WJTN Headlines

It was an exhausting early weekend for Jamestown and several nearby fire departments who responded to five arson fires in the span of three hours last Friday night and early Saturday. 


That from Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson who says four others at vacant homes and one garage occured last Wednesday morning through Friday. Finson says the first call last Friday night was to a vacant houe at 654 East Sixth Street just after 11 PM


The other calls came in quick succession through just after 2 AM Saturday and most all off-duty firefighters were called in. Those mutual aid companies that assisted overnight Friday into Saturday included Falconer, Lakewood, Celoron, Kiantone and Fluvanna. 


One firefighter suffered a minor injury. The Jamestown Fire and Police Departments are investigating three of the fires while county investigators are looking into the other two. 


Anyone with information on ANY of the overnight fires is asked to call the Jamestown Police Tips-line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.

Demolition work on the burned-out structure left by this past Wednesday morning's devastating fire in downtown Falconer is expected to begin later today. 


That from Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel who says the property owners for 29 to 35 West Main Street got tentative agreements in place contractors to do the work.  Rensel says a 6-foot-tall fence was put up late Friday around the destroyed structure to keep people away from portions where the threat of collapse is a major concern. 


Rensel says West Main in that area which is also State Route 394, remains closed.  He says they'll confer with the state about re-opening the road.


At this point Rensel says the building will be demolished in stages and the debris will be taken away. 


Rensel says the fence accouts for the threat of the entire, remaining brick wall coming down on Main Street. While most of the businesses in the area where the fire took place have reopened he says officials are starting to work with the business owners in that half-a-block area find new, or temporary quarters in the village.

A federal jury has convicted a Bemus Point attorney of mail fraud in connection with a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. 


Prosecutors said that between January 2008 and December 2010, 46-year-old James MacCallum encouraged victims to liquidate their investments to take advantage of higher rates of return with his investments. MacCallum claimed his investments were secured by real estate and life insurance policies. 


Government evidence showed that MacCallum was using the investments of his victims to pay back earlier investors, and also to pay personal, travel, and office expenses. 


The scheme defrauded investors out of approximately $3.4-million. The verdict was announced Friday. Sentencing is set for July. MacCallum faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The population of New York state is shrinking. 


New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show the state had a net migration loss of nearly 73,000 New Yorkers between July 2015 and July 2016. 


Some of the largest percentage population declines were here in Chautauqua County Jefferson County in the north country and Broome County on the Southern Tier. 


Long Island's Suffolk County also saw a decline of more than 5,000 people. Overall, downstate New York continued to see modest population growth, centered on New York City. But that growth is being overshadowed by declines upstate. 


Overall, New York's population decreased by about 1,900 during the 12 months included in the new numbers. The state's overall population is 19.75-million.

A proposal for a new craft brewery and restaurant on West Third Street in Jamestown is moving ahead and a big step could be taken for Jamestown Brewing Company at tonight's city council meeting. 


Lawmakers will vote on a $180,000 Local Development Corporation Loan at tonight's meeting. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says another loan is in the works to help finance the venture in the Lillian Ney Renaissance Center.


The Jamestown Brewing proposal is one of 12 that were included with the Local Planning Committee's list of projects they want the state to look at funding with Jamestown's 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant. 


DeJoy says city council has to vote on the loan because it exceeds the $100,000 limit on JLDC loans. The loan will be paid back over seven-years at 4% interest. Tonight's council voting session begins at 7:30 PM.

Will it be a happy fiscal new year for New York state's college students? New York lawmakers will soon decide. 


In state government news a key budget deadline approaches and lawmakers close in on a deal that could see an increase in tuition assistance at state  universities. 


Lawmakers are also poised to make key decisions on whether to allow Uber and Lyft to expand upstate, and whether to heed a call by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to raise taxes on the wealthy. 


Ethics and election reforms may not make it in the final budget, which top lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo are now negotiating. Lawmakers hope to approve the spending plan by April 1, the start of the new budget year.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo isn't mincing words when describing how Congressional Republicans have handled the health care overhaul. 


The Democratic governor said Friday that Republicans in Washington have shown a ``disgusting display of government at its worst.'' Cuomo had warned of dire consequences for New York if the bill passed, saying it would cut nearly billions in Medicaid spending in the state and jeopardize health care for seniors, women and the poor. 


One provision of the bill would stop counties from outside New York City from having to pay more than $2 billion of the state's Medicaid charges, likely shifting those costs to the state. 


Following the decision by Republicans to pull the bill from the House floor Cuomo said the legislation should be ``killed once and for all.''

Pennsylvania's environmental agency is taking too long to process drilling permit applications. 


That's the complaint of industry officials who analyzed public data to show that approval times for a key permit are going up.  David Spigelmyer is president of the Pittsburgh-based Marcellus Shale Coalition.


He says the regulatory logjam is hurting Pennsylvania's competitiveness with other shale states like West Virginia, Ohio and Louisiana. 


The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that applications are lagging and pledged to do better. The gas industry's complaints about permitting come as Democratic Governor Tom Wolf makes a push to attract plastics and petrochemical manufacturers that use natural gas as a feedstock.