Local News Headlines

Natural Gas explosion leads to fire that destroys vacant home in Westfield...

Firefighters from five departments battled a house fire that apparently began as an explosion in the town of Westfield.  The fire on Route 5 -- near McKinley Road --- was reportedly shortly before 11 a.m.  That from Westfield Fire Chief Steve Pacanowski... who ways the building was fully engulfed by flames when they arrived.  Pacanowski says it appeared to be a vacant house that had seen some kind of explosion... possibly involving a natural gas feed.  Pacanowski says manpower was "thin..." and, that he had to call for mutual aid from Brocton, Portland, Fredonia... and, Ripley along with county fire coordinators.  No injuries were reported.  County fire investigators have determined a natural gas explosion triggered the blaze.  The home was supplied with natural gas from a nearby well.  Route 5 from Route 394 to Pratt Road was closed for about an hour because of the fire.

Reed concerned about IRS head of implementing Obamacare's possible role in agency's "targeting" scandal...

Congressman Tom Reed says he is "troubled" that the woman who headed up the tax-exempt division of the Internal Revenue Service during the recent scandal will head up implementation of the Affordable Care Act for the IRS.  During his regular weekly telephone news conference today... Reed says Sarah Ingram-Hall will have a lot of clout... and, access to health care information on virtually all Americans... and, whether or not they are complying.  He says the person will have information available to them as to what people have for health care coverage, and compliance information will be available.  Reed says the House Ways and Means Committee... which began hearings into the IRS scandal last Friday... wants to make sure the right person heads up the IRS's implementation of Obamacare.  He says if Ingram-Hall was involved directly in the targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny... that's a problem.  Reed adds that Committee Democrats are also outraged.  He pointed to New York's Joe Crowley's questioning of the current head of the IRS's tax-exempt division, Lois Learner.  Reed says that says to him the problem is "not about politics... but, the abuse of power in government."

Local TEA Party members to protest in front of Jamestown IRS office in support of TEA Party organization's targeted in IRS "targeting" scandal...

The local TEA Party group did not seek the "tax-exempt" status from the IRS... but, will be joining in a peaceful, nation-wide protest outside IRS offices Tuesday afternoon.  Southern Tier TEA Party Express spokesman Mel McGinnis is urging local members... and, others from the public... to join them at East Third Street and Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown at 12 p.m.  McGinnis says they want to raise awareness on this "aggressive overeaching IRS agenda against certain groups" that also go "beyond the TEA Party itself."  There were also a number of high-profile conservatives that were reportedly targeted by the IRS.  McGinness says the local TEA Party organization made an early decision to NOT file for 501(c)4 status that would have made them tax-exempt.  He says they kept themselves "away from the IRS as much as possible."  However... he says they wanted to demonstrate in support of TEA Party groups that were targeted.  McGinness remembers hearing stories "two or three-years ago" that the IRS was asking intrusive questions about local and national TEA Party organizations when they filed for 501(c) 4 status.  He says now that the allegations have been found to be factual... it's upsetting.

BPU Outage remains under investigation...

Parts of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities service area were without power for at least an hour-and-a-half early last evening.  The widespread outage was first reported to Jamestown Police shortly after 5 p.m.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outage affected areas mainly on the city's south and west sides.  Parts of the town of Ellicott... including West Ellicott... and, Kiantone were also affected.  Robbins says the widespread outage was triggered by a "power fault" in a major line between the Carlson Generating Station... and, the Dow Street Substation.  Jamestown police reported power was coming back to parts of the city about 6:30 PM.  Everyone was back on about 7 p.m.  The cause of the fault remains under investigation.



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WJTN Headlines for Fri., July 10, 2020

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