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WJTN News Headlines

Widespread discolored water can be expected today in the BPU water territory on due to a water main break on East Second Street in Jamestown. Water was shut down between Curtis and Aldren on Second as of 4 O'clock this morning.  The main is a 16 inch size which is large for a water line. Crews have worked overnight and continue this morning. No estimate of repair time is available.


Thanks to some 23 early retirements... the Jamestown school district may avoid having to make lay-offs in the 2015-2016 budget.  School Superintendent Tim Mains presented the first-draft of the 77.6-million dollar proposal at last night's school board meeting at Lincoln Elementary School.  Most of the initial concern was over the fact the budget draws on the remaining one-million dollars in undesignated fund balance to offset a small, 1.5-percent tax increase.  Mains pointed out that's the smallest amount they've used in a long-time. The tax levy increase would total about 219-thousand dollars.  Mains says the budget would also save 65-thousand dollars by delaying upgrades to the former Rogers Elementary School.  Back to personnel cuts... Mains says there are actually 20 cuts in the spending plan.  However... he says there will be four jobs added for a "net loss" of 16.  Mains says they were able to make 12 of those cuts through attrition.  Mains says class sizes would hold pretty constant under the budget... with slight increases in both the middle and high schools.  The board will meet again on the spending plan next Wednesday night.


"It's needs a make-over."  Those are the feelings of Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost on the life-size, bronze statue of Lucille Ball in the village park bearing her name.  During a press conference yesterday morning... Schrecengost said he wanted to set the record straight on a number of issues surrounding the controversy.  He says the village received the statue as part of a "real estate transaction" in 2009.  He says both he and late Mayor Jack Keeney talked with sculptor Dave Poulin after it was unveiled because they felt it didn't look like Lucy.
Since then... Schrecengost says they've discussed a make-over with two other sculptors from the region... who would do the work at less cost.  A published report says now that Poulin would do the work for free.  He admitted it "wasn't his best work."  However... Schrecengost says the village now has no interest in having Poulin fixing the statue since he had "plenty of opportunity" to step up and rectify the issue over the past six year.  Efforts to reach Poulin yesterday were unsuccessful... but, told the A--P he's "fine" with the village's decision. With that... Schrecengost announced the village has begun a fund-raising effort to pay for the work.  Donations can be sent to: Lucy Statue, c/o Village of Celoron, PO Box 577, Celoron, New York 14720... or Five-Star Bank in Lakewood, 14750.  You can also donate on-line at Kickstarter-dot-COM.  He says it's under the name "Lucille Ball Tribute Statue -- Celoron, New York."


Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost also addressed the firestorm of criticism that's come over a Facebook Page that's reportedly been up since 2012... but, has become the focal point of trashing the statue and it's creator.  Schrecengost says the annonymous page is urging people to not give to the village's effort to fix or replace the statue.  He says they apparently have their "own agenda..." to get donations to build a statue to put up in Jamestown.  Schrecengost called it a "low, cowardly move" to achieve their own ends.  He says he has no knowledge of the Facebook page... adding it "may be a scam."


Two elderly Warren County residents are being treated for serious injuries at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital after their car struck a culvert... then a large tree in Southwest Township.  State Police in Warren say 84 year-old Harold Miller was eastbound on Route 27 yesterday when the vehicle went off the left side of the road for an unknown reason.  Troopers say the underside of Miller's car struck the culvert... and, then several small trees before hitting the large tree.  Both Miller and his 83 year-old wife, Mary, were flown to the Hamot Medical Center for treatment.  Police say Harold Miller suffered major injuries.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he plans on seeking another term in the U-S House of Representatives next year... and, Democrats expect to have a candidate to run against him.  Reed made his intentions known during his weekly telephone Conference Call with Southern Tier Media on Monday. Chautauqua County Democratic Party Chairman Norm Green says they are currently talking with a number of prospective candidates... and, the party expects to announce a decision in the next 30 days.  Green says they've been "actively" seeking a candidate... and, says it will be "a competitive district."  Green says Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson, who lost to Reed last November, is in the mix.  He adds, though, that a final decision hasn't been made.  There is no word as to whether any of the individuals who are under consideration are from Chautauqua County. 


New York lawmakers recently passed several measures to address Albany's culture of corruption -- but, a provision intended to revoke the pensions of disgraced officials will need voter approval too.  Lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo want to put a state Constitutional amendment on the 2018 ballot that would allow judges to take away the pensions of public officials convicted of a corruption-related felony.  The Senate has already endorsed placing the referendum on the ballot, and the Assembly plans to do the same when lawmakers return from their spring break.  To put the question on the ballot the Legislature will have to endorse the referendum again in 2017.  The proposal would allow a convicted official's spouse or dependents to keep some of the pension.


A highly-regarded classical music composer will spend two days at Jamestown Community College this week.  Eric Ewazen (ee-WAY-zin) is on the faculty of the Julliard School of Music in New York City.  Neil Flory, Coordinator of Music at JCC, says Ewazen is a prolific, contemporary composer. Ewazen has a number of events on the Jamestown campus during his stay... culminating with a concert featuring several of his compositions at 7 PM Thursday night at the Scharmin Theater at JCC.  Jamestown natives Victoria Mc Ilvain, and Erik Lundquist will be among the soloists. Tickets are just $4.  A pre-concert lecture will be held at 6:15 Thursday night in the Weeks Room.  Ewazen says he's delighted to be coming to Jamestown.  Ewazen learned about JCC's music program from James Beal... a member of the music faculty at the college.   Ewazen once wrote a piece for Beal to sing, and they have been friends for decades. 


New York's top health official is leading an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of the state's obesity problem.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker will participate in a series of events this week around the state intended to highlight the risks of obesity and ways to combat it.  Cuomo's office says obesity has reached ``epidemic'' levels, with a quarter of New Yorkers considered obese and 36 percent overweight.  The state's costs associated with treating diseases associated with obesity reaches into the billions.  Zucker's community visits coincide with National Public Health Week.