What was little more than a "pipe dream" several years ago became reality Wednesay morning in downtown Jamestown with the official opening of the National Comedy Center....  
 
An excited Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson greeted a full-house in the "Holigram Room" to begin the program.  Gunderson expressed several emotions she felt, from excitement to relief.
 
Gunderson says the center at 203 West Second Street began to take shape shortly after she was hired in 2011 and, says the center has gotten the reaction she and the board had hoped for from the comedians, to the general public.  Governor Cuomo took a personal interest in the Comedy Center... noting that it has the potential to be an economic "game-changer" for the region.  Cuomo adds that the comedy center fullfills the dream of the late Lucille Ball for her hometown to someday host a center that celebrates the history and art of comedy.  He also commended Journey Gunderson and Comedy Center Board Chairman Tom Benson for fullfilling Lucille Ball's dream. 
 
 
A number of elected officials from across the region and state were on hand for Wednesday morning's grand opening of the National Comedy Center, while others spoke from afar...  
 
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was one of Wednesday's speakers and, said he's "very proud, relieved... and, exhausted" that the long-time effort has come to fruition.  Teresi quoted a good friend who once said there's "a thousand reasons why something doesn't happen but, only one why it happens..."
 
Teresi expressed his appreciation to all the people who helped to make the Comedy Center a reality, including Director Journey Gunderson and Chairman Tom Benson and, the unwavering support of Governor Cuomo.  Local Congressman Tom Reed had business elsewhere in the 23rd District but, was represented at the ribbon-cutting.  Reed calls it a "great day" for Jamestown, and the region.  Reed says a resolution he has introduced making the National Comedy Center the official center of comedy in the United States should be acted on by the full Congress.
 
 
It's going to be a very busy 11 days in the immediate Jamestown-area with upwards of 30,000 visitors expected here for four major events of national scope taking place...  
 
The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has developed an "Ambassador" program for businesses in the downtown area to help direct people to local venues, restaurants, and parking.  Marketing and Events Manager Zach Agatt says it augments "wayfinding" signage recently put in place.
 
The downtown area started getting busy about mid-morning Wednesday, around the opening of the Comedy Center.  The city has also put up several of the "wayfinding" signs along downtown streets to guide visitors to the comedy center, the Luci-Desi Museum, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts and, others. 
 
 
A Jamestown man was arraigned on numerous charges after leading police on a vehicle pursuit in the Town of Busti Tuesday night...  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police say officers pulled over a speeding vehicle on Hunt Road shortly before 11:30.  Upon speaking with the driver, 45 year-old Anthony Charles, officers say Charles allegedly put the car in drive and took off after drugs were found inside.  While in pursuit, police saw him throw drugs from the driver-side window, before pulling him over for a second time.  A large amount of marijuana was recovered before Charles was taken into custody.  He is being held in the county jail on $50,000 bail and will appear in Busti Town Court at a later date. 
 
 
The 74th annual Gerry Rodeo got underway last night, but if you didn't make it, you still have plenty of opportunity to see the performances...  
 
One of the high-lights is even before the rodeo begins at 8p.m.---their famous beef barbecue dinners are served starting at 5:00 at the dining hall next to the arena.  Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley says they barbecue about 1,100 pounds of beef each day before it's served.
 
Cooley says they serve potatoes, salad, rolls, and a beverage with each dinner and, you also get ice cream with it.  He says some of the women from the Gerry Fire Department Auxillary and others help out in cutting the potatoes, and performing other duties for that day.  The show and dinner combo packages are $24 for adults and $14 for children, while just the rodeo shows are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $9 for kids.  The rodeo runs each night through Saturday.  For more information, call 985-4847.
 
 
A Lakewood woman was arrested on false personation charges in the city of Jamestown Tuesday evening.... 
 
Jamestown police were called to Hazel Avenue around 8 p.m. for a suspicious person lying in middle of the street. On arrival, officers found 43 year-old Marla Mitchell sitting in the roadway. Mitchell is accused of lying about her true identity and giving a false name. While atttempting to place her into custody, she began to resist arrest. Mitchell was eventually taken into custody without further incident and is being held in city jail pending arraignment. 
 
 
New York state is moving to prevent health insurers from raising premiums because of the repeal of a federal requirement for most people to carry insurance or pay fines...  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move during a speech earlier this week at a Manhattan hospital.  The Democrat said he will direct state regulators to reject any proposed rate hikes from insurance companies that cite the repeal of the individual mandate as justification.  There's no immediate response from insurers.  The Affordable Care Act's individual mandate required most Americans to have insurance or face fines.
 
 
Authorities say they've seized 37-pounds of cocaine and more than $660,000 dollars in cash and charged three men after an investigation in western New York...  
 
The U.S. Attorney's Office says the Erie County Sheriff's Office started the investigation after stopping a tractor-trailer with Alabama plates outside Buffalo last month.  Federal prosecutors say officers observed three men involved in a drug deal five days later in West Seneca and arrested two Alabama men, ages 22 and 41, and a 41-year-old Buffalo man.  Police say they seized 17 individually packaged pressed powder bricks of cocaine and $664,000 dollars in cash in 52 shrink-wrapped and taped bundles.  Authorities say all three men are being detained.

WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 19, 2018

The state's Public Employee Relations Board arbitration panel has awarded Jamestown police officers a two-percent pay increase for 2016 and 2017...   On Thursday, the Post-Journal reported...

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