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Firefighters in Warren, Pennsylvania were busy fighting two fires less than two hours apart on Sunday.  The Warren Times Observer reports that the first call was to a structure fire at 315 Morrison Street.  Fire Crews were still at that fire when the call came in for another house fire at 17 Conewango Avenue just before 2pm.  Both fires caused extensive damage to the homes.  Heat was a major problem for firefighters as they battled the blazes.  One firefighter needed stitches to his lip, no other injuries were reported.  The City of Warren Fire Department was assisted by: North Warren, Pleasant, Starbrick, Clarendon, Russell, Sugar Grove, Youngsville, Glade, Sheffield, and City of Warren Police. No Cause has been given for either fire, a State Police Fire Marshall will visit the sites today. The Red Cross provided one hundred hamburgers, water and ice to firefighters on the scenes.


For the final time in the current Amphitheater... for the final time in his presidency, Tom Becker has brought the Chautauqua Instituion season to a close with the traditional three taps of the gavel.  Becker spoke Sunday night about some of the highlights of the 2016 season, and reflected on his 30 plus years at Chautauqua... 13 of them as president. Becker will leave his post at the end of 2016.  Work to remove the current Amphitheater will begin today.
Becker spoke at the final Sacred Song Service of the summer... usually attended by several hundred people.  A crowd of around 1500 gathered for this year's event.  As people left, they were offered a small vial of sawdust from an old Amphitheater bench as a keepsake.


Two people were hurt... but, not seriously... in a one-car crash on Route 394 in the town of Poland late last Saturday night.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene just after 11 PM... and, found that the driver of the vehicle, 21 year-old Jace Warner of Sinclairiville, was eastbound when he apparently fell asleep at the wheel.  Deputies say the car then crossed into the westbound lane, and wound up crashing into a ditch.  Officers say Warner and his passenger, 22 year-old Stevie Provorse of Conewango Valley. were both taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Warner was issued traffic tickets from Poland Town Court for failure to keep right and unsafe/illegal tires.

 

Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly being found with hypodermic needles in their possession during a traffic stop on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte.  Sheriff's officers say they pulled over a car, driven by 29 year-old Randy Rasmussen, shortly after Midnight Friday for allegedly speeding.  Deputies say they then found Rasmussen and his passenger, 26 year-old Andi Rasmussen were found in possession of the needles with no lawful purpose.  Officers say both were issued appearance tickets for criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument for Charlotte Town Court at a later date.

 

They've already been sharing some services... and, sports teams.  However... it's time for the Clymer and Panama Central School Districts to begin looking at a possible merger.  That from the "shared" Superintendent of both districts for the past three years, Bert Lictus.  Lictus says both school boards agreed during a recent, joint meeting, to begin a merger study involving the two.  He says members of both boards believe it's the right time to take a look. Lictus says the biggest factor both district's are looking at is the loss of enrollment... and, of educational opportunity for their students.  He says Panama has had huge losses in recent years... going from 11-hundred-50 students in 1998 to just 460 last year.  Lictus... who is originally from Clymer... says the loses there happened sooner.  He says he was one of 65 people who graduated from there in 1978... but, the number had dropped to 23 last year.  Lictus says he expects the merger study to take about 13 to 16 months.

 

New York state lawmakers passed fewer bills during the 2016 session than in past year, continuing a trend in recent years.  This year 618 pieces of legislation passed the full Legislature before lawmakers adjourned in June.  In 2015... they passed 718 bills.  The data comes from an analysis released Friday by the New York Public Interest Research Group, which examined the results of the legislative session following its adjournment.  While the number of bills passed each year has varied widely in past decades, the number has trended downward in the past several years.  One explanation is that lawmakers now often insert various policy measures into the budget, avoiding the need for many pieces of separate legislation.

 

Last week's announcement that Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk is adding 50 full-time jobs may be an indication of coming attractions.  The north county company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Charleston, says it's been a great year for the company helped by strong ice cream sales. Charleston says he is very excited about the company's future... and, the plans that may be in the works.  He says they are looking into financial assistance to help with a potential expansion of their facility.  The 50 jobs announced on Wednesday are not tied to any new project and will be added to the current workforce that totals nearly 500 full-time employees.  Fieldbrook Foods is owned by Arbor Investments based in Chicago. 

 

The Food and Drug Administration wants all U.S. blood banks to start screening for Zika virus, a major expansion intended to protect the nation's blood supply from the mosquito-borne disease.  The new advisory means all U.S. states and territories will need to begin testing blood donations for Zika.  Previously, the requirement was limited to areas with active Zika transmission, such as Puerto Rico and two Florida counties.  Blood banks already test donations for HIV, hepatitis, West Nile virus and other blood-borne viruses.  Last month... the FDA told blood centers in Miami and Fort Lauderdale to immediately stop collecting donations until they could begin screening each unit of blood for Zika.  The order followed now-confirmed reports of local Zika transmission - the first in the continental U.S.

 

Freshman U-S Senator Pat Toomey is the rare conservative Republican who's running for re-election with the support of gun-control activists... including billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  Toomey has separated himself from most GOP Senate colleagues by refusing to endorse Donald Trump.  Meanwhile, he's facing questions from skeptical Republicans over his votes to expand background checks.  His stance so angered gun-rights group the American Gun Owners Alliance that they plan to back his Democratic opponent, Katie McGinty, to send a message to Republicans who deviate from orthodoxy on guns.  Toomey points to his support for various gun-rights causes.  But... he also says he doesn't see a conflict between the right to own a gun and a background check.

 

Local News

WJTN Headlines for Wed., Feb. 24, 2021

Ground to be broken in April for new Love's Travel Center in Ripley... Ground is expected to be broken in April for a new, $12-million travel center project on Shortman Road in the town of Ripley...

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