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WJTN News Headlines

The Panama and Clymer school board's have agreed to move ahead with having a feasibility study done on a potential merger of the two districts.  During a joint meeting of the panel's Tuesday night in Clymer... the boards agreed to have BOCES Superintendent David O'Rourke to work with Panama and Clymer Superintendent Bert Lictus to solicit proposals to do the study.  Lictus says O'Rourke was on hand for the meeting... and, further discussed the process. Lictus adds there would first be a "straw poll" vote... then a "binding" vote by district residents.  However... he says that is still a ways off, and he says it's important to get district residents all the information they need to make a decision.  Lictus says they'll be working quickly, though, to get the RFPs out so they can get them back... and, decide on who will do the study.  He says there is no definate timetable for the study to be done... but, adds there are only about "3 or 4" different entities in Western New York that can do such studies.


A Kennedy woman who has been a corrections counselor at the Gowanda Correctional Facility has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a minor inmate at the facility.  State Police in Colllins say their Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested 35 year-old Megan Trask following a recent investigation.  Troopers say Trask is charged with Felony third-degree rape... and, Official Misconduct.


Voters in the Jamestown-area will get to see and hear all the candidates for Chautauqua County and state elected offices in one setting next week.  The American Association of University Women... Chautauqua County League of Women Voters... and, Jamestown Community College will co-host the candidates forum at JCC's Weeks Room.  League Spokeswoman B. Delores Thompson says the forum will run from 7 to 9 PM next Tuesday, October 25th.
Thompson says Minda Rae Amiron heads up the effort to schedule the candidates... and, the locations for the forums.  She says the candidates for state office will be high-lighted first... with the two state Senate candidates -- incumbant Cathy Young and challenger Lee Hyson.  Young has the Republican and other lines on the ballot... while Hyson has the Democrat, Working Families, and Women's Equality Parties.  The other part of the first hour will include Assembly candidates, incumbant Andy Goodell and Jason Perdue.  Goodell is the endorsed Republican, Conservative, Independence, and Reform Parties candidate.  Perdue is backed by the Democratic and Working Families Parties.


A celebrity turned senior advocate was in the north county yesterday to announce an endorsement in the 23rd Congressional District race.  Jon Bauman... who is better known as "Bowzer" from Sha Na Na... was in Dunkirk to announce the group he co-founded -- 'Senior Votes Count' -- is backing Democratic challenger John Plumb.  Bauman says they like where Plumb stands on the issues... and, are critical of incumbent Republican Tom Reed's voting record. Plumb, who grew up watching Sha Na Na, says he appreciates having the backing of Bauman and the organization.  He says it's an honor because he remembers watching Sha Na Na at his grandmother's house years ago.  Plumb has been criss-crossing the district in recent weeks, speaking on a number issues.  He's challenging Reed who is seeking his fourth term in the House of Representatives.


One person suffered minor injuries after their car was struck by another vehicle that apparently ran a red light at the intersection of Fairmount Avenue and Southwestern Drive in the town of Ellicott.  Town police say a 29 year-old Jamestown woman was eastbound on Fairmount about 8:30 yesterday morning... when she didn't see the red light due to the angle of the sun.  Officers say her car collided with the other vehicle... which was northbound on Southwestern Drive.  Police say the 19 year-old Panama woman was turning left onto Fairmount Avenue when her car was struck.  Officers say the 19 year-old was treated at WCA Hospital for minor injuries.  The unidentified Jamestown woman was ticketed for failure to stop at a stop light.


A broad coalition of environmentalists, anti-hunger advocates and agriculture groups is urging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation giving farmers a tax break for donating food to food banks.  Writing to the Democratic governor earlier this week... the group said the bill would address a growing hunger problem while reducing food waste.  Farmers already donate millions of pounds of food every year, but say the credit of up to $5,000 annually would reduce the costs of harvesting and transporting surplus crops that would otherwise go to waste.  The coalition's 144 members include the New York Farm Bureau, regional food banks, the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council.  Cuomo vetoed the bill last year because lawmakers didn't include it in the budget.


Federal agents have arrested the owner of several western New York restaurants on charges he employed workers who were in the country illegally.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul (HOh-Kul), Junior, says Sergio Ramses Mucino was among three people charged Tuesday with conspiracy to harbor aliens.  He has pleaded not guilty.  Mucino operates the Don Tequila and Agave restaurants in Buffalo and two others in nearby suburbs.  Prosecutors say the majority of those he hired are in the country without legal permission and were paid in cash and housed at nearby apartments which he and the co-defendants rented or owned.  Several employees have been charged with illegal re-entry.  Mucino was released on $85,000 bail after appearing Tuesday in federal court.


Professors, students and supporters are taking to picket lines at state universities around Pennsylvania, including dozens at West Chester University, outside Philadelphia.  Faculty members went on strike Wednesday at 14 Pennsylvania state universities, affecting more than 100-thousand students.  At West Chester, picketers are carrying signs and chanting "2, 4, 6, 8 why don't you negotiate?"  Victoria Tischio, a full-time tenured English professor, says some 500 of the university's about 950 professors had signed up for the walkout.  About 77 percent of the university's professors are full-time union members.  The school's approximately 17, 000 students received an email from administrators telling them that the university will not close.  University spokeswoman Nancy Gainer says students are expected to attend classes because not all professors will strike.