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WJTN News Headlines

Two north county men have been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of tools from a garage in the village of Brocton early yesterday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 29 Smith Street about 2:15 AM... and, quickly got a description of a possible suspect vehicle... and, relayed it to other local police agencies.  Deputies say they found a majority of the tools taken nearby... hidden in some bushes.  A short time after the information was broadcast... both Dunkirk and Fredonia Police found similar vehicles.  After an investigation both 24 year-old Joseph Ameno of Brocton... and, 41 year-old Hector Gonzalez, Junior of Dunkirk were taken in custody by sheriff's officers after they were located by Dunkirk Police.  Both Ameno and Gonzalez were arraigned in Brocton Village Court on third-degre burglary charges... and, Ameno was sent to the County Jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail.  Gonzalez was jailed without bail due to past convictions.  Officers say the investigation is continuing... and, futher charges are pending.


State lawmakers are returning to Albany for their first day of work today since formally starting their 2015 session.  The Assembly and Senate are scheduled to meet for two days this week.  Today... teachers unions and public education advocates plan to rally at the Capitol in opposition to efforts to increase the number of charter schools in New York City.  On Tuesday... lawmakers in the Assembly will hold a hearing on a long-shot bill to create a single-payer health system in the state.


The mayor of Jamestown is again calling on state lawmakers to make mandate relief a key part of the 2015 state legislative session.  However... Mayor Sam Teresi isn't the only local government leader who wants to see such relief... and, the cutting of regulations.  Teresi says if state lawmakers and Governor Cuomo would provide some significant relief... it would allow local governments to truly cuts their costs... and, thus reduce property taxes.  Right now... he says their "hands are tied..." Teresi says local government leaders appreciate the few steps that have been taken by state leaders... including a new, Tier-Six Pension schedule.  However... savings from the added tier aren't expected to be seen for several years yet.  Meantime... county leaders have said that the state has to reform they way Medicaid is paid for.  Currently... the federal government pays 50-percent of the cost... while New York state picks up 25-percent of the cost... and, the counties have to pick-up the remaining 25-percent.   Teresi made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.


After battles in Albany over access to results of teacher evaluations, the group given the right to see them -- parents -- appear to be showing little interest.  The A-P made inqueries to districts around the state... and, those reveal that few, if any, parents have asked for their child's teacher's rating since New York began requiring teachers to be classified yearly.  Syracuse, Rochester, Batavia, Amherst and Amagansett are among those reporting no requests.  Parents say they either didn't know they could get scores or judge teachers based on criteria such as conferences and other parents' experiences.


The first Saturday garbage collection by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities following a week with a holiday in it went as well as could be expected.  That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who says some residents aparently didn't hear about the fact their garbage was being collected on a Saturday until after the weekend of January 3rd and 4th.  Leathers says they weren't surprised that happened... and, they believe the problems will ultimately take care of themselves. In the past... the BPU would have picked up both the Thursday and Friday trash and recycleables on that Friday.  However... Leathers says that will not be the case anymore.  He says the change was mainly due to employee safety because they were previously were "doubling up" on collections previously.  Leathers says the added Saturday was not a major consideration in the new contract talks with BPU Solid Waste Division employees.  Both sides recently agreed to a new, four-year contract with those workers.  Leathers says the next time they do this will be the week of Memorial Day.


Governor Cuomo has appointed Bill Mulrow, an investment banker who has held several state and federal political positions, to succeed Larry Schwartz as his top aide.  The appointment was one of 18 announced by Cuomo on Sunday.  Others include Mary Beth Labate as budget director and Beth DeFalco, former political reporter for the New York Post and Associated Press, as communications director for transportation.  Mulrow was most recently senior managing director at the Blackstone Group and was Cuomo's appointee as chairman of the state Housing Finance Agency.


Cassdaga Valley Senior Heather Dorler has been named 'Distinguished Young Woman of New York State' for 2015.  She won the title Saturday night in Albany...  and called it 'literally... actually... mind blowing.'  Heather won Ditinguished Young Woman of the Lakewood Area last fall, and competed against 10 other young women for the state title.  She said she was rooting for the other girls more than herself at times.. and 'not putting herself first' may have actually helped her win in Albany.  Heather adds, 'there are a lot more scholarships' available to her now, but the exact amount was not known Saturday night.  Heather Dorler is the daughter of Amy Jo and Wayne Dorler.  She will compete in the national Distinguished Young Women program in Mobile, Alabama in June. 


U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is urging the Food and Drug Administration to implement a plan to address recent reports of rat-infested warehouses that supply food to restaurants.  Schumer said Sunday that the FDA sent warning letters to 90 food facilities across the country in 2014, citing unsanitary conditions such as insects, rodent feces and dead rats and mice.  He's calling on FDA to increase the regularity of inspections, increase fines for violations, and create an easily searchable database for restaurants and consumers to see which food processing and storage facilities have poor sanitation records.  Schumer says retail food vendors should have a clear way of knowing if the products they are buying are from a facility with known violations cited by the FDA.


A Clarendon, Pennsylvania teenager is jailed on 25-thousand dollars bail for allegedly trespassing after being told to leave a home in Mead Township a week ago last Friday.  State Police in Warren say 18 year-old Aaron Arena turned himself into troopers late this past week on a warrant for his arrest.  Arena is accused of entering a home on January 2nd... and, refusing to leave.  Police say the 47 year-old victim locked herself, and her children in a bedroom after Arena refused to leave.  However... he fled the home just before troopers arrived.  He's charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.