Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 17, 2020

An inmate in the Cattaraugus County Jail has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of unidentified prescription pills late last year....  

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they found 27 year-old Holton Pierce, Junior in possession of the pills last November.  Deputies had the pills tested, and they were found to be a controlled substance.  Pierce has been charged with second-degree promoting prison contraband and, he'll be arraigned in Little Valley Town Court at a later date.


Disagreements over revenue and reparations have held up proposals to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, but opportunities for compromise could come up in the weeks ahead....  

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to soon release suggested tweaks to his budget proposal, which included a plan to legalize the drug.  Lawmakers plan to unveil their own legalization bill.  In addition, marijuana legalization could be part of the state budget proposals being prepared now by the Assembly and Senate.


A number of data breaches in recent years has led New York's junior U-S Senator to propose legislation to create a new agency to help protect American's private information.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand has authored the Data Protection Act, which would lead to the Data Protection Agency....  

Gillibrand cited the 2017 breach of credit reporting company Equifax as one of the reasons such an agency is needed.  Gillibrand cited her own situation with her two sons going on-line to play games, and chat with friends.  She says Americans have expressed a desire to have their personal information guarded so they don't fall prey to unscrupulous "data mining" companies.  She says data is routinely sold to companies that then target those people with ads and e-mails.  Gillibrand says there are three "core" missions the DPA would undertake.  The first is working to allow people to have protection and control of their personal data.  The second is the agency will work to ensure "fair competition" in the digital marketplace and, thirdly, will prepare the government for the digital age we have entered. 


Lake Erie has is less than 5% ice covered....  

It's a subject of concern for Jennifer Russo, Viticulture Specialist for the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program. An ice covered lake helps protect tender buds from the wide swings in temperature that often come in March and April.  Over 95% of the grapes grown in the Lake Erie belt are concords, sweet grapes.  Russo says returns per ton for that kind of grape have been 'frozen' for many years, in the range of $220 to $300, while the costs to grow them have gone up significantly.  Chautauqua County is the largest grape growing county in the state.


Work is set to begin on the site of a massive Amazon warehouse in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York State....  

The Middletown Times Herald-Record reports that nearly 190 acres of trees in the Town of Montgomery will start being cut down on Tuesday after the $75.2-million project was granted a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement.  The warehouse, 50 miles north of New York City will be one of the company's more than 75 fulfillment centers across the country.  The roughly one-million-square-foot warehouse will house bulky items such as patio furniture and outdoor equipment.  


Congress has approved legislation that will relieve some of the financial burden put on the U-S Postal Service in funding it's employee retirement program.  

Local Congressman Tom Reed and others in the bi-partisan Problems Solvers Caucus drew up the Postal Fairness Act and, get it on the calendar for a vote through the new House Rules.  The Corning Republican says they were able to get 290-plus members to agree to bring the measure to the floor just over a week ago.

What helped get the legislation through the House was that the pension fund is now stable and appears fully funded after several years of the mandate being in place.  Reed says this shows that the new Consensus Calendar rule in the House works if leadership is unable or unwilling to bring forth good legislation.  He says the measure now moves onto the Senate for it's approval before it would go to President Trump for his signature.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.

Today is the final day to vote on USA Today's "Best New Museum" on-line competition....  

At last word, the comedy center was atop the standings of 20 nominees for the honor.  To keep entities from "stuffing the ballot box..." USA Today is not showing the most recent rankings.  The Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums in the U-S nominated for this award back on January 20th by a panel nationally-recognized travel experts for the USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences.  Votes can be cast until Noon today at VoteComedyCenter.com.  The National Comedy Center is the only museum in Western New York that has been nominated for this award.  It was voted number-two last year in USA Today's "Best New Attraction" award.