WJTN Headlines for Thursday Dec. 21, 2017

Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a proposal to establish an agency to oversee Chautauqua Lake. 
By an 18-0 vote, legislators approved the proposed Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency with no discussion Wednesday evening. 
County Executive Vince Horrigan says it was one of his top priorities as he prepares to leave office at the end of the month. Any recommendations from the agency would have to be acted on by the legislature, including the possible formation of a district. 
A city man has been sentenced to seven years in state prison following his conviction for holding another man against his will while in possession of a gun last Spring. 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 39 year-old Mark Diers was sentenced earlier this month by County Court Judge David Foley on one count of second-degree kidnapping.  In addition to the seven years in prison, Diers received five years post-release supervision. 
In addition, Swanson says another Jamestown man will spend 4-years in state prison for selling drugs.  The D-A says 38 year-old Scott Meachem received the term from Acting County court Judge Paul Wojtaszek for his conviction on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Swanson says he'll also spend two years in post-release supervision. 
Finally, a Forestville man will spend three to six years in prison for third-degree burglary and driving while intoxicated.  Swanson says 31 year-old Thomas Brewster received the sentence early this month in county court.
Final approval of the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act will "ensure" historic tax cuts for "hardworking Americans and launches a new era of economic opportunity, growth and job creation. 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed, after the House of Representatives, for the second time in two days, approved the tax reform measure.  Reed says it does keep, or enhances, some tax credit programs he believes will promote economic growth in his 23rd Congressional District.
Reed helped craft some of the proposal as part of the House Ways and Means committee, adding that he worked on such legislation for the past seven years.  He says "this is a once in a generation opportunity to transform our tax code and spark our economy.  Today we have opened the gates to a new wave of optimism and economic prosperity -- and I'm proud to be a part of it." 
Reed says the bill cuts tax rates on middle and working class Americans, doubles the standard deduction, doubles the child tax credit and, maintains the state and local tax deduction for income, sales, and property tax up to $10,000. 
Demonstrators chanted and protested outside the New York Stock Exchange to protest the Republican's tax overhaul, with more than a dozen people arrested after blocking the exchange's entrance. 
The crowd chanted, "Tax the rich, not the poor, we won't take it anymore" and "Kill the bill, don't kill us" as they gathered late Tuesday in New York City's financial district. 
They also held signs in the form of gravestones, saying things like "Died to help the rich get richer."  Some demonstrators then sat down in front of the exchange, and were arrested after police warnings. 
With the holiday season upon us, Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace is warning residents to be cautious of scams. 
Gerace says the Sheriff's Office has received multiple reports of recent telephone-based scams, including the "Grandparent Scam."  He says the Grandparent Scam usually involves a phone call from someone pretending to be a grandchild or relative in need of emergency assistance.  Scammers may also say that the "grandchild" has been involved in an accident or arrested. 
Additionally, Gerace says the scammers may pretend to be a lawyer, police officer or a judge, and direct the victim to money transferring services like Western Union.  They may also request that the victim purchase an iTunes card to make instant payment to "an attorney" or for bail. 
The scammers will use scare tactics to get the victims to comply.  If you receive a call like this, Gerace says hang-up and call the police if assistance is needed.
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is nearing it's general campaign goal of $1.325-million and, there is still time for residents to make "year-end gifts" to it. 
That from new United Way Director Amy Rohler, who says the effort is at 84-percent of it's goal.  Rohler anticipates wrapping up the campaign by the end of January, and praised the many United Way volunteers who help out with the campaign, and it's various divisions.
Rohler says the volunteers put forth a lot of work and energy to make the campaign a success.  She says the emphasis now is on individual "year-end" giving, as most workplace campaigns have now wrapped up. 
Campaign Chairwoman Jane Becker says the next few weeks are going to be critical.  Becker says "we hope to finish strong and we will not be able to achieve that without the support from our community." 
Rohler says 100% of every donation remains in Southern Chautauqua County to support 41 programs at 25 local agencies.  For more information, go on-line to UWayscc.org or call 483-1561.