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WJTN News Headlines

The suspected driver involved in a home invasion-robbery in which a Jamestown man was severely beaten nearly a week ago has been arrested.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the 16 year-old boy was taken into custody Thursday as part of the on-going investigation into the incident at 76 Pershing Avenue.  Samuelson says the teen now faces a Felony charge in the case... even though he was not directly involved in the beating of the victim inside the house. Samuelson says they have a fourth "person of interest" in the case who is not being identified at this time.  He hopes to report that person's arrest shortly.  Samuelson says 22 year-old Robert Ellsworth remains jailed without bail in connection with the case... which he says was "drug-related."  He says Ellsworth, a 17 year-old already in custody, and the "person of interest" broke into the home early the morning of Friday, April 10th... and, stole several items... and, beat the man... who was taken to an Erie, Pennsylvania trauma center for treatment of a serious back injury. 


A Corry woman has been arrested and charged with killing a Warren woman on Tuesday.  The Warren Times Observer reports that 27 year old Danielle Craker allegedly punched 50 year old Robin Ostrowski repeatedly in the face which led to her death. Craker was arrested by Warren Police late Wednesday night.  According to court documents Craker waived her rights and gave a statement saying that she punched Ostrowski in the face until she was incapacitated.  Authorities say two other people were in the residence at 701 and a half west Fifth Avenue at the time of the assault and drugs may have played a role in the homicide. 58 year old Melvin Atwell, who was reportedly the victims boyfriend also was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment, because hours passed before he called 911 to get medical treatment for Ostrowski. Craker faces a range of possible charges including first degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and Atwell was taken to the Warren County Jail after failing to post 30,000 dollars bail.


No action is expected to be taken until next month.  But... a key Chautauqua County Legislature committee yesterday heard details about changes that area state lawmakers want to make in the request for an increase in the county's sales tax.  County Executive Vince Horrigan met with members of the Audit and Control Committee.  Chairman John Runkle says the increase from the current 7.5 percent to 8 percent will be linked to a cut in the county's property tax levy. Runkle was one of four legislators to oppose the sales tax hike last month.  The proposed changes now have him leaning toward supporting it.  He says it would be a 3-percent decrease in the tax levy -- or about 2-million dollars, next year, and there would be no increase in 2017.  Runkle says committee will mull it over before taking up the matter next month.


Some New York school districts are reporting that 60 to 70 percent of students did not take this week's mandated English tests.  That's raising questions about how the growing ``opt-out'' movement may affect federal funds.  It also could affect teacher evaluations that are supposed to be pegged to the tests.  The state Education Department says official numbers for how many pupils took the statewide assessments won't be released until this summer.  But... a group called United to Counter the Core says more than 155-thousand children boycotted the English tests that were administered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Anti-testing hotbeds included districts upstate, in the lower Hudson Valley and on Long Island.   West Seneca Superintendent Mark Crawford said his suburban Buffalo district saw nearly 70 percent of students sit out the tests.


Members of the Jamestown School Board have reached a consensus that they want the district to retain as many teachers as possible in the 2015-16 budget.  However... how they find the money to do that is now the issue.  That from Board President Joe DiMaio... who says the panel futher discussed the 77.6-million dollar spending plan during a budget work session Wednesday night.  DiMaio says board members agree that... between the new state standards... and, keeping class sizes small... keeping another one to three teachers would help. The new budget also includes a 1.5-percent tax increase... which amounts to about 219-thousand dollars.  The majority of board members seem to accept that idea.  Two areas are being looked at for possible cuts.  One is professional staff development.  A new one that was looked at last night was athletics.  DiMaio... who is a former Jamestown Assistant Football Coach... hopes that's not the case.  He adds that would run contrary to what the district included in it's strategic plan.  School Superintendent Tim Mains will now take input from the meeting... and, make changes.  The board is scheduled to adopt the new budget at next Tuesday night's meeting.


The leader of the New York state Senate says he will cooperate with authorities following a report that prosecutors are investigating him and his son.  The New York Times, citing unidentified sources, says U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is examining whether Republican Dean Skelos of Long Island influenced Nassau County's decision to give a storm-water treatment contract to an Arizona company that hired his son, Adam.  The newspaper reports the investigation includes 20-thousand dollars paid to Adam Skelos by a title insurance company he allegedly never worked for.  Skelos said in a statement Thursday he has and ``will continue to cooperate with any inquiry.''  Bharara's office declined to comment.  The news prompted the Nassau County district attorney to announce a review of county contracting practices.  Back in January... Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was charged with taking nearly 4-million dollars in payoffs.


Volunteers for 14 partner agencies... and, several local businesses and organizations... were recognized Wednesday night for their efforts in the Jamestown-area.  The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County held it's annual Volunteer of the Year Recognition.  United Way Executive Director Tori Irgang says they honored the volunteers from the partner agencies... some of whom have been with that group more than 30 years... some just a few. However... for the second year in a row... Irgang says they also recognized seven businesses... and, four community groups that did volunteer projects during the United Way's "12 Months of Caring" initiative."  She says the goal is to introduce people to projects that are meaningful... from "getting your hands dirty" to becoming certified in CPR.  Four organizations and businesses did "Community Baby Showers."  Among the people recognized were Chautauqua Striders Volunteer Keith Ecklund... Jan Hallberg with the Allegheny Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts... Mary Jane Nordsiek and Carolyn Thomas with Meals on Wheels... and, Cecile Wilson with the American Red Cross.


Motorists who use one of Buffalo's busiest expressways at night or early in the morning will have to seek alternate routes next month, thanks to four pizza-loving turtles.  Mayor Byron Brown announced this week that scenes for the sequel to last summer's hit movie ``Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' will be filmed in Buffalo starting May 4 and running through May 17th.  Officials say the filming will involve shutting down Route 33, also known as the Kensington Expressway, between 7 PM and 6 AM.  Detours will be set up to route traffic around the 4-mile stretch of the expressway that will be closed from downtown Buffalo to Route 198.  The film's unit production manager says the scenes to be shot are action sequences involving vehicle chases and helicopters.  The sequel is expected to hit theaters in June 2016.


We have a couple of exciting announcements to make regarding the management of the Media One Group of stations.  Media One has promoted Business Manager Rick Brodowski to Station Manager... while Jim Yezzi will be the new director of Sales.  Both have been with the company for many years now..., and our congratulations to both Rick and Jim.