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WJTN News Headlines

The Sherman Central School District is once again at the top of "overachieving" school systems in all of western New York.  The small, Chautauqua County district -- in fact -- is receiving the designation for the seventh year in a row from Business First of Buffalo.  Sherman School Superintendent Cain Kelly says it's "a real honor" to again get the number-one slot... which he says "validates" all the hard work their teachers... and, staff do there in spite of difficult socio-economic conditions. In fact... Sherman is ranked 35th overall among the 97 districts in the Buffalo Business First circulation area.  The weekly publication ranked Sherman 89th as far as socio-economic climate with a 34.5-percent poverty rate.  Kelly attributes their success to two things.  One is a "very talented and dedicated staff" that goes above and beyond the call of duty.  Kelly says the other part is community support... and, he says parents are "very supportive" of what they do to provide a good education.  Sherman wasn't the only local school district in the top-five list of overachievers.  Randolph was fourth... while Silver Creek was number-five. 


Sherman was the only Chautauqua County school to any of Business First's individual catagories among Western New York schools.  In the overall rankings, though, the Bemus Point Central District was again tops in the county.  Business First ranked the small district 7th in this year's final standings.  Williamsville from the Buffalo area was number-one for the 11th straight year.  After Bemus Point... the next highest ranked district was Southwestern at 16th... while Fredonia was 20th.  Jamestown was 89th.


Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking a federal major disaster declaration for 11 central and western New York counties -- including Chautauqua -- after storms and flooding caused widespread damage.  The storms that began last month... brought rainfall in some areas at rates of 5 to 7 inches in less than three hours.  More than 65-hundred homes and business were without power and more than 130 families sustained significant property damage.


Jamestown police are still investigating the disappearance of a city man who was last seen back on May 27th at the Dash Inn on East Second Street.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 43 year-old Joe Anthony was last seen at the local bar about 10:30 PM... and, hasn't been seen since.  Samuelson says they began looking into Anthony's case once they were contacted by Anthony's family.  He tells us today that they're received a lot of information... but, it hasn't led them to where he is. Samuelson says they don't believe foul play is involved... but, adds they don't really have a lot of information to lead them to believe that.  He says Anthony reportedly left all his belongs at his Broadhead Avenue home... including diabetes medication.  Samuelson says the fact he doesn't have his medication "heightens their concern."  He says they are still asking for the public's help in the case.  Joe Anthony is described as a white male whose 5-foot-8 inches tall... and, weighs 280 pounds.  He has short black hair... and, brown eyes.  Anyone with information is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


The investigation is continuing into the disappearance of a Jamestown man who hasn't been seen since May 14th.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says there have been extensive searches for 25-year-old Tyler Chase in the town of Charlotte... but those efforts have come up empty-handed. But... Gerace says there are no plans for any further ground searches unless new information materializes.  He says if anyone does have information about Tyler Chase's whereabouts, they should call the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has quashed a newly amended bill that would legalize medical marijuana saying that he would not sign the bill into law if it passed both chambers... but, negotiations still remain fluid.  Cuomo says it doesn't address some of his concerns including banning smoking of the drug and requiring the program to be evaluated in five years.  Among the changes Monday was allowing only doctors to prescribe the drug.  A spokesman for bill co-sponsor, state Senator Diane Savino, says negotiations with Cuomo's office are continuing.


Several hundred fast-food workers and other low-wage employees from around New York are at the state Capitol to pressure lawmakers to raise the minimum wage from 8-dollars to 10-dollars-10 cents an hour... and, let local cities raise it even higher.  The effort is unlikely to succeed before lawmakers adjourn Thursday.


The former secretary of a church in Dunkirk is accused of stealing funds from that parish.  Dunkirk Police say 42-year-old Myra Murphy, who used to be secretary of the Good Hope Baptist Church, was arrested on a secret grand jury indictment warrant charging her with third-degree grand larceny.  Murphy was arrested following a lengthy investigation by police in the north county city.  She's alleged to have stolen an undisclosed amount of money from the church over an unspecified period of time.  Murphy turned herself in, was arraigned in city court, and released under supervision of probation.  The investigation is continuing.


The state Assembly has voted to ban hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- for natural gas for three years, but that's as far as the bill is likely to go.  Monday's 89-34 vote in favor of the ban on fracking could be largely symbolic, since the Senate isn't expected to consider the legislation before lawmakers adjourn later this week.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's no reason to rush a decision on fracking before its effects on health and the environment are better understood.  New York has had a moratorium on fracking since an environmental review was launched in 2008.  A decision on whether to continue the moratorium is expected from Governor Andrew Cuomo once his health department completes a health impact review that began in 2012.