $1.6-million in federal transporation funding for the city's ongoing Riverwalk Project.  The announcement was made earlier today by Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says the city is getting the largest amount of funding outside of New York City.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says this is "absolutely huge" for the city... and, says they're thrilled to be receving the money.  Teresi says the money will be used to construct two pedestrian bridges connecting the south and north shores of the riverwalk's path.  He says, linking the southside with the northside of the Chadakoin River -- connecting the train station and Gateway Park project -- will enhance the riverwalk's use.  Teresi says the first span will connected the Riverwalk's northside -- behind the Gateway Train Station -- to Panzarella Island on the Board of Public Utilities' campus.  The second bridge will like the northside to the south near the former Evan's Skateland building is located.  Teresi says the city is receiving private funding to cover the approximately $400,000 needed to cover the local share of the project.


Tractor operator in Cattaraugus County seriously hurt after tractor is struck from behind by SUV...

A Cattarugus County man is being treated for serious injuries after his tractor was struck from behind by a Sports Utility Vehicle last Saturday night in New Albion.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the Ford Explorer... driven by 25 year-old Lyndsay Feuerstein of Cattaraugus... was southbound on Route 353 when the vehicle struck the unregistered tractor.  The tractor's driver, 68 year-old Thomas Flattery of Cattaraugus, was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of head, neck and back injuries.  Deputies say Feuerstein was treated for facial and arm injuries at Bertran-Chaffee Hospital in Springville.  No charges were filed.

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WJTN News Headlines

Four people were hurt -- two seriously -- in a single-car accident early last weekend in the Cattaraugus County Town of Perrysburg.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the driver... who was not identified... was northbound on North Road about 2 AM Saturday when the operator lost control of the vehicle.  Deputies say the car went off the road... and, slammed into a telephone pole before overturning.  Officers say the driver, and front seat passenger, were flown by medivac helicopters to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment.  Deputies say two backseat passengers were taken by ambulance to ECMC with non-life threatening injuries.  Officers say several fire rescue crews responded.  The investigation is continuing... and, charges are pending.

 

Police have found the dead body of a Cattaraugus County man who went missing in the town of Freedom last Wednesday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were notified late last Wednesday that 22 year-old Jared Kraft had been missing since he was last seen by family leaving his home on Route 98 about 2:30 PM.  Deputies say they were told that Kraft was believed to be distraught, and was carrying a guitar case concealing a rifle.  Officers brought in a K-9 unit... and, state police helicopter to find the man.  However... none of their searches were successful until Kraft's body was found in a small, wooded area of the town of Freedom last Saturday night.  Sheriff's officers say their investigation is ongoing... and, if you have any information on the case... contact them at 938-9191.

 

A Dunkirk man has repaid the Lakeshore Midget Football League nearly 5-thousand dollars he allegedly stole from the organization earlier this fall.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's investigators say they arrested 41 year-old Allen Carlson, Junior for allegedly taking the money... which belonged to the league... to pay off debt he owed.  Carlson was League Treasurer at the time.  He's accused of taking 47-hundred-85 dollars from this past September 8th through October 15th.  Officers say the league is comprised of 10 teams from across the county... including Sherman-Ripley, Bemus Point, Southwestern, Frewsburg, Cassadaga, Falconer and Panama.  Deputies say Carlson allegedly took the money from the league's account for two months before someone spotted it.  Once they were alerted to the situation... Sheriff's investigators looked into the matter... and, Carlson was arrested for Grand Larceny.  They say he did pay the league back the same day of his arrest.  Carlson will appear in Chauauqua Town Court at a later date.

 

The Jamestown High School Marching Band has taken the top spot in its division at the annual state championships.  The Red Raiders competed Sunday at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse against six other bands in the 'Large School 2' category.  Jamestown finished with an 89.60 score.  The band from Webster, NY came in second at 87.10.  Jamestown's presentation, called Gold Rush, is an original show that captures the excitement and challenge of discovering gold in California in the 1800's. The group has been working on perfecting the show since the summer.  The band buses are expected back at Jefferson School around 5 this afternoon.  Members of the public are invited to greet the championship band as they return home. 

 

Democratic Congressional candidate Martha Robertson says incumbant Tom Reed has distorted her record of support for the NRG Repowering project in Chautauqua County.  However... Reed stands by his comments regarding Robertson... and, the support she's received from the Sierra Club... which is suing the Public Service Commission over it's approval of the project.  While Robertson is now voicing support of repowering the plant with natural gas... that wasn't her stand in the beginning.  On our "Community Spotlight" program last weekend... Reed says she supported repowering with a type of "green energy....." Reed also says that he's been behind the repowering effort since Day-One.  However... Robertson says she's been supportive since the beginning, also.  She adds that she was also on hand when Governor Cuomo traveled to Dunkirk last December to announce approval of the project.  Robertson says she stood with the "working families of Chautauqua County... and, Reed was not there.  Robertson says that, while she has the backing of the Sierra Club... she doesn't agree with them 100-percent of the time.  However... Reed says Robertson also has the financial backing 24 members of the Ratepayer group that has also signed onto the lawsuit against the PSC.

 

The governors of New Jersey and New York say they're issuing a mandatory quarantine for travelers who have had contact with Ebola-infected patients in West Africa.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a health care worker who had contact with Ebola patients in Africa already has been quarantined even though she has no symptoms.  They say the woman landed Friday at Newark-Liberty Airport.

 

Republican candidate Rob Astorino has raised another 711-thousand dollars for his challenge against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and is entering the final weeks of the campaign with a little over one-million dollars in his campaign account.  Cuomo's campaign reported that it had raised an additional 731-thousand dollars since October 4th... and, has $15.8 million on hand.


 

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 24, 2014

Another city man arrested during third Meth Lab bust in two days...

The execution of a Felony warrant on Jamestown's southside has led to the discovery of another "one-pot" Methamphetime Lab.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were looking for 27 year-old Steven Whalen at 115 Wilton Ave. Thursday afternoon, when they found the suspect.  Samuelson says he was wanted for violating his probation.  He says officers spotted items used to make meth... and, arrested Whalen.  Samuelson adds they called in members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, they obtained a search warrant... and, found even more materials.  The state Police C-NET, and Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team, were also called in, and they found the lab between the attic and basement areas.  Samuelson says no manufactured Meth has been found as yet.  However... he says the CCSERT Team was able to safely remove the materials from the home.  Samuelson says the operation was taking place with a 3 year-old living in the home.  With that... Whalen faces charges including unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetime... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Samuelson says they can't completely put their finger on it... but, says the recent proliferation of Meth Labs appears to be driven by demand... which is why they're asking the public for any tips they may have.  He says it helped in shutting down these three.  Samuelson says more charges are pending against Whelen.. and, more arrests are expected.  If you have any information on the illegal trafficking of drugs in the city... call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Two Dunkirk residents arrested for alleged Heroin sales...

Dunkirk Police... along with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... have cracked down on Heroin sales in the north county city... and, have made two arrests within 24 hours.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the arrests involved the same location on West 2nd St.  Ortolano says 36 year-old Yolanda Maldonado-Classen was arrested for allegedly selling the drug to undercover drug agents.  Yesterday... he says 41 year-old Raymond Santiago-Rodriguez was taken into custody for allegedly doing the same thing.  The charges against both include third-degree criminal sale... and, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance stemming from an ongoing investigation into sales of the narcotic drug.  Ortolano says the heroin addiction problem continues to grow, not only locally, but across the "entire country."  Maldonado-Classen and Rodriguez were scheduled to be arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and, are expected to be remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville.

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown men are under arrest... and, one home has been condemned... following raids on two allegedly Meth Houses in the city last night.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... along with the State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team... entered the home at 607 Lafayette Street just before 6 PM... and, found four ounces of Methamphetime.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they also found several items used to make Meth... and, arrested 30 year-old Beau Jones.  Just after 6 PM... Samuelson says they raided the home at 238 Forest Avenue... and found a quantity of Meth... and, materials used to manufacture the drug.  Police arrested a second suspect... 38 year-old Richard Dean... at that residence.  Jones faces two Felony charges... while Dean has been charged with two misdemeanor counts.  Police say the home at 238 Forest Avenue has been condemned... and, more charges are pending in connection with that case.  Anyone with information on the illegal trafficking of drugs in the city is asked to call 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

City fire crews remain on the scene of an overnight fire on Jamestown's southside.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 206 McKinley Street just before 3 AM.  Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says fire was showing from the basement to the 2nd floor on arrival... and, spread to the attic as they were battling the blaze.  Russo says the home... which housed three-apartments... appears to have been vacant.  Fire investigators are on the scene to determine whether an emergency demotion is needed.  The cause is under investigation.

 

In what may be a record time... Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, amended budget with little discussion.  The legislature last night approved a 228-and-a-half million dollar spending plan unanimously... within about 10 minutes.  Lawmakers approved 10 amendments that had earlier sailed through the Audit and Control Committee... then unanimously approved the budget... which includes a 2-cent per thousand full value tax rate reduction.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very pleased" to have the spending plan in place.
The amendments reduced spending by about 771-thousand dollars from Horrigan's proposal... leaving a tax levy increase of about a quarter-of-a-million dollars.  While he's "excited" to have the new spending plan in place... Horrigan admits there are a couple of concerns.  One is the more-aggressive revenues and reimbursements the spending plan calls for.  Horrigan says the second is keeping in mind there's still a 6-million dollar "structural deficit" that has to be closed.  He says his next step will be to name a "Deficit Reduction Team" in the near future.  Once his budget teams looks over the final budget... Horrigan expects to sign the spending plan.

 

County lawmakers hope to again bring back jobs to a soon-to-be vacant industrial building... this time in the north county.  During it's regular, monthly meeting Wednesday afternoon... the legislature unanimously approved loaning 2-million dollars to the Industrial Development Agency to buy ConAgra's Carriage House facility in Dunkirk.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very optimistic" that they'll have someone inside the 26 Talcott Street facility by the middle of next year. Some have said the building isn't worth 2-million dollars... but, Horrigan says county officials are aware of what businesses feels such a facility is worth.  He says -- with incentives from the state -- they believe they can get someone in the building in about six-months.  Horrigan says "several businesses" are interested in the facility because it has a lot of storage area... including frozen storage space.  He adds that IDA Director Kevin Sanvidge has been working hard on the project... and, is experienced in "this kind of business." Also last night... Jamestown Democrat Paula DeJoy announced the budget meeting was her last legislature meeting.  DeJoy says she's resigning because she has moved out of her legislative district.

 

A state Trooper from Elmira concluded testimony yesterday in the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court.  District Attorney David Foley confirms that a second member of the group of four Elmira-area men accused in the torture-deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner finished his testimony earlier in the day.  The Buffalo News reports that 19 year-old Ricky Knickerbocher testified that Coggins initially had plans to rob a drug dealer in Buffalo... but, they were unable to find his house.  With that... Knickerbocher said Coggins knew of a relative's home in the town of Carroll that they could rob easily.  He says that was because the Skinner's kept money and jewelry there.  Knickerbocher testified that he did not kill the couple... who were found stabbed several times... and, Gordon Skinner had been set on fire.  The trial resumes at 9 this morning.

 

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he's "very sorry" to see Third-Ward City Councilwoman Tamara Dickey resign her position... and, says he hopes to fill her seat as soon as possible.  Teresi is reacting to Dickey's e-mail to city lawmakers, and Clerk Jim Olson announcing her intentions after receiving a career promotion.  Under the City Charter... Teresi says he must pick a replacement from the Third-Ward who is member of the same political party.  He says he's already spoken with a couple of Republicans... but, adds he's still looking for input on the process.
Teresi... who is a Democrat... says he feels it's important to fill Dickey's seat as soon as possible for two reasons.  One is the fact City Council members have just begun their review of his 2015 budget proposal... and, he'd like to have another 'set of eyes' looking at the 34.7-million dollar spending plan.  Teresi says he believes councilmembers feel the same way.  Once Teresi makes a choice... the city council would have to then approve the appointment.

 

The federal prosecutor who took over the files of New York's Moreland anti-corruption commission says investigations into Albany's pay-to-play politics are continuing and declines to say when they'll be finished. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says New York government has become ``a little bit of a corruption disaster.''

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down less than a penny this week to just over 3-dollars-51 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  That from the Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the price is down about half-a-penny from last week.  Gasoline was just over 3-dollars-69 cents a gallon at this time last year.  The state-wide average price for regular, unleaded is now about 3-45 a gallon.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge reports that the average price is down about 10-cents a gallon to 3-dollars-9 cents per gallon.

 

A Jamestown woman who has been a very active member of the Zonta Club of Jamestown has been named as the women's organization's Zontian of the Year.  Rosanna Papalia is currently the Public Relations Chairwoman for the local club.  Zonta International's mission is to advance the status of women locally, and worldwide.  Rosie recently told us that a small committee of the Zonta Club decided on the recipient.  The seven-year member says she was both "humbled" and "honored" to learn she was getting the award. The award was recently presented at the Marvin House during a special dinner held for the occasion.  Rosie Papalia says she first became involved with the Zonta Club because it supports efforts to end domestic violence... and, help victims through the ANEW Center.  She says her family has seen the effects of domestic violence.  Rosie is a producer for Kernel... which is a Time-Warner Media Company... here in Jamestown.  Rosie is the wife of Media One Group employee, Brian Papalia.

 

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Pittsburgh to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.  The Wolf campaign said Clinton will lead a mid-day rally next Monday at an electrical workers' union hall on Pittsburgh's South Side.  Wolf is challenging Republican Governor Tom Corbett's re-election bid.  Clinton is the third political celebrity to campaign for Wolf in as many weeks, following separate appearances in Philadelphia by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and first lady Michelle Obama.  Like them, Clinton is beating a path around the country campaigning for Democrats who are running for governor or U.S. Senate.  Corbett is Pennsylvania's former two-term attorney general from suburban Pittsburgh.  Wolf is a first-time candidate from York County who ran his family's furniture and cabinet-distribution business for almost three decades.


 

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News Update for Wed., Oct. 22, 2014

County Legislature approves 2015 budget in what may be record time...

In what may be a record time... Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, amended budget with little discussion.  The legislature last night approved a $228.5-million spending plan unanimously... within about 10 minutes.  Lawmakers approved 10 amendments that had earlier sailed through the Audit and Control Committee... then unanimously approved the budget... which includes a 2-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate reduction.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's "very pleased" to have the spending plan in place.  Horrigan says "we're all working together right now" and that's benefitting the people of Chautauqua County.  The amendments reduced spending by about $771,000 from Horrigan's proposal... leaving a tax levy increase of about a quarter-of-a-million dollars.  While he's "excited" to have the new spending plan in place... Horrigan admits there are a couple of concerns.  One is the more-aggressive revenues and reimbursements the spending plan calls for.  Horrigan says the second is keeping in mind there's still a $6-million "structural deficit" that has to be closed.  He says his next step will be to name a "Deficit Reduction Team" in the near future.  Once his budget teams looks over the final budget... Horrigan expects to sign the spending plan.


Second of three co-defendants in Coggins double-murder trial concludes testimony... 
A state Trooper from Elmira concluded testimony Wednesday afternoon in the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court.  District Attorney David Foley confirms that a second member of the group of four Elmira-area men accused in the torture-deaths of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner finished his testimony earlier in the day.  The Buffalo News reports that 19 year-old Ricky Knickerbocher testified that Coggins initially had plans to rob a drug dealer in Buffalo... but, they never found the man.  With that... he said Coggins knew of a relative's home in the town of Carroll that they could rob easily because they kept money and jewelry there.  The trial resumes at 9 a.m. Thursday.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

It was "an opportunity that I could not pass-up."  That from the newest member of the Jamestown City Council... who has announced that she is resigning her seat as of next Monday.  Third-Ward Councilwoman Tamara Dickey says she "sincerely regrets" that she is resigning... but, adds she's received a consulting promotion for a new health care company that has purchased two hospitals out-of-town. Dickey was elected last November to replace former Democrat Councilman Michael Taylor... who moved out of the area.  She adds she was also disappointed that she wasn't able to use her financial skills on city council.  Dickey was named earlier this year to the council's Public Works Committee.  Dickery says she looks forward to working with her successor in Ward-3.  The city charter says the replacement must be from the same politicial party as the out-going seat holder.  Names from Ward-3 candidates would be provided to Mayor Sam Teresi.  He then submits a final name to the City Council for their review... and, approval. 

 

The city of Jamestown will be hard pressed to bring in the current year's spending plan under the approximately 33-million dollars budgeted.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who tells city lawmakers that "not much had changed" from their 6-month report.  In his 9-month financial report... Bellitto said he's hoping that revenues forecasted from payment-in-lieu of tax agreements with the Board of Public Utilities will come in as projected.
Bellitto says another area of concern is overtime spending -- especially for the Department of Public Works -- going into the final two months of the year.  If there's an early start to Winter... that could drive that number up.  Bellitto says the other concern they have is regarding health insurance costs... which he says were over budget by 8-percent at mid-year.  He says that number is now 11-percent higher... and, adds he also expects that part of the budget to be over by 100-thousand to 250-thousand dollars.  Another concern... says Bellitto... is over the amount of money they will have to pay to the state's retirement fund.

 

Ellicott town officials are mourning the loss of a "very dedicated" board member who passed following a short battle with Cancer.  Town Councilman Rob Heintzelman died last Thursday at the age of 52 in his West Ellicott home.  Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says Heintzelman was a 10-year board member who always kept an eye on the town's fiscal affairs.  Miller says Heintzelman was well-schooled in finance and bookkeeping. The town board met last night... but, Miller says the panel won't be deciding on a replacement for a while yet.  With the November elections coming up in less than two weeks... a special election won't be held until next year.  Miller says the board will make an appointment in the near future.  Heintzelman served on the board for 10 years... and, represented the second-ward -- which is mainly the West Ellicott area.

 

A Stockton man escaped serious injury Monday night after he swerved to miss a deer... and, his car slammed into a tree head-on in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of a one-car accident about 7:30 PM... and, found the driver, 19 year-old Robert Keech, was southbound on Cemetery Road... and, allegedly swerved to miss the deer.  Keech told deputies his car veered off the road, through an open field, before hitting the tree.  Officers say Keech was taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital for treatment.  He was ticketed for not wearing a seat belt.

 

Ground has been broken on the newest Senior Housing project in the Jamestown-area... this one on the eastern end of the town of Busti.  The property has been cleared... and, structural work on the new Fairway Pointe Senior Village will soon be underway.  County, and Busti Town officials joined representatives from Calamar Construction and Development for the ground-breaking at 21-23 Southwestern Drive... just northeast of Southwestern Central School.  Calamar's director of Leasing, and Lifestyle... Tina Partridge-Vinocur... says they're excited to have the project underway. Vinocur says Calamar... which is based out of Wheatfield, New York... felt the location was ideal for a Senior living facility... which will overlook the Sunset Valley Golf Course.  She adds their research also showed a need for more moderate-income housing.  Vinocur says Fairway Pointe will be a three-story structure... with units priced about 900 to one-thousand dollars a month.  She says it will include a number of amenties... including washers and dryers in each room... and, a community room.  Vinocur says they expect to be up and running in about a year.  To find out more about pre-leasing... call 1-855-357-7755... or go on-line to Calamar-dot-COM.

 

New York's attorney general is warning consumers about scammers preying on Ebola fears with fundraising scams claiming to benefit victims... and, dubious offers of so-called preparedness kits that claim to contain preventive medicines.  A-G Eric Schneiderman says there is no approved vaccine.  He says scammers are ``shamefully exploiting'' heightened concerns since a few cases have been documented in the U.S. following an outbreak earlier this year in Africa.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms appear... and, isn't spread through the air.

 

Maintenance work on a bridge on Route 60 in the north county has begun... and, the state Department of Transporation says traffic will be restricted because of it.  DOT Regional Spokeswoman Susan Surdej (Sir-day) says the span over Canadaway Creek in the town of Promfret is being repaired and cleaned up.  With that... Surdej says there will be lane closures between Spoden and Shumla Roads.  She says traffic will be one-lane... and, controlled by temporary traffic signals.  Work is expected to last for about three weeks.

 

The state agriculture department has granted 17.6-million dollars to protect more than 64-hundred acres of farmland across New York state... ensuring the land will remain agricultural and won't be developed.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the funds will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties, bringing the total acreage under the farmland protection program to approximately 59,000 acres.

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News Update for Tues., Oct. 21, 2014

Dickey resigning from City Council effective October 24...

The newest member of the Jamestown City Council has announced that she is resigning her seat as of next Monday.  Third-Ward Councilwoman Tamara Dickey confirmed for WJTN News this afternoon that she is stepping down, effective Oct. 24.  In an e-mail to city lawmakers, Dickey says she "sincerely regrets" that she is resigning... but, adds she has a career opportunity she can't turn down.  She further stated in the e-mail that she and her husband will "continue to support and pray for you and all of the Jamestown Council Leaders."  Dickery also said she looks forward to working with her successor in Ward-Three.  As the rules are understood, the city's Republican Committee would have to chose someone for Mayor Sam Teresi to nominate to fill that seat until a special election could be held.


Dolce says city lawmakers looking for ways to help city departments that aren't getting any more money in 2015 budget plan...

City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, $34.7-million budget for next year.  Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about $2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment.  However... that's not in the budget proposal.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds.  Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding.   Currently... the money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county.  He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase.  However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap.  If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes. 

 

Miller says late Ellicott Councilman, Rob Heintzelman, will "be missed...."

Ellicott town officials are mourning the loss of a long-term board member who passed away last week following a battle with Cancer.  Town Councilman Rob Heintzelman died last Thursday at the age of 52 in his West Ellicott home.  Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says Heintzelman was a "very dedicated" public servant who always kept an eye on the town's fiscal affairs.  Miller says Heintzelman was well-schooled in finance and bookkeeping... and, was always "great" to have around at budget time.  The town board met last night... but, Miller says the panel won't be deciding on a replacement for a while yet.  With the November elections coming up in less than two weeks... a special election won't be held until next year.

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WJTN News Headlines

City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 34.7-million dollar budget for next year.  Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about 2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment.  However... that's not in the budget proposal.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds.  Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding. Dolce says money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county.  He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase.  However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap.  If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes.  City lawmakers will review the two biggest parts of the budget... police and fire... next week.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend.  City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 AM Saturday at 417 James Avenue.  On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.'  Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp.  The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location.  After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested.  During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms.  Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded.  Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.

 


Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- when they were hit by a car on Jamestown's Washington Street on the city's westside.  Jamestown Police say officers were called to the scene -- at the intersection with West Eighth Street -- shortly before 1 PM Sunday.  Police say the vehicle was southbound on Washington when it struck the girls... ages 13 and 16... as they tried to cross the street away from the crosswalk.  Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both.  The 13 year-old, from Jamestown, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old, whose from Lakewood, was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released.  City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.

 


The Chautauqua County League of Women Voters will be holding Meet the Candidates events in both the north and county county this week.  The first will be tonight in Jamestown... while the second will be in Fredonia Thursday.  The League's Minda Rae Amiran says the candidates running for Family Court Judge... and, the State Assembly will be on hand.  However... only one of the candidates running for Sheriff will be there.  Amiran says they had invited both incumbant Democrat Joe Gerace, and Republican challenger Russ Payne to the forums.  Amiran says Payne initially turned down their invitation... then said he would debate... then again declined.
Amiran says their rules allow for one of the two candidates to appear in a "local race."  The League will hold forums in Jamestown tonight at 7 PM at the Robert H. Jackson Center... and, Thursday night at Fredonia Village Hall.  Both events are open to the public.

 

The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well.  Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress.  However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values. Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act.  While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- and those are hunters.  He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day.  Moss says New York already had the most stringent gun regulations in the country in place prior to the SAFE Act's enactment... and, he feels it does nothing more than penalize law-abiding gun owners.

 

The Republican candidate for governor says entire planeloads of passengers should be turned away in New York if anyone aboard is traveling from the West African nations plagued with Ebola.  Rob Astorino said on a telephone news conference Monday that even American citizens -- for example, a tourist returning from Paris -- should not be allowed to disembark.  Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo should order the state health commissioner to ``close those gates at the airport.''  Cuomo said earlier Monday that the federal government should consider a ban on flights to New York from the three West African nations.

 

A new political commercial is critical of the two Republican's at the top of the state-wide ticket for not releasing five-year financial statements.  The Democrat-backed ad says Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has released one year... but, Chris Moss has released no financial information.  Moss says the commercial is making financial disclosure an issue because his Democratic counterpart... Kathy Hochul... has turned down doing any debates.
Moss says he has nothing to hide... adding his financial information is out there... and, was obtained by Hochul's campaign team.  He says he's made about 90-thousand dollars a year for each of the past five years... and, he has received no outside income.  Moss says his campaign asked Hochul's campaign for three debates... but, was turned down on each request.  The only debate among candidates at the top of the Republican and Democrat tickets will be between Governor Cuomo and Astorino later this month in Buffalo.

 

New York students will have more ways to earn a high school diploma under a change approved by state education leaders.  Right now... students must pass five Regents exams to graduate -- one each in English, science and math and two in history.  The plan approved by the Board of Regents yesterday would let students replace one of the history exams with a comparable exam in their chosen career field.

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WJTN News Headlines

City lawmakers have begun their review of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 34.7-million dollar budget for next year.  Spending plans for Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Youth Services were dissected during the City Council's work session last night.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman discussed the need to replace about 2.7-million dollars worth of DPW equipment.  However... that's not in the budget proposal.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says any replacement would likely be done either borrowing, or using excess contingency funds.  Dolce adds they're also looking at how Youth Services gets it's funding. Dolce says money for the department still comes from the state... but now is "passed through" the county.  He says the entire spending plan is a good start... but, adds there's always room for improvement because there is a 2.35-percent tax increase.  However... he says it is under the 2-percent property tax cap.  If the budget remains that way... city taxpayers would receive a rebate check from the state for the added taxes.  City lawmakers will review the two biggest parts of the budget... police and fire... next week.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend.  City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 AM Saturday at 417 James Avenue.  On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.'  Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp.  The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location.  After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested.  During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms.  Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded.  Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.

 


Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- when they were hit by a car on Jamestown's Washington Street on the city's westside.  Jamestown Police say officers were called to the scene -- at the intersection with West Eighth Street -- shortly before 1 PM Sunday.  Police say the vehicle was southbound on Washington when it struck the girls... ages 13 and 16... as they tried to cross the street away from the crosswalk.  Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both.  The 13 year-old, from Jamestown, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old, whose from Lakewood, was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released.  City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.

 


The Chautauqua County League of Women Voters will be holding Meet the Candidates events in both the north and county county this week.  The first will be tonight in Jamestown... while the second will be in Fredonia Thursday.  The League's Minda Rae Amiran says the candidates running for Family Court Judge... and, the State Assembly will be on hand.  However... only one of the candidates running for Sheriff will be there.  Amiran says they had invited both incumbant Democrat Joe Gerace, and Republican challenger Russ Payne to the forums.  Amiran says Payne initially turned down their invitation... then said he would debate... then again declined.
Amiran says their rules allow for one of the two candidates to appear in a "local race."  The League will hold forums in Jamestown tonight at 7 PM at the Robert H. Jackson Center... and, Thursday night at Fredonia Village Hall.  Both events are open to the public.

 

The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well.  Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress.  However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values. Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act.  While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- and those are hunters.  He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day.  Moss says New York already had the most stringent gun regulations in the country in place prior to the SAFE Act's enactment... and, he feels it does nothing more than penalize law-abiding gun owners.

 

The Republican candidate for governor says entire planeloads of passengers should be turned away in New York if anyone aboard is traveling from the West African nations plagued with Ebola.  Rob Astorino said on a telephone news conference Monday that even American citizens -- for example, a tourist returning from Paris -- should not be allowed to disembark.  Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo should order the state health commissioner to ``close those gates at the airport.''  Cuomo said earlier Monday that the federal government should consider a ban on flights to New York from the three West African nations.

 

A new political commercial is critical of the two Republican's at the top of the state-wide ticket for not releasing five-year financial statements.  The Democrat-backed ad says Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has released one year... but, Chris Moss has released no financial information.  Moss says the commercial is making financial disclosure an issue because his Democratic counterpart... Kathy Hochul... has turned down doing any debates.
Moss says he has nothing to hide... adding his financial information is out there... and, was obtained by Hochul's campaign team.  He says he's made about 90-thousand dollars a year for each of the past five years... and, he has received no outside income.  Moss says his campaign asked Hochul's campaign for three debates... but, was turned down on each request.  The only debate among candidates at the top of the Republican and Democrat tickets will be between Governor Cuomo and Astorino later this month in Buffalo.

 

New York students will have more ways to earn a high school diploma under a change approved by state education leaders.  Right now... students must pass five Regents exams to graduate -- one each in English, science and math and two in history.  The plan approved by the Board of Regents yesterday would let students replace one of the history exams with a comparable exam in their chosen career field.

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News Update for Mon., Oct. 20, 2014

Two teens struck by car sent to hospital... one with serious injuries...

Two teenaged girls were hurt -- one seriously -- after they were struck by a car on Jamestown's westside early yesterday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene at Washington and West Eighth Streets... where they found the vehicle was southbound on Washington Street... and, had the green light at the intersection... shortly before 1 p.m.  Officers say the girls... a 13 year-old from Jamestown, and a 16 year-old from Lakewood... were not in the crosswalk... but, began walking across Washington.  Police say the driver of the Volkswagon Jetta was not able to stop in time... and, hit both.  The 13 year-old was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... while the 16 year-old was treated at WCA Hospital... and, later released.  City police ask anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 483-7537.


City man arrested for allegedly threatening girlfriend, police with loaded rifle...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a his girlfriend... then police... with with a high-powered rifle last weekend.  City police were initially called to the scene of a domestic violence incident just after 2 a.m. Saturday at 417 James Ave.  On arrival... officers were told that the woman was inside the house with a disgruntled man who was threatening her... and, said he would shoot responding police 'on sight.'  Officers say she told 9-1-1 dispatchers that her boyfriend, 60 year-old Douglas Smith, had a rifle within his grasp.  The woman was able to leave the house... and, was taken to a safe location.  After a brief standoff... Smith surrendered outside of his residence... and, he was arrested.  During the investigation, it was found that Smith was a convicted felon and that he was in the possession of several firearms.  Officers did secure the weapons, and found one of the rifles to be fully-loaded.  Smith was arraigned on charges of third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail without bail.


Reed throws support to GOP Lt. Gov. candidate Moss...

The Republican candidate running for Lieutenant Governor in New York has received the official backing of Chautauqua County's Congressman.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he has gotten to know Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss... who has been the Central New York county's top-cop since 2005... very well.  Reed says he became a good friend of Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Kathy Hochul when Hochul was in Congress.  However... he feels Moss is the better candidate... and, they share many of the same values.  Reed says that's creating job opportunities, and supporting Second Amendment rights.  Moss says he appreciates Reed's support... especially regarding his opposition of New York's SAFE Act.  While the SAFE Act is not a major campaign issue to many people... Moss believes it will bring out a block of voters that often doesn't vote in large numbers -- hunters.  He feels that will create a large voter turnout on election day. 

 

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 17, 2014

Schuyler reiterates that Chautauqua County is prepared for Ebola -- if it shows up here...

While an outbreak is very unlikely here... Chautauqua County health officials say we’re prepared if a suspected case of Ebola comes up in our emergency response... or health care systems.  That from County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... who says her department has been working with the state Health Department... law enforcement, local hospitals and physicians to ensure they are ready if a suspected Ebola case is discovered.  Schuyler says "we have done a tremendous amount of planning, have established protocols and are fortunate to have such dynamic working relationships already in place.  We will continue to work with all of our partners and make adjustments as necessary in the weeks and months to come in order to best protect Chautauqua County residents."  Schuyler says health care providers have been instructed to ask about recent travel to West Africa and to assess symptoms, which include fever, severe headache, vomiting, diarrhea and unexplained bleeding and bruising.  The patient is to be isolated and lab tests ordered. The samples would then be rushed to Albany, where state epidemiologists would test for the Ebola virus.  The health department also has been in contact with hospitals in the County to make sure they have the capacity and proper facilities to isolate infected patients appropriately.  For more information, log on to www.cdc.gov. or www.health.ny.gov. or call the County’s Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Division at 1-866-604-6789.


County's Audit and Control Committee approves budget amendments that cut executives proposal by 11-cents per $1,000...

It appears that Chautauqua County government is on target for approving an approximately $228-million, 2015 budget for 2015 that includes a slight tax rate decrease.  That after the county legislature's Audit and Control Committee Thursday approved amendments to County Executive Vince Horrigan's spending plan that total about $770,000.  Committee Chairman John Runkle says there was only very brief discussion on the changes... which were approved unanimously.  Runkle says the changes are producing a 2-cents per $1,000 full value tax rate cut.  Runkle says the amendment cuts the full value tax rate in the County Executive's proposal by about 11-cents.  He says most of his fellow lawmakers support the cut... for two reasons.  He says the fact there's a tax cut is number one... and, the second is because they aren't touching any more of the county's undesignated fund balance.  Horrigan urged lawmakers to not use any more of the fund balance for 2015.


Milanov named as new Music Dir. for Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra...

After a four-year search... Chautauqua Institution has a new Symphony Orchestra Music Director known for his "bold programming."  Chautauqua's Associate Director of Programming Deborah Sunya Moore says Rossen Milanov will become the symphony's ninth director during the 2015 season.  Moore says Milanov will also serve as principal conductor... and, artistic director.  She says he's well-known to Chautauquans... having been a visiting director three times in the past.  Moore says Milanov is a native of Bulgaria... and, is 49 years-old.  She says the main search for a new Music Director was held this past year... with an eight-member committee put together.  Moore says they had an "incredible list" of well-qualified people.

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WJTN News Headlines

Six people face drug charges after two seperate raids in Jamestown Thursday afternoon.  The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed two search warrants.  The first was just after 3:30pm  at 165 Barrett where Swat Team Members arrested 46 year old Torry Knight of Jamestown, and 31 year old Ervin Mitchell and 18 year old Rayquan Brooks both of Buffalo after allegedly finding 1 ounce of crack cocaine packaged for sale.  Three more people were arrested in a second raid just after 4pm at 108 Crescent Street after Swat officers allegedly found more than one ounce of crack cocaine and a loaded rifle. 32 year old Ollie Alford of Buffalo, and 24 year old Laura Dubois and 45 year old Lawrence Gary of Jamestown were arrested. All 6 face Criminal Posession of a controlled substance charges, with Alford and Gary facing additional Criminal Posession of a weapon charges because both are convicted felons.  All are being held in the city jail for arraignment. The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force is made up of members from the Jamestown and Ellicott Police Deparments.  They ask anyone who may have information on illegal drug sales to contact their anonymous tip line at 483-8477.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state is ready for Ebola.  Cuomo says eight hospitals across the state are especially prepared with go-to teams who've been drilled in anti-Ebola protocols.  Cuomo told a news conference that, starting Monday, medical experts will be dispatched to hospitals to make sure they have the needed equipment and training for possible Ebola cases.

 

Some 200 unionized workers at RHI Monofrax remain on strike after this week's meeting held to try and address contract issues that led workers to strike at the plant more than two weeks ago.  And... some other unions will be joining workers for a rally in front of the plant at 2 PM today.  A member of the National Conference of Firemen and Oiler's Local-#266 says there was no real head-way made this week on the issue of skyrocketing insurance premiums for employees.  The strike began at Midnight, September 29th.  Wages and benefits have also been an issue during contract negotiations.

 

The Chautauqua County Legislature's main financial panel has approved having the county's Industrial Development Agency buy one of the two Carriage House facilities to market for new use.  That from the chairman of the legislature's Audit and Control Committee... who says the panel unanimously approved having the county buy 2-million dollars in bonds for the IDA to purchase ConAgra's Dunkirk plant on Talcott Street.  Runkle says the purchase would take place later in the year... and, take full effect once the plant is closed. Runkle agrees that the county is "speculating" that someone will ultimately purchase the building.  However... there is precident where the county has purchased industrial buildings in the past... then been able to find a buyer.  That's been the case with the former Sysco facility in Falconer... and, Maplevale Farms in the Clymer area.  The Carriage House facilities in both Dunkirk and Fredonia are scheduled to close at the end of the year as ConAgra moves those operations to Kentucky.  The move will put about 425 employees out of work.

 

Efforts to re-use blighted and foreclosed on properties in Chautauqua County have received a 1.3-million dollar boost from New York state.  The state Attorney General's office announced late yesterday that the county's Landbank Corporation received this latest grant from the Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative.  County Landbank Corporation Board Chairman Peter Lombardi says they're pleased to have received the grant... which he says will allow them to demolish and re-use residential and, mixed-use properties. Lombardi says -- with the county's first grant -- this brings the amount of state funding to get the local program up and running -- totals about 2.8-million dollars.  With that first round... he says they were able to contract with communities to survey or demolish 80 structures... 40 in Jamestown.  Lombardi adds that... for every dollar that those communities invest in demolition... the landbank will match it.  A home on East First Street was recently demolished under the program... and, a number of others are having asbestos surveys.  The contract with Dunkirk was just recently signed to deal with 20 such properties in the north county city.

 

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly threatening people early yesterday morning with a knife at two different homes in the downtown area.  Jamestown Police were called to the first location at 235 Fulton Street shortly after 4 AM on a report of a man allegedly threatening to stab or slash another person.  Officers were initially given a description of a male suspect, and that of a woman who was with him.  While checking the area... police say they were called to another incident at 30 Franklin Street... where the man allegedly had kicked-in the door... and, threatened people in the neighborhood.  After getting further descriptions... officers found 22 year-old Charles Monroe, and the woman, nearby.  But... police say she was not found to be an accomplice.  Monroe was arraigned on charges including two counts of second-degree menacing... criminal mischief... and, aggravated Family Offense... and, sent to the county lock-up.

 

An argument over a fishing area led to the assault of one person this past Tuesday on Keller Road in the town of Busti.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they were called to the scene about 5:30 PM... and, their investigation showed that 80 year-old Burdette Gifford, and his 47 year-old son, Matthew, allegedly struck the man with a shovel.  Matthew Gifford was arraigned, and sent to the County Jail with bail to be set on a third-degree assault charge.  Burdette Gifford was arraigned on the assault and second-degree harassment charges... and, was issued an appearance ticket for Busti Town Court.

 

Will an agreement be reached by later this month on a North County Water District?  The Chautauqua County Water Agency will hold its next meeting later this month, the first such gathering of agency members since May 8th when they agreed on a general concept for the project that included both the city of Dunkirk... and, village of Fredonia.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says talks are continuing and he remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached. However... Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce doesn't seem as optimistic about an agreement being worked out any time soon.  Dolce addressed the issue during his budget announcement on Tuesday... adding, though, that those discussions are continuing.  The Chautauqua County Water Agency is scheduled to meet on October 30th at the Fredonia Incubator on Central Avenue in Dunkirk.  Horrigan hopes to have a draft resolution in time for the meeting. 

 

A Rochester television station says its interview with Governor Cuomo was abruptly cancelled when the station said it wanted to ask him about more than his new memoir.  WHAM-TV reports that the publishers of Cuomo's book arranged the interview for Wednesday night.  A Cuomo aide later called, asking the station to only ask questions about the memoir.  When the station refused, the interview was cancelled.  State Assignment Manager Brian Houseman says the station wanted to ask Cuomo about other issues... such as hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

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WJTN News Headlines

There's great news for motorists in downtown Jamestown... or outsiders who travel through the city.  Mayor Sam Teresi announced just before Noon Wednesday that West 5th Street, from Fairmount Avenue to Washington Street, has been reopened... and, traffic is again moving over it.  Many people questioned why the project... which began in early Summer... took such a long time to complete.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says it was a complete rebuild... and, adds it was "considerably larger" than a typical rebuilding project. Lehman earlier said the project was hampered by our at times wet, and cool Summer.  However... he says the weather the past month was "great..." and, helped them "button up" the project.  Lehman says the final top-coat of asphalt was put over the street Tuesday... and, the remaining work on the cross street intersections was completed by late Wednesday.

 

Chautauqua County's top health official says there's no need for panic locally over what's happening nationally... or internationally regarding the Ebola virus.  However... Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says people do need to keep aware of what's happening as health officials deal with the virus and it's spread.  First... Schuyler says keep track of the travels of anyone you know... especially any international travel because there are people from local churches who go on mission trips. Schuyler also emphasizes that Ebola is not an "airborne" virus, but, is "infectious to the touch..." meaning there needs to be direct contact to contract it.  That direct contact can be broken skin... or, eyes ears nose or mouth has to come in contact with someone showing symptoms.  That's when it's spread.  Schuyler says the county has been receiving guidance from the New York State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the international outbreak... and, now four cases in the U-S.

 

A second Dallas nurse who became infected with the Ebola virus while caring for a dying patient took a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas-Fort Worth this past Mnday.  NBC News reports that's just one day before she reported developing symptoms of infection, according to U.S., and airline officials Wednesday.  The U-S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)... and, the airline said they are reaching out to all 132 passengers who were aboard the flight.

 

While being vigilant about Ebola and the Enterovirus... Christine Schuyler says people should also make sure they are practicing prevention as we head towards the colder weather months.  That means -- first of all -- getting your Flu shot.  Schuyler says those are now available at local doctor's offices, and pharmacies. Schuyler says Enfluenza is a "vaccine-preventable disease."  Others include Pertussus... or Whooping Couch.  Another shot that's available is for Pneumonia. 

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area... and, nationally... have fallen about 9-cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.   The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the average price locally was based on 17 service stations.  The Fuel Gauge reports the price had dropped from 3-dollars-61.1 cents last week to 3--51.7 this week.  One station... earlier in the week... had a price of 3-dollars-47 cents.  Gas was just under 3--70 a gallon at this time last year.  Nationally... the average price for regular, unleaded gasoline has fallen for 19 straight days... reaching today’s price of 3-dollars-19 cents per gallon.  The average price is down in every state and Washington, D.C., in both week-over-week and month-over-month comparisons.  Drivers in six states are paying an average price below three dollars per gallon to refuel their vehicles.  The Triple-A says low demand combined with abundant supply has kept downward pressure on global oil prices.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -- or OPEC -- members are scheduled to meet at the end of November and will reportedly not hold an emergency meeting before then based on current prices, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil.

 

Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce has released his proposed 2015 budget.  The proposed spending plan totals just over 22.3-million dollars -- which is up about 293-thousand dollars from the 2014 budget.  However... Dolce says the city tax rate will remain unchanged.  He says they were able to hold the line because of cost savings. But... Dolce says the budget calls for a hike in water bills... city payers will see their bills increase by about 4-dollars per month and out-of-city ratepayers are slated for a 7-dollar per month increase.  No change is being proposed for sewer rates. 

 

All kidding aside... New York now has an official state snack, and it is yogurt.  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday that gives the dairy product official distinction as the state snack.  The idea of making yogurt the state's official snack came from a 4th-grade class from western New York.  But... lawmakers have taken some heat for the proposal after the state Senate's 45-minute debate on the bill was mocked by David Letterman and Jon Stewart.  New York is the nation's top yogurt producer, making 741 million pounds of the dairy product last year, well above the 591 million produced by second-place California.  Cuomo has called New York the nation's ``yogurt capital.''

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WJTN News Headlines

There's great news for motorists in downtown Jamestown... or outsiders who travel through the city.  Mayor Sam Teresi announced just before Noon Wednesday that West 5th Street, from Fairmount Avenue to Washington Street, has been reopened... and, traffic is again moving over it.  Many people questioned why the project... which began in early Summer... took such a long time to complete.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says it was a complete rebuild... and, adds it was "considerably larger" than a typical rebuilding project. Lehman earlier said the project was hampered by our at times wet, and cool Summer.  However... he says the weather the past month was "great..." and, helped them "button up" the project.  Lehman says the final top-coat of asphalt was put over the street Tuesday... and, the remaining work on the cross street intersections was completed by late Wednesday.

 

Chautauqua County's top health official says there's no need for panic locally over what's happening nationally... or internationally regarding the Ebola virus.  However... Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says people do need to keep aware of what's happening as health officials deal with the virus and it's spread.  First... Schuyler says keep track of the travels of anyone you know... especially any international travel because there are people from local churches who go on mission trips. Schuyler also emphasizes that Ebola is not an "airborne" virus, but, is "infectious to the touch..." meaning there needs to be direct contact to contract it.  That direct contact can be broken skin... or, eyes ears nose or mouth has to come in contact with someone showing symptoms.  That's when it's spread.  Schuyler says the county has been receiving guidance from the New York State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the international outbreak... and, now four cases in the U-S.

 

A second Dallas nurse who became infected with the Ebola virus while caring for a dying patient took a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas-Fort Worth this past Mnday.  NBC News reports that's just one day before she reported developing symptoms of infection, according to U.S., and airline officials Wednesday.  The U-S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)... and, the airline said they are reaching out to all 132 passengers who were aboard the flight.

 

While being vigilant about Ebola and the Enterovirus... Christine Schuyler says people should also make sure they are practicing prevention as we head towards the colder weather months.  That means -- first of all -- getting your Flu shot.  Schuyler says those are now available at local doctor's offices, and pharmacies. Schuyler says Enfluenza is a "vaccine-preventable disease."  Others include Pertussus... or Whooping Couch.  Another shot that's available is for Pneumonia. 

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area... and, nationally... have fallen about 9-cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.   The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the average price locally was based on 17 service stations.  The Fuel Gauge reports the price had dropped from 3-dollars-61.1 cents last week to 3--51.7 this week.  One station... earlier in the week... had a price of 3-dollars-47 cents.  Gas was just under 3--70 a gallon at this time last year.  Nationally... the average price for regular, unleaded gasoline has fallen for 19 straight days... reaching today’s price of 3-dollars-19 cents per gallon.  The average price is down in every state and Washington, D.C., in both week-over-week and month-over-month comparisons.  Drivers in six states are paying an average price below three dollars per gallon to refuel their vehicles.  The Triple-A says low demand combined with abundant supply has kept downward pressure on global oil prices.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries -- or OPEC -- members are scheduled to meet at the end of November and will reportedly not hold an emergency meeting before then based on current prices, which has supported the bearish sentiment for crude oil.

 

Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce has released his proposed 2015 budget.  The proposed spending plan totals just over 22.3-million dollars -- which is up about 293-thousand dollars from the 2014 budget.  However... Dolce says the city tax rate will remain unchanged.  He says they were able to hold the line because of cost savings. But... Dolce says the budget calls for a hike in water bills... city payers will see their bills increase by about 4-dollars per month and out-of-city ratepayers are slated for a 7-dollar per month increase.  No change is being proposed for sewer rates. 

 

All kidding aside... New York now has an official state snack, and it is yogurt.  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday that gives the dairy product official distinction as the state snack.  The idea of making yogurt the state's official snack came from a 4th-grade class from western New York.  But... lawmakers have taken some heat for the proposal after the state Senate's 45-minute debate on the bill was mocked by David Letterman and Jon Stewart.  New York is the nation's top yogurt producer, making 741 million pounds of the dairy product last year, well above the 591 million produced by second-place California.  Cuomo has called New York the nation's ``yogurt capital.''

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News Update for Wed., Oct. 15, 2014

County's Health and Human Services Dir. urges residents to know about Ebola Virus, not panic...

There is no reason to panic.  However... the top health official in Chautauqua County says residents need to be aware of what's happening with nationally and internationally with the Ebola virus.  County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says people should know the facts about Ebola as health care professionals and officials deal with it.  First... Schuyler says keep track of the travels of anyone you know... especially any international travel because there are people from local churches who go on mission trips to regions such as West Africa.  She adds also know how it's spread... and, that is by direct contact with an infected person.  Schuyler says people also have to be showing symptoms in order for Ebola to spread.  Initially... those are similar to the cold... with a fever, and headache or stomach ache.


Second Dallas nurse now being treated for Ebola after flying from Cleveland to Dallas-Forth Worth Monday...

Ater speaking with us... we learned a second Dallas nurse who became infected with the Ebola virus while caring for a dying patient took a Frontier Airlines flight from Cleveland, Ohio, to Dallas-Fort Worth on Oct. 13.  NBC News reports that's just one day before she reported developing symptoms of infection, according to U.S., and airline officials Wednesday.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... and, the airline said they are reaching out to all 132 passengers who were aboard the flight.


West 5th Street reopened after lengthy project between Fairmount Ave., and Washington St....

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has announced that West 5th Street, from Fairmount Avenue to Washington Street, has been reopened... and, traffic is flowing.  The city's Department of Public Works did a complete reconstruction of the street this Summer.  Teresi says DPW crews put the final topcoat on the roadway yesterday.... and, the remaining work on the cross street intersections is being completed today.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A woman is dead following a train accident in the town of Portland. WGRZ news reports that  According to State Police, Phyllis Poloncarz, 68, was hit by an oncoming train just after 5pm on Tuesday. The accident happened Tuesday near Onthank Road in the Town of Portland.  Authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.

 

Jamestown police say the man accused of robbing the CVS Store in Brooklyn Square... and, has been charged in two others... was apparently stealing money to feed a drug habit.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they charged 31 year-old Angel Vargas-Mendoza with the robberies at the 7-11 stores on East Second and Allen Streets last August.  Vargas-Mendoza was pulled from the Chadakoin River late last Sunday night after allegedly holding up the CVS Store by pulling a knife on the cashier. Police were able to make quick work of arresting Vargas-Mendoza after being called to the scene about 10:30 PM.  Officers met a citizen witness and the Store Manager at the scene.  Officers were told Vargas-Mendoza had run off towards the Chadakoin River after fleeing the store with a small amount of cash.  Samuelson says... while cant' devuldge what Mendoza has said to them... there is enough evidence to charge him with all three robberies.  A knife was also brandished in the 7-11 robberies... but, no one was hurt in any of the three incidents.  Vargas-Mendoza now faces three counts of first-degree robbery.

 

The problem of drug-related crime... and, the need for coordinating law enforcement efforts between local, state and federal agencies was the focus of a forum in Olean.  Local Congressman Tom Reed co-hosted the roundtable with Indiana representative Susan Brooks Monday.  Reed says local health care professionals... and, law enforcement, and, elected officials... took part in the roundtable discussion.  The Corning Republican says they had a "candid conversation" about the on-going Heroin epidemic here... and, across the region. Reed says last month's federal designation of Chautauqua County as a "High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area" is critical to providing the county with the resources it needs to combat high-level Heroin trafficking... and, coordinate efforts to reduce the demand for drugs.  He says holding the roundtable in Olean was key because the drug trade knows no boundaries.  Reed says the drug epidemic is part of the reason he has co-sponsored an effort to reinstrate the School Resource Officer program in local schools.  He believes getting the federal program back up and running will help deter school students from trying drugs. 

 

A decision by the most recent head coaches for Track and Field at Jamestown High School to step down has left a popular, long-time assistant without a team... and, several student-athletes upset.  It has also upset a number of parents... who say Ron Graham should be allowed to continue coaching in some capacity as he has for about three decades in the area.  School officials say -- by contract -- the coaching positions must be filled first by a teacher who is qualified.  At last night's school board meeting... parent Raven Mason said at least some of the coaches told them they were fired over the issue of uniforms. However... School Superintendent Tim Mains says that's not the case.  Mains says he received a petition signed by a number of students calling for Graham to be hired as head coach.  But... he says if a qualified member of the Jamestown Teacher's Association applies for a coaching position... they must be considered first.  Graham is not a teacher.  Mains says a woman with 13 years experience coaching track and field in Randolph... but, teaches in Jamestown... applied for the head coaching position -- and, got it.  In his conversations with Graham... Mains says he got the impression that he was not interested in an assistant's position again.

 

It'll be an early start to the fourth-day of the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court today.  District Attorney David Foley says court will resume at 9 AM instead of the usual 9:30.  Foley says there are no witnesses on the stand at this time.  Late last week... Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Vincent Gerace spent over a day on the stand before his testimony concluded.  Coggins and three other men from the Elmira-area are accused in the torture-murders of 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his 59 year-old wife, Joyce.

 

Union officials will reportedly meet with management at RHI Monofrax today to address contract issues that led workers to strike at the plant two weeks ago.  The Post-Journal reports a member of the National Conference of Firemen and Oiler's Local-#266 said the major focus will be on skyrocketing insurance premiums for employees.  Congressman Tom Reed has helped Monofrax obtain two U-S Department of Energy contracts... and, says he remains "very optimistic" the two sides will work out their differences.  The employee says there is concern that Monofrax won't be able to full-fill orders due to the strike... which began at Midnight, September 29th.  About 200 workers are involved.  Wages and benefits have also been an issue during contract negotiations.

 

Three male teens have been arrested in Dunkirk following two armed robberies that occurred early this past Monday morning.  Officers in the north county city say the two 16-year-olds... and, one 17-year-old were allegedly involved in the hold ups, one on Sixth Street near Central Avenue followed by a second one on Leming Street -- near Pine.  Police say the teens approached their victims in a car... then exiting the vehicle and displaying knives and a baseball bat.  Police later spotted the vehicle that was allegedly involved and stopped the car.  The teens, whose names are not being released, are facing multiple counts of first-degree robbery... criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal possession of stolen property.

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WJTN News Headlines

A man jailed for allegedly robbing the CVS Store in Brooklyn Square late Sunday night is now under arrest for two other robberties last August.  In Sunday's incident... Jamestown Police were called to the scene just minutes after the alleged robbery at 10:30 PM.  Police Lieutenant Paul Abbott says the suspect... now identified as 31 year-old Angel Vargas-Mendoza... Allegedly displayed the knife to the clerk... and, stole a smaller amount of money before fleeing.  Abbott says officers were greeted by a witness and the store manager... who told them the man fled towards the Chadakoin River. Abbott says Vargas-Mendoza had taken a small amount of cash from the store.  He says the bandit brandished the knife towards one of three employees inside the store.  Abbott says Vargas-Mendoza is charged with Robbery, Menacing, and Petty Larceny for Sunday night's robbery.  There were no injuries during the incident... and, the investigation is continuing.  JPD were assisted by New York State Police and The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department. Late yesterday... City Police Captain Bob Samuelson announced that Vargas-Mendoza now faces two more counts of first-degree robbery for hold-ups at two 7-11 stores last August.  The one at 340 Allen Street back occured on August 10th... and, the other happened August 20th at 10-11 East Second Street.  In both cases... the bandit also pulled a knife.  Samuelson says he's now awaiting arraignment on those charges.

 

The efforts of a West Ellicott motel owner helped Jamestown police track down the thieves who allegedly stole a 4-wheeler at his business last weekend.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says it also led police to two people who are also acccused of operating a "One-Pot" Meth Lab on the city's southside.  Samuelson says they and Ellicott Police were called by the owner of the Fairmount Avenue motel... who saw the all-terrain vehicle stolen about 11:30 AM Saturday.  He says the man called police... and, was able to follow the van involved for a while.
Samuelson says further investigation not only uncovered materials typically used in making Methamphetime.... but, after obtaining a warrant... police found more materials for making Meth.  He adds they also found a small amount of the drug that had been made there.  City police called in the State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergeny Response Team to help clean up the site... and, Samuelson says that was completed by Sunday afternoon.  Police have charged 43 year-old Joseph Casel... and, 34 year-old Kristen Nelson with Felony Manufacture of Methamphetime.  Two small children were also taken from the house... and, both were also charged with child endangerment.  Casel and Nelson were arraigned... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.

 

New York state lawmakers and advocates of medical marijuana are gathering in New York City to discuss the implementation of a new state law authorizing marijuana as a treatment for certain medical conditions.  Senator Diane Savino and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried addressed the Marijuana Regulatory Summit Sunday.  Other speakers included national advocates and representatives of the medical marijuana industry.  This Summer... New York became the 23rd state to authorize the drug for patients with conditions including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy.

 

An organization held a rally in Warren, Pennsylvania this morning to call attention to missing persons across the east coast.  The also urged hunters to be on the look-out for any suspicious findings in the woods during the hunting seasons.  Among those missing is Damien Sharp... who went missing more than a decade ago.  His mother, Janeane Shanahan, has been working with the organization "Community United Effort" to call attention to the missing at the Warren Municipal Building.  Another local missing person... Lori Ceci Bova... was also highlighted.  Again... today's focus was asking hunters to be on the look-out for any unusual, or suspicious findings in the woods.

 

The Democratic candidate running for the 150th State Assembly seat says he is working hard to get his message out about his candidacy... and, his stand on the issues.  Barry Yochim is challenging incumbent Republican Andy Goodell... and, while they agree on a number of issues, there are some differences.  Yochim -- like Goodell -- favors repealing the SAFE Act. However... Yochim believes there are some good aspects of the SAFE Act that should remain intact... such as protecting first-responders who arrive at the scene of a fire or other incident.  That part of the measure came out of the shooting and killing of two firefighters in the Rochester area a couple of years ago.  The Jamestown-area man also says he believes that having a local Democrat be part of the Assembly majority will benefit the area because the chamber is expected to remain predominantly Democrat in the future.  Yochim says he also believes that being an assembly member should be a full-time job.

 

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is giving Rob Astorino some help in his bid to defeat incumbant Democrat Andrew Cuomo.  Romney wrote a recent fundraising appeal for Astorino in which the former Massachusetts governor calls Cuomo ``a typical corrupt New York politician.''  Romney also criticizes New York's high taxes and business climate... and, notes Astorino was twice elected county executive in heavily Democratic Westchester County.  Other prominent Republicans backing Astorino include Texas Governor Rick Perry.

 

A Falconer man has been arrested for allegedly shoving a woman down to the ground during a domestic incident in front of two young children.  Ellicott Town Police were called to South Albertus Street about 4:30 AM last Sunday on a report of a woman screaming.  Officers say their investigation showed that 29 year-old Christopher Marker has pushed the female victim down in view of the children.  Marker was arraigned on charges of second-degree harassment... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was held pending further court action.

 

A 14-year-old boy who died in a 200-foot fall into a gorge over the weekend has been identified as a Penfield High School ninth-grader.  State Parks Police say Matthew Rezsnyak was walking along a trail at the park with an adult when he ventured off a path near the Great Bend overlook at Letchworth State Park and fell into the gorge.

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WJTN News Headlines

A man is in the city jail after robbing the Brooklyn Square CVS Store.  Jamestown Police report that the man displayed a knife during the robbery about 10:30 Sunday night.  He was apprehended minutes after the robbery as he was trying to flee by running through the Chadakoin River.  The unidentified man is currently being held in the Jamestown City Jail and faces charges of Robbery, Menacing and Petit Larceny.  There were no injuries during the incident and the investigation is continuing. JPD were assisted by New York State Police and The Chautauqua County Sherriff's Department.

 

A larceny investigation involving a 4-wheeler in West Ellicott led to the discovery of a Meth Lab on Jamestown's southside... and, the arrest of the two alleged operators.  City Police say they assisted Ellicott Town Police in the investigation of the theft of an All-Terrain Vehicle at a Fairmount Avenue motel about 11:30 AM Saturday.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the van allegedly involved in the theft was later found -- with the 4-wheeler still inside -- at 130 Superior Street.  Samuelson says further investigation uncovered materials typically used in the production of Methamphetime.  City Police investigators obtained a warrant... raided the home... and, found more materials for making Meth... and, evidence that the drug was being made there.  Police called in the State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergeny Response Team to help clean up the site... and, Samuelson says that was completed yesterday.  Police arrested 43 year-old Joseph Casel... and, 34 year-old Kristen Nelson on Felony charges... including Manufacture of Methamphetime... and, took two small children from the house.  Both were also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  Casel and Nelson were arraigned... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.

 

Four people were hurt... three seriously... when the car they were riding in crashed into a tree broadside last Saturday morning in the town of Portland.  Sheriff's Officers were called to the scene at the intersection of Ellicott Road and Route 380 just before 2 AM.  Deputies learned that the driver... 21 year-old Gage Milliman of Mayville... was westbound on Ellicott Road at a high rate of speed when he ran the stop sign at the intersection.  Officers say the vehicle left the road, and slammed into the tree.  Deputies say Milliman, and one passenger, 24 year-old Keri Walawender, were flown to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  A second passenger, 24 year-old Brady Raynor, was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.  A third passenger, 22 year-old Garth Blanchard, was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  The investigation is continuing... and, deputies say charges are pending. 

 

A new world's record was set... and, world class entertainment led to a highly-successful Lucy-Town Half-Marathon Weekend... which concluded yesterday afternoon.  Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center of Comedy Director Journey Gunderson says they were "thrilled, and excited" about how the second-annual event came out... but, there was also some relief.  Gunderson admits they weren't sure two weeks ago that they would have enough people to set a record for grape-stomping Saturday afternoon.  However... she says the "community came out" in strong numbers to not just break the record... but, shatter it. Gunderson says they pulled out all the stops... and, publicized the need for people to take part.  She adds a woman visiting from Venice, Italy... came to stomp grapes.  Gunderson says she was involved in a previous grape stomping event.  She adds that a full-house was on hand for the "world class" entertainment Saturday night in the person of comedic legend Bob Newhart.  Gunderson also says most of his act was brand new material.

 

The numbers were slightly better than last year for this year's Lucy-Town Half-Marathon... but, the race director says more states were represented... which hopefully translates to more runners in the future.  Dave Reinhart with the Chautauqua Striders has been the lead person for the event... which is now on the map of half-marathon's with USA Track and Field.  Reinhart says their runners now come from more than 30 states... and, that's helped keep their numbers up. Reinhart says they wound up with more than 700 runners taking part on the 13.1-mile course which started and ended at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.  Organizers were very pleased with the early October weather... but, Reinhart says the "friendliness" of the local people who helped out made a 'major impression' on the runners.  He was also pleased with the numbers taking part in Saturday's 5-K Run/Walk... and, 2-K Kid's race.

 

The new, private firm coming in to operate the Chautauqua County Home has received final approval from the state Department of Health for a Certificate of Need.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who was in New York City recently for an October 9th DOH meeting where the certificate was approved for VestraCare.   Horrigan says that means the transition to privatizing the County Home by the end of the year remains on track. The County Legislature approved the sale of the Dunkirk-area facility last February, 13-to-5.  Due to the sale... the County Home is NOT be part of the 2015 Chautauqua County budget.

 

Governor Cuomo says he wants to create a new state Office of Faith-Based Community Services.  The Democratic governor announced his plan late this week in Harlem during remarks to a convention of the United Missionary Baptist Association.  The agency would help religious organizations and houses of worship find grant funding.  It would also help religious groups work with government agencies to coordinate social services, and work with state economic development officials to ``encourage the development of faith-based businesses.''

 

The Turkish-born founder of Norwich, New York-based yogurt-maker Chobani is pledging $2 million for refugees fleeing violence back home.  Hamdi Ulukaya late last week promised the money to help those caught up in fighting along the Iraq and Syria borders with Turkey.  The region has been targeted by the militant Islamic State terrorist group.

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News Update for Sat., Oct. 11, 2014

Jeff Smith named as new director at St. Susan's Center...

The new director of the St. Susan's Center in downtown Jamestown has officially been named... and, has been receiving on-the job training as he prepares to take over the reins November 1st.  The board of directors at St. Susan's announced late Friday afternoon that Jeffrey Smith... a local native who's lived in Florida the past 13 years... will replace Sue Colwell... who is retiring at the end of the month.  St. Susan's Board President Chuck Holder says they're "very excited to begin the next era of the St. Susan's Center with Jeff at the helm.  Jeff is a community-minded and compassionate leader who can build on our current strengths to move the center to new levels of effectiveness."


High School FB, MG/CL wins, Ike loses...

In a game heard here on WJTN last night... running back Ryan Miller took charge in the second-half... leading Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake to a 32-to-8 win over host Southwestern.  The Thunderbirds remain undefeated, thanks in large part to Miller's 257 yards rushing.  They have also taken home-field advantage for Class C-South for the Section 6 Play-offs.

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ON sister station 103-point-1 "The Fox" last night... Eisenhower fell to Sharpsville last night, 41-to-7.  The Knights lone touchdown came on a 61 yard pass from Jarrett Johnson to Louie Head late in the game.

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TODAY... We'll have the Jamestown Red Raiders home game against Clarence this afternoon from Strider Field at 2 PM.  Jamestown is 4-and-1 going into the contest... but, is 3-and-0 in Class-AA South.  Join our Jason Sample and Coach Bill Race for the play-by-play here on WJTN... and, SE-93 FM.

 

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 10, 2014

Four people arrested in latest drug raids in Jamestown...

Three men and one woman are jailed following the three latest Heroin-related drug raids on Jamestown's eastside Late Friday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the raids took place just after 10 a.m. at 6 Winsor Street... 10 Winsor Street... and, 563 East Second Street.  Samuelson says all three drug-busts were part of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force's ongoing investigation into Heroin trafficking and sales in the city.  Samuelson says the investigating is continuing, and more arrests are expected.  He says the JPD SWAT Team... and, state Police C-NET Team was also involved in both the investigation and raids.  Samuelson says they wound Heroin and cash at 10 Winsor Street... and, prescription drugs and cash at 6 Winsor.  The three people caught in those residences face drug possession charges.  The fourth person is charged with violating his probation.  That's 37 year-old Angel Ortiz-Rodriguez.  Samuelson says they arrested 20 year-old Ezequiel Villafane-Nazario at 10 Winsor Street... and, 20 year-old Angel Cruz... and, Zuleyka Fuentes-Cruz at 6 Winsor.  Those three face drug posession charges.  Anyone with information on illegal drug sales and trafficking in the city is asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Woman and child injured in car-pedestrian accident...

A woman and a young child were hurt late this morning when they were hit by a car at the corner of Winsor and Harrison Streets in Jamestown.  City police and fire rescuers were called to the scene about 11:45 a.m., and, found the adult had been struck... along with a child in a stroller.  Both were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment.  No names have been released... however... the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

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News Alert!! for Fri., Oct. 10, 2014

(**Alert)Eleven mile stretch of Interstate 86 to re-opening between Salamanca and State Rt. 219 this morning...

There's good news for motorists who travel on Interstate 86 in the western Southern Tier this morning.  The interstate between Exit 21 in Salamanca to Exit 23 at Seneca Junction will be reopening this morning at 10 a.m.  That from the Seneca Nation of Indians... which will be hosting a ribbon cutting at the Salamanca exit.  Officials say State Senator Cathy Young, and a representative for Congressman Tom Reed are among those dignitaries expected to be on hand for the ribbon cutting.  All four-lanes of the Superhighway between Salamanca... and the junction with Route 219 has been closed the past five months for a complete re-build.

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WJTN News Headlines

One witness took the stand on day-three of the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court yesterday... and, that witness will again be on the stand to start the day Friday.  That from District Attorney David Foley... who says he thought he would be further along on his list of witnesses by now.  Foley says Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Vincent Gerace... a forensics officer... was on the stand all day Thursday.  We understand a number of points of clarification and objections were raised over the introduction of evidence.  This follows a day of "grisly" details revealed about the murders of 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his 59 year-old wife, Joyce.

 

A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly setting fire to a home on the city's northside one week ago last night.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says fire investigators ruled the blaze at 719 Cherry Street... which was called in about 6:30 PM on Thursday, October 2nd... was the work of arson.  Samuelson says city fire and police investigators accuse 48 year-old Elizabeth Connie Altieri of setting the fire... while the building was occupied.  A warrant was issued for Altieri's arrest... and, she was taken into custody without incident.  She was arraigned on one count of second-degree arson... and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

A new agreement to provide lower-cost electricity for a major manufacturer in Jamestown's industrial corridor will help keep that company in the area... along with it's jobs.  That from Board of Public Utilities General Manager Dave Leathers... who says it took about six-months to negotiate a four-year, Flex Plan extension with TitanX Corporation on Allen Street Extension.  City officials and TitanX leaders were on hand yesterday (Wednesday) to sign the contract.  Leathers credited Electric Division Manager Dave Gustafson for doing the hard work on the new agreement. Leathers says it was important to wrap-up work on the new agreement... because the old one expires at the end of the month.  He says there are four Flex Rate agreements in place with the Greater Jamestown area's major manufacturers.  Leathers adds the state Public Service Commission just recently approved new parameters that would allow more companies to take advantage of the program.  He says those should take effect on October 15th... and, adds he's "very excited" about it.  The Flex Agreements with TitanX has saved the company about 75 to 80-thousand dollars a year on it's electrical costs.

 

The state reports saving more than 2-billion dollars... and, recovering 879-million dollars last year from spending on the Medicaid program that pays for health care for low-income New Yorkers.  The Office of the Medicaid Inspector reports three-year recoveries of 1.73-billion dollars from overbilling, errors and fraud, up 34 percent from the previous three years.

 

In an effort to create jobs to replace those that will be lost by the closing of the Carriage House plants in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area... the county's Industrial Development Agency is considering a move to acquire the Dunkirk facility from ConAgra.  The IDA is looking to issue a $2 million bond to Chautauqua County in order to purchase the facility.  County Executive Vince Horrigan backs proposed action, which needs the backing of the County IDA Board and the County Legislature. Horrigan says this is not a new approach, since the IDA has done this with other plants... including the former Sysco building on Allen Street in Jamestown... as well as Maplevale Farms in Clymer.  If they have the building... he says they can directly market the facility.  Horrigan says the county IDA board is expected to take up the proposal during it's meeting October 21st... with the the full County Legislature likely to take similar action when they meet the following night. 

 

A date has now been set for the one-and-only debate for New York's gubernatorial race.  The debate will be held on Wednesday, October 22nd in Buffalo.  It will feature incumbant Democrat Andrew Cuomo, Republican Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Michael McDermott.  The debate is sponsored by The Buffalo News and WNED/WBFO of Buffalo... and, will be televised.  The exchange is likely to be the only one before the November 4th election.

 

Three city teens have been arrested for allegedly putting "caution tape" across a location on Ellis Street early yesterday morning.  Jamestown police were called to the scene near 118 Ellis about 2 AM... and, took down the tape.  However... they were called back to the scene a short time later... and, found the trio allegedly putting tape across the street again.  This time... officers say the three ran off.  However... with the help of JPD's K-9 "Mitchell..." they found the trio hiding behind a garage.  Police say they arrested a pair of 18 year-olds -- Andrew Hinman and Brandon Propheter... and, an unidentified 17 year-old.  All three are charged with littering... and, obstructing governmental administration.

 


 

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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is proposing a 34.7-million dollar budget for 2015... which increases spending by 3.6-percent.  However... it keeps the tax increase below the 2-percent property tax cap... which means home owners will be eligible for a rebate of the added tax cost -- if the final budget remains under that mark.  During yesterday's budget presentation at City Hall.. Teresi said the tax levy would increase by 346-thousand dollars under the plan... but, adds that's 37-thousand dollars UNDER the tax cap. Teresi says there were several challenges in the budget... including increases in salaries and pension payments -- though the pension rates will be down in 2015.  On the positive side... he says the budget does use 250-thousand dollars from the just under one-million dollar, undesignated fund balance... which is much less than previous years.  He adds they've also budgeted a slight increase in dividend payments from the Board of Public Utilities' Electric Division in 2015... based on expected net revenues of about 7-million dollars.  Teresi's budget team plugged in 482-thousand dollars... which is about 7-thousand dollars more than last year. 

 

The 2015 budget-making process in Mayville has taken another step foward with the county legislature's main financial committee completing it's work.  The Audit and Control panel yesterday completed its review of Executive Vince Horrigan's proposed, 228.6-million dollar spending plan.  Committee Chairman John Runkle says they were able to reduce spending by just over 750-thousand dollars... and, that means there will be a slight tax cut. As a result... Runkle says the committee was able to reduce the full value tax rate by two cents per thousand.  Horrigan proposed a 9-cent-per thousand tax increase.  He says they made the greatest reduction in spending -- about 500-thousand dollars -- in Social Services.  Runkle says those changes were mainly in revenue.  He adds they also added some money for capital equipment purchases.  Runkle also says the cuts were made without touching reserves.  The full legislature is expected to take up the budget on October 22nd.

 

A city man is jailed on 500-dollars bail for allegedly pointing a silver, replica pistol at a person sitting in a car on Jamestown's westside in a threatening manner.  City police were called to the scene on West Third Street about 1:30 yesterday afternoon... where a man standing in the street allegedly pointed a hand-gun at the victim.  Officers say witnesses identified 37 year-old Miguel Monge-Osario as the suspect... and, he was arrested.  Police add they recovered a silver-colored BB Gun in the backyard of Monge-Osario's home.  He's been charged with second-degree menacing... and, was jailed pending further court action.

 

New York has joined three other Northeastern states in agreeing to collaborate on investigations of heroin trafficking that often cross state lines.  The others are Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts.  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says law enforcement officials from the states will give each other greater access to their drug informants, wiretap evidence and other resources so they can collectively target trafficking networks.

 

A well-known community leader in the Jamestown-area has been tapped to be Chautauqua County's new manager of Airports and Parks.  During a press conference yesterday at the County Airport near Jamestown... County Public Facilities Director George Spanos introduced former Southwestern New York American Red Cross Chapter Director Bill Tucker as the new head of airport operations.  Tucker... who retired from the military after 23 years of service... says he's excited to take the helm.  He says a state report three years ago shows the airports play a crucial role in the county's economy. Tucker thanks Spanos, and the search committee for placing their trust in him... and, promised to improve on these "local jewels" of the community.  Spanos says the search committee interviewed several "very good candidates."  However... he says they were looking for basically two things:  someone who had been in a leadership position with good managerial experience, and someone familiar with the area.  Spanos says Tucker was exactly the person they were looking for.  Tucker begins his new job today.

 

Wegmans has been named as the 'Employer of the Year' by the Resource Center... at the annual Disability Awareness Awards.  The awards honor successful persons with disabilities and those who have helped them.  Nurse Susan Short of Panama won the 'Health Provider of the Year' award.  Beth Ray of Falconer, a self-advocacy coordinator at the Resource Center was named 'Advocate of the Year'. Another Resource Center employee, Diane Cornell, received the 'Community Service Award'.  Two Resource Center consumers, Nathan Stearns of Ashville and Daryl Smith of Jamestown were honored for their achievements.  Kevin Smith of Falconer was named 'Volunteer of the Year', and Truck-lite in Falconer was recognized as the Allied Industry 'Customer of the Year'. The Disability Awareness Awards were presented Wednesday night in Dunkirk. 

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen another 4-cents this week to just over 3-dollars-61 cents per gallon.  The Triple-A East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge report says the average price for regular, unleaded this week is 3-dollars-61.1 cents... down from 3--64.8 last week.  The Fuel Gauge says the price is based on reports from 19 stations in the Jamestown-area.  The average national price for regular, unleaded is now 3-dollars-28 cents per gallon.  That's a nickel less than one week ago.

 

Comedian Bob Newhart actually didn't have to go far to develop the "button-down humor" that's made him a legend.  Newhart talked with us about all the telephone routines he did in his 1960s albums that he first made a name with.  It all started during his days as an accountant in Chicago.  Newhart says he got bored with it... and, began during routines with friends over the phone.  He says one thing led to another... and, Warner Brothers came calling... and, wanted to record him during a nightclub appearance. We asked Newhart which routine was his favorite... and, he says they're all like your "favorite child."  He says "The Driving Instructor..." and, the "Abner Doubleday Baseball" are obvious favorites.  Newhart will likely do a couple of them -- at least -- when he headline's the "Lucy-Town Half-Marathon Weekend" in Jamestown this Saturday night.  His performance at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts begins at 8 PM.  Tickets are going fast.  For more information... call the Reg Lenna box office at 484-7070... or go on-line to Lucyrace-dot-COM.

 

NFL owners have unanimously approved the sale of the Buffalo Bills to Terry and Kim Pegula.  The husband and wife already own the NHL's Buffalo Sabres.  Longtime Bills owner Ralph Wilson died in March... prompting the sale.  The Pegulas offered $1.4 billion to buy the NFL franchise.

 

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Testimony is now underway in the trial of an Elmira-area man accused of being the ringleader of a group of four men accused in double-murder of a town of Carroll couple.  District Attorney David Foley says five witnesses took the stand after opening statements were made... following a two-hour delay.  Foley says he, and, Public Defender Ned Barone finally began the trial about 11:30 yesterday morning.  34 year-old Davide Coggins faces 11 charges... including one of first-degree murder.  One of the witnesses was Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department member Jeff Hover.  Foley says the delay was caused by a juror issue.  Coggins is the alleged mastermind of the home-invasion -- murder case -- in which the four men allegedly went to the home of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner... and, stabbed both to death in April of last year.  Foley expects to call up to 10 witnesses today.

 

Members of the Chautauqua County Legislature's lead financial committee believe they can bring in a no-tax increase budget for 2015.  However... details aren't yet being released.  The Audit and Control Committee spent a second day Tuesday looking at the proposed 228.6-million dollar spending plan.  The panel completed it's first review of ALL departments yesterday afternoon... and, found several potential cuts.  However... Committee Chairman John Runkle told us last night they'll finalize them today. The committee began it's review of individual department head budgets in Mayville Monday... and, found some potential cuts... but, only pulled the trigger on one.  Committee member George Borrello filled in as Acting Chairman that day... and, says the cut was for 32-thousand dollars in the Sheriff's Department.  He says Sheriff Joe Gerace is confident he will get the funding needed through a grant... so the money was removed from the budget.  Runkle says he believes they can achieve a zero-tax increase even without dipping into the county's Fund Balance.  County Executive Vince Horrigan has strongly recommended against it so as to keep a cushion in place while dealing with a 7-million dollar structural deficit. 

 

New York is creating a new initiative to help small businesses in the state take advantage of growing international markets.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the program Tuesday at an international trade forum in New York City.  The meeting included business leaders, government officials and representatives from 30 nations.  The state will initially invest 35-million dollars in the effort.  The money would be loaned to companies looking to expand their overseas exports.  More than 20 private lenders will also participate.  The state is also partnering with the federal Export-Import bank to provide up to 500-thousand dollars in short-term financing to small businesses hoping to expand their international reach.  Cuomo says he's also planning upcoming trade missions to five nations: Canada, Mexico, Israel, China and Italy.  Dates for the visits haven't been announced.

 

START Up-New York is off and running for the State University College at Fredonia.  College officials say the campus received formal approval of the local plan last week.  Among those who is eager to get to work is Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce.  Dolce... and the city's Director of Development... were among the 13 members of the committee that developed the campus plan. Fredonia President Dr. Virginia Horvath spoke about the plan... adding that there had to be "areas of focus" on local strengths that both the college, and community have.  The Fredonia plan focuses on attracting three business clusters: agribusiness, technology businesses and businesses related to Lake Erie research, development and educational tourism.  University officials there have seen about two dozen or so StartUp inquires and six proposals are being given serious consideration for sponsorship under the Fredonia plan. 

 

The Seneca Nation of Indians has received a 600-thousand dollar federal grant to replace an inadequate wastewater treatment plant.  U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro says the funding will come through HUD's Indian Community Development Block Grant Program.  Seneca Nation officials in Irving say their current wastewater treatment plant does not meet federal environmental standards.  They say the new one will prevent sewage from backing up into homes and contaminating ground water wells.

 

New York voters may have only a single opportunity to see the candidates debate before this year's gubernatorial election.  Republican Rob Astorino says he won't accept an invitation to a one-on-one public radio debate with Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo that was tentatively set for later this month.  That leaves a single televised debate in Buffalo with Cuomo, Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins... and, Libertarian Michael McDermott.  Astorino had initially called for eight debates in the race.  He had objected to the public radio debate, saying it should have been televised.  A date for the Buffalo debate has not been announced.  The election is November 4th.

 

Comedy Legend Bob Newhart is still going strong at the age of 85... and, doesn't show any signs of slowing down.  His stand-up comedy career has now spaned five generations... and, Newhart tells us he's looking forward to returning to Jamestown for a second time as the headliner for this coming weekend's Lucy-Town Half-Marathon Weekend.  He'll be on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts at 8 PM Saturday.  Newhart remembers his previous appearance in Jamestown several years ago... and, one other at Chautauqua institution.  While he's made a big name for himself on TV... his first love remains stand-up. Newhart is known for his "button" down humor on a series of records in the 1960s.  He starred in two sitcoms... "The Bob Newhart Show..." and, "Newhart."  Most recently... he's played a professor on "The Big Bang Theory."  Newhart credits Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz for blazing the trail for current sitcoms with their famous "three-camera" shots used in "I Love Lucy."  Ticket sales are going well... but, there are still plenty available.  For more information... go on-line to Lucyrace-dot-COM.

 

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board says two small planes involved in a fatal crash in western New York last month were traveling along the same path.  However... when one descended at the same time the other climbed.  The preliminary finding doesn't place directly place blame for the crash outside Buffalo.

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News Update for Tues., Oct. 7, 2014

First day of Coggins finds five witnesses testify after delayed start...

Testimony is now underway in the trial of an Elmira-area man accused of being the ringleader of a group of four men accused in double-murder of a town of Carroll couple.  District Attorney David Foley says five witnesses took the stand after opening statements were made... following a two-hour delay.  Foley says he, and, Public Defender Ned Barone finally began the trial about 11:30 Tuesday morning.  34 year-old Davide Coggins faces 11 charges... including one of first-degree murder.  One of the witnesses was Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department member Jeff Hover.  Foley says the delay was caused by a juror issue.  Coggins is the alleged mastermind of the home-invasion -- murder case -- in which the four men allegedly went to the home of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner... and, stabbed both to death in April of last year.  Foley expects to call up to 10 witnesses today.

 

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News Update for Tues., Oct. 7, 2014

Coggins trial underway after two-hour delay...

After a nearly two-hour delay... testimony is underway in the trial of an Elmira-area man accused of being the ringleader of a group of four men accused in double-murder of a town of Carroll.  That from Chautauqua County Court Commissioner of Jurors Kathleen Krauza... who did not say what caused the delay... but, says opening statements by District Attorney David Foley... and, Public Defender Ned Barone began about 11:30 this morning.  They were to have started at 9:30.  Foley says Coggins faces an 11-count indictement... including one count of first-degree murder... and, several counts of second-degree murder.  Coggins is the alleged mastermind of the home-invasion -- murder case -- in which the four men allegedly went to the home of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner... and, stabbed both to death in April of last year.  The four then allegedly set the house on fire to cover up the crime.

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WJTN News Headlines

The trial of an Elmira-area man accused of being the mastermind involved in the home-invasion and murder of a town of Carroll couple begins today in county court.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley... and, Public Defender Ned Barone will deliver opening statements in the double-murder trial of 34 year-old Davide Coggins.  Foley says Coggins faces an 11-count indictement... which includes one-count of first-degree murder... and, several other second-degree murder counts.  Coggins is the alleged ringleader of the home-invasion -- murder case -- in which four men allegedly went to the home of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner... and, stabbed both to death in April of last year.  The four then allegedly set the house on fire to cover up the crime.  The third and final co-defendant in the case... Joshua McCormick... accepted a plea deal for two counts of first-degree manslaughter in the case... and, is expected to testify for the prosecution.  Opening statements take place this morning... and, the prosecution is to begin presenting it's case this afternoon.  Foley says it'll take about two-weeks to present his case.

 

A former north county man who was convicted by a Chautauqua County Court jury in July of first-degree manslaughter has received the maximum sentence.  County Court Judge John Ward Monday sentenced 41-year-old Jason Wells, formerly of Fredonia, to 25-years in prison.  He also got five-years post release supervision.  Wells was convicted for the beating and stabbing death of 81-year-old Ruth Fisk at One Temple Square in February of 2010.  District Attorney David Foley says he still feels "bittersweet" about the outcome of the case. Foley says the court heard from a member of the family before the judge imposed the sentence.  He says he advocated for the family as well that the maximum term be imposed... and, it was.  The sentencing of Wells is the start of a busy week at the County Courthouse in Mayville... since the David Coggins double-homicide trial gets underway this morning.  

 

Jamestown City officials are going to look a possibly making parts of two city streets one-way due to traffic congestion... and, being too narrow for two-way traffic.  City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Paul Whitford says the panel received a petition from First-Ward Councilman Brent Sheldon regarding the area around the intersection of Niagara and Barr Streets.  Whitford says the residents are calling for Barr to be changed in that area. Whitford says the other area of concern regarded parking on Connecticut Avenue on the city's westside.  Whitford says many residents want traffic to be one-way there due to a large amount of cars parked there for midget football games.  He says many can't get into their driveways when games are taking place... and, says it's become a "very difficult situation."  Whitford says the complaints and petition were presented to the city's Department of Public Works for review and action.

 

New polls show three Republican challengers leading Democratic incumbents in races that will help determine control of New York's Senate.  The Siena College polls of likely voters show Susan Serino leading Senator Terry Gipson 52-to-40 percent in the mid-Hudson Valley, Rich Funke leading Senator Ted O'Brien 57-to-32 percent in the Rochester area... and, George Amedore leading Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk 52-to-42 percent in part of the upper Hudson and Mohawk valleys.

 

Federal legislation has been drafted... and, will be introduced in Congress soon to re-institute the School Resource Officer program as part of the federal COPS legislation.  Local Congressman Tom Reed is co-sponsoring the measure... which would set aside 30-million dollars for the SRO Program.  The money is used to help put police officers in the schools for safety... and, to head off potential student-related issues.  Reed says there's been a lot of support voiced across the 23rd Congressional District.  He says the move will guarantee funding for the SRO program. Reed says both he and co-sponsor North Carolina Democrat Mike McIntyre have heard overwhelming support for the re-authorization due -- in large part -- to recent school shooting incidents like Sandy Hook.  However... Reed admits there won't likely be any action taken during Congress's lame duck session following the November 4th election... but, he says they'll put a "priority marker" on the legislation.  Reed says getting the legislation approved would ensure that the School Resource Officer program is in place for future funding.

 

The ribbon was cut Monday afternoon on Congressman Tom Reed's western most campaign headquarters in Jamestown.  A grand opening was held at Reed's headquarters at 19 East Third Street... which he says will be a "hub' of activity between now and election day on Tuesday, November 4th.  Reed says there's been a lot of positive reaction to his campaign. Jamestown is the largest city in the 23rd Congressional District... which Reed has represented for the past two years after redistricting.  The Corning Republican recently received the highest grade attainable from the National Rifle Association -- or NRA -- which he says he's "very proud of."  Reed received an "A" grade, and their endorsement, for protecting the constitution's second-amendment.  He has also received the New York Shooters Committee on Political Education's "A-plus" rating for his "firm protection" of second-amendment rights.  Both organizations also cited the fact Reed has been a life-long hunter... and, sportsman. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's waiting until 14 days after the deadline in the law for nominating his next choice for the state's highest court.  In a radio interview early last weekend... Cuomo said he's postponing so the state Senate won't face a confirmation deadline that falls the day before the November 4th election.

 

The main casino workers' union in Atlantic City plans to block traffic in a demonstration Wednesday to protest efforts by the owners of the Taj Mahal casino to eliminate workers' pensions and health care.  Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union say they plan an act of civil disobedience near the New Jersey casino Wednesday night.  Trump Entertainment Resorts says it will close the Taj Mahal -- it's last casino -- next month without major concessions from the union. 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A past criminal offender has been arrested for allegedly firing a shotgun into a group of people on Jamestown's eastside... and, wounding one person.  City police were called to the scene at 177 Barrows Street about 11:30 Am Saturday on a report of shots being fired.  On arrival... officers say they spotted the suspect, 29 year-old Demetrius McBride, running into a house at 172 Barrows.  Police set up a perimeter around the area... and, called McBride out.  He eventually gave himself up... and, police say further investigation revealed that McBride and another person were earlier involved in a dispute on the street.  At some point... officers say it escalated, and McBride retrived a shot-gun from his home... and, returned to the scene where he fired two rounds towards several individuals.  One person suffered a non-life threatening leg wound.  That person was treated at WCA Hospital.  Police got a search warrant... and, later found the 12-gauge shotgun used in the alleged shooting.  McBride was arrested for second-degree assault... and, criminal possession and use of a firearm.  He was arraigned Sunday morning... and, sent to the county jail without bail.

 

A two-story home sustained moderate damage from an early weekend fire in the town of Chautauqua.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Chautauqua Fire crews were called to the scene at 68-84 Card Road about 3:30 PM last Friday... and, found fire and smoke coming from the upper levels of the house.  Mayville, Ashvile, Sherman and Hartfield were called in for mutual aid.  Dispatchers say it took about 30 to 45 minutes to bring the flames under control.  No one was hurt... and, no injuries were reported.  The cause is under investigation.

 

The Jamestown Airport is now called the Greater Chautauqua -- Jamestown Airport - Robert H. Jackson Field.  The new name was made official this past weekend during a ceremony at the airport... hosted by County Executive Vince Horrigan... who read last February's legislature resolution approving the renaming of the facilities -- 41 years after the new terminal building was named after the late U-S Supreme Court Justice.  Horrigan called it a "special day..." which was made extra special by the arrival of a C-47 plane... similar to the one that brought Jackson back to the area following the Nuremberg War Crimes trial after World War-Two.  Local Actor Robert Terreberry portraited Jackson during the ceremony... which highlighted Jackson's ascent based on his "small town values..." Terreberry read a portion of the speech Jackson gave when he returned to the Jamestown-area following the trial.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell noted the importance of what Jackson did on a world-wide stage.  That was bringing "American Jurisprudence in the context of a World War."

 

In addition to renaming the County Airport... and, celebrating the local legacy of World War-Two... the ceremony was also a chance to introduce the new air carrier... which will begin service on November 1st.  Initially... Sun Air Express was to begin flying out of the airport -- near Jamestown -- on October 1st.  However... that date was pushed ahead so some final detail work could be done.  Sun Air's President Phil LeFevre... was on hand for Saturday's festivities... and, says some of those details were just finalized. Sun Air is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based airline... which will replace Silver Airways.  LeFevre says they'll be providing service to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania once their up and fully running.  County Public Facilities Director George Spanos says Sun Air will begin by providing 24 weekly round trips... which will includes flights each weekday... and, two flights each on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace is warning residents of a possible e-mail scam involving the confirmation and the availability of downloaded Delta Airlines E-Tickets.  Gerace says they're received a complaint about the suspicious e-mail... which a resident received on September 30th.  Gerace says the e-mail had a "ZIP" file attachment stating that the ticket was attached, and had the number - ET-14406096.  However... he says Delta Airlines says their E-Tickets start with numbers NOT letters.  Gerace says the e-mail was sent from the e-address.. "custservice@sofaartfair.co."... which the air carrier says is NOT associated with them.

 

With the Medicare open enrollment beginning in just a few weeks... the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging will be hosting a series of county-wide public information forums beginning this week.  Agency director Dr. Mary Ann Spanos says seniors need to review their health insurance coverage. Chris Cheronis, who coordinates Office for the Aging's HI-CAP program, says you can expect changes especially when using Medicare Advantage.  Cheronis says there are changes each year... mainly because health care costs changes -- and, with that -- what they are able to cover also changes.  Three public forums will be held this week.  The first is Tuesday, October 7th at the Findley Lake Community Center, Thursday, October 9th at the Harvest Chapel in Fredonia... and, Friday October 10th at St. NIcholas Greek Orthodox Church in Jamestown.  Mediare Open enrollment begins October 15th. 

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says federal airport agents should take the temperatures of passengers arriving from West Africa to prevent Ebola from spreading in the U-S.  The New York Democrat says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should train agents to conduct screenings on passengers arriving at U-S airports from Ebola-affected countries.  The screenings would include questionnaires and a check to determine if the passenger has a fever.  Finally... Schumer says a database of anyone who recently visited West Africa should be created for hospitals to use.

 

A couple of cooler days didn't seem to deter the crowds for this year's Fall Festival, put on by the Harmony Historical Society at Blockville.  Society President, Lyn Nagle, assessed the results late Sunday afternoon, saying they always have 'good people' who have a 'good time'.  She says visitors particularly enjoy the food and the demonstrators.  Nagle also announced that next year the festival will be held two weeks earlier... on the third weekend of September.  She says cold weather will be less likely on that weekend.  In the meantime, the Harmony Historical Society will be working on enlarging the library and putting in a handicapped accessible bathroom. They've received a couple of grants for the project.  

 

New York's Board of Elections says registration deadlines are looming for state residents who intend to vote Nov. 4.  Elections include governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, 213 seats in the state Legislature, many judgeships, congressional seats and local contests.  Ballot propositions would change the legislative redistricting process, authorize legislators to read electronic bills instead of printed bills, and authorize $2 billion borrowing for computers in schools. According to the board, mail-in registration forms must be postmarked by midnight on Oct. 10 and received by no later than Oct. 15.  The registration form can be found at state and federal offices and downloaded from the board's website at http://www.elections.ny.gov. Would-be voters can also register in person by Oct. 10 at county boards of elections and many state agency offices.

 

New York's third annual youth deer hunt will take place over the Columbus Day weekend. The state Department of Environmental Conservation says seasoned hunters can take the opportunity to serve as mentors to younger generations during the weekend. During the hunt, 14- and 15-year old junior hunters may take a deer of either sex with a firearm when accompanied by a licensed and experienced adult mentor. About 15,000 to 20,000 eligible junior hunters are expected to participate in the 2014 youth deer hunt. In the past two years, an estimated 60 percent of eligible junior hunters participated and DEC estimated that they took more than 1,400 deer.

 

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News Update for Fri., Oct. 3, 2014

Coggins double-murder trial to begin next Tuesday...

Testimony in the trial of an Elmira-area man accused of being the ringleader in the double-murder of a town of Carroll couple is set to begin next Tuesday.  That from Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley... who says the final juror and four alternates were seated late Thursday in County Court.  Foley says 34 year-old Davide Coggins is one of four men accused of stabbing 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner in their Wheeler Hill Road home.  After just over two-weeks of jury selection... Foley says he's ready to go.  He says opening statements will be made beginning at 9:30 a.m., and, his first witnesses take the stand once those are complete.  Foley estimates it'll take just over two weeks for him to present the people's case.  He says Coggins faces an 11-count indictment... which includes one count of first-degree murder... and, several second-degree murder counts.
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Foley also confirms that the last of the three co-defendants -- Joshua McCormick -- has accepted a plea deal in the case.  McCormick will plead guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter.  Foley declined comment on the plea agreement... but, McCormick is also expected to testify in the trial.


Cuomo says no reason to be alarmed, NYS ready to respond to any cases of Ebola...

New York's governor says there's no reason for residents to be alarmed about Ebola and that the state is ready to respond to any cases of the deadly virus.  Speaking on public radio's ``Capitol Pressroom,'' Cuomo said Friday that the state has worked ``diligently'' to understand and prepare for Ebola.  Cuomo noted New York's status as an international destination and transportation hub... but, je says there's ``no reason whatsoever'' that New Yorkers should be alarmed.  Texas authorities announced this week that a man who had traveled from Liberia was being treated for Ebola.  The case has raised questions about whether a disease that has killed 3,300 people in West Africa could spread in the United States.  U.S. health officials say they remain confident they can keep it in check.


Reed, Goodell, urge County residents to remain resolute in standing behind PSC decision to approved NRG Repowering Project, with legal action if necessary...

Local Congressman Tom Reed visited Dunkirk's waterfront on Thursday afternoon to send a strong message that the NRG Repowering project needs to go forward.  Reed is responding to a lawsuit that was filed by two environmental groups against the Public Service Commission for it's decision favoring the project that would convert the plant from coal to natural gas.  Reed believes it will be necessary for the area to show its support once again for the project... just like it has done over the past two years.  He says we can't let "these outsiders dictate what's best for us in Chautauqua County."  The Sierra Club and Ratepayer and Community Intervenors filed the lawsuit last Friday.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who joined Reed for yesterday afternoon's news conference, says besides public support, there may another way to send a message... by legal means.  Goodell says such a move would be to support the PSC's decision.  Reed and Goodell pointed out the importance of the project to Chautauqua County and the city of Dunkirk as the area's largest taxpayer.  Earlier Thursday... Reed visited Cummins Engine near Lakewood where he talked about the just passed "Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation" -- or "RAMI" Act which he co-sponsored.


Robertson takes Reed to task for calling her endorsement by the Sierra Club as a stand against NRG Repowering; reiterates her support of project...

During his comments... Congressman Reed took another swipe at Democratic opponent Martha Robertson.  Reed says the Sierra Club... one of the groups involved in the lawsuit... has endorsed her and her "liberal agenda."  However... Robertson... in a printed statement... says Reed is continuing to make "false, negative attacks" on her record.  Robertson says she is "an independent leader" who backed the plan to convert the NRG Plant from coal to natural gas.  She adds the Sierra Club endorsed her because they know she will -- quote -- "fight to protect our drinking water, and, that she is not paid for by the oil and gas special interests that fund Congressman Reed's campaign."


NYS Tourism Website getting new page for hunters...

The ``I Love New York'' tourism website is getting a new page dedicated to hunting. Empire State Development and the state Department of Environmental Conservation created the page as part of a statewide effort to promote outdoor recreation and make hunting information easily accessible. In addition to hunting locations, the site provides information on big and small game hunting and has links to DEC's website so visitors can get all the information they need in one place.

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WJTN News Headlines

There were some tense moments... but, fortunately Jamestown firefighters were able to cut off a natural gas leak after a car struck a home on the city's eastside late yesterday afternoon.  City fire crews and police were called to the scene at the intersection of East Second and Buffalo Streets about 3:45 PM after a car... traveling east on Crescent... went out of control and hit the dwelling.  Fire Battalion Chief Don Woodfield says the car also struck a gas meter inside the house... rupturing it. Woodfield says the driver... who was not identified... was not seriously hurt.  No one inside the home was hurt, either.  However... police say traffic was tied up around the intersection for nearly an hour.  Woodfield says the vehicle possibly lost it's brakes while rounding a curve.  He says the gas company was called.  Woodfield says it's unclear how far into the house the vehicle got... but, there was no fire.

 

A car and utility pole caught fire yesterday morning in Bemus Point after a construction crew struck a natural gas line at the corner of Main Street and Sunnyside Avenue.  However... Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say no one was hurt in the incident... which was called in about 8:45 AM.  Dispatchers say Bemus Point fire crews were called to the scene... and, found the pole, and a parked vehicle on fire.  They add some power lines came down on the vehicle... catching it on fire.  Extra manpower was called in from several nearby departments to put out the fire.  Most crews cleared the scene by about 10:30 AM.  Bemus Point Elementary School was also affected... but, students remained in school for the day.  However... Sunnyside Avenue in that area was closed for several hours... and, residents there were without electricity for some time while repairs were made.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan "feels pretty good about where we wound up" on his 2015 budget proposal... but, he understands that no one wants to see even a small tax rate increase.  Horrigan's tentative 228.6-million dollar spending plan includes a 9-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase.  Department heads made their cases to county legislature home committees this week... and, Horrigan says he's found a lot of understanding of what he's trying to do.  But... he's NOT recommending use of more fund balance to bring down the rate. While there's a slight tax rate increase... Horrigan says the budget reduces spending by just under 450-thousand dollars.   He admits there's been "some push back..." but, he says he's trying to eliminate a 7-million dollar "structural" budget deficit over the next three-years.  There are 34 new positions in the budget... but, Horrigan says 26 are covered by private, state and federal funding.  He adds there's also a new Healthy Homes grant initiative to take care of people in their homes, and cutting Medicaid costs.  He made his comments during taping for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

Dunkirk police wrapped up an investigation into Cocaine Sales with the arrest of two women on King Street in that city.  Just after 9pm Thursday police along with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force stopped a vehicle driven by 32 year old Labrittany Eaddy of Dunkirk. A warrant was issued and Eaddy was arrested on charges stemming from an ongoing investigation regarding alleged cocaine sales to agents of the task force in Dunkirk.  During the stop Eaddy's passenger 24 year old Martika Casey also of Dunkirk allegedly had suspected cocain in her posession. The women were taken into custody and the car was searched. Police allegedly found a small quantity of marijuana and several thousand dollars cash in the car.  These arrests are the culmination of a several month long investigation.  Additonial information has been obtained with these arrests and more are expected.  The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force encourages anyone who may witness to call either the task force at 800-344-8702 or their local police when they see narcotic related activity in their area.

 

Gambling regulators and mental health professionals are concluding a two-day meeting to examine gambling addiction in New York.  The New York Council on Problem Gambling began its annual conference Wednesday at an Albany-area hotel.  The conference comes as the state prepares to expand its gambling offerings with up to four upstate casinos.  This year's conference included the executive director of the state Gaming Commission... as well as leaders of the agency that oversees the state's programs to combat problem gambling.

 

New York is implementing new rules to address sexual violence at its state universities.  The policy will include a statewide training program for campus police, and the creation of a single, statewide definition of sexual consent for all of the 64 SUNY campuses.  Each campus will also have to ensure students can report sexual violence to campus law enforcement or the local police department.  Governor Cuomo announced the changes Thursday at a meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees in Manhattan.

 

A Rally Against School Violence in Jamestown didn't draw as many students are organizers hoped it would... but, it's just the first step in the efforts to prevent violence... and, bullying in schools.  A small, but, enthusiastic group of people spoke, and rallied at Tracy Plaza Thursday afternoon... to address the issue... which has grabbed national headlines the past few years.  City director of Youth Services Vickeye James says her group is going to go with a new tact to get more students involved. There is a certain degree of violence in many schools... from fights to bullying... but, thanks to social media and video games... it's gone to a new level.  School officials spoke of no particular problems... but, Jamestown High School Principal Mike McElrath says it's a matter of reinforcing the "right message..." and, that's to keep them away from fighting and bullying.  Students were encouraged to bring other students... banners, signs, and wearing school colors.  In addition to the Youth Services Bureau... the Jamestown Public Schools, Mayor Sam Teresi... Family Services of Chautauqua County... and, Chautauqua Tapestry were part of the program.

 

Eastman Kodak says it will cut 70 jobs at its Rochester-area operations as it transitions to a smaller company focused on commercial and packaging printing.  The Rochester-based film and photography pioneer announced Wednesday that it was eliminating 85 positions companywide, including 70 in the Rochester area.  It's the largest number of layoffs since Kodak ended its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2013.

 

The ``I Love New York'' tourism website is getting a new page dedicated to hunting. Empire State Development and the state Department of Environmental Conservation created the page as part of a statewide effort to promote outdoor recreation and make hunting information easily accessible. Officials announced Thursday that ``I Love NY'' is now providing more resources to outdoor enthusiasts with the inclusion of fishing, camping and now hunting on its New York Nature page. In addition to hunting locations, the site provides information on big and small game hunting and has links to DEC's website so visitors can get all the information they need in one place.

 

estaurant servers, busboys and other tipped workers are expected to weigh in as a New York state board considers whether to mandate that they be paid the minimum wage. The state wage board is reviewing whether to eliminate the so-called tip wage of about $5 an hour given to servers and other tipped workers. State law allows restaurants and hotels to pay those workers less than the state's $8 minimum wage, as long as their tips make up the difference. Tip workers say the law treats them as second-class employees. Seven states already require servers to be paid the minimum wage before tips. The board is meeting Today in Syracuse. A recommendation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's labor commissioner is expected this fall, with a final decision due in February.

 

Summer's over, but state parks officials are reminding New Yorkers that many public camping sites from Long Island to the shores of Lake Erie remain open this fall, including some that don't close until late November. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation says most of the campgrounds are open through the Columbus Day weekend, with a few staying open into Thanksgiving week.  Camping reservations are available through ReserveAmerica, which provides online and phone reservations for campsites throughout New York state.

 


 

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News Update! for Thurs., Oct. 2, 2014

(**update)Street in Bemus Point closed off after construction crew ruptures natural gas line, which triggers utility pole and vehicle fire...

A car and utility pole caught fire this morning after a construction crew struck a natural gas line in the village of Bemus Point.  However... Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say no one was hurt in the incident... which was called in about 8:45 a.m.  Dispatchers say Bemus Point fire crews were called to the scene at Main Street and Sunnyside Avenue... and, found the pole, and a parked vehicle on fire.  They add some power lines came down on the car... catching it on fire.  Extra manpower was called in from Maple Springs, Ashville, Fluvanna, Gerry, DeWittville, Ellery Center and Chautauqua Fire companies to put out the fire... and protect nearby homes in the residential area.  Most crews cleared the scene by about 10:30 a.m.  However... Sunnyside Avenue in that area will be closed for several hours... and, residents there will be without electricity for some time while repairs are made.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

(Corr) Car-Pedestiran Accident in Portland occured Wednesday morning...

A Fredonia man was seriously hurt when he was struck by a vehicle when he apparently walked in front of a car on Route 20 in the town of Portland Wednesday morning.  Sheriff's officers say 38 year-old Christopher Barnett was standing by the side of the road just after 9 AM when he entered the roadway for an unknown reason.  Deputies say Barnett was struck by the westbound car... driven by Eddie Acevado of Fredonia.  Officers say Barnett was initially taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital... then transferred to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for further treatment.  No charges have been filed.

 

Jury selection in the town of Carroll double-homicide trial resumed this morning in Chautauqua County Court after a motion for a mistrial was denied.  The Buffalo News reports that's because a third person allegedly involved in the murders of 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner... has agreed to a plea deal.  NO additional jurors were selected Wednesday... so there are still 11 jurors so far.  Public Defender Ned Barone requested the mistrial... or at least a delay in jury selection... for the trial of 34 yer-old David Coggins.  However... both requests were denied by County Court Judge John Ward.  Jury selection was halted just after it started yesterday morning.  It resumed this morning.

 

Chautauqua County is nearing the final step in the process of selling the County Home in Dunkirk to a private operator.  County Executive Vince Horrigan will be attending a meeting in New York City today that will determine whether or not a Certificate of Need will be granted to Vestracare of Long Island.  Horrigan says the session begins at 10 AM....where the commitee and the publics health commision will make their final determination on the certificat of need, which is the final apporoval.  Horrigan expects that to "go in a positive manner"
Horrigan says he doesn't see any reason the authorization will not be given.  He says the transition from county to private ownership has been going along very smoothly with few problems.  In fact... Horrigan says all the County Home employees that applied for jobs, have been offered their jobs for at least what they were making.  Another change is complete electronic records-keeping.  Chautauqua County lawmakers approved the sale of the County Home last February by a 13-to-5 vote.  The sale price is 16-million dollars.  Horrigan says if all goes well, a closing date could be set for mid to late December.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen 4-cents a gallon this week to just under $3.65 cents.  The AAA's Weekly Fuel Gauge report says the price for regular, unleaded this week is based on reports from 19 stations in the Jamestown-area.  Last week's average was $3.68.8... while it was $3.70.8 at this time last year.  Nationally... AAA says less than one week into the Autumn driving season, the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline has dropped a penny to $3.33.3 cents per gallon.  That's the lowest price seen since February.

 

State regulators have again extended the public comment period for a fuel shipping company's plan to expand crude oil handling operations at the Port of Albany.  The Department of Environmental Conservation says Monday that the comment period on Global Companies' air permit application has been extended an additional 60 days until November 30th because of broad public interest.  Waltham, Massachusetts-based Global wants to add heating facilities at its Albany terminal so it can handle thick, tar-like crude oil of the sort that's being mined in western Canada.  Global and another company, Buckeye Partners, have vastly expanded their Port of Albany operations to handle crude oil shipped by train from North Dakota's Bakken Shale region. Albany has become a key hub for western crude heading for East Coast refineries.

 

There less than two-weeks to go before the big day... and, the man in charge of race operations for the Lucy-Town Half Marathon says the number of entries for that road race are running ahead of last year's pace.  The director of Athletics, Health, and Wellness for the Chautauqua Striders... David Reinhardt... says they're excited about this year's event... which will conclude the Lucy-Town Half-Marathon Weekend on Sunday, October 12th. Reinhardt says the Lucy-Town Half-Marathon committee has put up 2-thousand dollars in prize money for the overall... and, Masters winners.  But... he adds their 13.1-mile certified course has been added to USA Track and Field's list of three sanctioned races.  He says that'll bring another 25-hundred dollars... which should attract a top-flight field.  In addition to Sunday's half-marathon... and, the 5-K run Saturday... Reinhardt says they've added a 2-K Kids Run this year.  Registration forms available at all local schools... or kids can register right up to the time the race starts on October 11th.  You can also go on-line for ALL the forms at www.lucyrace.com.

 

The Lucy-Town Half-Marathon will feature one of the top distance runners in the country this year.  That from Race Director David Reinhardt... who says the added purse money is obviously making an impact.  Reinhardt says last year's top half-marathoner -- who happens to be from Rochester -- will be here.  He says Tee-sah Kip-lih-Cat registered last month.  He's the reigning USA Track-and-Field half-marathon champion.  Reinhardt says the Half-Marathon on Sunday, the 12th, begins at 9 AM.  The 5-K Race on Saturday starts at 10 AM... while the new Kids 2-K starts at 11:30.  There'll be plenty of other activities on Saturday... including the attempt at a Grape Stomping Record in a 200 foot vat on West Second Street near the Gateway Train Station.  The day will be capped by the big Bob Newhardt comedy show at the Reg Lenna Civic Center at 8 PM.  For more information on those events... go to Lucy-Desi-dot-COM.

 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 11, 2018

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