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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Dec. 23, 2022

Chautauqua County now under Blizzard Warning through 7 a.m. Sunday...
The National Weather Services has now issued a Blizzard Warning for Chautauqua County through 7 a.m. this Sunday after we were under just a Winter Storm Warning through early Monday morning.  Forecasters say total snow accumulations -- with strong winds and bitterly cold temperatures -- are now expected to be 1 to 2 feet in the most persistant snow areas.  It's all from the huge Winter Storm that's been barreling across the United States... and, is bringing frigid cold and wind chills... and, several inches of snow.  However... Foecasters say the immediate Jamestown-area won't likely see as much snow as areas along the Lake Erie Shoreline into the Buffalo-area will see.  and Niagara Frontier.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll see those higher amounts in the western and northern parts of the county.  Apfel says the winds will gust between 50 and 60 mph through Saturday morning... bringing wind chills to at least 10 to 20 below zero.  The State Thruway has issued a travel ban for tandem and empty trucks from the Pennsylvania state line to Exit 46 in Henrietta for the duration of the storm.

Hochul issues State of Emergency for NYS...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a State of Emergency in advance of the storm system making it's way into our area today.  Late Thursday... Hochul said the system forecast to bring a mixed bag of hazards across the state now through next Monday.  Hochul says heavy rain, and snow... strong winds, coastal and lakeshore flooding and flash freezing are all possible in various regions across the state throughout the holiday weekend.  In addition, lake effect snow is expected to impact areas along Lakes Erie and Ontario beginning Friday night and continuing into Monday with total snow accumulations forecast to reach up to three feet.  From this point on... Hochul is advising anyone looking to travel wait to do so until Monday.

County offices to close early, and court proceedings go on-line for today...
With the approaching Winter Storm moving into the area... Chautauqua County government offices will be closing early today.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says "considering the upcoming winter storm and keeping the safety of our employees and clients in mind, we have decided to close our non-essential county government offices at Noon on Friday.  I also urge anyone who is traveling this weekend to please use caution.”  Wendel says the early closure will impact a majority of county departments... but, will not affect essential services. 
Due to the impending weather conditions... the Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, and  Orleans County Courts will be conducting emergency operations virtually today.  Physical access to courts in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, and Orleans County Court facilities will be curtailed.  The court system says... with the exception of criminal court arraignments and any emergency criminal matters... emergency matters will be handled virtually.  Regularly scheduled calendars are adjourned. 

Two city residents arrested for drug possession, and stealing BPU water services...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for alleged drug possession... and, stealing water services from the city's Board of Public Utilities.  City police say the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... with the help of the JPD SWAT Team... executed a search warrant at 23 Glenview Ave. Wednesday afternoon.  Inside... they found 31 year-old Matthew Buck and 35 year-old Andrea Robbins... along with a small quantity of methamphetamine and drug ledgers.  Further investigation led to detectives contacting the BPU to inspect the water meter.  It was found that the meter had been tampered with and broken.  Police say the home had been getting water without a reading for an unknown period of time... and, the pair had not paid for water since it had been shut-off.  Officers took Buck and Robbins to the city jail on charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, theft of services.  Police also requested that the city's Department of Development inspect the home for housing code violations.

Legislature recognizes retiring members and county attorney... 
County lawmakers in Mayville Wednesday night recognized three members of county government who are retiring.  During their final meeting of the year... the legislature issued commendations for members Paul Whitford and Jay Gould... plus longtime County Attorney Stephen Abdella.  In reading the commendation for Whitford... Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon said the Jamestown Democrat has worked "tirelessly" to serve the residents of the county for the past eight years... while Gould has been on the county legislature for 23 years, including a stint as Legislature Chairman from 2012-to-2016. 
Abdella is departing after 32 years of service.  In addition to being County Attorney... Abdella has served in many roles, including two occasions as Acting County Executive.  Current County Executive P.J. Wendel says Abdella will be greatly missed... and his will be tough "shoes to fill." 

Borrello votes now on state legislative pay raise... 
Chautauqua County's representative in the New York State Senate is blasting both houses of the state legislature for voting to give themselves 29% pay increases.  Sunset Bay Republican Gergoe Borrello says the $32,000 annual pay raise was approved Thursday.  Borrello says as "most New Yorkers are busy preparing to celebrate the holidays with family and friends... the Democratic majorities in the State Legislature cooked up a self-serving feast of their own in the form of a whopping pay raise."  Borrello says the pay hike means that state lawmakers will be the highest paid in the country at $142,000.  He voted no on the pay hike.