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WJTN News Headlines

A lawmaker in New York says the state should prohibit anyone on the federal no-fly list or terrorist watch list from purchasing a gun and any firearms they already have should be confiscated.  Democratic Senator Jeff Klein of the Bronx said Friday he will introduce legislation to make the change, which he said is necessary after the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.  Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said Thursday he wants to ban gun sales to those on the federal lists.  He says the state is working to get access to the databases in order to implement the policy.  Klein's proposal is alread running into opposition from gun-rights groups.  It would also require the support and assistance of the Obama administration.


Electrical issues caused by lighting for an illegal marijuana-growing operation led county drug investigators to arrest a Mayville man on several drug related charges.  Sheriff's officers say they were called... along with Mayville firefighters... to a structure fire at 57 Morris Street just after 5 AM last October 29th.  The fire was put out quickly... and, deputies say investigators, and, members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, were called to the scene.  They determined the cause... and, found a quantity of marijuana-growing equipment, and some pot was seized.  Once the evidence was reviewed... Task Force members charged 41 year-old Michael Monroe of Apartment-#1 with one count each of Unlawfully Growing Cannibis, and second-degree Criminal Possession of Marijuana.  Monroe was issued appearance tickets for Chautauqua Town Court today.  If you see any illegal narcotics-related activity in your area... call the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.


The goals and focus of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has changed in recent years due to changes in manufacturing.  The IDA now works with a number of industrial sectors to bring... or expand business locally.  That from IDA Administrative Director Kevin Sanvidge... who was keynote speaker at the county Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting in Jamestown last Friday.  Sanvidge high-lighted a number of activities the IDA has been involved with.  He says the big one in during his 18 months at the helm has been tourism. Sanvidge says another area they've been involved with a lot in the past few months is Agriculture.  He says that remains a major part of Chautauqua County... but, he says some second and third-generation families are deciding not to be involved because it's become so difficult.  That's why the county hosted it's first-ever Ag Summit... put together by Senior Planner Don McCord.  Sanvidge also expressed optimism that the repowering project at the NRG Plant in Dunkirk will happen.


It will likely be several months before work begins on a 16-million dollar capital project in the Cassadaga Valley School District.  School officials say they are pleased with the outcome... as the project was approved, 166-to-50.  Cassadaga Valley Superintendent Charles Leichner (Lek-Ner) says they can now begin work on final plans for the project. Leichner thanked district residents for their support... adding that the School Board worked very hard on the project... and to create a proposition that addresses a number of issues in the district at the lowest dollar amount.


Cities and towns around New York state will receive 4.5-million dollars in federal funding to enhance anti-terrorism efforts and emergency preparedness.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced the funding last weekend.  The money comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Some 2-million dollars will go to help local law enforcement agencies pay for equipment and training for responding to potential mass shootings.  Several cities and towns will receive up to $100,000 each under the program.  Another $2 million will support equipment and training for urban search and rescue operations.  The final $500,000 will help several cities prepare for attacks at government-owned sites.


With less than a month to go before a new mayor takes over in the village of Fredonia, the transition is well underway.  Mayor Steve Keefe, who is leaving office at the end of the month, says he is working closely with Mayor-Elect Dr. Athanasia Landis and it's been a smooth transition. Dr. Landis, who will become the village's first woman mayor, says she is excited about becoming mayor, but is also realizing there are a lot of complex issues facing the village.  She says many people, though, are working to improve those situations.  Keefe is completing four years at the helm... and, says he will be available to help assist Dr. Landis when she takes office.  The Inauguration will be held on January 1st.


Hamilton College in upstate New York has named University of Minnesota Law School Dean David Wippman to be its 20th president.   Wippman will succeed Joan Hinde-Stewart, who is retiring next June 30th, after 13 years as president.  Wippman is an authority on international law.  He has a bachelor's degree from Princeton, and a master's in English Literature and law degree, both from Yale.  Among his previous positions... Wippman was a professor and administrator at Cornell from 1992 to 2008.  Stephen Sadove, chairman of the Hamilton board of trustees, said one of Wippman's strengths is ``enthusiasm for the liberal arts.''  Chartered in 1812, Hamilton is the third oldest college in New York. It enrolls 1,850 students.


Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived in Jamestown by rail, promptly at 11 AM Saturday, to the music of the Madrigal Singers of the JHS Acappella Choir. Bounding down the steps of a Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad caboose, Santa hugged the choir director, the mayor, and several others... before going upstairs in the Gateway Station to meet waiting children.  They weren't the only ones whose spirits were soaring.  Kylie Mc Laughlin, General Manager of the WNYP Railroad said it was very exciting to see everyone's reaction. Station manager, Lee Harkness, said several hundred children and their families had gathered at the station for 'Jamestown's version of the Polar Express'.


An hour later, the mood was much different at Lakeview Cemetery. Former U.S. Air Force Member Julie Freed sang the National Anthem for Wreaths Across America.  Soldiers Circle was filled with the fragrance of pine, as a group of 75 volunteers laid 220 wreaths on headstones there.  The Jamestown version of the national event is coordinated by the local chapter of the Civil Air Patrol, led by Captain Todd Hanson. Some of the wreaths placed were hand made by people in the Jamestown area.  This is the 8th year that Wreaths Across America has taken place in Jamestown.  Captain Hanson says their goal is to get enough support to place a wreath on all the graves at Soldiers Circle, and perhaps one day... all the veterans buried at Lakeview Cemetery.