WJTN Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed says a series of amendments to the proposed American Health Care Act has put him solidly in support of the replacement measure for "Obamacare."  However, Reed admitted yesterday that he was "leaning no" on the initial proposal offered by President Donald Trump, and the Congressional leadership.


The Corning Republican says the biggest change that was added during a Monday night session was an amendment that would relieve New York's upstate counties from having to pay 25% of local Medicaid costs. Reed says the measure to give relief to 50 to 64 year-olds, who were reportedly going to get hit with much higher premiums was also important to him because they make up a large part of the 23rd Congressional District's population.


He says the Congressional Budget Office found they would be disproportionately burdened by the new law.  Reed says he believes the House will now have enough votes to pass the measure on Thursday.


Jamestown's mayor is blasting a Trump Administration budget proposal to cut $6-billion  from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development that would eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program.  


Sam Teresi Monday night called the proposal a "travesty" that would have "devastating" impacts on the city and many others across the country.  


Jamestown has been a "Small City Entitlement" Community since 1990 meaning it receives a certain amount each year to boost low and middle income, and other projects during the coming year.  


Teresi who was city Development Director in 1990 says Jamestown has been a good steward of it's money. Teresi says because of the CDBG and HOME Programs they have been able to undertake a number of projects that otherwise would not get done.  He says one area in particular that's been helped is the city's Infrastructure Improvement Program which he says involves "major street reconstruction work."  


Teresi says those efforts alone have garnered nearly $7.2-million  for such projects since 1990.  He urged the city council to approve a measure next week calling for reinstatement of the CDBG Program.


U-S Senator Chuck Schumer is also weighing-in on the proposed cut to the Community Development Block Grant program saying the move would be "incredibly damaging" to upstate New York.  


The Senate's Minority Leader also calls it a "non-replaceable stream of investment in essential services" for area residents and economic development projects." Schumer says he will "fight these drastic cuts tooth and nail to make sure the CDBG program remains fully funded and that Upstate New York gets the money it deserves." The Democrat says  more than ever  they need to ensure that local communities "have the resources they need to modernize their infrastructure, deliver vital services to working families and seniors and continue the neighborhood revitalization efforts critical to local economic development."


There is a new mayor in the Chautauqua County village of Cassadaga.


Mary Joanne Bauer was the winner in a run-off to replace Leann Lazarony who decided not to run for another term.  Bauer received 31 votes in the contest while Mike Lehnen was second with 22 tallies.  That was the only contested race in Cassadaga.


In Westfield there were three people running for two village trustee seats.  They were won by Alan Holbrook with 162 votes... and, Robert Cochrane with 126.  Dennis Lutes was third with 115 tallies.  In the village of Sinclairville James Kianos, Junior was elected mayor.  He ran unopposed.  There were only three villages that held elections Tuesday.


U-S Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch spent a full-day on Capitol Hill yesterday being grilled by members of the Senate's Judiciary Committee on everything from abortion to President Trumps criticism of federal judges.


However when he addressed the panel Monday, Gorsuch talked about role models he's had in the judiciary and one of them is the late Justice Robert H. Jackson of Frewsburg.  St. John's law professor John Q. Barrett is the Lenna Fellow at the Jackson Center in Jamestown and says Gorsuch is connected to Jackson in two ways.


One is that Gorsuch cited Jackson's writings as something he admired. In addition  if Gorsuch is confirmed  he would replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia who held the seat Jackson had held several decades earlier.


Jackson left the high court a few weeks before his untimely passing in 1954.  But Barrett says many of his written opinions are still part of the basis for decisions being rendered today.  


He  made his comments during yesterday's Dennis Webster Show on WJTN.


Some of the wealthiest New Yorkers are asking the state to raise their taxes. Eighty people including George Soros, Steven Rockefeller and Abigail Disney wrote to lawmakers and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo saying they and other top earners can afford to pay more to support schools, roads, bridges and programs to help poor and homeless New Yorkers.


Many of those signing the letter are millionaires and all make more than $650,000 making them members of the state's top 1 percent when it comes to income.  A similar letter last year was largely ignored by lawmakers.  Democrats in the state Assembly have called for higher taxes on millionaires and multimillionaires. Senate Republicans oppose the idea.


New York officials are warning about a tax-season scam in which email fraudsters pose as company executives to get employees' Social Security numbers.  


State tax officials say at least 65 companies with New York employees have been victimized by the identity thieves, compromising 7,100 Social Security numbers.  


Scammers posing as company executives send emails to payroll and human resource departments requesting lists of employees and personal information.  

Officials urge people not to respond to emails demanding payroll data and Social Security numbers.