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Local News Headlines Archives for 2013-11

News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 29, 2013


"Black Friday" gets off to early start in Jamestown-area...

"Black Friday" actually began on 'Thanksgiving Thursday' in the Jamestown area... with the Lakewood Wal-Mart opening for specials at 6 last night.  The parking lot was packed with cars.  However... according to a flyer by the nation's biggest retailer... there was also another "special opening" last night at 8 p.m.  There's also another round of items going on sale this morning.  Another major retailer... K-Mart in West Ellicott... was open from 7 last night until 3 this morning.  K-Mart will then re-open at 6 this morning.  Part of the reason there was such a push to get people in the stores on Thanksgiving Day is there are six fewer shopping days before Christmas this year.  Several other retailers on Fairmount Avenue are also open this morning.


Teresi indicates no vetoes to be made to 2014 budget approved by City Council...

Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says he has no plans to veto changes made to the final, 2014 budget adopted early this week by city lawmakers.  Teresi made his comments shortly after the City Council approved the $33.5-million spending plan... which raises taxes by 1.9-percent.  The budget was approved in a unanimous, 8-0 vote.  He says lawmakers did an "effective, non-partisan" job in cutting another $91,000 from his original proposal.  Teresi admits his budget team purposely puts together a "very tight" budget... knowing that council members may become frustrated because there's little left to cut.  The final budget adopted by the council increases the full value tax rate by 41-cents per $1,000.  That's 14-cents less than Teresi's executive budget included.  The cuts come from six areas.  The biggest item being $32,000 in savings on borrowing due to the city's improved bond rating.  Another $20,000 each was cut from the contingency account... and, Judgements and Claims.  City Comptroller Joe Bellitto indicated the budget will increase taxes on the average home assessed at $70,000 by $28.


Panama man arrested for parole violation, obstruction...

A Panama man is jailed for allegedly violating his parole... and, trying to avoid arrest in the town of North Harmony.  Sheriff's officers say they were interviewing a subject on the Panama-Stedman Road early Wednesday when the man... identified as 36 year-old Gregg Morrison... gave a false name.  Deputies say he then ran off before he was cornered in a barn.  Morrison was then taken into custody without further incident.  Further investigation showed that Morrison had an outstanding Parole warrant for Felony driving while intoxicated.  He was further charged with second-degree obstruction... and, was sent to the county lock-up with bail to be set.  Morrison will answer to the charges at a later date in North Harmony Town Court.


Area Ski Areas Open Today...

It's may be "Black Friday" today... but, you could call it a "White Friday" for local ski resorts.  The huge Winter storm that hit the area the past few days... along with freezing cold temperatures... has allowed local skiiers an early chance to hit the slopes.  Chautauqua County's lone ski resort is opening today in the Clymer-area.  The Peek 'n Peak Ski Resort's Director of Mountain Operations, Brad Gravink, says they'll be open for the season at 9:30 a.m.  Gravink says the eight-inches of snow they got from the storm was just what they needed because it was wet, and heavy.  He says they'll have seven trails... and, 3 lifts in operation today.  He adds they have a 12 to 18 inch base... and, they hope to open more trails over the weekend.  In addition to the slopes... Gravink says other parts of the operation - including a ski lodge -- will also open over the weekend.  For more information... go to pknp.com... or call 355-4141.  In addition... the Holiday Valley Ski Resort in Ellicottville is also opening today beginning at 9 a.m.  The resort's website says they'll have 11 trails and six lifts open... and, the Valley will be open until 11 tonight.


NYS Health Exchange says more than 257,000 have completed applications...

New York's new health exchange reports more than 257,000 residents have completed applications to join and more than 76,000 have enrolled so far in insurance plans or Medicaid.  NY State of Health was established under the federal Affordable Care Act to help extend health coverage to 2.7-million uninsured New Yorkers.  Officials say 35,000 enrollments are in the government-funded Medicaid program and 41,000 in one of the plans offered by commercial and nonprofit insurers that chose to participate in the online exchange.


Lost Neighorhood Holiday Tree Lighting tonight...

Jamestown's Lost Neighborhood Committee will hold it's 10th annual Tree Lighting event in Brooklyn Square this evening.  The ceremony begins at 5:30 on the grounds of the Salvation Army of Jamestown on South Main Street at The Arterial.  Captain John Merchant of the Salvation Army and the president of the Lost Neighborhood group... Tony Raffa... are coordinating the event.  Merchant will open the ceremony with a prayer... then Raffa will talk about the Lost Neighborhood program before two trees are lit.  Merchant says it's going to be a fun event... featuring Santa... and, soup, hot chocolate... and, roasted Chestnuts to eat.  One of the two trees is located on the Salvation Army grounds... while the second is located near the Chinese Restaurant on the walkway of the Jamestown Area Medical Association's facility.  Merchant has been with the local Salvation Army for the past four months.  His wife, Kimberly, is also a Salvation Army officer.  The "Lost Neighborhood" encompassed several streets in Brooklyn Square lost to urban renewal in the 1970s. 
  

WJTN News Headlines


Heavy, wet snow fell overnight across Chautauqua County... with some areas getting up to eight inches since early yesterday afternoon.  The major storm system moving up the east coast is now projected to dump up to 15 inches of snow on parts of the region before moving out later tonight.  However... while the general snowfall will begin tapering off... some Lake Effect Snow will enter the mix late tonight and into early Thanksgiving Day.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Apfell says the worst period of snow began late last night and continued through the overnight.  He says we'll see another 2 to 4 inches during the day today.  Along with the Lake Effect system later today... Apfell says it'll get colder... and, winds will be out of the north at 15 to 30 miles an hour.  That'll bring about some blowing and drifting of snow in the traditional snow belt areas.  By Thanksgiving Day... we'll see snow showers, and highs of only 25 to 28 degrees.

 

There's heavy snow continuing in the forecast... and, with that... Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace is encouraging drivers to be prepared for slippery driving conditions.  Gerace says the biggest cause of winter related crashes is speed. Gerace says it's also important to plan ahead.  And depending on weather conditions, you might want to postpone travel if possible. When venturing out, make sure you're dressed for conditions... and, carry a cell phone and flash light.  It's also a good idea to keep your fuel tank full.  Gerace says you may have to keep your vehicle running for a long time should you become stranded.

 

The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2013 General Campaign has reached 55-percent of it's goal of just over 1.3-million dollars.  In fact... Campaign Co-Chairman Deke Kathman says they're a little ahead of schedule... having raised just over 726-thousand dollars.  However... Kathman says this is a little "nerve -wracking" at the same time because several companies and divisions are still wrapping up their drives.  Kathman says if any volunteers running campaigns at local businesses need support... they should contact the United Way's Jamestown office. Kathman adds that two of the campaign divisions... or workplaces.... have helped get them to more than half of the 1.315-million dollars.  One is the business sector.  The other is the education division... where the Jamestown Public Schools were very successful.  Coincidently... Kathman is the retired superintendent of the Jamestown School District.  Kathman adds the need is still there among the United Way... and, it's 18 member agencies.  He says they're all doing "very important work... " and serving definate needs in the community.  For more information... call 483-1561... or go on-line to UWayscc-dot-ORG.

 

Twenty improverished children attending Love Elementary School in Jamestown got new Winter coats -- just in time for the snow storm that's moved into the area.  Members of the Jamestown Firefighter's union brought the coats to the school Monday following their local "Firefighter's Coats for Kids" Drive.  They raised money to purchase new, American-made winter coats.  Love School Principal Renee Hartling says it was a great day for those students. Jamestown Professional Firefighter's Local 1772 embarked on the project earlier this Fall to get the coats.  Hartling says... with many kids at Love School falling below the poverty line... they had to find a fair way to determine who got the coats. Firefighter's Union Secretary Andy Caruso says they were able to get 100 Winter coats for the kids... with 20 going to impoverished kids at each of Jamestown's five elementary school.

 

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is well-underway... but, the annual need remains for bellringers to man the kettles in the Jamestown-area.  Major John Merchant now heads up the local human service agency, along with his wife, Kimberly.  Merchant says the effort to reach the 100-thousand dollar goal has gotten off to a bit of a slow start... but, adds they started early because Thanksgiving is late this year.  He says they had many openings yesterday... and, even more today. Merchant says they're pretty flexible on what bellringer's time commitments are.  He says they can be for an hour to 2 or 3.  Merchant says they'll be helping about 620 families during the holiday season... but, adds the need for their food pantry has jumped -- for basically two reasons. Merchant says the Red Kettle Campaign has raised about 11-thousand dollars so far... but, they'll have a better handle on the amount after this weekend.  If you have the time to be a bellringer... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108.

 

News Update for Tues., Nov. 26, 2013


NWS continues Winter Storm Warning as white stuff begins falling; it continues until 1 a.m. Thursday...  
The major storm system now projected to dump up to 15 inches of snow on parts of Chautauqua County is moving into the region this afternoon.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing a Winter Storm Warning until 1 a.m. Thursday.  Forecaster Kirk Apfell says we'll see about an inch of snow as the storm moves in between 1 and 4 p.m.  Apfell says we'll get 4 to 7 inches of snow tonight and overnight... and, another 2 to 4 inches during the day Wednesday.  He says that's when we're likely to see some blowing and drifting snow in the area.  Apfell says snow will be a little more spotty on Wednesday... but, will be more likely to stick Wednesday due to colder temperatures.  He adds the storm will evolve into more of a Lake Effect storm Wednesday night and into Thanksgiving Day... with snow developing in the traditional snow belt areas.


Gerace urges drivers to use caution during this Wintry period...

With heavy snow in the forecast... Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace is encouraging drivers to be prepared for slippery driving conditions.  Gerace says the biggest cause of winter related crashes is speed... and, his best advice is to slow down.  He also says you should make sure your car is ready for winter travel.  Gerace says it's also important to plan ahead.  And depending on weather conditions, you might want to postpone travel if possible... so, plan ahead.  When venturing out, make sure you're dressed for conditions... and, carry a cell phone and flash light.  It's also a good idea to keep your fuel tank full.  Gerace says you may have to keep your vehicle running for a long time should you become stranded.

 

WJTN News Headlines


A major storm is projected to move up the East Coast today... bring with it rain... freezing rain... and, snow to the northeast.  Most of Western New York... including Chautauqua County... will be on the "cold side" of the system... meaning we'll see between 8 and 14 inches of snow.  That from Forecaster Tony Insuinni (EnSweeney) from the National Weather Service.  EnSweeney says we are under a Winter Storm Warning from 1 this afternoon until 1 AM Thursday.  He adds the storm is expected to track up the East Coast later today. EnSweeney says this is the storm system that's caused major travel headaches in parts of the Southwest and Southern Plains over the past few days.  He says we're looking at about 1 to 2 inches of snow during the day today before we get 4 to 7 inches tonight.  The storm has already caused travel problems for Thanksgiving week travelers... with hundreds of airline flights cancelled nationwide.  Ensweeney says most of the Northeast will experience that just ahead of Thanksgiving Day.

 

City lawmakers have approved a 33.5-million dollar, 2014 budget that raises taxes by just under 2-percent.  The Jamestown City Council approved the spending plan in a unanimous, 8-to-0 vote.  Lawmakers were able to cut another 91-thousand dollars from Mayor Sam Teresi's proposal... cutting the tax rate increase by 14-cents per thousand full value to 41-cents.  Council President Greg Rabb says the process "went well."  But... he adds that Teresi proposed a very tight budget that left lawmakers with little left to add... or cut. Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the cuts come from six areas.  The biggest item being 32-thousand dollars in savings on borrowing due to the city's improved bond rating.  Another 20-thousand dollars each was cut from the contingency account... and, Judgements and Claims.  Teresi says he and his team pride themselves on proposing a "tight" budget... and, he wasn't surprised lawmakers weren't able to find much else to cut.  Dolce says City Comptroller Joe Bellitto indicated the budget will increase taxes on the average home assessed at 70-thousand dollar home by 28-dollars.

 

There's still one item of business left for the city's 2014 budget... and, it's not an insignificant amount of money.  The spending plan approved by lawmakers includes a 475-thousand dollar dividend payment from the Board of Public Utilities Electric and Water Divisions.  Last year... for the first time in many years... the city used the provision allowing for a dividend payment off BPU profits.  However... the BPU has to approve the payment... and, that won't be taken up until next week's special board meeting.  Teresi believes it will be approved because city taxpayers assume 100-percent of the risk in supporting the utility. The city last year accepted a payment of 300-thousand dollars from the Electric Division towards the budget... and, 120-thousand from Water.  This year's proposed payment is 400-thousand from the Electric Division... and, 75-thousand from Water.

 

The natural gas and oil boom in parts of the U-S and Canada is having a big impact on gasoline prices as we head into the Holiday Season.  Chautauqua County's representative in Congress says there could be an even larger impact in months and years to come if Hydraulic Fracturing... or "Fracking..." is allowed in more places.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says "Fracking" has not only opened up natural gas pockets deep underground... but, oil as well.  Reed adds that increased oil and gas production would also lead to price stability. Reed quickly adds he recognizes that "fracking" needs to be done "safely and responsibly..." however... he says it's produced a boom in North Dakota... and, parts of Canada.  He adds it's part of his commitment to an "All of the Above" energy policy.  Reed says that should include alternate energy resources -- such as wind and solar.  He says, the "good news" is that oil and gasoline prices are coming down.

 

A New York state legislator says it's time to crack down on the violent ``knockout game'' in which youths ``sucker punch'' innocent bystanders for kicks.  Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco of Schenectady tells The A--P that his bill would make the violent game a gang assault with a sentence of up to 25 years.  Youths would be charged as adults.  Tedisco says his measure is intended to be a deterrent to stop the game and avoid more serious injuries by what he calls ``twisted and cowardly thugs.''  Participants try to punch a stranger so hard they are rendered unconscious, often while other youths record the attack for online sites.  Tedisco's bill will also include prison time for those convicted of attending to watch or record the assaults.

 

U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand served lunch at a community center... and, put together gift baskets in western New York yesterday as the holidays approach.  Gillibrand was a volunteer at midday Monday at Eastern Orleans Community Center in Holley.  The center near Rochester distributes hundreds of holiday gift baskets to needy families.  The senator later traveled to Wellsville... where she volunteered at a Head Start facility.

 

 

News Alert for Mon., Nov. 25, 2013


Council unanimously approves 2014 budget....

The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved a 33.5-million dollar budget that raises taxes by 1.9-percent.  Lawmakers voted 8-to-0 to adopt the spending plan... which increases the full value tax rate by 41-cents per $1,000.  That's 14-cents lower than Mayor Sam Teresi had proposed in his executive budget plan.  The cuts come from six areas... increased savings on borrowing... $20,000 cuts each to the contingency line, and Judgements and Claims... and, $5,000 in savings from the Police and Fire Departments.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says they were also able to find another $8,800 in savings in the Public Works Dept.

 

News Alert for Mon., Nov. 25, 2013


(**News alert)NWS now upgrades Chautauqua County Winter Storm Watch to a Warning...

Another late Fall 'Winter' storm is on the way to the East Coast... and, the Jamestown-area.  The National Weather Service has now issued a Winter Storm Warning from 1 p.m. Tuesday through early Thursday morning.  Forecasters in Buffalo say there is the potential for as much as 10 inches -- or more of snow from late Tuesday afternoon through late Wednesday night.  They say holiday travelers will want to prepare for winter driving conditions just in case the storm should hit the area.

News Update for Mon., Nov. 25, 2013


New Winter Storm on the horizon; counties to east of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus now under Winter Storm Warnings...

Another late Fall 'Winter' storm is on the way to the East Coast... and, the Jamestown-area.  The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday night.  Forecaster John Hitchcock in Buffalo says there is the potential for as much as seven-inches or more of snow from late Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday night.  Hitchcock says it'll be a wide-spread storm... with everyone in the area getting some kind of accumulation right before Thanksgiving.  He says the weather models are showing the potential for a coastal storm... and, that might bring significant snowfall.  However... he also cautions there's a lot of uncertainty with this system... which is now in the southern U-S.  Hitchcock says holiday travelers will want to prepare for winter driving conditions just in case the storm should hit the area.  Over the past weekend... the area generally did not get the predicted snowfall totals from a Clipper system from Canada.


City lawmakers to vote on 2014 Jamestown Budget tonight...

The Jamestown City Council will vote tonight on a just over $33.5-million, 2014 budget that includes a dividend transfer from the Board of Public Utilities.  That from Council President Greg Rabb... who says if council doesn't act tonight... the Mayor's spending plan would take effect because lawmakers don't meet again until December 2nd.  The budget... with council changes... is due by December 1st.  The main concern is the BPU has not yet voted on the $475,000 dividend payment from the Electric and Water Divisions for next year.  The Board is not scheduled to take up the matter until a special meeting on Dec. 3.

WJTN News Headlines


Sheriffs Deputies in Cattaraugus County are looking into the death of a St. Bonaventure student.  19 year old Tyler Davis went missing early Saturday  and was found dead in the town of Allgany on Sunday.  Sheriffs are investigating his death.

 

There have been definate challenges encountered by both teachers and students in the first three-months of the new, Common Core standards.  However... the situation has gotten a "little bit easier" in that time.  That from new Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains... who says the district hit the ground running with the new standards for third through eighth-graders.  Mains reported on his first 90-days in the district to the school board this past week.  In that time... he's visited 130 classrooms in the district.  He says he's seen a lot of hard work being done by both students and teachers. Mains adds that many teachers are still adjusting... and, some are getting more comfortable with it.  He says he's seeing teachers "being pretty clear with kids about what it is they want them to do."  So... he thinks the momentum they started the school year with hasn't slowed at all.  He made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

A Buffalo man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling "crack" cocaine to undercover police officers in Jamestown... and, the town of Ellicott.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 26 year-old Ulus Battle without incident at a location on East Sixth Street in the city.  Task Force members say Battle was initially charged with third-degree criminal sale of possession of a controlled substance.  Agents add that they also obtained a warrant... and, searched the residence at 620 Fairmount Avenue in the town of Ellicott.  They allegedly found a quantity of crack cocaine... and, Battle was additionally charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court... and, sent to the county lock-up.  If you see or know of any narcotics-related activity... your asked to call the task force at 1-800-344-8702.

 

A two-county car chase involving a Cattaraugus County man has led to his arrest on multiple charges in the town of Sheridan.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say deputies stopped 32 year-old Michael Buthy of Perrysburg on Route 39 just after Midnight last Saturday for speeding.  While speaking with deputies... Buthy allegedly put his car into gear... and, drove off.  Officers pursued.  He led deputies to Route 20 where State Police deployed spike strips to deflate the vehicles tires in effort to stop the suspect.  Multiple tires were deflated... but, police say the vehicle continued on for a short distance before Buthy pulled into a driveway.  Deputies pulled in behind the vehicle... at which time Buthy put his vehicle in to reverse and struck the front of the Patrol car... damaging it.  Buthy then allegedly drove off... and, headed back to Route 39 towards Cattaraugus County.  The chase continued to Buthy's Townline Road home... where he was arrested.  Buthy faces charges including speeding... leaving the scene of a personal injury accident... and second-degree reckless endangerment.  He was arraigned and send to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars bail.

 

Smart investment in the nation's aging infrastructure will be the key to getting the economy back fully-underway.  That from Congressman Tom Reed... who was in Jamestown last Friday to see the completed, one-million dollar rail-bridge project in Falconer.  Reed was among those pushing for the project because the span had been posted for lower weight because of years of deterioration.  He says that prevented full-rail cars from going into Jamestown and out.  Reed says state grants helped pay half the cost. The Corning Republican the project was completed three weeks ago... and, some finishing work is being completed.  However... he says the bridge can now handle the full, 286-thousand pound rail cars to bring materials to local manufacturers -- like Monofrax --- and, haul completed products out.  Reed says such projects are important to keeping... and, growing jobs in the 23rd Congressional District.  He adds the project was done on-time, and under budget.

 

A north county man is jailed on 50-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being found in possession of child pornography.  State Police in Fredonia, and investigators from Troop "A" say they arrested 30 year-old Christopher Travis of Villenova was arrested late Thursday on warrant charging him with several counts in the case.  Troopers say Travis was arrested following a lengthy investigation... and, they seized computers and equipment from Travis containing numerous images of child pornography.  He was arraigned in Hanover Town Court on several counts of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child... three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child... and, others.

 

New York's attorney general has announced an $8 million settlement with ExxonMobil for the cleanup of oil spilled at Ogdensburg in northern New York.  State officials say the company operated a major oil storage facility that received deliveries by barge from the late 1800s to 1984 on the peninsula along the St. Lawrence and Oswegatchie rivers called Lighthouse Point.  Petroleum contamination was found in 2001 around the terminal and underground pipelines connecting to the Oswegatchie River, followed by cleanups in 2006-2007 paid for by the state's Oil Spill Fund.  The settlement was reached last week in state Supreme Court.  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says it's only right that corporations pay for damage they caused to New York's natural resources.  ExxonMobil spokesman Todd Spitler says the company is pleased to reach the settlement with the state.

 

News Update for Fri., Nov. 22, 2013


Chautauqua County now under Lake Effect Snow Warning, beginning Saturday at 12 Noon...

Have the snow shovels and scrapers ready... the National Weather Service has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning for Chautauqua County beginning at Noon today.  We'll have "very Wintry" weather combined with bone-chilling temperatures moving into the Jamestown-area as we move into the day Saturday.  The National Weather Service says the warning will be in effect until 7 p.m. Sunday.  There would also be some significant snowfall totals by Sunday night.  Forecaster Bill Hibbert in Buffalo says that's because this Clipper System may have an "upstream connection" with Lake Huron... which could create 6 to 7 inches along Lake Erie near Ripley.  Generally... Hibbert for the weekend before Thanksgiving... it's going to feel more like 'Christmas time.'  Hibbert says the culprit is a cold air mass covering much of the Middle and Eastern U-S... among others.


Dickey wins contested Third-Ward race...

Democrats will still have the majority on the Jamestown City Council the next two years... but, it will be a slim majority.  That after Republican Tamara Dickey edged out Democrat Regina Brackman in the Ward-3 race, 233-to-227.  The final 14 absentee and affidavit ballots that were in question after they were received by the Board of Elections were opened Friday morning... and, counted.  Republican County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says Dickey picked up another 8 votes... while Brackman got 6.  Going into the count, Brackman has another six votes.  That gave Dickey her 6 vote margin at the end.  Only three votes separated the pair after election night back on Nov. 5.  The Board of Elections says Brackman ran only on the Democratic line, while Dickey’s vote breakout was 179 votes on the Republican line... and, 54 on the Conservative side.  Dickey's win closes the gap on the council to 5 Democrats, and 4 Republicans on the council.


City man faces SAFE Act Violation following unlicensed operation arrest...

A Jamestown man faces a violation of the state's SAFE Act following his arrest when his car was pulled over in the area of Price Street for having a suspended license early yesterday morning.  City police say they spotted 20 year-old Alex Jewel operating the vehicle just after Midnight... and, pulled him over because he had several outstanding warrants against him from city court.  Officers say Jewel got out of the car... and, walked off.  But... they found him walking near 20 Price Street.. and, he was arrested.  Police add they found Jewel had a gun magazine in his pocket with eight 22-calibur bullets in it.  He was arrested for criminal possession of an ammunition feeding device... and, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.  Among the warrants were one for criminal contempt and another for criminal mischief.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Several Chautauqua County lawmakers... with their votes... have voiced their frustration with changes in state law regarding use of the 2-percent bed tax funding for lakes and waterways.  The legislature this week voted 11-to-10 in favor of amending an earlier resolution to eliminate 25-thousand dollars for required engineering inspections of the Conewango Watershed Dam.  However... the measure needed 13 votes -- a simple majority of the full legislature -- for approval.  The most frustration was voiced by Frewsburg Democrat Tom Erlandson... who says the state has separated north flowing streams from those flowing south. However... Erlandson says the problem is that ALL streams and tributaries flowing south, and away from Chautauqua Lake... are no longer eligible for those funds.  The retired biologist and environmentalist says that leaves a significant part of the county's 960-thousand acres of land ineligible for the funding. The amended resolution kept in 124-thousand-500 dollars in funding... including 90-thousand dollars for the Chautauqua Lake Association... and, 25-thousand for the Lake Erie Management Commission.


Documents show a gas drilling company tied to state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox is authorized to do business in New York and is concerned about opposition to hydraulic fracturing here.  However... the company says it has no plans to use the technique in New York.  The state Democratic Committee says the documents show Cox has a conflict of interest and has misled New Yorkers as he criticizes Governor Andrew Cuomo for not lifting a long-standing moratorium against fracking.  But... Cox and Noble Energy continue to say they aren't interested in drilling in New York even if fracking is approved.  Officials at the agencies where the documents are filed say the records support that assertion.  Cox says the Democratic Committee is trying to deflect attention from Cuomo's indecision.


Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen another penny... and, now stand at 3-dollars-59 cents per gallon this week.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report... that says nationally, the price has inched up over the past week.  Triple-A says the price was at a "multi-year low" of 3-dollars-18 cents a gallon last Tuesday.  However... it's now 3--21 as the pump.  That's 3-cents more than one week ago.  The Fuel Gauge reports drivers in more than 30 states... and, Washington, D.C. are paying more for gasoline compared to one week ago.  That's led by several Midwestern states where the price increases were supported by the heavy, and dangerous storms that swept through the region.  That raised concerns of potential refinery disruptions.  On the other hand... Triple-A says five states currently post a state average price at the pump that is below 3-dollars per gallon.

 

Volunteers and equipment from the American Red Cross has been sent to the Midwest to help with relief efforts following last Sunday's severe tornado outbreak.  Director Bill Tucker with the Southwestern New York Chapter in Jamestown says they haven't deployed any local volunteers... but, adds that could change. Tucker says the Red Cross is facing a major challenge...colder weather has moved into the area where the twisters hit. Area residents can help the Red Cross by sending donations to the local chapter's office at 325 East 4th Street in Jamestown.  They can also do it online at Redcross-dot-ORG.

 

The Union Gospel Mission on West Main Street in Jamestown is looking for contributions of Turkeys to be distributed to local families in need.  The Reverend John Steinhauser says people are coming to the mission looking for Turkeys for the Holiday Season... and, he says one entity that used to help them in the past no longer is able to. Steinhauser says any size turkey will do and they must be frozen.  He says donations of canned goods are also needed and would be appreciated.  Steinhauser says you can drop donations of food off 7 days a week up until about 10 PM evenings.  The Union Gospel Mission is located at 7 West Main Street in Jamestown. 


Two Jamestown residents are in jail after an early morning traffic stop Thursday.  City Police say 39 year old Donald Dean Sr. and 34 year old Donald King were pulled over by officers just after 3 AM for having imporper/switched license plates.  Further investigation led to the discovery of 4.5 grams of cocaine.  Both Dean and King were arrested and taken to the city lockup and face a number of charges including Criminal Posession of a controlled substance, aggrivated unlicensed operation.

 

Ground has been broken on a 14-million dollar project at a racino the owners hope will become one of four full-fledged casinos in upstate New York.  Officials at Tioga (tee-OH'-guh) Downs... which is just off Interstate 86 just west of Binghamton... say they plan to add a three-story parking complex that can hold about 275 vehicles.  A larger expansion would occur if Tioga Downs is selected by the state as the site of one of four upstate Las Vegas-style casinos approved by New York voters in a November 5th referendum.

WJTN News Headlines


The Chautauqua County Legislature last night took the first step toward's the creation of a North County Water District.  Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved establishing a 12-member County Water Agency that will oversee development of the regional water district.  County Attorney, and Acting County Executive, Stephen Abdella told the legislature that the agency is needed first to receive a 360-thousand dollar New York Department of State grant to look implementing a district. Up to this point... the Chadwick Bay Development Corporation has been working to bring the north county communities... namely Dunkirk and Fredonia... on board.  However... Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe has expressed concerns over the future ot the village's water reservoir.  Bemus Point Legislator... and, County Executive Elect, Vince Horrigan... says it's time to move forward -- and have more discussions with those communities. Horrigan earlier proposed an amendment to increase the number of members to 12, including two members that would represent the city of Dunkirk.  The legislature also approved an amendment to have it's chairman to appoint three legislators to the agency.  That amendment was offered by Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom.  The final measure passed 20-to-1 with only Fredonia Democrat Bill Coughlin voting no.

 

Today is the "Great American Smoke-Out."  It's the one day that the American Cancer Society... and, other anti-smoking groups... urge smokers to at least try quiting for a day.  The hope is that those smokers will be able to kick the habit for good.  One of those local groups involved is the Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs.  Program Director Laurie Adams says the "Great American Smoke-Out" calls attention to the problem... and, the strong addiction nicotine has on people.  If you're looking to quit for good... Adams urges smokers to use a "team approach...." Adams adds that New York State is trying to help smokers stop by making tobacco products expensive... mainly through taxes... and, education efforts.  She says the Tobacco Free Programs work on the latter because tobacco deaths are the "number-one" cause of preventable death both here... and, across the state.  The New York State Smoker's Quit Line is 1-800-866-NYQUITS.  You can also go on-line to NYsmokefree-dot-COM.

 

A local law takes effect today that bans the use of tobacco products on all but some open air areas of Chautauqua County property and grounds.  That from Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs Director Laurie Adams... who says the County Legislature voted late last July to enact the ban on today -- November 21st -- the day of the Great American Smoke-Out.  Adams thanked lawmakers... and, says the measure goes "hand-in-hand" with the unacceptability of second-hand smoke both indoors and out.  As part of the celebration... Adams says State Supreme Court Clerk, Stacy Caldwell, has pledged to quit as part of this year's "Smoke-Out."  She adds that Caldwell will have lot of employer support in her effort. Adams says Caldwell is inviting other smokers to join her and quit today.  As a current smoker... Caldwell says "this new law will assist me in my efforts to quit, leading me to a healthier lifestyle, and an even better environment for my daughters."

 

A 475-thousand dollar dividend payment from the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to the city as part of the 2014 budget was not acted on during Tuesday's BPU Meeting.  Business Manager Mike Anderson says the payments... which were made for the first time in 50 years to the city last year... are not part of the current Electric and Water Division budgets.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says that discussion was put off because there was so much discussion and debate on other matters.  Leathers says there will now be TWO board meetings in December. The dividend... which was paid to the city and put towards the 2013 spending plan... totalled 420-thousand dollars.  Three-hundred-thousand of that came from the Electric Division... and, the other 120-thousand came from the Water Division.  There was also some contentious debate among BPU members on the matter last year.
 


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has approved a Solid Waste Division budget for 2014 that includes no rate increase.  However... it also includes a new incentive program that will lower the cost for users if they fully take part in the BPU's Recycling Program.  Details of that program are still begin worked out.  But... BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says it will save customers some real money IF they fully take part. Currently... Leathers says the BPU has only 35 to 38-percent compliance with their recycling program... even though recycling is the law in New York state.  He says if they can really get a boost from the initiative... if would save the BPU a lot of money in tipping fees at the County Landfill.  The Solid Waste Budget was re-adopted at Tuesday afternoon's monthly meeting... along with the basics of the recycling program.

News Update for Wed., Nov. 19, 2013


BPU runs short on time to act on $475,000 divident payment to city to help 2014 budget bottom line...
No action was taken Tuesday on a $475,000 dividend payment from the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to the city as part of Jamestown's 2014 budget.  BPU Business Manager Mike Anderson says the payments... which were made for the first time in 50 years to the city last year... are not part of the current Electric and Water Division budgets.  Both drafts were presented yesterday.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says that discussion was put off because the meeting ran long.  There will now be two board meetings in December.  The first will be held -- tentatively -- on Tuesday, Dec. 3.  The other will take place on Friday, Dec. 20.


County Legislature meets Wednesday... lawmakers to act on plan to create County Water Agency...

Chautauqua County legislators will act Wednesday night on a proposal that would form a County Water Agency that would oversee the development of a North County regional water district.  County Executive-elect Vince Horrigan says the agency is necessary in light of a state grant totaling $360,000 for the proposed project.  Horrigan says the Chadwick Bay Development Corp. has been "instrumental" in it's development, but, for all the proper relationships under the county... it needs to have an agency which allows them to accept the grant.  Horrigan, who is a county legislator until the end of the year, proposed an amendment to increase the number of members to 12, including two members that would represent the city of Dunkirk.  The full legislature is expected to take up the measure during their monthly meeting tonight.  The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in Mayville.

 

WJTN News Headlines


The man in charge of the state's Education Department is scheduling a new set of public meetings to discuss the new Common Core standards... and, one of those will take place in Jamestown.  School Superintendent Tim Mains has announced that Education Commissioner John King, Junior will be in Chautauqua County in early December.  Mains says they're excited that King will be at Jamestown High School on December 4th from 5 to 7 PM.  He says it will give local residents a chance to hear about reform efforts in the state... and, later ask questions.  Earlier in the school year... King was shouted down at a couple of public forums on the Common Core Curriculum - mainly by groups that opposed the curriculum.  More recent meetings have been more strictly formated by local districts... and, have allowed for more "give-and-take" between King... parents... and, others.

 

The first 90-days of Jamestown's new school superintendent's tenure has gone well... and, the district is making "good progress."  However... Tim Mains says there are still areas the district needs to improve on... especially in boosting the achievement level of some students groups.  Mains updated the school board on his Entry Plan at last night's meeting.  He says district teachers and staff did a "very good job" getting the new Common Core curriculum started. Mains says there has been a some success to report in terms of meeting the "core" requirements for third through eighth graders.  However... during his nearly half-hour presentation... he pointed out a number of reasons why some students -- for example those speaking mainly Spanish -- struggle.  Mains says that may point to the need for early intervention for some students... and, sometimes spending more time with others.  He pointed to two area he plans to address right away.  One is getting all students to be able to read "grade-level" by the second-grade.  The other is to allow officials to assess district-wide math scores better using a "math screener" program.

 

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has approved three division budgets... including Wastewater for 2014.  The action was taken at this afternoon's monthly meeting.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the Wastewater Division spending plan was first presented last month... and, included a 6-percent rate increase.  However... he credited Business Manager Mike Anderson... and, Assistant General Manager Mike Saar and their staffs for getting that budget down to NO increase.   Leathers says it's the fifth straight year there's been no rate increase.  The board also approved Sanitation and District Heating and Chilling Budgets.

 

An alleged drug dealer from Jamestown is jailed without bail... accused of selling heroin over the past several weeks from his home.  City police say investigators and uniformed police raided the lower apartment at 607 Pine Street last Friday... and, arrested 50 year-old Samuel Rossotto.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the arrest culminated a several week investigation into alleged sales of the narcotic drug from the residence.  Samuelson says Rossotto was basically a street-level dealer. Samuelson says police found a quantity of heroin packaged for sale... along with other controlled substances inside the apartment.  He says it reflects the growing problem heroin has become in the city over the past three years as drug abusers look for cheaper kinds of painkillers.  Samuelson says Rossoto was arraigned on one Felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one misdemeanor count of drug possession.  He's jailed pending a preliminary hearing later this week.

 

Chautauqua County's Acting Executive says his first full-day Monday was a "busy one."  But... County Attorney Stephen Abdella was actually put to work on Sunday night due to the wind storm that came in from the Midwest.  But... fortunately Abdella says the storms didn't hit the area as bad as places like Illinois.  Otherwise... he says he's doing what needs to be done to do both jobs. Abdella says his biggest focus is working with County Executive-Elect Vince Horrigan to make for a smooth transition of power.  He adds, though, that he's been through that with transitions in past years.  Abdella says there's nothing major that needs to be done before the end of the year... but, adds he's trying to keep a couple of projects moving foward... including the Public Facilities' Departments Falconer Shop upgrade.  A new maintenance facility is in the design phase right now.  Abdella says the other project is development of the Roberts Road project in Dunkirk.  Abdella will serve through the end of the year.

 

This year's city Christmas Tree in Jamestown is being provided -- by the city itself.  That from city Arborist Dan Stone... who says the large Spruce Tree was found on a city Right-of-Way on Camp Street -- near the Countryview Estates.  Employees of the Jamestown Parks Department... and, the Board of Public Utilities were on hand yesterday morning.  Stone tells our Terry Frank they have everything planned out. Stone says public works crews are putting a new sewer line on that part of the city's southeast side... and, had to remove a Willow Tree.  They also found they needed to remove the Norway Spruce.  Stone says the tree will fit perfectly on Tracy Plaza because it's got "nice form..." and, the shape and size are good.  He says they'll take 15-feet off of the bottom to make it 45-feet tall.  Stone says they took the tree down to Foote Avenue... then over the Washington Street Bridge to Second Street -- and, the plaza.  They've been set up there to take the tree from the Lake Shore Paving truck... and, stood up on the plaza.  It'll be decorated with 25-hundred LED lights... which will be lit during Jamestown's annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration.

News Update for Tues. Nov. 19, 2013


Abdella says first day as Acting County Executive a "busy" one...

Chautauqua County's Acting Executive says his first full-day Monday was a "busy one."  But... County Attorney Stephen Abdella was actually put to work on Sunday night due to the wind storm that came in from the Midwest.  But... fortunately Abdella says the storms didn't hit the area as bad as places like Illinois.  Otherwise... he says he's doing what needs to be done to do both jobs.  Abdella says he'll be "bouncing back and forth" between his current office, and the County Executive's office to "get things done."  Abdella says his biggest focus is working with County Executive-Elect Vince Horrigan to make for a smooth transition of power.  He adds, though, that he's been through that with transitions in past years.  Abdella says there's nothing major that needs to be done before the end of the year... but, adds he's trying to keep a couple of projects moving foward... including the Public Facilities' Departments Falconer Shop upgrade.  A new maintenance facility is in the design phase right now.  Abdella says the other project is development of the Roberts Road project in Dunkirk.  Abdella will serve through the end of the year.


Accused heroin dealer in Jamestown arrested following drug raid...

An alleged drug dealer from Jamestown is jailed without bail... accused of selling heroin over the past several weeks from his home.  City police say investigators and uniformed police raided the lower apartment at 607 Pine Street last Friday... and, arrested 50 year-old Samuel Rossotto.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the arrest culminated a several week investigation into alleged sales of the narcotic drug from the residence.  Samuelson says Rossotto was basically a street-level dealer... but, adds he was distributing heroin in the area.  He says police found a quantity of heroin packaged for sale... along with other controlled substances inside the apartment.  He says it reflects the growing problem heroin has become in the city over the past three years as drug abusers look for cheaper kinds of painkillers.  Samuelson says Rossoto was arraigned on one Felony count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, one misdemeanor count of drug possession.  He's jailed pending a preliminary hearing later this week.

WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown city lawmakers are looking at cutting up to another 55-thousand dollars from the proposed 2014 budget... which would lower the tax increase to under two-percent.  The City Council last night took one more look at the 33.6-million dollar spending plan after hearing from the final department head... and, outside groups... such as the Prendergast Library.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce proposed trimming 20-thousand dollars from the Contingency Account... given how little had been used this year. Following a brief closed door session... lawmakers also reached consensus on cutting 20-thousand dollars from Judgement and Claims... leaving 80-thousand dollars in that line-item.  Dolce says 75-thousand of the 100-thousand there this year has been used.  He says they had to find somewhere to cut because the city is getting ever closer to it's tax ceiling. In addition... the heads of the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments are to look for 5-thousand dollars in cuts from their "100" accounts.  Police Chief Harry Snellings and DPW Director Jeff Lehman said that's the only place really left to find cuts.  Lawmakers have already cut 32-thousand dollars in interest payments due to the city's new, higher bond rating from Standard and Poors. Prior to the council work session... lawmakers held a public hearing on the 2014 spending plan... which now increases the tax rate by about 43 to 44 cents per thousand full value.  No one spoke during the session.

 

One of the two Jamestown Ward Council races has been decided... and, the other remains undetermined.  That from County GOP Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says absentees were counted this afternoon.  Abram says Republican Brent Sheldon defeated Tara Hall in the First-Ward contest, 356-to-344.  Sheldon led by 28 on election night.  However... Abram says there are 14 contested ballots in Ward-Three... where Republican Tamara Dickey leads Democrat Regina Brackman by just 4 votes. Abram says the count stands at 225-to-221.  Dickey had a three-vote lead on Election Night.  Specific ballot challenges need to be made by Friday... otherwise they'll be opened... and, the Board of Elections will decide if they count.  Dickey and Brackman are looking to replace multi-term Councilman Michael Taylor... who decided not to run for re-election.

 

In town races across Chautauqua County... the Gerry Town Highway Superintendent's race came down to absentees... but, the Election Night leader was the winner.  Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says Republican Brian Anderson... who led by just seven votes after the machine count... wound up winning over Independence Party candidate Mark Risley, 331-to-308.  Abram says there were initially 49 absentee ballots... and, one affidavit ballot.  Abram says there were some absentees that had to be thrown out because those people also wound up voting on election night.  BOE Officials say Anderson and Risley had squared off in a September Republican Primary... but, already having the second line allowed Risley to be on the ballot. There was a north county race that "mathematically" could have been decided by absentees... but, that didn't end up being the case.  Incumbant Republican Hanover Town Justice Richard Saletta held a 59 vote lead on Election Night.  Abram says there were 74 absentees returned... but, Saletta defeated Democrat Edward Schintzuis, 738-to-684.

 

A Frewsburg woman is now in stable condition at a Bufffalo-area hospital after her car went out of control... and, rolled over several times in a single-vehicle crash in Cherry Creek Monday morning.  Sheriff's Deputies say Sarah Parke was traveling on Milestrip Road about 11 AM when her car crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic for no apparent reason.  Officers say Parke then apparently over-corrected... and, lost control.  Officers say the car then overturned multiple times before landing in a ditch.  Parke was flown from the scene by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.

 

Three Jamestown teenagers have been arrested for allegedly holding up a man on Newton Avenue at Stowe Street early Sunday morning with a stolen handgun.  City police were called to the scene about 3:30 AM... and, found the victim was walking home from a friend's house when a 17 year-old girl... and, two boys, ages 15 and 16... approached him in the middle of the street.  Officers say the girl displayed what appeared to be a pistol... and, threatened the man.  The trio allegedly stole some property from the man... and, ran off.  Police later found the three... and, one put down an item and walked away from it.  It was later found to be the handgun... which had earlier been reported stolen.  The 17 year-old was arrested on several charges... including first-degree robbery, second-degree menacing... and, criminal possession of a weapon.  The 16 year-old boy is also charged with first-degree robbery... along with grand larceny.  The 15 year-old's case is being petitioned to family court.

 

Charges are possible after an unruly fan fell from the third deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium and landed on another man during the Bills' game against the Jets Sunday.  Video shows the fan sliding down a handrail before flipping backward and falling about 30 feet into the stands below.  The Bills say he won't be allowed back into the stadium.

 

The Ellicott Town Clerk's office on Dow Street in Falconer will be closed today while Clerk Mike Erlandson attends a training course.  The training is in regards to hunting licenses.  Erlandson says his office will re-open on Wednesday, November 20th at the usual time.

 

 

News Update for Mon., Nov. 18, 2013


Frewsburg woman seriously hurt in rollover accident in Cherry Creek...

A Frewsburg woman suffered serious injuries after her car overturned several times in a single-vehicle accident in Cherry Creek late Monday morning.  Sheriff's officers say Sarah Parke was traveling on Milestrip Road about 11 AM when her car crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic for no apparent reason.  Deputies say Parke then apparently over-corrected... and, lost control of the vehicle.  Officers say the car then overturned multiple times before landing in a ditch.  Starflight Helicopter was called to the scene... and flew Parke to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of unknown injuries.


Three teens arrested in connection with armed robbery in city of Jamestown...

Three Jamestown teenagers have been arrested for allegedly holding up a man on Newton Avenue at Stowe Street early Sunday morning with a stolen handgun.  City police were called to the scene about 3:30 a.m., and, found the victim was walking home from a friend's house when a 17 year-old girl... and, two boys, ages 15 and 16... approached him in the middle of the street.  Officers say the girl displayed what appeared to be a pistol... and, threatened the man.  The trio allegedly stole some property from the man... and, ran off.  Police later found the three... and, one put down an item and walked away from it.  It was later found to be the handgun... which had earlier been reported stolen.  The 17 year-old was arrested on several charges... including first-degree robbery, second-degree menacing... and, criminal possession of a weapon.  The 16 year-old boy is also charged with first-degree robbery... along with grand larceny.  The 15 year-old's case is being petitioned to family court.


Council holding public hearing tonight on proposed 2014 budget...

The Jamestown City Council will hold a public hearing on the city's $33.6-million, 2014 budget proposal tonight at 6 p.m.  Lawmakers have been reviewing the spending plan with department heads for the past few weeks... since Mayor Sam Teresi unveiled the proposal Oct. 8.  Councilmembers have cut $30,000 to pay off some debt due to the city's recent upgrade in it's bond rating.  Mayor Sam Teresi says that amount could go up to more than $100,000 once lawmakers fashion the final budget.  But, at this point, no other cuts have been made... and, the mayor says Jamestown is in the same boat as most surrounding municipalities that have had to increase taxes.  The amount being paid to the state retirement fund... Worker's Compensation and other areas have increased.  Teresi is hopeful that lawmakers can cut the projected 2.68-percent tax increase to at least a more modest increase.  He says his proposed executive budget increases the tax rate by 55-cents per $1,000 full value.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Windy conditions overnight have led to a number of scattered power outages in Chautauqua county this morning. National Grid is reporting well over one-thousand customers without power.  The Town of Poland and Kennedy areas are the seeing the highest concentration of outages with roughly 1000 customers losing power. Nation Grid reports that crews are working on the problem, but are giving no timetable for when power will be restored. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department reports that their were a few lines down overnight that had to be taken care of, and crews were also sent out to clean up some fallen limbs and debris in area roads.  There were no injuries or property damage reported to them overnight.

 

Two hunters have been found dead of natural causes in separate incidents in western New York... one in northern Chautauqua County.  State police in Fredonia say 69-year-old John Kucharski, Junior of Dunkirk was found dead in a 20-foot-high tree stand by his son-in-law Saturday evening.  The two men had started out hunting on the son-in-law's property at 6 AM.  The county coroner pronounced Kucharski dead of natural causes.  Police say he had a history of health problems.  Meantime... another hunter was found dead Saturday in a wooded area in the town of Porter in Niagara County.  The sheriff's office on Sunday identified him as 50-year-old George Lebrun of the town of Wilson.  Lebrun was found after being reported missing by fellow hunters.  The sheriff's office says it appears to have been a medical emergency.

 

The investigation is continuing into a single-car crash early last weekend that killed a Cattaraugus County man in the town of Cattaraugus.  Sheriff's Deputies in Little Valley say 42 year-old James Brown of Salamanca was southbound on Route 353 late Friday night when his car crossed the center line for an unknown reason.  Officers say his Camaro nearly struck an oncoming car head-on.  Deputies say Brown's car then went off the right side of the road... and, struck two trees -- cutting his car in half.  Brown was rushed to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving where he was later pronounced dead.  There were no other passengers in the vehicle.

 

A pair of too-close to call City Council contests in Jamestown will likely be decided today.  That from the county's Board of Elections... which will begin counting up absentee ballots in the First and Third-Ward elections this morning.  In the First-Ward... Republican Brent Sheldon has a 28-vote lead over Democrat Tara Hall after Election Day.  The Third-Ward race finds Republican Tamara Dickey with a three-vote edge over Democrat Regina Brackman.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi recalled two years ago when At-Large Councilwoman Maria Jones won her race by just two votes. In the Ward-One contest... the Board of Elections reports that nearly 70 absentee ballots have been returned... while nearly 40 have been returned in the Ward-Three race.  Teresi says... regardless of what happens... there will be at least two new members of the city council come January 1st.
At the same time... Teresi says a "complete brain-drain" from the City Council isn't good, either.  He adds once whoever wins is seated... it's important that they govern in a bi-partisan manner.  Teresi made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One stations.

 

New York's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance plans to start accepting applications today for up to 650-dollars for an eligible household this winter to help with heating costs.  State officials say anyone living outside New York City seeking the federally funded Home Energy Assistance Program benefit will be able to apply online for the first time.  The website for applications is www-dot-myBenefits-dot-NY-dot-GOV.  Subsidies up to $650 are based on income and household size.  According to the state office... questions can be directed to local Department of Social Services Office or by calling 1-800-342-3009.

 

New Yorkers switching health plans because their policies didn't comply with the Affordable Care Act probably won't be offered a chance to put the process on hold.  President Obama announced this week that insurers in some states may be allowed to keep offering noncompliant plans for another year.  But... New York insurers said Friday that resurrecting policies being phased out on Decemer 31st would be a nightmare.  Industry officials say they'd have to rush a reworked rate structure through a regulatory process that normally takes months.  It might also mean getting legislative approval.  Plus, it's unclear how many New Yorkers would want their old plans back.  Insurers say most of the people being forced to switch are either seeing prices drop, or getting better coverage at a comparable rate.

 

With the situation involving the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk up in the air... city school officials are already looking at a "Plan-B" in case the Repowering Project doesn't happen.  That from Superintendent Gary Cerne (Sir-nee)... who says he and Business Manager William Thiel plan to meet with all building principals and department heads to discuss possible cost-savings initiatives.  With the status of the proposed project still up in the air, Cerne says the District does have a back-up plan. The state's Public Service Commission has not taken action yet on a proposal by NRG to repower the Dunkirk Power Station.  NRG is proposing a 500-million dollar project to convert the coal-fired plant to one powered by natural gas.  There was no discussion on the proposal during the last Public Service Commission meeting which was held on Thursday.

News Update for Fri., Nov. 15, 2013


Reed votes for coverage plans short of Obamacare rules...

Local Congressman Tom Reed was in the majority that voted Friday to allow health plans currently available on the individual market to continue in 2014.  Reed says this will give Americans the chance to continue to enroll in those plans without penalty under the President's health care law.  The Keep Your Health Plan Act passed the House with bipartisan support, 261-to-157.  Reed says -- "first and foremost, our focus is on helping Americans and taking care of those misled by the President's health care law."  He says families are worried and anxious about what their health care will look like next year.  The Corning Republican says one step in easing their concerns is to do what's fair.  He says the president addressed the nation Thursday saying he wanted to help those he led to believe could keep their health care plan... but, are now receiving cancellation notices.  He says the bill passed in the House "addresses that very problem the President said his aim was to correct."


Teresi "estatic" that Jamestown's bond rating is upgraded to "A" catagory...

The city's bond rating has been upgraded to the "A" catagory for the first time in about three decades... and, that will mean a savings for city taxpayers.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says city officials are "estatic" over the news that Standard and Poors has increases Jamestown's rating to A-minus.  Teresi says it's the second time in the past three years they've seen an upgrade.  He says there will be an immediate $100,000 -- or more -- in savings from refinancing $6-million in borrowing for recent parking ramp improvements.


Two state-owned ski centers open this weekend...

New York's two state-owned ski centers in the Adirondacks are opening early for weekend business.  Friday's opening is the earliest ever for Whiteface in Essex County.  Gore will open Saturday, its second-earliest opening day. Gore's earliest opening was Nov. 15, 1986.  Ski enthusiasts can get the latest snow reports at the new ``I Ski NY'' website, www.iskiny.com.  Five trails, from the summit to the base of Little Whiteface will be open this weekend at Whiteface.  At Gore, The Sunway Lift will take skiers and riders to the Jamboree Trail.  The terrain park will also be open.  Whiteface and Gore will close at 4 p.m. Sunday and reopen next Friday.  In the Catskills... the state-opened Belleayre Ski Center is making snow in anticipation of a Nov. 29 opening.

WJTN News Headlines


A Jamestown man is jailed for allegedly shouting racial slurs... and, threatening to klll people in an eastside neighborhood late yesterday afternoon.  City police were called to a report of a disorderly man about 4 PM... and, on arrival... spotted a man running into a home that was involved in the alleged incident.  Officers say they found the man hiding in a cabinet above a shower in the bathroom.  The man was identified as 31 year-old Anthony Meuker-the-second.  He was arrested... and, charged with second-degree aggravated harassment under the hate crime statute.  Meuker was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

A man very familiar with Chautauqua County government operations has been named as Acting County Executive once Greg Edwards officially steps down next Monday.  Edwards has announced that County Attorney Stephen Abdella will serve in the role from November 18th through December 31st.  County Executive Elect Vince Horrigan will begin his term of office once he's sworn-in on January 1st.  Edwards says Abdella's latest stint as Legal Counsel for the county legislature began in 2008. Asked if he considered naming Horrigan as Acting Executive... Edwards says he did... but, he says Abdella was "clearly the best choice."  Horrigan has said he's going to need the just over one-and-a-half months to make the transition to the county's top-elected official.  Abdella was first County Attorney in 1992-through-1997.  Under the County Charter... Abdella was designated by Edwards in 2006 to be Acting County Executive in his absence and was confirmed by the County Legislature at that time.  With that... Edwards says no additional legislative action is necessary.

 

he Affordable Care Act is getting most of the attention... but, federal lawmakers who've returned to Washington also have to craft a new Farm Bill before the end of the year.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he remains optimistic a new, long-term policy will be hammered out by late December because it's needed by both farmers and consumers.  Reed has been in contact with Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas... and, says proposals are now in the hands of a joint House-Senate Committee. Reed says the issue of fluid milk pricing in the Northeast will be addressed in the new bill.  The federal government has used a formula in the Milk Income Loss program to help subsidize dairy farmers because prices have been down in recent years.  Reed says he believes Southern Tier farmers will be satisfied by the final bill.  He says... during debate in the House... the Farm Bureau and dairy producers... the feedback on proposals was "positive."  Reed adds there are "Critical" stablization and margin insurance reforms in the House Bill.

 

Getting a new Farm Bill authorized before the end of the year will impact what you pay for milk in your local grocery store.  Congressman Tom Reed says the current policy ended in September... and, the new measure must be in place by the end of the year to keep fluid milk prices from doubling. Current milk prices in the Jamestown area are just under 2-dollars a gallon... to about 3-dollars at the local grocery stores.  In New York City... and, other major, urban areas... the cost is projected to go as high as 8-dollars a gallon if a new policy is not implemented.  Reed says if no price controls are put in place... the policy would revert back to what it was in the 1940s.

 

The Jamestown Public Works Department has announced that leaf collection in Jamestown continues with Phase-2 -- the second half of the City -- beginning today.  DPW Director Jeff Lehman says Phase 2 begins in the Foote Avenue and Ivy Street area... and, will move west -- clockwise -- to the Chadakoin River in the Jones & Gifford Avenue area.  Once Phase-2 has been completed... Lehman says DPW crews intend to return to designated Phase 1 areas... weather permitting.  Residents are advised to rake leaves to the terrace area and not into the street.  No yard waste, brush, hedge trimmings, garden debris or tree lumber will be collected.

 

National Community Foundation Week has been extra special in Jamestown this year for the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  Foundation Director Randy Sweeney says this is the 15th year the local foundation has taken part in the annual festivities... which celebrates bridging the gap between donors... and, people in need.  The local foundation was started 35 years ago by Gebbie Foundation Director John Hamilton... and, a group of others were told that to start such an organization would cost one-million dollars. Sweeney says that one-million dollars in seed money has now grown to 75-million dollars.  He credited the foundation's Investment Committee for growing that amount through the years.  Sweeney says -- in addition to celebrating their 35th year -- the foundation has reached another milestone.  It now has just over one-million dollars in scholarship funds for students to further their education.  The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has held a number of activities to celebrate it's 35 years in the Jamestown-area.  For more information on the foundation... call 661-3390.

 

Below average participation in their Varsity and Junior Varsity Boy's Basketball programs has led Frewsburg Central School to merge it's program with Falconer.  Frewsburg school officials confirm that they made the request to Falconer for the merger of teams when only 10 students signed up.  The move had already been approved by the school board before last night's meeting.  Falconer has accepted... and, is the host school.  Even though Falconer is the host school both districs have planned to have equal representation in terms of practices, home games and coaching.  Efforts to reach Frewsburg Superintendent Danielle O'Connor for comment Thursday were unsuccessful.

 

News Update for Thurs., Nov. 14, 2013


(**News Alert-CORRECTED)Edwards names County Attorney as Acting Co. Executive...

A man very familiar with Chautauqua County government operations has been named as Acting County Executive once Greg Edwards officially steps down next Monday.  Edwards has announced that County Attorney Stephen Abdella will serve in the role from Nov. 18 through Dec. 31.  County Executive Elect Vince Horrigan will begin his term of office once he's sworn-in on Jan. 1.  Edwards says Abdella's latest stint as Counsel to the county legislature began in 2008.  He says Abdella understands county operations, and has been "a trusted advisor."  Asked if he considered naming Horrigan as Acting Executive... Edwards says he did... but, he says Abdella was "clearly the best choice."  Horrigan has said he's going to need the just over one-and-a-half months to make the transition to the county's top-elected official.  Abdella was first County Attorney in 1992-through-1997.  Under the County Charter... Abdella was designated by Edwards in 2006 to be Acting County Executive in his absence and was confirmed by the County Legislature at that time.  With that... Edwards says no additional legislative action is necessary.  He is leaving to become the new director and Chief Executive Officer with Jamestown's Gebbie Foundation.


 

WJTN News Headlines


A well-known school administrator from the Jamestown-area who is retired is now the interim Superintendent for the Cassadaga Valley Central School District.  Former Sherman Superintendent Tom Schmidt has taken over following the sudden resignation of Scott Smith... who resigned effective Monday.  Following a lengthy closed-door session... the school board last (Tuesday) night announced Smith's resignation due to his "interactions" with another district employee.  Schmidt will run the district through the end of the school year.  On WJTN's "Dennis Webster Show..." Schmidt said it's going to be a challenge. Schmidt adds there's also the added pressure of having to deal with the full roll-out of the "Common Core Curriculum..." which has been controversial both locally and state-wide.  He was named after the board had worked with Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke on the matter.  Also during Tuesday's meeting... the board approved an agreement between the district and High School Principal Tara DiDomenico granting "a request of leave."  School officials say current staff will be picking up DiDomenico's duties during the interim.

 

There's been a big shake up for the Buffalo Sabres.  Team officials announced Wednesday the firing of General Manager Darcy Regier... and, Head Coach Ron Rolston.  Two former Sabres -- one a coach -- now hope to turn the team's fortunes around.  They are Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan.  Team Owner Terry Pegula announced that LaFontaine will assume a new job with the organization. And... Nolan will take over as interim head coach.  He was very emotional about his return to the Sabres organization... saying he didn't know if he would ever have a shot at coaching again.  However... this was the place he wanted to do it.  Among LaFontaine's top goals is to find a new GM.  Regier and Rolston were relieved of their duties following Tuesday's home game with the L-A Kings.  The Sabres are trying to turn around a 4-15-1 record.

 

A city man has been turned over to county Probation officials following a domestic incident in which he threatened his ex-girlfriend... and, threw a brick through her living room window.  Jamestown police were called to the scene at 400 West Seventh Street late Tuesday morning.  Officers say the 32 year-old female victim said the ex-boyfriend -- 34 year-old Damian Rosado -- was on her porch and refused to leave.  Police say they found Rosado shortly after they arrived... but, found he had committed no crime, and he left.  However... as police were clearing the scene... they were again called by the victim.  She said a neighbor told her Rosado was in the back of the home... and, had slashed the tires on her car.  Officers were unable to find him... but, he later approached the woman as she was waiting for her child to get out of school.  Rosado then allegedly made the threat... and, she called police.  A policeman took the report... but, at the same time... Rosado when to police headquarters -- where he was arrested.  He was charged with third-degree menacing.

 

Taxes will be going up just over 4-percent in the town of Ellicott next year after lawmakers recently approved a 3.9-million dollar budget.  Town Supervisor Cecil Miller says the tax increase is "unfortunate..." but, also unavoidable.  Miller says spending is up about 118-thousand dollars in three areas is up due to state mandates... and, contractual obligations. In the final... approved budget... Miller says the tax levy wound up being 2.33-million dollars.  That's up slightly from the initial proposal of 2.29-million.  However... there were some decreases in spending... namely due to the retirements of some long-time police officers.  Miller says there was also one resignation... and, only a couple of full-timers... and, some part-timers were hired at a lower wage.  While there are some exclusions that can bring municipalities UNDER the state's 2-percent property tax cap... he says they're over it. Miller says the final budget includes a 20-cent per thousand tax rate increase outside the villages to 4-dollars-98 cents per thousand assessed value.  In the villages of Falconer and Celoron... he says the rate is up 16-cents to 4-dollars-41 cents per thousand.

 

New York's Department of State is giving 4-million dollars in grants to 68 local governments to study and implement projects to streamline operations and save taxpayer dollars.  The Local Government Efficiency grants will be distributed across 18 projects that localities are collaborating on.  This round of grants will fund seven water projects, including the transfer of management services to county systems in Erie, Orange and Columbia counties.  In addition... four schools will be assessing reorganization, including Elmira and Horseheads, and Seneca Falls and Waterloo.  Other projects involve fuel facilities, wastewater treatment, communications, fire services and redevelopment.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down again this week.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the current price is down 4-cents to 3-dollars-60 cents per gallon.  The Triple-A says today's average, national price is down 6-cents a gallon to 3-dollars-18 cents.  That's the lowest it's been since February 22nd of 2011.  The Fuel Gauge says less expensive gas prices are providing welcome relief to motorists in every state... and Washington, D.C.


      

News Update for Wed., Nov. 13, 2013


Schmidt named as intermim Superintendent at Cassadaga Valley Central...

A familiar face has been named as the interim Superintendent for the Cassadaga Valley Central School District following the sudden resignation of former head Scott Smith.  Following a lengthy closed-door session... the school board last night announced Smith's resignation due to his "interactions" with another district employee.  Retired Sherman School Superintendent Tom Schmidt told our Dennis Webster he assumed the helm Wednesday... and, will run the district through the end of the school year.  Schmidt says he's "excited" to be working with the people at CVCS in helping with the transition to hiring a new, permanent superintendent -- hopefully by "next Spring or so."  Schmidt was named after the board had worked with Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke.  In a statement following the executive session... the Cassadaga board indicated that the resignation followed the district's "consideration of circumstances" surrounding Smith's relationship with the unidentified employee.  Also during the meeting... the board approved an agreement between the district and High School Principal Dr. Tara DiDomenico granting "a request of leave."  School officials say current staff will be picking up DiDomenico's duties until her return.


Sabres fire Reiger, Rolson after 4-15-1 start; hired LaFantaine and Nolan...

The Buffalo Sabres have fired coach Ron Rolston and re-hired Ted Nolan to replace him.  Sabres owner Terry Pegula also announced Wednesday that he fired general manager Darcy Regier and hired Pat LaFontaine as president of hockey operations.  The Sabres are off to a 4-15-1 start, the worst in franchise history.  Buffalo edged Los Angeles 3-2 in a shootout Tuesday night to avoid tying the worst home start in NHL history.  Rolston was 19-26-6 in his brief tenure as Buffalo coach.  Regier had been the Sabres general manager since 1997.  Nolan was the Sabres coach from 1995-97.  LaFontaine starred for the Sabres from 1991-97 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.  He started a job as senior executive for the NHL in October.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Motorists in the Jamestown area will need their snowbrushes and scrapers this morning -- as Lake Effect Snow returned to the region and have left us with about 8 and a half inches of snow since 5pm Tuesday.  Forecaster Aaron Reynolds with the National Weather Service... who says a couple of lake effect bands brought the white stuff last night.  That was on top of a general one to two-inches of snow fell across the region Monday night into Tuesday morning.  The typical snow belt areas and higher elevations got the most snow.  We also got our first real Arctic blast overnight with temperatures falling to about 21 to 22 degrees.  However... we'll see more sun... and, temperatures in the mid-40s by Thursday.

 

Slippery road conditions due to Monday night's snowy weather is at least being partly-blamed for a fatal, two-vehicle accident in the town of Pomfret.  State Police in Fredonia say 24 year-old Lea Genung was westbound on Route 20... about one-tenth of a mile from Harmon Hill Road... when she lost control of her car.  Troopers say Genung's car slid into the opposite lane striking a pick-up truck driven by 45-year-old Darrin Stott of Forestville.  She was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Rick Mackowiak.  Stott suffered minor injuries.  Stott was not charged. 

 

A city man is jailed without bail on drug and obstruction charges after he was allegedly found in possession of heroin, and marijuana following a slow-speed vehicle pursuit in Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were patrolling the area of Broadhead Avenue and Kidder Street late Monday on a report of a wanted person in the area.  Samuelson says they spotted 23 year-old Moises Lopez-Encarnacion of Hopkins Street... who had a suspended license... driving a Ford Explorer.  He says the officer tried to stop Encarnacion... but, the suspect drove off... leading police over several blocks to 31 Hazard Street.  He then threw a package out the window before police "boxed him in...." Samuelson says Encarnacion also allegedly had a quantity of cash stashed in the car.  While there was packaging material for the heroin... he would not say if Encarnacion was a dealer or not.  He says the amount of heroin and marijuana found were not large.  Encarnacion was arraigned on several charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... and, Felony criminal tampering with evidence.  He is also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.  Encarnacion is being held in the county jail.

 

New York's new online health exchange reports 197-thousand New Yorkers have completed applications to get insured, while just over 48-thousand have subsequently enrolled in plans.  Nearly half of those are in the government-funded Medicaid program for low-income New Yorkers.  The exchange -- which opened October 1st as the state's response to the federal Affordable Care Act -- includes low-cost plans for individuals and small businesses with coverage starting January 1st.  Software contractors who designed and manage the exchange expect a spike in activity in December and January.  State officials have estimated 1.1-million uninsured will enroll over the next few years.  New York's exchange was also designed to link uninsured people who are eligible to Medicaid, which already covers about 5.1-million New Yorkers.

 

Just a week after his election... County Executive-Elect Vince Horrigan is hard at work on the transition and has put together a team that will assist him with those efforts.  The Bemus Point Republican says he has chosen a former Dunkirk school administrator to chair the team of eight people who come from across the county.   John Jay Warren is also a member of a north county economic development panel. Horrigan says the team will interview representatives of manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, retail, health care and technology-related businesses.  In addition... since they're all busy people... Horrigan says they will utilize high-tech methods to hold their meetings. Horrigan says he hopes to have the recommendations by December 31st... just before he takes office on New Year's Day.  Other team members include Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission member Dr. Lillian Ney.

 

The United Nation's humanitarian chief is appealing for 300-million dollars to help the more than 11 million people in the Philippines estimated to have been affected by last week's typhoon.  Speaking in Manila... Valerie Amos said U.N. teams haven't been able to get into remote communities.  Humanitarian Aid has been sent from the U-S... which has also dispatched an aircraft carrier to bring badly needed supplies.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says his thoughts and prayers are with the people there... but, adds the U-S can't be the sole source of such aid anymore. Reed says the U-S will certainly help because we are "the most generous people on the face of their earth.  Valerie Amos says -- at this point -- the U.N. hasn't been able to bring the amount of supplies needed to the devastated city of Tacloban (tahk-LOH'-bahn).  Residents there are getting desperate.  One 81-year-old woman, her clothes soaked from a pouring rain, said, ``We need help. Nothing is happening.''

 

News Update for Tues., Nov. 12, 2013


City man arrested for alleged Heroin, marijiuana posession...

A Jamestown man is jailed on Felony drug charges after he was allegedly found in possession of heroin, and marijuana after a vehicle pursuit over several city blocks.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson say officers were patrolling the area of Broadhead Avenue and Kidder Street on a report of a wanted person in the area.  Samuelson says police spotted 23 year-old Moises Lopez-Encarnacion... who they knew had a suspended license... driving a Ford Explorer.  Officers tried to stop Encarnacion... but, he refused to stop... and, drove at slow speeds over several blocks... during which he threw a package out the window.  He finally stopped in front of 31 Hazzard Street.  Encarnacion was found by police trying to eat a quantity of marijuana... and, he again tried to drive off.  However... police boxed him in... and, finally forced their way into the vehicle.  Officers allegedly found a quantity of heroin packaged for sales along with a quantity of cash.  Encarnacion was arrested on several charges... including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... and, Felony criminal tampering with evidence.  He is also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana... and, obstruction.  He's being held pending arraignment.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Several community leaders from across Chautauqua County have agreed to be part of County Executive-Elect Vince Horrigan's transition team.  Horrigan says the team will -- quote -- "provide an external, non-partisan assessment of Chautauqua County government strengths, weaknesses and opportunities."  He says they will then provide recommendations to improve the county's service delivery and economic development.  The Bemus Point Republican says members include Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission member Dr. Lillian Ney... and, Allied Alarm Services President and CEO Mike Roberts.  Horrigan says the team will interview a number of business, industrial and academic leaders to get an assessment of the county's strengths and weaknesses before he takes office.

 

At the new Veteran's Park in Jamestown's Logan Park... several local veteran's groups laid a wreath and flowers to commemorate fallen veterans from past wars and conflicts.  There was a 21-gun salute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It was the first Veteran's Day observance with the new flag circle completed at the new park.  The local Veteran's of Foreign Wars is in charge of the early ceremony.  Commander Jim McNally says the completed circle with the flagpole is a much better place to hold the service compared to the former location at East Second and Third Streets. McNally says there was also the traditional rifle volley at North Main and Third Streets at 11 AM to commemorate the "11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th month" when the Armistice was signed following World War-One.  After the rifle volley at the Veteran's Park... there was also the playing of taps.

 

World Trade Center families carried a giant American flag along Fifth Avenue as part of New York City's Veterans Day Parade.  Some shouted ``Don't forget 9/11!''  Organizers of Monday's parade up Fifth Avenue have renamed it America's Parade.  They say it's the largest Veterans Day event in the nation.  The U.S. military's first female four-star general is a grand marshal.  General Ann Dunwoody retired last year after a 37-year Army career.

 

Chautauqua County's Congressman is expressing a "heart-felt" thanks to all veterans who have served in past wars... and, answered their nation's call to duty.  Corning Republican Tom Reed also encouraged all residents in the Southern Tier to take a moment and attend one of several Veteran's Day observances across the 23rd District... or just pause 30-seconds during their day to remember those who have fought for our freedom. Reed's father was a career Military officer who served in World War-Two and Korean War.  He says he learned early that "we stand with our vets... not only when they're deployed... but, when they return home."  Reed has also dedicated one member of his staff to servicing veteran's needs.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone news conference with Southern Tier Media.

 

There are a lot charities that help out U-S veterans.  But... people who are looking to donate should do some homework before issuing that check.  Peggy Penders of the Better Business Bureau says its important to have some knowledge about the charity. Penders says a larger number of veterans and military-affiliated charities are disclosing information... and, meeting the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability than they did six years ago.  There are several websites available that have information about charities.  Penders says they include their website... BBB-dot-ORG... and Give-dot-ORG.  In the past two years... Penders says that 64-percent of veterans and military-affiliated charities contact by the BBB provided requested information and materials.  That's up from only 50-percent in 2007.

 

An accident involving a farm tractor on Sunday at a residence in the town of Pomfret has claimed the life of a 67-year-old man.  State Police in Fredonia say they responded to the call around 12:15 PM at 8842 Chautauqua Road.  Troopers say Michael Travis was operating the tractor when he apparently fell off and the tractor ran over him.  He was pronounced dead at the scene by County Coroner Rick Machowiak.  The investigation is continuing... and, an autopsy will scheduled at a later date.  

 

Three people escaped serious injury early last weekend when a car skidded on some ice... and, sideswiped two other vehicles on Route 60 in Sinclairville.  Sheriff's officers say 17 year-old Joshua Atwell was northbound just after 7:30 AM last Friday when he drove over some ice... and, lost control of his car.  Deputies say Atwell's car went into the southbound lane and sideswiped two oncoming vehicles. The first vehicle sustained minor damage to the rear driver's side.  The second vehicle... operated by 22 year-old Jonathan Skovira of Webster, New York... sustained heavy damage along the entire driver's side of the car.  Skovira's vehicle spun... and, went into the ditch on the westside of the roadway.  After striking Skovira's vehicle, Atwell's car crashed into the ditch on the east side of the roadway.  Skovira received a minor laceration... while Atwell and, a Hamburg woman weren't hurt.

 

Firebrand Republican Carl Paladino is mulling another run for governor as a Conservative Party candidate.  The 2010 Republican candidate lost to Cuomo in a heated campaign.  He says he could back a GOP candidate for governor if he or she has sufficient conservative fiscal and economic values.

 

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


A Cuyahoga, Ohio man is dead following a two vehicle accident in the Town of North Harmony Sunday.  State Police report that 57 year old Thomas Erickson was travelling west in the passing lane on Interstate 86 just after 3:30pm when his Chrysler Pacifica travelled off the south shoulder, crossed through the center median and into the east bound lanes where it struck a 2012 Jeep Cherokee.  Erickson was transported to WCA hospital where he was pronounced dead.  The Driver of the Jeep Cherokee, 52 year old Barbara Kubiak of Brandford, Pennsylvania was flown to Hamot Medical Center with complaints of chest pains.  State police are investigating the accident.

 

Flames have extensively damaged part of the upstairs and attic of a house on Jamestown's westside.  City Fire Lieutenant Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 508 West 8th Street about 10:15 yesterday morning... and, firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from the attic of the home.  Finson says they immediately went to work on the blaze. Finson says the occupants of the home called 9-1-1 after being alerted to the fire, and checking the second-floor of the home.  He says... once they called 9-1-1... the residents got out of the home.  Finson says no one was hurt... but, adds that there was heavy damage to the upper portions of the house.
Finson says an off-duty shift of 12 firefighters and one shift commander was called in to assist at the scene... and, man Fire Station-one.  A malfunctioning heating and electric connection in the attic was the apparent cause.  No firefighters were hurt.  The family is reportedly being helped by relatives.

 

The flags flown at half-staff at New York's Capitol in honor of service men and women killed in action will be given to the service members' families under a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Flags flying at half-staff have long been a tradition at the state Capitol.  But... until now, the flags haven't been given to the families as is often done with flags flown in Washington.  The law signed Sunday creates the Lieutenant Colonel Clark Memorial Flag Presentation Program.  Flags flown in honor of fallen service men and women will presented to their families at no cost.  Clark, of Guilderland, was a 17-year Army veteran who was killed in June in Afghanistan.  The bill was sponsored by state Senator Hugh Farley and Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy.

 

County Executive Greg Edwards is finishing out his final days in office before he begins his new job as the director and Chief Executive Officer of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown.  Edwards last day -- officially -- is a week from today -- November 18th.  Edwards feels he’s leaving the county in pretty good shape. Edwards say looking forward he’s very excited about the work he’ll be doing with the Gebbie Foundation. Edwards announced this past Summer that he would not be running for a third-term in office to "explore" his future options.  He did not indicate any firm plans at this time.... and, the Gebbie Foundation announced in mid-August that Edwards had been named to be their new director and CEO.

 

The planned expansion of casino gambling in New York state isn't a sure bet in Saratoga Springs despite its famous race track and a long history with wagering.  Most voters in Saratoga County said no to last week's referendum to allow seven Las Vegas-style casinos to be built, including four upstate.  Saratoga Springs is a likely front-runner to land one of them.  The city is already home to the seasonal Saratoga Race Course and a year-round racino.  But... some residents and business owners are opposed to expanding the racino into a Las Vegas-style casino with table games such as roulette.  They say it will detract from the city's charm and hurt businesses in Saratoga's thriving downtown.

 

One juror in the Anthony Taglianetti second-degree murder trial says he had "no doubts" that Taglianetti drove from his Virginia home to kill Clymer School Superintendent Keith Reed, Junior.  Lawrence Thompson... who was in the U-S Air Force from 1986 to 1990... says the way Reed was shot to death in September of 2012... tells the Buffalo News it was a "classic" military-style "kill shot" to the back that killed Reed.  Taglianetti was accused of killing Reed after the school official had an affair with Taglianetti's wife.  Testimony in the trial generated sensational headlines for two weeks as the story of that relationship unfolded.  Special Correspondent Dave O'Connor talked with another juror after they were dismissed. Dave O'Connor says members of Keith Reed's family were in court everyday... and, they spoke after the verdict was delivered. The sentencing for Anthony Taglianetti is not expected until February of next year.  Defense Attorney Ned Barone has indicated he intends to appeal the verdict.  Additional detail on the trial and verdict is available at C-h-a-u-c-a-t.com.

 

Taglianetti Found Guilty


A Jury has found Anthony R. Taglianetti guilty of murdering Clymer Schools Superintendent Keith Reed, Jr.

 

Reed was found shot to death outside his home last year.

 

It is believed Taglianetti shot Reed over an alleged love affair with Taglianetti's estranged wife Mary.

WJTN Election Coverage - Town Results


In contested town races Tuesday, here are some of the results:

 

In the Busti Town Council race, Republicans Kenneth Lawton and Todd Hanson were elected with 1215 votes and 1187 votes respectively.  Democrat Cara Birrittieri was out of the running with 602 votes.

 

In Ellicott's Ward 1 Republican Pat Mc Laughlin defeated Democrat Vicki Bardo, 254 to 152 votes.

 

The Town of Harmony saw two Republicans elected to the Town Council.  Peter Radka got 299 votes, and David Hinderer had 289.  Democrat Irene Anderson received 154 votes.

 

In Clymer Republicans Russell Hunink and John Holthouse were elected to the Town Council with 236 and 156 votes respectively.  Democrat Howard Holthouse came in third with 113 votes.

 

The Kiantone Highway Superintendent's race was won by Democrat Robert Carlson.  He had 260 votes.  Republican Mark Johnson had 124.

 

In the Town of Poland clerk's contest, Republican Bonnita Wallace was elected with 375 votes.  Democrat Darla Rissel had 141.

 

The Town of Sherman Town Council race was won by Republicans Gerald Russell and Howard Crump with 233 and 207 votes respectively.  Independence candidate James Irwin did not win.  He had 105 votes.

 

The Stockton Town Justice contest was won by Republican Mark Cunningham.  He had 358 votes.  Democrat Jeffrey Shevlin, Jr. received 193 votes.  

WJTN News Headlines/Election Results


Vince Horrigan will be the next Chautauqua County Executive. The current Republican County Legislator from Bemus Point defeated Democratic candidate Ron Johnson with a vote of 13,858 to 10,926 with 100 precincts reporting. Horrigan spoke to our Dennis Webster after the election was called. Horrigan will take over for Current County Executive Greg Edwards who did not seek a third term in office on January first. 

 

The results are in for County Legislature after yesterday's election.  With 100 election districts reporting these are the unofficial numbers:

 

In District 3, Democrat William Coughlin ran against Republican Bob Scudder.  Both are currently legislatures, but due to redistricing they ended up facing off.  Bob Scudder took the seat with 966 votes with Coughlin tallying in at 709.

 

Democrat Janet Keefe and Republican Michael Sullivan ran for the County Legislature position in District 4.  Janet Keefe was victorious with 450 votes while Michel Sullivan had 338.

 

In District 5, Terry Niebel, the Republican candidate, took on 2 people: Democratic candidate Susan Baldwin and Amy Farnham the Working Families Candidate.  Niebel...who is the former County Elections Commissioner...beat out both candidates with 925 votes.

 

Thomas DeJoe, the Republican candidate, took on Democrat John Runkle for the Countly Legislature seat in District 7.  Runkle had 850 votes and beat out DeJoe with 624 votes.

 

Republican Paul (P-J) Wendel was challenged by Democrat Sharon Lisciandro in District 10.  Wendel was victorious with 996 votes, while Lisciandro had 663.

 

In District 11, Robert Whitney, Democrat, took on Republican David Wilfong for County Legilature.  Whitney with 444 votes fell to challenger Whitney with 533 votes.

 

It was Democrat Fred Larson versus Republican William Pietro in District 12.  Larson was the victor with 647 votes and Pierto had 450 votes.

 

In District 15, Democrat Sam Ognibene withdrew from the race, but was still on the ballot opposed by Republican Lisa Vanstrom.  Vanstrom was victorious with 1020, but Ognibene still brought in 485 votes.

 

Democrat Tom Erlandson was challenged by Republican Ron Lemon in District 16.  Challenger Ron Lemon was the victor with 1077 votes.  Erlandson had 485 votes.

 

And the final race in District 18 was Democrat Edward Carutus challenging Republican David Himelein.  Heimelein had 882 votes and Carutus had 561 votes, making David Himelein the winner.

There 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats who ran unopposed for County Legislature in their respective districts.  So the County Legislature is now  made up of 13 Republicans and 6 Democrats...putting the Republicans at a supermajority.


With 100 precincts reporting these are the final numbers for the Jamestown City Council Races...

In Ward 1 Brent Sheldon defeated Tara Hall 328 to 300.
In Ward 3 Tamara Dickey defeated Regina Brackman 208 to 205.
In Ward 4 Maria Caruba beat Richard Elardo 587-417.

Wards 1 and 3 are to close to call and will be decided when Absentee Ballots are counted. Greg Rabb, George Spitale and Kimberly Ecklund ran unopposed for the 3 At Large seats.  Also running unnoposed in Jamestown were Anthony Dolce in District 2, Maria Jones in District 5, and Paul Whitford in District 6.

 

New York voters have authorized seven Las Vegas-style casinos to be built to boost the state's economy.  With 60 percent of precincts reporting, the constitutional amendment was approved Tuesday 57 percent to 43 percent.   One would be in the Southern Tier near Binghamton, two in the Catskills and Mid-Hudson Valley region, and another in the Saratoga Springs-Albany area.  A New York City casino would be built in seven years, although some casino operators say the law could allow for a New York City casino sooner.

 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has won his third term in a city where the Democrat's party holds a significant edge in enrollment.  Unofficial results show Brown won Tuesday's race against Republican Sergio Rodriguez, a former Marine with a masters' degree in organizational leadership. Brown had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign and had wide backing from local Democrats, who dominate in this gritty city. Brown served in the state Senate before becoming elected Buffalo's first black mayor in 2005.

 

Bill de Blasio says his landslide victory in New York City's mayoral election shows that the people have chosen ``a progressive path'' forward, and pledged to make tackling income inequality a top priority. The Democrat delivered his victory speech Tuesday evening at an armory near his Brooklyn home. Throughout his campaign, de Blasio warned that the gap between rich and poor has become too large in the city, and he told cheering supporters that he was committed to ``making sure that no son or daughter of New York falls behind.'' He said New York faces a ``crisis of affordability,'' decades in the making. With 14 percent of precincts reporting, he was taking 73 percent of the vote in his race against Republican Joe Lhota.

 

Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards will not be using his veto power on any of the changes the County Legislature made to the 2014 budget he had submitted.  Edwards says the changes didn't amount to much when you consider the entire spending plan. Edwards says while the legislature decided to reduce the investment in senior programs from $500,000 to $250,000, he feels it's still a major accomplishment and will help many county seniors.

 

An informational forum addressing the new Common Core system will be taking place at Jamestown High School auditorium tonight (Wednesday). The Director of the Southwestern Region PTA...Erika Zielinski...says that the invitation to attend the forum extends throughout Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Alleghany counties.  Parents, educators, administrators, and community members are welcome to attend. The forum will include a presentation by Superintendent Tim Mains followed by a period of questions and concerns that will be addressed by Mains. 
The Common Core Forum will take place tonight (Wednesday) in the Jamestown High School Auditorium.  The forum will run from 6pm to 8pm...however if you have questions to ask during the forum plan on arriving at

WJTN Election Coverage Update


Chautauqua County Election Night Update.  In the race for County Executive Republican Vince Horrigan has 8596 votes with  Democrat Ron Johnson bringing in 6593 with 59 districts reporting. 

For County Clerk  Larry Barmore 8384 - Lauri Cornell 6685

 

In the legislature races:

 

In District 8 John Runkle is leading Tom Dejoe  438 - 175

In District 18 David Himmeline is leading Ed Karutis  461 - 415 

In District 15 Lisa Vanstrom 599  Sam Ognibene 317

 

WJTN News Headlines


It's Election Day in Chautauqua County. Democratic Election Commsioner Norm Green says even with the reduction in the County Legislature there aren't too many changes to polling places, but if your unsure you can get all the information you need at Vote Chautauqua dot com. Election results will also be updated through out the evening Tuesday on Vote Chautauqua dot com. The Polls in Chautauqua County are open from 6 AM to 9 PM.   

 

Election Day will be a day of change in Chautauqua County.  With County Executive Greg Edwards decision to not run for a third-term... there will a new, top-elected official next January 1st.  Current Republican County Legislator Vince Horrigan is running against Fredonia-area businessman Ron Johnson... who is the Democrat candidate.  There will also be a new county clerk... with the retirement of five-term Clerk Sandy Sopak.  Gerry Republican Larry Barmore is squaring off against Jamestown Democrat Lori Cornell.  Barmore is currently the County Legislature's Majority Leader... while Cornell is a legislator who has held majority and minority leadership roles.  There will also be a new legislature... with 19 seats up for a vote.  In the immediate Jamestown area... there are few contested races.  In District 10... incumbant Republican P-J Wendel is being challenged by Democrat Sharon Lisciandro.  In District 11... incumbant Democrat, and Minority Leader Bob Whitney... is being challenged by Republican David Wilfong.  In District 12... past legislator Fred Larson is running on the Democrat line... while William Pietro is the GOP opponent.  District 15 was to be a contested race... but, Democrat Sam Ognibene withdrew recently from the race.  He remains on the ballot with Republican Lisa Vanstrom.

 

Out-going Chautauqua County Legislator Fred Croscut says he is NOT running a write-in campaign for the new District 18 seat.  Some postcards began arriving at homes in the Sherman-area over the weekend encouraging his election.  Croscut says he didn't send them and didn't authorize them. Croscut lost the Republican Primary to David Himelein of Findley Lake... and, Croscut supports him fully.  He believes someone in the Democratic Party mailed out the cards... hoping to split the GOP vote, and help elect the Democratic candidate, Ed Carutis of Sherman.  Democratic Elections Commissioner, Norm Green says he had nothing to do with it. Chautauqua County's Republican Elections Commissioner, Brian Abram, says the unauthorized write-in campaign is not a good thing-because -- "Fred does not want this attention and does not want to be considered as a write in candidate."  Croscut says if he decides to run again... he'll do it 'fair and square' in two years. 

 

There were three major fires last Sunday within the span of 24 hours from Westfield to Fredonia.  The Tri-Church Fire in Brocton occured early Sunday morning.  There was a basement fire in One Park Place in Fredonia Sunday afternoon.  And... the third occured on Webster Road in the town of Westfield Sunday night.  Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says it put a lot of stress on several North County fire departments... but, fortunately there were no major injuries. Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe Monday commended the work of village firefighters... along with those from Dunkirk and East Dunkirk in dousing the basement fire. 13 people were displaced by the apartment house fire.  The basement fire was linked to primary electrical panels in the basement of the building.  Meanwhile, the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team is still trying to determine the cause of the other fires. A fourth fire occured in Stockton early Monday... leaving a family of six homeless when their home was destroyed by fire.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed is applauding the passage in the House of the Water Resources Reform and Redevlopment act or "WRTA" (Wurta).  The WRTA act is important to Chautauqua County and the 23rd Congressional District because it deals with improvements and environmental restoration efforts as well as invasive species issues. Reed says this is an 8-billion dollar bill that cleans up about 12 Billion dollars worth of old projects that have been left since 2007.  It puts the local Harbor and Invasive species projects in the county in a very competive spot for  federal funds to complete projects involving harbor clean ups and dealing with invasive species.  Reed says it will deal with a number of problems in Chautauqua County. Reed says the Bill now moves onto the Senate.  The Corning Republican made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Flames of an unknown origin have destroyed a church in the village of Brocton.  Brocton firefighters were called to the Tri-Church Parish at 35 East Main Street just before 1:30 Sunday morning.  Sheriff's Department Fire investigators say fire crews found the structure fully-involved on arrival.  Brocton called in Westfield... Stockton... Dunkirk... East Dunkirk... Fredonia... and, Portland fire crews.  The Fire Investigation Team was later called in to help look for the cause, and origin of the fire.  Officials say the scene was cleared by early afternoon Sunday... but, the cause remains under investigation.  There were no reported injuries as a result of the fire... or, during fire fighting efforts.

 

A Frewsburg man seen crawling on a street on Jamestown's eastside faces a weapon's possession charge following his arrest early yesterday morning.  City police were called to the area of East Second and Tiffany Streets about 2 AM Sunday for a man crawling in the road.  On arrival... they found the man... 35 year-old Timothy Himes... highly intoxicated.  Further investigation also revealed that Himes had a "gravity knife" in his possession.  He was arrested and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a knife... and, sent to the city jail pending arraignement.

 

With just over two weeks to go before he leaves office... Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards says he still has plenty of work to do yet.  Edwards will leave office effective Monday, November 18th, to become the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown. Edwards says he will not announce his choice to fill the office on an interim basis until his final week in office.  The Busti Republican says he will work with his successor to achieve a smooth transition.  Edwards says Chautauqua County has always had a "smooth transition" from one administration to another... and, he wants to make sure this one is, too.  County Legislator Vince Horrigan of Bemus Point... and, Fredonia businessman Ron Johnson are running for County Executive on Tuesday, November 5th.  The entire, new 19-member county legislature is also up for a vote.

 

The state will operate a hotline for New York residents who have trouble voting on Tuesday.  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says his Election Day hotline with help people facing language issues, polling place barriers and other potential civil rights problems.  Voters can report issues or problems at the polls to the attorney general's hotline at 800-771-7755.  Polls will be open until 9 PM Tuesday.  Schneiderman says his Civil Rights Bureau has fielded hundreds of complaints from voters since the hotline was launched last year.

 

Republican Ron Lemon has announced his candidacy for the newly-formed Chautauqua County Legislative District 16 seat.  The district incorporates the towns of Carroll, Kiantone and Poland. He will be on the ballot as a candidate with both the Chautauqua County Republican and Conservative parties.  Lemon has previously served as a member of the county legislature from 2007-10 and as legislative clerk in 2011. He has been the pastor of Koinonia Christian Fellowship in Frewsburg for 14 years... and, a Frewsburg Central School bus driver for 10 years. Previously... he worked for Truck-Lite  for more than 18 years.  As a county legislator, Lemon served as chairman of the Human Services Committee, a member of the Administrative Services Committee, a member of the Chautauqua County Home Ad Hoc Committee and a member of the Welfare to Work Reform Committee.  He will opposed Democrat incumbant Tom Erlandson... who currently represented the Frewsburg-area on the legislature.

 

There is a high-profile Chautauqua County Legislature race in the north county... featuring a former mayor of Fredonia who has announced his candidacy.  Republican Michael Sullivan says he would take the same approach to county government spending as he did as Mayor.  In a statement... Sullivan says he would continue a "need versus wants" analysis of all spending. Sullivan also says he favors creation of a North County Water District.  He is running against Democrat Janet Keefe.  Keefe is the wife of the current Fredonia Mayor... and, past county legislator Stephen Keefe.

 

City police officials were a little surprised this past month when they uncovered two, smaller Methamphetime Labs in Jamestown.  However... Chief Harry Snellings says there has been an uptick in the number of "one-pot" labs that have sprung up in the region.  Snellings says these types of labs are very different than the first... and, more traditional lab found several years ago on Palmer Street.  He says they're smaller... and, not as easy to detect. Snellings says the ingredients for "Meth" also haven't changed much.  Those include Sudafed... Lithium from batteries... and, Hydrous Ammonia.  Snellings says the lab found at 57 Spruce Street was discovered when one of the batteries used caught fire... and, the suspects tried to put it out with water.  He and other city officials met this week with residents in the area... and, told them the county's HazMat Team was going to check the air quality around the house... and, they were going to ask the state to check the soil for contamination.  In the other case on Spring Street... Snellings says city police were assisting with a parole check when they discovered the other "Meth Lab."  The chief spoke on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

Nuclear regulators may cite an upstate New York nuclear plant for a safety violation over an incident earlier this year in which plant operators lost the ability to cool the water surrounding the reactor core.  The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that the April 16th incident at the Nine Mile Point Unit-1 in Scriba lasted 31 minutes.  Inspectors from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission blamed the incident on mistakes that began with a contractor opening the wrong circuit breaker.  They said the water temperature in the reactor rose from 118 degrees to 145 degrees before operators managed to restart the cooling system.  The NRC said Friday it may cite the owner for violating safety regulations.  Plant owner Constellation Energy Nuclear Group said improved safety procedures have already been implemented.


 

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