Local News Headlines

First impacts of Sequestration cuts being felt by county's OFA, and Meals on Wheels...

Forty senior citizens in Chautauqua County will lose their home-delivered meals from Meals on Wheels beginning April 1 if federal funding it not restored to the program.  The three local programs receive the money through the county's Office for the Aging to prepare... and, deliver the meals.  Jamestown-Area Meals on Wheels Executive Director Barry Yochim says the cuts are the result of the $85-billion in cuts due to the "Sequestration" process.  Yochim... who is president of the state Meals on Wheels Association... says the federal order cuts 8.2-percent of their funding.  Yochim says they want to show that there are "real effects" from the sequester cuts, and that there will be real cuts without this "essential federal funding."  The Sequestration order took effect on Mar. 1... and, there's no indiction that lawmakers in Washington are near a deal to restore those cuts.  Yochim says Meals on Wheels provides "essential food" to keep seniors who have low income -- or no income -- in their homes.  In Jamestown... he says 22 people would lose their daily meals unless the cuts are restored.  Ten meals would be cut by the Sinclairville 76ers... and, eight for recipients in the Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels service area.

Young's reported STAR "Double-Dip" said to be an "honest error..."

It was "an honest error by both parties."  That's the conclusion of a town assessor in an Albany suburb about how State Senator Cathy Young was able to get a Basic STAR exemption on a condominium she and her husband own in North Greenbush.  The Albany Times-Union reported Thursday that Young and her husband, Richard, already had a STAR exemption on their Olean home when they received one in 2001 on their second home she uses when in the State Capitol.  However... in an e-mail to Young later Thursday... Town Assessor John Harkin said the partial exemption had been given to the previous owner.  When the Young's bought the condo... Harkin says the assessor at the time sent a new STAR application to the Young's second address.  However... he says it wound up being returned by the Post Office... and, the assessor "did not remove the exemption off the property... and, the exemption remained on the property erroneously."  Basic STAR can only be taken on a homeowner's "primary residence."  In an earlier statement... Young said she was just made aware of the problem... and, once they know how much they owe in back taxes... it will be paid.

Young's reported "double-dip" among those uncovered in state investigation...

Discover of Cathy Young's "double-dip" into the STAR program was part of the state's crack-down on fraudulent claims for school property tax rebates under its STAR program.  The $3-billion-a-year School Tax Relief program is for people who earn less than $500,000 a year... and, own and live in their homes but has been unchecked for years.  The improper claims for tax breaks were applied to weekend and vacation homes and even to illegally subdivided rooming houses.  The Rockland County district attorney says his detectives found $679,000 in tax break claims that were fraudulently or incorrectly filed during an 11-month investigation in just five towns.

State Labor Dept. reports no change in unemployment for January...

State Labor officials say New York's unemployment rate in January was the same as a year earlier... even as 29,600 private sector jobs were added during the month.  That brought the total number of jobs created during the 12 months starting January 2012 to 102,600, about 33,000 of those in professional and business services. Counting the elimination of 11,800 government positions, there were 90,800 new jobs in the state over that time, a 1.1 percent increase compared to a 1.6 percent pace nationally.

Mayville woman pleads guilty in credit union robbery in Clymer...

A Mayville woman faces up to 4 years in state prison when she's sentenced in May for last year's robbery at the Clymer Federal Credit Union.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says Jenifer Gens agreed to a plea deal in County Court to third-degree robbery -- a Non-Violent Felony in the case.  Foley says the plea also satisfies two other charges... which were reduced to misdemeanors.  He says that's the charge she was indicted on... and, she'll be sentenced on May 20.  Foley praised State Police for their work in having to put together all the information and evidence in the case.  Troopers were called to the scene on the Clymer-Sherman road last April 17th for a robbery.  They say a woman with a small build wearing a hooded sweatshirt and jeans walked into the credit union... and, demanded money before fleeing the scene.  Foley says Gens could have faced up to 7 years in prison.  However... the court committed to one-and-a-third to 4 years.

Decision by DJDC to not hold St. Patrick's Day Parade and activities this year made last year -- before merging with JRC...

There will be no St. Patrick's Day Parade... and, no turning of the Chadakoin River 'green' this coming St. Patrick's Day.  That decision was actually made last year by the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation board before it joined forces with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  That from JRC Executive Director Peter Lombardi... who says the DJDC made the decision to just focus their resources on just "a few, big events."  The DJDC has hosted the St. Patrick's Day activities for the past several years.  Lombardi says... as the downtown and the organization was evolving... they wanted to focus on a smaller number of big events.  With the merging of the two groups -- Lombardi says the Renaissance Corporation has decided to "implement" the DJDC's strategy.  Those events include the "Hands on Jamestown" Spring Clean-up downtown... "Thunder in the Streets..." and, the Christmas Holiday Parade.  Lombardi adds there are still plenty of activities going on for St. Patrick's Day weekend.  There's a concert on Sunday at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... and, some businesses are hosting special St. Patrick's Day events.  However... Lombardi says if a group of people or merchants want to bring back the parade... or other activities... the JRC would entertain such talks.

Assembly votes to suspend action on Fracking for two years...

The state Assembly has voted to suspend for two years any action on allowing the gas drilling method known as hydrolic fracturing, or "fracking."  Both the Assembly and Senate want to provide time for the Cuomo administration to consider state, federal, university and private sector studies of the environmental effects.

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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 17, 2020

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has now identified the man killed when his pick-up truck slammed into a manure spreader being hauled along a road in the town of Charlotte.   Deputie...

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