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

An Erie, Pennsylvania-area man has died after being struck by a vehicle in a utility work-zone on Kinzua Road in Warren County's Mead Township.  State Police in Warren say the driver of the vehicle, 78 year-old Eugene Schwanke of Warren, was westbound just before Noon Sunday when he approached the unmarked work area.  Troopers say Schwanke allegedly failed to see a flagger, who was standing on or near the west shoulder, and, the worker was struck.  Police say the flagger... identified as 46 year-old Michael Robertson of Waterford, Pennsylvania... was thrown into a nearby lawn.  Troopers say he ws flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie where he died several hours later.  The investigation into the accident is continuing.



Temperatures will rise to above normal levels again this week, but expect some icy weather before the warm up.  The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory now through 10 this morning for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties.  Meteorologist Dave Thomas says up to a tenth of an inch of ice is possible. The freezing rain will eventually transition to just plain rain by Tuesday afternoon.  Thomas says temperatures are expected to remain on the mild side for the next couple of weeks, but there are indications that arctic air will return later this month.  He says the cold, artic air, is currently bottled up around the Arctic, will begin to move further south.  Until the pattern change... temperatures are expected to remain generally above normal.



It's a "huge start."  Those are the feelings of one of the main people on the front-line of the Heroin and Opioid Drug Abuse crisis in the Jamestown-area.  The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, says he was "absolutely thrilled" to hear the news about the new, 20-bed long-term treatment facility that will be opening soon at UPMC Chautauqua WCA.  Huber says he was in a meeting with County Executive Vince Horrigan and county Mental Hygiene Director Pat Brinkman in Mayville when they got the word. O'Brien and UPMC Chautauqua WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright announced the 700-thousand dollar grant... and, the process they still have to go through to get the facility up and running at the Jones Memorial Health Center on Glasgow Avenue.  Huber says he's also pleased that the facility will deal with each case in a "highly-individualized" manner... which is one of the things that's "very nice" about the proposal.  He says having those local beds means local addicts aren't having to fight for beds in Erie, Pittsburgh or Buffalo.



There will be two parts to the 2.5-million dollar fiscal--economic funding from New York state... which is designed to help the city of Jamestown get back on solid financial footing.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi says city officials received word recently from state Division of Budget, breaking down the money... and, what it will be used for.  Teresi says the largest chunk, 1.5-million dollars, will go towards the effort to move retirees of the city's own health-insurance plan.  He says it will fund a formal study, and support that effort. Teresi says the state will incentivize the program by providing a payment to retirees to help them avoid payments for their health care under Medicare... or some other program.  He adds the other one-million dollars will be used to help plug the city's 825-thousand dollar funding gap... and, support consolidating services.  Teresi says all the moves are geared towards making city operations more efficent... and, less costly.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.



As the nation celebrated the life of the late Martin Luther King, Junior yesterday... a large crowd turned out for a luncheon that was held at the Moose Lodge in Dunkirk to reflect on the slain civil rights leader's dream and how to restore it.  The luncheon's theme, "Rise Up-Restore the Dream," was the focus of guest speaker Dr. Cedric Howard.  The State University of New York at Fredonia's Vice President for Student Affairs says that Dr. King's dream is "not a one step process..." As the nation prepares for a new president to take office on Friday... Dr. Howard told us we can all make a difference -- locally -- when it comes to furthering Dr. King's dream.  He says first, we need to have "attentive ears..." and, realize we're all in this together.  The Luncheon Committee also presented the Janice Slaton Esq. scholarships.  Among the winners, Chad Butts who will be attending Jamestown Community College's Dunkirk Campus to pursue a career in criminal justice.



The state's official Martin Luther King Day observance was held yesterday at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center adjacent to the Capitol.  Emmy-winning violinist Damien Escobar joined the Syracuse Children's Chorus and others in performing at the annual event.  Escobar appeared on the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent" and has performed on numerous talk shows and at the White House.  Education advocate Geoffrey Canada delivered the keynote address.  He's an internationally recognized advocate for children and innovator in the field of education.  There was also a performance by actress and singer Tina Fabrique, best known for her award-winning portrayal of Ella Fitzgerald in "Ella" in regional theaters. 



Tax season is looming in New York.  The state Department of Taxation and Finance says the income tax filing season officially begins Monday, January 23rd.  The deadline to file 2016 tax returns will be a few days later this year - on April 18th.  That's because the traditional April 15 deadline falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day will be observed in Washington D.C. that Monday, which pushes the federal and state deadline to Tuesday, April 18th.  New York tax officials are reminding residents that electronic tax return filers typically receive refunds twice as fast as paper filers.