WJTN News Headlines

After dispatching his Republican opponent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pivoted to his second term, promising to pursue a higher minimum wage and protections for abortion rights.  With nearly all precincts reporting early Wednesday, the Democratic incumbent beat Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino 54 percent to 41 percent. Cuomo will begin his second term facing big decisions on fracking and pressure to make good on several liberal promises.


It was a big Election Night for Republicans nationally... and, in Chautauqua County Tuesday.  Locally... the GOP was led by a big victory by incumbant state Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who won a third-term in Albany in convincing fashion.  Goodell jumped out to an early lead... and defeated Democratic challenger Barrie Yochim by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.  The Bemus Point resident thanked the voters... and, vowed to continue working hard in Albany in a bi-partsian manner as a minority member. Goodell wound up with 24-thousand-12 votes to Yochim's 8-thousand-102.  For his part... Yochim says he has no regrets over running... adding that he was defeated by an opponent that has name recognition... and, a track record as a past County Executive and County Attorney before that.  Yochim... who has been director of Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-Area the past several years... was previously public relations director for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County before that.


Also in the state legislature... State Senator Cathy Young was re-elected to another term.  The Olean Republican ran unopposed for election.


Despite the statewide tendency to return incumbents to the New York Legislature, losses by three Democratic state senators in hotly contested races are keeping the GOP in control of the 63-seat Senate.  Also despite a statewide 2-to-1 ratio party enrollment disadvantage mainly from New York City, the Republicans picked up at least two Senate seats overall for a total of 31.  They're expected to form a ruling majority again next year joined by Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder.  Meanwhile... Democrat Marc Panepinto was leading Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti, running on the Independence Party line in Buffalo.


Jamestown-area attorney Jeff Piazza says he's both "humbled and overwhelmed" to have been elected as Chautauqua County's second, Family Court Judge.  The Republican town supervisor scored a convincing win Tuesday in what began as a four-way race for the newly-created post.  Piazza defeated Democrat Sally Jaroszynski, 18-thousand-832... to 9-thousand-92.  He believes the win was fueled by his primary wins in September that gave him three-lines on the ballot. Piazza picked up a solid win over Fredonia Republican Mike Sullivan in the GOP Primary back in September... and, he picked up the Conservative and Independence lines on the ballot.  Sullivan... who ran on the Green Party Line... ended up with 21-hundred-9 votes... and, Democrat James Spann -- who had the Working Family line... got 18-hundred-56 votes.


It was close early on... but, Sheriff Joe Gerace has been re-elected to another, four-year term as Chautauqua County's top-cop.  Republican challenger Russ Payne was within striking distance early... but, Gerace ended up winning a sixth-term with 20-thousand-314 votes to Payne's 12-thousand-112.  The West Ellicott Democrat was "very pleased" with the outcome... and, thanked the voters for the confidence they've placed in him. Centralized Police Services... and, use of technology were the big issues in the campaign... and, Gerace says he will continue to work towards efficiency... but, keeping public safety at the forefront.  Payne called his run a great experience that he enjoyed.  Payne... who has served as a town Supervisor since his retirement from the Jamestown Police Department... says he'll enjoy some time off before decided on any future run for public office.


Republicans picked up two U.S. House seats in upstate New York and another on Long Island while hanging on to the New York City district represented by embattled Congressman Michael Grimm.  They also retained a number of seats... including the 23rd District seat held the past two terms by Tom Reed.  The Corning Republican won in convincing fashion over Democrat Martha Robertson.  He thanks the voters... and, complimented Robertson for running a "spirited campaign."  Reed won Chautauqua County convincingly... with more than 20-thousand votes to Robertson's 12-thousand-112 tallies.  Back to Grimm... he won a third term in Congress on Tuesday despite a year that included a federal indictment on tax evasion charges and being caught on camera threatening to throw a TV reporter off a balcony.  In northern New York, 30-year-old Republican Elise Stefanik became the youngest woman elected to Congress by defeating Democrat Aaron Woolf for an open seat.


It was a close contest for the District 12 seat on the Chautauqua County Legislature Tuesday.  Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin held on to defeat Beth Kresge, 746-to-691.  Kresge was appointed to fill the seat earlier this year after Fred Larson resigned to become Jamestown's second City Court Judge.  We'll hear from Rankin later.


Phase-one of the city of Jamestown's leaf collection is underway on the southside.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says this phase is starting in the area of Foote Avenue and Ivyi Street... and will move north and west -- clockwise -- to Washington Street.  Lehman says Phase-Two will begin in the Foote Avenue, Martin Road, and Linwood Avenue area... and, more east and north -- counterclockwise -- to the eastside of Washington Street and Fluvanna Avenue.  He says Phase-Two is to begin on November 12th.  No yard waste will be collected.  Residents are advised that there is the potential for discolored water when crews are working in their area.


The elected official who was instrumental in helping Chautauqua County retain it's Essential Air Service status at the Jamestown Airport says he's pleased to see that continuing.  During a recent visit to Chautauqua County... U-S Senator Charles Schumer was thanked by County Executive Vince Horrigan for his help in getting the Federal Transporation Administration to re-calculate the numbers so the number of people flying out of the airport was more reflected the actual numbers.  Schumer says he was pleased that federal authorities were able to help in two areas... one was retaining the EAS... and, the other was getting a new carrier -- Sun Air.  Schumer says the county was threatened with losing it's EAS Status... and, 2-million dollar subsidy... because daily flight numbers had fallen just below 10.  That number was refigured to account for cancelled flights... and, other issues.


The emerald ash borer has been confirmed in two more New York counties.  New York state officials say the beetle has been found in Department of Environmental Conservation-deployed traps southeast of Binghamton in Broome County and just north of the city of Peekskill in Westchester County.  The Peekskill find is just outside the current state and federal emerald ash borer quarantine, which encompasses all or parts of 42 counties through central and western New York, including Chautauqua County.