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News Update for Wed., Mar. 19, 2014

ConAgra confirms two Carriage House plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia will be closing in mid to late 2015...

Lesser demand for most of it's food products made in the north county has led ConAgra Foods to decide to close it's Carriage House facilities in Dunkirk and Fredonia.  The move... which is expected to be completed by May of 2015... will eliminate 420 to 440 employees in the two facilities.  That from Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Bill Daly.  Daly says the decision to close and consolidate facilities was just recently made at ConAgra's Omaha, Nebraska headquarters based on how certain lines were doing.  Daly says there was apparently a significantly weaker demand for jams, jellies, and juices.  Daly says Carriage House was especially well-known for it's peanut butter lines... along with the others.  He says the move is "capitalism at it's sharpest..." because the local management and employees were "exceptionally good."

Carriage House's learns of closings officially this morning, but, Union chief says he was not surprised...

Employees of the two Carriage House plants in the north county officially heard the decision from ConAgra Foods this morning.  However... President Tom Dickerson with SEIU Chapter 266, which represents Carriage House workers, first heard about the decision in an unexpected manner.  Dickerson says it came from a letter from ConAgra to the employee's pension fund.  However... he says he was not surprised by ConAgra's decision to shut down the plants after seeing "jobs being videotaped" and "machines being measured up."  He believes that area representatives were never called to investigate due to what he thinks is inaction by elected officials.

Two arrested in Jamestown for alleged child endangerment...

Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly failing to supervise a small child... who was found wandering outside yesterday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene at 52 McDaniel Ave. to check on the well-being of a child seen outside unsupervised.  Officers found the child unharmed.  They then made contact with Christine Redding... and, Aimee Fitzpatrick... who were watching the child... but, were unaware the youngster had had left the house.  Both Redding and Fitzpatrick were arrested on one count each of endangering the welfare of a child... and, sent to the city jail pending arraignement.


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