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WJTN News Headlines

Three Jamestown men were arrested during a weekend traffic stop for allegedly trafficking powder cocaine in the area.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and state Police C-NET Team pulled over the car... based on their investigation... just after 3 PM Saturday in the town of Ellington.  Samuelson says police seized more than 3-ounces of cocaine... and, they believe the drugs were to be sold in Jamestown.  He says police arrested 30 year-old Brook Patterson... 29 year-old Jonathan Williams... and, 26 year-old Alex Oliveras... and, charged each with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, conspiracy.  All three were arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.  If you know of any suspected drug activity... you're asked to call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Two female students at Falconer Central School were hurt... but, not seriously... when they were struck by a car while crossing East Main Street at East Avenue yesterday afternoon.  Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene about 2:45 PM.  Officers say the two girls were taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  No other information has been released at this time.


New York State has made some changes in this year's standardized testing for third-through-eighth-graders that begin today across the state.  Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says the English Language Arts tests will be the first one's given... and, he believes the changes are positive.  Mains says the state -- through it's new test vendor -- has made a genuine effort to address the concerns that led thousands of parents to opt their children out of the tests.  He says the questions have been "teacher-tested...." Mains says one of the biggest issues regarding the tests -- and caused the most stress -- has also been addressed.  He says that is through eliminating the time requirment for students to take the tests.  At the same time... Mains says the state tests are needed to help them know how the district is doing in teaching each student the "rich, and rigorous education" that's required of the "Common Core..." or the 21st Century learning standards. 


No school district should lose funding if parents opt their children out of the state's standardized testing that begins this week.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who has authored a letter that 18 other members of Congress have signed onto that's been sent to the U-S Department of Education.  It addresses a letter from the department last December that warns of financial penalties to states and school districts where the required number of students don't take the tests. Reed says he continues to hear from parents in the 23rd Congressional District who believe they should have the option of pulling their children out of those tests.  He says his letter reiterates that the department cannot, and should not withhold state funding to schools based on parent's decisions to opt-out their children.  Reed says the department indictated that 95-percent of students in each district must take the tests to receive funding.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with local media.


They didn't get all that they wanted... but, the head of the New York State School Boards Association says it's been a "big" year for them regarding the new state budget.  That from Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer... who says the group... which represents local school boards... had initially asked for a 2-billion dollar increase in school aid for the 2016-17 school year.  Kreamer says all local schools will benefit from the final increase. Kreamer says there are two benefits -- in particular -- with the new budget.  First is it increases "Foundation" or base aid -- by 600-million dollars.  The other is it completely eliminates the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment" the state used to "take away" aid to many schools at the time New York was running deficits.  Kreamer adds, though, there are two big items not addressed in the budget they hope will be before the end of the 2016 legislative session.  The first is to break the link between the budget increases... and, renegotiated teacher, and principal evaluations.  Kreamer says the other concern is making the state Tax Cap more "fair and equitable" for local school districts.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a law that will gradually raise New York's minimum wage to 15-dollars an hour.  Cuomo and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton marked the occasion Monday at a Manhattan rally with labor leaders and workers.  Cuomo said the law will grow the state's economy and improve New Yorkers' lives.  Clinton called it ``a great day for our state'' and predicted the movement will ``sweep our country.''  The law also establishes paid family leave for New York workers.  The law gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018 and in some prosperous suburbs by the end of 2021.  The minimum wage would only rise to $12.50 in the rest of the state by 2020, with further increases tied to economic indicators.


A long-time, major fund-raiser for the Chautauqua County Humane Society is underway... with a goal of reaching 26-thousand dollars by the end of the month.  The annual "Pennies for Paws" Campaign is underway through April 30th... with a goal of raising 2.6-million pennies.  That figure is up from recent years... and, Humane Society Executive Director Jeff Lubi says it's needed to pay for care of the animals they take in.  Lubi says the effort's been underway for several days now. Lubi says "Pennies for Paws" has been a unique fund-raiser that draws in the kids at local schools to help raise money for the local program.  He says they don't receive a lot of outside funding for their programs... nor their recent capital campaign.  However... Lubi says Jamestown-area foundations have been a big help to them.  The project added a 2-thousand square foot building onto their Strunk Road headquarters.  He says Pennies for Paws continues through April 30th.  The wrap-up will include a Volunteer recognition at the Strunk Road location... as well as a public Open House.


There was a winning "Take 5" state lottery ticket sold in the Jamestown-area Sunday.  That from the New York Lottery's headquarters... which reports the winning ticket was sold at Hogan’s Hut in Stow.  Officials say the ticket... which was from Sunday's drawing... is worth 58-thousand-979 dollars.  The Take 5 drawing is won by matching five out of five numbers..  In addition... the lottery says 167 players each purchased winning tickets worth $529.50 by matching four out of five numbers for the drawing.  In total, there were 74,830 TAKE 5 winners for the April 3 drawing.  The winning numbers for the April 3 TAKE 5 drawing were 18-19-21-32-38.