The Senate has approved legislation to temporarily fund the government and avoid a federal shutdown.... 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a stop-gap measure to continue funding the government until February 8th. He calls it "a simple measure" to show that Republicans are governing.  Local Congressman Tom Reed also believes a "reasonable package" will be acted on in the next couple of days.

Reed says that would include use to technology to better track illegal immigrants trying to enter and, more border agents.  Congress faces a Friday deadline when funding for part of the federal government expires. Trump has not yet said he will support the measure, but the White House says he'll take a look.


Congressman Reed says there is some good news heading into the Christmas break regarding Criminal Justice reform...  

The Corning Republican says he supports the bill, which was passed in the Senate on Tuesday.  Reed says he hopes to see it passed in the House within the next two days, and get it to the President's desk before Christmas.

The bill is based on research from Columbia University and advocates for criminal justice reform.  However, Reed say there are concerns with the bill on both sides of the aisle, including violent offenders, who should not be in the position to get early-release options.  But at the same time, he says some drug-laws have led to "low-risk offenders" who should not spend 20 to 30 year sentences in prison.  Reed says this bill is a significant opportunity to reform the criminal justice system for the first time in decades. 


Chautauqua County legislators took action on a resolution that was tabled last month that will allocate up to $25,000 of 2 percent occupancy tax funding for the clean up of Burtis Bay on Chautauqua Lake...  

The measure, which was amended to have the funding come from the 2019 budget, was approved 18-0.  County Executive George Borrello says by taking it now, there will be more time to develop a plan for this spring.

Legislators passed two other resolutions dealing with the lake. They authorized the use of 2 percent occupancy tax monies to retain professional services to assist with development of a weed management consensus for the lake.  Legislators also approved a measure authorizing the county to participate in a statewide clean lakes collaboration.  Both resolutions were approved by unanimous votes.


Two Jamestown men were arrested during a parole check on the city's eastside Tuesday night....  

Jamestown officers responded to 947 East 2nd Street and, arrested 26 year-old John Tufino for a parole violation at 8 PM.  A loaded .357 revolver was reportedly found inside the residence, along with 26 year-old Chad Haskins, who was found in possession of methamphetamine and heroin. Police say Tufino was taken to the county jail without bail, and has additional charges pending.  Haskins was arraigned on charges including third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, jailed on $10,100 cash bail. 


Governor Andrew Cuomo's announcement to include an initiative to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana in New York as part of his top priorities for 2019 is not making a local state lawmaker very happy...  

Republican Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he will oppose the initiative.  Goodell questions why Cuomo has done an about face on the issue.
 
Goodell believes it's a case where the Democratic governor is looking for new ways to tax New Yorkers, calling it a "money grab."  He believes legalizing marijuana will cause more harm than good, especially for the young and, he says it "doesn't make sense."  Goodell says he's also concerned about highway safety, citing statistics from other states where marijuana use has become legal.  If the state legislature votes to legalize pot use, Goodell vows to fight for "reasonable" restrictions, including a ban on advertising-especially when it targets youth-and make it illegal for adults to share marijuana with youth.


An award of more than $16,000 is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons who threw two dogs from a moving vehicle on a New York highway...  

New York State Police announce Tuesday that local, state and national animal welfare agencies and a private donor have contributed $16,500 to the award stemming from an animal cruelty case that has gained national attention.  Authorities say a truck driver traveling on Interstate 81 on the morning of December 12th saw someone throw two beagle mix dogs out of an SUV traveling south in Marathon in Cortland County.  The trucker from Syracuse pulled over and rescued the dogs. The older one had to have its right front leg amputated.  Troopers say both dogs are doing well.  No arrests have been reported.

Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 21, 2019

First it was the major snowfall, and now the bitterly cold temperatures are part of a one-two punch that's hitting Chautauqua County and all of western New York....   The National Weather ...

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