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WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 16, 2018

A 19 year-old Florida man is jailed without bail for allegedly shooting and killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland Florida Wednesday afternoon...  
 
President Trump addressed the nation Thursday morning about the school shooting, the 18th reported this year.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace calls it another senseless act and, "we're all searching for answers."  Gerace says he believes school resource officers can make a difference. Gerace adds, though, that local school districts are struggling with the costs involved.  He says the federal government should step in to help out, like they did when the SRO programs first began.  Gerace says the federal government is where it should all begin.  He says there are a number of local schools that have SROs, but adds they don't have to money to have the number they would like.
 
 
 
It was an "all hands on deck kind of day" in the Jamestown School District Thursday...  
 
That from Superintendent Bret Apthorpe, who says the atmosphere in city schools following Wednesday's mass shooting at a Florida high school was solemn.  Apthorpe says these kind of events "hit all of us..." and it's "unbelievable that they're still happening."  He says he spoke with school principals and safety officials Wednesday night to mentally re-enact safety plans to see if there was anything they may need to re-visit.  He tells our Noel Blackhall that the U.S. needs to get serious about mental health issues.
 
Apthorpe hopes that if something positve comes from this, it's the "awakening of a nation" of a mental health crisis in our youth.  In Jamestown, schools have secure entrances and visitors need to be physically "buzzed in" before entering.  Apthorpe says that the district also employs three full-time city police officers as School Resource Officers and also employs full-time, on-duty officers that walk through schools connecting with kids. 
 
 
 
New York state's comptroller says the budget proposal submitted by Governor Andrew Cuomo gives him "significant flexibility" to adjust spending after the plan is approved by the Legislature...  
 
Thomas DiNapoli's analysis of the fellow Democrat's $168-billion budget proposal would weaken the checks and balances over the how taxpayer dollars are spent.  DiNapoli's report released Wednesday calls 2018 a "high-pressure year" for the state budget because of the federal tax overhaul and other changes Washington is making that will impact New York's bottom line.  The comptroller says aspects of Cuomo's spending plan raise concerns about transparency and oversight.  Cuomo will negotiate with the leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democrat-controlled Assembly to come up with a final state budget, which is due by April 1.
 
 
 
There will still be an ice castle at this year's annual President's Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville, despite a social media posting Thursday morning that the castle had been torn-down...  
 
It was apparently a mistaken inference made after someone saw the castle with snow piled up against it.  We talked with Mayville/Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce President Sally Andriaccio, who says crews had put insulated blankets on the castle to preserve it and later, also put snow over the blankets in spots to provide more insulation.  The ice castle lighting in Mayville is still set for 6 p.m. tonight; the festival runs through Sunday afternoon.
 
 
 
A fire that broke out in the basement of Falconer High School early Thursday morning has been ruled "accidental" by Chautauqua County fire investigators.
 
At 1:30 a.m., Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the Falconer Fire Department -- along with five others -- responded to an alarm at the high school.  The Sheriff's Office says on arrival, responding fire companies found heavy smoke inside the school.  A short time later, investigators say the blaze was found in the custodian work shop area in the basement.  Sheriff's officers say the flames were quickly extinguished and the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called.  The fire was contained to a plastic garbage can inside this custodian work shop area.  Following investigation, the blaze was determined to be accidental due to a spontaneous combustion of mineral oil saturated cotton rags confined in a plastic garbage can.  There was no fire damage seen to the building. Calls into School Superintendent Steve Penhollow to update the situation were unsuccessful Thursday.
 
 
 
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly bilking Chautauqua County Public Assistance out of just over $3,200 in SNAP -- Food Stamp benefits...  
 
Sheriff's officers say an investigation showed that 61 year-old Patricia Gray of West 11th Street failed to notify the county's Department of Health and Human Services of income within her household.  Deputies say Gray was arrested for third-degree Welfare Fraud, Grand Larceny and first-degree using a false instrument for filing.  Gray was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.  To report cases of suspected Welfare Fraud, call the fraud hotline at 1-800-388-5365.
 
 
 
Two Jamestown women were arrested for allegedly shoplifting with children in their care at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood last Tuesday night...  
 
On arrival, Lakewood-Busti Police located 45 year-old Tonya Diblasi and 44 year-old Dawn O'Shell.  Diblasi was allegedly found in possession of several controlled substances and to be stealing with a young child in her care.  O'Shell was found in possession of marijuana and was also with a young child.  Both suspects were charged with petty larceny, endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful possession of marijuana. Diblasi was additionally charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and two counts of controlled substance outside user's original container.  They are scheduled to appear in Busti Town Court at a later date.