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WJTN News Headlines

The search for a Conewango Valley man missing since last Saturday night... and, presumed drowned in Chautauqua Lake... will resume this morning.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace following a second, full-day of searching an area just north of Chautauqua Institution for 48 year-old Ricky Whipple.  Gerace says it was another, difficult day... due mainly to the warm and humid conditions.  He adds they've used every resource available to try and find the victim. Gerace says the search has been "very frustrating" as -- all told -- the department has rung up "hundreds of man hours" looking for Whipple... who was thrown from an inner tube he was riding on about 7 PM last Saturday.  The operator of the boat pulling the tube said Whipple went under the water... and, never re-surfaced.  Gerace says the water in the area where the victim fell in is abut 25-feet deep.  By Sunday... the search had become a recovery operation. 


A Jamestown woman is dead... while a city man was seriously hurt... in a single-car accident at the intersection of Buffalo Street and Willard Street Extension in the town of Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Police now tell us that 42 year-old Mark Myers was eastbound on Buffalo Street Extension shortly before 10 PM last Saturday night when he lost control of the vehicle.  Officers say Myer's car slammed into a tree at the intersection with Willard Street Extension.  Myer's passenger... 49 year-old Debra Wigren... was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police add that Myers was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie.  He was then transported to the University of  Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh for further treatment.  A witness tells us the 1968 model Chevrolet Camero was operating at an apparent high-rate of speed when the accident occured.  The Sheriff's Department Accident Recontruction Team is now investigating.


City lawmakers have approved a 350-thousand dollar loan from the Jamestown Local Development Corporation to help get a new, downtown hotel up and running.  The City Council voted 9-0 last night to approve the loan for the Hamister Group to acquire the former Ramada Inn location at 150 West Fourth Street... and, convert it into a Doubletree Inn.  City Development Director Vince DeJoy says the loan is a crucial piece of the funding picture for Hamister... doing business locally at H-H Jamestown. DeJoy adds that the JLDC Loan will actually be doled out near the end of the 14.1-million dollar project early next year.  It was initially hoped that the hotel would by up and running by August of last year.  However... DeJoy says the discovery of some kind of gas or oil residue in the ground slowed the project down.  In fact... he says it took about a year for Hamister to address the issue to the state Department of Environmental Conservation's satisfaction. 


Local Congressman Tom Reed says elimination of the nation's export tax will help increase manufacturing jobs because more companies will bring their headquarters back to the U-S.  Reed offered the proposal as part of the House Republican's plan to cut, and streamline the 70-thousand page tax code.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media... the Corning Republican said a "simpler and fairer" tax code is the "right policy...."
Reed believes that eliminating the United States' export tax will intice the return of at least some of the 14 of the top 20 largest corporations... who have moved their headquarters out of the country since the 1960s.  He also noted that -- under the GOP Plan -- the individual tax code will be reduced from seven to three brackets... which may allow tax returns to filed on a form the size of a postcard.  Reed says the U-S workforce is "second to none... and, federal tax policy robs them of the jobs they need and deserve."


A former corrections officer who inadvertently helped two killers escape from a northern New York prison is free after serving four months in the county jail.  Gene Palmer was released Monday after serving two-thirds of his six-month sentence.  He declined to comment to reporters outside the jail.  The 58-year-old Palmer admitted providing Richard Matt and David Sweat with tools, paint and access to a catwalk electrical box at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.  But... he said he never knew they planned to break out.  Palmer gave the inmates frozen hamburger containing the hacksaw blade they used to escape.  He was convicted of promoting prison contraband, tampering with evidence and official misconduct.  After a three-week manhunt last June, Matt was shot and killed.  Sweat was wounded and caught.


Showers and thunderstorms brought some much needed rain to portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties very early Monday morning.  However... it hasn't made much of a dent in the abnormally dry conditions that have been gripping the region since early April.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds in Buffalo, who says some locations saw nearly an inch of rain overnight. But... while that sounds like a lot of rain, the area is still facing a significant rainfall deficit.  Reynolds says there's actually been a rainfall deficit for the past three months.  A cold front will bring some more moisture today... but Reynolds doesn't expect any major change in the weather pattern over the next week to ten days.


Creative expression is being explored during this first week of the 2016 season at Chautauqua Institution.  Author Roger Rosenblatt is back to talk with his many friends about their writting... and, what's behind it.  Monday... News Broadcaster and Author, Jane Pauley and her husband, Doonsbury creator, Garry Trudeau... are being interviewed on the Amphitheater stage.  Rosenblatt told our Dennis Webster that Pauley and Trudeau are very unique.
Pauley has authored two books... but, doesn't really consider herself an author.  Her first book was "Skywritting."  The second was called "Your Life Calling... which included the stories of 37 people who have wound up living longer than they thought they would... and, what they wound up doing with the "extra time."  Pauley says it was interesting to do the book because most of the people read up on re-inventing themselves... and, kind of floundered in the dark until they decided what they were going to do.  Several other authors will talk with Rosenblatt through the week... which concludes Friday with Actor and Author Alan Alda and his wife, Arlene, taking the stage.