Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for April 25, 2019

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved the appointment of a new member who will fill out the current year in place of a deceased member of the panel....

Lawmakers in Mayville last night unanimously approved having Republican Martin Proctor of Findley Lake replace David Himelein, who passed away due to health issues back on April 5th.  Proctor says it's an "honor and a privledge" to fill out his "good friends" term in District 18.

Proctor says his goals for the remaining eight months of 2019 include supporting  efforts to create more jobs in the county... and, do more to stem the ongong opioid addiction crisis.  However, Proctor says he will NOT be a candidate for the seat next November, adding he's just "filling in" for the rest of Himelein's term.  Proctor is a golf cart salesman in Findley Lake.  He did not join in for a Republican Primary that will be held next June involving candidates Rick Syper and Bill Ward of the Mayville area.  Himelein was to also be a candidate in the primary but, it will now be a two-way race.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he opposes giving felons in prison the right to vote....  

Appearing on CNN Tuesday, the Democrat said he disagrees with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who says he supports giving the right to vote back to felons serving prison sentences.  Last year, Cuomo issued an executive order restoring the voting rights of paroled felons, saying it's another way to help them rebuild their lives and reintegrate into the community.  But he said Tuesday that offenders are still paying a debt to society while serving their sentences and shouldn't be allowed to cast a ballot.  Sanders' comments supporting voting rights for imprisoned felons came Monday during a televised CNN town hall featuring Democratic candidates for president.

Following a suspicious person investigation.... Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers arrested a Sinclairville man for drug possession Tuesday night....  

Deputies say they were performing an area check of the Village Park when they observed 23 year-old Austin Schwab inside a vehicle.  Investigation revealed he was in possession of two controlled substances.  It was later found that Schwab allegedly gave a person under the age of 17 with a controlled substance and, he was taken into custody without incident.  Schwab was arraigned and sent to the County Jail for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hypodermic needle and, endangering the welfare of a child.

Chautauqua County has had it's first rabies case of 2019 but, county health officials say it could have been worse....  

The Director of the county's Environmental Health Services Division says an 11 year-old boy was bitten by a rabid raccoon while hunting with his father in the town of Stockton.  Mark Stow says the attack occured on Open Meadows Road last Sunday and, adds while they want people to be aware of the situation, attacks like this are seldom.

Stow says rabid raccoons tend to be more friendly, and appears unsteady when they are walking.  He says only about 10-percent of rabid animals will attack.  Stow also warns parents about allowing their children to touch -- or carry home baby raccoons that may have acquired the disease.  He says it can create a "very dangerous situation."  Stow says the boy was able to fling the raccoon clear allowing his father time to shoot the raccoon, which the state DEC found was rabid.  He says the boy is now receiving the series of painful shots to combat the disease. 

Stow says state law requires pet owners to have all dogs, cats and other domesticated animals vaccinated against rabies at 4 months of age.  The next free local rabies clinic be held on Saturday, May 4th from 1 to 3 PM at the Town of Poland Highway Barn on Grubb Hill Road in Kennedy.

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he agrees that lawmakers need to act "sooner rather than later" in shoring up Social Security and Medicare for future generations....  

Reed... who is the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Social Security Subcommittee... says there were some positives in the recent Trustees Report.  He says he's pleased they pushed out the deadline for insolvency for the combined trust fund from 2034 to 2035.  However... he says lawmakers can't sit still, either.

Howver, the trustees said Medicare now appears headed for insolvency by 2026 and, Reed says that's concerning.  The Corning Republican believes that could be extended if lawmakers were willing to work on health care costs.  As for Social Security, he says there is way to boost that without raising taxes.  He says if you "grow" the economy and add workers, you'll add to the payroll taxes taken in.  Reed says he is pleased to see that the insolvency date for the Social Security Disability fund was pushed out from 2032, to 2052.