News Headlines for Sat., June 29, 2019

Sheriff's office, Carroll Town Police investigating hit and run involving SUV, motorcycle...
Local police are looking for a black, late model Sports Utility Vehicle, that may have been involved in a hit-and-run accident with a motorcycle in the town of Carroll earlier this week.  Sheriff's officers on their Facebook page say Carroll Town Police report the accident occured on Route 62 at Ivory Rd. about Noon this past Tuesday.  Deputies say the SUV... which looked like a GMC Yukon... was southbound on 62 when it approached the blinking light, and turned left when it struck the motorcycle.  The operator of the two-wheeler, identified as Paul Fardink, was not seriously hurt.  He told police the SUV had chrome accents, and blacked out wheel rims.  It was reportedly driven by a white female.  If you have any information on what happened... you're asked to call Carroll Town Police at 569-5365.


Juvenile arrested for allegedly damaging benches at Bergman Park...
A juvenile from Jamestown has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing several park benches earlier this month in Bergman Park on Baker Street.  City police were called to the scene back on June 5 by Parks Department employees... and, found the damaged benches.  Officers say park surveillance video showed the youth... who was identified in the video... damaging the property.  He was charged with criminal mischief, and is to appear in Family Court and the Probation Department at a later date.


Quattrone says only sparkler devices, not fireworks, are legal in Chautauqua County...
Local police agencies are gearing up for the fast arriving Fourth of July holiday... and are warning residents about the illegalities -- and dangers -- of fireworks.  While Sparker-type devices are legal in New York state... and are being sold in Chautauqua County right now... actual fireworks remain illegal unless it's a professional display.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says part of the problem locally is the proximity of Pennsylvania... where many fireworks are legal.  Quattrone says there is often an influx of pyrotechnics into the county from the Keystone State, but, he says they continue to enforce state law.  He says sparklers are hand-held, or ground-based devices that produce a stream of red and white sparklers.  The sparkler devices, though, are sold as fireworks in the temporary big tents that have been put up at various businesses across the county during this time of year.  However... while sparklers are legal here... Quattrone says they can still be dangerous because they burn at very high temperatures.  He urges residents to let the professionals shoot off the pyrotechnics at any local fireworks display.  Quattrone made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Upstate County Clerks standing against state's new "Green Light Law..."
A group of more than 30 county clerks from across the state are urging the Trump administration to review the legality of the new "Green Light" law... the legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that makes undocumented immigrants eligible for driver's licenses.  Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore recently told us that he does not intend to follow the new law.  Barmore says, as a clerk, he is not there to determine whether someone is a legal resident or not.  However... he says they still need six points of identification to receive a license.  The clerks are concerned that the law could create a conflict for them because they are sworn to uphold both the state and federal constitutions.  The letter asking for a federal review of the law was started by Saratoga County Clerk, Craig Haner, who sent the letter questioning the constitutionality of the law.  He says clerks who follow the new state law would be violating their oath of office.  


Legislators sound off on proposal to locate three Wind Farms on Lake Erie...
There are reports that a company is interested in locating as many as three wind farms on Lake Erie... and, that has three Chautauqua County legislators from the lake shore area concerned.  County Legislators Bob Bankoski, Kevin Muldowney and Kevin O'Connell have voiced their opposition to the location of wind turbines late this week in the north county.  Bankowski says they would have to drill about 120-feet into the ground -- underwater -- to support the huge turbines.  County Executive George Borrello is also against having any wind farms being located on the lake and is looking to take action.  Borrello says his office has been working with the legislature office to draft a motion opposing the effort. 


Ribbon cut on new Edgewood Commons on Lutheran Campus... 
Lutheran has cut the ribbon in it's newest residential option for Seniors ages 55 and up in the Jamestown-area.  Spokesman Edwin Rodriguez says they are holding the grand opening of the Edgewood Commons... which is now part of the Edgewood Communities... on the Lutheran campus in Jamestown.  The Edgewood Commons is a multi-use building for the residents in their independent senior housing apartments.  The amenities inside help address the physical, mental, social, spiritual, and vocational needs of our residents to ensure they enjoy a life well lived, every day.  Rodriguez invites the community in general for today's open house until 2 p.m.

 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 28, 2019

A developer has stepped forward to purchase the former Friendly's Restaurant in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square and open a new family-style restaurant -- similar to Friendly's....  

The unnamed developer requested a loan from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, which was approved during this week's meeting.  IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says they hope to be up and running soon.

Geise says some former Friendly's employees will reportedly be part of the new restaurant business and he says that's great news.  He says before approving the $55,000 low-interest loan, the board took a good look at all the particulars.  The local Friendly's was among a number of stores in the chain that were closed early last April as part of a restructuring of the company.  However, it was apparently not related to the number of customers at the Jamestown location.  In fact, officials had noted that the Brooklyn Square location was one of the chain's best.  The WJTN Saturday Breakfast Party was broadcast from Friendly's every Saturday since early 2002 and, was recently moved to the Double-Tree by Hilton after Friendly's closed.


Two people from Dunkirk face charges following a  raid in the city where various drugs and weapons were found on Tuesday afternoon.... 

Sheriff's officers and agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 50-40 West Lake Road about 3:15 PM and, took 21 year-old Jorge Ortiz-Reyes into custody on an outstanding arrest warrant.  Police say a search of the home revealed a quantity of crack-cocaine, heroin, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and, a large sum of cash.  Officers also located a loaded, stolen handgun,sawed-off firearm, assault rifle and a stun-gun.  Ortiz-Reyes was sent to the county jail on $500,000 bail.  A 17 year-old female was also located at the residence and was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Officers say she faces more charges pending their investigation.  Officers with the Dunkirk Police Department and Sheriff's Office SWAT Team also assisted at the scene. 


There has been a problem with fireworks in the city of Jamestown for the past month...

Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings says his officers have responded to 31 fireworks complaints this month and, he reminds residents that it's illegal to possess or use fireworks in the city.  He addressed the matter during a recent City Council work session as well, says that they are cracking down on the illegal pyrotechnics in their "target areas" in particular.  Snellings recently reminded lawmakers that "sparkling devices" can now be sold on a limited basis in designated counties in New York state.  Chautauqua County is one of those.  However, he says they are ALL that is legal in New York state.  Snellings says they are supposed to be "ground-based, or hand-held devices."  He also says it's best to leave the fireworks to the professionals.


The opening reception for the summer exhibit at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute is tonight....  

RTPI's Jane Johnson says it features the lifelike artistry of the late Ned Smith.  Smith drew over 100 original covers for the popular 'Pennsylvania Game News' magazine.  Around 50 of Smith's works are on display at the Peterson Institute on Curtis Street. Tonight's reception runs from 5 to 7 PM and will feature an appearance by John Booth, the Executive Director of the Ned Smith Center in Millersburg, Pa.  Booth will also be at RTPI from 10 AM to 1 PM Saturday.  Both events are free.  


A Sinclairville woman was arrested on criminal mischief charges for allegedly slashing a man's tires with a machete on Tuesday....  

State Police in Jamestown responded to a domestic incident in the village and, through investigation, learned 36 year-old Nichole Olmstead cut the victim's car tires to prevent him from driving away.  She was taken into custody and issued an appearance ticket for Charlotte Town Court next month. 


Chautauqua County's top economic development official says he is pleased that there were 10 proposals from a RFP for a study on repurposing the NRG plant in the city of Dunkirk.... 

Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says they will begin a review of the proposals later this week and, they hope to narrow down the number in the coming weeks.

Geise says the current owner is on board with the study and wants to be part of the process.  He says the meeting was held about a month and a half ago and, included three "high-level" officials from NRG itself.  Once a selection is made, Geise says the study will take about 6 to 8 months to complete.

 
The Pennsylvania state Senate is sending Governor Tom Wolf the main bill in a $34-billion compromise budget plan that uses strong tax collections to boost aid to public schools and universities, hold the line on taxes and put cash into reserve....  

Thursday's 42-8 vote comes amid a scramble in the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve hundreds of just-unveiled pages of budget-related legislation.  The 2019-20 fiscal year starts next Monday.  It authorizes almost $2 billion more in spending through the state's main operating account, or 6% more, counting cost overruns in the current fiscal year.  It covers rising costs for prisons, debt, pension obligations and health care, while budget makers are using various cash maneuvers to veil the true cost of government operations by moving hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to outside accounts.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 27, 2019

In an effort to bring commercial air service back to the Chautauqua County Airport in Jamestown, county legislators Wednesday night passed a resolution that would provide county funds for local share funding of an Essential Air Service contract....  

County Executive George Borrello says it's part of a plan the county is working on with Boutique Air and will also involve the cooperation of the Jamestown business community.  County lawmakers passed the proposal 16-1, but several legislators indicated that this was the last time they would be supporting such a plan.


The Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown will be on the receiving end of three grants totaling nearly $660,000 to renovate and upgrade the facility....  

Local Congressman Tom Reed made the announcement earlier today, noting the funds are needed to ensure "access to reliable transportation.  He says the grants will enable the Jamestown Airport "to fund maintenance projects and ensure the efficiency of their operations.  It is important that we invest in our infrastructure and we are pleased these grants will allow our the Jamestown Airport make necessary improvements to keep the facility in working order.”  Airport Manager Ron Almeter says the funds will be used to complete three projects, maintenance of the primary runway, design of perimeter security and the design and construction of a primary wind cone.  The money will come from the Airport Capital Improvement Program, which is administered by the U-S Department of Transportation.

 

A lengthy investigation by the FBI and Fredonia Police has led to the arrest of a Fredonia man on a charge of promoting a sexual performance by a child...  

Fredonia Police say that David Tobio was taken into custody on the felony charge after a search warrant was issued for Tobio's residence out of U.S. District Court in Buffalo.  Police say that several items were seized and analyzed by the Western New York Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Buffalo.  Tobio was being held pending arraignment in Fredonia Village Court.

 

Chautauqua County Legislator David Wilfong won Tuesday's Republican Primary for Jamestown mayor handily over City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo....

 Wilfong defeated Liuzzo by more than 200 votes, 480-to-271.  Late yesterday morning, Wilfong expressed his appreciation to all the Republicans who came out, and supported him to carry the party's banner this November.

Liuzzo challenged Wilfong in the primary after the City GOP Committee backed Wilfong for the nomination.  The winner congratulated Liuzzo on running a strong campaign and, believes he will now carry the mantle for "real change" in the city.  Wilfong says there was no doubts about who was running in the Primary... and, he's hoping to bring the party together for November.  Late Wednesday morning, Democratic challenger Eddie Sundquist said -- quote -- "I look forward to ramping up our mayoral campaign.  This is an exciting time for the City of Jamestown and our campaign will bring new energy as we share our ideas, knock on doors, and prepare to debate Mr. Wilfong on the policy issues which most impact the people of our City."


Coming off his win in Tuesday's Republican Primary, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is now focused on bringing the GOP together as they prepare to campaign for the November election...  

Borrello says party unity is important as he prepares for Democratic challenger Austin Morgan of Freedom in Cattaraugus County.  Borrello picked up just over 60-percent of the vote in the race against Allegany County Legislature Chairman Curt Crandall.  The final vote count Tuesday was 7,453 for Borrello, while Crandall had 4,247.  


The price of gas in the Jamestown-area has fallen another penny this week to just under $2.90 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded. ... 

That from the AAA's East Central Gas Price Report, which says the price was just under $2.91 a gallon last week.  Across New York state, the average price is now $2.84, which is the 10th most expensive state average.  The national average is now down two-cents to $2.66, even though demand is at record highs.  Over the past week, AAA says demand reached 9.93-million barrels.  However, gas stocks will be down during the coming week due in part to unplanned maintenance at United Refining's Warren, Pennsylvania facility.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 26, 2019

The endorsed, or more widely-know candidates appear to have locked-up ballot spots on the Republican line for next Fall's general election.....  

In yesterday's Primary for State Senate, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello defeated Allegheny County's Curt Crandall for the 57th District nomination.  After 132 of 177 polling districts reported, Borrello had 7,453 votes to Curt Crandall's 2,247.  In the Jamestown Mayor's race, County Legislator David Wilfong defeated City Councilman Andy Liuzzo, 480-to-271.  In the City Council's Ward-Two race, incumbant Tony Dolce defeated Raven Thompson, 119-to-34.  There was one area County Legislature race in District 18, where Bill Ward took the GOP Primary run over Rick Syper, 289-to-152.  All vote totals are unofficial, pending the count of absentee ballots.


A Western New York Iraq War hero has received the nation's highest honor to be awarded to a member of the military for bravery during the second-battle of Fallujah....  

Buffalo-area Radio Talk Show host, David Bellavia, was a Staff Sergeant with the U-S Army and, provided cover for his trapped squad when it was pinned down by insurgents on November 10th of 2004.  Local Congressman Tom Reed was among those on hand Tuesday afternoon as Bellavia received the Medal of Honor from President Donald Trump.

In addition to Reed, and Buffalo-area Congressman Chris Collins, several members of Bellavia's squad were also on hand to see him receive the honor.  Bellavia is the first living Iraq War veteran to receive the Medal of Freedom.  Celoron-native J-C Matteson, who was a sergeant in that same Infantry Unit, was killed two days later in an RPG attack in Fallujah.  His name was also read by President Donald Trump during the ceremony. 


As more High School Seniors graduate this week, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation wants them to know they can still apply for scholarships another 2-and-a-half weeks....  

That from Foundation Executive Director Tory Irgang, who says the deadline to apply for all the scholarships they have is Monday, July 15th.  Irgang says they'll accept applications from a wide-range of students seeking higher education

Irgang says 90-percent of the students who apply, receive some sort of scholarship support from the foundation.  Last year, she says they handed out about 700 scholarships totaling $1.1-million. She adds make sure to completely fill out the applications before they are submitted  and, have someone proof-read it over before sending it to the foundation.  Irgang says you can get more information on scholarship applications by calling the Community Foundation at 661-3390... or go on-line to crcfonline.ORG.  She made her comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Two Jamestown teens have been arrested following a large crowd fight on the city's eastside early Monday morning....  

City police were called the scene on East 8th Street about 2:30 AM, and quickly dispersed the crowd.  However, they continued monitoring several smaller groups moving west.  A resident at 830 Cherry Street later informed officers that no one should be on the property as several people were seen in the backyard.  As officers were arresting a 16 year-old male.... an 18 year-old female quickly approached, and forced her way in-between the officer and the male.  The girl reportedly continued walking and pulling away from police but, was arrested without further incident.  She is charged with second-degree obstruction. It's unclear what charges the 16 year-old faces. 


Another aspect of the $20-million redevelopment of the historic Furniture Mart building at East Second and Washington Streets is an adjacent, multi-story parking facility....  

Mayor Sam Teresi also addressed that following Monday night's vote to support the project. He says with parking at a premium on the westside, it makes sense for the developer to do that.

However, Teresi says, once the Furniture Mart building is completely re-developed, and has tenants in it, the parking spaces may be all spoken for.  In the meantime, though, there is the chance some spots may be offered to the public for parking on that side of town until the nine-story building is fully occupied.  There has been some talk that overflow parking could be used for patrons of the new National Comedy Center and, other attractions on the west side.


The National Comedy Center in Jamestown has received another honor, as it's been named one of PEOPLE Magazine’s “100 Reasons to Love America” in the publication’s July 1st cover story......  

Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says the center is one of only three museums in the U-S to be on the magazine's list of "most beloved treasures."  PEOPLE adds it makes it “worth the trip to Jamestown, New York, Lucille Ball’s hometown.”  Gunderson adds they are proud to be part of the list and, says "as Americans hit the road over the July 4th holiday weekend and beyond, we hope they’ll come visit Jamestown to see for themselves why the National Comedy Center is a national treasure and a great reason to love America."  The National Comedy Center was voted a “Best New Attraction” by USA Today readers earlier this year, ranking number-two out of 20 new attractions and ranking as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the country.


New York officials say statewide efforts to control a giant invasive plant with toxic sap are making headway.... 

The Department of Environmental Conservation's Giant Hogweed Program is in its 12th year. Commissioner Basil Seggos says the program has eradicated the plants from 623 sites and another 448 sites are being monitored.  The agency is urging the public to report sightings of the plant as it begins to bloom in the next few weeks.  Giant hogweed can grow up to 15 feet tall and has 2-foot-wide umbrella-shaped canopies of flowers. Brushing against it can release sap that causes painful, burning blisters.  Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus Mountain region between the Black and Caspian seas. It has become established in New England, the Mid-Atlantic Region and the Northwest.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 25, 2019

City lawmakers have voted unanimously to supprt the Gebbie Foundation's efforts to obtain state funding to move a potential $20-million project forward to redevelop Jamestown's historic Furniture Mart Building.....  

The City Council approved the Gebbie's Consolidated Funding Application for $1.5-milllion at last night's voting session.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the grant would help move the project forward.

Both Teresi and City Development Director Vince DeJoy say the developer is not being identified yet, but the out-of-town group is working through the Gebbie Foundation.  Teresi says, for the project to move forward, the CFA Funding needs to be approved in this round by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.  City officials say the project, slated for the entire 172,000 square feet of the Furniture Mart Building, will include a mix of commercial and residential development.  The Gebbie Foundation intends to apply for the funding by next July 26th.


At a home plate ceremony at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park Monday, Russ Diethrick and Mayor Sam Teresi signed papers transferring the ballpark lease to the new 'Jamestown Community Baseball LLC' and extending it for at least another five years....  

The mayor says it means the Jammers will be at the stadium at least through 2025 and, if extended, through 2030.  The lease was previously held by Roc Ventures of Milwaukee.  Russ Diethrick is the President of Jamestown Community Baseball.  He says the lease transfer is yet another step in bringing wood bat, college level baseball back to Jamestown in June of 2020.  When the Jamestown Jammers return, they will again play in the Perfect Game League.  Both Diethrick and the mayor said additional announcements about the new team will be coming soon.  


There are a few more hours before the polls open for Primary Day in New York State and mainly Republican voters in Chautauqua County will be taking part in the elections held today....  

Among the major contests is the GOP primary for the 57th State Senate District.  However, Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Greens says there are other local races, including Carroll Town Supervisor, Jamestown Mayor, and County Legislature District 1 in Dunkirk, there is also a primary for District 18 in the western part of the county.  At-Large Jamestown City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo will go head-to-head with county Republican Committee Chairman David Wilfong in the Mayoral run.  In Ward-Two, incumbant Tony Dolce is being primaried by Raven Thompson.  Voting hours today will be the same as past years, 12 to 9 PM.  All county poll sites will be open on Tuesday.


The resurgence of Celoron took another step forward Monday with the ribbon cutting for the new boardwalk and canoe and kayak launch....   

Celoron mayor, Scott Schrecengost told the large crowd of residents and politicians the Lucille Ball statue that's come to be known as 'Scary Lucy' played a role.  The value of the statue was used as part of the matching funds for the project.  The total cost for the boardwalk and an associated canoe and kayak launch was $790,000.  The mayor says a new 'amenities' building, including restrooms, is the next project, with groundbreaking later this summer.

A city man is jailed for allegedly stealing a bicycle from a person following a domestic incident last Friday afternoon.... 

City police responded to Liberty Street just after 1:30 PM and after speaking with the female victim, located the suspect near the intersection of Lakeview Avenue and East 6th Street.  Identified at 33 year-old Jonathan Rivera, police say he was found on the stolen bike.  Rivera is also accused of making several unwanted calls and text messages to the female. He's being held pending arraignment for petty larceny and fourth-degree stalking. 


A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection in the Village of Sinclairville Sunday night....  

State Police in Jamestown were called to undisclosed location and learned 20 year-old Jonathan Camacho reportedly broke the protected party's television and, attempted to fight random neighbors, including throwing one of them into a lawn mower by her neck, resulting in injury. Camacho was then transported to the Chautauqua County Jail pending arraignment for aggravated family offense, second-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, fourth-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal contempt. 
 

A Summer full of free activities and personal enrichment is being made available again this year through the city of Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program!

That from Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley, who says they'll again be at five locations: Bergman Park, Chadakoin Park, Allen Park, Nordstrom Park and the Lillian Dickson Tot Lot.

Ciesla-Hanley says the James Prendergast Library will again offer their Summer Reading activities.  She says they're estatic to announce Ryan Whisner  as the new Playground Program Recreation Leader.  Ciesla-Hanley says he was a recreation attendant at Allen Park last year and, he really enjoys working with the kids.  The fun and excitement begins next Monday, July 1st for children ages 5 to 13 years-old and, runs at all sites each day -- Monday through Friday -- 11AM to 5PM through August 9th.  For more information, call 483-7523.
 

The U.S. Census Bureau is using new high-tech tools to help get an accurate population count next year as it faces criticism for the way it plans to reach out to people of color..... 

Census employees are taking images captured from satellites and planes to verify addresses in rural communities and compare them to previous maps from 2010.  It comes as the bureau is planning internet and telephone questionnaires, which advocates say would be more likely to overlook rural areas without reliable communication infrastructure.  Deirdre Dalpiaz-Bishop of the bureau's geography division says employees check the data through computers and then plan how to send staff to hard-to-reach areas if census questionnaires aren't returned.  City University of New York Mapping Service director Steven Romalewski calls the technology promising.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 24, 2019

The investigation is continuing into the cause of a fire that heavily-damaged a vacant home on Jamestown's northside and, damaged a neighboring home....  

City firefighters were called to the scene at 719 Cherry Street about 10:30 last Friday night and found the building fully-engulfed in flames.  Fire Battalion Chief Don Mowry says crews immediately started pouring water on that and, one side of the home at 717 Cherry.
  
Mowry says the family living at 717 Cherry was able to get out of their home safely.  He says the vacant home sustained serious damage to the entire structure, while 717 Cherry has some moderate damage.  Mowry says one firefighter was treated for minor injuries at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, and later released.  Three fire investigators were called to the scene and, the cause remains under investigation.  Mowry says crews were at the scene until about 5:30 AM Saturday.


Water and emergency rescue teams were called to a location on Lake Erie near Westfield after a small sail boat became disabled early last Saturday afternoon....

Sheriff's officers say their Navigation Division was called to the scene, and found two people on the boat, which had a broken mast.  Deputies say the county's Water Emergency Team, and Westfield Fire Department were dispatched to assist.  Members of the Navigation, and county WET Team made contact with the boaters, and helped them get back to Barcelona harbor.  The two individuals were evaluated by Westfield fire rescuers, and released.  The Westfield Police Department, and the county's Emergency Services Department also assisted in the rescue.


Members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2019 were told that whether they know what's next in life, or they don't, someone is betting on them to make it....  

That someone was Graduation Speaker Bryan Hodgso, who was a 2005 JHS graduate and, is now assistant basketball coach at the University of Alabama.  They were also told they've come a long way since they were Kindergarteners 13 years ago.  That from School Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who rattled off statistics on what their parents -- and they themselves -- have done over those 13 years.

Some 340 members of the JHS Class of 2019 received diplomas and, heard several words of live by as they leave high school.  It was the final commencement for Principal Mike McElrath, who will move on to the district's new Success Academy next Fall,but said the Class of 2019 would be one he would remember for a long time.  


Three roads have been shut-down in the Cattaraugus County town of South Valley due to flood waters from last Thursday morning's heavy rains....  

Town Clerk Mary Ruth says the cross-culvert on Burch Drive near the intersection of Sawmill Run Road was washed away making the road impassible.  Ruth says Burch Drive is a dead-end roadway that has 3 other dead end roads that feed off of it.  She says Town Highway workers responded immediately but, were unable to perform any actions to prevent the damage from occurring.  The Town reached out to Cattaraugus County Emergency Services for helpand Town Supervisor Heather Lamberson has declared a State of Emergency.  Lamberson has also ordered the closure of Burch Drive, Janet Drive, and Robert Lane to all vehicular traffic until further notice.  She and other officials are working on getting a temporary bridge-type structure to make the roadway passible.  Repairs will be completed as soon as possible.  If you have any questions on the matter, you are asked to call the South Valley Town offices at 354-2090.


The ribbon has been cut on the latest project along the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk, as the new "Breakwater Play-sculpture" has opened along the Eighth Street bike path....  

Mayor Sam Teresi and City Parks Coordinator Julia Ciela-Hanley say the breakwater was one of 23 projects selected through a two-stage competition through KaBOOM's "Play Everywhere Challenge."  Teresi called it another "special day" for the riverwalk.

The Breakwater uses four concrete "dolosses..." or Breakwaters, along with a rubber surface to create an artistic play-area that includes fall-protection for kids.  It was created by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster of Buffalo... who have produced several such permanent artworks across the region.  Kempster says each dolosses weighs 6-and-a-half tons, and, are typcially used to protect shoreline areas.  The city provided in-kind services for the $50,000 project to paint it a "teal blue" color.  The grant from KaBOOM through the Ralph C. Wilson, Junior Foundation’s “Built to Play” initiative totaled $33,000.


In New York state government news... 

Lawmakers ended their 2019 session on Friday with a long list of progressive accomplishments but several high-profile bills didn't get a vote.  The list includes proposals to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana sales, permit paid surrogacy, eliminate criminal penalties for sex work and allow the terminally ill to request life-ending drugs from a physician.  Advocates for those issues say they'll spend the summer and fall building support for another attempt next year.  The session's biggest disappointment for many lawmakers was the failure of marijuana legalization.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., June 22, 2019

Flames heavily-damage vacant home, damages another in Jamestown overnight...
One firefighter was hurt when fire crews battled a house fire on Cherry Street in Jamestown that spread to a neighboring house late last night.  City Fire Battalion Chief Don Mowry says firefighters were called to the scene at a vacant home at 719 Cherry Street about 10:30 p.m. Friday.  Mowry says the flames had a good head-start... with heavy fire coming from the first and second floors of 719 Cherry.  He adds that flames had also spread to one side of 717 Cherry.  Mowry says an off-duty shift of 15 firefighters -- and one commander -- was later called in... along with three fire investigators.  He says the family living at 717 Cherry was able to get out safely.  He says the vacant home sustained major damage to the entire structure... and, damage was moderate to 717 Cherry.  Mowry says one firefighter was treated for minor injuries at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital and later released.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Mowry says crews were at the scene until about 5:30 this morning.


Largest graduating class from JHS honored, hears from 2005 graduate Hodgson Friday night...
The largest graduating class at Jamestown High School class in several years took part in last night's commencement ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution.  Some 340 members of the JHS Class of 2019 received diplomas last night... and, many will be heading off to college, while others will go into the military or enter a trade school.  Others aren't sure where they will end up next... and, those were the students Keynote Speaker Bryan Hodgson talked to.  The 2005 JHS graduate... now a major college assistant basketball coach... says he wasn't sure what he was going to do either.  Hodgson says it's "normal" and okay for students to not be sure of where they're going or what they are going to do.  For now, he says they have time on their side.  Hodgson says he was not the best student, or athlete... but, did his best.  He played basketball at JHS... and, later Jamestown Community College.  However... he was too late to try out his junior year at the SUNY College at Fredonia... and, became a Student Coach... and, he loved it.   Also during the graduation... The 100 Member Club presented $4,000 scholarships to Ellyse Noon... and, Christian Dolce, who are being honored with a Brunch today.


Chautauqua Institution kicks off 2019 season today...
Grammy Award nominee Judy Collins will be among the Week-One headliners at Chautauqua Institution... as it begins the nine-week season Saturday night.  Collins has been a headliner before at Chautauqua... and, Spokesman Jordan Steves says she'll appear with a well-known Jazz performer, Madeleine Payroux at 8:15 p.m.  Steves says there are a few tickets left for the concert... and, for more information call 357-6250.  Chautauqua will make history on Sunday... as a rabbi will speak during the Sunday Morning Church program in the amphitheater.  Later... Chautauqua President Michael Hill will present his annual "Three-Taps of the Gavel" opening address.  Steves says the coming week will feature several speakers... and the main theme in the amphitheater is "Moments that Changed the World..." and will feature appearances by National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths... and Conservative Talk Radio Show host Hugh Hewitt.


State legislators approve measure decriminalizing Marijuana...
Lawmakers in New York state have voted to eliminate criminal penalties for public possession and use of marijuana after efforts to legalize pot stalled.  The bill would replace low-level criminal charges for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana with fines of $50 and $200-dollars... depending on the amount.  It would also expunge convictions from the records of thousands of people arrested for pot charges.  Governor Andrew Cuomo supports the bill.


Rosas named Chautauqua County Democrat of the Year...
Chautauqua County Democrats held their annual banquet late this week in Dunkirk... and, honored the north county city's Mayor, Willie Rosas.  Rosas is the first elected Hispanic mayor in New York State history.  He says he was very "humbled" to be honored by county Democrats... and, was touched to have Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown personally present him and endorse his re-election.  He says receiving the honor is "humbling."  Brown says that Rosas is recognized and "well-respected" across the state for the work that he is doing in Dunkirk... including making city government more efficient, or revitalizing the Dunkirk Waterfront.  Erie County, Pa. County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper was the keynote speaker at the dinner.


Hefner Returning to SUNY college at Fredonia as interim president...
The SUNY College at Fredonia will be seeing a familiar face return to its campus.  The SUNY Board of Trustees announced late this week that Dr. Dennis Hefner will be returning Fredonia as the university's interim president, effective July 1.  College Council Chairman Frank Pagano tells us that the university is excited to have Hefner return after spending the last seven years in retirement.  Dr. Hefner served 15 years at Fredonia's president from 1997 until 2012 before retiring.  He has a distinguished record of service at SUNY, including as former president of Fredonia and interim president at SUNY Potsdam.

City cuts ribbon on new "Breakwater Play-sculpture..."
The ribbon was cut this morning on the latest project along the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk with the opening of the new "Breakwater Play-sculpture" along the Eighth Street bike path.  Mayor Sam Teresi and City Parks Coordinator Julia Ciela-Hanley says the breakwater was one of 23 projects selected through a two-stage competition through KaBOOM's "Play Everywhere Challenge.  The city teamed up with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation’s “Built to Play” initiative to fund the $50,000 project to create play in an unexpected but everyday spaces.  More on this Monday.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 21, 2019

A Forestville man's death is under investigation after the Chautauqua Sheriff's Office and local fire departments responded to an unknown medical problem yesterday morning....

Deputies say they found 35 year-old Tye Kenny deceased inside the 26 Pearl Street residence about 4 AM and the county coroner was called to the scene.  An investigation of the home revealed evidence related to the manufacturing and production of methamphetamine and, members of the county HAZMAT team later responded to the residence to assist with collecting dangerous materials.  A search warrant was executed by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  State Police are also investigating the incident.and, reportedly found a quantity of methamphetamine and a large quantity of items related to a meth lab. Deputies say charges are pending at this time. 


Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore says he will not be changing the way County Department of Motor Vehicle offices will issue driver's licenses, even with the passage of the Green Light bill....  

That allows illegal immigrants the opportunity to get a license.  Barmore said Thursday that he will remain firmly against the changes, regardless of the consequences.

Like his counterpart, Mickey Kearns in Erie County, Barmore says he took an oath to uphold the laws in New York State and the U.S. and, he was not elected by Governor Andrew Cuomo, nor the state legislature.  Governor Cuomo signed the bill shortly after it had passed.  Cattaraugus County Clerk Alan Bernstein indicated in the Olean Times-Herald Thursday that he will comply with the law.

 
Residents of the Jamestown area will have two unique 'transportation opportunities' this weekend....  

The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo is bringing a World War II era B-17 Flying Fortress to the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown.  The plane will be available for tours Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 9 to 3.  Tours are $7, free for first responders and veterans.  Flights in the plane will also be available, starting at $450.  Meantime, the Chautauqua Belle will have its final trips through the Chadakoin River outlet before returning to Mayville on Sunday.  One trip is set for today, at 1 PM.  On Saturday the steamboat will be moving between Jamestown and the new Harbor Hotel in Celoron,beginning at 11:30 AM, picking up passengers at both locations.  


Some one to two-inches of rain water -- combined with the ground already being water-logged -- led to some flash flooding in the Jamestown-area early Thursday morning.....  

The water was starting to receed by late morning, where the worst hit areas were the village of Lakewood, Kimball Stand, and Fluvanna Avenue Extension.  Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service says intense low pressure moved in and triggered the deludge.  

For the second-time within the past month, the old Conrail viaduct on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood was flooded out, along with a portion of Winchester Road near the former Precision Tool and Die building.  In addition, Route 60 in Ross Mills also had some flood water and parts were closed.  Jones and Gifford Avenue in Jamestown was closed for a time as well.  The good news is the next three days should be dry.


A former Jamestown High School graduate who has made his mark in college basketball coaching will address the 340 members of the JHS Class of 2019 at Chautauqua Institution tonight...  

High School Principal Mike McElrath says Bryan Hodgson, who is now an Assistant Head Coach at the University of Alabama, will give the commencement address.  Hodgson was most recently with Head Coach Nate Oats at the University of Buffalo and, is going with Oats to Alabama.

Commencement begins at 7 PM at the Chautauqua Amphitheater.  The audience will also hear from Valedictorian Findley Holt, and Salutatorian Emily Spitz.  McElrath says both are "super nice kids" who have done very well at JHS.  Attendees will also hear from the Class of 2019's class presidents.  There are four co-presidents this year.  McElrath again urges people going to the graduation to arrive early because a large crowd is expected.  He says one way to avoid traffic is to take Interstate 86 to the Panama-Stedman Road, and go in the "back way" to the institution.


Teenagers across Chautauqua County recently participated in the "Mock DWI" Program at their high schools during prom season..... 

While the celebration of getting dressed up and spending the night with friends has ended, Seniors are gearing up to turn their tassels at graduation ceremonies this month.  Emergency Medical Services Resource Manager Ron Hasson says, the impact this program has on students is significant.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the Mock DWI program gives students the opportunity to think about the choices they make before getting behind the wheel or into a vehicle with an impaired or distracted driver.  He says the driver should NOT have been drinking.  Impaired drivers don't take vacations during the summer months.  Quattrone says the Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council also holds Impaired Driver programs for those that have been convicted of alcohol or drug-related driving charges.  The information on future courses can be found on their website, CASACWeb.org 


One person was arrested late Wednesday morning following a shoplifting complaint at the Dollar General Store in Falconer....  

Ellicott Town Police report 31 year-old Stephanie Bush allegedly took items from the store without paying.  Further investigation found Bush was in possession of a controlled substance as well.  She was taken into custody and issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 20, 2019

A project to extend sewer service to about 450 developed properties along the west side Chautauqua Lake from Ashville to Stow has been launched....  

The project will extend South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District service to those parts of the town of North Harmony, with physical construction beginning in 2021.  Chautauqua County Legislature Majority Leader Pierre Chagnon says the sewer board recently discussed moving ahead with final plans, now that the needed $16.9-million in funding has been secured.

Chagnon says the West Side Sewer Extension project will provide public sewers to a portion of the unsewered properties on the westside of Chautauqua Lake along the Route 394 corridor.  He says recent surveys by the county's Health and Human Services Department show that about 50-percent of the septic systems in that area are failing, and adding affluent to the lake.  He says that promotes both weed growth in the lake, and the rise of blue-green algal blooms as well.  He says once construction begins, it will be completed in 2023. 


A man suffered a serious head injury early yesterday morning in Jamestown after two men assaulted him during a fight over money... 

City police were called to the scene at 1414 East Second Street just after 3 AM and, found the unidentified victim laying unresponsive in his apartment with several larcerations, and covered in blood.  Officers say their investigation showed that 48 year-old Ronald Parsons of Falconer, and 25 year-old David Hicks of Jamestown got into an argument with the victim after unlawfully entering the apartment.  They they allegedly assaulted the man.  Both were arrested on one count each of first-degree burglary, and second-degree assault and taken to the city jail.  The victim was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital and, later transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is again blasting the "liberal agenda" coming out of Albany as state lawmakers wrap-up the 2019 session....  

During his conference call with Southern Tier media yesterday, Reed was especially critical of the "Green Light" bill that allows illegal immigrants to get a state driver's license.  The Corning Republican says those undocumented persons have already violated the law and, some could be a security -- or driving -- risk.

Reed adds that he's also concerned about whether the illegal immigrants have undergone a full background check before they travel.  The measure was backed by worker advocates and, the state Business Council,  which is not a "liberal" organization.  However, Reed says they should be pushing for immigration reform,not licenses.  He's been critical of it since it was first proposed.  Reed is one of many Republican lawmakers across the state who have denounced the bill, which was approved by majority Democrats in the state legislature, and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.


One thousand mental health professionals and advocates from around New York state are signing on to a proposal to restrict the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails....  

Those signing on to the letter to state leaders include social workers, psychologists and other mental health professionals.  The letter urges passage of legislation that would prohibit placing an inmate in isolation for more than 15 days.  Supporters say isolation can leave life-long psychological scars.  The bill hasn't been scheduled for a vote.  Advocates say they're concerned it may not pass before lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn later this week.  Cuomo said Monday that he agrees changes are needed to ensure solitary confinement is humane, but he said he's concerned the bill may require the construction of new prison facilities.


The first of the area's high school graduations will be Friday night, when 340 Jamestown High School seniors cross the stage at Chautauqua's Amphitheater....   

Ken Ricker is the Class of 2019 advisor at JHS.  He says if their level of participation is any indication, this year's graduates will be very successful. Four people, Christian Dolce, Olivia Gates, Allison Stockwell, and Micaela Cleveland, all expressed an interest in being class president, and have served simultaneously in that role . The JHS graduation starts at 7 PM Friday, and is open to the public.  Those who drive are asked to park 'off the grounds'. Tony Dolce, advisor for the JHS Student Organization, has helped put on 30 commencements. He says the Amphitheater is the perfect place because of the large seating capacity and the 'special magic' it offers.  Bus transportation is offered from JHS to Chautauqua for those who are not driving.


A young lawyer from Jamestown will be the chairman for this year's General Campaign for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County....  

United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler has announced that John LaMancuso, an attorney with the firm Lewis and Lewis, will head up the 2019 effort.  Rohler says LaMancuso is a fifth-generation member of the community, who brings a lot of energy to everything he does.

Rohler says LaMancuso has already brought some fresh ideas to the effort, including having his picture taken for the announcement with children at the Eastside YMCA who have benefitted from United Way funding.  Otherwise, Rohler says final details for the campaign are still being finalized.  However, she says their goal this year will be more than $1.3-million.  The United Way Campaign theme will be: "Change Doesn't Happen Alone."  For more information on the United Way, call 483-1561.


The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is also announcing it has a new director of Finance and Administration who has an extensive business and financial background... 

Executive Director Amy Rohler says they have hired Sally Basheer who most recently has been an Accounting Specialist at Northwest Bank.  Rohler says, while living in Jordan, Basheer worked as a counselor for Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development, which is a Japanese non-profit, non-governmental organization.  She says it's dedicated to supporting self-reliance among people in developing countries in Asia, The Middle- East and Africa.  Rohler says they are "thrilled" to have Sally on their team, adding, "we look forward to continuing a strong financial position in the community and building a stronger community with her experience and diversity."

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 19, 2019

Voters in the Clymer Central School District have approved a 2019-2020 budget, this time with room to spare....  

The nearly $11.5-million spending plan, which includes an 8.8-percent tax levy increase, was approved by more than the state mandated 60-percent supermajority Tuesday.  The vote was 703 to 392, which was a nearly 2-to-1 margin.  There were also four non-binding propositions, including one to explore another merger.  That was approved 691 to 278.  However,  one to tuition students to another district was handily defeated.  Redistricting was also defeated, while one for sharing services was approved 770-to-185.

The Harrison Street Bridge in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square area will be closed to traffic starting on Monday, July 1st so the entire span can be replaced....  

That from Chautauqua County Public Facilities' Director Brad Bentley... who says the bridge replacement is scheduled to last about five months with a plan to re-open the bridge in November of this year.  Bentley says they worked with the approved contractor, Nichols-Long and Moore Construction of Lancaster, New York, to minimize traffic impacts.

Bentley says during the construction period, Harrison Street between Foote Avenue and Main Street, will be closed to thru traffic and a detour will be posted using Foote Avenue, Main, Second and Fourth Streets.  He says there will be a separate truck detour posted as well due to the low clearances on the Railroad viaduct on Foote and Main Streets.  Bentley says the current span has "severely deteriorated as the original stone bridge foundations have reached the end of their useful life."  He says about 95-percent of the $3-million cost will be picked up by the federal and state governments.


A Brocton man has been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs after a one-vehicle crash on Route 60 near Wilson Road in the town of Pomfret Monday....  

State Police in Fredonia say 33-year-old Marcus Watters became unconscious, and, his vehicle overturned after it struck a driveway culvert.  Watters was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  He's been charged with DWAI drugs, speeding, and fail to maintain lane.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that clears the way for undocumented immigrants to apply for a New York State driver's license.... 

Cuomo signed what's called the "Green Light bill" shortly after it passed in the state Senate on Monday.  Local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County's connection in Albany, opposed the legislation when it came up for a vote in the Assembly.  He says it "devalues" a driver's license when it comes to identification purposes. Goodell says the legislation will also put county clerks in a bad spot since they would be required to evaluate other forms of identification, including documents from other foreign countries. 


The Jamestown City Council will vote next Monday night on applying for a $100,000 grant through the state's Regional Economic Development Council to build a new skateboard park at McCrae Point Park....  

Lawmakers Monday night heard more about the proposal from Development Director Vince DeJoy, who says the application will go through New York's Consolidated Funding Application process.  DeJoy says it'll also be part of their Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

DeJoy says they're received some "very positive" feedback on the application, and is urging the city to apply.  Mayor Sam Teresi says the Tony Hawk Foundation is providing $250,000 grant for the project, and further support is coming from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.  Teresi says there's also some private fund-raising going on, involving Skate Products Unlimited, and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  He adds the city is also including a $100,000 line-item was it's new Community Development Block Grant application to be submitted later this year to the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This application was approved by the council's Finance Committee Monday night.


For the first time in it's history, Bush Industries of Jamestown has received a New York state contract for the sale and installation of commercial office furniture....  

The contract allows the maker of professional-grade products to be eligible to bid on any state agency contract.  The company may now bid on opportunities for schools and universities, as well as local municipalities and statewide agencies.  Bush Industries has held a General Services Administration federal contract since 2009.  However, the company had been unable to sell commercial furnishings to agencies in its home state until the contract was approved by the New York Office of General Services on May 23rd.  Bush President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Evans says they've been "passionate" about getting a state contract and, says this is a "win-win for Bush Industries and agencies statewide."  Evans says they have "solutions for all types of workspaces in numerous styles, formats, and finishes."


An elderly Warren County, Pennsylvania man with Alzheimer's Disease was found safe and sound Tuesday morning after he wandered away from his home in Mead Township.... 

State Police in Warren say 80 year-old Richard Smith left his home on foot early Monday morning and, was found Tuesday not far from his home.  Troopers say an extensive search, which included local volunteer fire departments, and police agencies, took place.  Police say Smith was found about six-tenths of a mile from his home in a heavily-wooded area, walking along the side of a lease road off Forest Route 160 in Mead Township.  He was checked out at Warren General Hospital as a pre-caution.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 18, 2019

The Jamestown City Council is being asked for it's support of a proposal to apply for state funding for a new distillery business in the former Marine Midland Bank building....  

Jamestown Renaissance Corporation Interim Director Peter Miraglia outlined the proposal by developer Nick O'Neill of Enchanted Mountain Spirits during last night's work session.  Miraglia says they are seeking 200-thousand dollars in Consolidated Funding Application money for the $450,000 project.

Miraglia noted that O'Neill plans to employ at least 40 people in the business by the end of their third-year of operations.  O'Neill says they'll start out with eight people in the beginning so that can get trained.  He says they plan to hire up to 43 people by the end of their third year.  Those involved in distilling will be trained at a location in Kentucky.  The former Marine Midland, and Key Bank is also being eyed for some commercial, and residential development.


The 4th Lecom Health Challenge Golf Tournament will be played July 4th through the 7th at Peek'n Peak, and there will be some changes this year.....  

Tournament Director, Mark Guise, from the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation says no one will pay admission to watch the golf this year.  It'll be free and there'll be no registration fee for volunteers, either.  At the Media Day preview Monday at the Peak, Guise also announced several other free events including a Caddyshack party and fireworks on July 5th.  But, those who want to see the tournament will have to go to the course.  Bo DeHuff of the Web.com tour says there'll be 'no Golf Channel this year'.  The organizers decided to put their resources elsewhere, including the free admission.  This is the final year for the Lake Erie College of Medicine's support of the Peek'n Peak tournament, and they won't be back.  The Erie college is going to sponsor a web.com event near Sarasota, Florida, where they have another major campus.  Tom Wedzik of the Lecom Board of Trustees says they've achieved their goals with the local event and are particularly happy with how much has been raised for various charities... over $400,000 by the end of this year's tournament.  Mark Guise says they are looking for another sponsor, or sponsors to keep the tournament at Peek'n Peak.  Web.com would like to have that nailed down by Labor Day.  Guise also make it clear the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation would like to share the management of the tournament with 'others' in the future.


A pared-down, $11.5-million school budget for next year willl be decided on by voters in the Clymer Central School District today..... 

Residents will vote from 12 Noon to 8 PM on the spending plan... which includes an 8.8-percent tax levy increase.  That's down from the 13-percent increase voters rejected last month.  However, the majority of voters then -- 580 of them -- voted for the budget, while 459 voted no.  It was defeated because the proposal exceeded the state's property tax cap, and required a 60-percent supermajority to pass.  School Superintendent Ed Bailey says he feels good about this budget's chances.
   
Bailey says he and the school board cut about $171,000 from the spending plan, and eliminated a teacher support position, and may cut one instructional position.  However, he says that's not etched in stone.  He says voters will also have a chance to sound-off on the district's future through four non-binding propositions on the ballot. Bailey says voting today runs from 12 Noon to 8 PM.  


The Dunkirk City School District will hold a run-off election today for two board candidates....   

During school board elections on May 21st, Julie Smith received 177 votes and will hold a three-year term seat.  But, Robert Bankoski and Betsy Ramos each had 171 votes, and today's election will determine which candidate will receive the second, three-year term seat, as well as a one-year term seat.  Voting will be from 12 to 9 PM in the Auxiliary Gym area.


A man from the Buffalo-area faces several charges after he allegedly fled from state troopers during a traffic stop on Interstate 90 in the town of Sheridan and, was located and arrested on Friday on a warrant from Sheridan town court.....  

During the traffic stop on June 5th, troopers found that 26-year-old Joseph Nelson of Williamsville was driving with a suspended license and was wanted on multiple warrants out of Amherst.  Nelson sped off after police requested he exit his vehicle, and the pursuit covered about 7 miles before troopers broke it off after Nelson drove through a closed toll lane at the Dunkirk exit, and left the Thruway.  Nelson faces several charges, including first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer and, aggravated unlicensed operation. 


Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, who has been endorsed by most county Republican Committees in his run for the 57th State Senate District, is proposing legislation to help sole proprietorships expand..... 

Borrello Monday announced his First Employee Tax Credit Plan.  He says the legislation, which would be one of the first bills he’d sponsor in the Senate, would assist single-owner start-ups to expand their operations and bring in their first employee.
 
Borrello says about half of the small businesses in New York State are sole proprietorships.  Once a sole proprietorship moves to having paid employees, owners are responsible for workers compensation insurance and added business costs.  Borrello says his plan would give a state income tax credit to any business when it adds its first, permanent payroll employee.  He says the credit the first year would be 25 percent of the cost to employ that person for the first year.  It would then drop to 20 percent the second year and 10 percent in the third year. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 17, 2019

Five Jamestown-area residents were arrested following a reported fight in the city on Saturday.... 

Officers responded to the area of Baker and Chapman Streets just after 6 PM and determined 29 year-old Matthew Williams, of Jamestown, attacked a male victim with a golf club causing injury. Police also found 71 year-old Roland Williams, of Jamestown, allegedly punched a female victim in the mouth. During the investigation, 34 year-old Samantha Colvin, of Jamestown, became disorderly and resisted arrest, but was taken into custody for unnecessary noise. Two others, 31 year-old Stephanie Dellahoy, of Jamestown, and 30 year-old Christopher Dellahoy, of Cherry Creek, were found to have active arrest warrants. All five were taken into custody to await arraignment. State Police aided in the investigation. 


A Jamestown-area woman faces charges, including driving while intoxicated, after her car crashed into a utility pole and propane tank in the town of Poland last Saturday night...  

Sheriff's officers and Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene on Scott Hill Road about 10:30 PM and, found that 49 year-old Melissa Hartley of Poland, had lost control and the vehicle crashed.  Deputies say Hartley was found to be drunk and, was arrested for DWI, DWI with a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater, speeding and moving from lane unsafely.  She was issued appearance tickets for Poland Town Court at a later date.


The other Jamestown Republican seeking the party's nod to run for mayor this November says he has intentionally stayed away from getting another line on the ballot....  

At-Large City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo made the comments after his opponent in the June 25th GOP Primary, David Wilfong, announced he had been endorsed by local Conservatives in the race.  Liuzzo feels it muddies the waters for a primary for one particular party.

Liuzzo, who was the first candidate to publicly announce he was seeking election as mayor, was not endorsed by the city GOP earlier this year. That went to Wilfong, who is a county legislator, and county Republican Committee Chairman.  Liuzzo did receive more than three-times the number of GOP signatures to challenge.  He says cross-endorsements from third-parties should only come after the primary party's run-off has occured.  Liuzzo says he's been "well-received" wherever he has gone.  He is finishing up his first term as an at-large City Councilman.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly acting suspiciously, then being found with a significant amount of methamphetamine in his possession.....  

City Police Lieutenant Greg Wozneak says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force  were in the area of East Second and Cheney Streets just after 10 PM last Fridayand, saw 23 year-old John Danh walking between two U-Haul Trucks.  Wozneak says police approached and spoke with Danh and, soon after found him in possession of about 15 grams of meth.  Danh was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, was jailed pending arraignment.


Rain may have put a damper on the crowd, but not the enthusiasm, as the 37th Yassou festival wrapped up Saturday....  

The festival is a project of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.  One of the organizers, Alexis Singleton, says they had a huge crowd Friday, a little smaller on Saturday.  She says the festival has become an annual kick-off for summer in Jamestown and an opportunity to welcome the community to Greek hospitality and food.  Yassou is held on the church grounds on Francis Street at the top of Sprague Hill in Jamestown.  The church's priest, Father Jarrod Russell says they offer a vespers service and tours of the round church, as well, in hopes of eliminating caricatures and letting people see who they really are.  Yassou is traditionally presented on Father's Day Weekend.  St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2022. 


Four people were taken to local hospitals after the car they were riding in last Saturday afternoon was struck from behind on Route 394 in the town of Chautauqua... 

 Sheriff's officers say 52 year-old Rhonda Kennedy of Jamestown was southbound about 3:30 PM when she stopped to make a left turn.  However, deputies say the vehicle behind her, driven by 24 year-old Alexander Lescynski of Mayville, failed to stop and struck Kennedy's vehicle from behind.  Officers say Kennedy was treated at the scene while her four passengers were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Lescynski was not hurt, but was ticketed for following too closely, and speeding.  Kennedy ticketed for a 13 year-old passenger that was not wearing a safety belt.  Both Lescynski and Kennedy will appear in Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.


Local Congressman Tom Reed met with several local fishermen during a stop in Dunkirk last Friday afternoon to discuss the issues facing the sport and Lake Erie....  


The Corning Republican is pushing for continued support of the Great Lakes Restoration initiative in the final federal budget.  He asked those who attended the meeting held at the Conservation Club about other issues facing the lake, including high water levels.

The fishermen who attended the meeting raised other concerns, including invasive species and the condition of the breakwall in Dunkirk Harbor.  Reed says President Trump has expressed full support for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  The program received $300-million in the 2018-19 budget.

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News Headlines for Sat. June 15, 2019

City man arrested for being in possession of "large amount" of Methamphetamine...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly acting suspiciously, then being found with a significant amount of methamphetamine in his possession.  City Police Lt. Greg Wozneak says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force  were in the area of East Second and Cheney Streets just after 10 p.m. Friday, and, saw 23 year-old John Danh walking between two U-Haul Trucks.  Wozneak says police approached and spoke with Danh... and, soon after found him in possession of about 15 grams of meth.  Dahn was arrested for thrid-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, was jailed pending arraignment.


Erie, PA man arrested during traffic stop for dealing Meth...
A man from Erie, Pennsylvania is jailed for allegedly trafficking significant amounts of methamphetamine in the Greater Jamestown-area.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force say they and State Police were involved in the stop... which took place at Exit 12 on Interstate 86 just after 10 a.m. Friday.  City police say they were assisted by the State Police K-9 unit in pulling over the vehicle, operated by 39 year-old David Flannigan.  Officers say they found that Flannigan's license had been suspended... and, they found him in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.  Police obtained a search warrant... and, found more than 5 additional ounces of meth inside the vehicle.  Flannigan was arrested on one count each of second-and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


County Health and Human Services Dept. warns about distemper...
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has received numerous reports of concern about animals acting like they might be rabid.  Director of Environmental Health Mark Stow says he believes many of the animals may have distemper.  He says he went out in one case, and says it was not a rabies case, but, a distemper one.  Stow says distemper can’t be contracted by humans, but it can be deadly for cats and dogs.  He says it's important to have your pets vaccinated against rabies and distemper and leave wild animals alone.


Reed talks about renewing, and new Manufacturing legislation he's pushing...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is pushing for renewal of a number of manufacturing related measure that have helped the 23rd Congressional District, and United States overall.  The Corning Republican says there are three manufacturing bills that he is re-introducing with others that need to be approved soon.  Reed says the first is the Made in America Manufacturing Act of 2016... and with that... the American Manufacturing Leadership Act which he says will renew the "Manufacturing USA Centers of Excellence" across the country that helps get the new photonics plant going in Rochester.  Reed says that legislation... co-sponsored by Democrat Joe Kennedy... has led to $1.4-billion in new manufacturing investment, and 180 new jobs.  He says the final piece is creation of the new, Chief Manufacturing Officer's position in the federal government.  He says, currently, it's handled in piece-meal fashion.  In addition... Reed says it's also time for Congress to finally act on the United States, Mexico, and Canadian Trade Act... which still has not received a final vote.  He made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


CLA receives $100,000 grant from DEC program to deal with invasive weed species...
The Chautauqua Lake Association will be receiving $100,000 in critical funding to deal with the invasive weed problem on the lake this year.  Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday afternoon announced the money will be part of $2.8-million dollars in grant awards to combat invasive weed issues across the state.  Cuomo says the CLA award is one of 42 being made to municipalities, lake groups and others.  He says the grants are part of the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Invasive Species Grant Program and are funded by the State's Environmental Protection Fund.  Cuomo says -- "the state is leading the way in invasive species management to ensure our environment remains sustainable, healthy and strong."  While the state is providing the $100,000 in grant funding... the CLA lost $150,000 in state funding in the most recent budget.


Cuomo defends signing measure removing non-medical vaccination exemptions...
Governor Andrew Cuomo is defending his decision to sign legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children.  Cuomo, who signed the bill shortly after the Assembly passed the measure in a tight vote on Thursday, spoke about its necessity on WAMC Northeast Public Radio Friday morning.  He says he understands the religious objections that have been voiced, along with the "anti-vaccers."  However, he believes public safety "outweighs both."  Cuomo says the move will help protect the public amid the worst measles outbreak in more than 25 years... although he did indicate it may face a legal challenge.


June Diethrick retires from Community Foundation...
After 17 years on the job... Chief Operating Officer June Diethrick with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, retired at the end of the day Friday.  She says she's looking forward to dedicating time to her 'community passions' and having some 'fun times' with her husband Russ.  June estimates the size of the foundation has about doubled during her tenure, but remains a great place to work.  Executive Director Tory Irgang greeted Diethrick's retirement with some apprehension, saying "June knows things about this foundation that we don't even know we need to know." Irgang adds anyone wishing to honor June should attend the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation's annual meeting at the Third on Third Gallery next Wednesday at 4 p.m.

 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 13, 2019


Update on West Ellicott convenience store robbery...

 

Ellicott Town Police say three people were taken into custody last night in connection to the armed hold-up at the 24-hour convenience store at 575 Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott.  Detective Kevin Pierce says futher details will be released later this morning on the charges and suspects involved.  First Sergeant Matt Kubinski says no one was hurt in the incident.  Anyone with additional information can call Ellicott Town Police at 665-7083.  


A teenaged male has been arrested in the city of Jamestown after allegedly trying to use counterfeit money to pay for two taxi rides last Tuesday night.... 

City Police say they were called to investigate the complaint about 10 PM and, during that time, the 18 year-old called and requested a taxi.  Police say the cab company alerted them and, they stopped the taxi in the area of Falconer and Stowe Streets.  Officers say the teen tried to use a false name, but, was arrested without further incident.  He was being held pending arraignment on charges of first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, theft of services and, criminal impersonation.


A Dewittville man -- allegedly driving drunk -- was injured in a serious motor vehicle accident in the Town of Ellery Tuesday night....  

Sheriff's Officers responded to Maple Grove Road just before midnight for a reported rollover accident and, identified the driver as 29 year-old Marcus Lutgen.  Deputies say Lutgen was trapped inside the vehicle and had to be extricated by the Bemus Point Fire Department.  Further police investigation led to Lutgen's arrest for DWI and several vehicle and traffic charges.  He was transported to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment and is to appear in court at a later date.  County medics also assisted as the scene. 


The Chautauqua County League of Women Voters will be holding a debate next Monday night, June 17th at 7 PM in Dunkirk City Hall....  

League officials add it's likely going to be the only public debate in the county involving the two candidates running for the Republican party line in the 57th State Senate District race.  Marcia Merrins, who will help moderate the debates, says there will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions of the candidates.  She says questions will be screened to make sure they are pertinent to that office.  The contests will be among a handful that will be featured on Tuesday, June 25th. 
 

The man endorsed by Jamestown Republicans to run for mayor has now picked up a third-party endorsement in his effort to win in November....  

County Legislator Dave Wilfong has also received the backing of the Chautauqua County Conservative Party in his effort.  Wilfong expressed his appreciation to the Conservative Committee, and Chairwoman Anna Wilcox, saying it was an honor and privledge to receive it.  He sees the second line as a help for November.

However, before that, Wilfong must contend with a primary challenge in about two weeks -- Tuesday, June 25th -- against At-Large City Councilman Andrew Liuzzo, who was the first announced candidate earlier this year.  Wilfong says his campaign has it's eye on that and, adds their effort has gone well.  He says he's been canvassing the neighborhoods, and says he has on-line ads and has literature set to be mailed out.  Wilfong says being a fiscal conservative as a member of the County Legislature helped him land the Conservative Party backing.  He is currently serving his third-term as county legislator from District 11 and is chairman of the Chautauqua County Republican Party.


The second annual 'Give Big CHQ' is today.... 

 Executive Director Tory Irgang with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, says nearly 100 organizations are asking for support during the 24 hour period.  She says the on-line set-up encourages a demographic that might not otherwise donate to help organizations they care about.  The Chautauqua Region and Northern Chautauqua Community Foundations encourage donors to go to 'Give Big CHQ.org' and make a contribution before midnight Thursday.  Irgang says they try to make it fun, with extra prizes for the non-profits involved, depending on how and when people give and there's a leader board for the most dollars raised and the most unique giver.  The extra prizes are made possible by BWB, Weber Knapp, Courier Capital, Allied Alarm and Southern Tier Brewing. 

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News Bulletin for Wed., June 12, 2019

**(Alert)West Ellicott Store robbed...

Ellicott Police are investigating an early morning armed hold-up at a 24-hour convenience store on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott.  Town Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says two hispanic males reportedly entered the 575 Convenience Store shortly before 5 this morning... and, one displayed a weapon.  Ohnmeiss says the clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of cash... and, the two men fled west on Fairmount Avenue in a smaller, white car they had parked behind the Salvation Army Thrift Store across the street from the store.  If you have any information on the incident... you are asked to call Ellicott Town Police at 665-7083.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 12, 2019

Grief counselors and others have been brought to Jamestown's Washington Middle School to help students and staff deal with the loss of a well-known and popular teacher.....  

That from School Principal Melissa Emerson, who says she had to deliver the stunning news about the unexpected death of English Language Arts Teacher Jason Williams to staff Monday morning.  Emerson says students were then told and kept in their home rooms for a longer time period.

In a printed release on the district's website, Superintendent Bret Apthorpe calls Williams' death a "very sad event."  Williams, who was also well-known in the local theater community, passed away unexpectedly last weekend at the age of 40.  Emerson says the news comes on the heels of Williams looking at a possible new assignment at the district's new Success Academy.  She says Williams was a "very creative teacher" who was always thinking "outside the box..." and, that endeared him to his students.  Jason Williams was employed at Washington for 14 years. 


A city man is jailed without bail on multiple rape and sexual assault charges in connection with incidents in the towns of Ellery and Sheridan since early May.....  

Sheriff's deputies say they received a report on a "suspicious situation" last May 9th and, began investigating the matter.  Details were not released, but officers say they arrested 33 year-old Richard Lefrance of Forest AVenue late Monday on two counts of second-degree rape, three counts of second-degree criminal sexual act and, first-degree sexual abuse.  Lafrance was arraigned, and sent to the county lock-up.


A Westfield man has been arrested for allegedly pulling a knife and threatening another person during an argument on Jamestown's eastside Monday afternoon....  

City Police were called to the scene at 305 East Fifth Street about 2:30 PM on a report of a person with a weapon.  Officers say the suspect, 29 year-old Ryan Kelley, had fled the scene prior to their arrival.  Police found Kelley a short distance away and, he was arrested.  Officers say Kelley was charged with second-degree menacing, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, was jailed pending arraignment.

Local Congressman Tom Reed is applauding President Trump for being able to work out an immigration deal with Mexico after threatening to slap new tariffs on our southern neighbors....  

The Corning Republican says the fact that the Mexican government recognizes the crisis at the border, and is willing to help reduce the influx of migrants is a good first step.

However, while Reed says the threat of tariffs helped in this case, he doesn't believe that it's good over the long term because it's not a "sustainable policy."  He says it also hurts efforts to get a new trade deal in place.  Congress has yet to act on the U-S, Mexico, and Canada trade deal and, Reed has put the blame squarely on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Ultimately, Reed says Congress needs to take action to deal with the immigration and refugee issue at the southern border.


A consulting firm from Lancaster, New York has provided county officials with a white paper on available management techniques for dealing with the weed problem in Chautauqua Lake....  

County Executive George Borrello says they have shared the report, released earlier this month by Ecology and Environment, Inc. with other groups including the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Borrello says the report looks at a number of options on how to control the weeds, including the use of available herbicides.  He hopes it gives people some "level of comfort" in using herbicides as one way to handle weed issues.  Meanwhile, Borrello says the early indications are encouraging about the work that was completed earlier this season in the lake.  


It's unlikely that legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in New York State will get passed during this year's legislative session.....  

However, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is preparing for such legislation to be legalized.  That from Sheriff Jim Quattrone, who says it may not happen this year, but the feels the legalization of pot will eventually happen.

Quattrone says one of the issues for law enforcement officers in states where marijuana has been legalized is an increase in car accidents where drivers are under the influence of cannabis.  He points to Colorado as an example where the number of crashes involving such drives has risen.  Quattrone says other issues that have come up in such states include continuing illegal sales of pot, as well as a higher THC content in cannabis leading to a potential psychosis in people who use the drug.

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News Headlines for Tues., June 11, 2019

City man arrested on several rape, and sexual abuse-related charges...         
A Jamestown man has been arrested on multiple rape and sexual assault charges in connection with incidents in the towns of Ellery and Sheridan the past month.  Sheriff's officers say they received a "suspicious situation" report back on May 9th... and, began investigating the matter.  Details were not released... but, deputies arrested 33 year-old Richard Lefrance of Forest AVenue late yesterday on two counts of second-degree rape... three counts of second-degree criminal sexual act... and, first-degree sexual abuse.  Lafrance was arraigned, and sent to the County Jail without bail.


Swanson says sentence for Waggoner "fair..."
A city man will spend at least the next 20 years in state prison for shooting another Jamestown man to death during an argument on the city's westside last year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the sentence handed down by County Court Judge David Foley to 54 year-old David Waggoner Monday was fair.  Swanson says the family of 30 year-old William Michishima is also happy with the sentence.  He says Waggoner will have to serve 20 years under the indeterminate sentence, and after that will have to go before a parole board.  Waggoner was convicted earlier this year of second-degree murder in the death of Michishima in July of 2018.  While Waggoner's defense tried to paint Michishima as the aggressor... Swanson says the incident was "avoidable" and didn't have to end the way it did.  The shooting reportedly took place during an argument over a motorcycle on Livington Avenue on the city's westside.  William Michishima later died from a wound to the head at UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.


Nationally-known Washington Post reporter, author, Bob Woodward to be in Jamestown this August...
The Robert H. Jackson Center is bringing reporter and author Bob Woodward to Jamestown on Sun., Aug. 11 at 5 p.m. for a speech at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.  Robert H. Jackson Center President Kristan McMahon made the announcement at Noon Monday.  She says Woodward will speak on the topic "Have We Forgotten the Lessons of Watergate?"  Woodward has won two Pulitzer prizes, one of them for his coverage of the Watergate scandal in the Nixon administration.  His most recent book is "Fear: Trump in the White House."  McMahon sees Woodward's appearance as a 'natural off-spring' of Justice Jackson's work... which ran a broad spectrum from social justice to presidential power.  Tickets to see Bob Woodward go on sale at the Reg Lenna Box Office on Tuesday at noon.  Prices start at $35.  For $150 patrons can get a ticket to meet Wooward and get a signed copy of his book about President Trump.  Woodward's appearance is made possible by the Fund for Downtown Programming... part of the city's Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding, and the Alan Y. Cole endownment fund.


Apthorpe calls sudden death of Washington Middle School teacher a "very sad event..."
The Jamestown public school community is both saddened and shocked this week with the sudden passing of a well-known and popular teacher at Washington Middle School.  Superintendent Bret Apthorpe calls the death of English Language Arts Teacher, Jason Williams, a "very sad event."  Williams... who was also well-known in the local theater community... passed away unexpectedly last weekend at the age of 40.  Apthorpe says -- quote -- "we are all profoundly saddened by the loss of a beloved teacher, friend and Jamestown Public School family member.  We extend our deepest sympathies to Mr. Williams’ family and friends during this very difficult time."  Apthorpe says Williams was a staff member at Washington Middle School for 14 years... and, was very involved in many extracurricular activities and school committees while at Washington.


County Jail inmate accused of bringing Meth into the jail...
A Chautauqua County Jail inmate has been arraigned on charges after he was reportedly found in possession of methamphetamine earlier this month.  Jail Corrections Officers conducted the June 2 search just after 9 p.m., and, reportedly found 20 year-old Bracken Warren in possession of the drug both in his cell and on his person.  As a result... Warren was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree promoting prison contraband.  He was committed back into the custody of the county jail. 


Bill that would legalize prostitution not likely to be acted on by NYS legislature before end of session...
New York state would legalize the buying and selling of sex under a proposal introduced in the state Legislature that would lift criminal penalties for sex work.  The bill was announced Monday and isn't expected to get a vote before the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly plan to adjourn for the year next week.  Supporters say criminal penalties for prostitution haven't worked, and that legalization would improve sex worker safety while reducing trafficking and exploitation.  Speaking at a press conference Monday, former and current sex workers talked about being forced into the industry as minors. 


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 10, 2019

Two men have been arrested after leading Jamestown police on a vehicle chase that involved two separate motor vehicle accidents and, ended in the town of Poland....  

City Police were called to the scene at Palmer and Highland Streets just after 5 PM Saturday, but, the pick-up truck involved fled the scene.  Officers say they tried to stop the truck over several blocks of the city, where the two accidents occured.  Police say the truck was finally stopped on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road after the truck was disabled from heavy damage.  The alleged driver, 24 year-old Cody Dickerson of Jamestown, was caught after a brief foot chase, while the passenger, 43 year-old Steven Blankenship of Ludlow, Pennsylvania, was also caught.  However, police say they had to deploy a taser twice before Blankenship was arrested.  Dickerson faces 30 charges, most of them vehicle and traffic violations, while Blankenship faces drug possesion charges and others.  JPD was assisted by several other local agencies.


A north county man was arrested after a brief stand-off with police when he allegedly threatening others with a shot-gun early Sunday morning....  

Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Stone Road in the town of Pomfret and, were there for an extended time before calling in the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team, and, the department's Crisis Negotiation Team and Emergency Services.  Following a brief negotiation involving the SWAT Team,officers say they took 57 year-old Gary Ortolano of Fredonia into custody, and recovered the shot-gun inside the home.  Deputies say Ortolano is a convicted Felon and, not allowed to possess any firearm.  He was arrested for fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and, sent to the county jail pending arraignment.


It's appearing less and less likely that another power producer will be moving into the former NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk.....

That from Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, who says they will soon be awarding a bid to a firm that will do a feasibility study of the plant and, what kind of business or industry could move into the moth-balled facility.  During comments made at last Friday's County Executive Breakfast with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, said that Governor Andrew Cuomo has a new, and shorter time-line for converting the state to 100-percent renewable energy.

With that, Borrello says a power producer is unlikely to come into the area and spend millions of dollars getting a plant up and running.  The Republican executive says repowering the NRG Plant with natural gas -- as had been planned several years ago -- would have been the right way to go.  He says refiring the plant with natural gas would have been the right direction because of it's smaller carbon-footprint.  NRG announced back in March of 2012 that it would mothball the Dunkirk plant because it no longer was economically viable.  That finally occured in early January of 2016.


Farmers are having another tough start to the growing season.  Dan Steward, a consultant for the Western New York Crop Management Association, works with dairy and other farmers throughout the region....  

He says the lack of good weather in April has put farmers up to a month behind in fieldwork.  Now that the sun is shining and the first cutting of grass is coming on, growers have to decide whether to use the good days to make haylage or put in corn.  It may be too late to plant corn for grain and expect it to be mature in time this fall, but Steward believes if the weather dries up and stays warm, much of the lost time could otherwise be made up. (Steward spoke on 'The Farm Bureau Radio Show' on Media One this past weekend.)

 
The New York State Democratic Rural Conference officers, and board of directors, have gone on record as opposing passage of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act....  

That decision is being blasted by Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green, who says Rural Conference Director, Judith Hunter, "does not speak for all rural Democrats, nor all rural Democratic County political committees.  I am a Democratic leader who stands today and will stand tomorrow with the working people of rural New York."  Green says the county is a member of the Rural Conference but, says he supports the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act "100-percent."  He adds that New York needs to look at farm polices as a whole.  


Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says that city officials met this past week with executives from Wells Enterprises, which recently acquired Fieldbrook Foods....  

Rosas says company officials are pleased with the progress on a new cold storage facility located near South Roberts Road and hopes it leads to additional jobs.  Wells acquired Fieldbrook Foods in April and, the cold storage facility set to open by the end of the year in Dunkirk.


The eating habits of Western New Yorkers are changing....

Stephanie Burdo of Jamestown has just put out the 10th edition of the magazine 'Edible Western New York' and she says there's a solid foundation of people who are 'intentional' about what they eat, and interested in the envirnoment and how their food is grown.  Burdo is both editor and publisher of 'Edible Western New York.' She says the magazine reflects the emerging interest in other things produced locally,  including craft beverages, cheeses, and artisans creating 'things for the table.'  'Edible Western New York' is free and available at many locations listed at EdibleWesternNY.com. (The launch party for the 10th edition of the magazine was held at Bag & String in Lakewood on Sunday.)


The University Pittsburgh Medical Center is dropping plans to seek prepayment from out-of-network Highmark Medicare Advantage patients when consent decrees linking the competing health care giants end on June 30th....  

In a news released posted on its website Wednesday, UPMC said it would accept direct payment from Highmark at the same rate that UPMC Health Plan now pays Highmark's Allegheny Health Network hospitals.  UPMC also will adopt the same contract rate when billing Highmark directly for out-of-network emergency care.  In a statement, UPMC chief communications officer Paul Wood says UPMC will have to reconsider its decisions regarding prepayment and balance billing if Highmark fails to pay the billed amounts directly to UPMC.  The action comes as a state judge considers how the five-year consent decree between the health care providers and the attorney general's office can be modified.
 

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News Headlines for Sat. June 8, 2019

Borrello says number of jobs, and confidence in Chautauqua County are growing...
Local business leaders were told Friday morning that Chautauqua County is "turning a corner..." and, it's showing up in the latest figures from the New York State Labor Department.  That from County Executive George Borrello... who headlined the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual County Executive Breakfast at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville.  Borrello says local "self-confidence" has improved... and he says it's been bouyed by what the labor department is now reporting.  He says between April of 2018 and 2019, the number of "net jobs" in the county grew by 400 -- the most it has in about a decade.  Borrello adds the labor department also says the county's workforce participation rate is the highest it's been in "many years..." and, the jobless rate fell a full percentage point.  At the same time... he says it points to the need for more skilled workforce.  Borrello says -- in recent months -- Jamestown Community College -- has really stepped up -- with 30 recipients of JCC's new Workforce Development Scholarships.  It's for students that want to learn about the skilled-trades.   Borrello praised JCC President Daniel DeMarte and other leaders there for their efforts to get the program up and running to train people for new, and better jobs.  At the same time... he says there is still work to do to bring up the skills of the local workforce. 


County Exec. also says new application to bring commercial air service back to Jamestown Airport to be sent out soon...
Chautauqua County is working on a new funding model that Executive George Borrello believes will provide a bigger local share of funding for commercial air service at the Jamestown Airport.  He was asked about the status of the county's application to get the Essential Air Service program restored to the County Airport during Friday morning's Executive Breakfast hosted by the county Chamber of Commerce.  Borrello says they are working to literally get local businesses "buy in" to the program... using a "season ticket holder" type model.  He says local funding will help keep air service here long term.  Borrello says the reason they aren't getting the federal dollars for County Airport maintenance and upgrades is their lack of commercial air service.  He says the county ends up having to pay out a larger local share because they don't get as much federal funding.  Borrello says the county expects to reapply for the EAS Service again shortly... based mainly on input they got back from the U-S Department of Transportation on what their first application lacked.  The county lost it's Essential Air Service in early 2018 after ridership with the past carrier failed to meet federal standards.


Inert Practice Artillery Shell Found in Cattaraugus County...
The Chautauqua County Regional Bomb Squad was called to safely remove an artillery shell from the yard of a Cattaraugus County man's home.  Sheriff's Officers in Little Valley say Peter Guadagno -- of New Albion -- was digging around his yard he found what appeared to be the old military shell.  Deputies say the item was three-inches around and about 10 inches long... and the bomb squad was able to safely transport the shell from the area.  The United States Air Force Explosive Ordinance Team conducted further investigation... and, concluded the shell was an inert practice round and did not present any danger. Anyone who comes across any military ordinance, like an old grenade or artillery shell, should leave it undisturbed and call 911.


State Legislature approve nursing mothers from Jury Duty...
Lawmakers in New York have voted to exempt nursing mothers from jury duty.  The Senate and Assembly this week both passed legislation which would permit women to delay jury duty up to two years if they are breastfeeding a baby.  Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, a Bronx Democrat who sponsored the bill, says that women should be allowed to postpone their service in order to prioritize the well-being of their child.  Under the proposal, nursing mothers could use a doctor's note to delay their service on a jury. 


About 140 take part in annual Van Miller Golf Tournament in Dunkirk...
One of the best receivers in Buffalo Bills history was among the more than 100 people participating in the 11th annual Van Miller Hometown Hero Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament held Friday at Shorewood Country Club.  Retired Wide Receiver Jerry Butler played with the Bills in the 1980s... and developed a close relationship with the legendary broadcaster.  Lake Shore Savings Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Reininga helps organized the tournament each year... and, says they had a great turn-out with about 140 people taking part in the event.  The annual tournament helps raise funds for the scholarship program and recognizes the late sports broadcaster from Dunkirk.


Moose Sightings up in state; DEC urging more reporting...
The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation is asking people to report moose sightings to help wildlife biologists involved in a multi-year research project on the status of the moose population.  Officials say moose sightings increase in the spring as cows prepare to give birth and last year's calves look for their own territories.  In 2018... 220 moose observations were reported to DEC, up from 163 in 2017.  Biologists say it's likely due to increased public awareness of the research project. 

 

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WJTN News Headlines for June 7, 2019

On the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War-Two Thursday, people around the world shared memories of that fateful day and, those who helped liberate Europe from the Nazi's....  

They are also being shared here in Chautauqua County.  Retired school superintendent Tom Schmidt, who does the "Weather Outside" with our Dennis Webster, recalled his late father, Mel, who was unable to talk about what he saw until the 50th anniversary in 1994.

Mel Schmidt was a member of the U-S Army, who was tasked along with others, to pick up the bodies of thousands of dead soldiers on the beach.  After that... Tom Schmidt says his father continued on with his unit to fight in several battles in the war, including the Battle of the Bulge.  Schmidt says, once his father began sharing what happened during the war, he needed some help for delayed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He says his father received treatment from some Veteran's Hospitals for that.


New York state honored about 100 World War-Two veterans during a D-Day ceremony on Long Island Thursday....  

The veterans being honored on the 75th anniversary included three who saw action there:  97-year-old Army veteran Philip DiMarco;  96 year-old Army veteran Frank DePergola; and 93-year-old Navy veteran Charles Cino.  The event was held at the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University.  More than 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in northwest France on June 6th, 1944.  The Battle of Normandy was a turning point in the war.  It helped bring about Nazi Germany's defeat in May of 1945.


Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says he expects there will be a significant drop in the population of the County Jail in Mayville when new criminal justice reforms are implemented by the state in January....  

Quattrone, who oversees the operation of the jail, says the elimination of cash bail will result in the release of dozens of inmates.

Quattrone says there will also be fewer arrests when it comes to most misdemeanors and some low level felonies.  Instead of arrests, he says deputies will issue appearance tickets.  The State Legislature passed the reforms earlier this year. 

 
A Jamestown man has been arrested in connection with a burglary investigation on the city's eastside early this Thursday morning.... 

City police were called to help Ellicott Town Police with the investigation just before 2:30 AM and, found a man who matched the description of the suspect walking on Falconer Street -- near Dunn Avenue.  Officers say they tried to stop 43 year-old Jason Nash but, he refused to stop.  He was finally taken into custody for obstructing governmental administration.  Nash was held pending arraignment.


A Cherry Creek man is jailed on $10,000 bail after a quantity of methamphetamine was found during a traffic stop Wednesday evening.....  

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Officers, along with Agents of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, say they arrested 26 year-old Brian McGonagle on a warrant for felony criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, when they searched a vehicle McGonagle was passenger in.  Officers say the car was pulled over on Second Street in the Village of Cattaraugus, when they found a half-ounce of methamphetamine.  McGonagle was sent to the Little Valley Jail, and is due back in New Albion Court on June 18th.


The Jamestown Police Department will again provide three school resource officers for the Jamestown Public Schools for the 2019-2020 school year....  

The City Council's Finance Committee earlier this week approved the district hiring the three officers for $102,000 each.  Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says one will be at the high school, while one will rotate through the middle schools, and one would be at the Tech Academy on Fourth Street.  He says it's unclear how the new Success Academy would be staffed.

The new Success Academy for students with poor attendance and other issues will be held at the former Rogers Elementary School.  Otherwise, Dolce says it's basically the same agreement they've had with the district in the past.  In addition, he says the district does have the option of hiring the SROs for the 2020 Summer School session for $14,570 per officer during each session.  


A Silver Creek woman has been arrested for allegedy driving drunk when her car crashed on Route 5 in the town of Portland Wednesday night....  

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 11 PM and, determined that 43 year-old Laura Meadows was the driver.  She was arrested and, charged with driving while intoxicated, failure to keep right, and moving from lane unsafely.  Meadows was taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries but, there was no report on their severity.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 6, 2019

The ribbon has been cut on the new, $20-million Womans's Center and Mental Health Inpatient Unit at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital....  

Local and county officials joined with hospital leaders for the grand opening of the 42,000 square foot, three-story facility Wednesday afternoon.  Interim President Brian Durniok says they're excited to have the new facility open and, praised the community effort to see the project through.

Durniok says the new maternity wing includes four labor and delivery suites, and three triage rooms, along with 12 private post-partum rooms for patients to heal.  The Mental Health section includes 10 inpatient adolescent beds and, 20 adult inpatient beds.  The funding was secured in 2015 under the direction of retired President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wrigh, who says they did a needs assessment that helped them get a $26.4-million state grant for the project.  Wright says two of the four priorities they identified are directly addressed by the addition.


A Jamestown-area maker of high-end solid brass decorative hardware has been acquired by a major, North American cabinet-brand manufacturer.....  

Water Street Brass in Lakewood has announced the agreement with Top Knobs and at the same time,announced the local company will break ground on a new expansion project next month.  That's exciting news to Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, who credits Owners Matt and Chase Churchill for creating a "niche" in that industry.

Water Street was founded by brothers Matt and Chase Churchill in 2012 and, they bought the current facility in 2014.  Matt Churchill says, since acquiring the new facility, they have hired about 50 new employees.  He says "partnering with Top Knobs will provide significant new opportunities for growth and jobs, manufacturing capacity, and distribution."  He adds that Top Knobs has "made a strong commitment to Chautauqua County and the stakeholders of Water Street Brass."  Top Knobs President Warren Ramsland says Water Street has put out "a stunning, high-end brand that I've admired since it began."


A Mayville man has been arrested on a warrant charging him with second-degree rape....  

Sheriff's officers say they conducted a warrant check on a home in the village last Tuesday night and arrested 27 year-old Joshua Northrop-Dowdall.  Deputies say Northrop-Dowdall was on probation at the time.  He was sent to the county jail pending further court action.


New York's publicly funded Medicaid program paid more than $63,000 for erectile dysfunction drugs and other sexual treatments for sex offenders, despite laws banning such expenses....  

The figures come from an audit released Wednesday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and first reported by The Associated Press.  State and federal laws prohibit payments for sexual treatments for any Medicaid recipient. Yet auditors found that the state approved a total of more than $930,000 for such treatments between 2012 and 2018. DiNapoli urged immediate changes to ensure the state isn't misusing taxpayer money.  Health officials say erectile dysfunction drugs can be used to treat other conditions, including prostate problems. But auditors discount that, saying in many cases the sex offenders who received the drugs had no relevant diagnosis.


The city of Jamestown is again "going big" for this year's annual "Summer Bandshell Performance Series" at the Goranson Bandshell in Allen Park....  

City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley announced the 2019 schedule yesterday afternoon and, says there'll be several musical, and other performances taking place between now and early August.

Ciesla-Hanley says everything kicks-off next week with the Jamestown High School Concert Band, under the direction of Meghan Murray, doing their annual concert beginning at 7 PM.  That'll be the start time each week, with Pearl City Jazz taking the stage on June 19th.  The following Wednesday... the Chautauqua Theater Company will put on a performance of Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Deam."  On Wednesday, July 3rd, the Jamestown Municipal Band will perform the first of six concerts each Wednesday through August 7th.  The Allen Park Women's Club will again provide refreshments.  


Some New York farmers say they're open to compromise on legislation designed to help agricultural laborers....  

Several farm owners traveled to Albany on Wednesday to discuss legislation before the Democrat-led Senate and Assembly which would allow farm workers to unionize, collect disability benefits and receive overtime for working more than 40 hours per week.  Supporters of the bill say it's about basic economic fairness, but farmers warn it could force some farms to close.  Vegetable farmer Brian Reeves said he can live with many of the bill's provisions but has concerns about the overtime proposal.  He says the seasonal nature of agricultural work doesn't lend itself to consistent, 40-hour work weeks, but that farmers like him might accept an overtime threshold of higher than 40 hours.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 6, 2019

More and more Republicans are voicing opposition to President Donald Trump's plan to impose new tariffs on Mexico if it doesn't do more to stop illegal immigration on America's southern border....  

One of them, local Congressman Tom Reed, says it's "not realistic" to impose tariffs on a trading partner who has agreed to a new trade pact.  Reed says Congress needs to deal with the immigration problem and, says Mexico and Canada are ready to implement the new U.S., Mexico, Canada agreement.

Reed also says that Congress needs to vote on the USMC trade agreement.  He says that should be the first order of business, because our trading partners are moving ahead on the agreement in good faith.  Reed says he's especially pleased with how the agreement takes care of suspending the '232-Steel and Aluminum' tariffs.  If the new tariffs on Mexico go into effect, they could increase to 25-percent by October.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


With the 2020 census count less than a year away, a new report says minority populations and small children are especially vulnerable to being undercounted.....  

The report released Tuesday by the Urban Institute says anywhere from 900,000 to 4-million people living in the U.S. could be undercounted, with blacks, Hispanics and children younger than 5 most likely to being overlooked.  The states most at risk include Florida, California, Georgia, New York, Nevada, Texas and New Mexico.  Power and money are at stake because the 2020 census determines the allocation of more than $675 billion in federal spending.  The once-in-a-decade count also will determine which states gain or lose U.S. congressional seats.  The prospect of a citizenship question could further chill people's willingness to be counted.  The U.S. Supreme Court is currently weighing its constitutionality.


Leaders of the Democratic majority in the New York State Senate remain optimistic about legalizing recreational marijuana, but Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn't think it will happen this year.... 

Cuomo told reporters on Monday that the Senate doesn't have the votes.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the sticking point is with new Senators from Long Island, where the plan is unpopular.

Goodell also reiterated that he continues to oppose legalizing pot.  Cuomo says that he backs the legalization of marijuana but that the issue remains controversial for many legislators.  And he says recent failure of legalization efforts in New Jersey sapped some momentum in New York.  Lawmakers insist they're not giving up on passing legalization before they adjourn June 19th. 

 
The village of Celoron will be a busy place over the next four days as the 10th annual Rib Fest gets underway near Lucille Ball Memorial Park....  

The Celoron Rib Fest is one of the first major Summer events in Chautauqua County and, Mayor Scot Schrecengost says set-up for the vendors and, other activities are well underway.  Schrecengost says there is a lot that new in the village as well.

Village officials say the main entrance to the Harborfront Hotel will be closed off to make room for the ribbers, and vendors.  The Rib Fest gets underway from 3 to 10 PM Wednesday, and, will have the same hours on Thursday.  The hours will be 3 to 11 PM Friday, and 11 AM to 11 PM on Saturday.  Saturday will feature the Classic Car Crusin'.  On Friday, Schrecengost says they'll have their annual Bike Night.  He says they have a nice array of familiar ribbers, and new ones this year. 


New York's Legislature has passed a bill that would make the state the first in the U.S. to ban cat declawing operations.... 

The bill would subject veterinarians to one-thousand dollar fines for performing the procedure, which involves amputating a cat's toes back to the first knuckle.  It now heads to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  He hasn't said whether he'll sign it into law.


A man from the Jamestown-area is jailed for allegedly harassing a person who had an order of protection against him in the village of Falconer....  

Ellicott Town Police say they were called to a domestic incident at 15 East Elmwood Avenue, and upon investigation, arrested Christopher Rock.  Town Police say they charged Rock with second-degree harassment, and criminal contempt.  He was taken to the Chautauqua County Jail pending arraignment.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 4th, 2019

A town of Busti woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the death of a Lakewood-area man found in the town of Randolph just over a year ago..... 

 Cattaraugus County Assistant District Attorney Preston Marshall tells us that 74 year-old Mary Lou Johnson entered the guilty plea in County Court in Little Valley Monday morning.  Marshall says it's a Class-C Felony and, Johnson will be sentenced on September 16th.  Marshall says Johnson was accused of killing 48 year-old Wilfredo Rodriguez-Colon, who was reported missing on back on April 15th of 2018 and, his body was found off Swanson Hill Road last April 21st.  


The Resouce Center had an excellent year, financially, in 2018....  

The agency, which focuses on helping the disabled in Chautauqua County, held its annual meeting Monday evening.  Treasurer Craig Colburn said they finished the year with a $2.3 million surplus, up from $83,000 the year before. Executive Director, Denise Jones, added... the surplus was helped by winning a court case that yielded $1.3 million in state reimbursements.  Outgoing Board President, Mike Goldman, said one of his priorities was to create financial stability, and said, "we have done so."  Patty Perlee is the new head of the TRC board.  The annual meeting was held at the Resource Center's newly renovated medical and dental facility on East Second Street in Jamestown.


The severe storms that pounded Chautauqua County last Saturday were widespread.....  

That from County Executive George Borrello, who says he was in contact with Public Facilities Director Brad Bentley and, County Emergency Services Director John Griffith during and after the storms.  Borrello says it appears the south county got it worst.  Borrello says they will be compiling damage estimates from local and county governments but, he says he's doubtful there will be enough to trigger any state and federal emergency funding.  Borrello praised the work of local and county governments, along with National Grid and Jamestown Board of Public Utilities crews with the clean-up efforts. 

 

Kayakers will have better access to the Chadakoin River in Jamestown thanks to a new launch that'll be constructed for them this Summer at McCrea Point.... 

City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they approved using $21,870 of Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding to construct the new kayak launch.

City Development Director Vince DeJoy acknowledged the time line for Councilman Dolce.  DeJoy also noted that a Western New York firm , Great Lake E-Z Dock, will install the Kayak Launch.  He says contracting with them has two bonuses:  They are a minority and women-owned certified business and, they will install the docking themselves.  The measure was also approved by the City Council's Public Works Committee.  DeJoy says they initially looked at the basin behind the National Comedy Center but, the Warner Dam would be an issue there.  Committee Chairman Tom Nelson says the city is in line for a 7-percent discount if the order is made by this Friday, June 7th.  City officials expect to make that deadline.  The measure will be voted on by City Council at it's June 24th meeting.


Five Jamestown area residents have been arrested following a traffic stop in the town of Ellery for allegedly being found in possession of a number of drugs....  

Sheriff's officers say they pulled over 43 year-old Wendy Merrill of Jamestown about 3 PM last Friday on the Bemus-Ellery Road for a traffic infraction and, upon further investigation called in their K-9 Unit.  State Police also brought in their K-9, and they found a quantity of methamphetamine, marijuana, Adderall pills, and various other drug paraphernalia.  Merrill, and her passengers , 52 year-old Barbara Blakey and 24 year-old Samantha Myers and 20 year-old Ricky Myers, all of Kennedy, were arrested.  A fourth passenger, 43 year-old Shawn Hardy of Jamestown, was arrested on a city court warrant and turned over to Jamestown Police.  The other four were issued appearance tickets for Ellery Town Court at a later date.


State Police in Pennsylvania have released details on the arrest of a Warren County teenager accused of making terroristic threats between April 14th and May 1st......

  Troopers responded to Warren Area High School to investigate a series of verbal disputes between the 17 year-old male suspect and 16 year-old female victim.  The male reportedly made statements threatening to shoot the girl in the head and also himself.  The teen was taken into custody on one count of making a terroristic threat and harrassment via juvenile allegation.  Troopers say the investigation is ongoing. 


For older Americans living in Chautauqua County... there was a lot to celebrate during Older American's Month in May.... 

Those are the feelings of Count Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos, who says her office is getting an additional $478,000 in the new state budget.  Spanos says funding had remained stagnant for the past 8 years... but, she says Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent declaration that New York is an "age-friendly state..." gave them an opening.  Spanos says they had facts and figures showing that in the past year or so, that 65 people on their waiting list for services went into nursing homes.

Spanos says... going into this year... the county's Office for the Aging had a waiting list of about 200 seniors.  However, she says the added funding will eliminate that wait list, and provide more in-home services to them, including emergency response buttons, and day services from Chautauqua Adult Day Care.  Mary Ann Spanos made her comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


A Meet and Greet for Republicans in the town of Carroll will be held tonight at the Myers Memorial Library in Frewsburg.....  

The event is being headlined by State Senate Candidate George Borrello, who is currently Chautauqua County Executive.  GOP Carroll Town Supervisor candidate Russ Payne and Town Council candidate Susan Rowley will take part in the "Coffee and Conversation" Program.  Payne is running against current Supervisor, Laura Smith.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 3, 2019

A pair of severe storm lines that passed through Chautauqua County last Saturday afternoon and early evening caused some significant flooding, and large trees to be taken down.....  

Local police agencies say the clean-up was still well underway yesterday after the storms.  Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the first storm occured about 3:30 PM, and brought heavy rain.  The second one -- about 6:30 PM -- brought more rain and wind.

The first storm triggered flash flooding in several locations, including Lakewood, where much of the parking lot at the Chautauqua Mall was under water.  There was also flooding under the railroad viaduct on the west side of the village, forcing the closing of Fairmount Avenue between Green Street and Winch Road.  The high winds came with the second round of storms at about 6:30 and, caused a lot of damage on Old Fluvanna Road in the town of Ellicott.  Apfell says that was likely straight line winds.  There were also trees reported down in Lakewood, Bemus Point, Greenhurst, and the city of Jamestown.  There were also a number of scattered power outages in Jamestown and Falconer.


A man was shot in the leg multiple times during an early morning incident last Saturday on Jamestown's southside.... 

City police were called to a report of shots fired in the area of Charles Street and Newland Avenue just after 3:30 AM.  Officers say they found the 22 year-old victim, wounded, and he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  He was then transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for further treatment.  Police say the victim has not been cooperative and, investigators are asking the public for it's help.  You can call the JPD Tip line anonymously at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  You can also contact them through the Tips 4-1-1 app.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly making terroristic threats at his place of employment....  

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says officers served a warrant on 61 year-old Thomas Gazdak at the undisclosed company about 7:30 AM Saturday and, arrested Gazdak for Making a Terroristic Threat.  Snellings says the threat was allegedly made this past Thursday.  Gazdak was taken into custody without incident, and is being held pending arraignment.  It comes in the wake of a workplace shooting that claimed a dozen lives in Virginia Beach.
  

Chautauqua County's representative in the New York state Assembly says he's continuing to push against a bill that would give farm workers in the state collective bargaining rights, overtime and a day of rest each week....  

The Jamestown area Republican says the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act will likely be approved in the Assembly.  However, he says recent hearings by the Senate showed how opposed local farmers are to the bill.  Goodell is calling more hearings.

Goodell says members of a Senate Committee recently got an earful during the upstate sessions.  He says says one of the key members operates a farm on Long Island, and he's hopeful they'll put the brakes on the proposal.  There are at least a couple of entities, including the New York State Catholic Conference, that support the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act.  It's also supported by the state AFL-CIO.

 
A federal appeals court says the Drug Enforcement Administration must "act promptly" if formally asked to take another look at laws that consider marijuana as dangerous as heroin or LSD....  

The ruling came Thursday in a 2-to-1 vote by judges from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  It stems from a lawsuit brought by the Cannabis Cultural Association and several individuals, including an Iraq war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.  The plaintiffs now have an opening to persuade federal authorities to change how they classify marijuana.  Many states have legalized recreational pot use, but marijuana is still illegal under federal law.  Jduge Guido Calabresi wrote that a review of current law might find that it was once rational but "is now heading towards irrationality."

A local human service agency has received a grant to provide Head Start and Early Head Start Programs in the Jamestown-area....  

Local Congressman Tom Reed has announced the grant, which totals about $2.59-million,  for Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated.  Reed says he cares about ensuring a quality education for children, adding the grant "enables Chautauqua Opportunities to provide Head Start and Early Head Start programs to promote school readiness of young children from low-income families.  COI's Chief Executive Officer Diane Hewitt-Johnson says they've provided both services since they were first implemented in the U-S. 


The economic benefits of the Empire State Trail for western New York will be discussed at an upcoming forum at the University at Buffalo.....  

The gathering Wednesday is the fifth State University of New York/Erie Canal Bicentennial Forum sponsored by the state Canal Corporation and Department of State.  The Empire State Trail is an initiative to build a 750-mile network of trails from New York City to the Canadian border and along the Erie Canalway Trail from Albany to Buffalo.  It was launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo and is supposed to be completed in late 2020.  In western New York, a two-mile section of the Erie Canalway Trail in Pendleton is scheduled for completion in July, providing an uninterrupted 135-mile stretch of trail from Buffalo to Lyons in Wayne County.
 

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News Update for Sat. June 1, 2019

**Update -- Snellings clarifies when workplace threat occured in city...

In the wake of another workplace shooting incident in Virginia... Jamestown police today are accusing a city man of making terrorist threats in the workplace.  In an e-mail response, City Police Chief Harry Snellings says officers served a warrant on 61 year-old Thomas Gazdak at the unnamed company about 7:30 AM Saturday... and, arrested Gazdak for Making a Terroristic Threat.  Snellings says the threat was allegedly made this past Thursday.  Gazdak was taken into custody without incident, and is being held pending arraignment.  

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News Headlines for Sat. June 1, 2019

Suspect(s) sought in connection with Shooting on Jamestown's southside...
A man was shot in the leg multiple times during an early morning incident on the city of Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to a report of shots fired in the area of Charles Street and Newland Avenue just after 3:30 a.m.  Officers say they found the 22 year-old victim, wounded, and he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  He was then transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA for further treatment.  Police say the victim has not been cooperative... and, investigators are asking the public for it's help.  You can call the JPD Tip line anonymously at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also contact them through the Tips 4-1-1 app.


Jamestown man arrested Saturday for alleged threat made in workplace...
In the wake of another workplace shooting incident in Virginia... Jamestown police today are accusing a city man of making terrorist threats in the workplace.  Details are sketchy... but, City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the undisclosed employer about 7:30 a.m. Saturday... and, arrested 61 year-old Thomas Gazdak for Making a Terroristic Threat.  Gazdak was taken into custody without incident, and is being held pending arraignment.  Efforts to reach Capt. Samuelson this morning were unsuccessful.


City police still looking for man, vehicle that may have been involved in potential child abduction...
The search for a black man and a red pick-up truck is continuing in Jamestown after the man allegedly pulled alongside a 12 year-old child walking to school, and tried to the child to get in his vehicle.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to Washington Middle School about 8:15 Friday morning after the child reported the incident to school officials.  Samuelson says the man... who had a high-pony-tail on his head... pulled up alongside the child at Burr Place and Price Street.  He says the child did not talk to the man... who also requested the child's phone number.  Samuelson says he appreciates all the efforts to make children aware of how to deal with such potential crimes.  Samuelson says the man eventually drove off... and, police are still trying to track down the vehicle and driver to find out what happened.  He says the red pick-up has chrome wheels.  If you have any information... call JPD at 483-7537... the Tips line is 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Samuelson says you can also contact their tips 4-1-1 app anonymously. 


Jamestown man arrested for illegal entering homes, flashing victim at one...
A city man is accused of entering two homes on Wilson Place in Jamestown... and, exposing himself to the resident living in the second home early yesterday morning.  City police say officers were called to the first location about 2 a.m., and, found the occupant had confronted the man, later identified as 29 year-old Jeffrey Buchanon, and Buchanon fled the scene.  While they were at the first home... a second call came in about 15 minutes later of another intruder on the street.  Police say -- after exposing himself -- Buchanon fled the scene... but, he was caught a short distance away.  He's being held pending arraignment on charged including second-degree burglary, attempted burglary, and public lewdness.


City man pleads guilty to federal drug trafficking charges...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to trafficking a significant amount of methamphetimine when he was arrested in November of 2017 in Lakewood.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. says 24 year-old Zakiel Fields, Jr., entered the plea before U-S District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo Friday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and failure to appear after pre-trial release.  Prosecutors say that between March and November of 2017... Fields conspired with others to distribute meth in the Jamestown area.  They say he sold the drug to undercover DEA Agents on July and September of that year.  He and a co-defendant were found with drugs inside two vehicles.  Fields was charged along with 14 other defendants.  He is the third to be convicted.  The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10-million fine.


Morgan responds to Goodell comments on Cuomo's decision to not hold a special election for Senate seat...
With a Republican primary for the vacant state senate seat next month, local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he is disappointed that Governor Andrew Cuomo didn't call for a special election.  The Jamestown area Republican believes it was due to Democratic candidate Austin Morgan's graduation from college...but Morgan says that's not the case.  He says his campaign had "zero coordination" with the governor's office, and says they had "no influences on the date of the election."  Morgan... who will graduate from Cornell University... says it's his understanding that the governor decided on a Fall election to give GOP voters the chance to decide their candidate.  Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello is facing off against Allegany County Legislature Chairman Kurt Crandall in a June 25 primary.  Morgan will take on the winner of that primary.


Business Council supports legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses...
The Business Council of New York State is backing legislation that would authorize drivers licenses for residents who entered the country illegally.  Business Council President and Chief Executive Officer Heather Briccetti says the proposal would boost the state's economy and help businesses that employee immigrants.  The head of the state's largest business advocacy organization also called it the "right and decent" thing to do.  The measure has support from top Democrats in the Legislature but hasn't been scheduled for a vote.  It remains deeply unpopular with some Republican lawmakers.  

 

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 14, 2019

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating a missing vulnerable adult this morning...   Officials say 74 year-old Diana Chase was last seen on B...

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