Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Nov. 21, 2019


New York State Police are investigating a suspicious deadly fire in Allegheny County this morning, resulting in three school closings.... 

Troopers responded to a structure fire at 84-72 Courtney Hallow in the Town of Clarksville at 12:45 AM.  Police say the fire was contained and at least two bodies were found inside the residence.  In a lengthy Facebook post, the Cuba Police Department announced their assistance in the investigation with State Police, adding, "We are asking that all Cuba residents shelter in place and do not answer your doors. If you must go about your business please do so with extra caution. If you feel that there is someone at your door or on your property who doesn’t belong there do not answer or let them in call 911 immediately.  Our goal is to ensure that all Cuba residents are safe".  Portville, Cuba-Rushford and Bolivar-Richburg announced their schools closed are closed Thursday for security reasons.   Troopers say this is an on-going criminal investigation and updates will be provided at a later time. 


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has unanimously voted to resume the annexation of about 4 acres of land it's Dow Street Substation in located on in the village of Falconer....  

The BPU released a copy of the board resolution last night, noting that all nine members voted to go ahead with the proceedings.  Back in August... the city's first attempt to annex the property was dismissed on a technicality by the Fourth Department Appellate Division.  The Court ruled the city’s original proceeding was untimely because the case had to be brought by the city within 30 days of the complaint being filed with the Chautauqua County Clerk's Office.  The BPU's request must now be taken up by the City Council.  The BPU also approved a resolution hiring the same attorney that handled the original case to handle the new one.

 
Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved a new, four-year contract with the county's largest employee union that includes pay hikes... but, will cost employees more on their health insurance...  

The legislature voted 19-to-nothing last night in Mayville to approve the contract with Civil Service Employees Association Local-6300.  County Executive George Borrello was pleased to see a new agreement ratified before he leaves county government for the State Senate.

The contract includes a 50-cent per hour wage increase -- retroactive to last July 1st and, includes three-percent wage increase for the next three years.  It also includes a "higher-deductable" health insurance plan for workers.  That was important to Sheridan legislator Terry Neibel, who says it's good to do what you can to hold down those costs for the taxpayers.  The contract was ratified Tuesday night by a comfortable margin by the CSEA rank-and-file.

The city of Jamestown has now sent out bid specifications on two new pumper trucks for the fire department that are part of the city's 'Smart City Capital Investment' program....  

Deputy Fire Chief Sam Salemme showed the media -- and Mayor Sam Teresi -- what the new trucks would be included on the new trucks Wednesday afternoon.  Salemme says they're excited because the new trucks will be safer and easier for firefighters to use... including lower hose beds.

Salemme says there is a 'clean-cab' part of the new trucks will allow crew members to respond in a cleaner area -- free from material that may cause cancer or other illnesses.  He says total cost for both pumpers will be about $900,000.  Teresi says the idea is to increase safety for both property owners and firefighters.  Teresi says that will hopefully cut health care costs, and keep firemen on the job.  In addition, Salemme adds they're just about ready to send out specs for a 300-thousand dollar refurbishing of Ladder Truck-#1 at City Hall.  He says total program will be $1.2-million.


New York is taking a look at how its first experiment with early voting went in a quiet election year....  

Elections officials are still reviewing data... but, say it appears New York City and several counties saw slightly higher turnout this year compared with 2015.  The legislature held a hearing Wednesday on the initiative.  The state Board of Elections says over 256,000 people cast their ballots before Election Day between October 26th and November 3rd.  New Yorkers have raised concerns about costs, the roll-out of electronic voter rolls and the location of early voting sites.  Counties could apply for grants of $14 million for electronic poll books and $10 million for early voting.  A new law also allowed voters take off time from work to vote on Election Day.


European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland says he "followed the president's orders" to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine...  

Sondland was a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.  Local Congressman Tom Reed received updates during Wednesday's testimony into Mr. Trump allegedly holding up aid to Ukraine in exchange for evidence of wrongoing by a political opponent.  Reed insisted that he still hasn't seen or heard anything impeachable.

Sondlund told the House Intelligence Committee that he and his colleagues did not want to involve the president's personal attorney in diplomacy efforts with Ukraine, but they were told to by the president.  Trump later insisted that he wanted "nothing" from Ukraine and declared that impeachment hearings should be brought to an end.  The president read from handwritten notes when speaking to reporters on the White House lawn nearly an hour later than his scheduled departure for Texas.


New York's senior U-S Senator is strongly objecting to a reported plan by Major League Baseball to restructure the minor league baseball system, with as many as 42 teams losing their Major League affiliation....  

Democrat Charles Schumer says -- if that happens -- the move could leave four New York cities without baseball by 2021.  Schumer is calling on MLB to full consider the gravity of such a decision on those communities.

Schumer says news reports earlier in the week revealed that MLB is planning to strip those organizations of their affiliations and reassign them to compete in a newly-formed, lower-caliber independent league, called the "Dream League."  Schumer says the four communities that would be impacted are Batavia, Binghampton, Auburn and Staten Island.  He says the proposal is "startling confounding and upsetting to say the least."  He adds that three other teams would have their organizations re-structured under the plan.  Schumer is hoping to contact Baseball Comissioner Rob Manfred -- a native upstater -- about the plan because of what it would do to New York.