Community Spotlight, the area's longest running local public affairs radio program, airs on all six Media One Radio Group stations each weekend and is also available to hear in our Podcast Section.  Each week we sit down with a community leader or another special guest to talk about issues within our community.  

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WJTN News Headlines

Lake Effect Snow returned to Chautauqua County overnight after spending Thursday afternoon and evening in the South Buffalo and Orchard Park areas.  The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning though 5 PM today... and, parts of northern Chautauqua County could see another 12 to 18 inches of snow by tomorrow night.  That from Forecaster Bill Hibbert in Buffalo... who says most of the snow will fall from the Chautauqua Ridge north to the Lake Erie Shoreline area.The Jamestown area and north saw about 5 and 9 inches of snow during the night.  Hibbert says the lake effect bands will stay down here though the end of the lake effect system tonight.  He says the greatest amounts of snow will fall in the higher elevations this time... namely the Chautauqua Ridge.  Again... Hibbert says the band have moved back into the North County area late tonight.  The Weather Service is continuing our Lake Effect Snow Warning from now through 5 PM.


Parts of upstate New York near lakes Erie and Ontario had already received nearly 2 feet of snow yesterday morning... while forecasters say some areas could get up to 4 feet by the coming weekend.  The National Weather Service says areas south of Buffalo had gotten up to 22 inches by Thursday morning... and, parts of the Tug Hill region north of Syracuse have received nearly 20 inches.  Weather service meteorologists say lake-effect storms blowing off the eastern end of Lake Ontario could dump up to 48 inches of snow across the sparsely populated region by the time storms lessen later Friday.


Local State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he's "very pleased" to have been named Assistant Minority Leader Pro Tempore for this year's session.  Republican Minority Leader Brian Kolb of Canandaigua announced late Wednesday that Goodell will fill the position this year... and, will play a "vital role" in preparation of floor debates.  The Jamestown-area Republican says he'll be involved in determining what bills from Majority Democrats the GOP wants to question. Kolb says Goodell has "worked diligently over the years to fight for the issues that matter to his constituents in Chautauqua County."  In addition to being Ass't Pro Temp... Goodell says he'll again be the Ranking GOP member of the Assembly Social Services Committee... where he will work again on Welfare Reform to try and break the "cycle of poverty" for so many people.  He says he will also be on the Judiciary... Government Operations... and, Cities Committees.  Goodell has represented the 150th Assembly District since 2010.


State Senator Cathy Young will again serve as the chair of the Senate's powerful Finance Committee as she begins her sixth, full-term in officer.  Young was sworn in in Albany yesterday as the Senate began the 2017 legislative session.  She is also an active member of several other committees.  Young says serving has been "a tremendous honor..." and, adds that the 2017 session "will be a busy and important year, especially since there are so many significant issues that need to be addressed.  Our hardworking residents deserve significant tax relief, our business climate needs to be strengthened, and our communities need a strong voice against the tax-and-spend polices being pushed by downstate legislators."  The Olean Republican adds that she will "continue to sponsor legislation that improves people’s quality of life, protects public safety and nurtures economic development.  People need and deserve to have good paying jobs.  Our young people must have career opportunities locally, so they can stay after they graduate."


Governor Cuomo is taking some heat for his decision to deliver his "State of the State" message in six different regions of the state -- including Albany.  However... the one in Albany won't be given while the legislature is in session.  That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who is among those lawmakers who aren't happy about the governor's decision.  Goodell says he likes the idea of continuing the regional "State of the State" messages... but, adds. One of Cuomo's more regional stops will be in Buffalo next Monday... where he will give a Western New York "State of the State" at 3 PM.  However... Goodell says he's in session in Albany on Monday, and cannot be at the Buffalo presentation.  Cuomo's presentation will be delivered at the Center for the Arts at the University of Buffalo's North Campus.


New York state lawmakers have gathered in Albany to begin their work for 2017.  The Senate and Assembly both convened Wednesday for the first time since they adjourned last summer.  This year's six-month session is expected to feature big debates over the cost of higher education, government ethics and Uber's proposal to expand into upstate cities like Buffalo and Syracuse.  Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, says lawmakers will also work to stand up to President-elect Donald Trump if he and Congressional Republicans move to rein in abortion rights, immigration, health care benefits or efforts to fight climate change.  Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo skipped the Legislature's first day.  Cuomo has had frosty relations with lawmakers in recent months and chose to hold an event in New York City instead.


Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are on the rise again this week... with prices now at 2-dollars-55 cents in many places.  At the start of the New Year... the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price increased to 2-dollars-49-cents for regular, unleaded.  However... it's now jumped about six more cents, making the increase since last week about 10-cents a gallon.  Nationally... the average has increased for 35 of the past 36 days, largely due to market reactions to last fall’s OPEC deal.  Pump prices increased by six cents on the week to about 2-dollars-35 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  It's up by 18 cents per gallon on the month, and are up by 36 cents on the year.  Retail averages in the region continued to climb higher throughout the busy holiday travel weekend with drivers paying the highest New Year’s gas prices since 2014.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to increase a child care tax credit for middle-class parents.  The Democrat said Thursday that his plan would raise the average child care benefit from 169-million to 376-million dollars for households making between $60,000 and $150,000.  If approved by lawmakers... the change would cost the state $42 million and help an estimated 200,000 families.  Cuomo says too many parents choose not to work because they can't afford quality child care.  In tax year 2014... almost 520,000 New York families received child care tax credits totaling nearly $189 million.  Cuomo announced the plan ahead of a series of state-of-the-state addresses next week when he is expected to detail his proposals for the year.


A local school board in upstate New York has voted to hire a law firm in the board's efforts to remove a Donald Trump supporter over his insulting comments about President Barack Obama and his wife.  The Buffalo School Board voted during a special meeting Wednesday night to hire an attorney to petition the state Education Department to remove board member Carl Paladino.  Paladino, a wealthy developer who co-chaired Trump's presidential campaign in New York, has said he won't resign.  He wasn't at the meeting.  Last month... the 70-year-old former New York gubernatorial candidate told a Buffalo alternative newspaper that he wanted the president to die of mad cow disease and first lady Michelle Obama to "return to being a male."  Paladino said the comments weren't meant for publication.