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WJTN News Headlines

An Amish teenager from Cattaraugus County was killed early last weekend when he was trampled to death by a horse-drawn cart he was using to haul a wood log in Conewango.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley have now identified the boy as 14 year-old Neil Raber of Northeast Road.  Deputies say Raber was using the cart to pull the log down a hill in a wooded area just before 9 AM last Friday when the cart hit something... and, he was thrown to the ground.  Officers were called to the scene... along with Conewango and Ellington Fire crews... State Forest Rangers... and, Randolph EMS.  Police say they were unable to revive the boy... who was pronounced dead at the scene by Cattaraugus County Coroner Howie Van Rensselaer.
A Salamanca man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine in the area of the Cattaraugus County city.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 22 year-old Randy Redeye of Washington Street early last weekend on one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... and, one count of third-degree criminal sale.  Task Force members say the arrest came following a lengthy investigation by the task force... along with the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office... State Police and Salamanca City Police.  Redeye was arraigned... and, sent to the Little Valley jail on 25-hundred dollars cash bail.
A few hundred county leaders from across New York state talked about a wide-range of issues... including ways to better consolidate and merge services... during the state Association of Counties recent legislative conference in Albany.  That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who was joined for the NYSAC Conference by Public Facilities Director George Spanos... county Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler... and, new Finance Director Kitty Crow.  Horrigan feels it was a very successful trip. That's the New York state budget... which Governor Andrew Cuomo presented in late January.  The state legislature is now reviewing the package in committee.  Horrigan says the governor himself also addressed NYSAC during a reception... where Cuomo led an open and candid discussion on what's going on with all counties.  He adds that he got a chance to speak with Cuomo for a few minutes afterwards.  Horrigan says there was some dissent over Cuomo's proposal to have counties put up propositions this Fall on sharing, and consolidating services.  He says people aren't going to buy into plans that are rushed... and, haven't had a full, public vetting.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group stations.
This week in New York state government news, Democrats will unveil plans to modernize the state's voting system and lawmakers turn their attention to state income taxes.  Poll problems prompted an unprecedented number of complaints during last year's presidential primary.  Lawmakers, as well as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Governor Andrew Cuomo have all proposed ways to fix antiquated voting rules, including early voting and automatic voter registration.  Lawmakers will also take a close look at taxes during a hearing on the state budget.  Democrats, led by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, are calling for higher taxes on the state's richest people, a move opposed by Republicans.  Meanwhile, Rivers Casino & Resort opens Tuesday in Schenectady, the third of four casinos approved for upstate.
Jamestown Schools Superintendent Tim Mains says he's "very, very pleased" to see the district removed from the state Comptroller's list of district's under Fiscal Stress.  The city district was notififed recently by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli that it was off the list for the past year after being on it for calendar years 2014 and 2015.  Mains says the district's stress rate was around 55-percent at one point... but, was down to 10 for 2016.  Once the district appeared on the list... he says two things took place to improve their fiscal condition -- one being a boost in state aid. Mains adds there was a few more positions cut once he became superindent in the following year.  He says they also cut programs, closed Rogers Elementary School... and, drained their reserves.  However... he says recent boosts in state aid the past couple of years have also provided a major boost.  Mains adds that districts like Jamestown are most affected when state aid is decreased.  Seventy-eight percent of Jamestown revenues come from state aid.
An influx of thousands of refugees from around the world over the past few decades is credited with injecting new energy into one city in upstate New York.  But now... Utica is beset with new anxiety in the age of Trump.  The president's order restricting refugees and travel from Muslim countries has immigrants in Utica saying they feel uncertain about their place here.  Some also worry they will not be able to bring over family members fleeing war zones and refugee camps.  The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica settles about 400 refugees a year, including Somalis, Bosnians, Syrians and people from Myanmar.  Mayor Robert Palmieri calls the refugees the "next evolution" for a city built generations ago by immigrants from Italy, Germany and Poland.
New York state is setting aside nearly 20-million dollars to assist local health care providers looking to expand or upgrade their facilities.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move Thursday. The new Community Health Care Revolving Fund is intended to help community health organizations that might not be able to expand otherwise.  The money will be awarded in the form of low-cost loans.  It will pay to assist organizations like local mental health treatment centers or community clinics on projects to construct, expand or renovate facilities.  The Democratic governor says the funding will help ensure that every New Yorker has access to quality health care.
Vice President Mike Pence is pledging that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be seated on the high court "one way or the other."  Pence's comments came during a speech in Philadelphia to the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group.  They echoed President Donald Trump's comments from earlier in the week.  Trump urged the Senate's Republican leader to scrap longstanding rules and "go nuclear" if Democrats block Gorsuch.  Trump on Tuesday nominated the 49-year-old Gorsuch - a Denver-based U.S. appellate court judge - to a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court.  Pence says the Supreme Court seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia's death belongs to the American people.