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WJTN News Headlines

A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania woman is dead following a motor vehicle accident on Ivory Road in the Frewsburg-area early Sunday morning. 39 year old Chalise Hebner of Stoney Run Road, Pittsfield died at the scene of the crash. Sheriff's officers and Carroll Town Police were called to the scene in the town of Carroll shortly before 3 AM.  Deputies say the investigation is continuing into the accident.  Deputies were also assisted at the scene by Ellicott Town Police... the Frewsburg Fire Department... Alstar Ambulance, and the Kiantone Ambulance.


Dunkirk Police are continuing their investigation into a deadly crash that occurred early Sunday morning on Maple Avenue.  Police say that a vehicle initially being pursued by Fredonia Police failed to negotiate a curve around 5:30 am Sunday, jumped a curb on Maple Avenue, then traveled through some yards before striking a tree.  Officers say the drive then fled the scene on foot.  A passenger in the vehicle was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital and was later pronounced dead.  Dunkirk Fire and Alstar Ambulance also responded to the scene.  Police are expected to release more details about the crash.


A head of the county's Industrial Development Agency will be the keynote speaker at this Friday's annual meeting of the county's Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says IDA Administrative Director and CEO, Kevin Sanvidge, headlines the Noontime event at the Moon Brook Country Club in Jamestown.  Tranum says Sanvidge will talk about economic development in the county during his 18-month tenure.  Sanvidge was formerly with Cliffstar Corporation and Al Tech Specialty Steel.  The Chamber will also present the 2015 Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award to Dr. Susan McNamara from the SUNY College at Fredonia.  For more information... call the Chamber at 484-1101... or register on-line Chautauquachamber-dot-ORG.


Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she believes no changes are necessary to the state's SAFE Act as the nation deals with yet another mass shooting... this one in California.  During her visit to Fredonia late last week... Hochul was first asked for her first reaction to the shooting spree in San Bernardino, California.  She says there was a "sense of shock."  Hochul feels the law... which created a firestorm of criticism from a number of gun-rights groups... has worked well.  She says there needs to be tougher laws in other states to keep criminals from geting guns elsewhere and bringing them to New York.  Hochul says that's especially the case with background checks.  She says people on Terrorist Watch Lists can still walk into a gun store and buy one legally.  She asks "what's wrong with this picture."  The SAFE Act was enacted in response to the Sandy Hook School shootings in Connecticut in December of 2012. 


A five-vehicle crash in Dunkirk at the corner of Lake Shore drive west and Brigham Road late last week sent one person to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.  Dunkirk Police say 66-year-old Kristen Jaffray of Dunkirk apparently triggered the crash late Thursday when she lost control of her vehicle after losing consciousness.  Her car left the roadway, struck a street sign and continued east through a red traffic light before hitting a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Martin Dorman of Ripley, which had stopped in traffic.  The Dorman vehicle then struck a third vehicle driven by 59-year-old Michael Tucker of Jamestown that had stopped in traffic.  The Jaffray vehicle then continued on striking a fourth vehicle... and, a fifth.  Police say Jaffray was transported by ambulance to Brooks Memorial for treatment. 


The future of the NRG plant in Dunkirk is a top priority of Dunkirk's Mayor Elect as he prepares to take over the city's top office in January.  Councilman at Large Willie Rosas made his comments late last week, as he prepares to become the city's top-elected official.  Rosas says he will be meeting with other elected officials to discuss the situation concerning NRG and to discuss how the city should prepare if the plant's re-powering project doesn't move ahead. The Common Council recently approved the appointment of Duane Beard as the new Director of Development and Planning for the north county city.   Rosas says one of the first tasks facing Duane Beard is looking into whether there is state assistance available should the plant close.  He says they need to know what they're eligible for, and apply for them.  Rosas will become the Mayor of Dunkirk on January 1st.  An inaugration ceremony is planned for 12 PM at City Hall.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says keeping the NRG Power Plant in Dunkirk open is also a major priority heading into 2016.  Horrigan says it's "very disappointing" to hear that federal WARN Notices have gone out to the plant's 64 employees.  But... Horrigan says they... along with state Legislators, the state Public Service Commission, and NRG, remain committed to keeping the plant open.  At the same time... they are lobbying for state help if the plant does end up having to be closed. Horrigan says he is staying in close contact with incoming Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas... and outgoing Mayor A-J Dolce on the situation.  NRG's Huntley Power Plant... in North Tonawanda... is slated for actual closedown... and, leaders there are in discussions with the state to mitigate the fall-out.  Entergy Energy Corporation, and a handfull of environmental groups have filed suit to stop the Dunkirk Repowering project.  Horrigan made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.


It's now been several months since the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities had filed it's "mini-rate" electric case.  However... the case was recently adjourned again in light of ongoing opposition to the hike by the county's Camber of Commerce... and, members of the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier.  The head of both the chamber and MAST, Todd Tranum, says the state's Public Service Commission is taking the case very seriously, and weighing the opposition.  Tranum says they're sure the reason for the increases are the city's taking of a dividend payment from the BPU the past three years. Earlier this year... the BPU filed for the smaller rate increase that's done over the course a few months compared to a major-rate case... which can take 18 months to a year to complete.  Tranum says that both MAST and the chamber feel the 2.55-percent rate increase is meant to cover the amount of dividend payments... which he calls "indirect taxation."  Tranum says they're also taking a hard look at the BPU's proposed water rate increase.