News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 30, 2015

Silver convicted of corruption in federal court...

A lawmaker who was one of New York's most powerful politicians has been convicted by a federal jury of charges that he used the power of his office to earn 5-million dollars illegally.  Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver stepped down from the leadership post after his January arrest, though he has remained an assemblyman.  Jury deliberations had just resumed this afternoon after the panel was sent home for the Thanksgiving Holiday.


Merchandise bought at retail to be taxed .5-percent more in Chautauqua County, starting tomorrow...

Businesses across Chautauqua County are busy today, calibrating their cash registers to account for an added half-a-percent sales tax, which begins today.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the increase... which was approved by the county legislature, then the state, takes effect Dec. 1.  Horrigan says it's mainly in place for 2016 and beyond, but, adds a complication in state law mandates the change be made -- starting Tuesday, which he says will help them lower property taxes, and eliminate a $6-million "structural deficit" in the county budget.  Horrigan says the added sales tax will bring another $8.3-million to the county to plug that deficit... and, rebuild the fund balance.  He says it also puts the county "on par" with neighboring counties as far as both property and sales tax.  Horrigan says it still recognizes the fact we border Pennsylvania... and there will be no sales tax on clothing and footwear up to $110 each.  The final 2016 county budget cuts the tax rate by 6.6-percent... or about 60-cents to $8.55 per $1,000 full value.      


MAST and CCCC leader attacks city lawmakers for using BPU Dividend payment to reduce projected 5.6-percent tax increase...

A pair of local business organizations say Jamestown lawmakers are wrong to again be asking the Board of Public Utilities for a dividend payment -- and, now to increase that payment.  The Manufacturer's of the Southern Tier and the county's Chamber of Commerce are blasting the City Council's request for an additional $232,000.  That would bring the dividend payment to the current year's level of $482,000.  The head of the Chamber, and, MAST -- Todd Tranum -- says city leaders should instead have a better plan in place for economic development.  Tranum says Jamestown needs to grow it's tax base... and, develop a plan to do that.  While the additional payment would lower the projected tax increase from 5.6 to about 4-percent... he says the increase remains over the state's 2-percent Property Tax Cap.  That means residents won't be getting a tax rebate check for the amount of the increase in 2016.  Tranum says there's also a problem because neither the Teresi Administration, nor City Council, have explained how the dividend payment is determined.


Two city men arrested for allegedly having loaded hand-gun in their possession...

New public safety cameras in downtown Jamestown have helped city police take two men off the street for allegedly having a loaded gun in their possession.  City police were called to the area of 708 East Second Street about 2:30 last Wednesday afternoon on a report of suspicious behavior.  But... on arrival police say the two men got out of the vehicle in an effort to elude officers.  However... police were able to track down 29 year-old Terrance Hubbard, and 32 year-old Christopher Jones.  Both were arrested after officers found a loaded 9-millimeter gun inside the vehicle.  They were arraigned on a charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and sent to the county jail.  An officer at the Jamestown Police station was able to view the suspects and the vehicle on the public safety cameras prior to officers arrival... providing them important information.


City fire investigators looking for cause of small blaze in condemned home...

Jamestown fire crews made quick work of a small fire on the second-floor of a condemned house on the city's westside last night.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Russo says an off-duty firefighter happened to drive by the location at 222 Steele St. about 5:15 p.m. and, spotted smoke coming from the upper part of the building.  Russo says they found smoke coming from the second-story, but, it only took about 5-minutes to get the blaze under control.  No one was in the building when crews arrived... and, there were no injuries.  Russo says there was minor damage done to the one room where the small blaze originated.  An off-duty shift was called in.  All services were disconnected from the home... which had been condemned last April 22.  Russo would not say if the fire was suspicious... but, said the cause is under investigation.


Boy wounded in Hunting accident last Friday in Falconer...

An unidentified boy is now in stable condition after being wounded in the village of Falconer last Friday morning during a hunting accident.  Ellicott Town Police say they received a 9-1-1 call just after 8:30 AM about a male victim being shot in a wooded area off East Elmwood Avenue.  Officers say the boy had been shot in the shoulder area while hunting with two other people.  Police say the victim was taken to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo for treatment.  The incident remains under investigation.  Officers say no other information will be released until the investigation is completed.
 

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News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 27, 2015

Jamestown police investigating two, overnight 7-Eleven robberies; one person believed to be involved...

City police are looking for a black man with a light complexion who they say robbed two 7-Eleven stores in Jamestown early this morning.  City Police say the first hold-up occured just after 2 a.m. at the store at 1011 East Second St.  Officers say the man was reportedly wearing a heavy black, Winter coat with a hood... and black baggy pants -- possibly sweatpants.  They add he was also wearing white sneakers with a black stripe.  The suspect allegedly threatened the clerk, and demanded and received a small amount of cash before fleeing on foot.  Police say the second hold-up occured at the 7-Eleven Store at 518 North Main St. about 3:30 a.m.  The robber also fled on foot.  Officers say the suspect is also believed to have a thin mustache.  Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call City Police at 483-7437... or their TIPs line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.


(Corr.)City police arrest man for allegedly fight, and being found in possession of significant amount of pot...

Jamestown police are issuing a correction on information about a city man being jailed for allegedly getting into a fight with his brother... and, is also accused of also being in possession of nearly 40 grams of marijuana.  City police were called to the scene of an alleged altercation shortly after 5:30 a.m. Thursday at 108 Fairmount Avenue.  On arrival... officers learned that 29 year-old Marcus Carlson had gotten into the fight in front of "Spirits" Bar and Grill.  Police initially charged him with third-degree assault... but, then also smelled a strong odor of pot coming from Carlson's jacket.  Officers found him with 38.8 grams of marijuana.  Carlson was also charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.  He is being held pending arraignment.


"Black Friday" underway in Jamestown-area, but, not as busy due to "Grey Thursday" openings...

"Black Friday" was already well underway early this morning at some retail locations in the Jamestown-area.  Many stores opened last night to take advantage of early "Grey Thursday" specials for early shoppers... and, many stayed open all night for people going out after their Thanksgiving meal.  The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood is re-opening this morning... though two stores... J-C Pennys and the Bon-Ton... were open all night.  Mall Marketing Director Cynde Breneman says their 50-plus stores have a "great variety" of items for sale.  She says they have everything from fashion to gadgets.  The other anchor store in the Mall... Sears... reopened at 5 a.m. after taking a few hours off to re-stock.  Breneman says a lot of stores have "Buy one -- get one at 50-percent" off specials going on.  Also on this Black Friday... she says Santa arrives at Noon.  Breneman says the YMCA will again sponsor the event... and, Santa will be arriving in a Military Humvee, with a military escort.  She says the Mall will be open today until 9 p.m.  She adds that their general hours Saturday are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.  For more information on the Mall... call 763-1823... or go on-line to www.chautauquamall.com.


"Black Friday" also underway at other locations...

Elsewhere... "Black Friday" began Thursday night at several other major retailers in the Jamestown-area.  Specials began at 6 last night at the Wal-Mart Super Center on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood.  K-Mart in West Ellicott opened at 7 last night... and, will be continuing it's "door buster" deals until 2 this afternoon.  In Jamestown's Brooklyn Square... Big Lots Department Store was open all-day for Thanksgiving... and, re-opened at 6 this morning.


Cuomo's goal for renewable energy sources criticized by environmentalists...

Governor Andrew Cuomo told the state's Public Service Commission this week to make achieving 50 percent of the state’s electric power from renewable sources by 2030 a requirement.  However... some clean energy advocates say that’s not enough.  At next week's U-N Climate Change conference... many nations will be asking to lower the goal for the world's maximum allowable temperature increase.  Co-Coordinator Mark Dunlea of the "100 Percent Renewables Now New York" Campaign... the state needs to raise its goal for how much electricity it gets from renewable sources much higher, in order to reach its target for carbon reductions.  Environmentalists were encouraged by Cuomo’s veto of a proposed offshore liquefied natural gas port... a move that could clear the way for developing offshore wind power. 

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WJTN News Headlines

The couple that was tied up and robbed at gun-point last weekend on Jamestown's southside were apparently targeted by the two suspects allegedly involved.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they've had a couple of breaks over the past day in the case.  Samuelson says that involves discovery of a vehicle that might have taken the two men involved to the 555 South Main Street address... and, helped in their get-away. Samuelson says the suspects were able to get the occupants to answer the door.  The two men then pulled a gun... and, tied up the occupants before fleeing with money and property.  Samuelson says the men were apparently looking for a "large quantity of cash..." but, didn't find it.  He says tips from the public helped police find a blue-color Chrysler Pacifica they believe may have served as a getaway vehicle for last Sunday morning's robbery.  The car has been impounded.  One robber is described as a 6-foot-3 inch tall black male... while the other was a 5-foot-7 inch Hispanic male with a stocky build.  The woman driver of the car is described only as a white female.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or 483-8477.

 

Police in western New York say a Cassadaga woman was killed after her car hit a horse... and, crashed.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office says the accident occured Tuesday night in the Town of Leon (Lee-in).  Deputies say 43 year-old Lerlene Rumsey of Route 60 hit the animal as it was being walked across Mosher Hollow Road around 9 PM... and, was thrown from her car as it went into a ditch... and, rolled over three times.  Rumsey was pronounced dead at the scene by Cattaraugus County Coroner Howard VanRennselaer.  The investigation is continuing.

 

Protecting drivers from those who are impaired, distracted or like to speed, is a primary reason for a statewide crackdown that began yesterday... and, continues through the Thanksgiving weekend.  That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace... who leads the STOP-DWI campaign in the county.  Gerace says it’s important to get intoxicated drivers off the highway. Gerace says most police agencies in the county will be participating in the crackdown which continues through early Monday morning.  Over 48-hundred tickets were issued across the state during last year's campaign.

 

New York State Police say they will be stepping up road patrols over the holiday weekend.  State police say they will join with local agencies Wednesday through Sunday to crack down on impaired, distracted and speeding drivers.  Troopers say they will supplement regular patrols statewide and set up sobriety checkpoints. They also will use unmarked vehicles.  The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is typically one of the busiest travel times of the year.  State troopers last year report arresting 172 drivers for DWI over the weekend... and, also issuing 4-thousand-237 speeding tickets and 565 tickets for distracted driving.

 

Lower gasoline prices and the convenience of driving are the reasons why a huge number of American's are traveling this Thanksgiving Day Weekend.  That from Triple-A East Central Public Affairs Director Chelsea Pompeani... who says well over 40-million of the people traveling this weekend will be going over the road.  Pompeani says they haven't seen numbers like this since 2007. Pompeani says with the number of cars way up this year... Triple-A in the region is expecting they'll have to "rescue" close to 360-thousand motorists on the road.  She says those break-downs are due mainly to dead batteries... or flat tires.  Pompeani also urges motorists to avoid drinking and driving -- especially last night and Friday night -- which are two of the biggest bar nights of the year.  In addition... she urges people who will be taking long trips during the weekend to make sure they get their rest.  She says drowsy and distracted driver can be as dangerous as one who is drunk.
 


Several retailers in the Jamestown area will again take advantage of what's become known as "Grey Thursday..." where stores open before Black Friday to draw in shoppers.  The Chautauqua Mall will open at 6 o'clock tonight and be open for about seven hours -- with several stores offering special deals.  However... Mall Marketing Director Cynde Breneman says while most stores will close until 6 AM Friday... a few will be open all night.
Breneman says their three anchor stores all have different hours to take advantage of the early openings.  She says J-C Pennys will open at 3 this afternoon... and, stay open all the way through 9 PM Friday.  Breneman says the Bon-Ton opens at 5 PM... and, they'll be open until 10 PM Friday.  The third anchor... Sears... will open today at 6 PM and close at about 2 AM Friday.  Breneman says they'll then re-stock for a few hours... and, re-open at 5 AM Friday.  Sears will also stay open until 10 PM Friday.

 

Deliberations will resume next Monday at the federal corruption trial of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  Jurors worked through the morning on Wednesday before adjourning for the long holiday weekend.  U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni had urged the Manhattan jurors to try to reach a verdict.  On Tuesday... one of the jurors claimed in a note that she was being bullied by other jurors.  The judge also denied a request by the complaining juror to meet with her privately.  Prosecutors accuse Silver of collecting millions of dollars in kickbacks for favors provided to a cancer researcher and real estate developers.  The defense countered that the once-powerful Democrat did not commit a crime.  The 71-year-old lawyer resigned his leadership post after his January arrest but held onto his Assembly seat.

 

Jamestown's largest soup kitchen will be open this afternoon serving a mid-day, traditional thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings.  The St. Susan's Center on Water Street will be open from 12:30 to 2 PM for those looking for a place to come and have a sit-down meal.  That from St. Susan's Director Jeff Smith... who says they're teamming up with the Conduit Church for this year's program.  Smith adds they're set for volunteers... but, adds they can always use them during the course of the year. As for food donations... Smith says they're also in good shape.  In fact... he tells me (us) that they have plenty of green beans... turkey, corn... and, other dishes.  Smith says that's thanks to a "very generous community."  If you would like to help out as a volunteer... or make a donation... you can call the St. Susan's Center at 664-2253.  They also take monitary donations so they can buy food through the Food Bank of Western New York.

 

A terminally ill former New York state senator will serve six months of house arrest after being convicted of lying to the FBI about arranging a high-paying job for his son.  Binghampton area lawmaker Tom Libous must also pay a $50,000 fine following his sentencing in federal court Tuesday.  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office did not seek prison time for the sixty-two-year-old Binghamton Republican because he has cancer.  Libous lost his seat as the Senate's deputy majority leader after being convicted in July. Prosecutors say he lied to agents asking how Libous' son Matthew got a 150-thousand dollar-a-year job with a White Plains law firm.  Two other former legislative leaders -- Republican Sen. Dean Skelos of Long Island and Democratic Assemblyman Sheldon Silver of Manhattan -- are on trial for unrelated corruption charges.

 

The sudden collapse of the largest nonprofit health insurance cooperative created by President Barack Obama's health care law is causing headaches New York.  Doctors, hospitals and other medical providers are facing the likelihood that they won't get paid for care they provided this fall to patients enrolled in Health Republic Insurance of New York.  The plan has 200-thousand policyholders.  Regulators ordered the company to shut down at the end of the month because of financial problems.  Hospitals alone say they are owed at least 150-million dollars by the failed plan.

 

 

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News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 25, 2015

Victims of Sunday morning's home invasion robbery in Jamestown were apparently targeted...

The couple that was tied up and robbed at gun-point last weekend on Jamestown's southside were apparently targeted by the two suspects allegedly involved.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they've had a couple of breaks over the past day in the case.  Samuelson says that involves discovery of a vehicle that might have taken the two men involved to the 555 South Main St. address... and, helped in their get-away.  He says the two suspects were "not going around door-to-door... looking to rob that morning."  Samuelson adds, though, they don't have a motive yet in the robbery.  He says the suspects were able to get the occupants to answer when they said that their car had broken down.  However... the men then pulled a gun... and, tied up the occupants before fleeing with money and property.  Samuelson says tips from the public helped police find a Sports Utility Vehicle they believe may have served as a getaway vehicle for last weekend's home invasion robbery.  He says a blue-colored Chrysler Pacifica was found in a parking lot off Lakeview Avenue last night.  He says that car has been impounded... and, they're in the process of obtaining a search warrant to look at the vehicle.  One robber is described as a 6'3" tall black man... while the other was a 5'7" Hispanic male with a stocky build.  The woman driver of the car is described only as a white woman.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.


Cassadaga woman dies after car hits horse, crashes in Catt. County...

A Cassadaga woman was killed last night when her car hit a horse in the Cattaraugus County town of Leon... and, overturned.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the crash occured about 9 p.m. Tuesday on Mosher Hollow Road when the woman... 43 year-old Lerlene Rumsey of Route 60 hit the animal... as it was being walked across the two-lane road.  Deputies say Rumsey's vehicle continued north and when into a ditch... and, struck a dirt embankment.  The car then rolled over three times... and, she was thrown from the vehicle.  Officers say Rumsey was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Howard VanRensselar.  The crash is still under investigation.


Jamestown man arrested for alleged sexual assault on juvenile...

A city man is jailed on $20,000 cash bail for allegedly committing sexual assault on a juvenile earlier this year in the town of Carroll.  Sheriff's Deputies say they received the complaint late this past May that 25 year-old David Petteys of Prospect Street was having an inappropriate relationship with the child.  Following an investigation... officers say an arrest warrant was obtained in Carroll Town court for Petteys' arrest.  He was later located by Jamestown Police... and, arrested without incident.  Petteys was then turned over to the Sheriff's office... and, arraigned on charges of first and third-degree Criminal Sex act... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.


Schumer calls on FDA to ban high-powered laster pointers used in Aircraft Strikes...

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to ban the sale of high-powered, long-range green laser points to the public.  Schumer's push comes in the wake of several recent incidents in which green lasers were pointed at aircraft... and, temporarily blinded and disoriented pilots.  This includes the incident two weeks ago when the pilot of a FedEx plane flying over Jamestown reported a green beam of light coming from a laser on the ground lighting up the aircraft.  Schumer said that while it is lucky no one was harmed in the Jamestown incident or any other green laser attack... the federal government should act before a horrific event occurs, not after.  Schumer says "simply put: these green, long-range, high-powered laser pointers are a danger to our pilots and the hundreds of passengers whose lives depend on their eyesight and training.  While we are very lucky the recent incident in Jamestown did not yield devastating results, we cannot sit idly by and wait for a horrific incident to occur before we act."


Sponsorships falling into place for Jamestown's Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration...

A number of returning sponsors... and, new ones... will be taking part in the annual Tinseltown Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration a week from this Friday in Jamestown.  That from Events and Marketing Associate Edwin Rodriguez with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... which is again putting on the event this year.  Rodriquez says the event steps off on and near the Third Street Bridge at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4.  He says one new sponsor is Elite Kreations Auto Detailing... which is sponsoring the grand marshall's transporation that night.  The Resouce Center is again the prime sponsor.  In addition... Rodriguez has announced that Santa Claus will be escorted by Shults Auto Group.  Santa’s trip through downtown ends at Tracy Plaza and signals the start of the parade fireworks off the Spring Street Parking Ramp.  While sponsors have fallen into place... Rodriquez says it took some time for those entering floats and other units to enter the parade.  He says they're now "getting a rush" of entries.  The night will start with music on Tracy Plaza... then the lighting of the city's 45-foot tall Norway Spruce Tree before the parade steps off.  For more information... call the JRC at 664-2477.


New York pushing to use more renewable energy by 2030...

New York is taking steps to accomplish Governor Cuomo's goal of generating half of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2030.  Cuomo's administration says Monday that it will task the state's Public Service Commission with enforcing the 50-percent target.  About 26-percent of the state's power now comes from renewable sources.  Cuomo is expected to make reducing emissions and boosting green energy a focus of his state-of-the-state address in January, a speech used to lay out priorities for the state budget and the coming year. 

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News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 24, 2015

City police release more information, possible suspect vehicle in Jamestown home invasion robbery...

Jamestown police are asking for the public's help in locating an SUV that may have served as a getaway vehicle for last weekend's home invasion robbery.  City Police also say the home where two men forced their way inside was at 555 South Main St.  Officers say the suspects were able to get the occupants to answer when their said their car had broken down.  However... the men then pulled a gun... and, tied up the occupants before fleeing with money and property.  Police say they've received information about a blue "crossover" SUV -- possibly a Chrysler Pacifica -- parked near the home.  Officers say a white woman was driving... and, the vehicle had Pennsylvania license plates.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or 483-8477.


Jamestown man arrested for alleged sexual assault of minor...

A city man is jailed on $20,000 cash bail for allegedly committing sexual assault on a juvenile earlier this year in the town of Carroll.  Sheriff's Deputies say they received the complaint late this past May that 25 year-old David Petteys of Prospect Street was having an inappropriate relationship with the child.  Following an investigation... officers say an arrest warrant was obtained in Carroll Town court for Petteys' arrest.  He was later located by Jamestown Police... and, arrested without incident.  Petteys was then turned over to the Sheriff's office... and, arraigned on charges of first and third-degree Criminal Sex act... and, one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.


City lawmakers made final adjustments to 2016 budget to be acted on next Monday night...

The Jamestown City Council made several attempts... but, were unable to find any budget cuts that were either legal or made sense.  While unable to find cuts... lawmakers last night actually added a small amount of money to an agency whose funding had been completely cut out in the $35.1-million dollar spending plan.  City Council President Greg Rabb says members decided to put $2,500 into the spending plan to the Jamestown Senior Center.  Rabb says there was consensus that they should "at least pay the rent, and supply expenses."  The biggest change to the spending plan actually took place earlier in the day at the Board of Public Utilities meeting.  The BPU approveed adding another $232,000 to the BPU's dividend payment next year.  It had been $250,000 in Mayor Sam Teresi's budget.  The addtional payment would lower the tax increase from 5.6-percent to just over 4-percent for 2016.  That also gives the city some breathing room under it's constitutional taxing limit.  The biggest cut proposed was about $236,000 by First-Ward Councilman Brent Sheldon.  However... those were nixed due to minimum manning clauses in the DPW... and, efficiency of the Summer Work Program.  The budget will be voted on next Monday night.


BPU and Board's largest union reach agreement on four-year contract...

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has approved a new, four-year contract agreement with it's largest employee union that runs through the end of 2019.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the board Monday approved the pact with IBEW Local-#459... which represents 83 employees.  Leathers says members of Local-#459 approved the agreement back on Nov. 2... and, will replace the contract scheduled to expire next March 31.  The contract also was extended from April 1 of this year through March 31 of next year with no changes.  Leathers says the new contract covers the time period of next January 1st through December 31st of 2019.  There will be a 2.25-percent wage increase starting next January 1.  There will then be 3-percent increases each of the next three years.  Also... Leathers says the two parties negotiated new health insurance changes effective January 1, 2017.  He says employee premiums will increase to 17-percent in 2017... 18-percent in 2018... and, 20-percent in 2019.

 

 

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News Update for Sun., Nov. 22, 2015

Jamestown Police looking for two men accused of robbing southside home at gun-point...

Jamsetown police are looking for two men who allegedly forced their way into a home on the city's southside early yesterday morning... and, stole money and property from the occupants.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the pair knocked on the door about 12:40 AM... and, asked for help with their broken down vehicle.  However... Samuelson says the two men forced their way inside, and pulled a gun, tied up the occupants... robbed them before fleeing the scene.  He says one suspect is described as a 6'3" inch tall black male... who is thin... and, was wearing a dark-hooded sweatshirt.  Samuelson says the second suspect is an hispanic male... who was about 5'7", and had a stocky build.  Both suspects are still at-large.  Anyone with information on the two men... or the incident itself... is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or the confidential tip line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.

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News Headlines for Sat., Nov. 21, 2015

Jamestown-area residents, clergy, hold Candlelight Vigil for victims of Paris terrorist attacks... 
More than 30 residents and clergy members from the Jamestown-area braved a bitterly cold night Friday on Tracy Plaza to pray for the more than 400 people killed in recent terrorist attacks overseas "to condemn these murderous acts of violence..." and, to mourn the victims.  However... organizer Paul Leone says it was the terrorist attacks in Paris that spurred him to action to organize the rally, and candlelight vigil.  Some 130 people were killed in those attacks... the biggest of which occured at a rock concert.  He says he had feelings of sadness, bewilderment, anger and compassion, and that's why we're here tonight."  Leone adds that the terrorist group ISIS was also involved in the bombing of a Russian Airliner, which killed 224 people... and, other attacks claimed 43 lives in Beirut, Lebanon.  Several local clergy members were on hand to offer prayers... including Sam Quadri of the Islamic Society of Jamestown... who prayed for the victims, and their families.  Quadri offered the Islamic prayer in Arabic.  There were also prayers in French, Hebrew, and Spanish presented for the victims of those attacks, as well as their nations.


Young says news of WARN Notices going to NRG employees "extremely disappointing..."

Many of the employees at NRG's Dunkirk power plant have been put on notice that lay-offs are coming... due in large part to a lawsuit filed against the state calling for the re-powering project to be halted.  What are known as "WARN" notices have been sent out to workers at the plant... a move that State Senator Cathy Young calls "extremely disappointing news."  Young calls the move "devastating for the employees, their families, Dunkirk and Chautauqua County as a whole."  WARN notices are required by federal law in the event a large percentage of employees are to be laid-off in the future.  The Olean republican says that... if the layoffs do occur as indicated... the job loss and the loss of the tax revenue from the plant would be "terrible."  At the same time... Young says "we will not give up the fight..." adding that she will continue her push for the construction of a new, natural gas plant at the Dunkirk site.


Gerace announces DWI Crackdown during Thanksgiving Holiday...

Police agencies from across Chautauqua County will be taking part in a statewide STOP-DWI Enforcement Crackdown on Thanksgiving Weekend, Nov. 25 -- Nov. 29.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says drunk driving becomes a major problem around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Gerace says it happens because students are home from school, and relatives come home for the holiday.  He encourages people to plan ahead, get a designated driver, call a taxi, or stay at a hotel and get some rest if you're tired.  Not only will the various police agencies be on the lookout for drunk drivers... but, Gerace says they'll also be watching for those who use other substances.  He says there's been a large "uptick" in the number of people mixing drugs with alcohol while driving.


United Way at 59-percent of 2015 Campaign goal...

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2015 General Campaign is off to a "great start..." but, a very important date is coming up next week.  That from Campaign Chairman Hans Auer... who says they're pleased to be at 59-percent of their goal.  Auer adds that they're "cautiously optimistic" about reaching their $1.3-million goal.  He says they has some "positive momentum" on their side.  But, he says there's still a lot of work to do because some of the area's larger employers may see some reduction in their pledges.  At the same time, Auer says they're going to "push this thing over the finish line."  He adds they are "on target right now" for reaching the campaign goal.  Auer adds they are urging workplace campaigns to wrap up their efforts by next Wednesday.  Auer reminds residents that 31,000 relied on the work of the United Way through programs in it's 45 partner agencies.  He says a donation is also "an investment in the community."  For more information... call the United Way at 483-1561... or go on-line to uwayscc.org.


60th anniversary of "What's New Fair" being held this weekend...

A landmark anniversary is being celebrated by this year's annual program for local businesses to showcase what they have to sell for the holiday season.  The 60th annual What's New Fair... put on by the American Association of University Women... is set to begin today at Jamestown Community College's Hamiton Center at 10 a.m.  Co-Chairwoman Mary Lee Talbot says they're looking forward to the weekend because the event has helped the local AAUW provide more than $300,000 in scholarships.  The other co-chair... Kat Colvin... says there are more than 60 vendors for the 60th year program... and, 15 of those are new.  Colvin says they always look forward to having the vendors -- and others -- show off what they have for the holidays.  The event today runs until 5 p.m., and again tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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WJTN News Headlines

State Police are investigating what they are reporting as a double-fatal house fire discovered late Monday afternoon in the town of Ellery.  Troopers in Jamestown say Fluvanna firefighters were called to the scene on Greenhurst Drive about 5 PM.  Police say the blaze apparently occured sometime between the previous night... and, early Monday morning.  Troopers say two people were found dead inside the residence.  They've been identified as 69 year-old Geraldine Dahlin... and, 77 year-old Nevon Tarbell.  State Police say the two victims were taken to the Erie County Medical Examiners Office for autopsies.  Investigators say the preliminary cause has been detemined to be accidental, and cigarette-related.

 

There will be a new mayor in Lakewood come next year... and, for the first time... a woman will be the village's top-elected official.  Challenger Cara Birritieri (Beer-ah-TEE-Airy)... the endorsed Democrat candidate... has officially been declared winner over incumbant Republican David Wordelmann.  The county's Board of Elections says Birritieri out-polled Wordelmann after counting absentee and affidavit ballots, 458-to-420.  Birritieri tells us that the results still haven't sunk in yet. Birritieri was ahead by only 19 votes after election night, 418-to-399.  The Independent candidate was endorsed by village Democrats, and two other minor parties in the race.  Birritieri has been a member of the Citizens for Better Government Committee... and, says she wants to move fullspeed ahead on a new Comprehenive Plan... and, getting a new Recreation Center up and running.

 

The Democrat candidates in the two "too close to call" Chautauqua County Legislature races gained during the absentee and affidavit ballot counts... but, not enough to win.  In District 11... incumbant Republican David Wilfong won, 371-to-333 over Democrat Bob Whitney, Junior.  Wilfong led after Election Night, 347-to-305.  In District 12... another GOP incumbant, Elisabeth Rankin, defeated Democrat Beth Kresge, 462-to-439.  Ranklin led 430-to-399 on Election night.
 


The Board of Elections reports that in the Kiantone Town Supervisor's race, Keith Myers leads with 112 votes... to John Ostrander's 109.  In the Westfield Town Clerk's race... Andrea Babcock was the winner there, 661-to-634 over Timothy Breith.    

 

Parents of the Bennett High School Football Team charge discrimination by an all-white officiating team cost the predominantly black team a Section 6 Championship.  Time-Warner Cable is reporting that parents took their complaints over the officiating in the game against Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake to the Buffalo School Board Monday night.  Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake won the game, 29-to-28 in overtime at Ralph Wilson Stadium.  Maple Grove won by kicking an extra point after a touchdown.  Bennett had failed to convert.  Bennett Coach Steve McDuffie told reporters after the game -- "I can honestly say and I really truly feel this way, it was the worst officiated game I've ever been a part of.  We didn't lose.  The refs took it from us."  Bennett supporters point to the fact they were called for 14 penalties in the game.. while Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake was flagged for six.  The parent's group has sent a letter to Section 6.  In response... Section 6 President Brett Banker said they always strive to conduct "quality events."  He adds that "if a school district calls into question any part of an event, we certainly will take time to research those concerns."  The Section's Athletic Council meets today... and, the matter as been added to the agenda.

 

Get ready for another round of strong winds... but, forecasters say indications are it may not be as intense as last week's wind event.  The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Watch from this afternoon through late tonight for Chautauqua and southern Erie counties.  A Wind Advisory is now in effect.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the Weather Service's Buffalo office told us yesterday that southerly winds of 25 to 35 MPH... with gusts up to 50 are possible.  Hamilton added that an intense storm over the Plains is the culprit. The strong winds could make travel difficult for high profile vehicles, particularly on the State Thruway.  The strong winds could also bring down shallow rooted trees and power lines.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says rejecting Syrian refugees would be akin to letting terrorists win by ``conceding defeat of the American dream.''  Responding to those urging him to block the placement of Syrian refugees... the Democratic governor told students at Harvard University Tuesday that efforts to prevent terrorism must be balanced with America's status as a beacon for liberty and tolerance.  Cuomo says Washington has vowed to screen potential terrorists.  He also noted that governors cannot legally block refugees anyway.  Several governors have said they won't allow Syrian refugees into their states following the coordinated attacks in Paris.  On Monday... Republican Congressman Chris Collines from the Buffalo-area... and, a GOP state legislator called on Cuomo to reject Syrian refugees.  So far... 48 Syrian refugees have settled in New York state.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is joining with those saying there needs to be at least a "time-out" to make sure a system is in place to protect national security as the nation processs Syrian refugees.  That as another Congressman and a state Assemblyman have called on Governor Cuomo to prevent refugees from being placed in the state.  Reed says individuals coming from the war-torn region need to be screened for potential terrorist infiltration. Reed says he believes that given the recent attacks in Paris... the downed Russian Jetliner on the Sinai Penninsula... and, major attack in Beirut... a pause in the process is appropriate.  Republican Congressman Chris Collins from the Buffalo-area cited the threat of terrorism Monday when he called on Cuomo to reject additional refugees from Syria.  Reed made his comments during his weekly Telephone Conference Call with regional news reporters. 

 

The city of Jamestown's sales tax receipts were down slightly in the third-quarter of this year... so, a strong fourth-quarter will be needed to make the budgeted figure for 2015.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who says Jamestown received about 1.63-million dollars in sale taxes from the county for the three-month period ending in September.  Bellitto says that figure was down nearly 66-thousand dollars from the same period in 2014.  However... given what happened last year... he feels pretty certain they will make budget. Bellitto says the budgeted amount for 2015 is 5.87-million dollars.  He adds that he's updated the 2016 sales tax projections... and, says that if the city does as well in the fourth-quarter as it did last year... it would require slightly less of an increase in the tax to meet the 2016 level.  Bellitto says if they receive the same amount as the fourth-quarter of 2014... they would only need a one-percent increase in the amount they would have to raise in 2016.  With that... Bellitto urged council members to make no change in the sales tax amount of 5.99-million dollars for next year.

 


 

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News Update for Tues., Nov. 17, 2015

Two people found dead in burned-out home in Fluvanna...

State Police are investigating what they are reporting as a double-fatal house fire discovered late Monday afternoon in the town of Ellery.  Troopers in Jamestown say Fluvanna firefighters were called to the scene on Greenhurst Drive about 5 p.m.  Police say the blaze apparently occured sometime between the previous night... and, early Monday morning.  Troopers say two people were found dead inside the residence.  They've been identified as 69 year-old Geraldine Dahlin... and, 77 year-old Nevon Tarbell.  State Police say the two victims were taken to the Erie County Medical Examiners Office for autopsies.  Investigators say the preliminary cause has been detemined to be accidental, and cigarette-related.


Birritieri wins Lakewood Mayor's race over Wordelmann...

There will be a new mayor in Lakewood come next year... and, for the first time... a woman will be the village's top-elected official.  Challenger Cara Birritieri... the endorsed Democrat candidate... has officially been declared winner over incumbant Republican David Wordelmann.  The county's Board of Elections says Birritieri out-polled Wordelmann after counting absentee and affidavit ballots, 458-to-420.  Birritieri tells us that the results still haven't sunk in yet, and adds she's really looking forward to taking office.  Birritieri was ahead by only 19 votes after election night, 418-to-399.  The Independent candidate was endorsed by village Democrats, and two other minor parties in the race.  Birritieri has been a member of the Citizens for Better Government Committee... and, says she wants to move fullspeed ahead on a new Comprehenive Plan... and, getting a new Recreation Center up and running.
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The Democrat candidates in the two "too close to call" Chautauqua County Legislature races gained during the absentee and affidavit ballot counts... but, not enough to win.  In District 11... incumbant Republican David Wilfong won, 371-to-333 over Democrat Bob Whitney, Junior.  Wilfong led after Election Night, 347-to-305.  In District 12... another GOP incumbant, Elisabeth Rankin, defeated Democrat Beth Kresge, 462-to-439.  Ranklin led 430-to-399 on Election night.


Despite calls not to... Cuomo says he plans to continue accepting Syrian refugees...

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says rejecting Syrian refugees would be akin to letting terrorists win by ``conceding defeat of the American dream.''  Responding to those urging him to block the placement of Syrian refugees... the Democratic governor told students at Harvard University Tuesday that efforts to prevent terrorism must be balanced with America's status as a beacon for liberty and tolerance.  Cuomo says Washington has vowed to screen potential terrorists.  He also noted that governors cannot legally block refugees anyway.  Several governors have said they won't allow Syrian refugees into their states following the coordinated attacks in Paris. 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Grand Valley, Pennsylvania teenager was killed yesterday afternoon when his all-terrain vehicle struck a deer in Warren County's Eldred Township. The Warren Times Observer reports that  State Police in Warren say  17 year-old Logan Brown was southbound on Flat Road -- near the intersection with Chapel Hill Road -- when the deer entered the ATV's path about 2:45 PM.  Troopers say the rider lost control of the vehicle... and, was thrown from the ATV.  The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.  Brown was wearing a motorcycle helmet.  Brown was a senior at Youngsville High School. The investigation is continuing.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has directed state law enforcement officers to remain vigilant after several dozen people were killed in shootings and explosions at multiple sites in Paris.  Cuomo said Friday the attacks were tragic and senseless.  He says New York law enforcement officers are in constant contact with federal officials.  French officials say at least 132 people died Friday's attack, many of them in a popular concert hall where patrons were taken hostage.  Cuomo says the state police and homeland security officials are actively monitoring the situation for any implications in New York.  New York City police say officers have been deployed to sites across the city, including French government buildings.  They say there is no indication the attack has any link to New York City.

 

The public gets a chance to let it's voice be heard on the proposed 35.1-million dollar budget proposed for Jamestown next year.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the public hearing on his executive budget plan will be held in City Council Chambers tonight at 6 PM.  Teresi says it's the next step in the process.  He says he and lawmakers would like to hear constructive ideas on ways to improve the spending plan... which increases taxes by 5.6-percent.  Teresi says the process has been ongoing since he presented the budget in early October.
Teresi has presented what lawmakers and department heads call a "tight budget" that some believe doesn't include enough money to cover items like equipment and overtime costs.  However... the tax increase totals about 884-thousand dollars... and, would take the city to 99-percent of it's constitutional taxing limit.  City Council will continue it's review of the budget following the hearing at about 6:30 PM.  City lawmakers are slated to vote on the proposal at their November 30th voting session.

 

A Jamestown man has pled guilty to making false statements and representations to the FBI... and, faces up to five years in federal prison.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 38 year-old Tyrell Fuqua-Hayes entered the plea before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci, Junior.  In addition to the prison time... Fuqua-Hayes faces a 250-thousand dollar fine when he's sentenced next Feburary 16th.  Prosecutors say the suspect alleged that he met a man last January who was arrested in another federal case while they were in custody together at the same jail.  They say Fuqua-Hayes claimed the man gave him with contact information... and, told Hayes he would get back to him.  This past May... Fuqua-Hayes advised the FBI that he was getting text messages from the man he met in jail indicating that the man wanted to pay him 5-thousand dollars to kill witnesses in that man’s case.  The defendant later admitted he created the text messages himself and that lied about the recent conversations between the man and himself.  

 

Seven fire companies were at the scene for more than four-hours last Saturday night as fire heavily-damaged a single-family home in DeWittville.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say DeWittville crews were initially called to the scene at 68-55 Beech Hill Road about 7:15 PM.  The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that crews found flames shooting from the building.  But, fortunately... no fatalities nor injuries were reported.  The cause remains under investigation.  Firefighters were at the scene until about 11:45 PM.  

 


Local Congressman Tom Reed believes the House and Senate will be able to iron out differences in their versions of an approximately 325-billion dollar federal highway bill.  The Corning Republican says he is encouraged by Senate reaction to the House bill that would provide funding for roads and bridges for the next three years... with the framework in place for another three years of funding. Reed says Western New York should receives its fair share for local highway and bridge projects.  He says the House bill includes 4.5-million dollars for freight and highway projects that cost at least 100-million dollars.  Reed feels that could be a big help to the Route 219 project in Cattaraugus County... which is expected to cost 700-million dollars.  He feels an agreement can be worked out before November 20th... when the current highway funding arrangement will expire. 

 

A guest house and special events venue for Jamestown Community College the past 40 years is up for sale.  JCC President Cory Duckworth has announced that the Sheldon House, and the adjacent the carriage house and garage on Falconer Street, are on the market.  Late this past week... Duckworth said the college's Board of Trustees, citing increased maintenance costs and fewer funds to support Sheldon House, determined the facility no longer advances the college’s central mission.  He says a task force established by the board in 2014... recommended a study be commissioned to explore alternative uses for the property.  The firm "In-Site Architecture" of Perry, New York was selected to do an analysis of the property and recommend new possible uses as well as opportunities for responsibly marketing the property to the general public.  After accepting the consulting firm’s recommendations earlier this fall... the board asked JCC administrators to market the facility and identify potential buyers.  Until a buyer is found and a sale is negotiated... Duckworth says Sheldon House will continue to be available for light receptions and business meetings.

 

New York state authorities say three other insurers have agreed to automatically enroll individuals covered by Health Republic Insurance of New York as it shuts down.  The Department of Financial Services and Department of Health say about 100-thousand individual members in the cooperative can select a new insurance plan for the rest of this year through the state Health Exchange by November 30th.  After that... state officials say those individuals who haven't done so will be automatically enrolled with another insurer, and the three collectively cover the whole state.  Authorities say that the three insurers have agreed to credit any deductible and out-of-pocket amounts that consumers have already paid through their Health Republic coverage during 2015.  Health Republic's small group plans also covered 101,500 people.

 

The leader of the Republican minority in the New York state Assembly says a new state law granting critically ill individuals expedited access to medical marijuana is an example of bipartisanship and good government.  Minority Leader Brian Kolb says that the bill signed into law this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo was ``worth fighting for.''  The law will give individuals with degenerative illnesses or who face grave health risks to faster access to medical marijuana as the state works out the details of its full medical cannabis program before its expected launch in January.  Kolb said the emergency marijuana law is the result of lawmakers from both parties working together to improve the lives of New Yorkers struggling with serious illness.

 

New York's police commissioner says his city has the best anti-terrorism forces in the United States, with thousands of well-armed security personnel at the ready.   But... William Bratton says that to protect the type of ``soft'' targets attacked in Paris, intelligence is essential.  The commissioner spoke Sunday on CBS's ``Face the Nation'' and ABC's ``This Week.''  Bratton says targets like restaurants and entertainment venues are especially vulnerable because they cannot be constantly protected.  Authorities must pick up clues of impending danger through intelligence.  The police commissioner says another challenge has emerged from Friday's attacks on multiple sites in Paris that claimed at least 129 lives -- The attackers may have communicated through encrypted messages that cannot be monitored.  The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Paris bloodshed.

 

A convicted killer serving life behind bars when he staged a daring escape from a maximum-security prison has pleaded guilty to criminal charges for the breakout.  In 35-year-old David Sweat's second court appearance since his capture in June... he no longer wore a sling from his gunshot injuries, his head was shaved and he politely answered a series of questions from the judge.  Sweat has been in solitary confinement at Five Points prison.  He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of first-degree escape... and, a felony count of promoting prison contraband for possessing hacksaw blades used to cut his way out.  He escaped June 6th from Clinton Correctional Facility with Richard Matt, another convicted killer.  Matt was shot dead June 26th... while Sweat was shot and captured two days later.

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News Headlines for Sun., Nov. 15, 2015

Cuomo orders special lighting for WTC Spire in wake of Paris attacks...

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the One World Trade Center spire will be lit blue, white and red in honor of the dozens of people killed in the Paris attacks.  Cuomo says the 408-foot spire was first illuminated last Friday night, and in the days to come.  The governor says the act shows New York will stand with the people of France.  New York City officers have been deployed to various parts of the city, including French government buildings.  Heavily-armed officers stood outside of the French Consulate in Manhattan as passers-by brought flowers.  Police have stressed there is ``no indication that the attack has any nexus to New York City.''  French officials say several dozen people have been killed in shootings and explosions at a theater, restaurant and elsewhere in Paris.

 

City man jailed for attempted rape of ex-girlfriend...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly forcing his way into an ex-girlfriend's apartment and trying to rape her.  City police were called to the scene on Baker Street early Thursday morning... and, learned that 37 year-old Jose Figueroa had pryed the woman's apartment door open... and, held her down -- not allowing her to leave.  Officers say the victim was able to get away briefly... and, she tried to call for help.  Police say the victim momentarily made contact with 911 before Figueroa took the phone away.  She was then able to get way... and, get help.  Officers found the woman had an order of protection against Figueroa.  Police found him a short distance away from the scene.  He was arraigned on several charges... including first-degree attempted rape... criminal contempt... and, second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


Reed visits COI Connections North to discuss Soc. Security Disability Reforms...

Social Security Disability reforms... and, keeping the program solvent... were the focus of a stop made by Chautauqua County's Congressman in the north county Friday.  Corning Republican Tom Reed visited Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated's Connections North Building to meet with several groups to discuss the reforms put in the recent federal budget deal.  Reed says the reforms are meant to help people... but, also "encourage people to return to work."  He feels the older SSD Program is antiquated... and, needed updating before it was to go bankrupt in the next year or so.  COI Executive director Roberta Keller tells us this is a good start in encouraging people to get back to work... but, not be penalized if they're not able to work full-time.  Friday morning's meeting lasted roughly an hour... and, most people applauded the changes.  But... many who attended also seem to agree there is still more work to be done.


Jamestown pilot struck by laser light during incidents that occured across the U.S. last Wednesday...

An commuter airline pilot out of Jamestown was one of 20 across the country who reported being struck by a laser last Wednesday night.  However... few details are available on the local incident.  Jamestown Airport Manger Bill Tucker says such an incident would not be reported directly to them because the Federal Aviation Administration list's Jamestown -- and other similar facilities -- as "uncontrolled, sparsely staffed" airports.  Tucker says such incidents are reported directly to the FAA in either Erie, Pennsylvania or Buffalo.


County gets first signficant snow of 2015-16 Late Fall-Winter season...

The western Southern Tier got it's first significant snowfall of the season last Friday night as a few inches of Lake Effect fell in the higher elevations.  The National Weather Service said some parts of the region could receive 3 to 5 inches before the snow ends.  Most places received one to two inches.  A quick inch or so slicked up local roadways... triggering several minor accidents late Friday afternoon.  Several cars went off the road... and, one accident involving three-cars was reported on Route 39 in the town of Hanover.  No injuries were reported.  Parts of Interstate 86 were also tricky to navigate during the snow.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly allowing her five children to live in fithy conditions at their home on the city's southside.  Jamestown police were called 220 McKinley Avenue shortly before Noon yesterday by Child Protective Services to check on the well-being of several children.  Officers say they spoke with 35 year-old Tammy Sheehan at the door... and, could smell a strong odor of feces and garbage coming from inside the home.  Police say one child came to the door... while another looked out a window.  They say both were dirty and had dirty clothing on... and, had small cuts to their faces.  Officers were able to see inside... and, saw rotten food on the floor, feces and garbage.  Police say Sheehan tried to block their entry... and, was arrested for obstruction.  She was also charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Officers say the children were place with family members, and the house was condemned by the city's Department of Development.

 

The biggest labor union in Chautauqua County government has reached a tentative contract agreement with the county... and, it would result in pay raises in exchange for cost savings.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is pleased with the six-year deal with CSEA Unit 6300.  Horrigan outlines some of the terms of the proposed agreement. The agreement would run retroactive to 2012... and, run through 2017.  Horrigan praised the work of negotiators from both sides.  He thanked both negotiating teams for working out an agreement after being without a contract for three years.  The union, which represents more than 900 members... has already ratified the agreement.  The full County Legislature is expected to take action during their monthly meeting next week.

 

New York will give patients with certain serious illnesses faster access to medical marijuana as the state works out the details of its full medical cannabis program.  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that will speed up access to the drug for people facing degenerative diseases... and, the threat of serious health risks.  Under the measure the state will work with regulated producers who can provide marijuana to patients as soon as possible.  New York's medical marijuana program is expected to be operational in January -- a full 18 months after lawmakers approved it.  People with AIDS, terminal cancers and the parents of children with severe epilepsy have long sought early access, arguing that critically ill individuals shouldn't have to wait any longer.

 

There was a somber gathering in downtown Jamestown late yesterday morning to commemorate the "11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month...." Two trumpters from the Jamestown High School Marching Band played Taps during this morning's observance of Veteran's Day at the corner of Third and Main Streets.  The trumpters also played the National Anthem as the ceremony began.  Commander Ken Furlow with the John W. Tiffany VFW Post-#53 was pleased with the turn-out... and, also urged people to support wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Past Commander Clyde Card with the Ira Lou Spring Post-#149 echoed those sentiments. Card says those veteran's organizations "function" to help local veterans.  He says they need to remain strong so they can lobby for the support of Congress and other lawmakers so veteran's have the support they need.  Afterwards... local veteran's and their families walked to St. Luke's Episcopal Church for it's traditional Veteran's Day Service.

 

The nation's veterans and active military are being honored and celebrated on Veteran's Day with a procession up New York City's Fifth Avenue.  ``America's Parade'' includes marching bands, floats, veterans and military units, with a total of more than 20,000 participants.  Elected officials including Mayor Bill de Blasio are also taking part.  Organizers say the parade theme marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 25th anniversary of Desert Shield.  The featured military branch is the U.S. Navy.  This year's grand marshal is former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.  He is a Navy veteran who fought in World War II.  The parade is organized by the United War Veterans Council.

 

While Republican presidential candidates debated the issues on television Tuesday night... the front-running Democrat in the race quietly made an appearance in Western New York.  A pair of Chautauqua County Democrats were on hand for the campaign appearance by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Buffalo.  County Democrat Chairman Norm Green says there was a good turn-out for the fund-raiser, which cost 27-hundred dollars a person.  Green says there was a lot of energy in the ballroom. Green says both he and Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi had the chance to greet Clinton... who has been to Chautauqua County a number of times.  The Democrat Chairman says that's why he feels Clinton is the best choice for Chautauqua County.  Green says she's actually walked the streets of Jamestown, Lakewood and elsewhere to know local issues.  He says Clinton's attachment to the county began with her times at Chautauqua Institution when her husband, Bill, was president and the Governor of Arkansas.  She also made several local appearances while she was a U-S Senator from New York.

 

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to be in Syracuse as part of the White House's ``It's on Us'' campaign to prevent campus sexual assaults.  Biden is set to speak at Syracuse University Thursday as part of the It's On Us Week of Action.  Colleges across the country are holding events.  The White House launched the It's On Us public awareness campaign in September 2014 with the goal of getting everyone involved in preventing campus sexual assault. Organizers say bystander intervention is an effective deterrent.  Biden is a 1968 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law.

 

Gasoline prices are up nationwide this week... but, are down nearly a dime in Chautauqua County.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price for regular, unleaded fuel is down 9-cents from about 2-dollars-50 cents last week... to about 2--41 this week.  The Fuel Gauge says the average prices is based on reports from 19 local service stations.  Triple-A says the national average this week is up to just over 2-dollars-21 cents per gallon.  Locally... the price is about a-dollar less than it was at the same time last year.  Despite the increase nationally... Triple-A says drivers are still paying about 10 cents less over last month and 72 cents over last year at this time.  The Fuel Gauge Report says the volume of refinery maintenance work and unplanned outages have caused the average price to creep higher over the past weeks... yet drivers are paying the lowest average price per gallon for this date since 2006.  Even with short-term regional shortages, market factors indicating a strengthening U.S. dollar should further draw crude oil prices down, as market oversupply remains front of mind.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Authorities in Cattaraugus County are looking into the death of a man whose body was found in Little Valley Creek behind 103 South Court Street in the village of Little Valley Monday.  Sheriff's Deputies report that the body of Kyle J. Michener was found just before 12:30pm. Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Bureau Personell and the County Coroner were at the scene.  An investigation is ongoing and an autopsy has been scheduled. 

 

Tips from the public helped Jamestown Police make a quick arrest in their investigation of two early morning robberies Sunday and Monday at an eastside convenience store.  City Police Lieutenant Paul Abbott says the bandit... now identified as 41 year-old Noel Vellon... is accused of entering the 7-Eleven store at East Second and Buffalo Streets about 4 each morning... and, pull a gun on the clerk.  Abbott says the man then demanded cash from the register. Abbott says Vellon "lines up" with the description of the man they were looking for in connection with the robberies.  Police now say he faces two counts of second-degree robbery... and, two counts of menacing.  Vellon was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail.  Police add they have also recovered an "air soft" replica pistol the suspect allegedly used in the robberies.  If you have any information on the case... you're still encouraged to call police at 483-7537... or 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

A father and son from Jamestown are now in the Chautauqua County Jail without bail after being arrested in connection with a two-state burglary spree.  Sheriff's Deputies add that local charges have now been place against 51 year-old William Lewis... and, his 28 year-old son, Eric.  Officers say police investigated several daytime burglaries in various parts of the town of Harmony and North Harmony during October and early November.  Several others were investigated in the towns of Busti and Ellicott.  Officers say they have also been working with Pennsylvania State Police on similar burglaries in Warren County.  Troopers say a Honda CRV was spotted at several of their break-ins... and, a car matching the description was stopped in Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania back on November 2nd.  Both men were arrested... and, interviewed by local police.  The Lewises were formally arrested by Lakewood-Busti police Tuesday... and, are jailed on three counts each of second-degree burglary.

 

Dunkirk City firefighters were busy yesterday battling a large fire at an abandoned warehouse.  Crews were called to the former Edgewood Warehouse facility at 320 South Roberts Road just before 1:45 PM.  Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews found a large fire burning in discarded refuse inside the building.  Edwards says they found a large amount of fire inside when they arrived.  He says the fire had also spread to structural components of the roof.  He adds there was structural damage... but nothing major.  Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze, but remained on duty.  The cause is under investigation.  Dunkirk Fire was assisted at the scene by Dunkirk Police, Chautauqua County Fire Police, and Alstar Ambulance.

 

The effort to locate a new, Veteran's Memorial in the town of North Harmony is underway to recogize the more than 700 veterans who have lived in the town.  Project Chief Engineer Rex Tolman says they're about mid-way through the project's design phase... and, they're looking for donations to put the fund-raising effort over the top.  Tolman is a local engineer... and, says the new memorial will be designed similar to Veteran's Memorials now in place in other towns... like Busti. Tolman says... while there have been horror stories about V-A Hospitals in the U-S... he has nothing but positive things to say about the V-A Hospital in Buffalo.  He says his business has also done a lot of work for the Veteran's Administration through his certification as a Disabled Veteran's firm... and, says they've designed about 35 projects over the past few years across the region.  For more information about the North Harmony Veteran's Memorial... Tolman says call the town office at 789-3445.  Officials say they hope to have the final memorial in place at Fardink Road and North Maple Avenue -- just outside Ashville -- sometime next year.

 

There's a push by some state lawmakers in New York to do more for the Empire State's veterans.  In an announcement timed for Veterans' Day... the state Senate's Democratic minority will announce a series of bills Wednesday designed to link veterans to programs to help them get jobs, housing, mental health care and other services to ease the transition to civilian life... and, reward them for their service.  One of the measures would create an employment website for veterans.  Another would allow them to receive educational credits for military training and a third would create programs for veterans who are victims of sexual violence.

 

The Chautauqua County Water Agency is preparing for meeting Thursday night in Dunkirk... but, all of the local governments involved in a proposed North County Water District were represented at a Monday workshop meeting.  We have learned from Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce that representatives from all of the local governments... and, the county were involved in the meeting held at the State University of New York at Fredonia Incubator.  Dolce feels the session went well. The city of Dunkirk would play a key role in the project by providing the water for the district.  Dolce believes he and the Common Council are on "the same page..." and, ready to take the next step.  While he would not comment on the meeting itself... Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan feels positive about Thursday's meeting, the first one the County Water Agency has held since June.  

 

The New York Thruway Authority says bridge and highway tolls won't increase in 2016.  The agency also says Monday a new panel will study future tolls on the new Tappan Zee Bridge, along with potential discount programs and other aspects of financing the span.  The authority is proposing a 2.1-billion dollar budget that is 291-million dollar, or 16 percent, higher than this year.  It includes one-billion dollars for the new Tappan Zee Bridge now under construction over the Hudson River, $348 million for the operating expenses of the authority and the state Canal Corp. and $380 million for other capital projects across the Thruway and canal systems.  Authority officials also pushed back the timetable for opening the first Tappan Zee span from December 2016 to spring or summer in 2017.

 

The city of Jamestown's official Christmas Tree is on up on Tracy Plaza... and will soon be decorated with some 25-hundred lights for the Holiday season.  That from City Arborist Dan Stone... who says a crew from the Public Works Department and Board of Public Utilities took down the 70-foot Spruce Tree in Allen Park Monday morning.  Stone says they then brought it to the plaza... where it was cut down to 45-feet... and, trimmed before being stood upright. Stone says they had no real problems bringing down the tree... and, transporting it to City Hall.  He says it has an "Ascending" branch array... which made it easier to get on the truck... use of which was donated by Lake Shore Paving.  Stone says the tree will be officially lit to kick off this year's Tinseltown Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration on Friday, December 4th at 6:30 PM.  The event on Third Street is put on by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.

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News Update for Tues., Nov. 10, 2015

(Correcting age)Man arrested for allegedly using "air soft" replica gun to rob Jamestown 7-Eleven store twice...

A citizen tip helped Jamestown Police make a quick arrest in their investigation of two early morning robberies Sunday and Monday at an eastside convenience store.  City Police Lieutenant Paul Abbott now says that 41 year-old Noel Vellon is accused of entering the 7-Eleven store at East Second and Buffalo Streets around 4 o'clock each morning... and, pulling a gun on the clerk.  Abbott says Vellon then demanded cash from the register... and, ran off.  He says the man arrested matches the description they received.  Abbott says they were directed to Vellon... who was found in a specific location.  He says police spoke with the man... who was later taken into custody.  Police now say the suspect faces two counts of second-degree robbery... and, two counts of menacing.  In both robberies... police say Vellon fled on foot.  Police add they have also recovered an "air soft" replica pistol the suspect allegedly used in the robberies.  If you have any information on the case... you're still encouraged to call police at 483-7537... or 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Jamestown father and son under arrested for alleged burglary spree in Chautauqua and Warren Counties...

A father and son from Jamestown who were allegedly involved in a two-state burglary spree have been arrested... and, are jailed in Pennsylvania.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers add that local charges are also pending against 51 year-old William Lewis... and, his 28 year-old son, Eric.  The last local address for both is listed as 137 Prospect St.  Deputies say officers investigated several daytime burglaries in various parts of the town of Harmony and North Harmony during October and early November.  Several others were investigated in the towns of Busti and Ellicott.  Officers say local police were also working with Pennsylvania State Police on similar burglaries in Warren County.  Troopers say a Honda CRV was spotted at several of their break-ins... and, a car matching the description was stopped in Sugar Grove, PA back on Nov. 2.  Both men were arrested... and, interviewed by local police.  The Lewises were formally arrested by Lakewood-Busti police earlier today... and, are now in the county jail without bail on three counts each of second-degree burglary.  They also face several other charges in other jurisdications.

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WJTN News Headlines

City police have arrested the man who allegedly robbed two 7-Eleven stores on Jamestown's eastside both Sunday and Monday mornings.  JPD officials have yet to identify the robber. They say that the man entered the 7-Eleven store at the corner of East Second and Buffalo Streets early both mornings... and, pulled a gun on the store clerk.  Police say the man then took money from the cash register before fleeing on foot.  More details are expected to be released later today.

 

Dunkirk Police made two arrests after responding to a call from a concerned citizen about an attempted burglary in the city early Sunday morning.  Police say they arrived to the Dollar General store on East 4th street and found 19- year- old Benjamin Catalino of Silver Creek and 21- year-old Julio Montanez of Dunkirk in front of the store.  Police Chief David Ortolano says the suspects were apparently trying to burglarize the business at the time. Ortolano says a citizen who saw some suspicious activity near the store alerted police... and, he says the "great citizens" of Dunkirk help them a lot.  Catalino and Montanez have been charged with third-degree attempted burglary... third-degree criminal mischief... and, obstruction of governmental administration.  Both men were arraigned in City Court and are being held in County Jail pending a preliminary hearing.

 

A city man is jailed for allegedly threatening a physically disabled person last Sunday afternoon in the Top's Market parking lot on Jamestown's northside.  City police were called to the Washington Street location about Noon... and, found a domestic incident had occured in the lot.  Officers found the victim, and the suspect -- identified as Patrick Liberte.  They say witnesses told them that Liberte was swinging a belt around like he was going to strike the disabled victim.  Police then arrested Liberte for second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  The victim was taken for evaluation to WCA Hospital.

 

With bids for the reconstruction of the historic Chautauqua Amphitheater coming in higher than expected... institution officials should seriously look at alternatives.  Those are the feelings of preservationists who say upgrading the current structure would be much less expensive.  The man heading up the "Save the Amp" group, Brian Berg, says the cost to replace the current structure have already increased by 16-million dollars since the project was first laid out in 2012.  Berg says the architect their group has hired, shows a renovation and modernization, could save between 5 and 15-million dollars. Berg says his group... and, the others who have opposed a total reconstruction of the Amphitheater... are urging a restoration.  He says that's especially the case now when you want to draw more visitors to the institution.  Berg says "people seek authenticity..." and, not a "modern theater that looks like any place else."  He says the "Save the Amp" group is sending out a letter to the Chautauqua community... urging them to press the board to at least look at the alternative.  He says another concern... with costs going up... is what may be left out of the project. 

 

Chautauqua Institution has named a new artistic director for the Chautauqua Theater Company to replace Vivienne Benesch following the 2016 Season.  Vice-President and director of Programming at Chautauqua, Deborah Sunya-Moore says Andrew Borba will be co-director with Benesch during the 2016 season... and, become the new director in 2017.  Benesch was recently named producing artistic director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Sunya-Moore says -- "Chautauqua is fortunate to have two artistic leaders as accomplished, dedicated and syncopated as Andrew and Vivienne.  We are thrilled for Andrew to grow his leadership role at CTC and grateful to Vivienne for her guidance during this transition.  We look forward to continuing a close relationship with her for seasons to come." 

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman says the three-year, 325-billion dollar federal transportation bill that has cleared the House should benefit Western New York.  Reed says he has heard the concerns of local and state officials about the need for federal assistance in repairing local highways and bridges. Reed says the House bill includes 4.5-billion dollars in funding for freight and highway projects that total at least 100-million dollars.  The Corning Republican says he would like to see the Route 219 project in Cattaraugus County compete for the pot of money.  He says that project will cost about 700-million dollars... and, he hopes Governor Cuomo will apply for funding from "that 4.5-billion dollars."  Reed says there are "minor" differences with the Senate bill and he believes they can be worked out before November 20th when funding is expected to run out.

 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer wants the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a new caffeinated peanut butter that targets the athletic and fitness market.  It's called ``STEEM Peanut Butter,'' and was launched by three friends in Massachusetts last year.  Right now... it's sold mostly online and at a few fitness centers and small shops in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  The developers say it combines the protein of peanuts with the energy boost of caffeine.  They say the caffeine is released slowly because peanut butter takes longer to digest than coffee.  But, Schumer says a single serving of STEEM delivers five times more caffeine than a single can of Coke.  He says it may pose a health threat, especially to children.  Schumer urged the FDA to investigate the safety of using caffeine in peanut butter.

 

 

 

 

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News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 11, 2015

City police releasing few details... but, looking for as many as two suspects in alleged 7-Eleven Robberies...

Jamestown City Police are now investigating two alleged robberies at the 7-Eleven store on the city's eastside that occured early yesterday morning... and, this morning.  Officers say an unidentified person entered the convenience store this morning... and, pulled a gun on the clerk before stealing an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register.  That happened one day after a similar person went into the store, displayed an apparent weapon... and, fled the store with an undetermined amount of cash.  The Sunday robbery reported occured about 4 a.m.  It's not known if any vehicles were involved.  The man was wearing a hoodie each time, and was about 5'3" to 5'5" tall.  Anyone with information on either of these robberies is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


City man arrested for allegedly threatening physically disabled person in supermarket parking lot...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a physically disabled person Sunday afternoon in the Top's Market parking lot.  City police were called to the Washington Street location about Noon... and, found a domestic incident had occured in the lot.  Officers found the victim, and the suspect -- identified as Patrick Liberte.  They say witnessed told them that Liberte was swinging a belt around like he was going to hit the victim who is disabled.  Officers then arrested Liberte for second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  The victim was taken for evaluation to WCA Hospital.


Ohio teen arrested for allegedly speeding in stolen car on I-90... 
An Ohio teenager is jailed on several charges after leading police on a high-speed pursuit on the state Thruway from the state line into the town of Westfield.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies were called to assist Pennsylvania State Police just after 4 a.m. Saturday when the pursuit began.  Officers say the eastbound vehicle... driven by 17 year-old Shamear Hubbard of Richmond Heights...  was traveling at a high rate of speed.  However... Pennsylvania Troopers were able to get Hubbard to pull over in Westfield.  Deputies say the Hubbard was turned over to them... and, on further investigation... they found Hubbard to be impaired by drugs and alcohol.  They add that a background check also found his vehicle had been stolen in East Cleveland, Ohio.  Hubbard faces charges including driving while intoxicated... and, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was arraigned in Westfield Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail with bail to be set.  Additional charges are pending in Ohio and Pennsylvania.


Chautauqua Institution decides -- for now -- not to act on bids for Amphitheater Project...

Chautauqua Institution's Board of Trustees met Saturday... but did not act... on bids for a 'renewed' Amphitheater.  Chautauqua spokesman, George Murphy, says the numbers in the 16 "sub" bid packages were higher than expected.  Murphy says the board hopes to take up the matter again before the end of the year... and has asked Chautauqua's staff to re-examine all the bids in the meantime.  He says they're going back through the bids and "de-scoping" the process to make sure what they bid on what correct.  Murphy adds, taking some additional time right now should not affect the projected 2017 opening.  At the end of the summer, the Chautauqua Board agreed to move forward with plans to build a new Amphitheater, at a projected cost of $33-million.  Overall, Murphy says Chautauqua had marginal attendance growth this past summer, and has 'strong financials' heading into 2016.

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News Headlines for Sat., Nov. 7, 2015

Latest meeting to move along project to reconstruct Chautauqua Amphitheater taking place this weekend...

Debate continues over the future of the Chautauqua Institution's historic Amphitheater.  On the agenda for this weekend's board of trustees meeting is a vote on bids for the demolition and reconstruction of the structure where presidents and performers have appeared for more than 100 years.  The board voted in August to move ahead with the $33 million project, despite an outcry from preservationists.  But... opponents continue to lobby to save the original.  Supporters of the project say the new Amp will be more accessible and comfortable and will retain the look and feel of the current Amp.


Former Bemus Point attorney indicted for running alleged "Ponzi scheme..."

A former attorney from Bemus Point has been indicted for allegedly running a "ponzi scheme" to defraud investors out of about $3.4-million dollars.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 44 year-old James MacCallum was indicted by a federal Grand Jury in Buffalo on a charge of mail fraud.  Hochul says the charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison... and, a $250,000 fine.  Prosecutors say between January 2008 and December 2010, MacCallum devised a scheme to defraud the investors.  They accuse MacCallum of encouraging some victims to liquidate other investments in order to benefit from his false and fraudulent higher rates of return.  He also alledgedly claimed that his investments were secured by real estate and life insurance policies.  However, the investigation determined that the defendant was using victim investments to pay back earlier investors... and, also used the money for personal and other expenses.  MacCallum was arraigned before federal Judge Jeremiah McCarthy... and, released on bond.


Horrigan says lawmakers to deal this month with three measures to advance proposed landfill expansion...

Lawmakers in Chautauqua County will begin looking at three measures this month -- one to borrow up to $18-million -- for the proposed expansion of the Ellery Landfill.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says the Public Facilities Committee will deal with the matter at next Monday afternoon's meeting.  Horrigan says there is still about 2 to 3 years of life left in the current landfill cell.  However... he adds the process needs to move forward now because the regulatory process takes time.  Horrigan says even when the new cell is put into use... there's a process to getting the cell prepared, and trash to initially be put into it.  Horrigan says the state Department of Environmental Conservation has now given preliminary approval for the 53-acre expansion.  However... Horrigan emphasized that the expansion will not be outside the current boundaries of the current landfill property.  He says another measure lawmakers will deal with is full-filling the State Environmental Quality Review for the project.  The third is paying $40,000 to buy 20-acres of land in the 'front part' of the landfill as additional buffer, and to repair a damaged culvert.  More with Horrigan on this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

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WJTN News headlines

After two days of record-setting warmth in Western and Central New York... we'll be dropping down to more seasonal temperatures during the day today.  That from Forecaster Steve Welch with the National Weather Service in Buffalo.  Welch said early last night that we've been under the influence of strong, High Pressure for the past few days. Welch says a cold front will move through this morning... bringing gusty winds and rain with it.  There may be some thunderstrom activity.  Welch says records were tied... or beaten in a few upstate New York cities the past two days.  Welch says they just missed the record for November 5th in Buffalo yesterday by one-degree.  The Buffalo record of 73 was tied Wednesday.  Welch says the records were broken by 4 in Rochester Wednesday and Thursday... while Wednesday's record in Watertown beat the previous record by 6-degrees.  We'll be dropping into the mid to upper 40s for the coming weekend.  The complete forecast follows our news.

 

Quick response from a city Public Work's crew helped get a family on Jamestown's eastside safely out of it's burning home early Thursday morning.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme (Suh-LEM-ee) says they received the call to 352 Falconer Street shortly before 7:30 AM.  Salemme says, fortunately, everyone was out of the building when they got there. Salemme says the flames erupted in the attic area of the two-story home.  He says it took firefighers about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Salemme says fire damage was extensive to the attic... but, the fire was pretty much confined to that area.  Salemme says six off-duty firefighers were called in... and, some members of the previous shift stayed on duty.  No injuries were reported.  The cause was an electrical problem.

 

Two local men are being sought by police in Pennsylvania and New York state for allegedly committing several burglaries in Warren County, the Jamestown-area over the past two to three-weeks.  State Police in Warren say Felony arrest warrants have been issued for 51 year-old William Lewis of Jamestown... and, 28 year-old Eric Lewis of Falconer.  Troopers say the two men are accused of breaking into multiple locations in Pine Grove, Farmington, and Sugar Grove Townships since the spree began last October 21st.  Police say charges are also pending against the Lewis' for alleged burglaries that occured here in New York State.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office... Jamestown, Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti Police have also been involved in the investigation.

 

Jamestown police have now released two new photographs of the man who allegedly phoned in the threat of an "active shooter" at Jamestown Community College last Friday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says both are "front views" of the man on security video... apparently leaving the Prendergast Library.  Samuelson says that's where the suspect allegedly called in the threat.  The incident reportedly occured shortly before 2 PM.  JCC was put into a "lock-out" situation... until shortly after 6 PM.  No one was hurt... and, no threat materialized.  The man was wearing a yellow rain-coat... and, was wearing a blue knit hat with dark-colored jeans... and, shoes.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  We have put the photos up on our facebook page at RadioJamestown-dot-COM.

 

There are five races -- four of which are in southern Chautauqua County -- are still in doubt after Election Night this past Tuesday.  County Elections Commissioner Norm Green says each of those races will be determined when absentee ballots are opened on November 19th.  Green says they're still receiving absentees... and, adds regular absentees are due within seven days of the November 3rd election. Green says those military votes have 13 days in which to be returned.  There is a change in one vote total in the Lakewood Village Mayor's race... in which Cara Birritieri, the endorsed Democrat, now leads Republican incumbant David Wordelmann by 19 votes.  The gap was 20 on election night.  However...one vote was added to Wordelmann's total. Green says 53 of the 95 absentees in that race have been received so far.  In the town of Kiantone... Green says they're waiting on absentees in the Supervisor's race.  Incumbant Kevin Meyers received 107 machine votes on Election Night... while John Ostrander 'unofficially' had 109 write-ins on Election Night.  There are nine-absentees out.  In County Legislature District 11... Republican Dave Wilfong has a 42-vote lead over Democrat Bob Whitney.  Green says 44 of the 66 outstanding absentees have been returned in that race.  In Legislature District 12... Republican Elisabeth Ranklin leads Beth Kresge by 31 votes.  Green says there are 150 absentee ballots there, and 69 have been returned as of now.

 

It was a "good election night' this past Tuesday for Republicans running for the Chautauqua County Legislature.  However... Republican County Executive Vince Horrigan says he remains committed to working with 'everyone' on the panel -- regardless of political affiliation.  Horrigan was on hand to watch the returns at the American Legion Post in Celoron... as the GOP held onto it's supermajority... and, may have added two more seats.  The results are pending the counting of absentee ballots.  Horrigan says he's ready to work with whoever is elected. Horrigan says it's great to see the way lawmakers have worked together the past two years... because the challenges don't get any easier in the next two years.  He did differ with many lawmakers on the decision to use more fund balance to provide a larger tax cut... 5-percent... than he proposed in 2016.  He's concerned about having a "structurally" balanced budget through 2019.  However... he has signed the spending plan.

 

A doctor testifying as the government's star witness in its corruption case against New York's former Assembly speaker says he was ``terrified'' when investigators approached him.  Dr. Robert Taub told a Manhattan federal jury Wednesday that he lied when two investigators asked if he had referred asbestos victims to Sheldon Silver for legal representation.  Taub said he later admitted referring over 25 clients to the powerful Democrat in the hopes Silver would help his research center.  Taub is testifying under a non-prosecution agreement.  He said the 71-year-old Silver began arranging 500-thousand dollars in state aid to his center months after he referred patients.  The 79-year-old doctor said Silver also helped his children get jobs.  Silver is charged with earning $5 million illegally through bribes and kickbacks.  He has pleaded not guilty.

 

Seventeen young women... all high school seniors... will take the stage at Jamestown High School Saturday night for this year's 'Distinguished Young Women of the Lakewood Area'.  They'll be competing for college scholarships and the opportunity to move on to the state competition.  One of the chairwomen, Danielle Bongiovanni, says they've reached a landmark in the history of the program. The show starts at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors.  In the audience Saturday night will be some of the people who brought the program to the area a half century ago.  Tony Barone of Lakewood was the first general chairman of what was then known as Junior Miss. He was an active member of the 'Lakewood Jaycees', the junior chamber of commerce. They offered a lot of activities... mostly for boys. Barone says the 50 years of Junior Miss and DYW will be commemorated with a plaque at Southwestern High School, the original location for the program.  The names of all 50 winners will be included. 


 

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WJTN News Headlines

It was a night of mixed results for Republicans and Democrats on the local scene... and, across Chautauqua County on Election Day yesterday.  In the city of Jamestown... Mayor Sam Teresi was overwhelmingly re-elected with his opponent running a strictly write-in campaign.  Teresi wound up with 1,983 votes... while David George Tharaeperambil received 132 write-ins.  The Democrat was pleased with the results -- especially the fact they won a sixth City Council seat. James is a retired city Youth Services Director.  She defeated Alfonso Pagan 136-to-97.  In other Council races... First Ward Republican Brent Sheldon won re-election... as did fellow Republican Tony Dolce in Ward-Two.  Dolce complimented his Democrat opponent, Joe Scapilitte (Scap-ah-letty)... adding he took "nothing for granted."  In the Fourth-Ward... incumbant Democrat Marie Carubba defeated Republican Rick Elardo, 426-to-234.  Maria Jones and Tom Nelson ended up running unopposed in Wards 5 and 6, respectively.  Democratic Council President Greg Rabb, George Spitale... and, Kim Ecklund ran unopposed for the At-Large Council seats.

 

It was also a good night for Republicans in city of Jamestown... and, County-wide.  The GOP gained a couple of additional seats on the county legislature.  They held onto two seats in Jamestown in a pair of contested races that were re-matches of two years ago.  In District 11... Republican Dave Wilfong edged out Robert Whitney, Junior, 347-to-305.  In District 12 in Jamestown... Republican Elisabeth Ranklin won the other re-match over Democrat Beth Kresge, 430-to-399.  Vote totals are unofficial... and, do not include absentees.  In District 17... GOP Legislature Chairman Jay Gould won big over Independence candidate, John Suroviec, 891-to-76.  In the Cassadaga area... Republican Mark O'Dell won the District 7 race over Democrat David Wilkinson, 653-to-289.  In Dunkirk... Republican Kevin Muldowney beat Democrat William Rivera, 693-to-385.  In District 2... incumbant Republican Shaun Heenan was beat by Democrat challenger Robert Bankowski, 679-to-365.  In District 3... incumbant Republican Robert Scudder won big over Democrat Wayne Dorler.  And... in District 5 Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel won big over Democrat Martin Anderson.

 

The village of Lakewood produced one biggest upsets of Election Day.  Independent candidate Cara Birritierri  holds a 20-vote lead on incumbant Republican David Wordelmann after Election Night.  Birritierri, who was endorsed by Democrats, received 418 votes to Wordelmann's 398.  However... absentees have yet to be counted. 
Also in Lakewood... former Busti Town Assessor Randy Holcomb, a Republican, won one of the two village board seats up for a vote... while fellow Republican, Ellen Barnes, was second.

 

In the town of Busti... Republican Supervisor Jesse Robbins held off a challenge by Democrat Lee Fischer.  Robbins received 906 votes to Fischer's 598 tallies.  Incumbant Republican Town Board member James Andrews... and, former County Legislator, Democrat Rudy Mueller, were elected to the town board.
In the Town Justice race... Republican William Geary won over Democrat Gary Segrue (See-grew).


 
In the town of Ellicott... Republican Pat McLaughlin ran unopposed for Town Supervisor... while former Supervisor Pat Tyler defeated Thomas Campbell for the first-Ward Council seat.  Tyler will be the only Democrat on the town board come January 1st.

 

New York voters have elected five new state lawmakers -- three of whom will replace politicians convicted of corruption.  In a Southern Tier Senate race... Broome County Undersheriff Fred Akshar, a Republican, beat Democrat Barbara Fiala, a former motor vehicles commissioner.  Akshar replaces Republican Thomas Libous, who was convicted of lying to the FBI.  In Brooklyn... Democratic Assemblywoman Roxanne Persaud defeated Republican Jeffrey Ferretti to win the Senate seat formerly held by Democrat John Sampson, also convicted of lying to the FBI.  Democrat Alicia Hyndman beat Republican Scherie Murray in a Queens Assembly district formerly represented by Democrat William Scarborough... who was convicted of pocketing campaign money and filing false expense claims.  In other Assembly races, Democrat Pamela Hunter won a Syracuse-area seat and Democrat Pamela Harris claimed a Brooklyn seat.

 

A 17 year-old boy has been arrested for allegedly speeding when his car crashed on Route 430 in the village of Mayville last weekend.  Sheriff's officers say the teen was traveling on Route 430 just after 8:30 PM Sunday when the accident occured.  Deputies say the car left the roadway and overturned.  Upon arrival... the 17 year-old was safely out of the vehicle.  After a brief investigation... it was found that the vehicle had left the roadway and the operator was unable to correct it back onto the road.  Officers say the vehicle traveled several feet... striking a utility pole and culvert before rolling over several times.  The teen was taken to Westfield Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  He was later issued traffic tickets for speeding... and, moving from lane unsafely.

 

After being closed for more than four weeks after a building collapse at 123 Central Avenue in Dunkirk... Chautauqua County Rural Ministry Offices will soon be reopening.  CCRM's Executive Director Kathy Peterson got the word late Monday afternoon from the city building inspector.  Peterson says the inspector has removed the "no occupancy orders" for 127 to 135 Central Avenue.  The entire Coburn Block is not open.  A garage that is still standing at 123 Central... and, the building at 125 Central will remain closed until further notice.

 

New York state is spending 67-million dollars to help those caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease -- part of an ambitious effort to support families dealing with the degenerative condition.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Monday.  It will be divided among nine different organizations that will create programs to help family caregivers.  Each will receive 7.5-million dollars over five years.  The money will pay for support groups, consultations, outreach and respite services so family caregivers can get a break.  The Democratic governor included the money in the state budget.  He calls it an ``investment'' that will help those who bear the financial and emotional challenges of caring for people with Alzheimer's.  An estimated 380,000 New Yorkers have Alzheimer's or another form of dementia.

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WJTN News Headlines

There is concern among the leaders of the city of Jamestown's two largest departments over whether there is enough money in their budget to make it through 2016.  Jamestown Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings and Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey went before the City Council last night to discuss their spending plans.  Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says Snellings focused in on "four to five" major concerns.  Dolce says a key one is overtime... which has run on the high side in recent years.  Dolce says aging police cars and other equipment are also a concern.  As for the Fire Department... he says Harvey voiced similar concerns... including the age and condition of some fire halls.  One possible revenue stream lawmakers focused on was Emergency Medical Services by the Fire Department.  Dolce says Harvey said they've only been able to get reimbursed 175-dollars per transport to WCA Hospital.  He says the Deputy Chief indicated they only had 300 actual transports last year our of 28-hundred calls.  Lawmakers will hold their next budget session November 16th. Earlier that night... they will also hold a required public hearing on the budget beginning at 6 Pm.

 

It's Election Day 2015... but, unless you live in towns of Busti or Pomfret... there's very little in the way of contested races.  That from Chautauqua County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says polls open at 6 AM... and, will remain open until 9 tonight.  Abram says there are a couple of different polling places... but, only one of those is in the immediate Jamestown-area.  That's where Lakewood Baptist Church is replacing Gloria Dei Lutheran Church as a polling site.  There's also a new one in Ripley... but, otherwise... Abram says all 49 others remain the same.  There will likely be a good turn-out in Busti... where incumbant Supervisor Jesse Robbins -- a Republican -- is being challenged by Democrat Lee Fischer.  There are also three people running for two town board seats... and, there is a town justice race.  In Lakewood... incumbant Republican Mayor David Wordelmann is being challenged by Cara Birritieri... who is an independent endorsed by the Democrat Party.  There are also three people running for two board seats. In the city of Jamestown... Mayor Sam Teresi is the only candidate on the ballot.  However... he is being challenged as a write-in by retired businessman and JCC Professor, David George Tharaeperambil.  Four City Council seats are being contested.  WJTN Radio will have coverage of Election Night - 2015.  Our Terry Frank will look at all the races of note locally starting at 8:30 PM... until the polls close at 9.  He'll also have update reports through the 11 o'clock News.

 

The Jamestown High School Marching Band was given two honors yesterday afternoon at City Hall after winning it's second consecutive, New York State title Sunday. That's Mayor Sam Teresi presenting those "keys" to the city... in addition to proclaiming yesterday as "Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band" Day.  Teresi spoke with pride about the band... recalling that he was a "band parent" just a few years ago.  School Superintendent Tim Mains said he was also proud of the band... but, not just it's performance.  Mains praised the way they represented both the district -- and the city. High School Principal Mike McElrath called the band's accomplishment "amazing..." given how much bigger many of the schools were, and the number of resources they have.  However... Band Director Meghan Murray says there are a few things JHS Bands have that others don't... including a ceremony for them at City Hall.  The band returned home Sunday night after winning the Large School 2 division for the second year in a row in Syracuse.

 

Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly being found with half-a-pound of Heroin in their car during a traffic stop late last week on Interstate 86 in the town of Ellicott.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says Ellicott Town Police and State Police pulled over the vehicle about 11 PM Friday after a search warrant had been obtained.  Police arrested 55 year-old Edgardo Hernandez... and, 59 year-old Orlando Collazo after finding the drugs.  Samuelson says the warrant was obtained following an investigation by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force into the pair's alleged drug trafficking.  Samuelson says the uncut Heroin was being targeted for city street-sales.  Both Hernandez and Collazo were arraigned on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  Both were sent to the county jail without bail.  Anyone with information on the illegal trafficking of narcotics in the Jamestown-area is asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

City police are still searching for the man who allegedly phoned in a "terroristic threat" to Jamestown Community College early last Friday afternoon.  City Police say a white male, wearing a rain-coat, apparently phoned in the threat of a "shooter" shortly before 2 PM from a public phone at the Prendergast Library.  JPD officials have been working with the college to track down the suspect.  JCC Vice-President for Enrollment, Marketing and Communcations Kirk Young says the threat was a "major disruption..." but, adds their new Campus Security plan helped.  Young says retired Jamestown Police Captain Barry Swanson has been drilling them "on this stuff quite regularily."  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the man was last seen walking out of the library... and, says the white male was wearing a yellow rain-coat/pancho, a blue knit cap... and, dark-colored jeans and shoes.  If you have any information on the suspect... call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

The power company that's suing the state over it's decisions to keep the Dunkirk and Huntley power plants operating is looking to close it's nuclear plant on Lake Ontario.  Entergy Corporation said Monday the decision to shut-down the James A. Fitzpatrick Plant near Oswego is based on the deteriorating economics of the facility.  Officials also cite reduced plant revenues due to low natural gas prices, poor market design, and high operational costs.  The company says the facility, which has an annual payroll of 74-million dollars... and, pays more than $17 million in taxes, is losing around $60 million annually.  Barring intervention by state officials, the 850-megawatt facility will shut down in late 2016 or early 2017 and begin laying off its 615 employees.

 

 


 

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