Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines

Voters in the Southwestern Central School District have okayed a 15.9-million dollar capital project officials say help move the district into the 21st Century.  The project... which mainly deals with the high school and surrounding grounds... was approved 201-to-148 in a somewhat lower than average turn-out.  However... after the results were released last night... School Superintendent Maureen Donahue said they were pleased with the results. Donahue says it includes 'instructional renovation...' a complete overhaul of the auditorium, and a new gymnasium.  The new gym would be added at the east end of Southwestern High School.  Donahue planned to contact their architect last night... and, move ahead on planning, and the design phase today.  She says the current gym space is to be converted into a "Wellness Center" and a large 'multi purpose' classroom.  She adds there will also be some "significant road work" done on the access road between the high school, elementary school... and, Allegheny Avenue in West Ellicott.  Donahue says state building aid would pay for just over 81-percent of the work.


Chautauqua County's Congressman is high-lighting local manufacturing successes, and efforts to educate the next generation of workers in the region.  Corning Republican Tom Reed was in Falconer Tuesday afternoon touring the Truck-Lite facility on East Elmwood Avenue... and, discussing the local maker of vehicle safety-lighting's needs.  Reed also presented a commendation to Truck-Lite, and the local "Dream It -- Do It" program.  Reed says he'd like to see the collaboration between the public school program, and local manufacturers go national. Reed says the partnership is important because there's a "skills gap" in the United States that needs to be bridged.  He says that's the idea because Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- or STEM Programs.  Truck-Lite Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer Brad Van Riper says he's excited by the new 'P-Tech Academy' in the north county... and, "Dream It -- Do It."  The Western New York "Dream It -- Do It" program is a collaboration between the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier... and, local schools to get students interested in possible manufacturing and related careers.


A woman was killed... and, a man was seriously hurt... when their motorcycles collided after the woman's bike first struck a cow in the Cattaraugus County town of Napoli.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 35 year-old Jennifer Bumpus of Little Valley was eastbound on Route 242 just before 8:30 Monday night when she struck a cow that had wandered onto the road.  Deputies say the second motorcycle, operated by 23 year-old Derrick Livermore of Conewango, then struck Bumpus' bike from behind.  Bumpus was pronounced dead at the scene... while Livermore was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  He's being treated for back, leg, and neck injuries.


State police say they've arrested two people in connection with a fight at a western New York home that left a man with serious injuries.  Troopers say 20-year-old Brittany Kulczyk (Cul-Chick) of West Valley... and 23-year-old Kyle Burdick of Cattaraugus went to a home in the Wyoming County to town of Java last August 10th... and, fought with a man and woman at the residence.  Police say Kulczyk assaulted the 19-year-old woman while Burdick attacked the 28-year-old man.  The man suffered a broken jaw, nose and teeth as well as a concussion.  The woman was treated for cuts and bruises.  Kulczyk was arrested September 28th and Burdick was arrested last Thursday.  Both are charged with assault.  Kulczyk was released. Burdick is being held in the county jail on $12,000 bail. It couldn't be determined if they have lawyers.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have gone down a nickle-a gallon since last week to just over 2-dollars-50 cents for regular, unleaded.  The Triple-A's weekly Fuel Gauge Report says that's based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area.  Triple-A says last week's average price was about 2--55 a gallon.  Last year at this time... it was just over 3-dollars-51 cents per gallon.  The Fuel Gauge say the current national average is about 2--31 a gallon.  Triple-A adds that after 13 straight days of holding steady... the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline began ticking higher last week.  But.. on the whole, pump prices remain discounted across the country.  The refinery maintenance season is reportedly nearing its peak, and the national average has been relatively stable since September 15th.  While national prices have been steady, pump prices in some regions have moved dramatically over this same period, largely due to fluctuations in supply and demand.


The effort to erect a statue in honor of internationally-known cartoonist Brad Anderson and his comic strip "Marmaduke" still needs a push to get over the finish line.  Members of the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee in Brocton were recently with us to talk about the effort following Anderson's passing at the age of 91.  Committee Co-Chairman Terry Boltz says funds are basically in place... it's now a matter of how the statue will be presented along Route 20 near the county's Wine Trail in the town of Portland. Don Sottile is the artist who will make the sculpture... which will feature Anderson working on a drawing... with Marmaduke's head over Anderson's shoulder -- trying to get him to play with him.  Another person involved with the effort... Terry's brother, Jim... says the statue is fitting because Anderson never forgot Chautauqua County, and his roots here... using local references in the comic strip.  Donations can still be made... and, sent to the Brocton/Portland Development Corporation, c/o the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee, 87 West Main Street in Brocton.  The zip code is 14716.


The second-annual Feeding Fredonia Challenge is underway in the village of Fredonia... and, the effort is alread off to a good start.  That from Pastor Cynthia Wickwire-Lundquist with the Fredonia Presbyterian Church.  Wickwire-Lundquist says local businesses are helping to collect the food... starting Monday. Fredonia Central School and the SUNY College at Fredonia are holding their own internal collections to help with the food drive.  The Chautauqua County Rural Ministry is also assisting with the Feeding Fredonia Challenge this week... despite their own challenges concerning the partially-collapsed Coburn Building in Dunkirk.  You can call 679-1501 for more information about the "Feeding Fredonia" Challenge.


A New York state board is expected to decide soon whether to allow a racino in the state's Southern Tier to expand into a full casino.  Tioga Downs' bid for a casino license was initially denied last year, but the facility in Nichols revised its proposal after Governor Andrew Cuomo asked gambling regulators to re-open bidding for the casino license.