TERRY FRANK

News Director

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NOEL BLACKHALL

News Anchor/Reporter

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DENNIS WEBSTER

News Anchor/Reporter

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While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week, local Congressman Tom Reed says he did.

 

Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti last Saturday morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people. 

 

Reed favored the original bill which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it. The majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first. 

 

One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  With the House vote Reed says he hopes the U-S Senate will hold a vote on the bill sooner "rather than later."

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York." 

 

State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage and, cut up to $6.9-billion dollars in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo says Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business. 

 

New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

 

Cuomo says that could force state taxpayers to pick up the cost, but supporters say it will lead to reduced taxes at the county level.


The Republican health care overhaul remains a work in progress and, many states are planning for big changes that could swell the ranks of the uninsured and hit them with higher costs. 

 

The changes contained in a bill that passed the U.S. House last week are welcome in some states that want more autonomy but are causing alarm in others that embraced former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.  During his Town Hall meeting in Busti Congressman Tom Reed says he favors phasing in a "per capita" program versus the current "static" one.

 

The angst is especially true for states that expanded Medicaid and face the potential loss of billions in federal dollars such as New York.  The current GOP plan would undo the mostly federally funded Medicaid expansion. It provided coverage to about 11 million newly eligible low-income Americans. 

 

The plan also would allow insurance companies to charge far higher premiums on older Americans and some people with pre-existing conditions.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says local governments should share resources to ease tax burdens that could increase under federal tax proposals. 

 

Late this week Cuomo ceremonially signed a bill allowing for counties to create plans to reduce property taxes by consolidating government programs or sharing equipment in Long Island.  The plan requires the top county executive to bring together local elected leaders and come up with a plan that would require public approval. 

 

Democrat Cuomo argues that many villages, cities, towns and counties could save money by pooling their purchases or cooperating to make duplicative services more efficient. 

 

Cuomo says the plan is "more critical than ever" to ease property taxes in light of President Trump's tax proposal that could end the federal deduction for state and local taxes.


Jamestown is one of eight upstate New York communities chosen to take part in the new, 5-million dollar Graduate-to-Homeownership Program to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the pilot program late last week which he says it being made available to eight of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative communities.  City Development director Vince DeJoy says the program provides mortgage and loan assistance.

 

DeJoy says he's not sure of the timetable to start the program yet.  He does say the program will be part of an overall incentive effort to intice young people to become first-time home buyers in Jamestown and elsewhere upstate.  DeJoy says they are also working with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell to provide a property tax abatement for grads who come back and fix-up a formerly condemned home. 

 

Governor Cuomo's office says the program is being launched in Geneva to compliment it's "Finger Lakes Forward" program to boost the economy.  In addition to Jamestown and Geneva  the cities of Elmira and Oswego in Central New York are also part of the Graduate-to-Home ownership Program.


A north county man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman early Saturday morning in the village of Silver Creek. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at an address in the village for a physical altercation just after 12 Midnight.  Deputies were joined by local Emergency Management crews who transported the woman to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Officers say they arrested 22 year-old Jerrod KIrtley on one count of second-degree assault.  Kirtley was arraigned and sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail.


A crackdown on underage drinking and illegal alcohol sales in New York has led to more than 100 arrests and the seizure of more than 125 fake IDs.  Over five weeks this spring, law enforcement officers directed undercover, underage decoys to visit more than 640 liquor stores, convenience stores and bars to test illegal alcohol sales. 

 

More than 180 of the businesses made illegal sales.  In addition state Department of Motor Vehicle officers cracked down on minors attempting to buy alcohol, making 112 arrests.  The numbers were released late last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

The governor says underage drinking can have lifelong consequences and that his administration will take action against young people who seek to obtain alcohol as well as businesses willing to sell it to them.


New Yorkers can raise a glass to their favorite craft brewery in a statewide competition this week. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo urges people to cast their votes online at taste.ny.gov.  The five breweries with the most votes will be invited to the Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge event in New York City on May 17th

 

A panel of judges will decide the winner.  Seventy breweries are participating in the competition, which is being held during American Craft Beer Week starting May 15th.  New York's craft brewing industry has been expanded through a series of legislative and economic incentives including the creation of the Farm Brewery License in 2012. 

 

There are now 321 craft breweries in New York, up from 50 in 2011.

Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 6 2019

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