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WJTN News Headlines

We will see some significant changes in our weather during the day today in the Jamestown-area.  The change begins this afternoon... as the National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 1 PM until 7 PM Sunday for some significant snow in some parts of the regioin.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton says the cold air that's been bottled up in the Arctic the past couple of weeks has finally reached the Upper Midwest of the United States.  He says that's coming our way.
Hamilton says the lake effect snow won't be very well organized when it starts... but, he says it'll beginin the higher terrain of northern Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... and, southern Erie County.  He says we'll get a few inches initially in the Chautauqua Ridge, and ski country... and, it'll become more organized later on Friday.  Hamilton says the precipitation will start as rain tomorrow (this) morning... then turn into a rain-snow mix in the afternoon as temperatures begin to fall from the upper 30s to the upper 20s by evening.  By Sunday evening... he says some locations will have up to 2-feet of snow on the ground. 
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a 15-year lease extension with Jamestown Aviation Company to remain the fixed-base operator at the County Airport near Jamestown.  Lawmakers approved the measure at last night's monthly meeting in a 15-to-1 vote... with Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro casting the lone "no" vote.  County Executive Vince Horrigan, who negotiated the new deal, says the agreement reduces the county's local share of costs... and, will bring in about 23-hundred dollars more a month in rent. The county will see a 2-percent annual increase in the rent from Jamestown Aviation.  However... the fixed-base operator will be able to terminate the contract without cause with two-years notice if the airport still has commercial passenger service... one year if it doesn't.  Legislator Nazzaro says he has problems with a 15 year agreement that gives Jamestown Aviation termination rights... but, none for the county.  The current rent for Jamestown Aviation to handle the fueling, hangar and parking work is 37-hundred-dollars a month... with 24-hundred of that subject to the 2-percent fee increase each year.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't favor a proposal by the Trump Adminstration to dole out Medicaid funding to individual states in the form of strictly "block grants" only.  The Corning Republican also agrees that such an idea -- on it's own -- could lead to some contentious debate in the House and Senate.  Reed says there are about 180 members of Congress who come from state's where there had been an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act... including New York.  He says it's something that will be discussed as part of the repeal and replacement of the ACA. Reed adds that the issue becomes a sticky one for politicians in Washington because there are Democrat, and Republican-led state's that have taken part in the Medicaid expansion.  He says that's why the GOP may have to go in another direction.  Chautauqua County would face a significant cut in Medicaid if the just the block grant program were to be implemented.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
Congressional Republicans are heading to Philadelphia where they will hear from President Donald Trump at their annual policy retreat.  The joint gathering of House and Senate Republicans comes as Trump's presidency gets off to a rocky start. Republicans hope to come together and chart a course forward on a range of policy issues, particularly repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's health care law.  Lawmakers will also hear from British Prime Minister Theresa May, the first time a foreign head of state has addressed such a gathering.  And football star Peyton Manning will appear.  The two-day conclave of work sessions, speeches and schmoozing gets under way Wednesday, with the high point coming Thursday with Trump's lunchtime speech.  Lawmakers hope the gathering will help solidify their agenda for the year.
The Jamestown school district has received some good fiscal news from New York state.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the district is no longer among the school systems in New York facing any level of "fiscal stress."  DiNapoli released his office's listing of 59 school districts facing at least a "susceptibility" to fiscal stress.  Over the past couple of years... Jamestown was considered to be in "moderate stress..." but, no longer is.  District officials say that's great news... and, more information will be forthcoming.  DiNapoli says the only district facing any kind of fiscal stress in Chautauqua County now is the Ripley District... which is "susceptible" to fiscal stress.
The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you.  Dozens of restaurants are seeking "sanctuary" status, a designation owners hope will help protect employees in an immigrant-heavy industry and tone down fiery rhetoric sparked by the presidential campaign.  First inspired by churches... the label is something cities and other public entities have sought to offer local protections to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, whether it's barring police from asking citizens about immigration status or refusing to cooperate with federal agents.  Roughly 80 restaurants across the country have signed up, from down-home delis to upscale bistros.  The restaurants agree to anti-discrimination policies, display signs that pronounce their sanctuary status and receive know-your-rights training - what to do if there's a workplace raid by immigration agents.