News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 30, 2019

Man seriously hurt after being struck by car in Lakewood...
A unidentified male was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital with serious injuries after being struck by a car in front of the Fifties Restaraunt in Lakewood Friday evening.  Lakewood-Busti police report the incident happened just after 8:30 pm at the West Fairmount Avenue restauraunt.  Witnesses say the male ran out in front of an eastbound vehicle and was struck.  The investigation is still on going at this time.  


Goodell says work still continuing on final state budget, though bills are being passed...
The state legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo will continue work into the weekend in an effort to reach a budget agreement by Sunday night.  The Albany Times-Union reported a tentative deal was reached among leadership late Thursday night... and, it includes a statewide ban on many single-use plastic bags that would take effect next March.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says details are still coming out on the agreement.  Goodell says state lawmakers passed the debt service bill earlier this week... and, more bills are on the way.  He says the governor will likely issue a statement of necessity to allow those and other bills being printed to be approved.  Goodell says he voted against the debt service bill... which was for more than $50-billion.  However... the state constitution says voters need to approve the state taking on the debt, and that's only been done on about $2.5-billion of that debt.  The rest was obtained through other means, including authorities. 


County Chamber head, Todd Tranum, following state budget developments...
The head of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says business leaders will be following developments concerning the budget very closely.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says it’s hard to tell what impact the plastic bag ban will have on local businesses... such as grocery and other stores.  Tranum says the chamber continues to push for tax relief for businesses, including legislation that would make the Tax Cap permanent for local governments and school districts.  He also would like to see the Regional Economic Development Program continue... since it has benefitted a number of projects in the county.


President of JCC also watching what's going on in Albany...
Community colleges across New York state are asking lawmakers in Albany for some predictability when it comes to their share of funding in the new budget.  That from Jamestown Community College President Daniel DeMarte... who says he hasn't heard a lot about the new spending plan the legislature and Governor Cuomo are trying to hammer out this weekend.  DeMarte says they want a new model that includes a funding "floor" as opposed to the current one based on incoming enrollment numbers -- which have dropped pretty much everywhere -- including JCC.  DeMarte says the situation in New York is not different from other community colleges in other states.  His message to state lawmakers is simple -- "Fund us at the formula."  That formula for many years called on New York state to fund 40-percent of the costs for each full-time equivalent student.  Dr. DeMarte made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program to be heard on all six Media One Radio Group stations.


Eight arrested as part of alleged thefts of children's ID in Buffalo-area...
Authorities say a New York based identity theft ring targeted children's Social Security numbers throughout the country.  Following a 16-month investigation by the New York State Police and Social Security Administration, eight people from Buffalo and Amherst are charged with identity theft.  Authorities say the suspects were using Social Security numbers stolen from children as young as 11.  Investigators say a 2017 suspicious activity report from the State Intelligence Center about Social Security numbers being used by different assigned names launched the initial investigation.


Collins named as UPMC Chautauqua's Physician of the Year...
A primary care doctor who has spent the past three-decades-plus in Jamestown has been named 2018's Physican of the Year at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  The award was given to Dr. Patrick Collins during Friday afternoon's annual Doctor's Day Luncheon at the hospital.  Collins says he's both "honored and humbled" to receive the award... and, says he loves his work at UPMC Chautauqua... and, at Jamestown Family Practice.  He says "we have wonderful doctors, and wonderful support staff" here, and they all work together well.  Collins and his wife, Karen, have lived in Jamestown since they first came here in 1986.  Collins tells us that after he and his wife got their degrees, they spent five years in Ithaca, where his wife got her graduate degree.  


Chautauqua County Humane Society...
If making a difference in an animal's life holds a soft-spot in your heart... you're asked to consider a new opportunity to experience the love and compassion of having a dog with the Chautauqua County Humane Society.  Humane Society Volunteer Coordinator Rachel Johnson says they are the first shelter in New York state to participate in the "Expawditions" study.  She says they're allowing people to take the dogs out for 2 to 4 hours to help reduce theirs, and the dog's stress levels.  Johnson says the program begins Monday, April 1... and, is headlined by assistant Virginia Tech University Professor Dr. Erica Feuerbacher in collaboration with Arizona State University.  Feuerbacher says the research originates in studying animal welfare of dogs in shelters.  Anyone interested in taking part is asked to stop by the Humane Society or Contact Rachel Johnson at 665-2209 ext. 210.  Details are also available at spcapets.com. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 29, 2019

The jury in the second-degree murder trial of Jamestown's David Waggoner has found him guilty in last July's shooting death of another man during an argument on the city's westside.....  

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the 12-member panel returned the verdict after about an hour-and-a-half's deliberation Thursday morning in Mayville.  Swanson says the jury fully considered the evidence, even though the defense tried to make the case that Waggoner acted in self-defense against 30 year-old William Mishishima.

Swanson says the jury deliberated for about two-hours Wednesday after he and Public Defender Ned Barone made their closing arguments.  The incident occured in front of 114 Livingston Avenue about 9 AM last July 24th.  Mischishima died the next day in an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital.  Swanson says Waggoner faces a determinate sentence of 15 years to life, to 25 years to life in state prison.  The jury also considered a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter.  He says he'll press for the maximum when Waggoner is sentenced in County Court next June 10th.


A Jamestown man -- found in possession of two weapons and drugs this past Tuesday -- is now facing another felony charge......  

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Officers were called to a location in Mayville Tuesday evening and, found that 19 year-old Randall Mesler, Junior was in possession of an illegal stun gun.  Deputies say Mesler was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and is being held pending arraignment.  Mesler was arrested by Jamestown Police earlier in the day near Columbia Avenue and Myrtle Street with a CO2 BB-Gun, switchblade knife, heroin in individual packages, 1.6-grams of methamphetamine and, drug paraphernalia.  


Chautauqua County's Congressman feels that President Trump has been "completely exonerated" in the final report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election....  

At the same time, Corning Republican Tom Reed believes that as much of the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be released as possible.  Reed also feels that it's time for Democrats to "move on..." and, start dealing with the real issues that face America.

While several Republicans have said the Special Counsel's report fully exonerates Trump on the issue of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice, many Democrats have said "hold on..." we want to see the final report.  Reed was among the members of Congress who recently voted to release as much of the Special Counsel's report as possible.  But, he also says Congress should look more closely at what triggered the two-year investigation to begin with.  Some Republicans have called for investigating and prosecuting anyone involved in starting and continuing the probe.  Reed says he would only like to see what originated the Special Counsel's probe.


The perennial debate over how much New York spends on public schools has returned to Albany as lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo work to craft a new state budget before Monday's deadline.... 

Several Democratic lawmakers joined dozens of parents and education advocates Thursday for an education finance protest outside Cuomo's office.  Cuomo has proposed $956-million in new education funding for a total of $27.7-billion.  Those at Thursday's protest want an additional $1.2-billion in order to comply with court rulings that found the state was underfunding public schools.  Education spending makes up the largest share of the budget and is often among the thorniest issues to resolve in the budget.  Other items considered for the budget include new vehicle tolls in Manhattan and a statewide plastic bag ban.


Chautauqua County lawmakers by a 12-4 vote approved a resolution Wednesday night that allows the county shell out $20,000 to help pay for a feasibility study on a hops and barley economic development project....  

Legislators John Hemmer, John Davis, Frank Gould and Daniel Pavlock all voted against the measure.  County Executive George Borrello says the study will determine if the project can move forward.

A developer has agreed to fund half of the study with other funding coming from several foundations.
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The county legislature also joined County Executive George Borrello in signing the Memorandum of Agreement for a Chautauqua Lake Weed Management Consensus Strategy. Legislators approved an emergency resolution, 16-to-nothing, backing the agreement that was unveiled earlier on Wednesday.  Borrello is pleased to the have the legislature on board and says he is getting some positive feedback about the weed management plan.

The plan, released during a news conference on Wednesday, includes 24 tenets for dealing with everything from limited use of herbicides to protecting fish habitats and drinking water.  Borrello hopes that all lake agencies and organizations, as well as the municipalities located around Chautauqua Lake also back the plan.


New York is suing the billionaire family behind OxyContin, alleging the drugmaker fueled the opioid crisis by putting hunger for profits over patient safety.....  

The state on Thursday amended a pending lawsuit against Purdue Pharma to add members of its controlling Sackler family as defendants.  Attorney General Letitia James also expanded the lawsuit to include five other companies that produce opioid painkillers and four distributors.  New York's announcement comes two days after Purdue and the Sacklers agreed to pay $270 million to Oklahoma, the first settlement stemming from a wave of nearly 2,000 lawsuits that the company says could push it into bankruptcy.  New York seeks penalties and damages that could total tens of millions of dollars.  It wants the defendants to endow a fund to curb the epidemic.  Purdue has denied any wrongdoing.


There may be some discolored water in the village of Lakewood and west today after the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Water Division had to repair a main break on Brook Street late yesterday afternoon...  

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the break occured between Summit Avenue and Erie Street.  She says water was shut-down until early evening.  Robbins says village customers, and further west, may see discolored water through late morning or afternoon.  She says don't do laundry until your water appears clear.

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**WJTN NEWS BULLETIN FOR MAR. 28, 2019

Jury delivers guilty verdict in David Waggoner murder trial... 

The jury has come back with a guilty verdict in the second-degree murder trial of Jamestown's David Waggoner. Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson tells Media One Group news that jury deliberations wrapped up in Mayville today. Waggoner faces at least 15 years to life for the fatal shooting of 30 year-old William Mischishima last July 24th in front of the home at 114 Livingston Avenue.  Mischishima died the next day in an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital.  
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 28, 2019

Chautauqua County lawmakers have now joined County Executive George Borrello in signing the Memorandum of Agreement for Chautauqua Lake Weed Management Consensus Strategy.....  

Legislators by a 16-0 vote Wednesday night, approved an emergency resolution backing the agreement that was unveiled earlier on Wednesday.  Borrello is pleased to the have the legislature on board.

The plan, released during a news conference on Wednesday, includes 24 tenets for dealing with everything from limited use of herbicides to protecting fish habitats and drinking water.  Borrello hopes that all lake agencies and organizations, as well as the municipalities located around Chautauqua Lake also back the plan.

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In other business, county lawmakers by a 12-4 vote approved a resolution that allows the county shell out $20,000 to help pay for a feasibility study on a hops and barley economic development project.  Legislators John Hemmer, John Davis, Frank Gould and Daniel Pavlock all voted against the measure.  Borrello says a developer has agreed to fund half of the study with other funding coming from several foundations. The County Legislature approved a resolution accepting a $15.5 million grant from the state Office of Indigent Legal Services.  The grant is expected to help cover the costs associated with representing indigents through March of 2023.


Two people from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a Sinclairville home and, stabbing the woman living there before fleeing the scene.... 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Kent Street shortly before 1 PM Wednesday... and, were told by the unidentified victim that the pair had run off.  Deputies say they later stopped the vehicle on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott and, arrested 23 year-old Kylah Seiberg, and 18 yer-old Jacob Graham.  Officers say both are charged with one Felony burglary count and two counts each of third-degree criminal mischief.  Seiberg is also charged with second-degree assault.  Both were taken to the county jail pending arraignment.  State Police assisted and, they detained an another man on charges unrelated to this incident.


A several-month effort to develop a "consensus agreement" to manage issues facing Chautauqua Lake with input from more than a dozen lake groups and governments has been rolled out by Chautauqua County...  

County Executive George Borrello presented the Chautauqua Lake Weed Management Consensus Strategy "Memorandum of Agreement" during a press conference yesterday morning in Mayville.  Borrello says the plan will help them get the money they need to implement it.

There is also an incentive for local groups, municipalities, as well as Chautauqua Institution, to sign onto the plan.  Borrello made it clear during the press conference that if groups wanted the resources to impliment the plan -- namely funding -- they better be part of the effort.  He says they need to be accountable for use of that money.  Borrello says the plan, which includes 24 tenats for dealing with everything from limited use of herbicides, to protecting fish habitats, and drinking water, is comprehensive.  He adds it ties together many of the efforts by various lake groups to deal with invasive weeds and algal blooms.  Borrello says because they want to implement the plan by May 1st.


County Executive George Borrello and other officials also presented a new pilot program that deals more intensely with the major weed problem in Burtis Bay in the town of Ellicott.  The shoreline of the bay was beset with a "weed mass" late last Fal, that left huge weed piles and, killed off hundreds of fish.  Borrello says the Lake and Watershed Management Alliance plans to deal with it in two ways.

Borrello says this is really the first time ever that weed harvesting and herbicides will have been used "in concert" to deal with a particular weed issue in one part of the lake.  He says the state Department of Environmental Conservation has been involved in discussions about this and other aspects of the Consensus Strategy.


The Jamestown school board got a look at the first draft of the proposed budget for the 2019-2020 school year.....  

During a work session held Tuesday night, District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Almasi announced the $89.7-million spending plan is just over 4-percent higher than last year's $86.2-million budget.  The 2019-2020 draft also includes no increase in the tax levy.  The final budget proposal will be presented to Board members on April 16th for a vote.  Additionally, petitions for the Jamestown school board election on May 21st will be available to the public next Monday.  There will be two JPS board seats on the ballot, each for a three-year term.  More information is available on the district's website at JPSNY.org.


A Jamestown woman faces drug possession charges after city police received a call for a person with a weapon... 

Officers responded to the area of East 2nd and Winsor Streets just before Midnight Wednesday and, located a female matching the description.  She was identified as 41 year-old Christina Estus.  Officers say a search of her person allegedly revealed a quantity of methamphetamine.  Estus was taken into custody and is being held pending arraignment.

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 27, 2019

Three Jamestown teenagers will face charges after allegedly breaking into an eastside motorcycle dealership and, stealing three small moto-cross motorcycles.... 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators were called to Hectors Cycle Sales at 1200 East Second Street about 6 AM Tuesday on a reported burglary.  Samuelson says two of the bandits allegedly broke a window... while a third teen waited outside.  He says they then took the three motorcycles but, adds they were caught on surveillance video.

Samuelson says officers were able to find the first two motorcycles soon after the burglary however, it took a while to find the third over on Newton Avenue in a back yard.  The three 16 year-olds were still being interviewed late Tuesday by the JPD Juvenile Division and, they will then be released.  Samuelson says they will be formally charged when their cases are sent to Family Court. 


A Jamestown man faces several charges following his arrest for allegedly being in possession of drugs and weapons on the city's southside..... 

City police say officers with the third-platoon stopped 19 year-old Randall Mesler, Junior in the area of Columbia Avenue and Myrtle Street just after Midnight Tuesday for what appears to be a hand-gun in his waistband.  Officers say they found Mesler in possession of a CO2 BB-Gun, switchblade knife, heroin in individual packages, 1.6-grams of meth and, drug paraphernalia.  He face charges including felony third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Mesler was jailed pending arraignment.


Two Jamestown men face weapon and drug charges following a traffic stop Monday afternoon....  

City police tried to pull over a vehicle operated by 20 year-old Brandon Ellis, who had active felony warrants out of Jamestown.  However, Ellis allegedly took off a high rate of speed.  Officers were able to stop the car near Winsor and Orchard Streets just before 2 PM and, took Ellis into custody. His passenger -- 19 year-old Jzon Matve -- was also detained after police found 26 grams of cannabis in the car.  Matve was charged with criminal possession of marijuana.  Brandon Ellis is being held for the outstanding warrant on a weapons charge, aggravated unlicensed operation and vehicle and traffic charges.


The city of Jamestown will weigh it's options now after a State Supreme Court judge rejected a motion by city attorneys to overturn an arbitration panel's decision giving pay raises to member's of the city's police union....  

That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who says the city has two possible paths to take in the matter involving the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association.  The three-member arbitration panel recently voted 2-to-1 to give the rank-and-file members 2-percent pay hikes for 2016 and 2017.

Teresi says city officials are disappointed by the decision but, he also believes they are right in standing firm against the decision.  He says it's not just a matter of what they'll have to pay for 2016-17 but, for 2018 and beyond.  Teresi says, while lawmakers have to consider the cost of an appeal all the way to the State Appellate Division, they also have to look at the impact on future negotiations with both the city's police and fire unions.  State law allows both to take contract matters to arbitration to resolve impasses.


The tax levy would increase slightly under the proposed 2019-2020 budget proposed in the village of Lakewood, but the tax rate would decrease....  

Deputy Mayor Ted McCague's spending plan would increase the levy -- or the total amount to be raised by taxes -- by about $5,000.  However, while discussing the budget during last night's village board meeting, lawmakers noted that the village's total assessment increased by just over 3-million.  With that, Village Treasurer Andrea Windoft says the tax rate would decrease by eight-cents per thousand assessed value.  Windoft says the board Monday night also approved holding a public hearing on the spending plan at 6:50 PM on Monday, April 8th.  


Chautauqua County lawmakers will be taking action on a measure at tonight's meeting that would fund a feasibility study for a Hops and Barley Economic Development project.... 

County Executive George Borrello outlined the proposed cooperative in his State of the County message last month and believes it can be a way to help local dairy farmers who have been struggling economically.

The Legislature will take up the resolution that seeks $20,000 for the study when members hold their monthly meeting at 6:30 tonight in Mayville.  Borrello says presentations have already been made to county lawmakers and several local foundations. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 26, 2019

An investigation into a violation of a court order of protection has led to the arrest of two Jamestown residents for alleged drug trafficking....  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says some of those drugs included a methamphetimine -- Fentanyl mix.  Samuelson says officers responded to 133 Lakeview Avenue just after 9:30 Monday morning and found that 35 year-old Justin Cusimano had violated that order.

Samuelson says police also found 3.6-grams of Crystal Meth, along with some Suboxone strips and, drug paraphernalia.  The woman at the Lakeview Avenue address, 30 year-old Justine Hancock, was also arrested.  Samuelson says discovery of the Fentanyl mixed in with the Meth has happening all too often and, he says it comes from a "number of sources."  Both Cusimano and Hancock face three counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one of criminally using drug paraphernalia.  (**If you have any information on drug trafficking in the city, Samuelson says call the confidential JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS. You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.)


The longest serving member of the administration of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has decided to take a job with Chautauqua County....  

The City Council last night accepted the resignation of Corporation Counsel Marilyn Fiore-Lehman , who served as the city's attorney for 19 of Teresi's nearly 20 years in office.  Fiore-Lehman begins her new job as a Chautauqua County Assistant District Attorney on April 11th and, she'll be replaced by local attorney Peter Larson.

Teresi recently announced that he will not be running for an unprecidented sixth-term in office, and, will conclude 20 years in office on December 31st of this year.  While Fiore-Lehman will begin working for District Attorney Patrick Swanson on April 11th, Teresi says she will continue to help advising Larson on matters during the transition.  City lawmakers last night first approved hiring Larson as an "Associate Corporation Counsel" so he can begin working in the office later this week.  They then approved his appointement to be "Corporation Counsel" on April 11th.  Larson is the son of City Court Judge Fred Larson and, is current a partner at the Jamestown law firm of Bly, Sheffield, Bargar and Pillitierri.


A state Appellate Division Court has decided to allow an arbitration panel's decision in favor of the Jamestown police union to stand, but the city is now considering whether to appeal to New York's highest appeals court....  

That from Mayor Sam Teresi after learning the judge in the matter sided with the three-member arbitration panel in favor of pay raises for the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association.  The city argued that it doesn't have the money to pay the retroactive 2-percent raises for the years 2016 and 2017.  More on that later today.
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Lawmakers last night approved receipt of $7,000 from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for tree planting this year.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce thanked the foundation for the additional $2,000 to help begin replacing hundreds of the city's Ash Trees, which were destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer.


A woman deeply committed to the the renovation of the Marvin House has been named the 2018 Interclub Council 'Woman of the Year.'  

Beth Trosper received the award last night  at the Marvin House.  The Trospers, Beth and David, came to Jamestown in 2005 when David was named pastor at 1st Covenant Church.  Beth quickly discovered the beauty of the Marvin House and the people there, and became head of the Grants Committee.   Beth is also active with  the Bemus Point Study Club, the Philanthopic Educational Organization, and her church.  Before coming to Jamestown, she had a career as a caseworker and supervisor for the Illinois Department of Human Services.  


County Executive George Borrello says he'll be unveiling his proposed Memorandum of Agreement for the Chautauqua Lake Weed Management Consensus Strategy later this week...  

Borrello says he'll lay out the memorandum and, it's 24 tenets, during a news conference this Wednesday morning at the Geraece Office Building in Mayville.  He says the MOA is intended to "bring together the lake agencies and municipalities around Chautauqua Lake so they can more effectively implement in-lake weed management methods."  Borrello adds that he will also be signing the agreement on behalf of the county during the announcement.  He'll be joined by several people, including Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise and, County Watershed Coordinator Dave McCoy.


Jamestown police are continuing to investigate criminal mischief incidents in which several cars were hit with a baseball bat recently in various parts of the city.... 

Officers have arrested two women in connection with the incidents, in which the pair allegedly hit the cars from a moving vehicle.  Jamestown police were helped by Ellicott Town and, Lakewood-Busti Police in arresting 18 year-old Kayla Haines, and 18 year-old Mikayla Bartlett, on one count each of Felony third-degree criminal mischief.  Both teens were arraigned, and jailed pending further court action.

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 25, 2019

The Dunkirk Police Department is investigating a shooting incident that occurred in the city Friday evening.... '

Officers responded to the Halas Hotel at 92 East 2nd Street at approximately 9:30 PM and found that a 30-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound. The wound appeared to be non-life threatening. The victim was treated at the scene by Dunkirk Fire and Rescue and then transported to ECMC by Alstar EMS. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Dunkirk Police Department at 366-2266 or their confidential tip line at 363-0313.


A man from Mexico, living in Dunkirk, has pleaded guilty in federal court to being in possession of child pornography involving a minor child....  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 25 year-old David Flores-Torres entered the plea before U-S District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo for possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.  Prosecutors say agents raided Flores-Torres Dunkirk home in June of last year and, seized his cell phone, which contained 79 images and 14 videos of child pornography.  Flores-Torres also admitted to having sex with children during that time and, also received and distributed pornographic pictures of children from others.  Flores-Torres says the charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a quarter of a million dollar fine.


The Congressional "Problem Solver's" Caucus has thrown it's support behind new legislation that will extend the "9/11" Victims Compensation Fund for first responders, and restore their full benefits.....  

Local Representative Tom Reed says the caucus, using new House rules, has approved the "Never Forget the Heroes Act."  The Corning Republican says the move adds more than 40 co-sponsors to the bill as they push for use of the new "Consensus Calendar" provision to bring it to the House floor.

A "priority consideration" provision was part of the deal struck between members of the Problem Solvers, Caucus Speaker Nancy Pelosi and, Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern to change the House rules.  The move makes it easier for bipartisan bills to be brought to the floor, and passed.  Reed says -- if they can get 290 co-sponsors, it will automatically go onto the Congressional calender for a vote.  He says the "9/11" Victims Compensation fund program was recently allowed to expire and, he says some lawmakers are concerned about "open ended" benefits. 


A scientific report says the Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., which likely will bring more flooding and other extreme weather such as heat waves and drought....  

The warming climate also could mean less overall snowfall even as lake-effect snowstorms get bigger, according to the report released Thursday by a team of researchers from universities primarily from the Midwest.  The report also predicts more severe algae blooms in the Great Lakes, which make it unsafe for swimming and increase the costs of treating the water.  Farming could be hit especially hard, with heavy rains delaying spring planting and dry spells requiring more irrigation during summer.  Beaches, dunes and shorelines will be more vulnerable to erosion.  The Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center commissioned the report.


There is a new tenant that will use the former Allen Park Ice Rink to host it's soccer games, and likely rent the space out for other events in the community....  

The city of Jamestown has signed the new, two-year lease agreement with the Frewsburg Youth Soccer Program, which will upgrade and maintain the facilities and, host games for it's more than 100 youth players.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is pleased to have a full-time tenant in the space.

The city council approved the agreement earlier this month and, Teresi says it's retroactive to the beginning of the year.  He says this kind of agreement is exactly what they were looking for because the building will get more recreational use and, will boost that residential neighborhood area.  Teresi says city officials had been hoping for someone to come into the facility, and lease it out for the past 15 to 16 years, or since the now Northwest Arena was built on West Third Street downtown. 


A colorful collection of stellar new grape tomato varieties has been released by Cornell University's plant-breeding program....  

It's called the Galaxy Suite and includes yellow fingerling Starlight, oval orange Sungrazer, red Comet, marbled Supernova and dark purple Midnight Pear.  They're available from High Mowing Organic Seeds in Wolcott, Vermont.  The new varieties were released by Phillip Griffiths, associate professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva.  He says they're ideal for hobby gardeners as well as farmers looking to connect with consumers in niche markets.  Griffiths says the tomatoes are well suited for the plastic high-tunnel greenhouses farmers use to extend the growing season.  Wegmans Organic Farm and Orchard in western New York ran small field trials with the tomatoes last season and reported good results.

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 23, 2019

Goodell says it's looking like a new State Budget won't be adopted by April 1st deadline...
It's looking less and less like there will be an on-time New York state budget plan... but, lawmakers continue to work on a final spending plan which is due a week from next Monday.  Local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is questioning whether an agreement will be reached in time for the April 1st deadline.  Goodell says the hold up this time, though, is disagreements between Majority Democrats in both the Assembly and Senate.  He says he would be surprised if there is an on-time budget plan because Governor Andrew Cuomo is now fighting with both Democratic majority leaders in the Assembly and Senate.  In fact... Goodell says Cuomo called both "fiscally irresponsible."  Senate Republicans lost control in the Senate after losing seats during last Fall's elections.  The state is facing a nearly $2.3-billion dollar shortfall in revenues... but, Assembly Democrats were looking at eliminating economic development funding, and big increases in taxes.  Goodell says Senate Democrats are also looking at tax hikes -- but, not as large. 


County Legislature's Audit and Control Chairman says new, $15-Million state grant will help Public Defender provide counsel for more indigent residents...
New York state has approved a five-year, $15-million grant to help the Chautauqua County Public Defender's Office provide legal services to poor residents.  Public Defender Ned Barone this week discussed the grant... through the state Office of Indigent Legal Services... with the legislature's Audit and Control, and Public Safety Committees.  Audit and Control Committee Chairman Pierre Chagnon says the grant should solve the Public Defender's financial problems, and still provide competent representation.  Chagnon says there will be performance standards attached as well.  He says the first year's funding will be at a "set level," and if the defender's office uses the funding properly, more will be doled out the next four years of the program.  Chagnon says the grant... which is retroactive to last April 1, will help put additional staff in place, and, relieve some of the tax burden on local property owners.  Barone told committee members that his office handles more than 7,000 cases a year with a staff of 10-full time attorneys.  He says... by the time the grant expires in 2023... that number should be 18 to 20.  Barone says overall staff would double during that time -- based on performance and efficiency.


City woman arrested for committing more than $10,000 in Welfare Fraud...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for welfare fraud totaling more than $10,000 over a three-year period.  Sheriff's officers say investigators determined that 42 year-old Jessica Corkins failed to tell the county's Department of Health and Human Services that her children's father was gainfully employed and lived with her between September 1, 2014 through September 30, 2017.  Deputies say the unreported income allowed Corkins to receive $10,822 in unentitled benefits.  She was released with tickets for seven counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, third-degree welfare fraud, and grand larceny.  The Sheriff's Departmetn says you can report incidents of suspected welfare fraud to their Fraud Tip-line at 1-800-388-5365.


Reed continues to push for more transparency from colleges following national admissions scandal...
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he is continuing to ask questions... and, push for more transparency in what colleges and universities do with donations, and why they charge the tuition they do.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he's also applauding the students and families that worked to get into college the "right way."  Reed made his comments in light of the recent college admissions scandal that's led to 50 people being charged.  He's been especially critical of schools that have huge endowments... and, yet continue to increase tuition and other costs.  The U-S Justice Department recently announced the charges lodged against a number of people... including two well-known actresses in California.  Many of those allegeldy included paying bribes for preferential treatment.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Federal Judge says New York's Stun Gun Ban is unconstitutional...
A federal judge has ruled that New York's ban on personal ownership of stun guns is unconstitutional.  Friday's ruling by a district judge in Utica is the latest in a series of court decisions that have led to the loosening of restrictions on the weapons in several states.  The decision came in a lawsuit filed by Matthew Avitabile, who said he wanted to buy a stun gun for self-defense in his rural upstate New York home.  His lawyers argued that New York's longstanding ban on civilian ownership of stun guns violated the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Illinois' Supreme Court made a similar ruling Thursday, deciding in favor of two men charged with carrying stun guns.  A Massachusetts court struck down that state's stun gun ban last year.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 21, 2019

Local Congressman Tom Reed is calling for the House to take a final vote on the new U-S -- Mexico -- Canada Trade Agreement as soon as possible....  

The Corning Republican says he is part of a bi-partisan effort to get the trade deal acted on for a number of reasons, but the biggest is to open up new and expanded markets for U-S Farm products.  Reed says many small and medium-sized farms are struggling and need the help.

Last week... Reed says he and other Congressional members met for just over an hour with the U-S Trade Ambassador, who said the USMC needs to be adopted.  In addition, Reed says lawmakers need to press forward with a new Farm Bill, especially the "revised insurance program" that should help smaller farm operations.  The USMC Trade Agreement was announced with fanfare by the leaders of all three countries last September after months of on-again, off-again negotiations.  It will replace the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.  That agreement, known as NAFTA, essentially eliminated tariffs on most goods traded among the three countries.


Leaders of the New York state Legislature say they're optimistic a new state budget can be passed before the new fiscal year begins April 1st....  

Emerging from a closed-door meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo Wednesday afternoon, Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she's committed to passing the budget on time, and that negotiations with Cuomo are making progress.  Key issues in the proposed spending plan include proposals to eliminate cash bail for criminal defendants and calls for new tolls in Manhattan as a way to raise money for the city's subways.  Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he won't sign a budget that doesn't also contain a provision making the 2 percent local property tax cap permanent.  Cuomo says he doesn't expect proposals to legalize recreational marijuana to be included in the state budget.


The National Comedy Center is collaborating with comedic legend Carl Reiner to digitally preserve his "production-used scripts" from the iconic "Dick Van Dyke Show."  
The Comedy Center made the announcement Wednesday -- on Reiner's 97th birthday.  Center Director Journey Gunderson says the scripts have been stored away since the series wrapped production in 1966 and, "have never before been made available to a cultural institution for conservation or exhibition."  She says scripts for all 158 episodes and, total more than 7,500 pages are included, but adds they also include many hand-written "detailed edits and additions made in real-time during the writing, read-throughs and rehearsals for each episode."  Of all his works, Reiner himself says he was most proud of creating and producing the "Dick Van Dyke Show."


A Jamestown man was hurt when the truck he was driving went off the road and rolled over into a ditch culvert Tuesday afternoon.... 

Sheriff's officers were called to the crash near South Stockton-Cassadaga Road in the Town of Stockton and, identified the driver as 46 year-old Michael Myles.  Deputies say their investigation revealed Myles reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel, which caused him the exit the roadway.  He was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  Fire crews from Cassadaga and Stockton assisted at the scene. 


Education advocates are urging New York lawmakers to leave the discussion of recreational marijuana out of the state budget process....  

Several groups sent representatives to Albany Tuesday, including the PTA, Rural Schools Association and Association of School Business Officials.  The rally came a day after the New York State School Boards Association issued a similar call.  Association Executive Director Timothy Kreamer says that rather than consider whether to legalize pot in the context of budget negotiations over the next two weeks, state leaders should take time to weigh the social, legal and public health implications.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo had wanted the budget to include a provision legalizing recreational marijuana, but recently acknowledged the issue likely won't be handled that way.


The local music community is mourning the loss of a legendary player....  

Clarinetist Jim Beatty died last week in Portland, Oregon.  He was 84.  Beatty was born in Jamestown in 1934, and formed the 'Dixielads' here in the mid 1960's.  He subsequently took his talents across the country and the world, but would periodically come home to the Jamestown-Warren area to perform.  Another clarinetist, John Cross, says Jim Beatty was one of the finest players, ever, because he could tell a story on his instrument, communicating a 'certain soulfulness.'  In addition to clarinet, Cross says Jim Beatty was also a virtuoso on the soprano saxophone.  A funeral service for Jim Beatty, with a special jazz party to follow, will occur Saturday in Lake Oswego, Oregon.


Jay-Z, Dead & Company and the Killers will headline one of the 50th anniversary shows commemorating the groundbreaking Woodstock festival this summer... 


Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang announced late Tuesday that Miley Cyrus, Santana, Imagine Dragons, Robert Plant, the Black Keys and Chance the Rapper will also perform at Woodstock 50, which will take place August 16th through the 18th in Watkins Glen, New York, about 115 miles northwest of the original site.  The event is separate from an anniversary concert planned at the site of the original festival in 1969.  Lang made the announcement at a press conference at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios in New York City alongside Common and John Fogerty, who performed at the original Woodstock. Both Fogerty and Common will perform this summer.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 20, 2019

Jamestown Board of Public Utilities water customers along Hunt Road in West Ellicott, Celoron and parts of Lakewood could see discolored water this morning through Thursday morning....  

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says Water Division crews will tie two water lines together between Southwestern Drive, and the Jamestown City line on Hunt Road starting about 8 AM today.  Robbins says laundry should be delayed until water appears clear in the area.

 
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's encouraged by the local support for a new commercial air carrier during a meeting held Monday at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron...  

The meeting, hosted by County Executive George Borrello, was held as a way of gauging local support and sustainability for a new Essential Air Service carrier at the Jamestown Airport.  Reed says local support will help make the application to the U-S Department of Transportation better..

Reed says one new stakeholder asked how they can show support... including purchasing so many tickets, or directing so many out-of-towners to use the new carrier.  The Corning Republican was able to get the DOT to allow a "revised" application by the county and Boutique Air that will reduce the time needed to re-apply.  He also praised Borrello for his leadership on the matter.  Reed says having community support will be key to preventing what the airport has seen in the past and, that's lack of riders leading to cancellation of flights and flight cancellations leading to a lack of riders.


A city man has been jailed without bail for allegedly committing several traffic violations -- and leading police on a vehicle chase last weekend....  

Jamestown police say officers tried to conduct a traffic stop on a westbound motorcycle Saturday night on Falconer Street that didn't have a taillight.  However, the operator -- identified as 44 year-old Victor Cameron -- allegedly rode off.  Officers pursued the bike through the city, and towns of Ellicott and Busti before returning to Euclid Avenue in the city.  Police say Cameron tried to flee from officers and resisted arrest before taken into custody.  He was reportedly found to have a revoked drivers license... and, was also charged with several traffic infractions from the pursuit.  City officers were assisted the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department and Lakewood-Busti Police. 


A Cattaraugus County man has pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit bank fraud and money laundering....  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 35 year-old Sergiy Bezrukov of Salamanca entered the guilty plea before Judge Lawrence Vilardo late Monday.  Bezrukow was accused of opening two western New York offices -- one in Salamanca -- to operate a fake debt restructuring business.  Prosecutors say he solicted small businesses under "various fictitious names..." offering high interest loans.  Once the businesses agreed, Bezrukov and others would withdraw money from it's bank accounts... but, they never repaid the loans.  Law enforcement officers raided Bezrukov's business when they learned he planned to move his Salamanca office and, seized $1.4-million --  $393,000 of it in cash, and computer hard drives.  The charges carry a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison and a one-million dollar fine when he's sentenced next July 24th.


Where you live matters when it comes to a person's overall health.  That's according to a new report that ranked Chautauqua County as the fourth-worst county in New York State....  

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute today released their annual rankings of the health of nearly every county in each state.  In New York, the county finished 59th out of 62 counties in health outcomes and, Foundation Director of Program Communications, Joe Marx, says they look at more than 30 factors in those rankings.

Marx says one area of major concern is the link between housing and health and, he says 14-percent of households are "facing a severe housing burden."  He says that's because they have to spend more than half their income on that.  Another concern is the percentage of children under age 18 living in property.  Marx says the foundation hopes the ranking stimulates discussion involving local residents and community leaders, to address these issues.  For more information... go to the foundation's website at rwjf.org.

 
An opportunity for individuals and families to get a free portrait will be offered this Saturday at the Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College..... 

'Help Portrait Chautauqua' is organized by Marc Kirsch, photography teacher at Southwestern High School and JCC.  He says from 11 AM to 3 PM, people can stop by, get help with hair and make-up, and then have a picture taken, edited, printed and framed, all without cost.  Kirsch adds, it's a way for photographers to give back to the community.  Three photographers will be assisting with 'Help Portrait Chautauqua' this year, along with students from Southwestern and JCC.  Email Mark Kirsch for more information at mark.kirsch@icloud.com.  The Weeks Gallery is on the 2nd floor of the Sheldon Center at JCC.


New York state is considering providing medication-assisted treatment to all prison and jail inmates struggling with opioid addiction....  

Experts say drugs such as methadone and suboxone can greatly improve inmates' chances of recovery and reduce the risk that they will commit other crimes. But the drugs are expensive, and advocates say it could take $7 million a year to make it available in every state and local lockup.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and his fellow Democrats in the Legislature are currently debating how much money to budget for the medication.  Federal statistics suggest more than half of all inmates in state prisons nationwide have a substance-abuse problem.  New York officials put the number as high as 80-percent in state and local lockups, which have about 77,000 inmates.


Advocates for New Yorkers with mental illness are urging state lawmakers to increase funding for housing for that vulnerable group....  

The so-called 'Bring It Home Coalition' was created to push for greater housing resources for people whose mental illness puts them at risk of being homeless.  The group rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol to highlight their request, which comes as lawmakers are putting together the next state budget.  The coalition says the state has 40,000 housing units currently at risk of closing because of decades of lackluster funding.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has included $10-million for community-based mental health housing in his budget proposal.  Advocates say much more is needed to address the problem.

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 19, 2019

A Jamestown man is being held on $500,000 bail for allegedly beating his girlfriend's 16-month old child to death nearly five-years ago....  

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says a Chautauqua County Grand Jury late last week indicted 35 year-old Tyler Perez for the death of young Nayla Hodnett.  It take some time but, Snellings says his department never stopped working on the case since the incident occured in mid-April of 2014.

Snellings says Perez faces two felony charges, first-degree manslaughter and second-degree murder in the case.  He says Perez was arrested at a home at 408 Willard Street, and arraigned on the charges.  He was then taken to the county jail, pending further court action.


No one was hurt -- but, a horse was killed -- in a bizzare head-on crash between a tractor-trailer and Amish buggy on Interstate 86 in the town of Poland Sunday night....

State Police in Jamestown say the unoccupied buggy got away from the owner near the Kennedy exit, and managed to get onto I-86 going the wrong way in the eastbound lanes, about 10 PM.  Troopers say the driver of the eastbound tractor-trailer never saw the horse and buggy until it was too late.  Police say the horse died at the scene.  The unidentified truck driver, who is from Kentucky, was not hurt.  However, his rig sustained a lot of front-end damage.  Troopers say the eastbound lanes were closed for some time last night while the scene was cleared. 


The Jamestown City Council has gotten it's first look at a preliminary draft of the city's new Urban Design Plan that updates the first one, which was implemented in 2006.... 

The updated plan, which already includes some revisions, was presented to lawmakers last night by Senior City Planner Crystal Surdyk.  She says the new proposal is designed to take the plan to the next level and, has some ongoing and newer areas of emphasis -- including Washington Street.

Surdyk says there are three continuing themes in the plan, including continued renewal of the Chadakoin Riverfront, making the downtown more "walkable..." and, expand on programs and free events.  She says the new theme is on a new health and wellness district, which would likely include the new "Chautauqua Center..." which is being eyed for the Institute Street area of Brooklyn Square.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy adds there's also one other possibilty for that area -- that being a new location for the Jamestown YMCA.  The Goody-Clancy planning group is again working on what would be "Urban Design Plan 2.0."

The man who has been clerk in the town of Ellicott for nearly the past three decades will officially retire at the end of the month....  

Mike Erlandson attended his final town council meeting as clerk last night and will leave just short of his 28th anniversary with the municipality.  While he looks forward to retirement, Erlandson says he'll miss working for the people.

Erlandson who first won election to the post in 1991, says he has always strived to be "non-partisan" in his work and, believed as town clerk, you need to leave the politics "at the door."  He began his professional career in 1977 with the former S-M Flickinger Company and, later the Scrivner Corporation.  He says current Deputy Clerk Amy Bellardo will take over at the end of the month when he steps down on March 30th.  Bellardo has been with the town since 2014, and plans to run for the next term in November.


A Cornell University student from the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom has been endorsed by the four county Democratic Committee chairmen to run in the special election for the 57th State Senate seat....  

22 year-old Austin Morgan is the choice of the party chairs who met recently.  Chautauqua County Party Chairman Norm Green says there were a number of candidates who were interested in the running and, says Morgan doesn't have much political experience but, will bring a fresh perspective to Albany.

Green says he is impressed with Morgan, who will graduate this Spring from Cornell with a degree in Human Development.  He says Morgan is prepared, and "knows the issues," and has been a staffer in the Senate already.  Morgan will likely face County Executive George Borrello.  Unless a special election is called sooner, the prospective candidates are going through the petition process to get on the ballot in November.

 

 New York lawmakers want the state to kick in some money to help local governments pay for the rollout of early voting....  

Lawmakers voted earlier this year to allow voters to cast a ballot starting 10 days before an election.  That led to complaints from county officials who said they don't have the money to pay for the extra staff, training and record-keeping related to the change.  Last week, members of the state Senate and Assembly inserted funds for early voting in their state budget proposals.  


A new poll finds that most voters in the state say it was bad for New York when Amazon's dropped plans to put one of its second headquarters in Queens....  

The Siena College poll released Monday found that 67 percent of registered voters surveyed said the internet retailer's decision last month was detrimental to New York.  Sixty-one percent support the state and city again offering Amazon up to $3 billion in incentives to create 25,000 jobs if Amazon reconsiders.  The company scrapped plans to redevelop a Long Island City neighborhood for one of its second HQs after the deal met mounting opposition from local elected officials who mostly objected to the incentives package.  The poll of 700 registered voters was conducted March 10-14. It has margin of error of 4.2 percentage points. 

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WJTN Headlines for Mar. 18, 2019

A young, Cattaraugus County native has the endorsement of the four counties that make up the 57th Senate district, to run for the seat recently vacated by Senator Cathy Young..... 

Chautauqua County Party Chairman Norm Green says 22 year-old Austin Morgan is a Cornell University Spring 2019 candidate for graduation -- with a degree in Human Development. Morgan resides in Freedom and, is currently the co-president and former client manager of a student-run company at Cornell. In a printed release, Cattaraugus County Democratic Chair Frank Puglisi says Austin is "One of those rare people who walks into a room  and instantly gets your attention". It's unclear whether a special election will be held, however, the four county chairs are working to circulate a qualifying designating petition to get Austin Morgan on the ballot. Allegeny Chairman Mike McCormick says "His command of the issues facing the 57th Senate district amazes me. He is extremely intelligent and articulate. Morgan represents the future of our party.  We are proud to back him for this office."

 

 

Quick work by nine south county area fire departments prevented serious damage to a large storage barn on Forest Avenue Extention, just south of Jamestown.... 

Busti Fire Chief Matt Stafford says his crews were called to the scene -- near the intersection of Garfield Road -- about 4 PM Sunday.  He says a neighbor called in the alarm and, says firefighters found smoke coming out of the front of the structure.

Stafford says they called in about eight mutual aid companies, mainly to bring water to the scene due to lack of hydrants in the area.  He says they were able to save the building, and many of the items stored inside.  Stafford says two cars sustained heavy fire damage in the blaze, which was contained inside the building.  No one was hurt.  Busti was joined at the scene by Lakewood, Kiantone, Gerry, Kennedy, Fluvanna, Frewsburg, Celoron and, Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania fire crews.  County emergency services was also on hand.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

   

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly operating his motorcycle drunk and, then throwing his helmet into traffic after it crashed in the town of Stockton.... 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on Route 60 about 7:20 AM Saturday on a report of a man walking south on the highway, and suspected of being involved in the crash.  Deputies accuse 42 year-old Grant Monroe of hitting a passing vehicle with the bike.... then abandoning it.  Monroe is charged with driving while intoxicated, criminal mischief and parking on pavement.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

 

 

The city of Jamestown's appeal of an arbitration panel's ruling in it's case against the Jamestown Policeman's union should be heard in court this week..... 

That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says the city is certainly within it's rights to appeal the three-member panel's ruling in favor of the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association.  Teresi also tried to clear up confusion over the matter, emphasizing that this is NOT binding arbitration and, either they -- or the union -- could appeal.

Teresi says arbitration is part of state law for municipalities that have professional fire or police departments.  He says the appeal may be heard in State Supreme Court as early as today.  Teresi says that arbitration is allowed under state law and, is not in the City Charter.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

 

 

One of Jamestown's long-standing traditions took place late last Saturday morning in Brooklyn Square...

The sounds of Irish bagpipes could be heard along the Chadakoin River just prior to the annual "Turning of the River green" for St. Patrick's Day. The event was organized again this year by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce. 

The chamber turned the river green, with the help of the Board of Public Utilities, much to the delights of dozens of people on the Main Street Bridge, and along the city's Riverwalk.  Jamestown is one of only four communities in the U-S that turns it's river green.  The most well-known, of course, is in Chicago.  Elegant Edibles sold hot chocolate and green-colored cookies and, several merchants offered specials as part of a Leprechaun Crossing program put on by the Chamber.  

 

 

A federal appeals court says former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver can remain free while it decides the merits of his appeal of his public corruption conviction.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a one-page order extending bail late Thursday, a day after a three-judge panel heard oral arguments.  Without the order, Silver would have been required to report to prison next week to begin serving his seven-year prison sentence.  The 75-year-old Democrat was sentenced last year after he was charged with collecting nearly $4 million in fees to help a cancer researcher and real estate developers.  Prosecutors said it was understood that Silver would take official actions politically to benefit the researcher and developers.  Two judges, though, seemed skeptical of the evidence during oral arguments.

 

 

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has spent more than a month traveling around the country to gauge support for a 2020 presidential campaign, and the New York senator says she's now in the race... 

Gillibrand is joining the dozen-plus contenders, saying in a campaign video that the nation needs "a leader who makes big, bold, brave choices.  Someone who isn't afraid of progress.  That's why I'm running for president."  She says her debut speech as a candidate will come next Sunday in front of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in New York.  Gillibrand has been one of the most forceful critics of the Trump administration.  Using the backdrop of one of President Donald Trump's marquee properties is the latest example of that.

 

 

A long-missing peace pipe tomahawk President George Washington gave to a Seneca leader in the late 18th century has been returned to the tribe in western New York.... 

Washington gave the combination tobacco-smoking pipe and weapon to Cornplanter as the United States negotiated a peace treaty with the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy.  The artifact eventually wound up at the State Museum in Albany, where it remained until being stolen in the late 1940s.  Last year, an anonymous collector returned the artifact to the museum.  Officials there decided to loan it to the Senecas.  Cornplanter's pipe tomahawk was presented Thursday to the Seneca Nation of Indians, who have put the artifact on display in the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Salamanca.

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 16, 2019

Portion of Route 394 named after Chautauqua County's first casualty in the War on Terrorism in 2004...
A long stretch of Route 394 from Levant to Lakewood has been named after a local hero who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004.  A special ceremony to rename the state highway the "Sergeant James C. Matteson Highway" was held Friday afternoon at the Lakewood American Legion Post.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell presided over the ceremony... and, says Matteson was involved the day before the Nov. 12, 2004 incident with providing cover for wounded, fellow soldiers.  He was then killed during an ambush doing the same thing the following day.  Goodell sponsored the legislation renaming the highway after Matteson... while former State Senator Cathy Young supported it in the Senate.  He says the measure was approved unanimously in both houses.  Goodell says it was then a matter of getting new signs to be erected by the state Department of Transportation.  He says they will serve as a reminder that Matteson gave his life for his country.  J-C Mattison was a Staff Sergeant in the Army when he was fatally wounded during the Battle of Fallujah.


Borrello endorsed by all four Republican committees in 57th State Senate District to run for Young's seat...
Political party chiefs in the four counties that make up the 57th State Senate district have met and both parties apparently have candidates that plan to run for the vacant seat... whether the election is held in November or a special election is called by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says the Republican party chairs met late Thursday... and, he has their backing.  Borrello says, though, nothing is binding at this point, depending on whether there is a special election.  While he has not declared his candidacy, Borrello says he will be going ahead with the petition process for both the GOP and Conservative nominations.  That petition process would come to a halt should the governor call for a special election.


County's Democratic Chair says 57th District Dems also have a candidate...
Like the Republicans, Democrats from the four counties that make up the 57th Senate district have also apparently settled a candidate to run for the Senate.  However... we will have to wait a while longer for an announcement.  Chautauqua County Party Chairman Norm Green says that will take place next week.  Green says they've had some "outstanding candidates" come forward, and the four party chairs will make their announcement on Monday.  Green, who is also the County's Democratic election commissioner, says they have not heard any word on whether a special election will be held... mainly because Governor Cuomo has been tied up with budget negotiations.  He says they have been in touch with the governor's office.


Former Assembly Speaker, Silver, to remain free while appealing court case...
A federal appeals court says former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver can remain free while it decides the merits of his appeal of his public corruption conviction.  The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a one-page order extending bail late Thursday, a day after a three-judge panel heard oral arguments.  Without the order, Silver would have been required to report to prison next week to begin serving his seven-year prison sentence.  The 75-year-old Democrat was sentenced last year after he was charged with collecting nearly $4 million in fees to help a cancer researcher and real estate developers.


Three people arrested on drug charges in Brocton...
Three Brocton-area residents are jailed on drug-related charges after the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department, and State Police served an arrest warrant at a home in the village Wednesday afternoon.  Officers say they arrived at 14 John St. just after 2 p.m. to serve the warrant on a 16 year-old girl.  However... once police were inside, they found a quantity of Crack cocaine in plain view.  Two men... 54 year-old Steven Andrews... and, 30 year-old Draonn Richardson-Copeland... were also arrested.  Officers say they obtained a search warrant... and found more crack... along with narcotic prescription pills, a quantity of Marijuana, electronic scales and packaging materials for trafficking drugs.  All three face multiple drug charges.


Leprechauns turn Chadakoin River Greek for St. Patrick's Day...
The annual "Turning of the River Green"took place in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square this morning to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  The event was put on by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce... and, activites along the Riverwalk ran all morning until Noon time.  Chamber Coordinator Joanna Dahlbeck says Elegant Edibles sold hot chocolate, and green-colored cookies, and Events by Scott was on hand for face painting and other activities.  Dahlbeck says about 15 businesses took part in a "Leprechaun Crossing" program touting specials during the day today.  She adds they also held the traditional St. Patrick's Day breakfast at Liscandro's Restaurant on North Main Street... including "Green Eggs and Ham."


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 15, 2019


A Cassadaga man has been arrested for allegedly firing several shots from a long-gun near several people at a home in the town of Arkwright....  

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Tarbox Road just before 10:30 Tuesday night.  Deputies say their investigation revealed that 43 year-old Elliott Dones was involved in a confrontation with multiple people inside the home and, during that, he allegedly fired off several rounds.  Officers say Dones fled the scene before their arrived and, he was later arrested on a warrant for multiple charges, including first-degree reckless endangerment and, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, menacing.  Dones was arraigned, and jailed on $250,000 cash bail and, the investigation is continuing.


A record number of local middle and high school students took part in the annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- or STEM Wars at Jamestown Community College Thursday....  


That from Chautauqua County Education Coalition Executive Director Justin Hanft, who helps coordinate the annual STEM Wars at JCC's Physical Education Complex.  Hanft says they've placed more emphasis on getting middle schoolers to take part in recent years, to "energize a new workforce."

Hanft says STEM Wars allows students to complete with other students and schools to show off the skills they've learned in the classroom.  With that, he says they are able to connect teachers, students and local employers seeking skilled workers.  Hanft says it also let's students and educators know about the kinds of jobs available.  He says the STEM Wars are put on -- primarily with the help of the "Dream it -- Do it" campaign through the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.  Others involved in the collaboraton include JCC, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.


Another round of windy weather is on the way today for the Jamestown-area through tonight....

 The National Weather Service is continuing a Wind Advisory until 8:00 tonight for Chautauqua and Southern Erie counties.  Meteorologist Kirk Apffel at the Buffalo Office tells us we also saw the warmest temperatures in the region since last Fall.  The weather service reports the high yesterday in Buffalo was 66, while it reached 67 in Jamestown.  The warmest spot in the Western New York region was Rochester, which reached 70.  However, some thunderstorms will pass through the area as a cold front brings those gusty winds into the area.  Apffel says the gusty winds may reach 50 mph at times.


The mayor of the largest city in New York's 57th State Senate District says he is not a candidate for that open seat.....  

Jamestown's Sam Teresi says he is not seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the seat recently vacated by Olean's Cathy Young.  Teresi's name has shown up in the rumor mill about potential candidates.  However, he says those rumors are absolutely false and, says he will support whoever the Democratic chairs of the four-county district decides on.

Teresi says he believes Democrats have a "unique opportunity" this year because it's an open seat and, Democrats have the majority in both houses of the state legislature.  He says that's important because in the past, the area had "great representation" in the majorities in both the Assembly and Senate.  Cathy Young had risen to high-leadership status in the Senate during her 13-years in office as a member of the Republican majority.


Chautauqua County Republicans have backed the candidate they would like to see fill the vacant 57th Senate Senate....  

County Executive George Borrello says he has "proudly" accepted the endorsement from his home county's GOP committee and, will be meeting with party chairs from the three other counties that make up the Senate district.

Borrello says there will be a meeting soon with party chairs from Cattaraugus, Allegany and Livingston counties, and he expects to have additional meetings as the selection process continues.  Cathy Young, who held the seat for over 13 years, announced her resignation from Senate earlier this month to head up Cornell University's Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture.


A man from Falconer faces charges for allegedly possessing controlled substances while driving ability impaired Wednesday afternoon.....  

Sheriff's Officers stopped the vehicle on Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret for a traffic infraction and, the operator identified himself as 46 year-old Charles Brown.  Investigation revealed he was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs and, was also found to possess Methamphetamine and Xanax.  He is to appear in Pomfret Town Court at a later date to answer the charges. 


The Democrat-controlled state Legislature has passed its resolutions for New York's budget amid renewed threats by Governor Andrew Cuomo to reject any spending plan that doesn't make the 2 percent property tax permanent.....  

The Assembly and Senate both passed one-house budget bills Wednesday, hours after the Democratic governor said during two public events held downstate that he won't sign off on a budget that doesn't include a permanent tax cap.  The Senate's budget proposal includes a cap, but the Assembly's spending plan doesn't.  Cuomo has made the tax cap a must-do component of his $175-billion budget proposal.  Cuomo and legislative leaders will now use each of the budget proposals to try to reach a final budget agreement for the 2019-2020 state fiscal year by the April 1st deadline.

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 14, 2019

A Warren County, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly shooting and wounding a Warren woman during an incident in Glade Township early yesterday morning.....  

State Police in Warren say they were called to the scene on Cobham Park Road sometime after 3 AM and spoke with the 56 year-old victim as she was being treated.  Troopers say the victim was taken to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  A second interview was conducted and later led to the arrest of 48 year-old Rodney Tommassoni for first-degree domestic aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  Troopers add he was also arraigned on charges of third-degree discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and simple domestic assault.  He was sent to the Warren County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.


Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello has received the county's Conservative Party's backing in the race to determine who the next State Senator is....  

Borrello says he's "honored" to carry the Conservative Party banner in the race to determine who will fill the seat recently vacated by Cathy Young. In the meantime, the Jamestown Post-Journal reports Borello also has the backing of the county's  Republican Party. The paper quotes GOP Chairman David Wilfong, as saying "The committee took a paper vote and George was the winner here... We appreciate what he's done and we know George is going to do a great job for Chautauqua County."


The ribbon was cut Wednesday for the music wing in the Sheldon Center at Jamestown Community College.... 

The newly built space is the first in the history of the college designed specifically for music education.  JCC President, Dr. Daniel DeMarte, said it's an exciting time to re-energize the traditional music programs at the college and add new ones, including 'music industry' and 'instrument repair.'  Dr. Neil Flory, the Coordinator of Music at JCC, says the new wing includes rehearsal spaces, an audio lab, and practice rooms... along with new instruments, computers and furniture.  Wednesday's ribbon cutting caps off a $5 million renovation at the Sheldon Center, formerly known as the Arts and Sciences Building, with $1.5 million coming from the Sheldon Foundation in Jamestown.  


A Frewsburg man has announced that he is running to become the supervisor in the town of Carroll for a second-time.... 

Retired Jamestown Policeman Russ Payne says he's been cross-endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic Parties for the post this Fall.  Payne says he "is and has always been, devoted to the people of the Town of Carroll and that's what being a political candidate is all about."  Payne is a lifelong resident of Frewsburg, and he and his wife Candace have five children. With more than 50 years of experience working in law enforcement at the local level, in state and federal government and in education as well.  He  previously served as Carroll Town Supervisor from 1998 to 2000.


Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello says a lot of great progress was made during his meetings with area representatives in the nation's capital....  

Borrello was involved in two full days of meetings with Representative Tom Reed and U-S Senator Charles Schumer for discussions on a number of water projects in the county.  One of them involves a flood mitigation and restoration study for Chautauqua Lake.

Other projects discussed include an extension of the seawall in Dunkirk Harbor, flood mitigation studies and dredging for Cattaraugus Creek and Silver Creek, and returning commercial air service to the Jamestown Airport.  Borrello says these representatives help bring bi-partisan support to such projects.  His meetings were part of an annual trip made to advocate for projects and initiatives that are going on in Chautauqua County.

 
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he supports Governor Andrew Cuomo's demand that he won't sign off on a new state budget deal unless it makes New York's property tax cap permanent.....  

Reed, who is often critical of Cuomo, took the step of endorsing the 2-percent cap during his weekly media conference call.  The Corning Republican says the cap has provided major tax relief for local residents and, it needs to be permanent.

Cuomo instituted the tax cap six-years ago and, the legislature has renewed it each time it has come up since.  Reed says it's important to stand with "hard-working" residents who pay some of the highest-property taxes in the country.  However, he says there has to be a balance, with the state providing more aid or mandate relief.  The property tax cap requires a supermajority of 60-percent of a governing board, or residents in a school district, to approve a budget if the spending plan exceeds the cap.  In Long Island this morning, Cuomo doubled down on his vow to refuse to sign the next New York state budget if it doesn't make the cap permanent.


The National Comedy Center in Jamestown has now been formally designated as the nation's "official cultural institution dedicated to the art form of comedy."  

The comedy center announced late Tuesday that legislation that had been approved in a "tremendous" bi-partisan action and signed by President Trump.  The bill recognizes that the Comedy Center -- “exists for the exclusive purpose of celebrating comedy in all its forms” and officially designates the Center as the “National Comedy Center.”  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they are "honored that this legislation has been formally passed by Congress, establishing the National Comedy Center as the country's official cultural institution dedicated to presenting and preserving the vital story of comedy in America."  The measure was sponsored in the House by local Congressman Tom Reed and, in the U-S Senate jointly by New York's Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 13, 2019

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Water Division reports a water main break on Prospect Street at Brown this morning....  

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins say we could see discolored water in the south and west side areas near the break for 12-to-24 hours.  Water customers should avoid doing laundry until their water appears clear. Robbins says, as temperatures swing from warmer weather to cold and cold to warm, the earth shifts into water pipes and causes them to crack, resulting in main breaks and, are to be expected at this time of year.

 
A domestic violence complaint has led to the arrest of a Jamestown policeman for being in possession of a forged document....  

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says officers arrested 40 year-old Kenneth Nellis-the-third for second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument at 230 Schuyler Street about 8 PM Monday night.  While confirming that Nellis is an officer with the department, he would not divulge what had been forged.  He also declined further comment.  Nellis is awaiting arraignment on the Felony charge.

  
Chautauqua County Executive George Borello appears poised to run for the State Senate seat vacated by Kathy Young....  

The Post-Journal reports this morning (Wednesday) that the Chautauqua County Conservative Party has endorsed Borello for the seat.  The paper quotes Anna Wilcox, chair of the state Conservative Executive Committee, as saying "We need George Borello... to stand up for the interests of the people of the 57th district."  Borello is just in his second year as Chautauqua County Executive. The governor has not yet indicated if a special election will be called, or if the seat will be filled in the general election in November.


With the assistance of a $50,000 Jamestown Local Development Corporation "Fund for Downtown" programming grant, the Jamestown High School Marching Band and A Cappella Choir will bring the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Friday, July 19th to perform "The Music of Queen: A Rock Symphony". Tickets will go on sale today and can be purchased at the Reg Box Office....  

JPS Communication Coordinator Cathy Panebianco says the concert will be a fundraiser for the JHS Red Raider Marching Band and A Cappella's trip to Disney World in December, which was approved by the Jamestown Board of Education at Tuesday's meeting. Band Director Megan Murray says they "are extremely grateful to the Jamestown Local Development Corporation for supporting our efforts. The JHS Music Program is fortunate to have the constant support of our community and we were thrilled to receive this grant award."


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly stalking another person -- and committing domestic violence -- on the city's northside.... 

Jamestown Police were called to a Price Street address just after 8 AM Monday morning on a complaint of an unwanted person.  Officers say 19 year-old Andre Richards was arrested nearby and charged with fourth-degree stalking and second-degree aggravated harassment.  He was jailed pending arraignment.
 

Local Congressman Tom Reed believes the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative will at least have some money restored after taking a 90-percent hit in President Trump's 2020 budget proposal....  

Reed says the funding is needed to deal with long-standing environmental issues, including the removal of toxic pollution and fighting invasive species.  There is only $30-million in the president's propsal.  But, while he disagrees with that proposal, there are aspects of the $4.7-trillion spending plan he likes -- including the fact there's actually a plan that's been released.

Chautauqua County Executve George Borrello, a county legislator and County Watershed Coordnator Dave McCoy met with Reed yesterday afternoon to discuss water projects for both Lakes Erie and Chautauqua.  He expected a number of topics that Borrello previewed would be discussed, including three dredging projects on Lake Erie, along with a federal flood mitigation and water quality study of Chautauqua Lake.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


As state lawmakers continue to work on a new state budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to blame a $2.3 billion loss in tax revenues on the Trump Administration and specifically on the SALT tax revisions....  

However, one area state lawmaker doesn't agree completely with Cuomo.  Cuomo made his comments during a news conference in Albany on Monday.

State Assemblyman Joe Giglio says the SALT provision is important, but he isn't believe it's the only factor.  He says taxes are too high in general, and that and progressive policies are driving businesses and people out.  Cuomo says he will push New York's House delegation to repeal the changes made to the State and Local Tax deduction.  State lawmakers face an April 1 budget deadline. 


Three boys -- two of them under the age of 15 -- have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a building in Cherry Creek, and stealing property inside.....  

Sheriff's officers and State Police were called to the scene on Depot Street shortly after 4 PM Monday on a report of three people entering a building.  However, the suspects allegedly fled the scene before they arrived.  They were all found during a subsequent search of the area and, found they had allegedly burglarized the building.  A 17 year-old was arrested for third-degree burglary, and petty larceny.  A 14 and 11 year-old were turned over to a guardian pending further court action.


An advisory panel working to take over, and operate the Jamestown Jammers summer collegiate baseball team, has made "a lot of progress" in it's goal of re-starting the team in 2020.....  

The teams current owners, ROC Ventures of Wisconsin, announced late last year that they were pulling support of the local team to focus on their midwest sports operations.  However, ROC Ventures agreed to let the local group -- which includes Attorney Greg Peterson -- form an ownership group to take over the team.

Peterson says the seven-person group will be putting an annual budget plan together looking at projected revenues, and expenses.  Mayor Sam Teresi, who urged ROC Ventures to give local ownership a chance to take over the team, says there are opportunities for local residents to take part beyond being a fan.  He says the not-for-profit LLC will give local residents the chance to have an "ownership share."  For more information on opportunities with the new team, which will re-enter the Perfect Game League in 2020, call Greg Peterson at 664-3906.

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News Headlines for Tues., Mar. 12, 2019

Three boys arrested for alleged burglary in Cherry Creek...
Three boys -- two of them under the age of 15 -- have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a building in Cherry Creek, and stealing property inside.  Sheriff's officers and State Police were called to the scene on Depot Street shortly after 4 p.m. Monday on a report of three people entering a building.  However... the suspects allegedly fled the scene before they arrived.  They were all found during a subsequent search of the area... and, found they had allegedly burglarized the building.  A 17 year-old was arrested for third-degree burglary, and petty larceny.  A 14 and 11 year-old were turned over to a guardian pending further court action.


McLaughlin says decision by Truck-Lite to move headquarters to Michigan is "very sad news..."
The main headquarters for Truck-Lite Corporation appear to be moving sometime in the future from Falconer to a northern suburb of Detroit, Michigan.  The Detroit News reported late last week that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation would provide an $855,000 performance-based grant for the move.  Company officials have not returned a call requesting comment... but, we have heard from Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin... who says this is "very sad news."  He says he would be talking to officials from Truck-Lite, and the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Monday or Tuesday.  McLaughlin says he had been hearing rumors about the possible move... but, said until now... they had just been rumors.  The potential move is said to be due to the fact that many of Truck-Lite's suppliers are in that area -- where the automotive industry is still prominent.  McLaughlin says he's hopeful that some manufacturing aspects of the company will remain in Falconer.  Truck-Lite will be required to create 95 jobs through 2024 as part of the agreement with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  The company... which makes truck lighting units... was founded in Jamestown in 1955.


Borrello says he's not surprised, but, disappointed in Truck-Lite decision...
It appears there is also a workforce issue that may have spurred Truck-Lite Corporation to plan a move to Michigan.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced the plans by Truck-Lite to invest $4-million into a new building in Southfield, Mich.  County Executive George Borrello says that even with the move, he believes the majority of the jobs should remain in the county for production and purchasing.  Another part of the company - research and development - would be moved to Pittsburgh, PA.  While disappointed by the announcement... the move does not surprise Borrello because one of the reasons cited by the company is needing better access to qualified talent.  That's why work force development is Borrello's number one economic development concern.  He says Truck-lite has had tremendous difficulties recruiting people and filling positions -- especially in engineering. 


Cuomo says approving recreational marijuana could take longer than hoped...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says it could take longer than he had hoped to legalize recreational marijuana in New York.  The Democrat told reporters Monday that while he still supports legalization he's not confident lawmakers will include it in the state budget, which is due April 1st.  Cuomo said there are too many details on legalization that have to be agreed upon.  Lawmakers could take up legalization in separate measures before they adjourn in June. If not, it's questionable if legalization will happen this year.  Cuomo had wanted legalization to be included in the budget.  Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie expressed similar doubts about the timeline in January, saying lawmakers shouldn't rush the measure.  Supporters want lawmakers to act quickly to catch up to states such as Massachusetts that have already legalized recreational marijuana.


Borrello to push for water project funding during trip to Washington...
Chautauqua County's top elected official is in the nation's Capitol today to meet with local Congressman Tom Reed and U-S Senator Chuck Schumer to discuss a number of water projects in Chautauqua County.  Borrello says among the projects is one that's important to the city of Dunkirk... where extending the break-wall in Dunkirk Harbor is a major effort, among others.  He also says that Chautauqua Lake is on the agenda, including the funding of a study by the U-S Army Corps of Enginneers to look at flood mitigation.  The county official is part of a delegation that will be spending a couple of days in Washington. 


Cuomo says state regulators to look at damage to substations during weekend power outages...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed state regulators to investigate damage to power substations outside Buffalo after nearly 27,000 utility customers lost electricity service over the weekend.  The Democrat made the announcement late Sunday in Hamburg, where damage to three substations caused outages to about 26,800 customers Saturday night.  Cuomo says a high-capacity transmission line fell and took down other lines, knocking out power across an area just south of Buffalo served by National Grid and NYSEG.  Most customers had their power restored by Sunday night.  The outages occurred a few hours before high winds hit the region, with the National Weather Service recording gusts approaching 60 miles per hour across western and northern New York.  The governor says the Public Service Commission will investigate the utilities' preparation and response to the storms.


 
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 11, 2019

Jamestown residents arrested during warrant check for drug trafficking in Mayville...         
Three Jamestown residents are jailed for allegedly being found in possession of illegal drugs in the car they were traveling in in Mayville.  Sheriff's officers say they were conducting a warrant check at a Blanchard St. home... and, they spotted a vehicle -- driven by 38 year-old Kristen Nelson -- pulling into the driverway there. Officers say they spotted a passenger, 40 year-old Sarah Johnson, allegedly put a large methamphetimine pipe, and bag of marijuana, behind a youth in the car.  A further search of the car uncovered a large sum of cash, three scales, plastic bag packaging material, Clonazepam pills, and multiple containers of methamphetamine.  Nelson, Johnson, and 33 year-old Richard Philbrick of Jamestown, were all arrested.  Child Protective Services was contacted for the two youths located in the car.  The trio face charges including two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument... and, Felony criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Nelson and Johnson were jailed on $2,500 bail... while Philbrick is being held without bail due to his parole status.


Two Corry, PA residents arrested in Mayville drug bust...
Two people from Corry, Pennsylvania are jailed without bail following a traffic stop in the Mayville-area for allegedly trafficking drugs, and being in possession of a stolen handgun.  Sheriff's Deputies say they stopped a car on Route 430 just before 3 AM Saturday for a traffic violation.  But... the two people inside... 42 year-old Jerry Roneker, Junior and 26 year-old Lyndsey Sventek... were trying to conceal drugs in plain view.  Officers found that Sventek was wanted on a Felony warrant from Crawford County, Pennsylvania... and, Roneker was found with the loaded-handgun... reported stolen from the Warren-area.  A search of the car turned up more than 2 ounces of methamphetamine, a large quantity of MDMA and Xanax pills, heroin, and, over $10,000 cash.  Both people were arrested.  Roneker faces several Felony charges... including second and third-degree criminal possession controlled substance... and, Felony criminal possession weapon.  Sventek was charged with second and third-degree criminal possession controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Both were arraigned, and sent to the county lock-up.


Town Supervisor "very excited" to hear about Runnings Stores coming to West Ellicott...
A Minnesota-based home, farm and outdoor store chain plans to open it's first store in Chautauqua County in the former Sam's Club location in West Ellicott.  Runnings Stores has announced the Fairmount Avenue location will be one of two new stores in New York state... with the other to open in Plattsburgh.  The decision by the more than 70-year-old retailer is "very exciting news" for Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin... who has been working to find a replacement for Sam's.  He says he's equally excited about having about 70 new jobs in the town.  An on-line search also shows there is a Runnings in Lockport in Niagara County.  The chain's Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Reed, says they open new stores "where there is a strong demand from customers who live and love the rural lifestyle."  McLaughlin says Runnings has hunting, fishing, farm and other departments.  He says they are eyeing a Fall opening.


Young helps renamed Fredonia highway after late soldier from Fredonia in final act as state Senator...
In her last official act as a state Senator... Cathy Young was in Fredonia early last weekend to help name part of Route 20 after a service man who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.  A dedication ceremony posthumously honoring U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan Gollnitz was held at the Fredonia American Legion.  Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell sponsored the legislation in their respective chambers... re-naming of the highway as the "Sergeant Jonathan Gollnitz Memorial Highway" which she says will proclaim that Fredonia is "a community that honors it's heroes and their sacrifices."  Gollnitz was killed in 2012 while on a combat operation from injuries caused by a suicide bomber.  His sacrifice was not lost on Goodell, who has a daughter that had served in the military.  He spoke about the fact that the bill had the support of the state legislature and the governor... because support of the military and it's families, is a non-partisan matter.  County Executive George Borrello also read a proclamation during the ceremony.  


Ag Trivia contest coming to Chautauqua County....
The Chautauqua County Farm Bureau has planned its first ever 'Ag Trivia' night for the Noble Winery in Westfield on Saturday, March 23.  Ginny Carlberg, Promotion and Education Chairperson for the local Farm Bureau, says it's been done successfully in Cattaraugus County for several years.  The Chautauqua County Ag Trivia night will be held at the Noble Winery in Westfield from 6 to 8 PM on the 23rd.  They would like teams of four to register at $10 per person by March 20.  Email virginiacarlberg@gmail.com.  Ginny says non-farmers are encouraged to sign up... saying anyone will have fun and learn at the event.  The proceeds from the Ag Trivia event will benefit a Visit the Farm Day, to be scheduled in the fall.


 

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 9, 2019

Corry, PA residents arrested for drug, gun possession during traffic stop in Mayville...
Two Corry, Pennsylvania residents have been arrested in Mayville following a traffic stop for allegedly trafficking drugs, and being in possession of a stolen handgun.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say they stopped a car on Route 430 just before 3 a.m. Saturday for a traffic violation.  However... the two subjects in the car... 42 yer-old Jerry Roneker, Jr. and 26 year-old Lyndsey Sventek... were trying to conceal drugs in plain view.  Officers found that Sventek was wanted on a Felony warrant from Crawford County, PA, and, Roneker was found with the loaded-handgun... which had been reported stolen from the Warren-area.  A search of the car found they were in possession of over 2 ounces of methamphetamine, a large quantity of MDMA and Xanax pills, heroin, scales, packaging materials, and over $10,000 in cash.  Both subjects were arrested.  Roneker faces several charges... many of them Felonies... including second and third-degree criminal possession controlled substance... and, Felony criminal possession weapon.  Sventek was charged with second and third-degree criminal possession controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Both were arraigned, and sent to the county jail no bail set.


City man arrested following car-pedestrian accident involving his son...
A Jamestown man is jailed following a car pedestrian accident in which his son was struck last Friday night.  City Police say the unidentified boy was hit at the corner of Washington and Sixth Streets just after 6:30 p.m.  The boy's father, 29 year old Jonathan Graham, told the driver not to call police to report the incident, because there was a warrant out for his arrest... and, he said he didn't want to go to jail.  Officers later found Graham and his son at the North Main Street 7-11 Store.  He admitted that he refused to let his son have treatment due to the warrant.  It was found that city police had a warrant for Graham's arrest... and, he was additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  Graham was jailed pending arraignment.


Chautauqua and part of Erie Counties under High Wind Warning...
The National Weather Service has now upgraded our High Wind Watch... to begin tonight... to a High Wind Warning.  That as a storm system will bring some gusty winds to portions of Chautauqua and Erie counties over the second-half of the weekend.  Forecaster Heather Kenyon in Buffalo says the warning runs from 7 this evening, to 11 p.m. Sunday.  Kenyon says wind gusts, though, won't be as strong as the last wind event that occurred about two weeks ago... and will be mainly in the lower terrain area along the Lake Erie shoreline.  But... Kenyon says the winds could get strong enough to bring down some trees and powerlines. 


Young pleased with candidates coming forward seeking to replace her in Senate... 
Local State Senator Cathy Young says she is encouraged by the response of potential candidates interested in running for her seat, now that she is leaving the State Senate in just a few days.  Young, who has been a Senate member since in 2005, is leaving the Senate to head up Cornell University's Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture.  Earlier this week... Young spoke about the process of selecting a successor... saying there are many qualified candidates coming forward.  Young says there is a lot of uncertainty, because of the changes were made in the State's election laws earlier this year.  She also hopes that her Senate offices remain open after she leaves the post.  Young praises the work of her staff over the years, saying they have handled thousands of constituent cases each year.  The Olean Republican will leave the Senate on Sunday, to begin her new duties on Monday.


Full Moon Rising Bakery opens in new location in Jamestown...
There's a new bakery open on Jamestown's eastside... and, if you like birthday parties... Full Moon Rising Bakery on East Third Street is the place to be.  The ribbon was cut on the bakery... located in the former Humidor.  Full Moon Rising Owner, Andrea Latona, says she's excited to be in their new location... one that she knows well.  Latona says they're in the former Humidor News Store location -- next to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.  Full Moon Rising has a lot of bright and brilliant colors on the walls... and, on many of their sweet treats.  Latona says the buildings owners, and people at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, have made for a pleasant move.  She says her love of planning her children's birthdays got her going in the business.  Latona says they've open six days a week.  She says they're open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays... and, Saturdays.  They're open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays when the Reg is doing shows... and, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.  Their website is Fullmoonrisingbakeryjtny.com.


Make sure to "Spring Ahead," as Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday...

Don't forget to "Spring Ahead" before you go to bed tonight... as Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday.  The time change is considered by local fire departments to be an ideal time for residents to change the batteries in their smoke, and CO detectors.  In addition... AAA is remindering motorists to proper adjustments in for safer travel.  Officials say many will find on Monday that their normal morning commute will be darker than they’re used to, which can be especially dangerous for pedestrians and children waiting at bus stops.  So, make sure to turn your clocks ahead one hour before retiring for the evening.

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News Headlines for Thurs., Mar. 7, 2019

City man arrested for alleged Meth trafficking and having set of Brass Knuckles...
A Jamestown man is under arrest after a Tuesday afternoon drug raid on the southside for allegedly trafficking Crystal Methamphetimine.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says agents with the Metro Task Force executed a search warrant at 102 McKinley Ave. about 1 p.m., and, arrested 32 year-old Kyle Kamholtz.  Samuelson says Kamholtz was allegedly found in possession of near 5-grams of Crystal Meth... and, a set of brass knuckles.  They also allegedly found packaging materials, and scales used for selling and trafficking the drug.  Kamholtz is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminally using drug paraphernalia... and criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown is asked to call the department's confidential tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.


Three arrested in city later in day for Meth trafficking and child endangerment...
Three city residents are jailed for allegedly trafficking Crystal Methamphetimine following a drug raid at a home on Jamestown's southside late Tuesday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Metro Drug Task Force, and the State Police K-9 Unit executed a search warrant at 6 Terrace Place shortly before 4 p.m., and, found 13 grams of Crystal meth... and, drug paraphernalia used for trafficking.  Samuelson says Brandon Smith and Samuel Critzer -- both 32... and 33 year-old Celeste Carr... were arrested without incident.  All three are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Carr also faces three counts of endangering the welfare of child... and, Smith was also charged with a federal probation violation from a previous drug charge.  All three were jailed pending arraignment.


Reed hoping to get Senate support for Congressional approval on all Emergency Declarations...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is hoping to attract support from the Senate on legislation that would require Congressional action when it comes to emergency declarations issued by the President.  The Corning Republican says momentum for the proposal is gaining in the House... where Democrats have the majority.  Otherwise... Reed says he has not received any "backlash" from the White House while introducing the measure... but, at the same time... he says presidents - generally - want to have such power to declare such emergencies.  Reed says he'll be watching Senate debate on a resolution to disapprove of President Trump's border emergency declaration... and, he's hoping his measure will gain more supporters over a short period of time.  He says it seems like more lawmakers are saying that it's time for Congress to take back it's role of approving policy versus "National Emergency" declarations.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.


Assembly approves increasing state's Smoking Age...
The New York state Assembly has voted to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.  The legislation, which passed the Democrat-led chamber on Wednesday, prohibits the sale of tobacco, as well as electronic cigarettes, to anyone under 21.  That's already the law in Chautauqua County... along with seven states and several cities -- including New York City.  The measure is backed by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and has broad support in the Democrat-controlled state Senate, where it has yet to be scheduled for a vote. 


Senate approved Ethics Reform of "pay-to-play..."
The Democrat-controlled state Senate has approved legislation aimed at the "pay-to-play" system linked to recent major corruption scandals in New York politics.  The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill banning campaign contributions from companies seeking state contracts to elected officials with authority over state entities involved in the bidding process.  Sponsored by Senator Zellnor Myrie, a Brooklyn Democrat, the measure would also bar prospective vendors from contributing for six months after the contract is granted by the state. 


Rosas says he won't run for Young's State Senate seat...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas is telling State Senate Democratic officials thanks, but no thanks when it comes to making a run for the Senate seat being vacated by long-time Republican Cathy Young.  Young... who is from Olean... announced last week that she will be leaving the Senate in Albany on March 10th.  Rosas he was asked to consider running for the seat that represents four counties... through County Democratic Chairman Norm Green.  He says the four chairs were meeting in Albany... and, says Green told him the others inquired about whether he would consider a run.  Rosas says there are other candidates interested running for the Senate seat, including Lakewood Democrat Nancy Bargar, who unsuccessfully challenged Young in a special election in 2005.  Bargar last ran for the state Assembly against current Assemblyman Andy Goodell... after long-time member Bill Parment retired.


Jamestown woman arrested for public lewdness...
A city woman has been arrested for allegedly exposing herself to students on a school bus in Jamestown.  City police were called to the area of Crescent and East Second Streets about 2:20 p.m. Monday on a report of a disorderly woman flashing herself.  Witnesses pointed out 39 year-old Crystal Pollard... who was hiding from police.  Officers arrested her for public lewdness... and, she was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


 

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News Headlines for Wed., Mar. 6, 2019

Flames heavily-damage Clymer Home Tuesday night...
Flames extensively damaged a home in the town of Clymer last night... and, early this morning.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Clymer firefighters were called to the scene at 696 Marvin Road about 8 p.m. Tuesday.  They were assisted at the scene by volunteer crews from Panama, Ashville, and Sherman.  County Fire Coordinators were also called in.  No injuries were reported.  Firefighters were at the scene until about 1:30 this morning... but, were called back for a re-kindle about 2:15 a.m.  They were there about 45 minutes.  The cause is under investigation.


Garage fire also damages home in Brocton...
Several area fire departments were called to the scene of a house fire in the town of Portland late Monday.  Crews from Brocton, Portland, Fredonia, Cassadaga and Dewittville were among the departments that responded to the fire at 7940 Route 380 around 5 p.m.  The fire reportedly started in a garage and spread to the adjoining house.  There were no reports of any injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.


More bitterly cold temperatures, Lake Effect Snow through end of the week...
The start of spring is a couple of weeks away... but, our weather will remain "mid-winter like" for the next couple of days.  We saw unseasonably cold temperatures and strong winds yesterday... and, that cold air will remain today.  A Winter Weather Advisory was discontinued earlier this morning... but, more lake effect snow is on the way tonight.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell at the National Weather Service says we'll see that -- even though most of Lake Erie is frozen and snow covered.  Mitchell says there's also an event called "upsloping" taking place where moisture is brought out once the winds hit the hilly areas inland from the lake.  He says the highs both today and Thursday will remain in the lower teens... which is more than 20 degrees below normal.   A break in the cold will be coming this weekend.


Double-Tree by Hilton Opens in downtown Jamestown...
The ribbon has been cut on the new, $20-million Double Tree-by Hilton Jamestown hotel on West Fourth and Washington Streets.  The official opening was hosted by Hamister Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hamister during Tuesday's ribbon cutting on the second-floor concourse of the hotel... and, he praised the public-private efforts to get the former Holiday Inn back up and running again.  Hamister also noted their efforts to make the hotel a show-place... and, exceeding the guidelines Hilton sets for their Double-Tree Hotels nationwide.  Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello noted some of those amenities because he has stayed frequently during his travels at Hilton Hotels.  The Hamister's became interested after visiting with Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi and Development Director Vince DeJoy about five-years ago.  Teresi says one word -- "wow!" -- described what he's seen.  The state provided $2.4-million from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and, there was support from Empire State Development for the project.  Hamister also thanked Chautauqua County and it's Industrial Development Agency for it's $900,000 tax abatement agreement.  The new Double Tree has 147 rooms, and is starting out employing 33 people.


City woman arrested for allegedly "flashing" a school bus...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly exposing herself to students on a school bus.  City police were called to the area of Crescent and East Second Streets about 2:20 p.m. Monday on a report of a disorderly woman flashing herself.  Witnesses pointed out 39 year-old Crystal Pollard... who was hiding from police.  Officers arrested her for public lewdness... and, she was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Three people arrested in connection with serious February crash in Cattaraugus County...
Three people from Cattaraugus County have been arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of a rollover crash in the town of Conewango last month that left another person seriously hurt.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the accident occured on Route 241 just before 3 a.m. last Feb. 10.  Officers have now arrested 59 year-old Terry Snyder, and 25 year-old Brandon Cox -- both of South Dayton -- and 41 year-old Christopher Ellis of Leon for second-degree obstruction after they went to another location.  Snyder is also charged with leaving the scene... and, Cox and Ellis are also charged with offering a false written statement.  All three were issued appearance tickets for Conewango Town Court.


Advocates pushing for added money for Aging Services in New York state...
Advocates for New Yorkers 60 years and older say millions more in state funding is needed to provide in-home services such as meal deliveries.  Officials from AARP's New York chapter and other organizations that deal with issues facing older residents are lobbying lawmakers in Albany on Tuesday to push for another $25 million in state funding.  The groups say the funding will help New Yorkers age in their own homes rather than in costlier, taxpayer-funded nursing homes. 

 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., Mar. 5, 2019

Jamestown man to spend 21 years behind bars for dousing woman with gasoline, and setting her on fire...
A city man accused of dousing a woman with gasoline and setting her on fire during a domestic violence incident in 2017 has been sentenced to 21 years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 38 year-old Luis Castro-Mojica of Jamestown received the sentence from County Court Judge David Foley Monday... along with five-years of post-release supervision for his first-degree assault conviction.  Swanson said, "today... the defendant was held accountable for his horrific acts.  My hope is that the victim an her family can find some closure."  The incident in which the unidentified woman was burned occured on Thayer Street.


Overton receives a year in County Jail for abusing, and killing his dog...
A Jamestown man accused of killing and hanging his dog in a wooded area in late 2017 has been sentenced to a year in the Chautauqua County Jail for aggravated cruelty to animals.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 48 year-old Robert Overton, Jr. was sentenced Monday to the term... which he earlier had pleaded guilty to.  Swanson, though, says the case "reminds us of the deficiencies in New York State law.  Many people believe that this level of punishment is insufficient.  What I say to those folks is that they need to contact their state representatives and push for change."  By law... the most Overton could have received was two year in prison.  Swanson adds that Overton will be "the first offender to be placed on the Animal Abuser registry in Chautauqua County."


Goodell says rush to legalize recreational marijuana slowed-down... 
When the new state legislative session began in Albany in January... many observers thought that with Democrats in control of both chambers... legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in New York would happen quickly.  But, with a budget deadline less than a month away, action has still not taken place.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the process has slowed considerably after a number of groups -- including police agencies -- made their "serious" concerns heard.  Goodell, who opposes the move, says he still expects legislation to pass.   The Jamestown-area Republican hopes that when the final bill takes shape, it takes into consideration many of the concerns that been raised about legalization... but, he says he doubts that will derail the legislation.  Goodell made his comments as lawmakers returned to Albany this week to deal with a number of issues... including those surrounding the possible legalization of marijuana.  Lawmakers and Governor Cuomo have less than a month to get an on-time budget in place.


Gov. and Legislature disagree on State Budget revenues...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his fellow Democrats controlling the Legislature have been unable to agree on revenue estimates for the state budget that's due in less than a month.  The inability of Cuomo and the Assembly and Senate to reach a consensus means Democratic state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli must come up with an estimate by Tuesday.  The governor and the leaders of both chambers will use DiNapoli's revenue estimate as the starting point to negotiate a final budget... which is due by April 1st.


Jamestown Chamber Salute awards presented Monday night...
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce has named Lakeshore Paving as it '2018 Business of the Year.'  The award was presented at the annual 'Salute to the Finest' Monday night.  Longtime employee Craig Smith accepted the award... saying while Lakeshore started paving in 1998, they now do any kind of major outdoor project.  Lena's Pizza was named the 'Restaurant of the Year.'  The Chautauqua Harbor Hotel earned honors as the 'New Business of the Year.'  Other award receipients included: Wegmans, Cummins, the UCAN Ministry, the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, and Joe and Alyvia Town, the new owners of Pace's Pizza.  


City received $2,000 more from Community Foundation to help replace Ash Trees...
The city of Jamestown is receiving $2,000 more from it's annual grant to help pay the cost to plant new trees from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  The grant, totalling $7,000, was approved by the City Council's Finance Committee last night... and, will help replace hundreds of trees.  But... in this case... Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says most of those are Ash Trees destroyed by the Emerald Ash Borer.  Dolce says City Arborist Dan Stone was able to get the additional money after approaching city lawmakers last year with the news that at least 200 Ash Trees in city property... or in rights-of-way... were severely damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer.  Dolce says some parts of the city... especially on the north and east sides... saw the Ash Tree population severely impacted. 


Second Maniscalco Show scheduled for Comedy Festival...
The National Comedy Center in Jamestown has added a second show with comedian Sebastian Maniscalco during the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August.  Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the move comes after Maniscalco and fellow headliner, John Mulaney's shows, at the Northwest Arena both sold out the first day of on-line, public ticket sales.  Gunderson says this is the first time that's happened in the history of the Jamestown festival.  She adds that the originally-scheduled show with Maniscalco will take place the same night at 8 p.m.  She says tickets for this show will go on pre-sale for National Comedy Center members only starting this Wednesday, March 6 at Noon... and, to the public on Friday, March 8th at Noon at www.comedycenter.org.


 

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News Headlines for Mon., Mar. 4, 2019

City woman hurt in car-tractor-trailer accident in Stockton...         
A Jamestown woman suffered minor injuries early this morning when her car ran a stop sign, and struck a tractor-trailer on County Route 380 in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's officers say 42 year-old Nicole Olsen allegedly failed to stop at the intersection of Route 380 and Beech Hill Road shortly before 5 a.m., and, her car hit the big rig.  Olsen was taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital for treatment.  No one else was hurt in the crash.   She was issued an appearance ticket for failure to stop at a stop sign in Stockton Town Court.


Youth arrested at Ellicottville Central School for allegedly leaving a threatening note...
State Police in Cattaraugus County have arrested a student under the age of 14 for allegedly leaving a threatening note that led Ellicottville Central School officials to lock-down the school for a while last Friday.  Troopers in Machias say the student was arrested later that day after the threat was first made about 8 a.m.  Police responded... and, say appropriate measures were taken for the safety of the students and staff.   More resources were brought in after the school went into lockdown... but, no immediate credible threats were found.  Once the student was arrested... police say the lock-down was lifted.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office is assisting with the investigation.


Three people arrested in Cattaraugus County for allegedly trafficking Cocaine...
Three residents from Cattaraugus County are jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking powder cocaine from a home on Block Road in the town of Yorkshire.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, and Franklinville Village Police, say they raided the home last Thursday night... and, arrested 51 year-old Diana Sion... 50 year-old Ella Booth, and 29 year-old Jessie Burdic.  Task Force agents say they also found 8-ounces of cocaine inside the home.  All three were arraigned on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell... and, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  All three were sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail... and, more charges are pending.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department Special Response and K-9 teams were also involved... along with State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration in Buffalo.


Bargar considering another run for New York State Senate...
A Jamestown-area Democrat has become the first from that party to announce they are considering a run for the state Senate being vacated by Cathy Young.  Lakewood's Nancy Bargar has run two other times for the 57th District seat... most recently being defeated by Young for an open seat in 2005.  Prior to that... Bargar ran for the seat against late Senator Jess Present in 1992... but, was narrowly defeated.  Bargar says it's important for people -- who have the passion -- to get involved in finding the best candidate to make it the "most competitive race is can be."  It'll be up to Governor Andrew Cuomo to decide whether to call a special election... or leave the seat vacant until the general election in November.  Bargar served on the Chautauqua County Legislature for 10 years... and, last ran for public office in 2010... when long-time incumbant Assemblyman Bill Parment retired just prior to the election.  However... she lost to Republican Andy Goodell that year.  Bargar says she's heard of 4 to 5 Democrats elsewhere in the district also considering a run... and, she says there'll be a "lot of pressure" on the county chairmen to find the right candidate to run. 


State's Working Families Party looking to fight move to end "Fusion Voting" in NYS...
In New York government news, the liberal Working Families Party is fighting what it says is an effort by Democrats to weaken third parties in the state.  Top Democrats could soon consider a party resolution supporting the elimination of so-called fusion voting.  That's an odd ballot rule that allows third parties to cross-endorse major party nominees.  It means the same politician's name may appear multiple times under multiple parties on the same ballot.  Critics say the practice is confusing, but supporters say it gives voters more choices and has helped third parties proliferate. 


Thompson announces bid to run primary in City Council's second-ward...
A Jamestown native who has been voicing her concerns over issues in the city says she plans to run in a Republican primary to represent Ward-Two on the city council.  Raven Thompson says a domestic incident in her family four-years ago allowed her to see the problems with government that cry out for change.  Thompson says the way things were being run failed her family.  She believes her experiences would help her as a lawmaker to see the real needs in the community.  She really got involved in voicing her opposition to the city's attempt to annex four-acres of property in the village of Falconer... where she lived for a time... where the Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation is located.  The city has argued that it needs the property annexed into the city because it would allow them to better maintain the property and the substation, and save the city, and BPU money that would have to be paid in taxes. 


 

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News Headlines for Sat., Mar. 2, 2019

No one seriously hurt when car strikes Amish buggy in Hartfield...
One person suffered only minor injuries after her Amish horse and buggy was struck by a car in Hartfield about mid-morning Friday.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Route 430 about 8:40 a.m, and, found the car -- driven by 55 year-old Tiimothy Spears of Ellington -- was eastbound when he came upon the eastbound buggy.  Officers say Spears told them that he was blinded by the sun, and didn't see the buggy... which was destroyed.  The operator of the buggy -- 31 year-old Mollie Byler of Hartfield -- was treated for a leg injury at the scene.  The horse suffered cuts and bruises, but was expected to survive.  Spears was also treated for non-life threatening injuries.  No charges have yet been filed.  Route 430 was closed for approximately 45 minutes while the scene was cleared.


Goodell says he's been approached about running for Cathy Young's Senate seat when special election is called...
Chautauqua County's representative in the State Assembly says he has been asked to consider running for State Senator Cathy Young's seat following her announcement that she is leaving the Senate.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell feels Young will help the area with her new job as director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech... but, adds the GOP has big shoes to fill.  Goodell confirms he is among those looking at a possible run.  He says the Senate Campaign Committee says they will support him if he decides to run.  Goodell spoke highly of Young... and, says both he and she worked closely together on legislation and funding matters.  Republican and Democratic party officials are scrambling to find candidates to run for the post if a special election is called.  Goodell adds there are other potential candidates he would support... including County Executive George Borrello... who he says would carry Chautauqua County... and, should carry the rest of the 57th District.  He also feels Assemblyman Joe Giglio would have "considerable support" if he decided to run.  Both men are considering the possibility... but, neither is making a commitment at this point.


Sundquist says he's excited about opportunity to run for Jamestown Mayor...
An attorney in Jamestown who was among the candidates for Congress last year says he is running for mayor of the city this Fall.  Democrat Eddie Sundquist returned to Jamestown to practice law about three years ago... and, has been endorsed by the city's Democratic Committee to run for the seat... which is being vacated at the end of the year by fellow Democrat Sam Teresi.  Sundquist says he appreciates the committee's vote of confidence... and, says he wants to run because Jamestown is a "great place to live" with a low cost of living, and because of that, he encourages young people to consider moving here.  Sundquist says the two major challenges are the city budget... which is at Jamestown's constitutional taxing limit... and, making sure there is a complete count of residents in the 2020 Census.  That's critical in terms of representation and for state and federal funding.  Sundquist was a teacher for a short time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before returning to the city.


Multiple prisoners hurt in van accident in town of Stockton...
A van transporting prisoners in Chatuauqua County slid off County Route 380 in the town of Stockton last Wednesday night and crashed -- sending several to the hospital with minor injuries.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly before 9 p.m., and, found the U.S. Corrections vehicle had gone off the road and into a ditch.  Officers say several people were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.  Stockton and Cassadaga Fire crews transported the injured to the hospital.  No charges were filed.


Assembly Republicans present their State Budget priorities...
Republican members of the New York state Assembly have unveiled their priorities for the state budget, focusing on issues GOP lawmakers say are most important to their constituents.  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, of Canandaigua, released his conference's budget priorities during a news conference held outside the chamber's entrance late this week.  The GOP's 10-point wish-list includes making the 2-percent property tax permanent, increasing tuition assistance for college students and keeping local government funding intact.  It remains to be seen whether the Assembly's Democratic majority will take the suggestions to heart.  The suggestions come as lawmakers work to approve a new state budget by an April 1st deadline.


Reed Signs onto bill helping to provide grants for more Mental Health services for school students...
A bi-partisan proposal to support more on-site mental health services for school students nationwide has the backing of local Congressman Tom Reed.  The Corning Republican says he is a co-sponsor of the Mental Health Services for Students Act... which will provide $200-million in competitive grants to up to 100 needy school districts.  Reed says the issue came to light during a recent discussion he had with Dundee School Superintendent Kelly Houck concerning the "crisis" facing Yates County because they lack "on-site" mental health services.  Reed says when he heard about the lack of mental health care available there... his office began looking at ways to help address the issue.  He brought Houck, officials with the local hospital and local and state legislators to discuss the matter further.  Houck says "the key points of this bill are a great start to building a systematic foundation to cohesive and sustainable treatment plans." 


 

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News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 1, 2019

Young announces she is resigning from State Senate March 10th...
One of the most powerful Republican voices in the state Capitol is moving onto the private sector after 23 years as a local, county, and state lawmaker.  Olean's Cathy Young has announced that she is stepping down from the Senate after 13 years in the position.  Young says the decision to leave the Senate for a job heading up Cornell University's Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture was "not easy..." and, bittersweet.  She says she's "loved her job... and, it's been a such and honor and privilege to represent the people of the 57th District."  Young launched into state politics in the late-1990s... winning election to the state Assembly when Pat McGee was tapped to replace the late Jess Present in  the Senate in 1998.  When McGee passed away in 2005... Young won a special election to replace her, and has held the seat ever since.  Young will leave the Senate Mar. 10.. and begin her new post at Cornell the following day.  There has been no word yet on when a special election will be held.   


Borrello, Green react to Young's announcement...
Shock and surprise... that's the reaction from both Republicans and Democrats in Chautauqua County to Senator Cathy Young's announcement that she is leaving the State Legislature to head up the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech.  County Executive George Borrello tells us the announcement caught him off guard.  Borrello says Young has been a "champion" for Chautauqua County and the entire region.  Republican and Democratic party officials are now searching for candidates to run should a special election be called.  County Election Commissioner and County Democratic Chairman Norm Green says it will be up to Governor Andrew Cuomo to call a special election in conjunction with the June primaries, or next November's special election.  When asked whether he was interested in running, Borrello says he has a "lot on his plate" as County Executive... but he would not rule it out. 


Dunkirk man in critical conditions after being hit by snowplow in Hanover...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating an accident in which a snowplow struck a Dunkirk man in the town of Hanover Wednesday night.  Deputies intially responded to Route 5 and 20 for the collision just after 7:30 p.m., and, learned that 52 year-old Eric Corns was walking west in the westbound lane when he was struck by a private snowplow.  Officers say the man is in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center.  The plow driver -- 32 year-old Joshua Bloom -- was not injured.  The Silver Creek Fire Department... County EMS and ALSTAR assisted at the scene. 


Borrello outlines vision for Ripley Gateway Center in State of County address...
Chautauqua County George Borrello hopes the county can use a travel center in West Virginia as a model for a Ripley Gateway Center.  Borrello outlined a number of initiatives in his State of the County message that he delivered during Wednesday night's County Legislature meeting, including the need to address the entry point for thousands of travelers.  He says the Ripley gateway has been neglected far too long.  The top county official also spoke about another initiative he is working on…a 'Grow Chautauqua hops and grains cooperative.'  He pitched a concept to Chris LaCorata, a successful manufacturing executive.  Borrello says LaCorata believes that can be done in the next two years.  He says LaCorata has agreed to pay for half of the feasibility study.


Legislature Chairman Wendel upbeat about State of County...
County lawmakers seemed upbeat about Executive George Borrello's State of the County presentation.  Legislature Chairman P.J. Wendel of Lakewood says he was intrigued by many of the initiatives... including the push for collaborations on the local level.  Wendel says Borrello has really worked hard to establish those.  He says he'll also be looking for a final, consensus strategy for Chautauqua Lake... using the information each group gave him individually.  Borrello expects to wrap up work on the management plan by the end of March.  


Mockingbird ready to go at Little Theater, despite potential "cease and desist" orders from Broadway producer...
The play 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is set to open next week at the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown. The local production has been unaffected,  so far, by a controversy over what 'versions' of the play can be performed and where.  Little Theater Board President, Bob Ostrom, says Producer Scott Rudin has sent 'cease and desist' letters to many community theaters.  Rudin has legal rights to one version... currently on Broadway... and has asserted that's the only one that can be performed.  Ostrom adds the theaters that have gotten letters are ones closer to metropolitan areas where the Broadway version is going to be staged. Ostrom says the Jamestown production is ready to go, and interest in the community is high.  But, if the Little Theater was told to 'cease and desist' they would not have the resources to fight the order. 


New downtown Doubletree now open...
A new hotel has finally opened in downtown Jamestown.  The DoubleTree by Hilton Jamestown opened late yesterday afternoon for the first time on West Fourth Street.  In addition to the hotel... the new Pearl City Hops Restaurant & Tavern is also open for business.  The announcement was made by the hotel on it's Facebook page yesterday afternoon.


 

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for July 17, 2019

Two people remain hospitalized with serious injuries after a State Police cruiser ran into the back of a mini-van on the State Thruway in the town of Sheridan Monday afternoon.....   State Pol...

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