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WJTN News Headlines

A Brocton teenager was killed last Saturday night when he was struck by a car when he walked onto Route 20 in the town of Portland.  Sheriff's officers say 18 year-old Leonard Ecker walked into the roadway for an unknown reason just after 8:30 PM... and, the driver of the car - 70 year-old Theodore Marsala of Westfield -- was unable to avoid him.  Deputies say Ecker was rushed to Westfield Memorial Hospital... where he was later pronounced dead.  Officers say neither Marsala, nor his wife, Elena, were hurt.  No charges have been filed... but, the investigation is continuing.


Jamestown police are looking for a mini van that was involved in a second car pedestrian accident late last Friday morning that drove away from the scene.  City officers say the accident occured around 10:15 AM at Falconer and Bowen Streets.  Police say witnesses saw a gold or tan-colored van knock the pedestrian down... then drive over the victim's legs before driving away.  Officers say the van is possibly a Dodge or Chrysler model.  They say the victim was taken to WCA Hospital for serious injuries to their legs.  Anyone with information on the vehicle and or operator is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS.. that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.


A multi-year effort to relocate... and, build a new Veteran's Memorial Park on Jamestown's westside was realized last Saturday.  The 145-thousand dollar project was headed up by the Veteran's Memorial Commission... led by Chairman Ron Cotton.  Speaking before a large crowd on a cold, November day... Cotton thanked the community for it's efforts -- and support -- of the project. Mayor Sam Teresi called the dedication a celebration of "promises made... and, promises kept" -- especially by our military veterans who've kept their promises for 238 years.  Teresi and Cotton thanked several people and organizations for their help in making the park a reality.  The new park includes a large circle with a flag pole... and, two smaller ones with a Civil War-era cannon in one... and, a stone monument in the other.


While the biggest and most visable part of the new, Veteran's Memorial Park is complete... the project is far from complete.  That from Mayor Teresi... who told the crowd on hand Saturday that what's now there is part of a tremendous public and private venture to have the basic elements of the park in place by this Veteran's Day.  However... Teresi also took a moment to remind residents there are two phases yet to go... and, that the fund-raising effort continues.  The Lenna Foundation agreed to a 20-thousand dollar matching grant for the project... if an equal amount of money is privately raised.  That effort was just under 18-hundred dollars short of the goal late last week... and, ends Tuesday.  Teresi thanked the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation for heading up the fund-raising effort.  To make a donation to help match the Lenna grant... contact the foundation at 661-3390.


U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling for a top-to-bottom review of federal safety screening for defective car parts.  Schumer is citing the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with Takata Corporation passenger air bags that can explode with too much force and send shards of metal into the passenger compartment.  The New York Democrat says the U.S. Transportation Department's inspector general should investigate the screening procedures and protocols used to approve auto parts before they are put into vehicles.  He says the current system is clearly failing by allowing untested car parts into the marketplace.  Schumer says procedures now are too lax, with no federal compliance inspection and testing process for most parts.  Currently... they are tested by the manufacturer according to voluntary standards, then self-certified.


Local Congressman Tom Reed believes federal lawmakers can still accomplish a lot in the upcoming "lame duck" session... which is to get underway in the coming week.  The Corning Republican was in Dunkirk late last week to met with the county's Chamber of Commerce.  Reed discussed a number of issues... including the "lame duck" session.  He says he has a couple of goals in the session that many expect to last less than a month. The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation -- or RAMI Act -- was co-sponsored by Reed.  It's been passed in the House... and, still needs Senate approval.  As for the next two years... he's hopeful President Obama will "reach out" and work with the Republican majority in both chambers over the next two years.  About 80 people turned out for the forum that’s held each year by the County Chamber.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, fresh from re-election by a wide margin, says he'll focus on government corruption, wage theft and drug trafficking, expanding initiatives from his first term.  Schneiderman, who co-chairs the federal task force investigating banks in the national housing market collapse, also says they've done three settlements for 60-billion dollars -- and more will follow.  Another target is employer wage theft from low-paid and higher-paid workers.


The New York state agency that oversees child welfare programs is getting a new leader.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has picked Roberto Velez as the commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services.  Velez is a former commissioner of New York City's Department of Probation and more recently worked as a vice president and counsel at Acacia Network.