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Two of Stand-Up Comedy's biggest stars will headline the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown from August 7th through 11th.....  

National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson has announced that Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney will both appear on stage at the Northwest Arena, Mulaney on Friday, August 9th, and Maniscalco on Saturday, August 10th.  Gunderson says they are two of the most "in-demand" comics in America.  She says Mulaney is one of her favorite comedians, but, adds that Maniscalco is probably the "hottest comedian" in the U-S right now.

Gunderson adds that Mulaney was recently named "one of the best stand-up comics alive" by Entertainment Weekly.  Tickets for their performances will go on pre-sale for National Comedy Center members only -- starting Wednesday, February 20th at 12 Noon and, on-line at ComedyCenter.org.  Public on-line sales begin this Friday, February 22nd at Noon.

Lawmakers trying to work out a border security compromise in Congress to avert another partial government shut-down clashed yesterday over whether or not to limit the number of migrants authorities can detain.... 

The news comes as Friday deadline is quickly approaching.  However, a deal would have to be struck today for legislation to take it's normal path, and be acted on by the end of the week.  While in Jamestown last Friday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he believes a deal will be struck.

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama is the main Republican leader on the bi-partisan, 17-member committee trying to strike a border security deal.  Schumer insisted there won't be a shut-down again because lawmakers -- including many Republicans -- don't want to go through another one.  He says the government should not be holding federal workers "hostage" over one aspect of one department in the government.  More than 800,000 of those workers went without pay for 35-days during the last shut-down.  Late Sunday, the two sides remained separated by hundreds of millions of dollars over how much to spend on President Trump's promised border wall. 

In New York state government news, criminal justice reforms pushed for years by Democrats could be passed by the Legislature soon.....  

And the deal to bring one of Amazon's headquarters to Queens is expected to get plenty of discussion in back-to-back budget hearings.  The criminal justice bills are among the top items on the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Senate's agendas this year, including one that would eliminate cash bail and another that would speed up getting cases to trial.  Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is scheduled to testify at Monday's public hearing on local government funding.  The Amazon deal will is expected to be a main topic of discussion then and again Tuesday, when the budget hearing on economic development is held.

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly setting fire to the home he lived in and, seriously hurting one other person living there....  

City Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to a two-family home at 105 Weeks Street about 11:30 PM Friday and, found a lot of fire in the front of the house, and, that someone was trapped inside.  Finson says the man was able to get himself out of the house and, he was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment, then sent to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.  Finson says crews were at the scene for several hours to get the fire out, and then check hot spots.

Finson says most crews were at the scene until about 3:30 AM Saturday battling the flames, and the windy and bitterly cold temperatures.  The Department of Development was called in and the building was torn down.  No other injuries were reported but, a dog perished in the fire.  The man accused of setting the fire, 49 year-old Danny Phanco, lives at the 105 Weeks Street address.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says Phanco was arraigned on charges including second-degree arson, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment.

Combustables too close to a space heater is the apparent cause of last Friday's first house fire on Jamestown's eastside, which also destroyed the building....  

Deputy Fire Chief Sam Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 281 Willard Street -- near Johnson and Ensign Streets -- about 2:15 PM Friday.  Salemme says crews found a lot of smoke and flame coming from the structure on arrival and, an off-duty shift was called in to help due to the heavy smoke and fire.  He adds the cold temperatures and strong winds made fighting the flames difficult.  Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson told us later that an occupant inside the building got out before firefighters arrived, and she was treated for minor burns.  Salemme adds it took some time to bring the flames under control and, the back roof of the building collapsed.  The home was later torn down.

New York school districts say they need more bus drivers.... 

A report released Thursday says a shortage of drivers is the top concern of 60 percent of school transportation directors, and an additional 23 percent of districts consider it a major problem.  The report was a joint effort by the New York State School Boards Association, New York Association for Pupil Transportation and National Association for Pupil Transportation.  The groups say federal and state requirements have made obtaining a commercial driver license more costly and time-consuming.  They say more testing sites and expanded testing times would help.  The report says some districts have had to put mechanics on driver duty and that driver shortages can also mean lengthy rides, late arrivals and cancelled field trips.

The Cuomo administration's top environmental conservation officer isn't resigning after all......  

Basil Seggos announced last November that he would step down as commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation in early 2019.  But, late this week, Seggos announced he has decided to continue as DEC commissioner after realizing he would "forever regret" his decision to leave the agency.  The announcement comes two weeks after several lawmakers at the state budget hearing on environmental conservation praised Seggos for his service while leading the agency since 2015.  Before that he was Cuomo's top environmental policy adviser as the governor's deputy secretary for the environment.  In his statement announcing he was staying on, Seggos said New York is a national leader on environmental issues and "this is no time to step out of the fight."

A civil rights group representing families of four 12-year-old girls who claim they were strip searched for drugs in school is demanding an apology and other measures from an upstate New York school district....  

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund sent a letter to the Binghamton City School District last Thursday.  It says actions by a middle school principal and nurse on January 15th violated the constitutional rights of the girls, who are black.  The district has said the girls had a medical evaluation but weren't strip searched. It has hired a law firm to investigate independently.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state Education Department to launch a probe.  The School Administrators Association of New York State is asking the community to reserve judgment until the investigations are completed.

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News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 19, 2020

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