WJTN News Headlines

February 2015 was one for the record books in the Northeast -- the coldest month ever for three upstate New York cities -- including Buffalo.  It was also the snowiest month ever for Boston.  The director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University, Art DeGaetano, says Buffalo, Syracuse and Ithaca shivered through their coldest months on record.  February's average temperature was 10.9 degrees in Buffalo, beating the 1934 record of 11.4.  The monthly average was 9.0 in Syracuse and 10.2 in Ithaca.  Boston's 64.8 inches of snow easily beat the city's 2003 record February snowfall of 41.6 inches.  DeGaetano says if Boston gets 5.6 more inches before the end of May, it'll be the snowiest winter on record.  DeGaetano says February temperatures in the Northeast were the farthest below normal of anywhere on Earth.


The 24 Hours of "continuous hockey" at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena was a big success with a large number of people, and teams taking part.  That from Arena General Manager Brian Cersosimo... who says it started with the Mayor performing the ceremonial puck-drop Friday... and, issuing a proclamation renaming Jamestown "James 'Hockey' Town" for the event.  Cersosimo says a big crowd was on hand for the start... despite temperatures that dropped to about 14-degrees below zero.  He says the frigid temperatures may have kept some people around longer Friday night. Cersosimo says a lot of people "camped out" during the overnight period.  He adds that... if there was a lull... it was a brief one.  He says they had 7 or 8 people playing at 5 or 6 AM.  Otherwise... he says they had plenty of skaters -- for both rinks A and B.  Cerosimo says a lot of people also took part in the "Wearing Red" fashion show... and, other activities for WCA Hospital.  He says fund-raising numbers for WCA's Heart Center... and, the event won't be known for a few days yet.  A lot of people also signed up at "Krafthockeyville-dot-COM" to nominate the arena for the national contest to land an NHL Pre-Season Game... and, 150-thousand dollars in arena upgrades.  Voting continues until March 18th. 


The arctic cold that most recently gripped most of Western New York -- for most of February -- is still causing frozen waterlines in the north county village of Silver Creek.  Village officials are still asking all residents to leave water trickling to avoid waterline freeze-ups until further notice.  Mayor Nick Piccolo -- early last weekend -- said they thought they had beat the problem of frozen waterlines until last Thursday and Friday night's sub-zero temperatures.  He says they ended up with more frozen lines Saturday because of the big drop in temperatures during the overnight.  The village is asking residents to leave water running in your sink at a fast drip, or trickle until further notice.


Our sub-zero temperatures in the city of Jamestown have also increased the number of water main... and, pipes freezing -- or breaking -- in recent days.  BPU officials say they've seen a sharp uptick in those calls over the past week or so.  They advise anyone with pipe exposed to the outdoors, or in a cold area... allow the faucets to be left running at a pencil-thin drip to avoid freeze-ups.


State lawmakers have voted to postpone the deadline for doctors to issue only electronic drug prescriptions until next year.  They say many still lack the required federal approval to do that for painkillers and other addictive drugs on the government list of controlled substances.  A spokesman says Governor Cuomo will review it.  The electronic prescriptions -- connected to a central database that doctors and pharmacists can check -- are intended to prevent prescription fraud... and, doctor-shopping for addictive painkillers and illicit re-sales.  The mandate to prescribe electronically is currently scheduled to take effect March 27th.


A former Dunkirk fire chief will again take the helm of the department with the pending retirement of current chief, Keith Ahlstrom.  Mayor A-J Dolce has annouced that Mike Edwards is his choice as the north county city's new chief.  Dolce says Ahlstrom is retiring from the position later this month... and, Dolce says he wants to appoint Edwards... who mostly recently has been a captain. Ahlstrom has held the post since it became a full-time, paid position several years ago.  He'll be retiring effective March 14th.  Ahlstrom has also been a long-time Chautauqua County Legislator... and, was previously legislature chairman.  He is currently Democrat Minority Leader.  The Dunkirk Common Council will take action on Edwards appointment during their regular meeting this Tuesday.


State Senate Republicans have introduced ethics legislation requiring state officials file financial disclosures for everyone they live with -- a move that would affect Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Cuomo girlfriend and television chef Sandra Lee lives with the governor.  The bill would expand existing annual disclosure beyond an official, spouse and dependent children.   Cuomo proposed last week to require detailed disclosure of officials' outside income, which would apply to many Senate Republicans who are lawyers.  A spokeswoman for the governor says they'll be happy to review any proposal with the bill's sponsor, ``whoever that may be.''  The listed sponsor is the Senate Rules Committee.  A spokesman for the Senate Republican Conference says their goal is to pass ``a comprehensive ethics package that restores the public trust.''


The state's casino location board has moved forward with new bidding from developers for a license in New York's Southern Tier.  The Gaming Facility Location Board has accepted bid documents drafted by staff, though members note that a winning bid will have to be better than two previously rejected proposals in the region.  It has also accepted the 800-page report with detailed findings on all 16 applicants in earlier bidding.  That resulted in recommendations for new casinos in the Catskills, Schenectady and the Finger Lakes.  The state's Gaming Commission must still approve the new bidding.  It's currently conducting background investigations of the three winning bidders' principals.  Governor Andrew Cuomo asked the board and commission in December to consider awarding a fourth license for a Southern Tier site.


Sign-ups for the 2015 Jamestown Soap Box Derby will be held this coming Saturday, March 7th, at the Gateway Tranin Station in Jamestown.  Derby officials say competitors must bring a copy of their birth certificate... and, a 30-dollar registration.  Anyone registering on March 7th will be entered into a drawing for a 50-dollar gift card.  Tell all your friends how much fun we have on race day... which is coming up next June 12th and 13th.