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WJTN News Headlines

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is being remembered as a man of unwavering principle. The three-term governor died yesterday of heart failure at age 82, just hours after his son Andrew was sworn in to a second term as New York's governor. President Barack Obama calls Mario Cuomo ``a determined champion of progressive values, and an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity.''


Democrat Andrew Cuomo kicked off his second term as New York's governor by saying he was doing so ``at a uniquely New York moment'' when some things seem at their worst.  Speaking at the World Trade Center, Cuomo said he was fine with that because New York is at its best when things are at their worst.  He promised that whether it's economic and racial equality... or the quest for better education... New York will lead the nation by example.  The speech he delivered Thursday afternoon was followed by remarks in Buffalo.


A Jamestown man is behind bars after allegedly stabbing another man numerous times on Falconer Street just after 12 o'clock this morning. Police say 24 year old Randy Yanik Junior stabbed an unidentified male numerous times on the porch of 408 Falconer Street before fleeing the scene.  Yanik was hiding in some brush behind a business on East 2nd Street when he was tracked down by JPD K9 Mitchell.  He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the city jail where is he is being held pending arraignment.   Yanik is charged with assault in the 1st degree.


Chautauqua County Lawmakers are set to begin the new year with their reorganizational meeting this afternoon in Mayville.  Ashville Republican Jay Gould is expected to again be tapped as legislature chairman.  He's been named by the GOP Majority to head up the panel again.  Gould says he feels the panel had two significant accomplishments in 2014... the biggest being sale of the County Home in Dunkirk.  As for 2015... Gould says the budget will be another big issue... along with jail overcrowding.  He says that 6-million dollar "structural deficit" is a major problem that County Executive Vince Horrigan is trying to address with a special panel... but, will likely involve some program cuts.  Also at today's meeting... Clymer-area Republican David Himelein is expected to be named Majority Leader again... while Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom will again be Minority Leader.  The meeting begins at 4 PM in Legislature Chambers.


Lower gasoline prices across the U-S have helped to keep the U-S, New York state... and, local economies moving in the right direction.  Those are the feelings of state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says Chautauqua County's jobless rate this past November was the best since 2008.  The unemployment rate ticked up from 6.1-percent in October to 6.3-percent in November.  Slenker says the number of people working dropped by 100 over the month.  However... he says the change was almost negligible.  The county is still very dependent on manufacturing... which Slenker says held steady in November.  He says falling gas prices played a big role. However... Slenker adds there will likely be more manufacturing job losses in December with the closing of both Carriage House facilities in Dunkirk and Fredonia.  At total of 450 people were losing jobs there during the final quarter of the year.  Slenker also says there are "seasonal factors" that also play a role in the jobless rate.  An early Winter gives an early boost to the ski and snowmobile seasons.


Restaurants and commercial buildings statewide will be required starting next June to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors.  The two laws signed this week apply to New York City... and, the rest of the state.  Sponsors say they are intended to extend the requirement for the detectors already in place for apartments and one- and two-family homes.  They noted that a carbon monoxide leak from a malfunctioning water heater pipe recently killed a Long Island restaurant manager and sickened nearly 30 people.  The colorless, odorless gas comes from incomplete combustion. Milder symptoms from inhaling it include dizziness, headaches and confusion.


Governor Cuomo has pardoned two men who completed prison sentences and turned their lives around but faced threats of deportation from the convictions.  Pardoned is 62-year-old Antonio Argibay, the proprietor of a New York City-based architecture firm.  Also pardoned was 33-year-old Alvaro Khalil Cumberbatch of Queens. Convicted in 2003 of robbery, the Guyana native is the married father of two, has earned bachelor's and master's degrees and works with prison re-entry organizations, including the Fortune Society.


New York's top education officials are weighing in on several volatile issues sure to be debated in the new year.  The state's Board of Regents and Education Department made numerous suggestions for lawmakers Wednesday, including allowing more charter schools... especially in New York City... and continuing mayoral control of schools there.


A new definition of child abuse and changes regarding who must report it are in effect in Pennsylvania.  Officials say they are part of the state's response to the Jerry Sandusky and clergy sex abuse scandals.  The set of laws that took effect Wednesday largely involve Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law.  The definition of child abuse no longer requires severe pain and serious impairment. Now, substantial pain constitutes the existence of abuse.  There's a wider definition of those who must report suspected abuse, and they must contact the state directly, not just a supervisor or someone designated to make such reports.  There are also steeper penalties for those who do not report suspected abuse.