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WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains will be leaving at the end of February to become the head of the rural, Pine Bush Central School District in Orange County, New York.  The district last night sent out a printed press release... saying that Mains would leave the district on February 26th.  Members of the Jamestown School Board says they will address questions regarding Mains’ departure at the regular board meeting at 6 this evening in the Jefferson Middle School auditorium.  He became the city district's superintendent on August 1st of 2013.  During his tenure... board members say the district has made great strides and achieved a number of milestones.  Those include increasing graduation rates from 69-percent in 2012 to 77-percent this past year.  He also worked to increase the district's focus on curriculum and instruction in order to meet the new, more rigorous state standards.  School Board President Paul Abbott says "we have been very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Tim since 2013.  Tim is a tireless professional, and I appreciate everything he has put into our district and our community during his time here."  He says the board will now begin the process of seeking a new superintendent.


There is now a threat of widespread flooding in western New York... including Chautauqua County... with temperatures above freezing the next couple of days.  The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch from 7 this (Thursday) morning through Saturday morning for the region... and, forecasters are keeping an eye on local streams and creeks.  Meteorologist Bob Hamilton in Buffalo says abnormally high temperatures and a prolonged period of rain will melt much of the existing snowpack. Some areas may see over an inch.  Hamilton says Cattaraugus Creek near Sunset Bay will be one of the areas of concern.  Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county has a plan in case flooding should occur... and, he says County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone has his crews ready to go on a moment's notice.  Horrigan is encouraging people who live near creeks and streams to monitor the latest weather information and be prepared to take action should flooding develop.


Jamestown city lawmakers are looking at a new, local property tax abatement incentive for redevelopment of vacant and condemned homes.  That from City Development Director Vince DeJoy... who outlined the proposal for the City Council's Housing Committee... and, the entire council at Monday night's work session.  DeJoy says city officials have discussed such a program for just over a year now... and, he says the idea is to provide a 12-year tax incentive for new single and two-family homeowners. DeJoy says there are a number of criteria involved with the program... including the fact that the property must be residential, vacant or condemned... and, has outstanding code violations.  He says there can also be a plan to put up a new, single or two-family home on the site of a torn-down structure.  Mayor Sam Teresi says there are also stipulations for the tax abatement to take effect... including that all pertinent certificates and permits have been issued.  The abatement would include no taxes for the first through third years... an, 80-percent abatement for year's 4 and 5... all the way to no abatement by Year-12.


Chautauqua County's top-elected official says we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to efforts to reducing property taxes and the costs of local governments.  That's County Executive Vince Horrigan's reaction to a proposal outlined by Governor Cuomo during a State of the State message given Tuesday on Long Island.  Cuomo wants counties to prepare plans for local residents to vote on in November.  During an interview Wednesday morning... Horrigan says the county already formed a Regional Solutions Commission and is identified some projects. Horrigan says there have been some successes including the recent vote in Forestville that clears the way for dissolution.  He also noted the defeat of a plan to dissolve the village of Sherman by two votes.  Horrigan also praised the work the Regional Solutions panel in looking for better ways to carry out services.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing a 750-mile paved biking and hiking Empire State Trail for completion by 2020.  The trail would actually be a network of trails running east-west between Albany and Buffalo and north-south from the Canadian border to Manhattan.  The Democratic governor outlined plans for the network in his state of the state address Tuesday.  Plans call for paving 350 miles to fill gaps in the state's existing trails: the Erie Canalway and the Hudson River Valley Greenway.  State Bike Route 9 that runs along Lake Champlain to Canada would complete the trail from Manhattan.  The Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete; the Greenway nearly 50 percent.  Cuomo says he'll propose $53 million for the first of three phases.


Someone in the Jamestown-area is more than 30-thousand dollars richer.  That after they picked the winning numbers for Thursday night's TAKE 5 drawing.  The New York State Lottery has announced that the top-prize ticket for the January 10th TAKE 5 drawing was sold at Tops Markets on Foote Avenue in Jamestown.  The winning ticket is worth 30-thousand-990 dollars.  The TAKE 5 winner gets the top prize by matching five out of five numbers.  In addition... 247 players each purchased winning tickets worth $376 by matching four out of five numbers for the drawing.  In total, there were 87-thousand-104 TAKE 5 winners for the January 10th drawing.  The winning numbers for the January 10 TAKE 5 drawing were 03-06-17-24-32.  The Lottery encourages everyone who bought a New York Lottery draw game ticket, to check their tickets again, as they could be holding a winner.  Tickets expire one year after the game’s drawing.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are up six-cents a gallon over the past week to nearly 2-dollars-56 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price for last week was 2--49 a gallon... while it was 2-dollars-21 cents per gallon a year ago.  Nationally... the Triple-A says the price continues to increase... and, is now 2-dollars-37 cents a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge reports that price is the highest it's been since June 2016.  Triple-A says gas prices have moved higher by almost three cents per gallon on the week and 17 cents per gallon on the month.  Retail prices have increased for 40 of the past 42 days as a result of market reactions to the OPEC oil cut agreement.