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WJTN News Headlines

Jamestown fire investigators are still looking into the cause of last Saturday morning's apartment house fire that killed a nearly 2-year-old boy.  City Fire Lieutenant Bruce Sheldon says crews were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 8 AM.  Sheldon says firefighters were alerted to the fact a child was still inside the second-floor apartment when they arrived by the boy's mother.  He says crews had to fight smoke and fire coming from inside. Fire officials says they still haven't heard back from the medical examiner about whether the boy died from burns or smoke inhalation.  However... Sheldon says the bedroom was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival.  Sheldon says two other people -- the child's mother and an uncle, were treated after trying to rescue the child.  He says both had smoke inhalation and some burns.  No names have yet been released.  Sheldon says firefighters had the flames knocked down fairly quickly.  An off-duty shift of 15 firefighters and a shift commander was called in.  Sheldon says another child alerted the mother to the fire.  Crews were at the scene about 2 hours.


Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly dealing Methamphetime during a traffic stop last Friday night on the city's westside.  City police say they spotted the driver of the car, 39 year-old Walter Whitfield, using his cell phone while driving his vehicle on West Third Stgreet.  Officers say Whitfield was pulled over near the Best Western Hotel... and, was acting "very suspiciously" when he was pulled over.  Police say they found that he was wanted on several warrants out of city court.  Further investigation uncovered several hundred baggies commonly used to sell illegal drugs... 14.8-grams of Meth... and, scales.  Whitfield and his passenger, 35 year-old Lannie Philbrick, were arrested for second and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.


The Warren County School District will be back in session on Tuesday... following a "very productive" negotiation session with the teacher's union last Saturday afternoon.  Media One Group News received a call from a district official Sunday about school resuming... but, he did not provide details.  However... a press release on the district's website says the meeting resulted in a "conceptual agreement" that resolves all outstanding issues.  At this point... officials say they and leaders of the Warren County Education Association are working quickly to put final details in writting.  The district's press release adds that with the agreement in place, "both parties look forward to completing a final agreement, and moving on to work together for their common purpose of serving kids."


The Jamestown City Council formally begins it's review of Mayor Sam Teresi's proposed, 35-million dollar, 2017 budget this evening.  Teresi says the spending plan would push the city to it's constitutional taxing limit... but, would still have an 878-thousand dollar shortfall.  Lawmakers will look at the Public Works and Parks Departments during this evening's session.  On this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program on the Media One Group stations... Teresi emphasized he wants to avoid borrowing money for operations. Teresi's budget plan already includes a couple of restructuring moves to save money.  He says the most savings would be seen if 25 to 30-percent of the city's retirees would accept an incentive to take another Medicare Supplimental Insurance program.  He says it would save both the city... and, the retirees a "significant" amount of money because they would be given an incentive to get out of the city's self-insured plan.  Teresi says the city has "pitched" the plan to the New York state Restructuring Board they have been working with to try and find costs savings in the budget.  The city has budgeted a 600-thousand dollar savings from the move.  Tonight's session begins at 6:30 PM.


The union representing about 350 workers at SKF Aeroengine in Falconer has overwhelmingly rejected the company's latest contract offer... but, will not be going on strike at this point.  That from UAW Local 338 President Rick Weilacher... who says the vote was taken late this past Saturday morning.  Weilacher declined to give exact vote totals.  However... he did says that union members will continue working at SKF while trying to work out a new agreement.


A Dunkirk School Board member who recently became the city's Public Works Director will no longer be able to serve on the board.  Board President David Damico (Dah-mih-Co) says that Robert Bankowski had wanted to continue to serve on the board... but, had to step down because of state education law.  Damico says... under Small City School Districts... the law says a city employee cannot serve on the board.  Besides being Dunkirk's DPW Director... Bankoski is also a member of the Chautauqua County Legislature.  The Board will begin an active search to fill the vacant board seat.


Donald Trump has some choice words for "Saturday Night Live."  The Republican presidential candidate tweeted early Sunday morning that the show's skit depicting him this week was a "hit job."  Trump went on to write that it's "time to retire" the show, calling it "boring and unfunny."  He added that Alec Baldwin's portrayal of him "stinks."  Saturday's show featured a send-up of the second presidential debate last held last Sunday at Washington University in St. Louis.  Baldwin, who retweeted Trump's critique, has been playing him on "Saturday Night Live" since its 42nd season kicked off a few weeks ago, with Kate McKinnon depicting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.  Trump himself hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live" last November.


A Westfield teenager has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of marijuana... and, drug paraphernalia... during a noise investigation in the town of Sherman.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 76 shortly before 1 AM Saturday.  Deputies say they found 18 year-old Brandon DeJohn when they arrived... and, found him with one-ounce of pot, paraphernalia, and a digital scale.  They say Dejohn was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana... and, was released with an appearance ticket for Sherman Town Court.


The natural gas industry is challenging new regulations in Pennsylvania that govern surface development of shale gas wells.  Drillers in the Marcellus Shale filed suit against the state's Department of Environmental Protection and the state's Environmental Quality Board over rules that took effect last week.  The regulations have been under development since 2011... and, are the first major rewrite since energy companies began drilling in the Marcellus Shale gas formation. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a trade group, says some of the new rules are vague, burdensome and unlawful. The lawsuit seeks to block their enforcement.  The suit was filed last Thursday in Commonwealth Court.

New York tax officials expect about 350-thousand state income tax returns to be filed ahead of the extension deadline.  New York residents who were granted a filing extension must file their returns on or before today.  Once the returns are finalized, the Tax Department says it will have processed more than 10-million personal income tax returns this year.