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Local News Headlines

Flames heavily-damage house in village of Falconer...

Fire had extensively damaged a house and attached garage at a single-family home in the village of Falconer.  Falconer Fire Chief Charlie Piazza says his crews were called to the scene at 519 Central Ave. shortly before 4:30 a.m.  Piazza says the garage was heavily engulfed in flames on arrival... and, the flames had started moving into the home.  He says fire crews were able to make an interior attack... and, had the blaze knocked down in about half-an-hour.  They were joined at the scene by Jamestown... Kiantone.. Gerry... Kennedy... Fluvanna and Ellery Center.  The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities and National Fuel were called to the scene to turn-off utilities... and the Red Cross is helping the family.  No one was hurt.  The cause is under investigation.


Hinsdale man arrested for alleged series of car break-ins and property thefts...

A Cattaraugus County man is jailed on $15,000 bail for allegedly breaking into several cars and other vehicles over the past week in the town of Hinsdale.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they arrested 39 year-old Daniel Wilson of Hinsdale after officers spotted him walking on Route 16 shortly before 7 a.m. last Saturday.  Officers say they allegedly found Wilson in possession of property stolen in the break-ins... as well as burglar's tools.  Deputies were assisted by State Police in Machias... and, people missing any items are asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 938-9191.  Wilson was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of stolen property, petty larceny, and criminal possession of buglary tools.  He was then sent to the Cattaraugus County lock-up.


City Council to consider sale of Sheldon House by JCC to Lynn Development next week...

The Jamestown City Council will vote next Monday night on whether to allow Jamestown Community College to sell the Sheldon House to the Lynn Development group.  Council's Finance Committee last night voted in favor of the approximately $250,000 sale... over the objections of a representative of a Lakeview Avenue neighborhood improvement group.  Paul Leone again voiced his concerns over what may happen in the future if professional offices are allowed.  Leone says there are "many formerly grand houses that have been cut up into ugly apartments," and... "it's sinful, it's awful what's happened to that street."  However... proponents of the sale -- including JCC officials -- say they tried to market the property for two years... with little success.  College President Cory Duckworth went before city lawmakers last night... and, says they took the area around Lakeview Avenue, and Falconer Street, into consideration.  Duckworth says they also wanted to see the buyer continue the Sheldon House's "community use."  A representative for Lynn Development says the company plans to renovate... and, upgrade the Sheldon House... which officials acknowledge has fallen into disrepair in recent years.  Duckworth says JCC can no longer to justify spending the money needed to keep up the facility.


Falconer also among school districts to vote on budget, and school board seats today...

The Falconer Central School district -- like most other Chautauqua County districts... is looking at a zero-percent tax increase in the 2016-17 budget proposal.  That from School Business Manager Brent Agett... who the $22.4-million spending plan is up for a vote today.  Agett says it includes no change in the tax levy... due mainly to an increase in state aid.  He says that helped offset increase in some areas -- namely health insurance costs.  But, he says the rate locally went up minimally for them, and others in a local consortium.  As for state school aid... Agett says that was a big help... especially elimination of the so-called "Gap Elimination Adjustment."  He says that restored nearly $300,000 to Falconer's aid.  Agett says they also got an increase in their Founation Aid.  He says there are no other propositions on the ballot this year.  There's one school board seat up for a vote Tuesday.  But... Agett says incumbant Jamie Szaranek is the only name on the ballot.  Voting at Falconer Central runs from 2 to 8 p.m. today in the Falconer Gym Foyer.


School budget votes, and board elections across Chautauqua County, and NYS today...

Residents of Chautauqua County's 18 school district go to the polls today to vote on budgets, propositions, and school board members.  The first votes in the immediate Jamestown-area are being cast in the Southwestern Central District... where the polls opened for two hours of early voting at 7 a.m. on a $26.6-million spending plan.  School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says the second part of voting hours is from 2 to 9 p.m.  There's also a $290,000 transportation proposition... and, school board member William Burk is running unopposed.
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In Jamestown... district residents will decide on a $79.1-million spending plan that cuts the tax levy by $219,000.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says there's also a proposition to lease-purchase seven new buses for up to $930,000.  School Board incumbant Patrick Slagle is on the ballot... along with Board President Joe DiMaio.  However... DiMaio withdrew his name from consideration last week.  Two newcomers... Todd Rushforth and Jeffrey Yeates... are also on the ballot.  We also understand there is a write-in campaign for past board member Joe Pawelski.  Voting is from 12 to 9 p.m.


State legislators looking at proposed Pension Stripping Legislation...

Negotiations over a proposal to strip pensions from corrupt lawmakers continue in Albany -- though broader ethics reforms are going nowhere despite recent scandals involving top lawmakers.  The Senate and Assembly disagree on the details of a proposed Constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would allow judges to revoke convicted lawmakers' pensions.  Both sides hope to find agreement before lawmakers adjourn their session next month.  The measure would have to be approved again next year to go on the ballot.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 8, 2020

Chautauqua County has biggest one-day number of COVID Cases Tuesday... There have been a record number of positive cases of the COVID-19 Virus reported in Chautauqua County over the past day... and, ...

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