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WJTN News Headlines

A Pennsylvania resident  is in the Jamestown City Jail after being found unresponsive in his car with a hypodermic needle and a quantity of Heroin in plain view.  Police say 24 year old Shane Rodgers was found unresponsive just after 2:30pm Sunday in the area of Jeffords and Falconers Street in his vehicle that was running  and stopped at the intersection.  Further investigation found that Rodgers allegedly had been driving the car while impaired by the drugs.  He was taken into Custody and faces drug related charges including Criminal Posession of a Controlled Subastance adn Driving while ability impaired by drugs.


Two men -- one from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly being part of a Youngstown, Ohio-to-Jamestown drug connection.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson also says 22 year-old John Tuffino of Youngstown, and 25 year-old Luis Moreno of Jamestown... were also found in possession of a loaded pistol during a traffic stop late last week.  Samuelson says Tuffino and Moreno were arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 86 in the town of Ellicott early last Friday morning. Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force then searched the vehicle after getting a court warrant... and, found quantities of cocaine, pot, and cash -- in addition to the handgun.  He says both Tuffino and Moreno were arrested without incident.  Samuelson says they're pleased to have gotten a loaded, 40-calibur pistol off the streets.  He says the investigation is continuing... and, more arrests are pending.  Both Tuffino and Moreno were arraigned on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, face drug possession charges.  They were both arraigned in city court... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  If you have an information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown... call the tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


A Rochester man who provided the handgun used to kill a Jamestown man who had reportedly turned drug informant in mid-2008 has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior late last week annouced that 33 year-old Juan Dejesus-Santiago received the prison term on his conviction on charges of drug conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy... and, discharge of a firearm during a violent crime.  Proscutors say that Santiago took part in "a large, violent narcotics trafficking organization..." and, that he took part in the 'contract killing' of 31 year-old Quincy Turner in May of 2008 near Jamestown.  In addition to the gun... they say Santiago provided the vehicle the killers used.  Prosecutors say he was part of a ring responsible for the receipt... and, distribution of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in the Rochester-area between January 2007 and October 2008.  He was found to be one of 33 related defendants charged with federal crimes for taking part in a Puerto Rico to Rochester cocaine operation.  To date... Hochul says all 33 defendants have been convicted... and, only two remain to be sentenced.   


Prevention and treatment options are expected to be the focus of the latest Community Drug Forum in Chautauqua County today.  This is the first forum since three recent Heroin overdoses in the south county in which one was fatal.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the drug problem locally "keeps him up nights."  However... he says -- since last year's county-wide Community Drug Forum -- better treatment options have been put in place.  He says both ends of the county have access through WCA Hospital's Inpatient Treatment Center in Jamestown... and, at Lakeshore Hospital in Irving.  However... Horrigan says access also remains the big issue. Horrigan says he's also been working with the region's state Senator on getting a new and "unique program" in place that would be involving one local agency... Southern Tier Environments for Living.  It would provide housing to help addicts recover.  Horrigan says they'll be focusing primarily on Prevention at today's forum beginning at 9 AM at Chautauqua Suites.  Registration begins at 8:30.


Governor Cuomo has signed legislation to postpone until next year the deadline for doctors to issue only electronic drug prescriptions.  Lawmakers who backed the measure say many physicians still lack the required federal approval for their computer systems to do that for painkillers... and, other addictive drugs on the government list of controlled substances.  The electronic prescriptions -- connected to a central database that doctors and pharmacists can check -- are intended to prevent prescription fraud, doctor shopping for addictive painkillers and illicit resales.


New York's top insurance regulator says most health insurance in the state pays hospitals and doctors for each service regardless of quality, efficiency or outcome, and his staff will try to encourage alternatives to reduce costs and improve health.  Department of Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky says their recent survey shows every major insurer in New York's commercial market is making some effort at payment reform, like ``pay-for-performance'' or pay-per-member fees for health care.  However... the pilot projects account for less than 15 percent of payments.  Lawsky says they will work with providers, insurers, consumers and business to identify and measure successful alternatives, then ``create incentives'' to move insurers in that direction.  That may mean removing regulatory hurdles or using review authority to seek adherence to payment reform targets.


In addition to a budget... voters in the Dunkirk School District will be deciding on whether the Dunkirk Free Library should become a 'school district' public library.  School Superintendent Gary Cerne says that library officials collected the required 25 signatures to get the issue on the ballot.  If approved... Cerne district residents would see a separate line on their tax bill to cover the costs of the library.  That line would include the individual cost to cover the library's approximately 350-thousand dollar budget.  If the proposal is approved... Cerne says the library would be governed initially by seven library trustees who are elected by the voters of the school district.  And, the city of Dunkirk would no longer be required to help cover the cost of the library.


A problem with an electrical outlet box is the apparent cause of a fire last Saturday night that's left a town of Hanover family homeless.  Chautauqua County fire investigators say Forestville fire crews were called to the scene at 2 Cedar Street just after 8 PM.  Crews were able to snuff out the blaze... but, not before it spread through-out the residence.  Investigators say the flames originated in the wall-mounted outlet box... then spread onto a bed.  No one was hurt... but, the local Red Cross was called in to assists the residents. 


Authorities overseeing New York's Freedom of Information Law say the public ``urgently needs'' more and clearer information about police actions including misconduct.  In a report citing ``visceral reactions'' nationwide to recent events involving police use of force... the Committee on Open Government is calling on the governor and Legislature to ``remove secrecy'' that currently surrounds some police actions and repeal the statutory exemption from public disclosure of police personnel records.  The report says New York is virtually the only state with that exemption while the state's sunshine law otherwise has sufficient privacy protections for police as it does for other government workers.  The union representing 36-hundred uniformed state troopers says the exemption protects against ``unwarranted public ridicule'' for a minor infraction that may be in an officer's record.


Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says President Barack Obama is to blame for the police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and other disturbing events because he sets the tone for the nation.  Giuliani spoke late last week WNYM-AM's ``The Answer'' with host John Gambling.  Giuliani said Obama wasn't addressing what Giuliani called the ``enormous amount of crime'' being committed by blacks.  The White House declined to comment Friday on Giuliani's remarks.  Giuliani also said Obama should say the kind of things comedian Bill Cosby used to say -- before he was accused of sexual assault, which Cosby denies.  Cosby often exhorted black people to focus on education and parenting.  Giuliani drew criticism last month for questioning Obama's love of country.  Late last week... Giuliani said he considers Obama a good family man.