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Local News Headlines Archives for 2020-01

WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 31, 2020

Local State Senator George Borrello has been named as co-chair of the Senate Republican "Repeal Bail Reform Task Force" to collect testimony on New York's new bail reform law.  

Borrello says the task force will hold it's first hearing next Thursday, February 6th, at 2 PM in Buffalo.  He says it's time to hear from the people who have been most impacted by these changes.

Borrello says... since the January 1st enactment of the law, there has been a public outcry over the changes, which have allowed some violent and repeat offenders back onto the streets after their arrests, with nothing more than court appearance tickets.  Borrello says they have yet to have any Democrats discuss joining them for the hearings, even though some moderates are critical of the law.  He again blasted the way the Democratic-majority in the legislature pushed the changes through last year... adding the changes eliminated bail bail and pretrial detention for over 90 percent of crimes.  Borrello made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group station.


Two north county men were arrested early Thursday morning on drug possession and other charges following a traffic stop in the village of Mayville.  

Sheriff's officers say they stopped a car, driven by 31 year-old Christopher McNett of Brocton, on Lakeview Avenue shortly before 5 AM for an alleged traffic violation.  Deputies say they found that McNett's license had been revoked for a prior drunk driving conviction.  Officers also accuse McNett of being in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.  Further investigation found that his passenger, 28 year-old Leroy Stepp, Junior, of Westfield, was in possession of quantities of meth and marijuana.  McNett was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, false personation, and aggravated unlicensed operator.  Stepp was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of drugs and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  Both men were issued appearance tickets for Chautauqua Town Court.


The Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump resumed Thursday with Republicans appearing focused on bringing the proceedings to a vote of acquittal, possibly in a matter of days.  

However, Senate Democrats are still pushing for witnesses, especially former National Security adviser John Bolton.  Among those wanting to hear from Bolton is New York's junior U-S Senator, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

Bolton's new book reportedly implicates the president in withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  Gillibrand also blasted Wednesday's comments by one of Trump's attorneys' -- Alan Dershowitz -- that what the president did was for the "public good," and therefore was not impeachable.  Dershowitz and the presidents other lawyers used yesterday and Wednesday's question-and-answer session to insist senators have heard enough.


The new Jamestown Tarp Skunks baseball team is set to the take the field at Russell Diethrick, Junior Park for the first time in late May and, the community 'buzz' is continuing.  Local baker Chad Ecklof, of Ecklof's Bakery, says he's been hard at work developing a cookie to celebrate.

Frank is Tarp Skunk's General Manager Frank Fanning.  Ecklof says they are working with the organization to sell the cookies to help raise funds for youth baseball leagues in the Jamestown area. Fanning says -- from uniforms to cookies -- they are trying to keep everything as local as possible so local people and businesses benefit.  Ecklof, Fanning and Mayor Eddie Sundquist were guests of the Andrew and Noel Show program Wednesday night to unveil the new Skunk Stripe Cookie.


The National Comedy Center in Jamestown is currently in the lead for USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Museum” Travel Award.  

Center officials say the center is in first place after the first 10-days of on-line voting for the honor.  Online voting continues through Monday, February 17th at 12 Noon.  Officials are asking visitors, fans and supporters to cast their vote for the museum as part of the public voting process to select a winner.  Everyone is invited to vote daily, now through February 17th at Noon.  Just go on-line to VoteComedyCenter.com,  The winner will be announced on Friday, February 28th.


The Western New York Farm Show is underway now through Saturday in heated buildings at the Erie County Fairgrounds at Hamburg.  The show's coordinator, Kirby Dygert, says it has something for everyone, and it's free. 

The show runs through Saturday, and each day at noon, men, women and children, can enter the 'Elite Toss Hay Bale Throwing Competition' with cash awards to the winners.  On Friday, high school students will compete in a mechanics competition.  On Saturday, top timbersport athletes will line up for the 2nd annual 'Lumberjack Classic.'  The Western New York Farm Show runs today from 10 to 4, Saturday 9 to 3.  Parking is also free at the Erie County Fairgrounds. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 30, 2020

Jamestown Police say they have now recovered the suspect vehicle reportedly involved in a targeted, drive-by shooting last Saturday night on the city's southside....  

JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the dark-colored sedan was found parked behind a condemned home on Broadhead Avenue earlier this week.  Samuelson says the vehicle has now been processed for evidence.  He adds there was a prior incident involving the victim and the suspect shooter at a diffrent location that may have also involved shots being fired.  Samuelson says the man remains in critical condition following the incident at Hazzard Street and Newland Avenue.  Police found the victim laying in the street next to his car with multiple gun-shot wounds.  The unidentified man was traveling on Hazzard Stret when the second vehicle pulled up and shots were fired into the victim's car.  A loaded pistol was found inside the victim's vehicle.  The man is still being treated at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  If you have any information, you are asked to call JPD at 483-7537, or their Tips line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  You can also contact JPD's Tips 4-1-1 app.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's alarmed by a report that says the U-S deficit is likely to burst through the symbolic one-trillion dollar barrier this year despite a healthy economy.... 

The news was released late Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, which says a big spending burst last year, and December's repeal of several taxes that help fund the Affordable Care Act, are the main culprits.

Reed says this is an issue he strongly disagrees with the administration about.  He says they don't view it as "an immediate crisis."  The CBO says this has combined to "deepen the government's deficit spiral" well on into the future, with annual trillion-dollar deficits likely for as far as the eye can see.  The annual CBO update estimates a $1.3-trillion deficit for the ongoing fiscal year and that the accumulated deficit could reach $31.4-trillion by the year 2030.


A former Jamestown City Councilman who was known for being a "straight shooter" has passed away at the age of 77....  

Seven-term Democratic Councilman Jim Ventura represented both the sixth and seventh wards during his 14 years on the panel.  Ventura was also chaired the council's Public Works Committee for several years.  Current Council President Tony Dolce was on council during several of the years Ventura served and says was able to "tell is like it is".

Ventura, who was a long-time union official during his 30-plus years at MRC-SKF Aerospace, also helped with city union matters.  The fact he could be outspoken at times led to some arguments down through the years, but his candor was always appreciated.  Dolce says Ventura left the council in 2007.  He was a U-S Army veteran, serving in Korea from 1961-1964.


A Forestville man is charged with multiple counts of burglary and petting larceny following several reported burglaries in the towns of Ripley, Gerry and Pomfret.....  


Sheriff's deputies say they received several reports of break-ins and thefts in those areas last November and December.  Officers say they did an extensive investigation and arrested 51 year-old Gary Land for allegedly entering two separate dwellings at night unlawfully while the residents were sleeping inside and stole property.  He's also accused of stealing property from several unlocked vehicles.  Lang has been arraigned in Ripley, Gerry and Pomfret Town Courts on charges including two counts of second-degree burglary, and five counts of petty larceny.  The Sheriff's Office reminds residents to lock their homes and vehicles as a precaution.


Now that Fredonia has won the competition for Season 5 of the Small Business Revolution, the work begins soon to select the businesses that will be featured on the reality TV show....  

Amanda Brinkman of SBR says they have decided to increase the number of businesses from six to seven. Meanwhile, the application process is underway.  That from President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, who says there's a tight timetable because applications are due, on-line, by Midnight, Monday, February 3rd.  Deluxe will announce the seven businesses on February 20th, with filming to get underway in March.  The company expects to use $500,000 to help turnaround the businesses. 

 
A political backlash over New York's new bail law may have dimmed some moderate Democrats' appetite for further criminal justice reforms in 2020....  

Reformers had been riding high last spring after persuading the legislature to pass an overhaul that eliminated cash bail for most nonviolent crimes.  They were hopeful of winning additional reforms on issues like parole eligibility, solitary confinement and police accountability.  Now, those same advocates find themselves on defense amid deep criticism from prosecutors and law enforcement officials, who say the new bail law has jeopardized public safety.  Most of the concerns revolve around stories of criminal some defendants being released from jail under the new law, then committing new crimes.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 29, 2020

City lawmakers in Jamestown have approved the next step in the Annexation process for the Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation in the village of Falconer.  

However... it was largely a routine matter that all sides in the dispute have now approved.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist after the city council voted Monday night for a new Environmental Assessment Form for the approximately four-acres of land.  Council President Tony Dolce agrees with Sundquist that they aren't ready for final action on moving forward... but, says the previous arguments for annexation remain the same as before.

A former BPU member, John Zabrodsky, earlier challenged council members on whether they want to see the process move ahead and, incurr more legal fees.  Lawmakers have more time to discuss the issue before a vote has to be taken.... and, Dolce agreed that they want more discussion and review before deciding whether to move forward.  The city and BPU say annexing the property would save more than $300,000 in taxes paid to Falconer, the town of Ellicott, the Falconer School District, and Chautauqua County.

The village of Fredonia won the race to win Season 5 of the Small Business Revolution.  The crowd inside the 1891 Fredonia Opera House and Performing Arts Center erupted as the winning community was announced.

SBR's sponsor Deluxe, will be using half-a-million dollars in resources to help revitalize seven businesses in the village.  Host Amanda Brinkman says she is proud of SBR's track record. Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek says the top 5 competition helped bring the community together.  He called it "amazing."  Pomfret Town Supervisor Dan Pacos and Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas were also on hand to support the village.

 The legal team for President Donald Trump wrapped up it's defense yesterday by making a "forceful case" against the relevance of possible testimony during his impeachment trial.  

That would include anything from former national security adviser, John Bolton.  It's not known yet whether there will be the votes to have witnesses in the Senate Trial.  However... local Congressman Tom Reed says House Democrat had their chance to call Bolton, and others, but, did not pursue it.

The Corning Republican adds that there is an election coming up during the next 10 to 11 months... so the people should ultimately make the decision.  Supporters of Impeachment say Democrats wanted to call Bolton... but, add the White House issued a blanket rejection of that.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.


Jamestown's professional basketball team is set to begin its 5th season on Friday.  

Kayla Crosby, executive director and manager of the Jamestown Jackals, says they missed the playoffs by just one game last year, and are aiming for the championship this year.  Speaking at a news conference at the Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Crosby announced they've recruited a dozen players for this season, their second in what's called 'The Basketball League.'  She said the move up has increased the caliber of play and the budget, to around $130,000 for the season.  They hope to raise $100,000 through sponsorships, the rest through ticket sales at their 12 home games.  The first opponent Friday at 7 PM at the JCC Phys Ed Center will be the Columbus Condors. Season tickets are $100 for adults, $50 for students, seniors and veterans.  Game tickets are $10 and $5.  Full information, and streams of all games can be found at jamestownjackals.com. Friday's opening will also include a tribute to Kobe Bryant.   

 A Bemus Point man was arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated at nearly three times the legal limit with a weapon and methamphetamine in his possession Sunday in Jamestown.  

State Police say they pulled over 32 year-old Jordan Eckwahl for speeding on Route 430 and after failing sobriety tests, was arrested.  Troopers say a search of the vehicle additionally revealed a rifle with several round of ammunition.  Police say Eckwahl's driving privileges were revoked due to a previous DWI conviction and criminal history check revealed a felony conviction, prohibiting him from possessing a firearm.  He was released with appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court next month. 


It was close right up to the end... but, the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County made it's goal for the 2019 General Campaign.  

Officials announced last night that they had raised $1.331-million, about $1,800 more than the goal of $1.33-million.  United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler says it was a "team" and community effort that pushed them over the top.  She adds that they were able to put on 89 workplace presentations this year... and, she says those are a big help in getting people to give.

Rohler says in one case, a man -- who had never given before, pledged $2,500 because of a campaign presentation given at his employer.  She says that presentation was given by a volunteer from the Mental Health Association, which is a United Way partner agency.  She says he was moved to give by that presentation.  Over the past year, the United Way supported 39 programs at 26 partner agencies.  For more information on the United Way, call 483-1561.


A Jamestown School Board member has been named one of the top 100 most-influential people in the New York Education community.  

In a printed release, district officials say Nina Karbacka was selected as part of the City and State magazine's Education Power 100 List in their February 17th issue.  Board President Paul Abbott says they are very proud of Mrs. Karbacka, who was previously named to head-up the Small Cities Schools Association for the current school year and, officials say she was instrumental in getting equal funding and other needs for small city schools around the state.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 28, 2020

A north county-area woman has been charged with drunk driving after the car she was driving went out of control Monday morning in Silver Creek and, crashed into a house....  

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Central Avenue about 7 AM and, found the car, driven by 21 year-old Kali Isacc of Lawtons, had missed a curve then hit a stop sign before striking the house.  During their investigation, deputies found that Isacc was allegedly under the influence of alcohol.  She was charged with DWI, Aggravated DWI, speeding and moving from lane unsafely.  The residence sustained only minor damage, and no one was hurt.  Isacc was issued appearance tickets for Silver Creek Village Court.


Optimism shared the stage with reality during Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist's first State of the City Address at last night's first voting session of 2020...  
Sundquist is nearing the end of his first month in office, but started off by saying it's "no secret" that Jamestown is a "fiscally distressed" city.

Sundquist did add that it's going to take a "community effort" to get the ship righted.  He discussed the need to modernize the city's tax code, and bring in new development.  Those were two of Sundquist's focuses during his address.  Another was public safety and, he says he's instructed his administration to reopen discussions with the police and firemen's unions to settle their outstanding contracts.  Also regarding public safety, Sundquist says his administration is working to get a better ambulance agreement with Alstar EMS or someone else, to provide emergency service in the city.  Lastly, he also addressed the need to revamp the way people communicate at City Hall and, out to the public. 


Mayor Sundquist recently told city lawmakers that they will begin requesting proposals to share ambulance services with another entity late next month....  

During last night's address, he said Alstar Ambulance has given the city 90-days notice about them pulling out of their agreement with the city.  He also noted that his administration drawing up a new request for proposals to provide that service.  However, Sundquist says, under the RFP, the city would not be the primary responder.

Due to fiscal constraints, the city has not been able to add firefighters, nor another ambulance to deal with huge increase in emergency calls.  However, that may be addressed under a recent, capital projects proposal.  Sundquist says a separate RFP would also be put out for billing for those services.  He says they should have a draft RFP ready for review by the city council, and fire department and union review, next month.


The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce presented its annual 'Salute to the Finest' awards Monday night.... 

Among the winners were two long standing Jamestown businesses:  JRSC Digital was named Business of the Year.  Geer-Dunn, in its 101st year, received the first-ever Hometown Legacy Award.  Andrea Latona of Full Moon Rising Bakery received recognition as the Young Business Leader of the Year and Fringe Hair Salon was named New Business of the Year.  The chamber also recognized the work of the Chautauqua Blind Association and the Winifred Crawford Diebert Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown.  The annual ceremony was held at the Landmark Restaurant.  


Republican State Senator George Borrello will serve as the ranking member of the Senate's Committee on Budget and Revenues, an assignment he looks forward to....  
Borrello says he's "proud to be named the ranking member of a committee that is involved in the budget process as well as in larger discussions about state spending priorities.  With my background in county government, I have a strong understanding of how the state budget and funding formulas impact our municipalities."  Borrello says he's also been named to the Local Government Committee and, that will deal with budget and revenue issues, as well.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 27, 2020

A man is in critical condition after being shot while inside his car by someone who drove by in a second vehicle and then fled the scene on Jamestown's southside.  
City police were called to the scene at Hazzard Street and Newland Avenue about 10:45 PM Saturday and, found the victim laying in the street next to his car with multiple gun-shot wounds.  Officers say the man was traveling on Hazzard Stret when the second vehicle pulled up and shots were fired into the victim's car.  Police say the second car, possibly a dark-colored sedan, then fled the scene.  Officers say the victim's car then struck a parked car on Hazzard.  A loaded pistol was found inside the victim's vehicle.  The man was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery before he was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Police say shooting appears targeted.  If you have any information, you are asked to call JPD at 483-7537, or their Tips line at 483-TIPS. You can also contact JPD's Tips 4-1-1 app.


Local municipalities are still sorting through Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State and Budget messages to see what kind of impacts they will see.  

New Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says there were a number of areas it looks like the city may benefit from.  Sundquist says one of those is Cuomo's plan to spend several billion more dollars on infrastructure needs across the state.

For many years, former Mayor Sam Teresi banged the drum on the need for the state to increase funding for municipalities that maintain state roads in their communities.  Sundquist adds that Cuomo has also proposed more funding for the environment, which could be directed to projects on the Chadakoin River.  He says the majority of city residents would be able to benefit from the governor's proposed middle class tax cut.  Sundquist says there is also more money to help locate affordable housing in local communities.  He'll address his plans more during tonight's annual "State of the City" Address during the city council's monthly voting session at City Hall at 7:30 PM.


The 9th annual Souper Bowl soup competition was won Sunday by the Ashville General Store.  

The store's Jackie Francis made a cream of tomato soup that took the top prize by one vote.  Right behind was 'loaded cheesy potato' from Gametime Sports Bar and Grill.  Nine restaurants took part in Souper Bowl number nine.  The event benefits the Rappaport Fund at the WCA Foundation. The foundation's Executive Director, Brigetta Overcash, says the fund's founder, Mary Rappaport, makes her own contribution, putting together dozens of baskets that earned $1,500 to benefit cancer care at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.
Over 250 people attended this year's event, held for the first time at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Fourth Street.  The total amount raised through the Souper Bowl was still being added up on Sunday.  


Public negotiations over New York's budget are set to begin amid worries about another round of Medicaid cuts...  

Heads of state agencies, lobbyists and members of the public will start to offer input on the governor's proposed budget today.  That will kick off three weeks of budget hearings.  Lawmakers are likely to focus much of their attention this spring on avoiding more cuts to Medicaid.  Cuomo's administration hopes to help plug a $6-billion deficit with $600-million in Medicaid cuts to nursing homes, hospitals and other healthcare providers.  


Preparations are underway for a Reveal Rally to be held Tuesday night at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House for the announcement of the Season 5 winner of the "Small Business Revolution" on-line TV program.  

Fredonia made it to the Top 5 and the community hopes it collected enough votes to make it over the top.  Rick Davis of the Opera House says the public is invited to turnout for the announcement.

Davis says there will be a celebration immediately following the announcement, including a Street Party whether the village wins the competition or not.  The street party will be held in front of Village Hall on Church Street.  Davis says they'll have a big screen TV located outside for people in the overflow to watch outside.  Fredonia was last reported to be in first place just before the voting ended for "Small Business Revolution."


Legislation to amend Pennsylvania's constitution that could cut short the current Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court is advancing through the Republican-controlled Legislature.  

Final approval of the constitutional change could land in front of voters on the May 2021 primary ballot.  It's a tight timeline, but possible with concerted action. The crux of the Republican-penned constitutional amendment is this: Instead of Supreme Court justices and appellate court judges running for 10-year terms in statewide elections, they would run for the seats in judicial districts where they live.  Democrats call it a scheme to gerrymander the courts.  Supporters say it would create more geographic and ideological diversity on the bench.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Jan. 25, 2020

Borrello says OMH Board votes to keep TLC/Lakeshore open for now...
The advisory board for the New York State Office of Mental Health hosted a meeting in Buffalo today and State Senator George Borrello says members voted to keep the mental health unit and emergency room open at TLC-Lakeshore.  Borrello says that's until a plan can be developed... and, adds it's an important step in keeping the Irving based hospital open.  The Irving-area Republican and others spoke to the need to keep both parts of the operation open.  Once everyone spoke... Borrello says the advisory board took their vote -- which was unanimous.  They also recommended to the director of Mental Health and the OMH Commissioner to keep Lakeshore open until a better plan can be developed.  Borrello says it will now be up the Office of Mental Health Commissioner to consider the recommendation from the advisory board. No word on when a decision is expected.


Scott to retire at end of next week as Prendergast Library Director...
The current director of the Prendergast Library in Jamestown is retiring at the end of the month... but, her replacement is more than ready to take over.  Tina Scott will step away on next Friday, Jan. 31, after nine-years of heading up the library operation.  Scott says it was not an easy decision... but, adds it's time to move on.  She says the library is still struggling financially, but, she says libraries are always going to have challenges moving forward.  Scott says she's pleased that her top assistant during her tenure as director... Annie Green... will replace her.  She says Green is "very knowledgeable" about how the Prendergast works... and, is already handling the library's "day-to-day" operations.  Green worked at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital prior to coming to the library... and, has a Masters Degree in Library Sciences... and, one in Social Work.  Scott made her comments for this weekend's Community Spotlight Program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Olean man arrested following traffic stop in town of Poland for drug possession...
A Cattaraugus County man was arrested for drug and paraphernalia possession during a traffic stop in the Town of Poland on Wednesday.  State Police in Jamestown say they stopped a vehicle on Route 394 for a traffic violation... and, the passenger, 26 year-old Travis Centi, of Olean, was allegedly found with hypodermic needle loaded with heroin, a bag of methamphetamine, and a digital scale.  Troopers say Centi was issued appearance tickets for Poland Town Court next month... and, the driver was issued a traffic ticket. 


Jamestown man arrested for unlicensed operation, drug possession following traffic stop...
A city man faces charges for allegedly driving without a license, and with drugs in his possession early Thursday morning.  Jamestown police say they pulled over Eric Lundsten for allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Falconer Street and Lindsey Avenue.  While investigating... officers say Lundsten was making movements allegedly trying to conceal something in the backseat.  Police conducted a search and found a small amount of crack cocaine and methamphetamine.  Lundsten was released to appear in Jamestown City Court at a later date. 


County Legislature approves new Fixed-based operator for Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports...
For the first time in many years... both Chautauqua County Airports in Jamestown and Dunkirk will have the same fixed-base operator at both locations.  The county legislature this week unanimously approved both FBO and hangar lease agreements with Cin-tric Aviation of New Jersey.  Ranking Democrat on the legislature's Audit and Control Committee, Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown, says Cintric, had the best of four proposals... and, has a relationship with Boutique Air.  Nazzaro says they are also an FBO for an airport in Florida.  Boutique Air is currently working with the county to try and restore commercial air service to the Jamestown Airport.... which lost it's Essential Air Service program two years ago.  Nazzaro says Cin-tric was one of three companies that proposed fixed-base operator service at both the Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports.  Jamestown's previous agreement ended at the end of 2019... while Dunkirk's last agreement ended early last year.


Moderate Democrat in stae legislature now supports making recreational pot legal in NYS...
A New York lawmaker who last year expressed reservations over marijuana legalization is now backing a bill to make the drug legal. State Senator Pete Harckham has announced he is supporting a bill that legalizes and regulates the drug.  Support from Democrats in more moderate districts like Harckham's in the Hudson Valley could be key as legislators push to legalize the drug.  The Democrat said changes were made in the bill.  He said it now provides extra funds for impaired driving enforcement and a social media campaign on the health effects of marijuana.


New York joins other A-Gs in 3-D guns lawsuit...
Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3-D printers to be posted on the internet.  New York Attorney General Tish James is helping to lead the coalition.  James says posting the blueprints would allow anyone to go online and use the downloadable files to create unregistered and untraceable assault-style weapons that could be difficult to detect.  The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 24, 2020

A Mayville man faces several charges -- including kidnapping to collect ransom -- following three separate incidents in Allegany County early Wednesday morning.  State Police in Amity responded to a 9-1-1 call after an unknown, and armed man broke into a home in the village of Filmore about 3:30 AM.  Troopers say they found 31 year-old Mark Sarama outside the home... holding the unidentified homeowner at gun-point.  They took Sarama into custody... but, at that time... he overdosed on narcotic drugs he had taken after getting medical treatment at a hospital in Wellsville.  Police say Sarama was trying to force the victim to get more money at an ATM machine when they arrived.  Earlier...troopers say Sarama allegedly stole a hand-gun from a place where he was staying in Filmore... then went to another home and struck a 90-year-old man in the head with it.  That man then called 9-1-1.  Sarama was arraigned on the Felony kidnapping charge, along with two counts each of first-degree burglary, and first-degree robbery.  He's being held in the Allegany County Jail on 100-thousand dollars cash bail.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says New York state is already beginning to see the consequences of the "Green Light Law" which allows illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license.  Reed says the biggest so far is the fact that police departments across the state are not able to access Department of Motor Vehicle data unless they agree to not share the information with federal law enforcement.

Police say they need the DMV data to help with investigations and to verify people's identities during traffic stops.  He adds there may also be another consequence to the law... noting that New York driver's licenses end up not being allowed to be used as official identification when traveling... primarily if you're flying.  He says that means some people may have to get a passport to be able to fly.  Reed says there are rumblings that the Department of Homeland Security may deem all New York drivers licenses as invalid because all levels of state licenses look virtually identical.  He says he plans to speak with the Acting Homeland Security Secretary in the near future. 


Chautauqua County will not be charging a 5-cent fee on paper bags sold once New York state's plastic bag ban takes effect on March 1st.  The decision was made recently following an extensive review of the law by the county legislature's Audit and Control Committee.  Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro, who is the committee's ranking member, says -- while the cause is good -- to opt in would be a "regulatory nightmare...."

Nazzaro told county lawmakers Wednesday night they don't have to take any action -- unless they were to opt into the program.  Next Monday... Wegman's will end use of plastic bags in it's stores... and, will be charging 5-cents per paper bag.  Nazzaro says that's something the regional grocery chain is doing on it's own.  He says they can do that, and adds they are giving money raised to charity.  Wegman's officials have told us that their 5-cent fee will be collected regionally... and, given to the Food Bank of Western New York.


Two Chautauqua County school districts are at least "susceptible to fiscal stress" in the latest monitoring of the financial health of New York's public school districts.  State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released his annual report this week... with four districts showing "significant stress."  None were in Chautauqua County.  However... both the Frewsburg and Clymer Central School Districts were among the 24 districts listed as "susceptible." 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 22, 2019

Despite a $6.1-billion budget shortfall, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is not proposing any cuts in his 2020-21 budget plan.  

In fact... Cuomo says every part of his 178-billion dollar spending plan will include increases.  That includes the state's Medicaid program... which is projected to have a $2.5-billion shortfall.  Cuomo is proposing to close that through a Medicaid Redesign Team program... as was done in 2011.

Local governments will not have to pick up additional costs to Medicaid... provided that they keep their budgets under the state's Property Tax Cap... and, their Medicaid increases under 3-percent.  If they don't... they would have to pay those added costs.  Cuomo is also proposing another increase to public education funding of 3-percent.  That's another $826-million However... he's also calling on lawmakers to develop a new funding formula that will boost spending for poorer school districts, and reduce funding for wealthier districts.  This past year... Cuomo and the legislature adopted a budget that increase education funding to a record $28-billion.


State Senator George Borrello feels Governor Cuomo's budget plan offered both "hits and misses." 

 Borrello says, though, that New York began the year learning that the state was ranked number-one in population loss the past 10 years and most of those were in the upstate region.  He says "making our state more affordable for both residents and businesses is crucial if we are to reverse this trend."  He says he was encouraged to hear the next phase of the historic middle class tax cuts pushed by Senate Republicans three years ago and, a small business tax cut would also be coming.  Borrello, though, blasted the governor for saying local governments weren't working hard enough to cut Medicaid costs, and, that's part of the reason for a $2.5-billion deficit in the program.  However, the Irving Republican feels reinstituting the Medicaid Redesign Team to look for cost savings was a good idea.


The Jamestown Fire Department says Monday's early morning blaze on the city's northside was started accidentally.  

Fire Battalion Chief Don Mowry says the department's fire investigation team determined that the fire at 614 Spring Street was triggered by the "unintentional use of a torch."  Crews were called to the scene about 6:40 AM and, found much of the building engulfed in flames.  Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says the building was unsafe, and crews had to make an exterior attack on the blaze.  The lone person living there got out safely and, no one was hurt.


The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has submitted it's Community Health Assessment and Health Improvement Plans and, both are now available for public review.  

The Department's Epidemiology Manager, Breeanne Agett, says both were submitted to the state Department of Health last month.  She adds their Assessement Plan deals with three priority items: preventing chronic disease, promoting women and children's health, and promoting mental health, and preventing substance abuse.

Agett says the state has changed the Health Improvement Plan to a three-year model from 2019-2021 to include the addressing of health issues with community partners... which include local hospitals, and outside agencies.  She says the state changed the reporting to three-years to align with what the hospitals do to meet the needs cited.  New this year, says Agett, is the state's Prevention Agenda for 2019-2024, which is the blueprint for promoting health equity across populations where there are disparities.  She says the county's 180-page profile can be found on-line at chqgov.com/public-health/public-health.


The National Comedy Center in Jamestown has been nominated for another national distinction.  

The Center has been nominated for "Best New Museum" in this year's USA Today "10 Best Reader's Choice Travel Awards."  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they are one of 20 new museums in the United States nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel experts for the USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences.  Gunderson says they are asking visitors, fans and supporters to cast their vote for the museum as part of the public voting process to select a winner.  Everyone is invited to vote daily, now through Monday, February 17th at 12 Noon.   The winner will be announced on Friday, February 28th. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 21, 2020

Flames have destroyed a multiple-story home in the city of Jamestown's northside.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 614 Spring Street about 6:40 AM Monday in bitterly cold temperatures to battle the flames.  

Fire Battlion Chief Roger Sigular says they found a lot of fire coming from the building when they arrived.

Sigular says crews assumed a "defensive posture" to put out the blaze.  He says there were still some hot spots and, more of the roof had collapsed in on the building... which he said was already in "poor" condition.  Sigular says just one person was living in the building and the tenant was able to get out safely.  He says no firefighters were hurt.  An off-duty shift was also called in.  Sigular says the Department of Development was working to bring in a crew to do an emergency demolition.  The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
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In addition, Fire crews from multiple departments battled a house fire in the town of Stockton late Sunday.  County fire dispatchers say crews were called out to the blaze at 73-34 Route 380 around 8:30 PM Sunday, with crews on the scene for nearly six hours.  No injuries were reported and, the cause is under investigation.


The possibility of local Congressman Tom Reed running for governor in 2022 is more of a Congressional campaign tactic.  

That from announced Democratic Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano... who says Reed is getting publicity for himself by putting Governor Andrew Cuomo "on the ballot" this year.  Mitrano says, when Reed talks about the Democratic governor, it pulls more Republicans to the ballot box in the 23rd District.

Mitrano says "none of us should be fooled by this."  She says Reed has failed the people of the 23rd District, and as governor, he would fail the people of New York state.  Reed is on the ballot for re-election this year.  He defeated Mitrano for his fourth-term in the House in 2018.  Mitrano made her comments during a press conference in Jamestown last Friday.


A Randolph man was arrested for allegedly injuring a woman during a domestic incident in the town over the weekend. 

 Following their investigation, Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say 38 year-old Joshua Meacham was taken into custody for allegedly hitting the victim in the face with a glass.  Deputies say the victim was transported to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  Meacham is to appear in Randolph Town Court at a later date on a charge of second-degree assault. 


The Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission wants area residents to enter a competition called 'Imagine Jamestown.'  

The city's Interim Director of Development, Crystal Surdyk, says they are looking for ideas to improve Jamestown neighborhoods with a focus on housing and vacant lots.  There are three categories:  professional, student, and 'all others.'  The plans are due in April, with winners to be announced in May.   Surdyk says they are not limiting the ideas, and they are encouraging people to 'team up' and 'think big.'  She adds the commision is committed to putting the winning ideas in place.  More information is available at the website 'imaginejamestownny.com.'  Surdyk talked to the public about the 'Imagine Jamestown' competition during Doors Open Jamestown, last Saturday.  Residents outside the city are also welcome to compete.  


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly shoplifting at the Lakewood Wal-Mart store early last weekend and, being found in possession of drugs.  
Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the scene on Fairmount Avenue late last Friday, and found that 21 year-old Mathew Brown was seen taking items from the store, and left without paying for them.  Police say he was stopped in the parking lot with those items in his possession.  He was also allegedly found with a quantity of methamphetamine in his possession.  He was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 20, 2020

BREAKING: Jamestown firefighters brave bitterly cold temperatures at the scene of a structure fire this morning. 

Few details were released, but Chautauqua County dispatch confirms crews were called to the 600-block of Spring Street shortly before 7 AM.  City Police also responded to the scene. Social media posts indicate heavy smoke coming from the home.  In addition, Fire crews from multiple departments battled a house fire in the town of Stockton overnight.  Dispatchers say Firefighters were called out to the fire at 73-34 Route 380 around 8:30 pm Sunday, with crews on the scene for nearly six hours.  No injuries were reported and, cause for either fire has not been determined at this time. 

 
Four pets were killed in a fire last weekend that destroyed a home in the town of Ripley.  Sheriff's deputies say they and Ripley fire crews were called to 6340 Cemetery Road about 5:30 last Saturday night and, found the home completely in flames.  Mutual aid was called in from Westfield and Sherman.  Officers say no one was home at the time of the fire but, the four pets were found dead.  The county's Fire Investigation Team is continuing to look in to the cause of the fire.


A sprawling winter storm that canceled flights and coated roads across much of the country dumped up to a foot of snow on parts of New York state -- including Western New York -- last weekend.  

Snow was falling from Buffalo to New York City on Saturday afternoon.  The Jamestown-area got a mix of precipitation Saturday night, along with a few inches of Lake Effect Snow Sunday.  Parts of northern New York directly east of Lake Ontario were forecast to get up to a foot of snow by this morning.  The Mayville-area was experiencing heavy snow and white-out conditions at times Sunday.  The wild weather is blamed -- in part -- for triggering a 15-vehicle pile-up on Interstate 90 near the Harborcreek Exit last Saturday.


The weather was snowy, windy and cold, but the crowds came out anyway, for the annual 'Doors Open Jamestown' on Saturday. 

 For the first time ever, the Marvin House at 5th and Main took part.  June Diethrick was there giving tours of the house, and said it couldn't have gone any better, with many people coming through, interested in both the architecture and the purpose of the house.  Kristan McMahon, President of the Robert H. Jackson Center, said there'd been a 'nice stream of people all day, of all ages' touring there.  Len Barry, Marketing Director at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, was giving tours non-stop.  He thought the weather actually brought more people out, as a way to break cabin fever.  'Doors Open Jamestown' allowed free admission to 17 different locations this year.  It's coordinated by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.


Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul appeared in the city of Dunkirk late last week to make a presentation on Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message.

Before the presentation got underway... Hochul gave a shout-out to Fredonia, as the village attempts to become the winner of the Small Business Revolution.  After the presentation, Hochul talked about the governor's goals in the year ahead.  She feels tax cuts to help the middle class and small businesses will help Western New York.

Hochul was asked to address an issue that was not in the State of the State, new criminal justice reforms.  While she defended the reforms, Hochul says state leaders are looking at changes.  A number of local officials, including Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas, Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek and County Executive P.J. Wendel attended the event held at the SUNY Fredonia Incubator.

 
New York state is receiving just over $15-million more this year to support local homeless assistance programs, including those in Chautauqua County.  

The state's nearly $215-million was announced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson late last week.  HUD says it's Continuum of Care grants will provide critically needed support to approximately nearly 6,600 local programs on the front lines, serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  HUD says Chautauqua County will receive just over $211,000 for three programs.  The most -- $84,000-- will go to the Shelter Plus Care project.  Chautauqua Rapid Rehousing 2019 will get $82,000 while CoC Planning is receiving just over $23,000.


The Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional District will be hosting a five-city in five-days "listening tour" starting today in Dunkirk dealing with the nation's healthcare crisis.  

Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano announced the tour as part of last Friday's announcement in Jamestown about a small group of doctors who helped pay off more than half-a-million dollars in medical debt for people in the region.  Mitrano says lawmakers in Washington, including incumbant Republican Congressman Tom Reed, have profited off people's inability to pay those costs.

While she's pushing the need for Universal health care, Mitrano says she has no final program in place.  Mitrano says it could include a combination of public and private plans and an expansion of Medicare.  She says a lot of issues would be taken care of if the age of eligibility was dropped to 50 or 55.  Mitrano's first forum in Dunkirk tonight begins at 6 PM at Democratic headquarters.  Tuesday's session will be at the Unitarian Unversalist Church in Jamestown.  For more information, go on-line to Mitrano2020.com.


Two men have been arrested for allegedly being involved in leading police in Chautauqua County in a high speed pursuit through the north county that ended in the town of Westfield.  

Sheriff's officers say they received a report late Friday morning about a speeding vehicle entering the county from the town of Brant in Erie County.  Deputies located the vehicle on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret commit a traffic infraction... and, tried to stop the car.  However, the driver -- later identified as 20 year-old Galen Steele, Junior of Toledo, Ohio -- sped off into the village of Fredonia.  Police later stopped the pursuit because Steele was driving recklessly.  Officers later spotted the vehicle on Route 5 in the town of Portland... and, it was pursued into Westfield... where they deployed spike strips, and the vehicle came to a stop.  Three people -- including Steele -- ran off and were later found with the help of Sheriff's K-9 Drake.  In addition to Steele, officers arrested a passenger, 21 year-old Lorenzo Martinez of Buffalo for criminal possession of marijuana.  Two other occupants of the vehicle were released without charges. 

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Jan. 18, 2020

Two arrested in connection with high-speed car chase in north county...
Two men have been arrested for allegedly being involved in leading police in Chautauqua County in a high speed pursuit through the north county that ended in the town of Westfield.  Sheriff's officers say they received a report late Friday morning about a speeding vehicle entering the county from the town of Brant in Erie County.  Deputies located the vehicle on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret commit a traffic infraction... and, tried to stop the car.  However... the driver -- later identified as 20 year-old Galen Steele, Junior of Toledo, Ohio -- sped off into the village of Fredonia.  Police later stopped the pursuit because Steele was driving recklessly.  Officers later spotted the vehicle on Route 5 in the town of Portland... and, it was pursued into Westfield... where they deployed spike strips, and the vehicle came to a stop.  Three people -- including Steele -- ran off... and were later found with the help of Sheriff's K-9 Drake.  In addition to Steele... officers arrested a passenger, 21 year-old Lorenzo Martinez of Buffalo for criminal possession of marijuana.  Two other occupants of the vehicle were released without charges. 


Electrical problem blamed for small fire that causes smoke damage at Sinclairville Dollar General...
A late night fire in the village of Sinclairville caused heavy smoke damage to the Dollar General Store on Jamestown Street.  Chautauqua County Fire Investigators say Sinclairville fire crews were called to 5817 Jamestown Street shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday.  The fire investigation team determined four coolers attatched to each other caught fire.  Deputies say surveillance footage indicates one of the coolers had an electrical issue about 11 p.m. Wednesday.  The fire wasn't discovered until employees came to work Thursday morning.  The coolers were in an area of the store where the flames didn't spread to anything else.  Police say -- fortunately -- the fire burned itself out and the Dollar General suffered minor fire damage. 


Dunkirk woman found not guilty of manslaughter in stabbing case...
A Chautauqua County Court jury has found a Dunkirk woman not guilty of second degree manslaughter.  26 year-old Ashleyanne Lopez-Lopez was on trial for stabbing death of 15-year-old Jefreda Brown that occurred last May.  The jury reached the verdict around 1 p.m. after spending much of the morning in deliberations. 


Mitrano, local doctor, call for Universal Health Care to make sure people have insurance, and to reduce costs...
The decision by a small group of Southern Tier doctors to poll some of their own money to pay off medical debts for some low-income families has caught the eye of the area's Democratic Congressional candidate.  Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano hosted a press conference Friday at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown with retired local doctor Ralph Walton... who was one of the doctors who helped pay off half-a-million dollars in debt.  Mitrano says, though, it's just an example of what many Americans are dealing with... because it's costing some $8,000 a year for each person to support the current system.  Walton says most of these families who don't have insurance often have to decide between paying for food, or medication.  He says $170,000 of the debt was held by 23rd District residents.  Walton says the dilemna facing these families should not be happening in America.  He says... of the 36 developed nations in the world... the U-S is the only one that doesn't have Universal health care.  Mitrano says that's wrong... and, says incumbant Republican Tom Reed is part of the problem.  She will host five Health Care town Halls next week... one in Jamestown at the Unitarian Church Tuesday night.


Doors Open Jamestown being held today...
The annual 'Doors Open Jamestown' is Saturday.  Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, says 17 places are taking part this year, and it runs until 5 p.m.  One of the added locations this year, the new Chamber of Commerce office at the corner of Third and Main.  The other locations this year are: the Audubon, Busti Mill, the Harbor Hotel, Sports Hall of Fame, the Doubletree, Fenton History Center, Prendergast Library, the Lucy-Desi Museum, Martz-Kohl Observatory, Marvin House, the Reg, the Jackson Center, the Peterson Institute, DAR House, and the Children's Activity Center.  Each location will have a raffle prize, and there'll be a chance to win some overnight stays at the Doubletree, as well.


Group of Jamestown residents pushing for city to be featured on HGTV's Home Town program...
A group of citizens and development leaders are pushing to have the city of Jamestown featured in an HGTV Special slated for production this year.  Several dozen people gathered on Tracy Plaza Friday afternoon to shoot a quick video and pictures of the group to submit to HGTV's Home Town program.  One of the organizers... Josie Monfort... says they're applying to be part of "Home Town Takeover."  Monfort believes it would help in casting Jamestown in a more positive light.  Details of what the city would have to do to make it onto Home Town Takeover are still being fleshed out... but, Monfort says they would likely work on ways to improve part of the downtown... and, possibly do some exterior home improvements in some areas of the city. 


Fredonia leads Small Business Revolution voting heading into the weekend...
With five days left in the competition... the village of Fredonia is in first-place in the Final-5 of the 'Small Business Revolution.'  That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum... who adds, though, that "larger communities are close behind.  We are up against communities three times larger than ours!  We must maintain the momentum if we are going to win this."  Fredonia was announced as making the Top 5 in the competition for a $500,000 first-prize. Tranum says people need to continue to vote on-line at www.smallbusinessrevolution.com.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 17, 2020

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has now identified the man killed when his pick-up truck slammed into a manure spreader being hauled along a road in the town of Charlotte.  

Deputies say they were called the scene on Charlotte Center Road about 9:40 PM Wednesday, after the truck -- driven by 64 year-old Jack Abbey -- struck the spreader.  Officers say Abbey died at the scene.  The spreader was being pulled by a southbound tractor, operated by 49 year-old Jason Johnson of Sinclairville.  He was not hurt.  Local fire departments and the Chautauqua County Accident Reconstruction Team assisted police at the scene. 


The historic Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin next Tuesday in the U-S Senate and one member says she would like to have witnesses testify.  

However, it's still unclear if that will happen or not.  New York's Junior U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who will be one of the body's "jurors" in the matter, believes there should be witnesses.  The Democrat says if there are no witnesses, it's not a trial.  Several Senate Republicans and the president maintain that the Impeachment articles, delivered by House leaders Wednesday are nothing more than a "hoax." 


Just before formal Impeachment matters got underway in the U-S Senate, the panel overwhelmingly approved the new U-S, Mexico, Canada Trade Agreement.  The USMCA was approved, 89-to-10 and is being called an improvement on the 25 year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.  However, not everyone is happy with it.  New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says it has three flaws, the first being that nothing in it addresses climate change.

Gillibrand also says the USMCA is a "giveaway" to Mexican pharmacutical companies at the expense of U-S citizens.  Thirdly, she says she doesn't see the bill boosting manufacturing the way the Trump Administration says it will, especially for Upstate New York.  Gillibrand voted against the USMCA when it was taken up earlier this week by the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.  However, the overall committee approved the measure before the entire Senate approved it. 

New York's two U-S Senators are calling on the Army Corps of Engineers to priorize funding in the coming year for a feasiblitly study to help protect Chautauqua Lake.

Democrats Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand Thursday announced that they have sent a letter to the Corps, calling on them to support funding in it's 2020 Work Plan for the study.  Schumer and Gillibrand say the lake, and it's surrounding communities suffer from continued environmental, public health, and economic damage caused by repeated harmful algal blooms.  They add that the study would allow the Corps to evaluate excessive phosphorous runoff that causes the blooms... and, they would be able to study flood risk management measures, assess ecosystem restoration efforts, and address the accelerated erosion along it's tributary streams.  They says that erosion has resulted in excessive sediment deposition, which also impairs the lake’s water quality.  Both Schumer and Gillibrand were successful in pushed to get the Chautauqua Lake Feasibility Study into the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.


Local Congressman Tom Reed has been selected to chair President Donald Trump's re-election campaign in New York State.  

The announcement has been made by Donald J. Trump for President, Incorporated, and the Republican National Committee.  National Campaign Manager Brad Parscale says "our New York Trump Victory leadership team will work to elect Republicans across the state."  Reed says he's honored to serve the president as a chairman for his New York campaign.  The president’s agenda of creating jobs and making America more safe and secure resonates with New Yorkers."  Reed defeated Tracy Mitrano in a decisive victory in November of 2018.


Chautauqua County's Congressman says he is optimistic that local and regional elected officials may be able to pursuade Truck-lite Corporation to keep it's manufacturing facility in Falconer open.  

Corning Repubilcan Tom Reed confirmed this week that he's been in contact with Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel and, others about the announcement that the vehicle lighting company was looking to cease those operations by the end of the year.

Reed says he's optimistic because all of Truck-Lite's statements so far have emphasized that the move is "tentative..." which he hopes will provide a "window of opportunity" to get company officials to change their minds.  In a printed release, the company noted that the "level of productivity" at the Elmwood Avenue plant was a factor in their decision.   Truck-lite, which manufactures vehicle lighting, started in Jamestown in the mid-1950's and currently has 10 manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe.  

 

The annual 'Doors Open Jamestown' is Saturday.  Zach Agett, Marketing and Events Manager for the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, says 17 places are taking part this year.

One of the added locations this year, the new Chamber of Commerce office at the corner of Third and Main.  The chamber's Sheila Webster says one of the features there will be 'Imagine Jamestown' a part of the Jamestown Strategic Partnership, that asks people what kind of city they want.  The other locations this year are: the Audubon, Busti Mill, the Harbor Hotel, Sports Hall of Fame, the Doubletree, Fenton History Center, Prendergast Library, the Lucy-Desi Museum, Martz-Kohl Observatory, Marvin House, the Reg, the Jackson Center, the Peterson Institute, DAR House, and the Children's Activity Center.  Each location will have a raffle prize, and there'll be a chance to win some overnight stays at the Doubletree, as well. (WJTN will be doing the "Times of Your Life' broadcast from the Sports Hall of Fame from 10 to 11 AM).


New York has become the 10th state in the U-S to allow adopted adults unrestricted access to their original birth certificate, a step that will help some investigate their family histories.  

A new law effective Wednesday does away with restrictions dating back to the 1930s that required adoptees to seek a hard-to-get court order to access their original birth records.  Those rules had originally been intended to protect the privacy of parents who relinquished their children.  But, attitudes have shifted about the rights of adopted individuals, and social media and DNA technology have made it easier for long-separated relatives to connect.


With five days left in the competition, the village of Fredonia is in first-place in the Final-5 of the 'Small Business Revolution.'  

That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum, who adds, though, that "larger communities are close behind.  “We are in day three and, cannot let up.  We are up against communities three times larger than ours!  We must maintain the momentum if we are going to win this."  Fredonia was announced as making the Top 5 in the competition for a half-a-million dollar first-prize. Tranum says people need to continue to vote on-line at "smallbusinessrevolution.com”

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 16, 2020

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal motor vehicle accident involving a tractor in the Town of Charlotte.  

Deputies say they were called to a personal injury accident Wednesday night on Charlotte Center Road and a tractor hauling a manure spreader was traveling south when a pick-up truck reportedly struck the back of the spreader.  Officers say the unidentified male driver of the truck was pronounced dead at the scene. Local fire departments and the Chautauqua County Accident Reconstruction Team assisted police. 


The Jamestown public school's top nurse is urging parents to keep track of their children's health after two cases of Whooping Cough in the high school were confirmed, along with several others of the flu.  

District Nurse Practitioner Jill Muntz says they were notified Tuesday that the two students had been identified by the Chautauqua County Health and Human Services Department and, says the appropriate notifications have been made.  However, Muntz says most students who were in close proximity to those students have no symptoms.

Muntz says the symptoms of Whooping Cough can begin like a mild cold.  It's then followed by severe coughing fits.  If necessary, she says there is a vaccine to protect against it.  Muntz adds that there are siblings involved, so don't assume it's been stopped.  She says they can't always account for each exposure to the illness.  She says anyone with a severe cough should stay home from work or school.  She adds that flu cases in New York are way up, so use good hand-washing, cover your cough or sneeze, wash your hands often and, if you're sick, stay home.


City police are continuing to investigate a report of shots-fired on Jamestown's eastside about mid-evening Tuesday.  

The Post-Journal reports police received multiple calls about shots being fired in the area of Falconer and Thayer Streets about 9 PM.  Police say further investigation revealed that the shots had been fired towards a vacant house at 112 Thayer Street.  One round reportedly struck the home, but no one was hurt.  Anyone with information is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537, leave an anonymous tip at 483-TIPS, or use the Tips 4-1-1 cell phone app. 


The Jamestown Police Department is already falling behind on getting evidence processed and to prosecutors under the new 15-day Discovery law in New York state.  
That from Police Chief Harry Snellings, who says his department actually began implementing the new rules last December to get a better "feel" for the law once it took effect January 1st.  Snellings updated City Council on the matter at this week's work session.  He says even with the one-month trial run, they've struggled with getting both physical and digital evidence.

Snellings also updated council on the replacement of several downtown surveillance cameras through the city's I-T Manager.  He adds that Mark Dean is also working with them to get four new cameras installed.  Snellings says two of the proposed locations for the new cameras are Third and Main Streets and, Second and Buffalo Streets.  He also says they had 159 arrests in the month of December and adds that's "a lot of processing" his department has had to do.


The state's criminal justice reforms have now been in effect for about two weeks, but other local law enforcement officials are also noticing some impacts on the system.  

hautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says one of the biggest changes has been with the inmate population at the County Jail in Mayville, where the numbers have been falling.  Quattrone says it may be difficult to pin it directly to bail reform.

The changes in discovery are already impacting the Sheriff's Office, as they struggle to comply with the requirements.  Quattrone says they are falling behind in getting records that have to be submitted to prosecutors in a timely fashion due to the new 15-day requirement.  He says they are looking at ways to speed up the process, including the use of more electronic field reporting.  The office is also in the process of filling a new operations assistant’s position.  But, Quattrone questions whether they will ever be able to catch up. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 15, 2020

Local Congressman Tom Reed is part of a bi-partisan group of lawmakers who have introduced a new measure that provides a tax credit that incentivizes new "clean energy sources."  

Reed has been joined by his co-chairman of the Problem Solver's Caucus, New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer, in introducing the Energy Sector Innovation Credit Act... which he says will "combat climate change."  While some Republicans have dismissed climate change as a "hoax..." the Corning Republican says he has not.

Reed says it's time to "unleash the greatest asset we have available to prevent this pending crisis – the power of American ingenuity and innovation."  He says using tax credits has "proven time and time again to solve world problems – and this situation will be no different...".

Gottheimer says "protecting the environment and improving energy efficiency are issues that everyone, Republicans and Democrats, can come together on.”  Reed adds that the incentive will "sunset" once that particular energy innovation becomes viable commercially.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


A Gowanda teenager was arrested for allegedly taking a vehicle that did not belong to him from a home in Cherry Creek early Monday.  
Sheriff's officers responded to a home in the village about Midnight, and spoke to individuals with information regarding the vehicle.  Deputies say their investigation led to the arrest of 19 year-old Joseph Chadwick for Unathorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.  The owner did recover the car... and, Chadwick was processed and released with an appearance ticket for Cherry Creek Court at a later date. 


The Village of Fredonia has a new trustee, with the village board filling a vacancy with a former trustee during Monday evening's meeting.  

EvaDawn Bashaw has returned after leaving the board in 2000.

Meanwhile, Mayor Doug Essek and Trustee Roger Britz opposed the way the appointment was handled.  Essek says he didn't expect an effort to fill the post inmmediately... but, Bashaw's appointment was approved by a 3-to-1 vote.

 

New York lawmakers could ban flavored tobacco products including menthol cigarettes amid growing concern over the tobacco industry's use of flavorings to attract young people and African-Americans.  

A spokesman said Monday that the Democratic Senate Majority plans to pass a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and prohibition on smokeless flavored tobacco products as soon as next week.  It's less clear how lawmakers will act on a Senate Democrat's bill to ban all flavored tobacco products -- including menthol cigarettes and e-cigarettes.


Political leaders in New York say they have reached an agreement to pass new limousine safety bills inspired by deadly crashes in 2015 and 2018. 

 Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the proposals target unsafe limos and lax regulations and will hold companies accountable.  The legislation also includes immobilization of defective limousines, GPS and customer service resource requirements... and drug and alcohol testing.


Vote, vote, vote! That's the message from the hosts of the Small Business Revolution Amanda Brinkman and Ty Pennington....

Brinkman who is Chief Brand Officer for the show's production company -- Deluxe -- talks about why Fredonia made the Top 5 for Season 5 of the on-line TV show.

Pennington, a renovation icon, says it takes everyone's help -- and votes -- to make it to the top.  The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce helped put on a live viewing of the Facebook Live announcement at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.  Chamber President Todd Tranum says it's exciting but, adds there's little time to celebrate because the final vote is underway. Today’s announcement was made on Facebook shortly before 7 AM and, it received a large cheer from the crowd that filled the 1891 Fredonia Opera House.  On-line voting at "VoteMyFredonia.com" continues until January 21st.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 14, 2020

The village of Fredonia has made it to the top five of the TV show "Small Business Revolution."  Sheila Webster from The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce was at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House when the announcement was made just after 6:30 this morning...

Over 200 people gathered for the announcement and burst into cheers when Fredonia was named.  A one week period of voting is now open, and Sheila says all area residents can support the north county village, visiting VoteFredonia.com on any device you have. She says you can vote as many times as you want. At stake is a half-million dollars in investment in Fredonia businesses, and a TV show on Hulu and Amazon Prime.  Four other communities will be up against Fredonia in the competition.


City lawmakers in Jamestown have again rejected a request to allow seven on-street parking spaces be designated for customers of the Chautauqua County Department of Motor Vehicles....  

County Clerk Larry Barmore sent a letter to the Department of Public Works for consideration, this time requesting that the spaces be "bagged" for two months to see if that relieves congestion in the DMV lot off of West Third Street.  Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Nelson read the letter to lawmakers.

In talking with DPW Director Jeff Lehman, Nelson says the city can't give them "special parking privledges" in front of a building the DMV leases because then they would have to do it for everyone.  DPW Traffic Engineer Chris Brown has reviewed the matter, and says there are "several spots" around that area that are available as well.,  including 4 or 5 spots on nearby Monroe Street that are free.  Councilwoman Marie Carrubba adds there are also some free spaces available on Clinton Street, adding that it's a short walk to the DMV from there.


Chautauqua County and state and federal lawmakers are working to put together a meeting with officials at Truck-lite Corporation about the company's tentative plan to end production operations by the end of the year...

That from County Executive P-J Wendel, who says that he's working with State Senator George Borrello, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and Congressman Tom Reed on setting up a meeting to see if they can keep the vehicle lighting company here.

While the manufacturing part of Truck-Lite would end before the end of 2020, Wendel says they were told initially by Truck-lite that their professional staff -- including marketing and sales -- would remain in Falconer.  Other-wise, he says nothing else about the potential move is "clear-cut" at this point.  The company has said it will help workers look for work elsewhere with the company, or locally.  The production division at Truck-lite involves about 100 workers.  Truck-lite was started in the Jamestown-area back in the 1950s. 


Two Jamestown men were arrested for drug possession during a traffic stop in the city last Saturday.... 

Officers on patrol stopped a vehicle at the intersection of Myrtle and Linden Avenue just before 10 PM and, found Malcom Roberts and Jeffrey Payne -- both 27 -- allegedly in possession of marijuana. Police say Payne was released with an appearance ticket. However, officers say Roberts was also found with a quantity of cocaine during the stop and, he faces other charges including criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was sent to the city jail where he was released with an appearance ticket for Jamestown Court.


The TLC/Lakeshore Health Center Campus was scheduled to close its doors by January 1st, but some of the services are continuing at the Irving campus.  

That from State Senator George Borrello, who continues to work on developing some options for the healthcare facility in Irving.  Borrello says the New York State Office of Mental Health has not given its approval for ending those services.

The Brooks-TLC Hospital System announced the closing of the TLC/Lakeshore Health Center Campus in early December.  Borrello says there will be a meeting later this week in Albany regarding future plans for the hospital. Borrello, who lives just a short distance from the hospital, says TLC faces a difficult situation, but he says the needs of community have to come first. 

 
The investigation is continuing into a weekend fire that destroyed a former restaurant building in the village of Silver Creek....  

Firefighters from Silver Creek, Sheridan, and Sunset Bay responded to a vacant building at 42 Lake Avenue -- the site of the former Hideaway Bay Restaurant -- shortly after 7:15 Saturday morning.  Dunkirk Fire Ladder 1 and Chautauqua County EMS also responded to the scene.  No injuries were reported.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team is still looking into the cause.


One person has been arrested following a domestic incident in which he allegedly acted disorderly and combative towards investigating officers....  

Ellicott Town Police say they were called to an undislosed scene in West Ellicott last Friday night and, arrested 39 year-old Philip Gardner.  Gardner was taken into custody and, released with appearance tickets for resisting arrest, obstruction and, harassment.  He will appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 


A restaurant that provides "fine dining at a reasonable cost" has opened in downtown Jamestown....

The ribbon was cut Monday afternoon on 'The Chop House on Main' in the Fenton Building at the corner of Main and Second Streets, with owners Andrew and Amber Carlson doing the honors.  They were joined by Mayor Eddie Sundquist, County Executive P-J Wendel and officials with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, and Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Andrew Carlson says they strive to provide a "unique" dining experience.

Carlson says their Angus Steaks are aged at last 28-days.  Chef Berk Lindquist from LaFamilia Restaurant at Chautauqua is partnering with the Carlson's on the venture and will be using local in-season vendors as much as possible.  The Chop House on Main is open Monday through Thursday's from 4 PM to 9 PM and, on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 10 PM.  For more information or reservations, call 708-6978.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 13, 2020

Gusty winds early yesterday morning in the Jamestown-area Sunday triggered a number of power outages in both the Board of Public Utilities and National Grid territories.  

BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says their outages occured sometime around 5:30 AM Sunday... and, the biggest was in the village of Celoron.  Robbins says a tall Pine tree was brought down on Jones and Gifford Avenue... knocking down power lines... affecting most of the village.  Power was restored about 8:30 AM.  Robbins says crews also responded to some isolated areas of the city and one in West Ellicott... and, the Fluvanna Avenue area between Fluvanna and Old Fluvanna Road.
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The main part of downtown Lakewood was in the dark about 4 hours early Sunday.  The intial outage in the area of West Summit Avenue occured just before 2:30 AM.  Power was restored about 6:30 AM.  By late afternoon... National Grid was still reporting about 40 outages in Chautauqua County.

       

Education officials in New York are calling for a general increase of about two-billion dollars to the already record levels of funding for public schools.  

However... they also realize the state is facing about a $6-billion dollar shortfall.  State School Boards Association Communications Director David Albert says that's why they are calling on lawmakers to phase-in the increase over the next three years.

Albert says there are a number of areas where additional funding is needed... including mental health services for students, along with school safety measures.  In his State of the State Address... Governor Andrew Cuomo called for some state aid to be taken away from wealthier districts... and, put that money towards the poorest ones.  Albert says needier districts get about 70-percent of the state's education funding already.  During his address... Cuomo noted that some wealthier districts are able to spend about $33,000 -- per student.  However... the poorer ones only spend just over $13,000.  The governor's budget plan will be released later this month.  


The State Assembly's top leader says he will oppose making any changes to New York's bail reform law.  

Media reports from Albany indicate that Speaker Carl Heastie wants to let the law continue the way it is.  While there's a push to amend the criminal justice reforms that went into effect on January 1st... State Senator George Borrello says he still wants to see the reforms repealed.

Borrello says he doesn't think there's a fix to the new laws.  He believes there are "so many holes in this plan that are so dangerous" that trying to fix parts of it isn't worth it.  Governor Andrew Cuomo was criticized by local state lawmakers for not addressing the reforms during his State of the State address.


Two people from Jamestown have been arrested -- one for allegedly violating Leandra's Law -- following a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Kiantone late last week.  

Sheriff's Deputies say they stopped a vehicle... driven by 45 year-old Selena Santiago... for only having one working headlight about 12:30 AM Friday.  Officers say they could smell marijuana coming from inside the car... and, the passenger -- 21 year-old Dakota Raymond -- produced a marijuana cigar.  Deputies say Santiago was failed sobriety tests, and was arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs.  There was also a 2-year-old child in the vehicle... and, so the charge became a Felony.  Raymond was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Jan. 11, 2019

Flood Watch in effect through Sunday afternoon...
There's been some steady... but, not heavy rain yet n the Jametown-area.  However... the rain will be more steady and present heading into this afternoon through late Sunday morning.  A Flood Watch has been issued from 1 this afternoon to 1 p.m. Sunday.  That from Forecaster Dan Kelly with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll be getting the rain in "two waves" over the weekend.  Kelly says the first wave produced about half-an-inch of rain... but, the second one -- later today -- will produce 1 to 1-and-a-half inches in the Jamestown-area.  Kelly says the rainfall totals will likely be higher to our north... and, west through the weekend.  Kelly says the heavier rain should be wrapping up by early afternoon on Sunday.  It appears most of the rain will fall between Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.  A High Wind Warning has also been issued for early to late Sunday morning.


Truck-lite official confirm's "tentative" end of production at plant by end of 2020...
Truck-Lite Corporaton is confirming that it has "tentatively" decided to end production at it's long-standing plant in Falconer by the end of the year.  That from Spokeswoman Beth English... who did not provide details... but, says the decision only affects manufacturing positions at the Falconer plant.  The number of jobs impacted has not been released.  However... the manufacturing part of Truck-lite -- at last word -- had about 130 workers.  English confirms the news was given to employees and union officials on Thursday afternoon.  The level of productivity at the large local plant was noted as a factor in the decision.  English says Truck-lite... which makes vehicle lighting... is not making the decision lightly.  She says they will help relocate displaced workers to other Truck-lite facilities.  The ending of production would not impact other parts of the local operation.


Jamestown woman faces Leandra's Law violation after being found under influence of drugs with young child in car...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested -- one for allegedly violating Leandra's Law -- following a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Kiantone.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped a vehicle... driven by 45 year-old Selena Santiago... for only having one working headlight about 12:30 a.m. Friday.  Deputies say they could smell marijuana coming from inside the car... and, the passenger -- 21 year-old Dakota Raymond -- produced a marijuana cigar.  Officers say Santiago was failed sobriety tests, and was arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs.  There was also a 2-year-old child in the vehicle... and, so the charge became a Felony.  Raymond was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.


Kennedy man arrested for allegedly kicking pet chihuahua...
A Kennedy man was arrested after he allegedly kicked a person's pet chihuahua during a domestic incident Thursday.  State Police in Jamestown responded to the home... and, learned 31 year-old Joshua Ross arrived... and walked into the victim's residence without invitation.  Troopers say Ross allegedly kicked the dog during the argument.  When the victim attempted to call 9-1-1, Ross reportedly knocked the phone out of their hand and across the room.  Troopers were eventually contacted by a third-party and placed Ross in custody after he resisted arrest.  He was sent to the county jail pending arraignment. 


NYSSBA official says Cuomo's State of State includes "promising initiatives..."
There are a "lot of promising initiatives" in Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message regarding public school education.  However... officials with the New York State School Boards Association are taking a wait-and-see attitude until the governor releases his 2020-21 budget plan.  That from Association Communications Director David Albert... who says they include increasing funding for Pre-K and after-school programs... and, recruiting bi-lingual teachers.  Albert says they're also awaiting details of the governor's plan to funnel more state money to help poorer... "high-needs" districts the Cuomo says aren't performing because they have fewer resources.  He says the State Boards Association would rather see the governor follow through on the state's long-held promise to fully-fund the "foundation aid" formula.  He says the state needs to treat public education as the priority it should be.  Albert says another issue for some poorer districts has to do with the state's 2-percent property tax cap.


Dunkirk woman's manslaughter trial begins Friday...
The trial for a Dunkirk woman who is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge in the stabbing death of a Dunkirk teen got underway this morning in Mayville.  Opening Statements were given in the case of 26-year-old Ashlyann Lopez-Lopez, who is accused of stabbing Jefrena Brown in the 100 block of Lincoln Avenue last May 15th.  She died a day later at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.


Senate Majority pushing revised bill to automatically add anyone filling out a state form to voting rolls...
New York would automatically add to the voting rolls any citizen who fills out a state form, under a revised bill that passed the state Senate on Thursday.  Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, voting advocates and other Democrats say the bill targets an estimated 1.1-million eligible New Yorkers who aren't on the voter rolls.  The bill passed the state Senate 40-20.  It now heads to the Assembly.  The vote on the revised legislation comes a day after Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo called for automatic voter registration in New York in his annual State of the State address. 

   

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 10, 2020

 

The Jamestown area could lose a significant number of manufacturing jobs later this year.  

The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting that Truck-lite has 'tentatively' decided to end production at its long-standing plant in Falconer.  The exact timeline and the number of jobs affected have not been confirmed.  The news was apparently handed out to workers and union officials on Thursday afternoon.  The level of productivity at the large local plant was noted as a factor in the decision.   Truck-lite, which manufactures vehicle lighting, started in Jamestown in the 1950's and currently has 10 manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe.  


The theft of a loaded hand-gun from an unattended, parked vehicle in Jamestown has led city police to issue a warning about leaving cars unlocked.  

JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says you should always lock your vehicles when they are left parked and unattended... even if it's in your own driveway.  Samuelson adds it's "not uncommon for individuals to go around and check vehicles to see if they are unlocked" because they're looking for items they can steal and sell for money, or trade for drugs.  He did not say where the vehicle was where the gun was taken... but, he says valuables such as wallets with money, computers or firearms should never be left inside an unattended and unlocked vehicle.  Samuelson says if your gun is taken in such an instance... you can have your pistol permit suspended.


Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says -- if circumstances are right -- he may run for governor in two years.  

Corning Republican Tom Reed confirmed this week that he is weighing his options... but, was also quick to say that he is committed to running for another term in the House of Representatives later this year.  Reed says he's talked to numerous people recently who have said he should consider a run... but, in the end... it'll be up to the people to decide.

The possibility of Reed running for governor has been brought up in recent news stories in the region... especially after Reed has publically criticized Governor Cuomo, and other Democrats in the state for being influenced by the party's more progressive members.  He called out Cuomo for holding up funding for a stetch of the State Thruway earlier this year.  However... it's likely that after the 2020 Census... New York state will lose two seats in Congress.  Those would likely be in the upstate area.


A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly robbing a gas station in the Village of Falconer early Thursday morning.  

Ellicott Town Police were called to the Kwik-Fill at 455 West Main Street just after 6:30 AM for a robbery in progress.... and, the suspect fled the scene.  Police say 40 year-old Andrew Piatz-junior approached the store clerk and demanded they hand over the money.  He also allegedly took items from the store without paying for them.  Piatz was found a short distance away from the scene and sent to the County Jail pending arraignment for third-degree robbery and petty larceny.  Town Police were assisted in the investigation by the Sheriff's Office K-9 Unit and Jamestown Police. 


Chautauqua County's representative in the New York state Assembly says there were 'some positives' in Governor Andrew Cuomo's annual State of the State message.  

However... it also lacked a lot of specifics.  Republican Assemblyman Andy Goodell had a front row seat at the governor's address in Albany... and, says, while it was brought up in his speech... there wasn't much else.

Goodell says he did like the governor discussing plans for a small business tax cut... along with moving ahead on a pair of middle class tax cuts.  He says New York has had a reputation for being a "high-taxed" state.  Goodell also liked proposed legislation to deal with Algal Blooms on Chautauqua Lake.  That's an initiative was part of an overall Climate Change agenda the governor high-lighted yesterday.  He wants lawmakers to approved a referendum for the Fall to raise $3-billion for new programs to improve the environment.  The rubber will meet the road later this month when the governor proposes his 2020-2021 budget plan.
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The State Assembly officially kicked off it's 2020 session Thursday afternoon... and, new Minority Leader Will Barclay announced that Andy Goodell would again be Minority Leader Pro-Temp -- otherwise known as "Floor Leader for the Day."


State Senator George Borrello attended his first State of the State Address Wednesday... and, has plenty of questions about how Governor Andrew Cuomo will tackle an approximately 6-billion dollar budget deficit.  

Cuomo did not offer many specifics in his address... but, did indicate that much of the increase stems from growing Medicaid costs.  Borrello says the governor pointed out that counties have not borne the brunt of increased Medicaid costs the past six years.

Borrello adds that... if Cuomo proposes eliminating the local cap on Medicaid costs... he and others will work to stop it.  Currently... the state's 50-percent share of the costs is split just about evenly between the state and local counties.  Due to increasing costs in the program six years ago... the cap was imposed after pressure was put on the state by local governments.  The governor is expected to release the next fiscal year's budget sometime later this month. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 9, 2020


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual "State of the State" address Wednesday, outlining his progressive vision for addressing intolerance and legalizing adult-use marijuana.... 

However, the third-term Democrat is navigating a looming $6-billion budget shortfall, largely due to Medicaid costs.  Cuomo says the state redesigned that program several years ago so increased costs weren't piled onto local governments.  He says they have to do it again to cut a $4-billion deficit in that program.

Cuomo also touted his biggest past achievements and trumpeted a long list of future policy initiatives, many of which he has previewed in a series of announcements over the past month.  He says progressive government works, because it delivers "real results."  Among his biggest initiatives are proposals to deal with climate change,  including a $3-billion referendum to fund the "Restore Mother Nature Bond Act."  Cuomo says the money would be used for natural restoration and resiliancy programs.  He made the address at a convention center in downtown Albany.


A federal appeals court is considering whether to lift the final nationwide temporary injunction against a Trump administration policy that would deny green cards to immigrants over their use of public benefits....

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan heard arguments Tuesday over an injunction that had been issued in October by a federal district court in New York that prevented the policy from going into effect while a lawsuit against it is proceeding.  A regional injunction issued in California and another national injunction issued in Washington have already been lifted by other appeals courts.


Court documents show a state Republican lawmaker charged with drunken driving blamed his wife for a New Year's Eve crash.......  

The documents released Tuesday include a witness statement that accuses Brian M. Kolb of blaming the crash on his wife and saying, "You know how women drive."  A separate court filing by an Ontario County sheriff's deputy shows that the former top Republican in the New York State Assembly had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16%, double the legal limit of .08% for driving. 


Temperatures will be cold and blustery to start the day today in the Jamestown-area...... 

However,  a gradual warm-up will be felt, starting today and through the weekend.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Kirk Apfell in Buffalo says we'll start the day today at about 10-degrees but, get into the mid and upper 30s later today.  Apfel says a strong, high pressure system will be moving in.

Apfell says temperatures will reach about 50 tomorrow and we'll push 60-degrees on Saturday.  However, he adds we're going to see a lot of rain, with most of the area seeing at least an inch of rain during that time period, with the possibility of 4-inches in some places.  On Wednesday, we had brief stints of wind-driven, lake effect snow, along with sunny and calm conditions at times.  Conditions were especially harsh in the morning between Interstate 86 and the Mayville-area.  The area generally received about 3 to 4 inches of new snow... while some places -- like Cherry Creek -- reported half-a-foot of the white stuff.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he "appreciates" President Trump's decision to launch the attack in Iraq that killed a top Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander.  The Corning Repubican says General Qassem Soleimani was a bad actor, and terrorist, who was a threat to Americans in the region....

Iran retaliated Tuesday night by firing ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops, but President Donald Trump said there were no casualties.  Trump added that Iran appears to be ``standing down.''  Reed says he's happy to see both sides backing away from hostilities.  However, he say the lifting of sanctions depends on Iran to stop supporting terrorist groups across the region and, secondly, give up it's nuclear ambitions.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with regional media. 
  

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says the Common Council's decision to remove three appointed city officials, and dissolve one of the positions, could wind up in court...  

Council passed resolutions removing Human Resources Director Dave Campola, Executive Assistant Vicki Westling, and City Attorney Richard Morrisroe by 4-1 votes. Councilman James Stoyle also amended the resolution.

Rosas says he intends to veto the resolutions.  The mayor was asked about what would happen if there is a veto override.  At that point, he says the city is prepared to go to court -- if need be.  Until a determination is made... Rosas says all three appointed officials will remain on the job.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 8, 2020

A veteran Central New York Republican has been unanimously elected as the state Assembly's next Minority Leader.  Oswego County's Will Barclay was elected Tuesday afternoon... one day before the opening of the 2020 Legislative Session.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell -- another Republican -- says Barclay has a "wealth of experience."

Barclay... who replaces Canandaigua's Brian Kolb... says he's proud of the work the Minority Conference has done on behalf of the people of New York, and he's "humbled" to have the support of his colleagues.  Goodell says Barclay is already focused on two key areas of concern... one is keeping taxes down, and the other is getting rid of, or reforming the "misguided" bail reform law in the state.  Goodell has most recently been a Floor Leader Pro-Temp for the Assembly Minority... a position he believes he'll be reassigned to in the new session... which begins with today.  Kolb resigned as leader last weekend after he was arrested New Year's Eve for driving while under the influence of alcohol in a state-owned vehicle.

   
Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he'll be listening for a couple of issues, in particular, during this afternoon's State of the State Address.  

The Jamestown-area Republican says he's glad to hear Democrats "opening the door" to changes in New York's bail reform law as the legislative session begins.

Law enforcement officials and Republicans have spent months raising red flags on the changes, but their criticism caught more fervor in the last week as courts across the state have released people who would have remain behind bars under the old rules.  Goodell says he's also interested to hear how Cuomo proposes dealing with a just over $6-billion budget deficit.


Governor Andrew Cuomo was filmed helping a man out of a van that crashed on a major New York City highway.  

Footage taken by his staff Monday showed the Democratic governor helping a man out of the driver's seat of a large catering van that had run up the median and turned on its side on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.  The New York Police Department had not yet arrived on the scene when Cuomo's vehicle pulled over and the governor cut the man out of his seat belt... and, helped him to safety.  He received assistance from the state police troopers he was traveling with.


A Silver Creek man is accused of using his car to ram another vehicle in the town of Hanover on New Year's Eve in an apparent dispute with the people in the other vehicle.  

Sheriff's officers say they responded to a report of the car, driven by 31 year-old Javier Cruz, striking another vehicle intentionally about 12:30 PM on December 31st.  Deputies say no one was hurt... but, Cruz was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court at a later date.


The Jamestown City Council plans to vote later this month on another new, 10-year water service agreement with a nearby municipality.  

Lawmakers Monday night heard about the proposal for the new contract with the town of North Harmony.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says the new agreement replaces one that expired back in March... and, says they're pleased to have negotiations on a new one completed.  This would be the second, 10-year agreement with a local municipality in recent months the city has agreed to.  The city -- through the Board of Public Utilities -- has a number of agreements with local towns and villages to supply water.


A local grocery store chain announced plans to roll out an end to single-use, plastic bags ahead of a state-wide ban that goes into effect March 1st.  

Wegman's Buffalo Consumer Affairs Manager Michele Mehaffy says the decision comes after successful pilot programs at its stores in Corning and Ithaca.

Mehaffy says Wegmans Food Markets then made the decision to remove plastic grocery bags from all its New York State stores starting Monday, January 27th.  Under the new law.... local counties will have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee on paper bags. Counties would get 3-cents for each bag sold, while 2-cents would go towards the state's Environmental Protection Fund.  It's unclear if Chautauqua County will opt in to the fee.  At stores where the county or municipality choose not to institute a 5-cent fee for paper bags, Wegmans will charge 5-cents per bag... which will be donated to the local food bank serving each region.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 7, 2019

With the Plastic-Bag Ban scheduled to begin state-wide March 1st, Wegmans grocery stores announced they will be removing all single-use bags from their stores ahead of the deadline.  

In a printed release, Wegmans Packing and Sustainability Manager Jason Wadsworth... indicated a successful pilot program at its Corning and Ithaca stores led to the decision.... and, will be implemented in all its New York state stores Monday, January 27th.  Wadsworth says the goal is to shift all customers to reusable bags. Under the new law, local counties will have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee on paper bags. Wegmans officials say the amount of money collected from the charge will be donated to the local food bank. It's unclear if Chautauqua County has made a decision on whether to opt in to the fee. 


The city of Jamestown may become one of the first muncipalities to vote to urge state lawmakers to either repeal, or reform the new bail reform laws that took effect on January 1st. 

 The City Council's Public Safety Committee discussed such a measure, which has now been approved by the Evans Town Board in Erie County.  Committee members discussed the matter earlier with Police Chief Harry Snellings.  Council President Tony Dolce says, thankfully, there haven't been any issues locally, as yet.

Snellings says he's on board with several other police chiefs... and local District Attorneys who oppose the new law.  Dolce says there have been issues state-wide with the new bail reforms... which eliminate cash bail for some 400 or so offenses that were considered by a majority of state lawmakers to be "non-violent."  Dolce says Public Safety may have a resolution to look at next week.


There will be some hold-overs at Jamestown City Hall through late January when the City Council is expected to vote on a few new department heads... and, members of boards and commissions.  

In recent years... lawmakers typically suspended their rules, and voted on those people at that particular meeting.  However... last Wednesday... they automatically tabled action until on several new appointments made by new Mayor Eddie Sundquist.

The new appointments include City Clerk/Treasurer Rudy Andelora... who is a retired school teacher in Jamestown, and Corporation Counsel, Elliot Raimando.  Sundquist says Raimando is a Jamestown native, who worked in Albany on labor issues.  Sundquist's appointments also included three new members of the Board of Public Utilities.  He says he has spoken with the people currently holding those seats, along with the new appointees.  Sundquist says part of the reason for the change is his desire to have the BPU look into developing municipal Internet services.


The city of Jamestown's first demolition of the new year will take place at the location of a former westside business after the building collapsed last weekend.  

City firefighters were called to the former Quality Rebuild at 823 Clinton Street late Saturday afternoon... where they found the top floor had caved in on the building.  Acting Development Director Crystal Surdyk says the area has been closed off... and, a crew will begin demolition work this morning.

Surdyk says it will take about 10 days to complete the demolition because materials inside have to be tested, and properly disposed of.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says fortunately, no one was hurt when the building collapsed.  But... he says there were a number of vehicles in and around the building.  He says most were not part of the business property.  It also appears the city will not be able to recoup any of it's demolition costs from the defunct ownership.  


A Gerry woman was arrested for Unsafe Backing and driving while intoxicated nearly three times the legal limit last Saturday night. 

Jamestown Police and Sheriff's Deputies say they were investigating a reported fight at Jeremy's Belview restaurant on Foote Avenue, when they allegedly saw a grey Dodge Journey back up into a parked vehicle in the lot nearby.  Officers determined the driver -- 33 year-old Brittany Abramson -- was drunk and placed her under arrest.  She was sent to the Jamestown City Jail and released with an appearance ticket.  Police say no one was injured during the incident. 


Pennsylvania State Police are investigating what appears to be a deliberate attempt to release bedbugs in a Walmart store in Edinboro. 

 A police spokeswoman said Monday that troopers have made no arrests and do not have any suspects.  A manager from the store in northwestern Pennsylvania contacted police Saturday after store employees found pill bottles with bugs in them.  Police say a hygiene services contractor contacted by Walmart found bugs crawling around in the men's fitting room and identified them as bedbugs.  Troopers were testing for fingerprints on the bottle while store officials were reviewing surveillance video.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 6, 2019

One person suffered minor injuries in a single-car crash in the town of Gerry early last weekend.  

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Old Chautauqua Road, and found a car had crashed into a ditch.  Deputies say the driver, 28 year-old Casey Eaker, of Gerry, lost control of the vehicle about 4 PM Friday, and the car slammed into the ditch.  One of Eaker's four minor passengers was hurt, and taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  No charges were filed.


Dunkirk city firefighters responded to a house fire around 7:30 last night at 414 Mullet Street....  

When crews reached the scene, the fire was reported in the living room of the one story house.  Firefighters were able to extinguished the blaze and checked for extension.  All of the occupants were accounted for at a neighboring house, although a dog and a cat were rescued and resuscitated at the scene by firefighters using a pet resuscitation mask that was recently donated by a citizen.  The cause of the blaze is under investigation.


A north county man was arrested early last Friday in Cassadaga for allegedly driving without a license, being found in possession of drugs and having a court warrant against him....  

Sheriff's officers say they pulled over 40 year-old Fred Bristrisky, Junior on Main Street just before 9 AM and found there was a valid bench warrant for his arrest.  Bristrisky was also found to have a revoked driver's license.  He faces charges including second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.   


Chautauqua County's Cornell Cooperative Extension has completed its move to Jamestown Community College.  

Executive Director, Emily Reynolds, says they are open for business at the Carnahan Center at JCC in Jamestown.  Their internet is fully connected, but are still working on the phones.  You can leave a message at 664-9502, you won't be able to reach the office directly by phone until midweek.  Reynolds adds all Extension and Four-H meetings and events are now being held at the college.  They did have to leave a number of things behind at the Ag Center near the Airport, which will be offered to the public on 'Community Partners Day', Tuesday, January 14th from Noon to 6 PM.  Those items include office furniture and supplies and a variety of other materials.  They will be offered at no cost, but any donations will be gratefully accepted.  


The Jamestown City Council meets for the second-time in 2020 tonight and there will be two new committee chairpersons heading up their meetings.  

New Council President Tony Dolce made his appointments official at last Wednesday's re-organizational meeting.  The Second-Ward Republican says Republican Kim Ecklund, who has a lot of financial experience, will head up that panel.

Dolce says he will remain a member of the Finance Committee with Demcrat Marie Carrubba in 2020.  He adds that the other new chairperson will head up the Public Safety Committee.  He says that's First-Ward GOP representative Brent Sheldon,  who chaired that panel the last time Republican's held the majority.  The other two committees will be chaired by Democrats.  Dolce says Tom Nelson has a good working relationship with Public Works Director Jeff Lehman and, will lead that committee.  Housing Committee Chairwoman Vickye James will remain head of that panel in 2020.  Tonight's first work session of the new year begins at 7:30 PM in the Mayor's Conference Room at City Hall.


A New York lawmaker who has been charged with drunken driving is stepping down from his post as the top Republican in the state Assembly.  

Assemblyman Brian Kolb said Friday late he will resign his post as Assembly minority leader.  Kolb, though, is not resigning from his Assembly seat.  Authorities said the 67-year-old Kolb was driving his state-owned SUV when he crashed into a ditch near his home Tuesday night.  They said his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.  The arrest came a week after Kolb published a column in the upstate Daily Messenger newspaper that warned against driving while under the influence of alcohol.


Now that he has been formally appointed County Executive through the end of the year, Republican P-J Wendel says he will be meeting with his predecessor, now State Senator George Borrello.  

The Lakewood lawmaker tells us that he wants to discuss some on-going initiatives, including the Ripley Welcoming Center.  Wendel says another area of concern is forthcoming budget.  Indicating that it will pose a challenge, Wendell says he wants to take a "think outside the box" approach.
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Meanwhile, State Senator George Borrello says he looks forward to working with Wendel, and new County Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon.  He says they will continue to work as a team -- just in "different seats."  Borrello attended the County Legislature's reorganization meeting held last Thursday, where Wendel's appointment was unanimously approved.  Chagnon was approved as chairman, 13-to-5.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Jan. 4, 2020

Investigation continuing into Broadhead Ave. Stabbing in Jamestown... 
Jamestown Police are continuing to investigate a late night stabbing Thursday that's left a 27 year-old man in serious but, stable condition at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called 310 Broadhead Avenue shortly before 10 p.m., and, found a person with multiple stab wounds.  Samuelson says the unidentified victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  He was later sent to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.  Samuelson adds that it was a "targeted" incident... and, the suspect may have also been hurt.  Police were conducting interviews Friday.  If you have any information... police ask you call them at 483-7537... or the tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also go anonymously to JPD's Tips 4-1-1 app.


Sheriff's Office no longer to designate Chautauqua Institution police as "Special Deputies..."
Officials at Chautauqua Institution are expressing disappointment over a decision by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office to no longer designate institution police as "Special Deputies."  The designation had been in place for the better part of four decades... but, institution officials say they were made aware of the impending change late last year.  With that... they say they are currently pursuing both Constable and Peace Officer status for their police force.  Officials say "we are confident in our ability to retain a similar level of safety and security to our property and patrons as that which we have provided for 40 years under a shared services cooperative arrangement with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office."  They add their police are "all trained law enforcement officers, employed as sheriff’s deputies or officers within local municipalities."  They serve under Director of Campus Security and Safety Joe Gerace, who was Chautauqua County Sheriff for nearly 25 years.  Current Sheriff Jim Quattrone says he made the decision in concert with the state Sheriff's Association because continuing the practice could open up the county to "liability and other legal consequences."


Wendel says he'll follow Borrello's footsteps as County Executive...
Chautauqua County has a new county executive who will hold the post through the end of the year.  P-J Wendel's appointment was unanimously approved during the County Legislature's organizational meeting on Thursday.  The Lakewood Republican spoke about following George Borrello who is now seated in the State Senate... and, says it will be "no small feat."  Wendel adds, though, that he will also bring in his own initiatives, and twists to county government.  Wendel, who intends to run in a special election for the post in November, will face competition.  County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green in a statement says Democrats will be "vigorously opposing" the GOP candidate.


Dolce says Council will likely take on expanded role in 2020 with new Mayor in office...
The Jamestown City Council may take slightly larger role in driving policy in the new year... with first-term Democrat Mayor Eddie Sundquist now in office.  New Council President Tony Dolce is in that full-time role for the first time in his nearly 25 years in office.  Following this week's Inauguration and reorganizational meeting at Jamestown Community College... Dolce agreed there's going to be change.  He says they "leaned a lot" on former Mayor Sam Teresi's knowledge and experience, and now "they are going to have to step up, and be a little more aggressive in setting policy and being a watchdog."  At the same time... Dolce says the new Republican-majority panel will be there to support Sundquist achieve goals that will advance the city.  He says the big thing right now is Sundquist getting his "feet wet..." and, getting up to speed.  As for council... Dolce says he plans to pursue his idea of going back to having meetings in the wards at various times during the year... because some people may feel intimidated coming to City Hall.  He says they may look at having those meetings at schools in those individual wards.  Council did get out for one meeting this past year at Jackson-Taylor Park on the northside. 


Kolb steps down as State Assembly minority leader...
A New York lawmaker who has been charged with drunken driving is stepping down from his post as the top Republican in the state Assembly.  Assemblyman Brian Kolb said Friday late he will resign his post as Assembly minority leader.  Kolb, though, is not resigning from his Assembly seat.  Authorities said the 67-year-old Kolb was driving his state-owned SUV when he crashed into a ditch near his home Tuesday night.  They said his blood alcohol content was over the legal limit.  The arrest came a week after Kolb published a column in the upstate Daily Messenger newspaper that warned against driving while under the influence of alcohol.


Lockport Schools begin using facial recognition technology to look for threats, over objections of civil rights groups...
An upstate New York school district has begun using facial recognition technology to look for threats.  But... civil rights advocates want to stop it, saying it infringes on student privacy.  The Lockport Central School District says it activated the system Thursday after meeting conditions set by the state, including that no students be programmed in.  Superintendent Michelle Bradley says it will alert staff to guns as well as people like sex offenders and suspended staff who may pose a threat.  Facial recognition technology has made its way into airports and casinos, but is so far rare in schools.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 3, 2020

Chautauqua County Legislators have approved the appointment of a new county executive.  

During the Legislature's reorganizational meeting in Mayville Thursday afternoon, PJ Wendel was approved to fill the post until the end of the year.  He looks forward to the new job and, says he is committed to running in a special election in November and beyond. In other action, the County Legislature elected Pierre Chagnon to be its next chairman over Charles Nazzaro by a 13-5 vote.


The new mayor has officially taken office in Lakewood, with a pledge of working together to solve some of the village's pressing issues.  

Republican Randy Holcomb defeated Acting Mayor Ted McCague last November and, took his oath during a ceremony at the Lakewood Firemen's Grounds on Summit Avenue.  Holcomb earlier mentioned one matter he and other board members want to resolve as soon as possible.

The locating of the cell tower has been in the courts for the past two years or so.  Holcomb says getting sidewalks "all the way" on Summit and Terrace Avenues is another matter.  He adds that improving water service on the village's southside is also an issue.  The village board also welcomed a new member -- Republican Rich Fisher -- on Wednesday.  In addition to Holcomb and Fischer, voters in Lakewood also re-elected trustee Ellen Barnes to another term of office.  Holcomb officially replaces former Mayor Cara Birritierri, who resigned amid controversy in October of 2018.

The village of Fredonia's new mayor is off and running for a four-year term.  

Family Court Judge Michael Sullivan gave the oath of office to Mayor Doug Essek and new trustee Roger Pacos on Wednesday.  Essek spoke afterwards about taking a team approach.

Essek is facing some major tasks as he assumes the top office in the village.  Besides the selection of a new police chief, Essek says trustees will have appoint a trustee to fill his old seat.
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Also on New Year's Day, Democrat Willie Rosas was sworn-in for another term as the Dunkirk City mayor.


Despite some winter weather last November, the Harrison Street Bridge re-opened to the public yesterday afternoon.  

The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities says the opening was delayed after a 16-inch water main pipe that crosses the Chadakoin River, under the bridge deck, was replaced and needed to be tested prior to restoration. Officials also report additional time was needed to find and fix a valve leak on an 8-inch connected water line.  Testing is now complete and has passed all requirements.  As of Thursday, crews were still clearing equipment and is unclear if the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic. Public Facilities officials say temporary bridge walls and sidewalks will be installed until permanent fixtures and final paving surfaces can be completed in early Spring. 


With a new year come City and Chautauqua County tax bills in Jamestown.  

Executive Secretary Leigh Anne Jordan says they've received several calls from people who have received their 2020 tax bills, asking if they have to be paid at city hall, or at Community Bank like the School Tax Bills.  She says checks should be made payable to the "City Treasurer" by mail or in person.  It is also stated on the bill. 


Customers of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in Jamestown and the surrounding area will see no rate hikes in any of it's five divisions this year and, just one over the past two years.  

BPU General Manager Dave Leather says -- in fact -- there won't be any increase in Electric Division rates until after 2021.  Leathers credits the "good work" of the team managers in that division but, otherwise, the only increase in recent times has been in the Solid Waste Division.

In recent years, the BPU has had two different rates for Solid Waste collection.  There's a lower rate for residents who recycle items at least once a month and, another slightly higher rate for those who do not recycle.  Leathers adds that there will also be no increases in the Water, Wastewater, and District Heating Divisions.


Democratic Congressional members from New York are lauding the recent passage of increased funding to help improve security at houses of worship.  

Nine Democratic U.S. representatives appeared at a press conference on Thursday at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.  Grant workshops will be held throughout New York City area in the coming months to help high-risk nonprofit institutions learn about the program and apply for funding.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 2, 2020

Breaking... missing Jamestown teenager found safe...

A city teenager reported missing last October has been found safe and returned home to her parent.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 13 year-old Gianna Coleman was located New Year's Day about 1 PM in Jamestown after JPD received a tip by an unidentified citizen.   


A woman was killed New Year's Eve after the car she was in crashed into a Chautauqua County snowplow on Big Tree Road in the town of Busti.  

Lakewood-Busti police say the accident occurred around mid-afternoon and, first responders found the female passenger trapped inside the car.  Lakewood and Busti firefighters used a hurst tool to remove the roof.  However... the woman was declared dead at the scene.  Two other people were reportedly taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  The identities of those involved have not been made public, as yet.  


The city of Jamestown has it's first new mayor in 20 years.  

City Court Judge John LaMancuso did the honors of swearing in Democrat Eddie Sundquist on New Year's Day during an inauguration ceremony at Jamestown Community College.  Sundquist says it's both "exciting and sobering" to become the city's new top-elected official.  Sundquist did not lay-out a laundry list of agenda items for the new year... but, focused on what makes Jamestown great.

Sundquist later said he'll likely spend his first 100 days listening, mainly to employees to get a better feel for what needs to be done to make the city work better.  He made a number of appointments, which were tabled by the City Council until the January voting session.  They include Rudi Andelora as the new City Clerk/Treasurer and Corporation Counsel Elliot Raimando, who is moving back to Jamestown from the Albany-area.


The Jamestown City Council, featuring two new members, was also sworn-in during yesterday's annual reorganizational meeting at JCC.  

Those new members, Jeff Russell and Grant Olson, give the GOP at 5-4 majority on the panel.  As expected, the longest serving member of the council, Second-Ward representative Tony Dolce, was elected Council President.  He welcomed the new mayor and, pledged to help move the city forward to meet it's many challenges.

Dolce also pledged to follow-up on several calls during the campaign to make city government more "open and transparent."  He says he would like to see the panel hold some of it's meetings in each of Jamestown's six wards, and publish weekly agendas to provide more public access.  Dolce also shared a lighter moment about the fact he and the incoming mayor both celebrate their birthdays on New Year's Eve.
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Dolce also made official his list of committee assignments.  Veteran Republican Kim Ecklund will chair the Finance Committee, while fellow Republican Brent Sheldon will lead Public Safety.  Democrat Tom Nelson will remain chair of the Public Works Committee and, Democrat Vickye James will remain head of the Housing panel.


The outgoing president of the City Council spoke briefly during completion of the panel's year-end meeting yesterday, but thanked several people for their support.  

Demcrat Marie Carrubba presided the past two years, when the panel had it's first-ever female majority.  Carrubba especially thanked out-going Mayor Sam Teresi, who was not on hand for the meeting.  During Monday's session, she talked about Teresi using the writtings of Mother Teresa.

Carrubba thanked her Democratic colleagues for having faith in her ablities to lead the council and, Republican members for "setting aside" partisan differences and worked for the betterment of the city.  Mayor Teresi spent the past 20 years as mayor and, prior to that, was City Development Director for more than 10 years.  Lawmakers also said fairwell to outgoing council members Maria Jones, and Andrew Liuzzo.


A city man faces several charges, including burglary, following a New Year's Eve altercation at a home on Jamestown's westside Tuesday afternoon.  

City police were called to a home on Livingston Avenue and, arrested 21 year-old Tyler Coulter.  Officers say Coulter unlawfully entered the home, and got into the altercation with the female victim, who had an order of protection against him.  Police add the incident occured in front of a 4-year-old child.  Coulter was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on charges including second-degree burglary, first-degree criminal contempt, and endangering the welfare of a child.


The Jamestown High School Red Raider Marching Band and A Cappella Choir returned home late last night from their trip to Disneyworld.

Band director, Meghan Murray, says the band marched in a parade down 'Main Street USA' on New Year's Eve, the busiest day of the year, with some 45,000 people in the park.  The A Cappella Choir sang twice in the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center last Saturday.  Director, Norm Lydell, says the JHS musicians performed to the 'high bar' that Disney sets for all performances.  A total of 157 JHS students took the trip.  Both directors say they are always looking for opportunities to show off the talent of Jamestown students, but the Disney trip will be hard to top. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 31, 2020

An elderly Chautauqua County man who contracted the COVID-19 Virus has now died from complications due to the virus.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the Department of Health and Human Services ...

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