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WJTN News Headlines

A Bear Lake, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly stealing two vehicles... one in Jamestown... and, the other in the town of Clymer early Saturday morning.  Sheriff's officers say they were first alerted to the thefts when 48 year-old Daniel Cracker allegedly took the keys for a car on Frissell Road in Clymer.  Deputies say he then took the car while the residents were asleep... and, drove to the Jamestown-area.  Several police agencies were notifed... and, Cracker was seen driving the car on North Main Street.  He was taken into custody... and, police also learned that he also allegedly stolen a vehicle from a home on Weeks Road in Clymer.  Deputies say Cracker then confessed to taking pick-up truck in the driveway after finding the keys in the ignition.  He then allegedly drove the vehicle until it ran out of fuel.  At that point... he left the truck on the side of the road... and, walked until he found the unlocked home on Frissell Road.  Cracker was arraigned on several charges... including two counts of second-degree burglary... and, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  Sheriff Joe Gerace reminds residents of the importance of locking your doors at night and while away from home.  In addition... when not using your vehicle you should remove your keys and lock the doors, even if parked in a garage.


An unattended electric heat lamp is being blamed for a blaze that destroyed a town of Ellington early last Friday morning.  Sheriff's Department Fire Investigators say Ellington firefighters were called to the scene at 597 Hunt Road in Cherry Creek shortly after Midnight.  Cherry Creek fire crews assisted at the scene.  The house was reportedly vacant... and, no injuries were reported.  Following an investigation... officials say the blaze was caused because the heat lamp was placed in close proximity to combustible material for a long time period.


Negotiations between the state Senate and Assembly on a new budget got underway last week in Albany... and, there's about a week and a half to go before the April 1st deadline.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell tells us that there seems to be some progress... and, that's lent to some optimism about an on-time spending plan.  However... there are some sticking points... mainly over language inserted by Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding the minimum wage... and, teacher evaluations.  Otherwise... Goodell says the strickly "budgetary" issues are manageable this year.  He adds lawmakers are working hard to get those dealt with so the sticking points can be addressed.  Goodell says the addition of those language issues into the budget process is troubling... and, may be against the State Constitution.


Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to pit seven upstate regions against each other in a competition for 1.5-billion dollars in economic development funds has prompted some lawmakers and mayors to say the state shouldn't pick winners and losers.  The contest dubbed Cuomo's ``Hunger Games'' by some is part of ongoing budget negotiations between the governor and lawmakers.  Senate Republicans have criticized the contest, saying regions shouldn't have to compete with each other for state help.  Cuomo's administration says the losing regions will continue to get regular economic development funds, and that the competition will spur innovation.  That's a common refrain for the Democratic governor, who has also announced business competitions in Buffalo, a clean-energy contest in the Southern Tier and an annual kayak race in the Adirondacks.


The major fund-raiser for an organization that advocates for the young victims of physical and sexual abuse is coming up in just over a month from now.  However... tickets are going quickly for the Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County's fifth-annual "Diamond Dinner Auction" at Chautauqua Institution.  CAP Executive Director Jana McDermott says the event has been moved to the Athenaum Hotel this year to accomodate more seating.  In addition to the program on Saturday, April 25th... McDermott says they have a special package for people who want to spend the night. McDermott says CAP was formally created after District Attorney David Foley obtained a grant in 2007 to better combine efforts to the several agencies -- including his own -- who were interviewing the child involved in each abuse case.  McDermott says they help about 400 children each year in Chautauqua County... and, have offices in Jamestown and Mayville.  She adds the diamond ring to be auctioned off has been donated anonymously this year.  For more information... call 338-9844.  McDermott made her comments on this past weekend's Community Spotlight program.


Teachers from a prime apple-growing region in New York have delivered 1,000 of them to Governor Andrew Cuomo to protest education funding levels.  The teachers from the Finger Lakes say each of the shiny red apples represents a local teaching position unfilled because of years of underfunding for public education.  They laid the baskets of apples in front of Cuomo's office Friday as a guard looked on.  Cuomo's spokesman says the office couldn't accept the apples because of restrictions on officials taking gifts. The teachers plan to give the fruit to a food bank.  The Democratic governor wants to increase education funding of $22 billion by about $1.1 billion this year.  Teachers' unions say greater investments are needed.  They also oppose the governor's calls for changes in teacher evaluations and tenure.


About 12 to 13-hundred people were on hand for the two-days of the annual Media One "Home and Recreation" Expo at Jamestown's Gateway Train Station.  The event... with 44 exhibitors on hand this year... wrapped up early Saturday night.  Many of those exhibitors had smiles on their faces.  Bike Department Manager Bill Canby with the Jamestown Cycle Shop says it was a "successful" two days for them. There were some first-time exhibitors at this year's show... including Burnett's Flooring.  Kate Burnett says the foot traffic was good... and, they got some "good leads" for sales.  Burnett says she and her husband liked having the show at the train station for the second year in a row.  Clearview Pools and Spas' owner Scott Axelson echoed those sentiments... saying he especially liked the "warehouse" look of the East Wing.  Axelson says he would hate to see that not available in the future.  The east wing is slated to become part of the new National Comedy Center sometime in the future.  This was the 37th Media One Home and Recreation Show.