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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 8, 2020

A veteran Central New York Republican has been unanimously elected as the state Assembly's next Minority Leader.  Oswego County's Will Barclay was elected Tuesday afternoon... one day before the opening of the 2020 Legislative Session.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell -- another Republican -- says Barclay has a "wealth of experience."

Barclay... who replaces Canandaigua's Brian Kolb... says he's proud of the work the Minority Conference has done on behalf of the people of New York, and he's "humbled" to have the support of his colleagues.  Goodell says Barclay is already focused on two key areas of concern... one is keeping taxes down, and the other is getting rid of, or reforming the "misguided" bail reform law in the state.  Goodell has most recently been a Floor Leader Pro-Temp for the Assembly Minority... a position he believes he'll be reassigned to in the new session... which begins with today.  Kolb resigned as leader last weekend after he was arrested New Year's Eve for driving while under the influence of alcohol in a state-owned vehicle.

Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he'll be listening for a couple of issues, in particular, during this afternoon's State of the State Address.  

The Jamestown-area Republican says he's glad to hear Democrats "opening the door" to changes in New York's bail reform law as the legislative session begins.

Law enforcement officials and Republicans have spent months raising red flags on the changes, but their criticism caught more fervor in the last week as courts across the state have released people who would have remain behind bars under the old rules.  Goodell says he's also interested to hear how Cuomo proposes dealing with a just over $6-billion budget deficit.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was filmed helping a man out of a van that crashed on a major New York City highway.  

Footage taken by his staff Monday showed the Democratic governor helping a man out of the driver's seat of a large catering van that had run up the median and turned on its side on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.  The New York Police Department had not yet arrived on the scene when Cuomo's vehicle pulled over and the governor cut the man out of his seat belt... and, helped him to safety.  He received assistance from the state police troopers he was traveling with.

A Silver Creek man is accused of using his car to ram another vehicle in the town of Hanover on New Year's Eve in an apparent dispute with the people in the other vehicle.  

Sheriff's officers say they responded to a report of the car, driven by 31 year-old Javier Cruz, striking another vehicle intentionally about 12:30 PM on December 31st.  Deputies say no one was hurt... but, Cruz was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court at a later date.

The Jamestown City Council plans to vote later this month on another new, 10-year water service agreement with a nearby municipality.  

Lawmakers Monday night heard about the proposal for the new contract with the town of North Harmony.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says the new agreement replaces one that expired back in March... and, says they're pleased to have negotiations on a new one completed.  This would be the second, 10-year agreement with a local municipality in recent months the city has agreed to.  The city -- through the Board of Public Utilities -- has a number of agreements with local towns and villages to supply water.

A local grocery store chain announced plans to roll out an end to single-use, plastic bags ahead of a state-wide ban that goes into effect March 1st.  

Wegman's Buffalo Consumer Affairs Manager Michele Mehaffy says the decision comes after successful pilot programs at its stores in Corning and Ithaca.

Mehaffy says Wegmans Food Markets then made the decision to remove plastic grocery bags from all its New York State stores starting Monday, January 27th.  Under the new law.... local counties will have the option of imposing a 5-cent fee on paper bags. Counties would get 3-cents for each bag sold, while 2-cents would go towards the state's Environmental Protection Fund.  It's unclear if Chautauqua County will opt in to the fee.  At stores where the county or municipality choose not to institute a 5-cent fee for paper bags, Wegmans will charge 5-cents per bag... which will be donated to the local food bank serving each region.