WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says it was this past Tuesday night's primary results that made up his mind to throw his support behind Billionaire Developer Donald Trump for President.  Reed's decision comes after he recently criticized the negative rhetoric and violence at recent Trump rallies.  The Corning Republican says it's the "people" who are gravitating towards Trump... and, adds it's time for the GOP to rally around him. Reed insists that an e-mail from maverick Buffalo Republican Carl Paladino... pressuring Congressional Republicans in New York State to back Trump... had nothing to do with his decision.  Reed... who is running his own campaign this year... adds the party needs to unite in order to wrestle control of the White House away from the Democrats.  He says a Hillary Clinton presidency would just be a "continuation" of the past seven with President Barack Obama.  Reed adds that the GOP needs to avoid a "brokered convention" this year in order to do that.  Reed had supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush until Bush recently suspended his campaign.


A state judge has rejected a lawsuit seeking to close a loophole in New York campaign finance law that lets wealthy individuals use limited liability companies to secretly give millions of dollars to candidates.  Justice Lisa Fisher writes there have been ``numerous attempts'' in the Legislature to close it and the matter is best resolved by lawmakers.  But... she first rejected the suit on grounds that it's too late to challenge the 1996 decision by the state Board of Elections to treat limited liability companies like individuals.  That lets them donate up to $150,000 a year to a candidate without identifying their owners.  Critics want them subject to the $5,000 corporate limit and required to disclose owners.  The suit was brought by New York University's Brennan Center, three state legislators and others.  They plan to appeal.


A joint investigation by several police agencies into the manufacturing of Methamphetime in the city of Dunkirk led to a drug raid late Wednesday that resulted in the arrest of two men.  Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano says the raid occured at 363 Lake Shore Drive West... and, involved his department, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigation Division.  Ortolano says the investigation led to the arrests of 28-year-old Joshua Hammer and 48-year-old Walter Doyle. Ortolano says Hammer and Doyle could be facing further charges... namely in connection with the alleged break-in in Hanover.  Investigators say they discovered several working one bottle-style meth labs as well as more than two dozen spent one bottle labs.  Ortolano says they also found a large quantity of stolen property consisting of tools, jewelry and other stolen items along with a large quantity of money, a quantity of meth, several ounces of methamphetamine oil and a quantity of marijuana.  Both Hammer and Doyle are expected to be arraigned today in Dunkirk City Court.


Jamestown police are investigating an alleged burglary at an East Second Street business early Wednesday morning... and, are asking the public's help in locating the two suspects.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the pair was caught on surveillance video at the business -- located at 214 East Second Street -- about 3 AM.  Samuelson says the two burglars allegedly took cash and other property from the location.  He says one of the suspects is believed to be a white male wearing a camoflage jacket and is talking on a cellphone.  Samuelson says the second suspect is wearing a light-colored gray hooded sweatshirt... and, is carrying a gray backpack.  Anyone with information on the two suspects... or the incident itself... is asked to contact city police at 483-7537.  You can also call the JPD anonymous Tip-line at 483-TIPS... thats' 483-8477.


There are other ways to lift low-income workers in New York state out of poverty without increasing the minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour.  That from state Assembly Republicans in Albany, who late yesterday countered Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed phase-in of the higher wage.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell was among the minority members who spoke to the GOP proposal.  Goodell says the governor's plan would have a "devastating impact" on small businesses, farmers, and not-for-profits across the state.  He adds that hundreds of thousands of "entry level" jobs would be eliminated. Goodell and his colleagues are proposing an alternative.  He says that's the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit... which will help the 20-percent of minimum wage earners who are living below the poverty line.  He says they also want to change the "benefit threshold" so lower-income workers -- who get a raise -- don't lose all their benefits at once.  Assembly Republicans are also proposing a "Learning for Work Program..." a youth apprenticeship program that would create a one to two-year high school program that combined academic classwork and mentored 'on the job' traIning. The Assembly GOP press conference follows a rally held by workers in Albany in support of the 15-dollar an hour minimum age.  The rally featured an appearance by Governor Cuomo himself... along with New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan.


A coalition of local contractors and workers is calling on state officials, including Governor Andrew Cuomo, to open up the bidding process on the construction of the state-funded Athenex facility.  Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State President Brian Sampson traveled to Dunkirk Thursday afternoon to announce that he doesn't want to see a proposed Project Labor Agreement -- or PLA -- surround the project.  Sampson believes a PLA would increase costs and would prevent hundreds of local craftsmen from being able to work on the job.
But... not everyone is in agreement.  Don Williams, CSEA official and City councilman, backs having a PLA.
Governor Cuomo traveled to Dunkirk last month to announced the 200-million dollar manufacturing facility.  While there are still not a lot of details about the project... ABC officials are concerned about rumors of a PLA.


More than 700 students from area schools went to battle in the annual 'STEM Wars' at Jamestown Community College yesterday morning.  The event is put on by 'Dream It-Do It'... coordinated in Chautauqua County by Justin Hanft of the Manufacturing Association of the Southern Tier. Cassadaga Valley entered the STEM Wars for the first time this year.  Junior Devin McChesney and his three teammates were finding an interesting way to put a ball in a cup. Devin said the competition among schools was intense.  The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is a major sponsor of STEM Wars.  Executive Director Randy Sweeney says they invest in the students to make sure they don't overlook manufacturing careers.  The Cummins Engine Company is another major sponsor of STEM Wars.