News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 29, 2017

Major drug bust in Dunkirk leads to five arrests, and seizure of more than 100 grams of "crack" cocaine, and more than $170,000...
A major drug bust in the city of Dunkirk has led to five arrests... and the seizing of a large amount of "crack" cocaine, and, more than $170,000 in cash.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided the house at 51 East Second Street shortly before 10 a.m. Friday... and, arrested four of the five suspects.  Task Force members say they arrested  47 year-old Minerva Maestre... 23 year-old Hector Mercado-Torres... 17 year-old Eriberto Corraliza... and, 18 year-old Angelica Cullinan.  Agents say the raid and arrests were based on a seven-month long investigation... where they allegedly found the residence was being used by several people for storage and sales of crack cocaine.  During the raid... task force members say they found 118.5 grams of crack... and, just over $171,000 in cash.  While the raid was being conducted... they arrested 24 year-old Pedro Corraliza, Junior as he arrived at the residence.  He is charged with one count each of Felony criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance.  All five were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.  Task Force members are also on the look-out for 32 year-old Jason Rosas-Rodriguez... and, 27 year-old Cristian Maestre... who are being sought on similar charges.  Anyone with information on their whereabouts can call the Tier Task Force at 1-800-344-8702 or 363-0313.
 
 
RecruitNY Volunteer Fire Weekend underway...
About a dozen fire departments across Chautauqua County will be holding open houses both today and tomorrow as part of the annual "Recruit-New York" Weekend.  That from County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone... who says they're among the nearly 500 departments across the state that'll be hosting such events this weekend.  Leone says the Firemen's Association of the State of New York -- or FASNY --- started the effort a few years ago in an effort to recruit more volunteers to fill their ranks, because those numbers continue to decline.  After many years of decline... FASNY says the annual Recruit-NY weekend has helped add more than 20,000 people to the ranks of fire departments across the state.  Leone says there is still a need for volunteers in Chautauqua County and he encourages those who are interested to attend the local open houses.  The fire departments taking part include Falconer, Fluvanna, Gerry, Kennedy, Kiantone, and Lakewood.
 
 
Young gets $100,000 grant for Jamestown's new Veteran's Memorial Park...
To help the city of Jamestown fullfill it's mission of honoring local veteran's with a completed memorial park... State Senator Cathy Young announced Friday a $100,000 grant to help finish the project.  Young was joined by other local officials and veteran's groups as she unveiled an oversized check for that amount for the on-going effort.  The Olean Republican says it's time to complete the park... which honors veterans of all wars and conflicts.  She also honored the more than 130 groups that have raised more than $300,000 to help construct the memorial park.  Young recalled that the project was started in 2011 under the leadership of late Jamestown Veteran's Council President Ron Cotton.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi expressed his appreciation for the grant... and, the community effort to get the Veteran's Memorial completed.  He especially praised the Veteran's Memorial Commission for it's efforts.  The grant will help complete installation of two new signs for the park... finish relocating six historic monuments from the old Veteran's Park... and, put in a new, nine car parking lot.
 
 
County Chamber's State Leg. Breakfast focuses on new State Budget...
While there were some new, big-ticket items for Chautauqua County in the final state budget... there were some others that lawmakers had to fight to keep in the 2017-18 spending plan.  That from State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who say those item will help local businesses and business owners.  Young and Goodell both took part in yesterday morning's State Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the county Chamber of Commerce, in Lakewood.  Young says they were able to protect a $4.2-billion in tax reform measures.  She also pointed out a number of smaller, Worker's Compensation laws and regulations designed to cut some of the bureaucracy for employers.
 
 
Young, Goodell, voice opposition to state Constitutional Convention...
Many people in Chautauqua County have clamored over the years for a New York state constitutional convention.  However... "be careful of what you wish for."  That from the area's state legislators... who says holding one in the current political climate in Albany could be "devastating" to the state.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who adds it could also cause the "death nell" for the upstate region.  Young says there would be three delegates elected from each Senate District.. and, then 15 "Super Delegates..." which she says would give the New York City-Metro Area full control of the convention.  Young warns that politicians, and lobbyists will have a chance at those seats.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell adds that he often hears from more conservative groups and advocates about the need for constitutional changes to such areas as gun rights.  However... he too warns against a constitutional convention.  However... they did speak in favor of an amendment on the ballot that would strip pension rights from lawmakers convicted of crimes, such as corruption.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Eight people were arrested during and following a drug raid in a troubled neighborhood on Jamestown's north side early yesterday morning.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force the state Police C-NET Team, and the JPD SWAT Team executed a search warrant at 853 Prendergast Avenue about 6 AM.  
 
Samuelson says investigators found several people and about three-quarters of a pound of marihuana inside.  He says there was also just over $3,500 in cash.
 
Samuelson says all five suspects found inside the home, 39 year-old Angel Ortiz-Rodriguez, 41 year-old Elizabeth Rodriguez, 23 year-old Steven Eliel-Rodriguez, 20 yer-old Telly Ortiz, Junior and, 23 year-old Joshua Stam were each arraigned and sent to the county jail.  
 
The other three arrested outside the residence have been identified as 20 year-old Eileen Rodriguez, 31 year-old Hector Montanez, and, 47 year-old Duane Sikes.  If the 853 Prendergast address sounds familiar, Samuelson says that's where a man was shot and killed last June.
 
Samuelson says pot trafficking is also still an issue in the city.  Anyone with information on any illegal drug trafficking in the city is asked to call the Task Force at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477 or use the JPD Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
A Dunkirk man has been arrested in Mayville for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in the north county city over the past several months.  
 
Task Force members say they arrested 28 year-old Angel Tirado Lopez of East Fifth Street Wednesday on a Dunkirk City Court warrant.  Agents say Lopez was arraigned in city court on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree criminial sale.  
 
Task Force members say he was then sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail pending further action of the court.  
 
Authorities continue to ask the public to report suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods by calling 1-800-344-8702 or 363-0313.  Police say all calls are kept confidential.
 
The county legislature has approved a resolution to begin the process of renewing the county's additional 1% sales tax.  
 
Lawmakers in Mayville unanimously approved the measure without much fanfare during Wednesday night's monthly meeting.  The intial home rule legislation approved by the state legislature in 2015 has helped plug a 6-million dollar "structural deficit" in the county budget.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says this is the first-step in the process.
 
Horrigan says the additional tax which makes the county's overall sales tax 8% plugs the hole in the budget, and also allows the county to take advantage of additional hotel capacity, and special events such as the LECOM Health Challenge PGA Web.com tounament at Peek 'n Peak.  
 
This year's LECOM Challenge was also awarded $75,000 in occupancy tax money to help put on the July event.  
 
The county's Director of Planning and Economic Development, Kevin Sandvige, says it's part of growing the tournament budget to 2.5-million dollars.
 
Beer-maker Labatt says it will relocate its U.S. headquarters from its current location in Buffalo to another Buffalo building, which it's restoring in a partnership with the owners of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills.  
 
Labatt USA said Wednesday it will be the anchor tenant at the nearly 100-year-old former manufacturing plant in the city's Cobblestone District.  Along with its 56 employees, Labatt will have space for a restaurant and pilot brewery where beer drinkers will be invited to taste and influence new beer development.  
 
The 70,000-square-foot building was recently purchased by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which plans a mix of retail, commercial and residential space.

 

The Fredonia Police Department is making some changes in how they will be handling "illegal activities" during the weekend formerly known as "Fred Fest."  
 
"Fred Fest" was a Spring party that occured in and around the SUNY College at Fredonia.  That from Police Chief Brad Meyers who announced the changes prior to the unsanctioned event that gets underway today and, continues through Saturday.
 
Fredonia Police will also be posting the arrests on the police department's Facebook page.  The "non-FredFest" event has been a major headache for police and Meyers hopes that the advance notice of the changes will help curb the number of arrests.
 
About 100 people were on hand for last night's annual Volunteer of the Year reception to help honor 16 people for their outstanding volunteerism in the Jamestown-area.  
 
The program was hosted by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at the Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown.  The volunteers were named by their organization for the efforts from mentoring at-risk children, to delivering hot meals to local Seniors.  United Way Executive Director Tori Irgang says the volunteers also come from a variety of backgrounds.
 
Each of the United Way's member agencies select a volunteer but, in some cases chose two because it's hard to select just one.  Among those honored at last night's event were Leroy Trice with Chautauqua Adult Day Care  Jean Shiffer and Sherwood Martin from the American Red Cross Misty Johnson and Clark Poppleton with Family Service of the Chautauqua Region and,Marie Carubba with The Resource Center.

 

A New York community college president who was recorded disparaging an alleged victim of sexual assault has retired, just before a vote to consider firing him.  

 

Niagara County Community College says James Klyczek notified the board of trustees of his retirement shortly before a special meeting Wednesday evening in which the trustees were to decide whether to remove him as head of the two-year college located north of Buffalo.  

 

In a statement... the board's president called Klyczek's reported words and actions inconsistent with the college's values.  WKBW-TV of Buffalo aired a recording in which Klyczek is allegedly heard calling a middle-aged woman who reported being sexually assaulted near the campus library "too stupid to follow (her) instinct."  Klyczek doesn't have a public phone listing and couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

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WJTN News Headlines

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved leasing several acres of land at the former Roblin Steel location in Dunkirk to store wind turbine parts for projects in three northern Chautauqua County towns.  
 
Lawmakers last night approved the $60,000 lease with BNSF Logistics, 15-to-4.  During discussion prior to the vote Hanover's George Borrello again voiced his opposition to the projects mainly because they are so heavily-taxpayer subsized.  Borrello also accused the companies involved with throwing money around to divide communities to get what they want.
 
Dunkirk legislator Robert Bankowski supported the move, which would take place in his district.  Bankowski says the move may help spur further development at the former Roblin Steel location which is also a brownfield site.  
 
Most legislature members agreed with Bankowski but, some were sympathic to residents who spoke prior to the vote and, urged others to vote against the proposal.  
 
One of those was Jamestown's Chuck Nazzaro who says it's "not always about the money."  Nazzaro says he listened with his heart adding that $60,000 is not going to "make or break this county budget." 
 
Members of the public sounded off for nearly an hour before last night's vote on the wind turbine storage facility with several again opposing the projects in Arkwright, Villanova, and Cassadaga.  
 
One of them, Patricia Greenstein of Cassadaga thanked legislators Nazzaro, Scudder and Borrello for opposing the lease deal in committee.  Greenstein says she's concerned about the fact that BNSF is a subsidized company and, the lease will be paid for with taxpayer money.
 
Others also voiced concern over the fact that the county and towns and school districts won't realize the money they should be with a 150-million dollar-plus project.  However, the extra $300,000 is critical to those entities.  
 
That from Arkwright Supervisor Fred Norton, who says he's been involved directly with the project the past 11 years.  Norton says it's especially important to the local schools.  
 
Other residents on hand also voiced environmental and health concerns with the projects... which combined will produce more than 100 wind turbines.  Each individual project has been approved by the local boards involved.

 

The city of Jamestown is in "pretty good shape" as far are revenues coming in for the first quarter of the year.  
 
However there are some concerns about expenses, namely due to several retirements planned in the city Police Department.  That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, who recently told city council members that first quarter Payments in Lieu of Taxes from the Board of Public Utilities were, collectively slightly above budget projections.  
 
As for expenses he says they're looking at about $22,000 in overtime from the fire department from last month's rash of arson fires.
 
The biggest concern, though, on the expense side, is the city is being hit by six retirements in the Police Department and, some of those have already taken place.  Bellitto says the city budgeted $80,000 for those.  
 
However he says it's going to cost $378,000 when they all retire.  Bellitto says they will recoup some of that money later in the year... but, they're not yet sure how much. 
 
Two Democrats in the New York state legislature say the state should be required to release the state tax returns of any president who hails from New York state.  
 
The measure does not mention President Donald Trump by name, but it comes after the New York City Republican refused to release his tax returns during his successful run for the presidency last year.  
 
The requirement would apply to anyone holding high-level elected office, including the presidency, who has filed a New York state tax return.  It would not be retroactive.  
 
Senator Brad Hoylman of Manhattan and Assemblyman David Buchwald of Westchester County plan to formally introduce their legislation Thursday.  Hoylman also has proposed requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the New York ballot.
 
 
The new National Comedy Center in Jamestown is getting some federal help in making the "national-scope" comedy attraction a reality.  
 
That from Local Congressman Tom Reed, who has announced that he's secured New Market Tax Credit financing to help complete the project.  Reed says that financing will provide 4.8-million dollars in "net funding" for the center. The Corning Republican says he's very pleased to see this finally happen.
 
Reed says comedy is a "true art" that brings smiles to so many people and, he says being part of bringing the project to it's conclusion is "something we're excited about.  He praised comedy center officials led by Board Chairman Tom Benson have done a great job sheparding the project and, he looks foward to the final product and, the jobs created and entertainment provided.  
 
In a printed release Tom Benson said "we are grateful for the tremendous hands-on approach that Congressman Reed and his staff have provided over the past several years."  With this funding mechanism in place Benson says they can now make "this catalytic economic development project a reality."

 

Gas prices in Chautauqua County are continuing their upward trend this week with the price up about 6-cents for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price is up from just over $2.49 last week to just over $2.55 this week. The Fuel Gauge says the state of New York is among the top-10 most expensive gas markets in the U.S. with an average price of $2.52.  Nationally the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $2.42, which is an increase of 13 cents over last month.

 

Lake Ontario's rising water is furthering New York Congressman Chris Collins' push for the repeal of an environmental plan adopted late in President Barack Obama's administration.  

 

The U.S.-Canadian International Joint Commission approved Plan 2014 as a way to improve environmental conditions along the lake and the St. Lawrence River by letting water levels rise and fall more naturally.  But the Republican congressman says it's causing damaging flooding along the shoreline.  

 

As of Wednesday, the Lake Ontario water level is about 20 inches above average.  The commission says the rainy April is the cause, and that the levels would be about the same with or without Plan 2014.  

 

Collins and fellow New York Congressman John Katko have written to President Donald Trump urging him to pull out of the binational agreement.

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WJTN Headlines

The bi-partisan "Problem Solver Caucus", co-chaired by local Congressman Tom Reed has announced it will support a 2017 budget provided it is a "clean bill" without any ideological riders. 

 

Reed and fellow co-chair Josh Gottenheimer a New Jersey Democrat made the announcement late Monday as lawmakers were returning to Washington from their Easter Break. 

 

Reed says the move which would avoid a government shut-down, was approved by more than 75% of the 40-member group. Reed adds that lawmakers "must always put country over party when it comes to governing in Washington, D.C."  He says that's why the Problem Solvers Caucus was formed and, adds that it's important to "close the ideological divide and prove that we are true representatives of the people." 

 

He says the caucus has, collectively decided against putting a number of likely divisive items in this year's plan.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Lawmakers in Lakewood had to make several cuts to get the final, 2017-18 budget inside the state's two-percent property tax cap and, that's left the village with little wiggle room over the next year. 

 

That from Mayor Cara Birritierri who says she was disappointed that money she had budgeted to try and continue progress made in the village over the past year was cut out.  Birritierri voted against the final, 4.4-million dollar spending plan and, says there is only $2,000 left for planning work. Birritierri says that'll be a wellness event in the village. 

 

The final budget increases the tax rate by 19-cents per thousand assessed value from $7.15 per thousand to $7.34.  Birritierri says the village has been looking into a joint gas-fueling station with the Southwestern Central School District to save money on gas by purchasing it wholesale.  

 

Monday night's budget vote was 3-to-2.  The new budget had to be approved by May 1st.

 



Interstate 86 between Panama and Sherman was closed for several hours overnight Tuesday in the town of North Harmony after fire erupted in a tractor-trailer hauling chickens destroying both the cargo and the big rig. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's dispatchers say deputies, and Ashville and Panama fire crews were called to the scene just west of Exit 7 shortly after 11 PM Monday and, found the trailer fully-engulfed in flames. 

 

Dispatchers say the unidentified driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment.  There were no other injuries.  I-86 westbound from Exit 7 to Exit 6 was closed until about 6:15 Tuesday morning while the scene was cleared.  The cause of the blaze is continuing to be investigated.


A big announcement about tax reform is expected later today by President Trump who has said little since he announced the news last weekend. 

 

Tax Reform is one of the handful of major items on Trump's plate as he tries to score some significant victories leading up to his 100th day in office.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he too is looking forward to today's expected announcement.  However the Corning Republican deferred to the White House on details.

 

Reed has talked a lot about business and corporate tax reform.  However those proposals would reportedly do away with programs such as the New Market Tax Credit and others. 

 

Reed says those will be reviewed on an on-going basis but, adds he has pushed "keeping what works" including the New Market Tax Credit.  Federal lawmakers began work in earnest on reforming the nation's 70-thousand page Tax Code after they were unable to approve a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

 

The American Health Care Act has not yet made it to the House floor for a vote.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and Public Facilitie's Director George Spanos have announced the list of county highway and bridge projects for 2017. 

 

Horrigan said Tuesday that work will include bridge/culvert replacements and rehabilitation, drainage projects, general maintenance, surface treating projects and paving.  In addition to Consolidated Highway and Pave New York funds he says they were able to pick up some extreme winter program funding.
 

Since work will be getting underway very soon Horrigan is reminding drivers to give work crews a break.  He says leave a little extra time so you can slow down in the work zone, and keep workers safe. 

 

He says residents can get more information about the projects by calling the Department of Public Facilities at 661-8400.


The New York state Senate has passed a new collection of bills aimed at battling the state's increasing rates of opioid and heroin abuse. 

 

The Senate late Monday passed eight bills designed to prevent heroin, opioid and synthetic drug use that lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have declared a statewide crisis. 

 

Six measures target the use of synthetic or designer drug mixers such as fentanyl that escape criminality in current laws.  Two more bills would promote coordination among health-care providers and would notify prescribers when an individual has suffered an overdose. 

 

New York officials say the number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010. The number of heroin-involved deaths in 2015 was five times the number in 2010

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WJTN Headlines

City lawmakers will begin the process of annexing about five-acres of land used by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for it's Dow Street Substation next week. 

 

Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman last night discussed three resolutions the city council will act on at next Monday night's voting session.  She says the BPU initiated the steps earlier this year by petitioning the city to annex the property. Fiore-Lehman says the first resolution will accept that petition, and a short-form environmental assessment form.

 

Fiore-Lehman says the SEQR Resolution will call for the city to be lead agency for the annexation effort.  She says legal papers will then be served on the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott, and in 20-days, the city will publish a notice of annexation in the Post-Jouirnal with a date for a public hearing involving all three municipal boards.  Those boards will then vote on whether to allow the annexation to go through. 

 

Fiore-Lehman says they expect the village and or town boards to reject the plan.  At that point, she says the city will apply to the state Appellate Division to decide whether the move would be in "the overall public interest."


The first public input session on where to devote Jamestown's annual allocation of federal funding to support low and middle-income projects in the city will be held this afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says city Development Director Vince DeJoy will host the first session on Jamestown's 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will begin at 5 PM in City Council Chambers.  He says the public is encouraged to attend and, ask questions and offer ideas for a draft program. 

 

Teresi cautions, though, that in his 2018 budget Blueprint... President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with the CDBG program.  However... he adds it's just a proposal at this time, and they are proceeding ahead with the process.  Again... tonight's meeting begins at 5 PM.


At last word, a 9-year-old Jamestown girl was still in serious condition at a Buffalo hospital after she was reportedly hit by a pick-up truck early Sunday afternoon in the city's eastside. 

 

City police say the truck pedestrian accident occured about 12:30 PM on Falconer Street  near Bowen.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson confirms the girl was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital, where she was in serioius condition. 

 

Police are not identifying the girl, nor the driver involved.  Samuelson says the girl reportedly ran onto the street, and was stuck by a red-colored pick-up truck.  No charges have been filed.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's leading a bi-partisan effort to make legislation that strengthens rural hospitals in the United States permanent. 

 

The Corning Republican introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.  Reed says it's geared towards helping provide support for the many hospitals in his 23rd Congressional District that are highly-dependent on Medicare reimbursements.

 

In recent years, Reed says the legislation has been temporary and, hospital leaders sit on the edge of their seats waiting to see if new legislation will be enacted.  This time around, though, he is optimistic that there are some members of the U-S Senate that will help them get the measure passed. 

 

Reed says he's been in contact with several rural hospitals about the need for a permanent measure... including UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.  The Jamestown hospital is one of those local hospitals that are "low-volume, Medicare dependent" faclities across the Southern Tier Districts.  Reed made his comments during a recent media call.


It's not too late to seek tax filing help from New York state. 

 

State tax officials have extended the hours of their Income Tax Call Center through the filing deadline Tuesday.  The deadline is Midnight tonight.  Tax assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at (518)-457-5181. 

 

The state tax department has handled more than 321,000 calls related to tax return filing and refunds. Officials expect to answer about 30,000 more calls Monday and Tuesday.


The general construction season is already underway on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution especially with the 41.5-million dollar Amphitheater project moving to it's final stages. 

 

However there will also have to be some road work done leading to and from the new Amp due to heavy truck traffic since the end of the 2016 season.  Communications Director Jordan Steves says many of the main roads will need to be re-paved before the new season begins.

 

Steves says there is also new or newer equipment going into the new Amphitheater including ecoustical, sound and other systems.  He adds there will be a new camera system installed in the Amphitheater to record lectures that will be put on line, or archived after they have taken place. 

 

Steves also told our Dennis Webster late last week that the new Amp will be ready for the June 24th start to the season.

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly theatening a woman, who had an order of protection against him, with a paintball gun last weekend. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Chandler Street shortly before 9 PM last Saturday and, learned that 40 year-old Grant Monroe, Junior had gone to the residence and threatened her. Officers say their investigation led them to another house on the southside, where they found and arrested Monroe. 

 

Police found that he had been convicted of a domestic violence charge within the preceeding five-years.  He was arrested for Aggravated Family Offense, a Felony and three counts of first-degree criminal contempt another Felony. 

 

Monroe was also charged with second-degree menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

A Sinclairville man faces burglary and other charges after he allegedly entered a building in the village and, removed property that didn't belong to him. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 26 year-old Peter McTaggart following an investigation into the incident late last week. 

 

Deputies arrested McTaggert without incident and, charged him with third-degree burglary, petty larceny and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 

 

McTaggart was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on 30-thousand dollars cash bail.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is moving it's Spring Water Main Flushing program to mornings and afternoons beginning a week from today. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers say officials with the Water Division worked for the past 8 to 10 months to come up with a plan that's less disruptive and, works better for the utility and it's customers.  Leathers says one of the main considerations for the change was the safety of their workers.

 

Leathers says they initially looked at doing the flushing in two shifts from 7 AM to 9 PM each weekday.  However he says they finally decided on an 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM time period.  Leathers says the only difference will be when they start the flushing next weekend in the village of Falconer. 

 

He says that will remain an overnight flushing program starting this Friday, April 28th with some pre-flushing work.  Leathers says that runs through next Sunday afternoon. 

 

The new schedule will begin on Mondaymorning, May 1st on Jamestown's eastside.  Leathers made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs. 

 

A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies. 

 

In this case it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. 

 

It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.


U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York says he has spoken with President Trump about a U.S.-Canada trade dispute involving dairy products. 

 

Schumer said Sunday that he is working with the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other stakeholders to develop a plan to tackle the issue that has left dairy farmers in Wisconsin and New York without a market for their product. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says there are some ways right now that lawmakers can address the issue. Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including "ultra-filtered" milk that compete with the U.S. product. 

 

Reed says, long-term the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to deal with dairy and, with the wine industry.  He says both need to be involved in any discussion of NAFTA. 

 

Reed made his comments during a recent conference call with Southern Tier Media.  Schumer says the new policy "violates our agreements and hurts our farmers."


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says an investigation by his office found hundreds of vehicles had been sold to consumers without disclosing serious safety issues. 

 

Schneiderman says he has reached settlements with 104 car dealerships around the state that sold vehicles without telling customers about recalls for defects such as unintended acceleration and steering or brake loss. 

 

Under the settlements, dealers are required to follow a set of guidelines to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls.  Each dealer will also pay a one-thousand dollar fine to the state. 

 

The attorney general's office says consumers can check the recall status of any vehicle by entering its Vehicle Identification Number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website .


New York state is investing $112 million in federal funding into several dozen projects intended to enhance bicycle and pedestrian transportation. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced the projects late this past week.  They include new and improved sidewalks, trails and bike paths, crosswalks, safety upgrades at traffic intersections and expanded public transportation services around the state.  The money will pay for up to 80 percent of the work. 

 

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money is "critical" to expanding transportation options that are healthier for people and better for the environment.


Facing huge deficits, Pennsylvania could become the first state to allow both its casinos and lottery to take its games online. 

 

It's a quest for money from new and younger players.  The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering allowing Pennsylvania's licensed casinos to control new online gambling sites. 

 

It's legal in just three states, including New Jersey. Meanwhile Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wants to expand the lottery's reach to cyberspace.  Just four states allow that.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 22, 2017

Warren County Emergency Dir. confirms tornado touch-down in Youngsville, PA...
A small tornado that touched down in a rural part of central Warren County, Pennsylvania has now been confirmed by the county's Emergency Services Department, and the National Weather Service.  That from Warren County Emergency Services Director Todd Lake... who toured the area near Yankee Bush and Follet Run Roads Friday morning.  Lake says the initial calls came in shortly before 8 p.m. last Thursday night.  The National Weather Service in State College, Pennsylvania first reported possible sightings late Thursday.  Lake says he and his deputy director -- Scott Rose -- surveyed the area... and found a path of damage of about 3/10s of a mile.  He says a few trees were taken down, and the roof was torn off a home.  He says there were people inside the home that had the roof torn off it.  But... none of the residents were hurt.  He adds a rabbit pen took a ride... but, the rabbits were okay.  Lake says power crews from Warren had to replace a couple of utility poles as well.  Forecaster Kevin Fitzgerald with the National Weather Service in State College says the Warren area was the hardest hit by the storm.
 
 
State A-G's urge Trump adminstration to not cut federal drug treatment funding...
The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs.  A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies.  In this case... it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul.  It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.
 
 
Four city residents arrested for alleged drug trafficking on northside...
Jamestown police have arrested four people during a drug raid at a home on the city's northside yesterday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson told us Friday morning that the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided the residence at 17 Norwood Avenue just after 9 a.m., where suspected Heroin sales were taking place.  He says they were still processing the scene and suspects late into the morning.  Samuelson says other narcotics were also found.. including Heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription pills.  He says the Jamestown Police SWAT Team also helped police with the raid... and, they arrested 28 year-old Andrew Bennett for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia... 55 year-old David Hare for Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance.... and, 58 year-old Patricia Bargy faces a Felony criminal possession charge for Meth... and, seventh-degree possession for having the prescription pills.  Samuelson says the fourth person... 28 year-old Destiny Franze-Hare... is charged with four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance after she was spotted leaving the scene in a vehicle just prior to the raid.  Officers did stop and impound the vehicle.  A separate search warrant was obtained for the vehicle... and, investigators found Meth, prescription pills and LSD inside.  All four suspects were in the city jail awaiting arraignment.  
 
 
City woman arrested for allegedly having large amount of cocaine in her possession...
A Jamestown woman is jailed without bail for allegedly being in possession of a large amount of cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's northside Thursday night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol spotted the car... operated by 45 year-old Cindy Frank... shortly before 9 p.m., crossing the center line near the intersection of Lakeview and Euclid Avenues.  Officers say they stopped the vehicle, and spotted a large package containing 6.6-ounes of the narcotic drug in plain view... and, Samuelson says they're happy to get that amount of the drug "off the street."  He says the cocaine is worth about 12-thousand dollars on the street.  He says Frank was arraigned on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... meaning it was packaged for sale.  Again... if you have any information on alleged drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or their Tips 4-1-1 app.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.
 
 
City man arrested earlier Thursday for drug possession in earlier traffic stop...
A Jamestown man is being held in the county jail after allegedly being found in possession of several types of illegal narcotics during an earlier traffic stop in the city Thursday night.  Jamestown Police say they stopped a vehicle on Myers Avenue about 6 p.m. for a traffic infraction.  Upon further investigation... they found that a backseat passenger... 40 year-old Richard Riley... was in possession of 29 grams of powder cocaine... about two-grams of heroin... and, one gram of methamphetamine.  He was also found with more than 2 grams of marijuana.  Police add that they also seized an "imitation pistol."  Officers say Riley is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a  controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was arraigned Friday morning... and, sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Green says county Democrats may have a County Executive candidate announcement in May...
Now that a Republican has announced his candidacy for Chautauqua County Executive... when will a Democrat announce they are entering the race?  Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says they have "identified" a possible candidate... but, says he will wait until May for an announcement.  Green says -- to him -- it's a "little too early" to announce right now.  Green, who did not want to identify the individual at this time, says voters get wary of politics this early in the season.  The Chairman says there's a lot of interest in politics this year... and, says he hopes that translates into more candidates running for office because there are over 200 local and regional elections coming up.  Hanover Republican George Borrello announced his candidacy earlier this week.  Incumbent Republican Vince Horrigan announced earlier this year that he was not seeking a second term.
 

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WJTN News Headline

Drug agents in Jamestown were concluding a drug raid at a home on the city's northside when we talked with Captain Samuelson this morning shortly after 10 AM.  Samuelson says they found several people inside the home at 17 Norwood Avenue where suspected Heroin sales were taking place. Samuelson says they don't have an exact amount of Heroin that was seized by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, he says charges are pending against the occupants.  Again... if you have any information on illegal drug sales... call the JPD Tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Intense storms hit Warren County, Pennsylvania Thursday evening.
 
Kevin Fitzgerald with the National Weather Service in State College says there were multiple reports of a funnel cloud just before 8pm.
 
Fitzgeral says at this time there are no reports of damage.  Fitzgerald said that the investigation will begin today to determine if a tornado touched down.
 
Fitzgerald says that the Warren area was the hardest hit by last night's storm. The storm was less intense as it travelled east.  
 
Listen to the Full Interview with Kevin Fitzgerald on Facebook at Radiojamestown. 
 
In the next few days, the first candidate to enter the race for Chautauqua County Executive says he will be releasing details of a ten-point plan for "elevating Chautauqua County."  
 
Hanover Republican George Borrello announced his candidacy on Wednesday afternoon in Silver Creek. 
 
Borrello says there are jobs available in the county but, he says employers who need the workers are finding it difficult to fill the openings.  He says there are "hundreds of openings through-out the county" but, many don't have the skills or the understanding of how business places operate.  
 
Borrello is the first candidate to announce his entry into the race.  Incumbent Republican VInce Horrigan is not seeking a second term this fall.
 
Cellular One will again have a presence in the Greater Jamestown-area after a few years away and, the cell phone provider is officially opening it's two new local stores this weekend.  
 
CellOne District Manager Melody Madigan says the new stores are located on Foote Avenue in Jamestown and, Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood.  Madigan says they've had a very good reception to a recent "soft opening" and, adds they're excited about Saturday morning's Grand Opening.
 
Madigan says Cellular One has a number of optimal plans on their 4G LTE network, that include 50 gigabite capabilities which provides high-speed connectivity for music, information and movies.  
 
She says the Grand Opening will be held at the Jamestown store at 720 Foote Avenue on Saturday morning at 10:30 AM.  She says both stores have hours of 10 AM to 7 PM Mondays through Saturdays.  
 
Madigan says the event is free and open to the public and will include demonstrations, giveaways and refreshments.

 

New York State's second-in-command brought an update on the Athenex project with her when she appeared in Irving yesterday afternoon.  
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke to the Hanover Chamber of Commerce about the state budget, was asked by after the presentation about the $200 million project and when construction will begin.  While no groundbreaking date has been set, Hochul confirmed that the funding has been released for the project.
 
Hochul says because the funding has been released, the company can begin the process of securing contractors for the project.  
 
Regarding the State Budget, the Lieutenant Governor says the new college tuition free program will benefit Western New York, including the SUNY College at Fredonia.  She says it's important to let residents know that's now available.  
 
Hochul says the budget also helps address such problems as aging infrastructure, rising prescription drug costs, and riding sharing in Western New York.
 
A city man is jailed after allegedly leading Jamestown police on a short foot pursuit when they tried to arrest him on a bench warrant on the city's eastside.  
 
Jamestown police say officers were called to a suspicious situation at Water and King Streets just after 2 AM Thursday and, checked on the two people there.  Police say one was identified as Shawn Beardsley who was wanted on a bench warrant out of City Court.  
 
However, when officers tried to arrest Beardsley he ran from them.  He was caught after a short foot chase and, charged with second-degree obstruction.  He was also held on the bench warrant.
 
New York state is devoting another $200 million to fight the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse.  
 
Budget legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will send $145 million to community providers for things like residential treatment beds and outpatient services.  Another $6 million will fund the use of the heroin antidote naloxone.  
 
Cuomo says the state is focused on prevention, treatment and recovery statewide. New York officials say the number of opioid deaths in 2015 doubled compared to the number in 2010.  
 
Meanwhile, the number of heroin-involved deaths in 2015 was five times the number in 2010.
 
New York is pouring new state funding into its public defense system, which is so beleaguered the poor have often had limited representation or none at all.  
 
Lawmakers this month approved the statewide caseload caps and money for counties to pay for legal services for defendants who cannot afford to hire their own.  The state will reimburse counties for the improvements in indigent defense coverage based on plans developed by the independent Indigent Legal Services office.  
 
State officials estimate 250-million dollars in costs when the funding is fully implemented in 2023.  Executive director of the New York State Defenders Association Jonathan Gradess says the state will also determine new caseload caps based on national recommendations.  
 
Public defenders say they are hopeful the changes will encourage broader reforms to the system.
 
When federal lawmakers return to Congress from their two-week Easter Recess next week, they'll have just days to approve a bill that would fund the federal budget and prevent a government shutdown.  
 
However, New York's senior US Senator says good progress has been made on a final, 2017 spending plan.  
 
Democratic Minority Leader Charles Schumer says he's one of the four leaders in both houses negotiating a final plan that includes critical funding for entities such as the carrier at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown.
 
Another crucial funding item for 2017 is the Community Development Block Grant program which benefits both Jamestown and Dunkirk.  As for 2018, though, Schumer says everything is cut except for defense.  
 
He says it's most hard to believe that Cancer research would be cut by upwards of 5-billion dollars.  Schumer made his comments during a press conference at Southern Tier Distilling in the Stoneman Industrial Park in the town of Busti.  He says "if the president leaves it to the four leaders, I think we can avoid a government shut-down." 

 

The Buffalo Sabres have fired general manager Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma after the youthful team missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.  

 

Owner Terry Pegula made the announcement Thursday after spending the past two days holding season-ending meetings with Murray.  Murray had completed his third full season as GM, and was responsible for overseeing a top-to-bottom rebuilding project in Buffalo.  

 

Bylsma just completed his second season.  After finishing 35-36-11 last season, the Sabres took a step back this past year.  They went 33-37-12 and finished last in the Atlantic Division standings.

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A North County legislator announced plans this afternoon to run for Chautauqua County Executive and, he received the backing of a number of big name Republicans. 

 

Hanover Republican George Borrello made the announcement in Silver Creek and was introduced by the man he hopes to replace.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he wouldn't leave the office for retirement without knowing that someone like Borrello was ready to run. 

 

Borrello has been a legislator since 2010 and says he's ready to do more. Among those backing Borrello's bid for County Executive is local Congressman Tom Reed who says to him, Borrello "respresents all of us." 

 

In addition State Senator Cathy Young, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell were among those on hand for the announcement.  Borrello's campaign theme is "Elevating Chautauqua County."


New York's senior U-S Senator is calling for the federal government to help provide crop insurance for malt barley growers in all upstate New York counties. 

 

Democrat Charles Schumer was at Southern Tier Distillery, next to Southern Tier Brewing, in the town of Busti late Wednesday morning to make the announcement. 

 

Schumer says the move will help local farmers and, the state's booming craft beverage industry.  He says right now there's not enough malt barley because the insurance is only available in four counties.

 

In fact officials at Southern Tier Distilling say they use about 4,000 pounds of barley a month for their growing product line which will soon include bourbon.  Schumer says the state now ranks third in the craft distilling business and fifth in craft brewing and, says that fact boost's New York's tourism industry. 

 

He says no new law is needed.  He says it needs the authorization of the U-S Agriculture Secretary.  However he says President Trump's new secretary has not been sworn in yet.


Senator Schumer is praising President Donald Trump for his promise to find a solution to a trade dispute with Canada that has left dairy farmers in New York and Wisconsin without a market for their product. 

 

During a speech in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday Trump said that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that."  During his stop at Southern Tier Distilling Schumer blamed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a new "protectionist" dairy pricing policy. 

 

He says it's especially hurt the "ultra-filtered" milk industry. Canada has not imposed any new import taxes on the protein liquid concentrate.  However the government there has been able to get their milk producers to sell it cheaper than it's American counterpart. 

 

Schumer says this is one area where he will certainly work with the Trump Administration on.  In fact he says he's much closer to Trump's view on trade than he was Presidents Obama and Bush.  When he was a member of Congress Schumer voted against the North American Free Trade deal.


A town of Carroll teenager faces several charges, including Felony grand larceny after allegedly stealing a car in the town of Kiantone, and driving drunk when the car crashed on Water Street. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene just before 6:30 Monday morning and, found the 17 year-old male had fled the scne, leaving a 15 year-old girl there alone.  Deputies say the boy had taken the car from a Frewsburg home without permission.  He was located at another residence in Frewsburg a short time later, and physically resisted arrest. 

 

Deputies say they took the 17 year-old to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he allegedly fought with police again and, struck a deputy in the face.  The 17 year old was later arraigned Kiantone Town Court on the charges which also include Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated with a child in the vehicle and, sent to the county jail without bail. 

 

The teen will appear in Carroll Town Court at a later date.  Officers say charges regarding incident at UPMC Chautauqua WCA hospital are pending.


New York is awarding more than $13 million to help law enforcement agencies combat gun violence. 

 

The money will go to 20 police departments in the 17 counties participating in the state's Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative.  The counties report 83% of the violent crime outside of New York City. 

 

A dozen counties received funding to specifically target gun violence. Those are Albany, Erie, Monroe, Westchester, Onondaga, Suffolk, Nassau, Schenectady, Orange, Niagara, Oneida  and Dutchess counties.  Five others were awarded grants to target aggravated assaults.  Those are Ulster, Chautauqua, Rockland, Rensselaer and Broome counties.


They couldn't  be outside but Jamestown Community College's Earthfest drew a big noontime crowd to the Hamilton Collegiate Center Wednesday. 

 

Emily Olds, a co-president of the JCC Earth Awareness Club, said 'sustainability' was a common theme among many of the exhibits and vendors. Emily is a sophomore majoring in Environmental Science at JCC.  She would like to see more people get connected to the environment in ways as simple as community gardening by expanding those garden bed to grow more. 

 

The Earth Awareness Club puts on Earthfest each year as part of its celebration of Earth Day.  Exotic animals, a petting zoo and music were also a part of this year's event.


New York's education commissioner has scheduled a hearing to decide whether one-time candidate for governor Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo school board. 

 

The June 22nd hearing in Albany will focus on a complaint by other school board members that Paladino violated policy by disclosing information that was discussed in executive session.  Paladino says information he disclosed was a matter of public interest and that efforts to remove him are retaliatory. 

 

School board members and community groups have been calling for Paladino's removal since he wrote that he wanted to see former President Barack Obama dead of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama living with a gorilla in Africa. 

 

Paladino, who was involved in President Donald Trump's campaign, says his comments weren't meant for publication.

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The Jamestown School Board has approved the basics of an 84.9-million dollar budget for 2017-18 that will go before the voters next May 16th. 

 

The board last night approved the spending plan which includes no tax increase and, adds necessary personnel and, helps the district replenish it's reserve funds.  Interim School Superintedent Silvia Root says the district got just over one-million dollars more in aid from the final state budget and, says that's a "good problem." 

 

Root says they'll now work with the board meeting students needs better. Root says they initially agreed to add eight teachers and staff in the previous budget draft.  However she says that number could be as many as 12 depending on what the board decides on. Two Middle School Counselors a School Psychologst and, a Behavior Specialist will also be considered. 

 

School Board President Paul Abbott was pleased with the budget but, also voiced concern about "overcorrecting" after years of having to slash spending and staff.  He says financial staff believe the level of spending is sustainable. 

 

A public hearing on the proposed spending plan will be held on Tuesday, May 9th, at Persell Middle School and, the public vote on the budget will be Tuesday, May 16th.


An alert McDonald's employee led police in Erie, Pennsylvania to the suspect in a Cleveland slaying that was recorded and posted on Facebook. 

 

Henry Sayers, the manager of the Harbor Creek restaurant, says that Steve Stephens pulled up to the drive-thru Tuesdaymorning and ordered a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets and french fries.  He says the attendant recognized Stephens, who was wanted in Sunday's slaying of a retired Ohio man, and called 9-1-1. 

 

Prior to that Erie Police said they received dozens of tips and, here in Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department got a couple of them. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says they received a tip on Stephens but that too was unfounded. 

 

The McDonald's owner tells the Erie Times-News that workers tried to "buy some time for the cops" and told Stephens his order of fries was delayed.  He says Stephens replied he had no time to wait and drove away. 

 

State police gave chase.  Authorities say Stephens stopped his car on the eastside of Erie and, shot and killed himself.


The city of Jamestown's proposed annexation of five-acres of property in Falconer owned by the Board of Public Utilities is not equitable to all parties involved and, that's why the town of Ellicott and two other entities are opposing the move. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says he, Falconer Village Mayor Jim Rensel, and Falconer School Superintendent Steve Penhollow have met several times regarding the proposal involving the Dow Street Substation since it was first announced.  McLaughlin says they all agree the move would provide no benefit to their residents.

 

In addition McLaughlin says they have agreed on hiring legal counsel to represent all three entities during the annexation process and, any court proceedings that would be involved.  He says they hired the Harris-Beech law firm shortly after city officials initially announced that they were investigating the possibility of annexing the land. 

 

McLaughlin says the biggest loss of tax revenue for Ellicott, Falconer, and the Falconer School District would be to the school district.  McLaughlin says the estimated loss would be about $165,000 to $170,000 a year.


Adjustments are being made to the village of Lakewood's proposed 2017-18 budget which Mayor Cara Birrittieri says reflect's "an incredibly difficult fiscal year." 

 

Birritierri  filed the just over 4.4-million dollar spending plan earlier this month with the village clerk's office.  She says the village has lost 2-million dollars in assessments and, all departments are requesting increases in spending for the new year. 

 

Birritierri says her proposal includes a tax rate of $7.72 per thousand assessed value which is a 57-cent per thousand increase.  She says it'a "about as bare bones as possible, without eliminating essential village services and important community needs." 

 

A public hearing on the spending plan was held a week ago and, a vote is slated for next Monday night.  The budget is due by May 1st.


Local Congressman Tom Reed used Tax Day 2017 to again tout the need for federal tax reform and, revealed some proposals he's looking at some suggested by constituents. 

 

The Corning Republican says one of the biggest hassles with taxes is the time it takes to itemize returns.  However Reed says he's hearing a lot of positive feedback on the idea of expanding the standard deduction to reduce the number of filers who itemize from 30 to 5-percent.

 

Reed says many people have also talked about the need to lower the tax burden and, he says he would like to see the number of brackets reduced to an expanded zero-percent along with three others at 12, 25% and 33%.  He says that would be a "positive thing." 

 

Reed also says streamling deductions including real property taxes, and education is an idea worth looking at.  Reed says it's time to bring the tax code into the 21st Century. 

 

He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Governor Andrew Cuomo reports earning $400,000 on his federal tax return for 2016. 

 

The Democratic governor made his tax returns available to journalists Tuesday afternoon, revealing a sharp increase in royalties from his 2014 memoir "All Things Possible."  The nearly $168,000 Cuomo accrued from his gubernatorial salary is boosted by $218,000 from the book and some investment income. 

 

The returns show Cuomo donated $20,000 to HELP USA, a charity for the homeless he founded decades ago.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and her husband reported just under $368,000 in income on their returns. 

 

They will owe $3,700 to the federal government and $1,700 to the state.  Hochul is married to William Hochul, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York.  They donated $21,000 to charities last year.


Gas prices in the Jametown-area are holding steady this week but, nationally the price has hit a new high for 2017. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the local price this week is down fractions of a penny but, remain just over $2.49 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The Fuel Gauge says the national price is now up to $2.41.  That's two-cents more than last week and, 12 cents more than one month ago. 

 

AAA says the national average has now increased for 20 consecutive days, and pump prices in 43 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week.   The national increase was most prevalent in the East Coast region where refiners wrapped up seasonal turnaround resulting in significant prices increases last week.


New York state officials are warning residents of the dangers of wildfires. 

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced earlier this week that higher-than-normal temperatures and seasonal winds could heighten the risk of wildfires this spring.  The state has banned open burning through May 14th.  Brush fires often are a problem in the spring as rising temperatures and dry grass can create potentially dangerous situations. 

 

The governor's office says crews have recently responded to reports of fires in Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Essex, Herkimer, Orange and Saratoga counties.  Cuomo's office says residents can prepare for possible brush fires by inspecting their home's exterior, removing dead leaves or vegetation and keeping a working hose connected to an outdoor faucet.

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City lawmakers will begin the process of annexing about five-acres of land used by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities for it's Dow Street Substation next week. 

 

Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman last night discussed three resolutions the city council will act on at next Monday night's voting session.  She says the BPU initiated the steps earlier this year by petitioning the city to annex the property. Fiore-Lehman says the first resolution will accept that petition, and a short-form environmental assessment form.

 

Fiore-Lehman says the SEQR Resolution will call for the city to be lead agency for the annexation effort.  She says legal papers will then be served on the Village of Falconer and Town of Ellicott, and in 20-days, the city will publish a notice of annexation in the Post-Jouirnal with a date for a public hearing involving all three municipal boards.  Those boards will then vote on whether to allow the annexation to go through. 

 

Fiore-Lehman says they expect the village and or town boards to reject the plan.  At that point she says the city will apply to the state Appellate Division to decide whether the move would be in "the overall public interest."


The first public input session on where to devote Jamestown's annual allocation of federal funding to support low and middle-income projects in the city will be held this afternoon. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says city Development Director Vince DeJoy will host the first session on Jamestown's 2018 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will begin at 5 PM in City Council Chambers.  He says the public is encouraged to attend and, ask questions and offer ideas for a draft program. 

 

Teresi cautions, though, that in his 2018 budget Blueprint President Donald Trump has proposed doing away with the CDBG program.  However he adds it's just a proposal at this time, and they are proceeding ahead with the process. 

 

Again tonight's meeting begins at 5 PM.


At last word a 9-year-old Jamestown girl was still in serious condition at a Buffalo hospital after she was reportedly hit by a pick-up truck early Sunday afternoon in the city's eastside. 

 

City police say the truck  pedestrian accident occured about 12:30 PM on Falconer Street  near Bowen.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson confirms the girl was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital, where she was in serioius condition. 

 

Police are not identifying the girl, nor the driver involved.  Samuelson says the girl reportedly ran onto the street, and was stuck by a red-colored pick-up truck.  No charges have been filed.


Police across the region are among the dozen's in a four-state area on the look-out for a Cleveland, Ohio man who may have been in the Erie, Pennsylvania area Monday morning after he allegedly shot and killed an elderly passerby yesterday. 

 

Cleveland Police say 37 year-old Steve Stephens then posted a gruesome video of the killing on Facebook.  Stephens is wanted on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of Robert Godwin, Senior Sunday afternoon. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says people should be aware that Stephens maybe somewhere in the area. Sheriff Gerace says police reported they had traced a "ping" from Stephen's cellphone early this Monday morning from Harbor Creek, Pennsylvania which is just east of Erie, and at the intersection of Interstates 90 and 86. 

 

Police are also urging police and residents in Indiana and Michigan to be on the lookout for Stephens who they say should be considered armed and dangerous. 

 

If you believe you may have seen the suspect, or his vehicle, call 911 immediately.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's leading a bi-partisan effort to make legislation that strengthens rural hospitals in the United States permanent. 

 

The Corning Republican introduced the Rural Hospital Access Act of 2017 in the House Ways and Means Committee earlier this month.  Reed says it's geared towards helping provide support for the many hospitals in his 23rd Congressional District that are highly-dependent on Medicare reimbursements.

 

In recent years Reed says the legislation has been temporary and, hospital leaders sit on the edge of their seats waiting to see if new legislation will be enacted.  This time around, though, he is optimistic that there are some members of the U-S Senate that will help them get the measure passed. 

 

Reed says he's been in contact with several rural hospitals about the need for a permanent measure including UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital. 

 

The Jamestown hospital is one of those local hospitals that are "low-volume, Medicare dependent" faclities across the Southern Tier Districts.  Reed made his comments during a recent media call.


It's not too late to seek tax filing help from New York state. 

 

 

State tax officials have extended the hours of their Income Tax Call Center through the filing deadline Tuesday.  The deadline is Midnight tonight

 

Tax assistance will be available from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at (518)-457-5181.  The state tax department has handled more than 321,000 calls related to tax return filing and refunds. Officials expect to answer about 30,000 more calls Monday and Tuesday.


The general construction season is already underway on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution especially with the 41.5-million dollar Amphitheater project moving to it's final stages. 

 

However there will also have to be some road work done leading to and from the new Amp due to heavy truck traffic since the end of the 2016 season.  Communications Director Jordan Steves says many of the main roads will need to be re-paved before the new season begins.

 

Steves says there is also new or newer equipment going into the new Amphitheater including acoustical, sound and other systems.  He adds there will be a new camera system installed in the Amphitheater to record lectures that will be put on line, or archived after they have taken place. 

 

Steves also told our Dennis Webster late last week that the new Amp will be ready for the June 24th start to the season.

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WJTN Headlines

Police are investigating a shooting on Jamestown's east side. 

 

The Post Journal states that several reports of gun shots were received shortly after 3pm Sunday regarding a shooting in the area.  No injuries were reported and the investigation continues.


Fire Crews were busy fighting a fire in the town of Portland this morning. 

 

Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that the Brocton Fire Company was called to 8142 Route 380 just before 3 o'clock this morning.  The fire started in a garage and spread to a nearby home. 

 

There is no word of any injuries.  Crews are still on the scene. 

 

We will have more information when it becomes available.

 



A former Congressman who was one of the 'fathers of the superfund' the national program to clean up environmental hazards will speak at the Robert H. Jackson Center on Tuesday. 

 

The Center's Director of Development, Marion Beckerink says Love Canal in Niagara Falls inspired John La Falce to action in 1980. 

 

Tuesday's Legal Education Seminar will also take up the 'Forbes Case', a 1927 lawsuit in which Robert H. Jackson represented the Forbes family farm. Jackson proved it was contaminated water from Jamestown that caused the outbreak.  

 

Tuesday's continuing education seminar is designed primarily for lawyers, but others are welcome.  Contact the Robert H. Jackson Center for additional information.


A Celoron man faces several charges after leading several area police agencies on a vehicle pursuit in the city of Jamestown and the town of Ellicott early last Saturday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers say a patrol spotted a vehicle driven by 36 year-old Michael Newman, commit several traffic violations in the city shortly after Midnight.  Deputies say they tried to stop the vehicle but, Newman began fleeing, and the pursuit began. 

 

Officers say they were assisted by Jamestown Police, State Police, Ellicott and Lakewood-Busti Police before Newman's car crashed in the town of Ellicott.  Deputies say Newman was allegedly driving drunk, and had a DWI conviction within the past 10 years. 

 

He was arraigned on charges including Felony DWI and, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, failure to comply.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court and, sent to the County Jail with no bail.


A Bemus Point woman was hurt when her car was struck from behind and, pushed into a ditch on Route 474 in Ashville last Saturday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 60 year-old Susanne Rollman had slowed to make a turn onto Magnolia Avenue shortly after 3 PM when her car was struck.  Deputies say Rollman's vehicle was rear-ended by a car driven by 25 year-old Christopher Hewes of Ashville. 

 

Rollman was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for treatment of her injuries.  Officers say Hewes was allegedly found to be operating the vehicle while his driving privileges were suspended in New York State. 

 

He was issued tickets for second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, following too closely.


Some higher education experts question whether New York's first-in-the nation free college tuition plan should be a model for other states. 

 

They say the plan, which covers tuition at public colleges for students whose families earn  $125,000 or less, offers the least assistance to the neediest students, whose tuition is already covered by other aid. 

 

There are also concerns that it doesn't pay for costs beyond tuition, such as room and board, which can account for about two-thirds of the total state tuition bill.  And there has already been much debate about a requirement that graduates stay in the state for as many years as they received the benefit. 

 

Free college proponent Bernie Sanders says that despite such concerns New York deserves credit for leading the way on the issue.


A Jamestown woman is accused of endangering three children after police checked on her well-being last weekend and, found drugs and drug paraphernalia near those children. 

 

City police were called to 713 Newland Avenue on a report of a distraught woman and, found 35 year-old Vanessa Braun in possession of a quantity of Methamphetime and, the paraphernalia.  The items were allegedly on a bed within reach of the children. 

 

She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance criminally using drug paraphernalia and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

The rain held off for a few hours and, that allowed the city of Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt to go off without a hitch last Saturday morning. 

 

That allowed hundreds of children and their parents gathered in Allen Park for the chance to find 3-thousand chocolate eggs and, some other prize eggs.  During our annual broadcast on WJTN Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley told our Andrew Hill they were thankful the rain held off.

 

Ciesla-Hanley says the Parks and Recreation Department begins planning for the Easter Egg Hunt in early January including gathering the donations and the candy they'll be using. 

 

This year's egg hunt was special because it fell on what would have been late WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle's 91st birthday.  His wife, Kathy, donated some prizes for special eggs that were found.  Jim broadcast for many years from the city's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park. 

 

The family of the late Mark Hess again donated the main prizes for the gold and silver egg winners.

Children at the annual Easter Egg Hunt were able to find pretty much all of the 3-thousand chocolate eggs and just over 30 prize eggs in about 20 minutes Saturday.  Those who found the Golden Eggs say they found them pretty quickly. 

 

Sophia Semyenova found the Golden Egg in he 5 to 8 year-old catagory she didn't know what she won but, immediately took it to our Andrew Hill. For finding the Golden Egg Sophia won a $100 gift card for Wal-Mart. 

 

The Silver Egg which had a $50 gift card was found by Izzy Walsh.  In the 9-to-12 year-old catagory the Golden Egg was found by Alexander Simpson, while the Silver Egg was found by Joe Trinci.


Speculation that Governor Andrew Cuomo is plotting a run for president grew louder this week after a high-profile appearance with Hillary Clinton and a state budget that some observers say reads like a map to the White House. 

 

The second-term New York Democrat appeared with Clinton to celebrate passage of one of his budget's major achievements, a first-in-the nation free tuition plan for students from middle-class families. 

 

Other measures in the budget include juvenile justice reform and middle-class tax breaks.  Some experts say that by focusing on middle-class angst Cuomo is positioning himself as a centrist in the mold of Clinton who supports social policies championed by progressives like Sanders. 

 

For his part, Cuomo sidesteps questions about his political future and says he is focusing on his job as governor.

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News Headlines for Sat. Apr. 15, 2017

City holds 70th Easter Egg under cloudy skies, but no rain...
The city of Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt was held -- outdoors -- this morning after recent forecasts predicted rain and thunderstorms this morning.  However... rain predicted held off, and the hunt went off as scheduled.  The Media One Group was one of the sponsors of the event... which was held on what would have been late WJTN Morning Man Jim Roselle's 91st birthday.  The Golden Eggs were found by Alexander Simpson of Jamestown in the 9-12 year-old catagory, and Sophia Semyenova of Sinclairville found it in the 5-8 year-old group.  Silver Eggs were found by Joe Trinici (9-12), and Izzy Walsh (5-8). 
 
Lakewood man seriously hurt in Motorcycle-Car Accident...
A Lakewood man had to be flown to an Erie, Pa. hospital after his motorcycle crashed into a car yesterday afternoon on a road in the Frewsburg-area.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Frew Run Street shortly after 3 p.m., and, found that the motorcycle's operator was unable to negotiate a curve in the road.  Deputies say 52 year-old Anthony Barto's two-wheeler then struck the oncoming vehicle... operated by 51 year-old Karen Davis of Frewsburg.  Officials say Barto was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of his injuries.  Davis was not hurt.
 
Goodell critical of use of reserves, borrowing in state's 2017-18 budget...
The new budget adopted by the New York state legislature last weekend is "balanced..." but, it relies heavily on borrowing and use of reserve funds.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says state leaders had to take about $2-billion out of it's reserve funds to balance the $153-billion spending plan.  Goodell says it's not a good practice... and, that's why he voted against the debt service part of the budget.  Goodell says he feels they wouldn't have had to do that if previous legislatures had been more fiscally prudent.  Like the man he replaced in the Assembly... Bill Parment... Goodell railed against the state's on-going practice of "back-door borrowing" through it's various authorities and agencies.  He says most of that $10.5-billion in borrowing for this budget should have to be voted on by state residents.  Goodell adds that using the $2-billion in reserve funding leaves the state with about $5-billion in those accounts.
 
"Little doubt" that new Chautauqua Amphitheather will be ready for 2017 season...
There is now "little doubt" that the new, $41.5-million amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution will be ready to go for the start of the 2017 season.  That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications Jordan Steves... who says the main public pieces of the project are now in place just over two months before the season begins.  Steves says the concrete in the "bowl" of the Amp is now finished, and the ceiling is being framed in.  During an on-site interview with our Dennis Webster... Steves explained that the new stage has been framed up... and, the sub-floor is in place.  However.. he says that the "Back of the House" area was "significantly behind" at one point.  Right now, though, the contractor is back on schedule.  Steves add the institution expects to have it's programming people in the facility by sometime next month.
 
Cattaraugus County woman convicted of homicide on Heroin overdose death...
A Cattaraugus County woman will spend 1 to 3 years in state prison after being the first person to be successfully prosecuted there for selling heroin to a victim that led to an overdose death.  Sentencing for Chelsea Lyons of Olean was reported by the Olean Times-Herald... and, says Lyons was accused of selling heroin laced with Fentanyl.  The sentence is a combination of several felonies... including criminally negligent homicide.  Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman says Lyons then pleaded guilty... and with that waived her right to appeal. 
 
Some 130-plus J-C Penny stores slated for closure get last minute reprieve...
J-C Penney has now announced that it is delaying plans to shutter 138 stores -- including one in the north county -- amid a surge in shoppers making final visits.  Penny's spokeswoman Daphne Avila told CNBC Thursday that "ever since the company announced its store closure list, those stores have seen better-than-expected sales and traffic."  The influx of last-minute shoppers prompted the chain to postpone store closings until July 31.  The J-C Penny in the D-and-F Plaza in Dunkirk was among the stores slated to close.
 
Upstate Community College to lay-off all cafeteria staff and replace with vending machines after current school year...
The entire cafeteria staff at an upstate New York community college will be laid off and replaced with vending machines at the end of the school year.  The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that nine full-time and three part-time workers will lose their jobs in June at the Orange County Community College.  Students say they'll miss the staff members and the fresh food.  The Orange County Community College Association, a nonprofit that runs the cafeterias, says in an email to students that the change follows a deficit last year of more than $150,000 in food-service operations.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A man is jailed after Jamestown police caught him for allegedly speeding on his dirt-bike on the city's northside early Thursday afternoon.  

 

Jamestown Police say an officer observed the motorcycle which was operated by Fermin Rodriguez-Robles traveling at a high-rate of speed, and weaving through traffic on Washington Street shortly after 12 Noon.  Police say they first spotted the two-wheeler near West 22nd Street, and tried to stop the dirt-bike but, Rodriguez-Robles fled the area.  

 

He was finally located on West 18th Street where he was arrested on charges including unlawfully fleeing police... reckless operation speeding  and, operating without a license. Rodriguez-Robles was held pending further court action.

 

"It's in there..." that's what Jamestown city officials are being told about 2.5-million dollars in funding they were promised to help the city's bottom line, and further consolidation and cost-cutting efforts.  
 
That from city Mayor Sam Teresi who says his office has been in touch with state officials who say the money is in the final, 153-billion dollar state budget approved late last weekend. Teresi says that's very good news.
 
Teresi says 1.5-milion dollars will go towards launching an alternative Supplimental insurance program for city retirees who are on Medicare for their primary insurance.  City officials expect to begin that program later this year.  
 
He says they're also expecting to get one-million dollars in transitional aid for further restructuring.  Teresi says they're also looking to possibly take advantage of the added 2.5-billion dollars to upgrade water infrastructure this year.  
 
Otherwise Teresi says they're thankful that General Municipal Aid was NOT cut in the 2017-18 budget.  
 
He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" on the Media One Group stations.
 
Fire crews in the north county had to deal with a bizarre situation late Wednesday afternoon when a man got pinned against a tree in Dunkirk.  
 
City Fire Captain Gary Katta says they were called to 95 King Street at about 4 PM and, found that the man, who was trying to cut down the tree, was stuck between a limb, his ladder, and the tree trunk.  
 
Katta says they needed help from the city's Public Works Department and, National Grid to free the man who was about 15-feet above the ground.  
 
He says it took more than an hour to free the man who was then flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. The victim has not been identified.
 
Law enforcement agencies are continuing to investigate the possible hacking of the computer system at one of the largest hospitals in upstate New York.  
 
Officials at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo say the hospital's computer system was taken down Sunday after a virus was detected. Hospital officials say the information and technology department "immediately commenced a thorough assessment and analysis of the situation. "  
 
The officials say all facility operations are continuing and haven't been interrupted, although the medical staff was forced to use paper forms to conduct business, access to medical records was on hold and the email system was down.  
 
ECMC has been in contact with the state police and the FBI about the matter.  The hospital's website was back up by Thursday morning.

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed doesn't run for re-election until next year but, his 2018 fund-raising effort is already off to a record start.

 

 An official with the Corning Republican's campaign effort says Wednesday that Reed took in $585,282 during the first-quarter of 2017.  

 

Political Director Nicholas Weinstein says the increased number of donors, and funding "represents the support for Tom's common sense agenda.  A strong start like this after another decisive re-election victory in November gives us the resources to continue highlighting Tom's record of caring, practical leadership."  

 

Reed himself says "it's an honor to represent the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Western New York in Congress.  The generosity of our supporters and the trust they’ve placed in us to deliver on our promise of smaller government, lower taxes, and reduced government regulation, is humbling."  

 

Weinstein noted that more than 75% of Reed's donations came from individuals and hundreds of new grassroots supporters have committed to supporting Reed's campaign.

 

Hillary Clinton says she hopes the free college tuition plan approved by New York state lawmakers last week will lead other states to follow suit.  

 

The former Democratic presidential nominee rallied with Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City for a ceremonial bill signing of the scholarship for poor and middle class students.  

 

Clinton hailed the plan as a progressive victory and applauded the initiative from Democrat Cuomo, who is mentioned as a possible contender for the White House in 2020.  The scholarship covers tuition at state universities for in-state students whose families earn $125,000 or less.  

 

Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit and repay the money as a loan if they take a job elsewhere.

 

The 100th anniversary of the New York State Police has been commemorated at the upstate site where the first group of troopers began their training.  

 

State Police Superintendent George Beach-the-second  and Troop D Acting Commander Captain Mark Lincoln led Tuesday's ceremony at the Cavalry Club in Manlius, near Syracuse.  They dedicated a state historical marker honoring the centennial of the creation of the state police in New York.  

 

On April 11, 1917, Gov. Charles Whitman signed a bill into law that established the New York State Police as a full-service law enforcement agency.  Two months later, the first state troopers began their training at the National Guard camp in Manlius.

 

When training was completed in the fall, 232 troopers set out across the state on horseback to being regular patrols.

 

City officials have a back-up plan in place again this year if rain or some other inclement weather interferes with Jamestown's 70th annual Easter Egg Hunt. 
 
That from Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley who says the hunt for children up to age 12 begins at 10:30 AM Saturday at Allen Park.  Ciesla-Hanley says if the weather is too cold or wet they will move everything indoors.
 
There is a 60% chance of rain forecast for Saturday though it will be unseasonably warm.  Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have 3,000 chocolate eggs hidden for the hunt and, they again have Gold and Silver prize eggs this year sponsored by the Hess Family.  
 
She says the Golden Egg prize is a 100-dollar Wal-Mart gift card while the Silver Egg prize is a 50-dollar card.  
There is also two prizes being provided by the Child Advocacy Program.  
 
Ciesla-Hanley says if it the Egg Hunt is held outside the Easter Bunny will be brought into Allen Park to start the egg hunt at 10:30 Saturday morning.  For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 483-7523.
 
The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood opened as usual yesterday morning after a small fire erupted in a ceiling vent unit above the Sears store on the north end of the mall.  
 
Lakewood fire crews were called to the scene on Fairmount Avenue around 9 AM.  However they also found the fire was pretty much out on arrival.  
 
There was no damage nor injuries reported.  Sears also opened as usual Wednesday morning.

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WJTN News Headlines

Two deputies with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department have been recognized state-wide for their quick and decisive actions that saved the victim of a motorcycle accident.  
 
State Senator Cathy Young was in Mayville yesterday afternoon to present Liberty Medals to officers Jason Beichner and Christopher Howlett for saving the life of 28 year-old Derrick Desch last November on Route 83 near South Dayton.
 
Young says Desch lost most of one leg in the crash and Beichner and Howlett applied tourniqeuts to stop the bleeding in Desch's severed leg.  She also presented both with copies of a resolution commending both for their actions and, approved by the State Senate.  
 
Both Sheriff Joe Gerace and County Exeuctive Vince Horrigan praised the deputies for saving Desch's life. Gerace said he was "beaming with pride" and, adds that his deputies strive to help and protect others every day.  
 
Beichner spoke for himself and Howlett and, first thanked Desch's family which began providing first aid before they arrived. 
 
Most of the additional in state school aid put into New York's final, 2017-18 budget will do towards 'basic' or what's called "transitional aid."  
 
That from Executive Director Tim Kreamer with the state School Boards Association.  Kreamer says their group is pleased to have a budget in place, one that move towards funding public education the way it needs to be.
 
Kreamer says the added funding is about half of what they wanted and, he says some will "not be happy" with that. He says the school boards association was concerned on two fronts before the budget was approved.  
 
The first was over the fact that "policy" items held up the final spending plan which put more 'hands' into the budget mix.  Kreamer says the School Boards Association was also concerned when the budget extender was approved by the legislature, because that ran until May 31st.  
 
That meant districts might have had to put out estimated spending plans for the May 16th budget votes.
 
Officials with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown say they're very pleased to see their 5-million dollar funding request is included in the final New York state budget.  
 
The money is actually part of  Governor Cuomo's 500-million dollar "Buffalo Billion-2" initiative backed by the Empire State Development Corporation. 
 
Among those other things is to use the money to leverage other funding to get the money they need in place to pay for the approximately 30-million dollar effort which officials hope will be completed by early 2018.  
 
Benson admits the whole state budget experience has been kind of surreal but, adds they're thankful to State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell for their strong support of the funding measure.
 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is throwing his support behind a bill that would boost federal resources to prevent and combat synthetic opioid addiction.  

 

The New York Democrat announced his support for the legislation Tuesday in Rochester, where he says there have been increases in crimes, overdoses and deaths from opioids and synthetic counterparts. He also make the announcement Tuesday afternoon in Schenectady another area hit hard by the opioid epidemic.  

 

Schumer says the bill sponsored by fellow Democrat Edward Markey of Massachusetts aims to stop the flow of synthetic opioids from Mexico and China.  The measure would provide federal agents with screening devices, laboratory equipment and facilities for detection of synthetic opioids flowing across the border.

 

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says the "partisan hostility" surrounding the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch is of concern because it could undermine public confidence in the apolitical nature of the judicial system.  

 

Roberts spoke Tuesday at an upstate New York college a day after Gorsuch was sworn in by President Donald Trump at the White House.  

 

The appearance in Troy was billed as a conversation with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson.  

 

When Jackson asked about the "extremely partisan" confirmation process, Roberts said politics don't carry over into the court's decision-making. 

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WJTN News Headlines

A collision involving two pick-up trucks in the Cattaraugus County Town of Ellicottville has left an elderly Niagara Falls man dead.  

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say one of the trucks operated by 21 year-old Ryan Holmes of Henrietta, New York was northbound on Route 219 about 5:15 yesterday morning when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say Holmes' pick-up crossed the center line and struck an on-coming truck, driven by 90-year-old Charles West.  Officers say West was pronounced dead at the scene while Holmes was taken to the Erie County Medical Center near Buffalo for treatment of his injuries.  

 

The Cattaraugus County Accident Reconstruction Team was called into investigate at this time.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

It's a long-shot but, Chautauqua County now has the same exact number of registered Republicans as Democrats.  
 
That from County Elections Commissioner Norm Green who says the numbers were updated in the county back on April 1st.  After having a majority for the past eight years Green says the number of local Republicans increased to 26,057.  
 
He says that's the same number as Democrats have in the county.  Green says Democrats held the edge while President Obama was in office.
 
Green says state Election Law requires each of New York's 62 county boards to set it's official enrollment totals by party each April 1st.  
 
Fellow Elections' Commissioner Brian Abram also said he "can't imagine the odds of the Republicans and Democrats of being absolutely tied for 2017."  
 
Both Green and Abram say Chautauqua County is a "competitive county, where any candidate can win any election."  
 
After the Democrats and Republicans the next largest registration is for the Independence Party which has 4,719 members followed by Conservatives with 1,904.  The number Independent voters is just over 18,000.  The county now has 77,628 registered voters.
 
New York's free tuition for middle class students does have one-string attached: Students must stay in the state after graduation or else pay back the benefit.  
 
That from Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday who says that requirement was added to protect the state's investment in a student's education by ensuring they don't take advantage of free tuition and then leave New York.  
 
The tuition initiative, which Cuomo says is a national model, covers state college or university tuition for in-state students from families earning $125,000 or less.  Students must remain in New York for as many years as they received the benefit.
 
If they take a job in another state they must pay the money back as a loan.  Republican lawmakers pushed for the requirement during closed-door state budget negotiations.
 
The American worker has become a victim of the nation's opioid addiction scourge.  
A number of U.S. states are taking steps through their workers compensation systems to stem the overprescribing of the powerful painkillers to workers injured on the job. They are also helping those who became hooked to avoid potentially deadly consequences.  
 
Injured workers, like so many others dealing with pain, are often prescribed opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin.
 
A program being offered through Massachusetts' workers compensation system provides expedited hearings to resolve disputes with insurers over medication.  Ohio is cracking down on doctors who fail to follow best practices in treating injured workers.  New York's workers compensation board will allow insurers to request hearings to determine whether a claimant should be weaned off opioids.
 
State Senator Cathy Young says there are several aspects of the new state budget that will help her 57th District and Chautauqua County.  
 
One of the key items for the county is inclusion of 5-million dollars in economic development "gap funding" for the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Young says it's part of the "Buffalo Billion-2" legislation an intiative pushed by Governor Cuomo.
 
Young says she also made sure that the Mitigation Fund she started last year to help local communities affected by the closing, or mothballing of "coal-fired" power plants, was included.  She says 45-million dollars has been set aside to help plug the gap in revenues coming from the NRG Plant in Dunkirk.  Young adds that would be extended from 5 to 7 years... if needed before the new, natural gas-fired plant's in place.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a stolen hand-gun during a traffic stop early yesterday morning on the city's southside.  

City police say they pulled over the vehicle at the corner of Prospect and Barker Streets about 4:45 AM for multiple vehicle and traffic violations.  During the course of the traffic stop officers say they found the gun inside the vehicle.  

 

They say a records check indicated the gun had been reported stolen in the city back on March 19th.  

 

Police say 20 year-old Karee Rizzo-Walker and 19 year-old Sharef Corley were arrested without incident.  Both were arraigned on charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, criminal possession of stolen property. Rizzo-Walker and Corley were then sent to the county jail without bail.

 

Sunday morning's arrests come on the heels of Jamestown's first drive-by shooting reported since several late last year.  

 

Jamestown police were called to the scene at 6 West 12th Street about 3:30 AM Friday on a report of multiple shots being fired into the house.  The Post-Journal reports the JPD Captain Bob Samuelson said that the people inside were likely "targeted."  

 

Samuelson says they don't have an exact number of shots being fired and, adds the occupants were "not cooperative" with the investigation.  He says the motive is being looked into but, he says it was likely the result of some kind of dispute, or an altercation.  

 

Samuelson also says there were several children living inside when the incident occured.  

 

If you have any information on the incident... call the JPD Tips line at 483-8477 or leave an anonymous tip via their Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

The Falconer native under arrest in western Pennsylvania after allegedly starting more a dozen arson fires in the Jamestown-area is also accused of crimes in nearby Warren County, Pennsylvania.  
 
That from State Police in Warren who say 19 year-old Jonathan Young of Kennedy is charged there with Felony burglary and motor vehicle theft, as well as loitering and prowling at night. Young's most noteworthy crime was allegedly setting the fire that destroyed half-a-block of residential and business property in Falconer.  Mayor Jim Rensel says residents were stunned by Young's arrest and, the accusations against him.
 
The Warren Times-Observer reports that Young apparently committed the crimes there on March 26th as he fled New York after setting several fires including five within a three-hour period on March 24th and 25th in Jamestown.  
 
State Police say Young is first accused of breaking into a garage in Pine Grove Township and stealing a car there.  He was finally caught on March 28th in Butler County, Pennsylvania for allegedly breaking into a vacant house in Slippery Rock and, trying to set fire to it.  Young was arraigned and, is being held in the Butler County Jail on $75,000 cash bail.
 
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings say investigators from his department went to Butler County about mid-week last week after learning that Young had been arrested.  
 
Snellings say the local charges were filed as a detainer against Young and, include two counts of second-degree Arson and nine counts of third-degree arson. There was also a fifth-degree arson charge for setting fire to a construction debris pile in Jamestown in the early morning hours of March 25th.
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and state legislative leaders agreed on a 153-billion dollar, 2017-18 budget plan early last weekend.  
 
The Democratic governor said the proposal includes $1.1-billion dollars more in school spending, the authorization for Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and free college tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less.  
 
The budget was due by April 1st but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on final details.  Lawmakers must still approve the compromise.  
 
The spending measure also includes $2.5 billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades.  The final issues to be nailed down include a proposal to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. Cuomo says that reform was a top priority for Democrats.
 
The natural gas boom that's hammered coal mines and driven down utility bills is now hitting nuclear power plants.
 
That's spurring nuclear power plant owners to press lawmakers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania for a financial rescue. Their multi-billion-dollar energy company owners say they want the same preferential treatment given to renewables, like wind and solar.  
 
Opposition to a so-called nuclear bailout is uniting rivals and the natural gas exploration industry.  The potential for a hit to utility bills is drawing pushback from the AARP and manufacturers.
 
The dairy group that has run the popular Milk Bar at the New York State Fair since 1952 says it's pulling out because of funding issues with the Cuomo administration.  
The non-profit New York State Dairy Exhibits, Incorporated tells The Syracuse Post-Standard  that it won't run the Dairy Products Building at the fairgrounds in the town of Geddes.  
 
Group leaders say the move comes after the state only came up with half of the $90,000 subsidy that was supposed to cover expenses for running last year's Milk Bar.  
 
The state kicked in the funding after the group announced before the fair's opening that it planned to double the price of a cup of milk to 50 cents because it was losing money on the operation. The state money prevented the price from being raised for the first time since 1983.

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News Headlines for Sat. Apr. 8, 2017

City police investigating alleged drive-by shooting on Jamestown's northside...
Jamestown police are investigating the first drive-by shooting reported in the city since several occured late last year.  City police were called to the scene at 6 West 12th Street about 3:30 a.m. Friday on a report of multiple shots being fired into the house.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson tells the Post-Journal that the people inside were likely "targeted."  Samuelson says they don't have an exact number of shots being fired... and, adds the occupants were "not cooperative with our efforts" to investigate.  He says the motive for the incident are being looked into... but, he says it was likely the result of some kind of dispute... or an altercation.  Samuelson also tells the paper that there were several children living inside the home when the incident occured.  If you have any information on the alleged shootings... call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.... or leave an anonymous tip via their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
State Budget agreement reportedly reached by Cuomo and legislative leaders...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he and state legislative leaders have agreed on a 2017-18 budget plan.  The Democratic governor said the proposal includes $1.1-billion dollars more in school spending, the authorization for Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and free college tuition for students from families making $125,000 or less.  The budget was due by April 1st... but lawmakers and Cuomo couldn't agree on final details.  Lawmakers must still approve the compromise.  The spending measure also includes $2.5-billion in funding for water quality and water and sewer upgrades.  The final issues to be nailed down include a proposal to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  Cuomo says that reform, which was a top priority for Democrats, is one of his top accomplishments.
 
 
Young frustrated by delay in budget agreement, says lawmakers were already close at mid-week...
With last night's agreement on a state budget... work is underway to get lawmakers back to Albany to approve final remaining bills in the spending plan.  State Senator Cathy Young told us late this week that the sticking points remained "Raise the Age..." and school aid.  The Olean Republican thought they had an agreement earlier in the week regarding a measure that would increase the age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18 years old, but that was before the mid-week breakdown in budget talks  Young says they supported raising the age... but, wanted measures to make sure youthful offenders were "held responsible" for their crimes.  Young was also concerned about state aid for schools, especially foundation aid. 
 
 
Falconer demolition work completed on buidlings, West Main St. now open!...
Demolition work is complete... and, the portion of West Main Street in front of the buildings destroyed in the massive fire from late last month in Falconer has been reopened.  The good news comes from village Mayor Jim Rensel... who says what was left of the structures from 29 to 39 West Main came down late last Thursday night.  Rensel says, though, there was still debris from the site to deal with... and, clean-up was completed on the road before the road was re-opened about 10:15 a.m. Friday.  One lane of West Main Street was closed for a while today while the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities installed new utility poles and power lines in front of the West Main Street location.  The street was closed between the four-corners with South Work Street and Davis Street since the March 22 blaze occured.  Officials this week announced that the fire was set by accused serial arsonist Jonathan Young... a native of Falconer.
 
 
Rensel says work continuing on finding new locations for burned-out businesses in Falconer...
One of the five businesses burned out of their locations in the March 22nd fire has already begun the process of relocating to another address in the village.  In fact... Mayor Rensel says Better Life Nutrition is going to be moving into the former Tasta Pizza building on East Main Street -- just a few blocks away from their previous location.  He says the owner of that building sought out the nutrition business owners... and, helped to get them started moving into that space.  Rensel also praised the owners of the buildings that were heavily damaged in the first... Art Bailey and Jim Gronquist, Junior.  He says both made themselves available to all necessary meetings they had about the fire, and getting the building's torn down. 
 
 
Schumer, Reed voice support for U-S Airstrike on Syria...
There is bi-partisan support being voiced over Thursday's "limited missile strike" on a Syrian airfield in response to the Assad government's alleged chemical weapons attack on his own people.  Late Friday afternoon... U-S Senator Chuck Schumer released a statement on the military strike... saying that "making sure Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do."  However... Schumer added that "It's incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it."  Local Congressman Tom says the "use of weapons of mass destruction where innocent civilians, including women and children are killed, cannot go unchecked unless we risk the unfettered escalation of such weapon's use in the future around the world."  Reed says "it's the right thing to do..." but, adds diplomatic efforts also need to continue.
 
 
City of Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt set for next Saturday morning...
The city of Jamestown's annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park celebrates a milestone this year... the event a week from today will be the 70th in the city's history.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the egg hunt will be held at 10:30 a.m. on April 15 in the upper area of the park... and, will be for all children 12 years of age and under.  Ciesla-Hanley adds it's also a free event that is put on with the help of several community sponsors.  She says there'll be three age-group areas for the youngsters up to age 12 will hunt for the chocolate eggs.  Ciesla-Hanley adds that the Media One Group of radio stations is also again a sponsor.  She also says the Hess Family will again provide prizes for the children who find the Gold and Silver Eggs during the Hunt.  Ciesla-Hanley says they have all 3-thousand filled eggs stuffed for next weekend... thanks to local Girl Scout Troop-#20029... who did it all in one hour.  She says the Easter Bunny will arrive by Fire Truck to start the event next Saturday, April 15.  In case of inclement weather... she says the egg hunt will be moved indoors to the Allen Park Ice Rink.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three people are jailed after allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine and, with a one-month old child inside a home on Jamestown's northside.  

 

City police say Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force members raided a home at 130 Euclid Avenue about 9:30 AM Thursday.  Officers say they found 39-year-old Steven Kent and 43-year-old Ashley Burkes, both of Jamestown along with James Williamson inside.  

 

Police say they also reportedly found a quantity of Meth, and the infant child.  Kent and Burkes have been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Burke was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and, Williamson with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.

 

All three were sent to the county jail with bail to be set. The child was turned over to Child Protective Services. Anyone with information of the trafficking of illegal drugs in the Jamestown area is asked to contact the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

April "Rain showers" gave way to some April "Snow Showers" overnight. 
 
That from Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo who says we are under a Winter Weather Advisory through 2 PM today.  Thomas says colder air will moved in during the late evening dropping the ovenright low to about 30 to 32 degrees.  He says the rain we got yesterday was turning as the mercury dropped.
 
Thomas says we won't see a lot of snow accumulation in the immediate Jamestown-area unless you're at one of those higher elevations.  He says generally the lower snow totals will be along the Lake Erie shoreline.  
 
Thomas says while the ground and other surfaces are warm enough to melt the snow there will be enough in some places to cause slippery conditions.  He says there will also be some accumulation in those area.  
 
Thomas says the snow will begin tapering off by early afternoon.  He adds it'll get back into the mid-40s on Saturday... and, by Monday... we'll see the low to mid-70s.
 
The State Senate has gone home and, the Assembly is likely to follow after budget negotiations broke down in Albany Wednesday night.  
 
Chautauqua County's Assemblyman, Andy Goodell, a Republican says Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo stood firm on a few issues after he got much of what HE wanted in the budget extension approved earlier in the week by the legislature.
 
He adds that Foundation Aid for public schools, and how much money should go to charter schools remain unresolved due mainly to teacher's union opposition to funding for charters. Goodell says the governor proposed a significant increase for charter school funding.  
 
He says he thought there was fundamental agreement on raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18... but problems emerged in the details 
 
The local Assemblyman said it is likely there will be increased aid for New York college students, but the plan for free tuition will not be part of final agreement.  
 
The members of the legislature probably won't be back in Albany for a couple of weeks.  
 
Goodell says the stress will be particularly bad for downstate lawmakers from high cost of living districts as the state legislature does NOT get paid until the full budget is done.
 
There is still no final deal on a $150-billion, 2017-18 state budget plan.  
 
That after negotiations on a handful of items... including non-budgetary ones... broke down late Wednesday night. Governor Andrew Cuomo says several outstanding issues remain namely three in particular.
 
However Cuomo does say passage of the budget extender this past Monday keeps state government operating.  
 
It also approved funding for economic development and construction projects for the entire year.  Cuomo says quote "that's important."  Due to the lack of an agreement education aid, Cuomo says state aid runs for local school district will use a 3.9% increase in funding under the executive budget.  
 
The governor indicated that aid figures will be adjusted once a final budget agreement is reached. 

 

After holding steady in recent weeks gas prices in the Jamestown-area have climbed about two-cents a gallon this week.  

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says locally the price is up 2.1 cents to just over $2.48 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  

 

Nationally AAA says the average price is up 4-cents a gallon to $2.33 a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says that's one-cent more compared to one month ago and 27 cents more than the same date last year.  National gas prices have increased six of the last seven days.

 

Dairy farms in Wisconsin and other states could be forced out of business as early as May because of a trade dispute that's halted the export of their milk to Canada.  

 

At issue is a U.S-Canada dispute over what's called "ultra-filtered milk," a protein liquid concentrate used to make cheese. Until recently it had entered Canada duty-free from the United States.  

 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports  that Canadian dairy farmers objected, resulting in Ontario and other provinces applying import taxes.

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WJTN Headlines

A man from the Jamestown-area has been arrested for allegedly setting 12 local arson fires including five during a several hour period late last month on the city's northside. 

 

In addition City Police Chief Harry Snellings says 19 year-old Jonathan Young a Falconer native is also accused of setting the huge fire that destroyed nearly a half-block area of West Main Street in downtown Falconer. 

 

During a Wednesday press conference Snellings said Young was arrested in Butler County, Pennsylvania last Tuesday, March 28th on unrelated arson, auto theft, and burglary charges.

 

Snellings says city police received a call from the Butler County Jail Monday saying that they had an arson suspect in their facility they believed was from the Jamestown-area.  However they say Young had no identification on him when he was arrested and, he gave them several false names. 

 

Jamestown Police investigators were in Pennsylvania Tuesday, meeting with state Police in Butler County and filing the local charges as a detainer to make sure Young is held for extradiction.  Snelling says Yong is being held in Butler County on $75,000 bail pending further court action.

Perhaps the most stunning announcement was the fact that Young has also started the blaze at 29 to 39 West Main Street in Falconer. 

 

There was a lot of speculation about that blaze including the possibility that a Methamphetime Lab had exploded.  There had also been a rumor that the fire might have been intentionally set. 

 

The first fire Young is accused of setting was on March 2nd at 621 East Sixth Street which was an occupied apartment.


The mayors of Jamestown and Falconer were at yesterday afternoon's press conference to personally express their thanks to police and fire personnel for all they did to protect the public, and make an arrest in the case. 

 

Jamestown's Sam Teresi says he normally doesn't get involved in police press conferences but, says he was compelled this time by the severity of the crimes involved. 

 

Teresi says what happened was more than a property crime. Teresi says there was also a lot of concern over the fact that fire personnel including EMT's were stretched to the limit. 

 

Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel thanked all the mutual aid departments that responded to Falconer.  Rensel says they had somewhere between 200 and 300 firefighters at the scene.  He also thanked fire investigators for all their "hard work." 

 

Thankfully Rensel says no one was seriously hurt in the blaze which was called in just after 7:30 AM on Wednesday, March 22nd.  The effort to tear-down the remains of that fire are continuing.


Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says if he's convicted Jonathan Young faces a lengthy stay in state prison on the charges leveled against him. 

 

Swanson says that includes the two second-degree arson counts for the West Main Street fire in Falconer and, the one at 621 East Sixth in Jamestown.  He says the counts for the two homes that were occupied including the Falconer apartments each carries 5 to 25 years in jail. 

 

Swanson says the penalties on the third-degree arsons in the vacant and condemned homes are because no one was inside the homes and, no one else was hurt in any of those fires.


Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says there are some other arson fires in vacant homes including Tuesday's on the southside that were not allegedly set by Jonathan Young.

 

The home at 206 Charles Street was heavily-damaged by flames Tuesday. Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at about 6:45 AM... and, found the blaze had a good head start. Fortunately.. no one was hurt in that blaze.


State budget negotiations have collapsed after members of the state Senate left Albany. 

 

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan said he will call his members back when and if there is a deal with Assembly Democrats and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo. The budget was due by Saturday

 

Lawmakers on Monday passed a two-month extension of the old budget to ensure the vital functions of government continue.  Just moments before the Senate left members of the Assembly announced they would stay in the hopes of striking a deal. 

 

However State Senator Cathy Young blamed Assembly Democrats on reneging on what the Senate felt was a final deal.  Lawmakers won't get paid until they pass a budget. 

 

The Legislature is scheduled to return to Albany in late April.  The breakdown in talks is a defeat for top lawmakers and Cuomo, who has long criticized late budgets as a sign of government dysfunction.


While there were reports of an agreement on a final state budget being worked out... the rank and file members still didn't have a lot of details. 

 

We reached Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who represents Chautauqua County, late yesterday morning.  He says only a portion of the bills that make up the final budget had actually been printed.

 

But, Goodell a Jamestown-area Republican  say no details have been released on the more controversial issues so far including Uber and Ride-Sharing and, the "Raise the Age" proposal. 

 

He says the State Senate passed four of the budget bills late Tuesday night and, the Assembly was to take up the bills late yesterday.  He remains frustrated about the process, much of it done behind closed doors.


Despite a Democratic "talk-a-thon" as some are calling it in the U-S Senate... it appears Republicans will be moving ahead with a confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. 

 

If it takes a vote on allowing a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes so be it.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed who doesn't have a vote but, has been discussing the situation with some Senators.

 

Reed says "we need to get Gorsuch appointed to the Supreme Court" and, adds that he's calling on the Senate to "expedite" the matter.  The highest court in the land has been dead-locked in recent months on more controversial matters following the untimely death of conservative judge Antonin Scalia.


The state Department of Environmental Conservation says New York hunters killed about 214,000 deer in 2016, up about 5 percent from 2015. 

 

That includes an estimated 109-thousand adult bucks a 10 percent increase from 2015  and 105,000 antlerless deer. 

 

The numbers are preliminary estimates.  The DEC says final harvest numbers are expected later this month as the agency updates its harvest calculation system.  Annual deer and bear harvest reports are posted on the DEC website 

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News Bulletin for Apr. 5, 2017

(**Alert)Jamestown-area man under arrest in PA for arson in Butler County also charged with 12 local arson fires in Jamestown, and massive fire in Falconer from Mar. 22...
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly setting 12 local arson fires... including five during a 24-hour period late last month on the city's northside.  In addition... City Police Chief Harry Snellings says 19 year-old Jonathan H. Young is also accused of setting the huge fire that destroyed nearly a half-block area of West Main Street in Falconer.  Snellings say Young was arrested in Butler County, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, March 28th, on unrelated arson, auto theft, and burglary charges.  He says the suspect faces two counts of second-degree Arson, nine counts of second-degree Arson, and one count of fifth-degree Arson.  Snellings says City Police received a call from the Butler County Jail this past Monday... saying that they had a suspect in their facility they believed was from the Jamestown area charged with arson.  However... they said that when Young was arrested on March 28th... he had no identification in his possession and gave authorities several false names.  He's being held in Butler County on $75,000 bail... pending further court action.  
----
 
Jamestown police investigators were in Butler County Tuesday to formally file charges against Young there as a detainter.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the second-degree arson charges are for the two occupied buildings that were set on fire... incluing 29 to 39 West Main Street in Falconer.  The other was for an occupied apartment at 621 East Sixth Street in Jamestown, which was the first fire Young is accused of setting on March 2.
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

It's now been an even dozen arson fires in the city of Jamestown since early January after investigators determined that someone set the fire at a vacant, southside home early yesterday morning.  
 
Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 206 Charles Street about 6:45 AM and, found the blaze had a good head start. Finson says they found a lot of fire near the back side of the structure.
 
Finson says firefighters pulled two handlines to protect the structure and, then two others to battle the blaze in the back.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the flames under control.  
 
Finson adds there was a lot of fire damage mainly to the back part of the house. There was smoke and water damage throughout the house. Finson says the good news is, they prevented serious damage to the neighboring home.
 
Finson says crews were at the scene nearly two hours.  An off-duty shift of nine firefighters and a shift commander was called in. Finson says no services were hooked up to the house.
 
There is a new concern that needs to be addressed before the tallest structure destroyed in the March 22nd fire in downtown Falconer can be completely torn-down.  
 
That from village Mayor Jim Rensel who says contractor George Patti had to cease work Tuesday afternoon on the three-story brick building on West Main Street because of the threat at least part of a wall coming down on a single-story building to the east.  
 
Rensel says the shorter building was did have some water damage from the fire but, was not affected by the fire.
 
Rensel says crews had been making good progress up to that point and, two walls of the three-story building had been torn down.  However he says the contractor is also concerned about vibration caused by the demolition work damaging the one-story structure.  
 
Rensel says George Patti is currently trying to put measures in place to protect the other building, and resume demolition tomorrow. 
 
The March 22nd fire devastated the nearly half-a-block area from 29 to 39 West Main Street.  Some people and firefighters had to be treated for smoke inhalation but, no one was hurt in the fire and partial building collapse.
 
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

 

The contractor’s heavy use of a fire hydrant in the Village of Falconer has caused discolored water both in the village and on the northside of Jamestown.  Board of Public Utilitie's Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the discolored water is safe but, adds it may take another few hours this morning to clear.

 

New York lawmakers say they've reached agreement on a new state budget which is just over four days late now.  

 

However Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says there's no deal and no need to rush. Cuomo says a two-month budget extension passed Monday ensures government will continue to function and that it could be a few weeks until a final budget is worked out.  

 

Lawmakers have another reason to seek quick resolution: They won't get paid until the budget passes.

 

One of the major items that's blocked passage of a final New York state budget is a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18.  
 
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell has concerns about "Raise The Age..." and, how it would impact local courts.  He says the legislation backed by state lawmakers from New York City doesn't take into account the significant differences in the court system between upstate and downstate.
 
Other differences include the number of secured juvenile detention centers.  Goodell says there is currently only one that serves most of Western New York and, that's an hour-and-a-half away in Buffalo.  
 
Supporters say that New York is one of only two states that prosecutes all youths as adults when they turn 16. The other state is North Carolina.
 
Jamestown school board members will vote later this month on an $83.8-million budget for the 2017-18 school year that adds eight more employees but, includes no tax increase.  
 
That from interim School Superintendent Superintendent Silvia Root after the board last night reviewed a second-draft of the proposal with Business Manager Vern Connors.  Root says the district has to move forward with a spending plan that doesn't include final state aid figures.  
 
That's because the state budget is late.  However, she says they're fairly confident the amount will be somewhere between the governor's proposal, and the legislature's.
 
Connors told board members that the district is in "pretty good financial condition" due mainly to the district winding up with a $2.8-million surplus in the 2015-16 budget.  He met last week with Root and Board President Paul Abbott and Vice-President Patrick Slagle and, agreed to no more staff and teaching cuts.  
 
Root says she's proposing to add seven more teachers, and one school psychologist next year.  However she's quick to add that all depend's on the public vote on May 16th.  
 
The school board will vote on a final budget at it's April 18th meeting. 

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Early Morning Fire

We are working on details of a fire at 206 Charles Street on the city's southside this morning.

 

Our Brian Papalia was at the scene and spoke with members of Jamestown Police Department about this incident and had information for us available. We will have further information as it becomes available so stay tuned to the website and to our stations for further updates..

 

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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown Police Department has received numerous tips from the public since last last week when they released video survillance of a man they believe may be connected to a recent rash of arson fires.  
 
That from Police Chief Harry Snellings who says they released the video with the hopes of getting more people to come forth with information on 11 fires in vacant and condemned homes since early last January. Nine of those occured within a four-day period from March 22nd through 25th....
 
JPD released the video from the first of five arson fires on Friday, March 24th just after 11 PM at 650 East Sixth Street.  The video shows a person walking out from the rear of the home and then proceeding to walk down the street towards Winsor Street and then to walk up Winsor Street.  The person appears to be of thin build and is wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  
 
Snellings says they're moving quickly with the investigation because they don't want any leads to dry up.
 
Snellings says anyone who may recognize or know who the suspect is in the video is asked to contact the JPD Tip Line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  He says you can also leave a tip on the Tips 411 App.  
 
This information will also be forwarded to Crime Stoppers at 867-6161, where tipsters can be eligible to receive a reward.
 
City police are still not releasing the name of the Jamestown man who died in an apartment fire early Sunday morning on the city's southside.  
 
Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings says they have officially ruled the blaze accidental.  
 
Snellings says they are not yet identifying the 39 year-old man who lived in the upstairs apartment at 119 Myrtle Street because they have not been able to reach everyone in his immediate family yet.
 
City Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a neighbor called in the alarm after smelling smoke in the area.  Salemme says crews were called to the scene shortly after 1 AM Sunday and, found light smoke coming from the apartment.
 
 A neighor said they believed someone was still inside the apartment, and firefighters soon after found the man inside.  The victim later died at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital.
 
New York state will avoid a government shutdown after lawmakers approved a two-month stopgap spending plan.  
 
The short-term budget passed late Monday was introduced by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo after he and lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a one-year budget.  The budget was supposed to be approved by Midnight last Friday but negotiations over the more than $150 billion spending plan bogged down over juvenile justice reform, education spending and an affordable housing tax credit for New York City.  
 
Lawmakers won't get paid until they pass a budget.  Cuomo's short-term spending plan runs through May 31st..
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's frustrated by the lack of action over a final budget which is now four-days late.  
 
Goodell, and other state lawmakers spent the weekend in Albany but, were not able to take any action on spending bills. The Jamestown-area Republican told us yesterday that three-way agreements were apparently reached on several bills but, they never made it to legislators' desks.
 
Governor Cuomo announced late Sunday that due of the inability of both houses to reach agreement, he would offer up an extender bill to keep state government functioning until May 31st. 
 
New York is expanding its non-traditional addiction treatment support services throughout the state.  
 
Governor Cuomo has announced that $2.65-million-dollars will go toward establishing community coalitions and peer engagement programs in each of the state's 10 economic development regions. The primary goal is to help individuals and families in crisis navigate the treatment system.  
 
The initiative ensures there are at least two peer engagement specialists available in each region.  These specialists will be either in recovery from a substance use disorder, have a loved one in recovery, or have lost a loved one to addiction.
 
The Jamestown City Council has approved an agreement with a Buffalo-area construction firm to build two pre-fabricated pedestrian bridges to be part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk.  
 
Lawmakers approved the measure at last week's voting session with Union Concrete and Construction for just under $1.6-million. One will run under the Washington Street Bridge while the other will connect the area behind the Gateway Train Station to Panzarella Park.
 
The city is also seeking about $400,000 in Urban Development Acton Grant funding to pay the matching cost for the project which will cost about $2-million.
 
The Allen Park Women's Club celebrated its 75th anniversary with a dinner Monday night at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
 
City Parks Manager, John Williams, used the occasion to unveil plans for a three sided 'play hut' to be built over the old sand box at Allen Park.
 
Williams says they'll need to raise about $14,000 to build the hut.  Today has been declared 'Allen Park Women's Club Day' in Jamestown. 

 

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has died in a fire that erupted in his second-floor apartment early Sunday morning on the city's southside. 

 

Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says a neighbor called in the alarm after smelling smoke in the area.  Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 119 Myrtle Street shortly after 1 AM and, found light smoke coming from the apartment.

 

Salemme says Alstar ambulance rushed the man to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  The dog also perished in the fire. 

 

Salemme says crews contained the fire to the kitchen-area, and had the blaze out fairly quickly.  He says a cooking fire in the kitchen started the blaze. 

 

Crews were at the scene until about 2:15 AM.  He says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The man's identity is not yet being released.  Salamme says there were no working smoke detectors inside the apartment.


A Kennedy man died early last weekend after his home caught fire following a problem with the heating furnace. 

 

Chautauqua County Fire Investigators add, though, that they are still looking into a final cause of the blaze at 3967 Sprague Hill Road.  Dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 9:30 AM Saturday

 

Firefighters say they found 60 year-old William Caldwell unresponsive inside the residence.  Fire rescuers rushed Caldwell to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

 

Kennedy firefighters were joined at the scene by Ellington, Gerry, Randolph, Fluvanna, Frewsburg and Kiantone Fire crews.


Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing a two-month extension of the last state budget to avoid a government shutdown after he and state lawmakers failed to reach agreement on a new spending plan.

 

Cuomo says he has assurances from leaders of the Senate and the Assembly the stopgap spending plan will pass Monday. Negotiations bogged down over education spending and a juvenile justice reform sought by Democrats that would raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16- and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.

 

Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says a temporary budget will buy lawmakers time to come to agreement. The temporary budget would extend current spending levels and not include Cuomo's plan to make state college tuition free for middle-class students.


It's not going to happen overnight but, the United States' tax code needs major retorm to allow the nation to compete in the global marketplace. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed during an appearance late last week at Jamestown Electroplating on Water Street.  The Corning Republican says work is underway on trying to lower the "Marginal" Corporate Tax rate from 39%to about 20% or less which was set the last time the code was reformed in 1986.

 

Reed says the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's Caucus" he co-chair's with New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottenheimer has written a letter to the Trump Administration saying they want to work as a block with them on tax reform, and infrastruture issues. 

 

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says those are critical to further keeping and adding jobs to the region. 

 

Reed says having the "Problem Solver's Caucus" on board with tax reform and infrastructure is important, because that's 20 Democrats who have generally agreed to work on those two issues.


U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer is urging President Donald Trump to veto a resolution that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could allow internet providers to sell information about their customers' browsing habits. 

 

The New York senator and 46 other Senate Democrats have signed a letter calling on Trump to "tell us whose side he's really on."  The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon share information. 

 

But critics say the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among internet companies. 

 

Schumer says if Trump signs the resolution, consumers "will be stripped of critical privacy protections in a New York minute."


Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says he'd support changing Senate rules to bypass Democratic opposition and confirm Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. 

 

During an appearance at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference last Friday Toomey also said Democrats have never said Judge Neil Gorsuch  ignored or misapplied the law in cases before him. 

 

Toomey last year backed a Republican refusal to consider then-President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the high court opening. But Toomey says this is different.  A Senate confirmation vote is expected later this week. 

 

Unless 60 senators support Gorsuch, Republicans would have to change Senate rules to allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority vote in the 100-member Senate.  Getting to 60 votes would require six more Democrats to back Gorsuch.


Two women have been charged following a vicious fight in the town of Stockton in late March involving a crow-bar and sawzall. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Victoria Miller and 23 year-old Karen Miller got into the brawl about 5 PM on Sunday, March 26th at a home on Railroad Avenue. 

 

Deputies say Karen Miller allegedly pushed and hit Victoria Miller in the face, causing red marks.  Officers say that Victoria Miller then grabbed a sawzall and started swinging it at Karen Miller, scratching her legs and wrist. She then allegedly grabbed a metal crow bar and hit Karen Miller in the arm.

 

Deputies say Victoria Miller was charged with third-degree assault and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Karen Miller was charged with second-degree harassment and scheduled to appear in Stockton Town Court at a later date.


Two organizations are teaming up to host a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser this Tuesday night at Jamestown Community College that also high-lights the issue of pay equity. 

 

The American Association of University Women and the Jamestown Community College Student Senate are hosting the dinner at the Week's Reception Room beginning at 5:30 PM

 

JCC Student Senate President Preston Ross says students will pay $5with I-D while men will pay$10 and, women$8.
Ross says the money raised from this event is also going to be staying local as well and helping to benefit our community to benefit the Salvation Army.

 

This Pay Equity Day Spaghetti dinner is being put on by the AAUW in conjunction with the JCC Student Senate and it is open to the public at the Weeks reception room on the JCC Campus from 5:30 to 7 PM on Tuesday night.


A well-known Jamestown-area doctor who has been practicing medicine for more than 50 years in the Jamestown-area has been named as UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital's "Physician of the Year." 

 

The Post-Journal reports that Dr. Robert Scott was given the award during the annual Doctor's Day Luncheon at the hospital.  He started practicing medicine in Jamestown in 1973. 

 

Scott says he wasn't expecting the honor but, adds he's "happy to accept it."  He attended medical school at Cornell University, and did his residency at the University of Pennsylvania.

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News Headlines for Sat., Apr. 1, 2017

NYS budget late, lawmakers hope to have final agreement early next week...
The New York state legislature has blown through a budget deadline... but, top lawmakers say they'll work through the weekend to pass a new state spending plan.  Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan told reporters late Friday that there is broad support for increased tuition assistance, permitting Uber to expand upstate and new funding for the state's aging water systems.  Disputes remain, however, over proposals to raise the age of criminal responsibility so 16-and 17-year-old offenders aren't prosecuted as adults.  Top lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo had hoped to pass the more than $150-billion dollar spending plan before a new fiscal year began Saturday.  Cuomo announced early Saturday that if lawmakers can't agree on a budget by the end of the weekend he will propose extending current spending levels.
 
 
Reed talks tax reform with local officials, business leaders at Jamestown Electoplating...
Tax reform should be a bi-partian issue because it affects all Americans.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who talked about efforts to make the U-S Tax code simpler and fairer at a Jamestown manufacturer yesterday morning.  Reed met with local elected and business leaders at Jamestown Electroplating on Water Street to discuss a proposed 20-percent reduction in the federal Corporate tax, and other reductions to relieve the tax burden on individuals and businesses.  As a member of the House Ways and Means Comittee... he says it's important to hear from everyone that's affected so they can put a tax policy in place "that encourages the making of products and job growth in the U-S."  Reed says they hope to have a tax reform package in place by early 2018.  It would be the first such reform since 1986.  He met earlier with Jamestown Electroplating Owner and President Chase Churchill... and, the head of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier, Todd Tranum, who says local manufacturer's need a "fair chance to complete globally..." and, that would happen with tax reform.
 
 
Puerto Rican man arrested on warrant for Sexual Assault in Dunkirk...
A man from Puerto Rico has been arrested in Dunkirk on a Felony sex-related crime on that island nation.  Police Chief David Ortolano says officers assisted U.S. Marshals early Wednesday morning in the arrest of 31-year-old Jonathan Figueroa-Martinez on Lincoln Avenue.  Ortolano says Figueroa-Martinez was found inside an apartment at 76 Lincoln Avenue after police checked several locations for him.  He says that Figueroa-Martinez was taken into custody without incident... and, he's being held in the Chautauqua County Jail pending extradiction.
 
 
Head of Meals on Wheels in Jamestown-area says elimination of CDBG program would not impact local program, but, other possible cuts could...
Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-area would not be impacted by the proposed elimination of the federal Community Development Block Grant program... but, there are other proposed cuts that could severely impact the program.  That from Meals on Wheels Director Barrie Yochim... who says they served a record 154,000 meals over the past year.  In addition... Yochim tells us they face the likelyhood of having to create a "waiting list" for seniors and other shut-ins who get their meals because demand is continuing to rise... and, the financial resources are down, or stagnant.  He says they are feeding more people than they ever have over the past 17 years.  Yochim says they've seen steady increases in demand of about 10-percent each of the past six years.  While the CDBG funding is not an issue locally... he says they are concerned about possible sequestration... and, other -- across the board cuts -- averaging about 16-percent.  He says 50 to 55-percent of Meals on Wheels's funding comes from county, state and federal sources.  Yochim says their annual budget now runs between $1.6-million and $1.7-million... and, any cut in funding would be devastating.  Yochim made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.  
 
 
Jamestown Jackals make PBL Playoffs, play Sunday...
The Jamestown Jackals have made the playoffs in the Premier Basketball League.  Team owner, and coach, Kayla Crosby says they finished the season fourth in the league with 10 wins and 7 losses... and will play an away game at Rochester Sunday afternoon.  Crosby says a victory Sunday against the Razorsharks would set the team up for at least one more playoff game next Wednesday, April 5, at Jamestown Community College.  Jamestown would play the winner of the game between Ohio and Kentucky.  Jamestown lost by 12 points to Rochester in the final regular season game last weekend.  Crosby says they've been reviewing video all week, and planning some surprises for Rochester.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 25, 2018

A Forestville man has been arrested for allegedly manufacturing and trafficking methamphetime from a home in the north county village...   Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force...

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