WJTN Headlines

Quick response by Jamestown fire crews prevented serious damage to a bar frequented by the city's LGBTQ community that caught fire early yesterday morning in Brooklyn Square. 


Fire officials say the investigation into the cause of the fire at Sneakers at 100 Harrison Street is continuing but, the owner says it was intentionally set.  City Fire Battaliion Chief Sam Salemme says firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 2 a.m., and on arrival, they found heavy smoke, and tracked the flames to a storage room in the bar area. 


Salemme says firefighters had the blaze under control fairly quickly.  Fire damage was confined to the storage room area... but, there was some smoke and water damage through-out the first floor area.  Salemme says a person living upstairs called in the blaze after hearing smoke alarms going off. 


He says the bar area was closed by the time the fire broke out.  He says an off-duty shift of eight firefighters and a shift commander was called in to assist.  Salemme says no one was hurt fire damage was confined to the storage room near the bar.  Fire crews were at the scene for about 2-and-a-half hours. 


Sneakers owner Mary Green who also lives in the building says on her Facebook page that it appears someone broke in and started the blaze.

A federal appeals court has overturned the 2015 corruption conviction of former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 


He was found guilty in a 4-million dollar pay to play scheme, but the Second-U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited a Supreme Court decision last year in the case of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell that narrowed the definition of official corruption.  Area Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who has a legal practice in Chautauqua County, explains what happened. 


He says when there's a change brought about by a Supreme Court ruling, that can affect all previous decisions that have been made.  Goodell says he hopes the prosecutor will retry Silver and obtain a conviction as well as require Silver to give up the "millions of dollars that he improperly pocketed." 


The Bemus Point Republican says the overturned conviction "does not mean Sheldon Silver is innocent."

The head of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee says he's pleased to have 14 candidates on the ballot for the county legislature in this Fall's elections. 


Norm Green says the group includes the four incumbants on the panel and, 10 newcomers who have experience in the business and the public sectors.  Green announced the slate yesterday noting that it's an "exciting slate of candidates" he believes will be "well-received" by the voters in each district. 


He says each of the candidates will be on a least one other line in November.  Green says all of them, except Charles Nazzaro in Jamestown, will be on the Working Families line, and some will also be on the Independence Party or Women's Equality lines.  He says the slate is complete because Thursday was the final day to turn in petitions to run for office. 


He says there are a few interesting contested races shaping up.  The big one in the Jamestown-area Green says is in the city in District 11 where young businessman Frank Besse is running against incumbant Republican Dave Wilfong who is also County GOP Chairman. 


In the north county Tommy Roque is challenging Republican Kevin Muldowney in District-1 in Dunkirk. 


In addition Chautauqua Lake Elementary School Principal Ella Ames will take on incumbant GOP Chairman David Himelein in District 18.

Incumbant Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore has announced that he's running for re-election to a second-term in office adding that he "really enjoys" the job he first won in 2013. 


Barmore made it official yesterday, though he had already been endorsed by the county's Republican Committee.  Barmore says he's been able to update and modernize their facilities even with a 50-percent turn-over in personnel during his 3-and-a-half years in office. 


Barmore says they implemented electronic recording land records in early 2014 and, now they're working to get approval to E-file court records.  He says a few "pilot counties" were set up for the program a few years ago, and Chautauqua will become part of that on August 16th


Barmore says probably the biggest accomplishment during his first-term was getting the Jamestown Department of Motor Vehicles Office moved out of the South County Office Building to a new location on West Third Street that's bigger, and has more off-street parking. 


He says they've also made the move at a cost savings of about 9-thousand dollars a year.  Barmore will also have the Conservative line in the November election.

Scientists predict a ``significant'' harmful algae bloom will form on western Lake Erie this summer. 


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and research partners are releasing their annual algae forecast Thursday for the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes.  It's been plagued by massive summer algae formations that pose health risks for humans and wildlife. 


A bloom in 2014 contaminated drinking water for 400,000 people in Toledo, Ohio, and southeastern Michigan.  Scientists base a bloom's severity on how much algae it contains over a sustained period.  They predict this year's will register above the level considered potentially harmful. 


But they think it will be smaller than the largest blooms, which formed in 2011 and 2015.  Some algae blooms generate toxins. Size doesn't necessarily indicate degree of toxicity.

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says New York state's power plants are vulnerable to cyberattacks and that Washington must do more to ensure their security. 


The Democrat said Wednesday that he has written to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy seeking an update on efforts to improve cybersecurity at critical facilities such as power plants.  He says that reports that hackers have targeted power plants should serve as a "wake up call" that the facilities could be at risk. 


Schumer says the federal government must to more to safeguard power stations from attacks that could disrupt the power grid.  Specifically, Schumer wants any infrastructure bill that passes Congress to include funding for cybersecurity upgrades at power plants and other vital facilities.