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WJTN News Headlines

For the first time ever... the deer tick population in Chautauqua County is showing the presense of the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.  That from the county's director of Environmental Health, Mark Stow, who says they recently received word from the state Department of Health that the bacteria showed up their most recent tick surveillance across New York state.  Stow says Lyme Disease was initially more of a concern for hikers in the woods.  But, he says now you can get it from a tick in your backyard. Stow says deer ticks are around from May through November... though they are now primarily what he calls "Nymph Ticks..." which are about the size of a poppy seed.  He says they are a little larger later in the year.  Stow says deer ticks tend to live in shady, moist areas at ground level.  Stow says it's best to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation, as much as possible.  Stow also says check yourself within a couple of hours of being outdoors to more easily find ticks.  For more information... call 1-800-604-6789.


New York will now limit opioid drug prescriptions to seven days of painkillers, following a patient's initial visit to a doctor.  During a ceremony late Wednesday morning... Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the new law... saying it's among four significant measures that he and state lawmakers are enacting to address the addiction crisis across the state with opioids and heroin.  Cuomo says his own daughter was prescribed a 30-day painkiller supply after having her tonsils out, far more than anyone needs for that procedure.  Other new measures require insurers to cover initial inpatient drug treatment without prior approval and extend from 48 to 72 hours the time someone can be held for emergency treatment.  The governor says another measure will add 2,500 addiction treatment slots statewide.


A village know for it's popular night spots along Chautauqua Lake is teaming up the Chautauqua Area Regional Transit System to provide free rides home on Friday and Saturday nights during the Summer.  Starting this Friday and continuing through August 13th... County Executive Vince Horrigan says CARTS buses will have two runs each night as part of the program called "Get Home Safe From The Point...." Horrigan says the program... which involves the Village Casino, Southern Tier Brewery and Arthur R. Gren, Company... encourages people to be responsible by not drinking and driving.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says he "fully supports" the program... calling it an "innovative way to help keep intoxicated drivers for operating on our roadways."  He says it may very well avoid potential tragedy.  The free service will drop off riders directly to their homes or hotels in the Bemus Point, Mayville, Lakewood or Jamestown areas.


An increase in state funding has allowed the University of Buffalo's Dental School to greatly expand it's services to underserved areas of the western Southern Tier.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who was able to get 371-thousand dollars in the 2016-17 budget for the "S-miles To Go" program that visits more than 20 area school districts during the year.  UB Dental School Dean Joe Zambon (ZAM-bon) says the added funding has allowed them to expand the program by 30-percent. The "S-miles To Go" trailer was at Bush Elementary School yesterday... where some 12 to 15 children will be seen each day it's there.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says the collaboration with the University is an "incredible asset" because the school district doesn't have the ability to do this.  In addition to seeing more children who may never see a dentist until their later years... the program also provides hands-on experience for it's dental students.  She adds it may also influence them to work in underserved areas.  For more information on the program... call 1-866-254-0052.


A council representing the eight Great Lakes states has voted to allow Waukesha, Wisconsin, unprecedented access to Lake Michigan as its drinking water source.  The city of 70,000 in the Milwaukee suburbs won unanimous approval earlier this week from eight states that are members of a regional compact designed to prevent water raids from afar.  Waukesha is only 17 miles from Lake Michigan... but, lies just outside the Great Lakes watershed boundary.  It needed unanimous approval from the compact states to draw water from the lake.
The city says its groundwater is tainted with radium.  The council approved several amendments designed to ensure that conditions it placed on Waukesha's application could be enforced.


The village of Fredonia's Department of Public Works Director is not on the job... and, it's not known when he will return to his duties.  We have learned that Jack Boland has been placed on suspension.  We asked Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis about Boland's status and the mayor did confirm the suspension.  Dr. Landis also confirmed that she has not re-appointed him to the position... but, she would not elaborate further.


State wildlife management workers have safely removed a black bear from a tree on a western New York college campus.  Local media report that the bear was first spotted early Wednesday morning in a tree next to a parking lot at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  A crew from the Department of Environmental Conservation arrived on the scene and set up a net under the tree.  A dart fired from tranquilizer gun was used to sedate the bear, which fell into the net.  A DEC official says the bear... believed to be about a year old... will be checked out before being taken by truck to the Southern Tier south of Rochester, where it will be released into the wild.