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The investigation is continuing into an early morning fire Monday that destroyed a vacant house on the city of Jamestown's southside. 


City fire crews were called to the scene at 274 Prospect Street shortly before 5 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says they found heavy fire coming from the structure on arrival. Sigular says it took some time to bring the flames under control because the building was unstable. 


He says the roof eventually collapsed and, the Department of Development was called in.  Sigular says there was one neighboring structure that sustained some minor damage mainly paint blistering.  Sigular says the structure was unstable. and, crews remained on hand to douse hot spots. 


He ways officials decided to tear-down the building by late morning and, an emergency demolition was ordered.  No one was inside the building when crews arrived and, no services were on inside. 


No firefighters were hurt.  An off-duty shift of 10 firefighters and a shift commander were called in to assist.

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with in possession of a quantity of powder cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's eastside last weekend. 


City police say a patrol pulled over the vehicle operated by 38 year-old Anthony Cunningham, Junior shortly before 10 PM last Saturday near 105 East Fifth Street for a violation.  Officers say they found that Cunningham was driving with his driver's license suspended. 


During further investigation they allegedly found the cocaine.  Cunninghman allegedly resisted arrest, and fled from the scene.  However police found him a short time later and, he was arrested. 


They say Cunningham faces several charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance aggravated unlicensed operation and resisting arrest.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.

There was a threat of rain at the beginning of the day Monday but, the weather cleared enough to allow several Memorial Day Parades and commemorations to take place locally Monday. 


The first parade of the day in the immediate Jamestown-area was in the town of Busti where the Southwestern Middle School Band performed.

The Middle School Band was also joined by the Southwestern High School Marching Band for the parade along with several area fire departments, and civic organizations.  Local Pastor Lee O'Brien was keynote speaker in Busti and he recognized the nation's fallen heroes. 


He says they came from all walks of life but, shared several qualities including courage and self-lessness.  He says including the Revolutionary War millions have died overseas and here at home.  However O'Brien says people continue to step forward and say "I'll serve." 


O'Brien noted that Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day" and began following the Civil War in the mid 1860s.  He says familes began decorating the graves of those who were lost in the war.

While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect. 


Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed.  More than 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War-Two. 


That's down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren't personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. 


Allison Jaslow is a former Army captain and Iraq War veteran.  She says the country's "lost sight of what the day's supposed to mean."

Lawmakers in lots of states get paid extra if they hold leadership posts or oversee important committees. 


But few state legislatures have a bonus system as extensive as the one in New York's state senate.  Nearly all 63 state senators take home stipends nicknamed "lulus" that add between $9,000 and $34,000 to their wages. 


That stipend system has now drawn new scrutiny following an investigation revealing that eight senators were getting bonuses reserved for committee chairmen, even though they held no such positions.

In New York state government news, lawmakers will break for a week and the state's highest court takes up assisted suicide. 


The Legislature returns June 5th for the final three weeks of the session.  One item on the to-do list is a bill that raises the minimum age of marriage to 17.  Currently, New York allows children as young as 14 to marry with judicial and parental consent.  


On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case filed by three New Yorkers with terminal illnesses who want the right to request life-ending medication from a physician. 


Meanwhile Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign legislation allowing Uber and Lyft to begin picking up passengers upstate in late June, just in time for the July 4 holiday.

Pennsylvania State education officials have given the green light for an educational institution to provide low-cost instruction for nine northwestern including Warren lacking a community college. 


The Pennsylvania Department of Education last week approved plans by the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania to enroll students in the fall in a partnership with Gannon University in Erie.  The college has been offering limited courses during the summer. 


The college is neither an online nor a brick-and-mortar institution but aims to curb costs with video conferencing technology linking faculty to students at places such as libraries or community education centers. 


Officials call it the first "community college-like" institution north of Interstate 80 providing "affordable and accessible education opportunities" for Warren, Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter and, Venango counties.

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., Feb. 24, 2021

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