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WJTN News Headlines

The two-year effort to find a suitable buyer for the Sheldon House on Jamestown's northside has led city lawmakers to approve it's sale to Lynn Development Group.  The City Council last night unanimously approved Jamestown Community College's quarter-of-a-million dollar sale to the local developer... which plans to use it their business offices... while continuing it as a "community meeting" location.  City Councilwoman Kim Ecklund says JCC performed it's due-diligence... and, it was time for lawmakers to make a decision. Council President Greg Rabb... who was out of town and unable to attend... sent a letter of support for the sale after much time and thought.  Councilman Tony Dolce served as temporary Council President... and, echoed Rabb's sentiments that Lynn Development has a long, solid history in the city... and, that lawmakers want to see the Sheldon House remains something that remains a "community asset."  Last night's vote was 8-to-0.  The sale must now be approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature at it's meeting this Wednesday night.


A second-offer by a Florida man who was reportedly interested in buying the Sheldon House was not considered becuase it was too late to be considered.  However... Lakeview Avenue resident Paul Leone -- who has strongly opposed the sale to Lynn Development -- says he received a call from the man... whom he identifed as Joseph McNeil... late last week.  McNeil apparently wanted the Sheldon House for single-family use... but, initially had bid 225-thousand dollars for the property. However... JCC President Cory Duckworth said college officials had not received the new offer from McNeil until Monday morning through a local broker.  Duckworth says the bid was only 100-dollars more than the one made by Lynn Development.  He adds there are also a number of contingencies within the bid... some of which he says were still "unclear" last night.  Duckworth urged lawmakers to move ahead with the bid by Lynn Development.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is recognizing the sacrifice made by our veterans this week before Memorial Day by supporting several bills up for likely consideration this week.  Reed says the bills have come from discussion over how to prioritize the use of 73.5-billion dollars for veteran's services.  The Corning Republican especially focused on two bills.  The first is the Family Caregiver Act to support family members who are caring for a veteran.
Reed says there are some other bills being finalized that deal with transitional aid to help veteran's dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder... and, other issues as they return from active duty.  He says one of those is a Democratic bill coming out of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, which he believes will be approved in a bi-partisan manner.  Reed also urged residents of the 23rd Congressional District to honor veteran's by attending local Memorial Day ceremonies and parades.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


It's a sad day Monday at Panama Central School... and, across Chautauqua County where Steve Swanson's love for music and his talent were felt.  Swanson passed away last Friday night at WCA Hospital at the age of 59.  Swanson... who was known by friends as "Swandog..." was a music teacher at the Panama Central for 28 years.  School Superintendent Bert Lictis says he had known Swanson since he became superintendent in 2001.  In fact... he says Swanson was one of the first people he ever met there. Lictis says Swanson loved everything about music... and, adds that his greatest gift was making people feel good.  He says that was most apparent when Swanson worked with the 4 year-olds in Panama's Pre-K Program.  Lictis says he touched virtually everyone who went to school there in the past three decades.  He says that's one reason why Swanson's funeral will be held at 1 PM Wednesday at the Panama Central School auditorium.  The school will be closed that day for the funeral observance.


The local stock car racing community is also mourning the loss of arguably it's best super late model racer ever.  Bobby Schnars was a dominant name in the region for two decades from the mid 1950s to the mid-70s.  The Busti, New York native was atop Stateline Speedway's all-time winner's List with 79, until a few years ago when Dick Barton passed him with his 80th victory.  Local racing Historian Randy Anderson calls Schnars the "Babe Ruth" of Stateline. Schnars was especially dominant from the late 1960s until the mid-1970s... when he won the majority of his feature races... and, Stateline and Eriez Speedway championships.  However... for as good as he was on the racetrack... Anderson says Schnars was "very modest..." and soft spoken about his accomplishments.  Barton probably paid Schnars the ultimate compliment after getting his 80th A-Main win at Stateline... saying he may have the record for feature wins... but, adds that Schnars was still the "King" of the Late Models at the Busti speedway.


A Virginia woman escaped injury last weekend when she lost control of her car... and, it crashed on the Chautauqua Lake Bridge on Interstate 86.  Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Kayla Luce was eastbound about 3 PM Saturday when she came upon a slower vehicle in the driving lane.  Deputies say Luce swerved into the passing lane... and, lost control of her vehicle and struck the south side of the bridge, spun around and came to rest in the passing lane.  Luce was checked over at the scene by Emergency Medical personnel... and, refused further treatment.  State Police assisted at the scene.


While they don't control the supply side of the bill... National Grid's prices for delivering electricity to local customers will remain at the same levels into 2018.  This following regulatory approval of a plan that will allow the company to continue investment in its networks.  Spokesman Steve Brady of National Grid says current energy delivery prices will be maintained through the Spring of 2018. As a result, the company also will be increasing its capital investment in its electricity and natural gas networks over the next two years to approximately $1.3 billion. The plan does not effect the portion of the bill dealing with supply costs, which are based on wholesale markets conditions.  Brady says National Grid does not profit from the supply side of the bill.   


The New York State Police and other law enforcement agencies across the state are launching their annual ``buckle up'' campaign.  State troopers, including those assigned to the detail that patrols the Thruway, will be joining with local and county law enforcement officers across New York to make sure motorists are using their seatbelts as the summer travel season gears up.  The two-week, zero-tolerance enforcement campaign started Monday, and lasts through June 5th.  Police will be looking for drivers and passengers who aren't buckled in properly.  State police say seatbelt usage saves the lives of thousands of motorist each year.


An ambitious program to install solar panels at New York's public schools, already off to a slow start, has to recruit a new partner after the financial collapse of one of the nation's largest solar companies.  The New York Power Authority says SunEdison's move into bankruptcy court protection last month means the agency has to find at least one other company to join SolarCity as a contractor for the ``K-Solar'' initiative.  The companies had been given territory as recommended contractors by the authority, with SunEdison to handle work in western and central New York and Long Island.  SolarCity, already the beneficiary of major support from Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration, got the balance of the state, excluding New York City.  Cuomo announced K-Solar, part of his one-billion dollar NY-Sun Initiative, in September 2014.