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WJTN News Headlines

It's a problem that's affected hundreds of Jamestown-area residents over the past couple of months... and, it's not going away soon.  Frozen water pipes... and, broken water mains have been almost as common this Winter as potholes.  However... there is a way to help keep your pipes from freezing up.  Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins is advising BPU Water customers to keep a trickle of water running continuously from one faucet running to keep lines from freezing up.  Robbins says they had a total of 90 calls over the past few days... mainly because the Frost Line has gone 50 inches into the ground in most places. Robbins says the Frost Line is now around most pipes that directly service homes and businesses.  Those are about four-feet under the ground.  She urges BPU customers to leave at least a 1/32nd inch stream of water running 24-hours a day until the frost has moved out of the area around the pipes.  However... she warns that even once we get safely above the freezing mark... it will take a "couple of weeks" for the frost to receed enough to where the water can be completely turned-off.  Robbins says leaving that trickle of water running will cost about 53-cents a day in Jamestown.  If you have a problem with frozen pipes -- and, don't have a plummer -- you can call BPU Customer Service at 661-1660... or after hours at 661-1640. Like Robbins says... the BPU was dealing with four water main breaks Wednesday.  Those caused additional problems in the area of Trenton Street between Hillcrest and Norton... Gordon Street... Glenview Avenue and Vega Street. 


There's been no testing done yet on the Heroin involved in a pair of overdoses that occured in the village of Lakewood last Friday.  However... Jamestown Police say only Heroin was found in the overdose that claimed the life of a young woman in the village of Falconer.  That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they got back the results of testing from the State Police Crime Lab in Albany.  Samuelson says no other chemicals or agents were found in the sample checked by the lab.  He adds their investigation is continuing.  In Lakewood... Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley says neither person located at a fast-food restaurant were "in distress."  Bentley says both people were obviously 'high...' but, neither required a dose of Narcan.  Unfortunately... he says it's become somewhat routine to have such calls.  Both victims were treated at WCA Hospital.


Dunkirk Police officials are keeping track of developments concerning the spread of Heroin in the Jamestown area.  Police Cheif David Ortolano says the heroin in "pink" packaging that's been in question has not apparently surfaced in the North County area yet. Ortolano says Dunkirk Police continues to encourage the public contact their office at 366-2266... or the confidential tip line at 363-0313 when they observe narcotics related activity in their area.  In Jamestown... you're urged to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been honored for his work to support help for those struggling with addiction.  The Manhattan Democrat received the ``Champion Award'' from the Coalition for Community Services.  The group represents addiction treatment professionals and held its annual legislative reception Tuesday.  Last month... Silver stepped down as speaker after more than 20 years following his arrest on charges that he took nearly 4-million dollars in kickbacks and payoffs.  He has pleaded not-guilty and is keeping his Assembly seat.  The coalition's public policy officer, Luke Nasta, says his group wanted to honor Silver despite his legal trouble to acknowledge his long support of programs to help those with addiction.


The state's budget process got off to a slow start due to the scandal surrounding former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.  However... while legislative leaders have begun meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo... the process has been slowed... mainly because of language tying certain items together in the governor's proposed 2015-16 spending plan.  For instance... local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says Cuomo has tied ALL tuition aid to the DREAM Act... which would allow people here illegally to obtain aid for college. Goodell says that type of "heavy handed" power will make it "very difficult" to bring about an agreement in the leigslature.  While Majority Democrats in the Assembly generally support the DREAM Act... the GOP Majority in the state Senate does not.  Goodell adds Cuomo has also tied the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding... to how a 5-billion dollar surplus is going to be used.  He says it gives the governor the power to determine where that funding goes.  The new budget deadline is Midnight on April 1st.


Governor Andrew Cuomo and juvenile justice reformers say New York should stop automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults.  Supporters of the change have come to the state Capitol to make their case to lawmakers.  They want to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18, so all but the most violent 16- and 17-year-old offenders would be handled by the juvenile justice system.  New York and North Carolina are the only two states that still automatically treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, even though most offenders of that age face misdemeanor charges.  Critics say young offenders lack adult decision-making skills and shouldn't be prosecuted as if they did.  Cuomo says treating them as juveniles would help them get needed services and reduce the chances that they will re-offend.


Jamestown-area gas prices have gone up nearly 5-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is now just over 2-dollars-54 cents a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says it was 2-dollars-49.5 cents last week.  The Triple-A says it based the average on reports from 19 stations in the Jamestown area.  Last year... the price was about 3--70 a gallon.  On the national front... the average price is just under 2-dollars-43 cents.  That's a 13-cent increase over last week.  The Fuel Gauge report says the national average price has increased for 35 consecutive days... the longest streak of increases since February 2013.


U-S Senator Charles Schumer is asking federal regulators to set a strict standard for the volatility of crude oil shipped by rail to help reduce destruction from accidents like a fiery derailment in West Virginia last month.  The New York Democrat says Wednesday that he's particularly concerned about oil from the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota and Montana because it has more volatile gases and higher vapor pressure than some other crude.   North Dakota has adopted a standard for removing gas to a certain level before shipping.  But... Schumer says it's too low and the regulation should be federal.  He says such a limit isn't included in still-unreleased draft oil train rules the federal transportation department developed in response to accidents, including the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, wreck that killed 47 people.  An industry organization didn't initially respond to a request for comment.


Nearly 40 race dates have been set for this year at Stateline and Eriez Speedways in 2015.  Short Track Management -- headed up by Bill Catania, Jr. -- has announced this year's schedule of 39 events for both tracks.  The first-ever Winter Extravaganza has now wrapped up... and, stock car racing is scheduled to begin April 25th at Stateline with the Super Late Model "Papa" Don Frank Memorial.  A practice night will preceed that on April 18th.  Eriez will open a week later.  The World of Outlaws Super Late Models return August 22nd... and, highlight 14 touring series that'll be at both tracks.  Also... for the first time, Stateline will hold a three-race Memorial Series starting with the Lloyd Moore Memorial on May 9th.  Two others... featuring the late Bill Rexford, and Julian Buesink.  For more information... go on-line to RaceStateline-dot-COM.


Fresh off his first budget proposal to the Republican-controlled Legislature... Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is questioning how GOP lawmakers can be so critical of its elements.  Wolf, a Democrat, says after touring high schools specializing in science and engineering in Downingtown and Hamburg that his plan addresses things that have been discussed for decades... namely cutting school property taxes and corporate taxes.  Rather, he says Republicans should talk to their constituents about the need for property tax cuts.  Democrats and education advocates applauded Wolf's plan to raise state taxes on income, sales and natural gas drilling to support more than 4-billion dollars for education aid and property tax cuts.  Wolf says he's trying to make the tax system fairer, improve the business climate and help lower-income homeowners by expanding the state's role in funding schools to 50 percent.