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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 1, 2022

About 60 people attend Zeldin for Governor rally in Lakewood...
The wind was strong and the rhetoric even stronger Wednesday afternoon as the three major Republicans running for state-wide office made a whistle-stop in the heart of downtown Lakewood.  Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, the GOP candidate for governor, said he was running to ‘restore New York to glory' and make life "more affordable again, make sure freedoms are restored, and our streets are safe.  His running mate, Alison Esposito, is a former New York Police Department inspector.  She emphasized law enforcement... and, that public safety is the main function of government.  Former TV host Joe Pinion, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, struck a similar tone.  About 60 people were on hand for the 45 minute rally, held at Group Ther-happy at Chautauqua and Summit Avenues.  The intersection was closed and a number of police officers kept a close eye on the event.  That after Zeldin was attacked by a man at a rally earlier this Summer in Fairport.


County man and woman indicted on federal gun and weapons charges... 
A man and woman from Chautauqua County have been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple gun and drug charges... along with robbery.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced the indictments were handed up Wednesday against 41 year-old Alisha Klinger of Mayville... and, 36 year-old Jacob Snow of Jamestown.  Both are charges with narcotics conspiracy, Hobbs Act Conspiracy, Hobbs Act Robbery, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and brandishing of a firearm during a crime of violence and in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Prosecutors say both Klinger and Snow conspired with others between November of 2020 and April of this year to sell the deadly drug Fentanyl.  The indictment also accuses the pair of stealing drugs and cash from individuals engaged in illegal drug trafficking and possessing and brandishing firearms while doing so.  Ross says the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 17 years in prison, and a maximum of life. 


Hochul announces start of new gun laws with Adams during NYC press conference...
Several new gun laws take effect in New York State today... and Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams held a joint announcement Wednesday on the regulations.  Hochul spoke about the measures that were passed during a special session of the State Legislature earlier this summer.  She says they'll strengthen background checks, and gun safety training... as well as concealed carry requirements to "sensitive areas."  Hochul says the new guidelines include a list of places where guns can't be carried... including schools, colleges, day care centers, parks and churches.  The sensitive areas also include a 25-block area of Times Square in Manhattan.  Hochul says the new laws are in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down New York's limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home.


Jamestown begins putting together new Salary Review Commission to look at salaries for elected leaders...
The process putting together a new Salary Review Commission for the city of Jamestown is underway... with Mayor Eddie Sundquist announcing three appointments.  During this week's City Council voting session... lawmakers approved the appointments... which include past City Comptrollers Ryan Thompson and Joe Bellitto.  Council President Tony Dolce also gets to appoint three others in September.  Dolce says the commission is formed every four-years to review the mayor's and city council salaries and make recommendations.  Those recommendations are then given to City Council to review and act on.  He says any new salaries would not start until the beginning of the next term (of office).  Salary Review Commissions have recommended pay increases in recent years... but, lawmakers have been very hesitant about it due to the city's long-time fiscal constraints.  However... next year could be different with Jamestown looking at a $6-million undesignated fund balance.  The mayor has made $72,000 for the past more than 20 years... while city council has been stuck at $5,000 a year since 1984.  Council president does receive an additional $1,000 annual stipend.


Southwestern Central Schools ready for 2022-23 school year opening...
Public schools across Chautauqua County open for students next week.  The superintendent at the Southwestern Central School District, Maureen Donahue, says she’s been talking to some students... who are excited to be coming back.  Donahue says there's "a sense of relief and joy" that's back to the way it was before the pandemic.  With up to 2,000 people on the Southwestern campus every day, Donahue says they are taking security seriously… and while more school doors are locked, the district is 'wide open' to parents with questions.  She urges parents to talk with their students teachers, and or schedule an appointment with their principal.  All instruction will be ‘in person’ at Southwestern this school year... with COVID restrictions essentially removed.


New York Judge nixes plea deal fatal, 2018 Limo crash...
A judge has rejected a plea agreement that would have meant no prison time for the operator of a limousine company involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York, drawing applause and tears from victims' relatives who packed the court.  Judge Peter Lynch called the agreement ``fundamentally flawed`` on Wednesday.  Prosecutors and lawyers for Nauman Hussain had reached a deal a year ago that would have spared him prison time, angering the families of the people killed in 2018 when brake failure sent a stretch limo full of birthday revelers hurtling down a hill.