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WJTN News Headlines

City lawmakers will vote in two weeks on accepting a state grant to implement the final part of the "Jamestown Up Close" branding campaign.  The City Council's Finance Committee approved the measure... which not only accepts the 84-thousand-500 dollar grant... but, to hire a local firm to make 238 pole banners to market local attractors... along with five kiosks... and, 10 printed maps in the downtown area.  Director of Development Vince DeJoy says the city... and, it's partner -- the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation -- looked for local contractors. DeJoy says funding for the Branding study was matched by the Gebbie Foundation, for a total of 169-thousand dollars.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says the state grant was awarded through the Environmental Protection Fund as part of it's tourism and recreation component.  DeJoy says the banners will help high-light activities involving the city's 'Attractor's' group... while the kiosks and maps will be in the immediate downtown area to show where the "Attractor's" are... along with other businesses.  They will also offer a code to get directly onto the 'Jamestownupclose-dot-COM' website.


The city of Jamestown's official Christmas Tree is back upright on Tracy Plaza after high winds and heavy snow knocked the 45-foot Norway Spruce early last Sunday night.  City Arborist Dan Stone says he was called to the scene on the northwest side of the plaza after a city police patrol saw the tree was down.  Stone says one of the four anchors on the plaza was literally pulled from the concrete. Stone says the city Parks and Recreation crews were also on hand.  Due to the wind and snow... he says they just secured the tree on the plaza until yesterday morning.  The Board of Public Utilities provided a crane to help with getting the tree back upright.  Stone says they also put in some new anchors into the concrete... and, reset the tree using the crane.  Stone says there was some minimal damage done to the tree... but, those issues are being taken care.  He adds that a parks crew will check the trees lights today to see what needs to be replaced.  No one was hurt in the incident.  The tree has been up on the plaza since November 20th.


The owners of the Lake Shore Health Center in northern Chautauqua County announced late yesterday that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the Irving hospital.  That as officials at Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York say they continue to look for a buyer.  LERHSNY Board President Christopher Lanski adds that they have lent TLC/Lake Shore more than 3.7-million dollars in 2013 from system-member Brooks Memorial Hospital to keep Lake Shore alfloat.  Lanski says that occured even as Lake Shore has lost 9.1-million dollars so far this year.  From 2008 to October of this year... audited returns show Lake Shore has lost 25.8-million dollars.  Unless a buyer can be found... the hospital still faces a January 31st, 2014 closing.


Governor Cuomo says he expects to end years-long deliberations about whether New York should allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas by Election Day next year -- maybe.  The Democrat, who is seeking re-election, cautions that he doesn't want even that ballpark estimate to pressure his staff into a decision.  Cuomo's health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, said back in March that he planned to make his critical recommendation to Cuomo ``within weeks.''  But... Shah said Monday he is examining new health studies.  Shah wouldn't disclose details of those studies.


Chautauqua County's representative in Congress was among the overwhelming majority that voted in favor of the bi-partisan budget worked out between a joint House-Senate committee.  While some... more conservative members of Congress balked at the agreement... Corning Republican Tom Reed approved the measure.  Reed says... while it's not perfect... the two-year plan takes some "baby steps" in the right direction.  First.. he says it gets away from "government by crisis...." Reed says the budget plan also includes an initial cut in manditory spending.  He's been calling for reforms to Social Security Disability... and other entitlement programs that are being threatened with bankruptcy in the near future.  Reed says the main cut was to the "unfunded liability" for federal employees who retire... which he says will make the program sustainable. Reed says he hopes the U-S Senate will act on the measure either tomorrow or early Wednesday.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone Conference Call with Southern Tier Media.


Residents of upstate New York who spent today and Sunday digging out from under more than a foot of snow are getting a breather before the next storm hits the region.  The National Weather Service says snowfall totals from the weekend ranged from 8 inches in western and central parts of the state to 14 inches in parts of the Albany area.  Areas south of Buffalo received up to a foot of snow from the lake-effect storms that began Saturday and lasted into early Sunday. 


Firefighters from six departments battled a blaze that heavily damaged a home in the north county town of Sheridan Sunday afternoon.  Sheridan firefighters were called to the scene at 3031 Whitaker Road shortly before 2 PM.  The fire apparently occurred after occupants tried to start a fire in a wood stove in the basement and it apparently spread to the rest of the fire.  Sheridan firefighters had help from Fredonia, Forestville, Silver Creek, Sunset Bay... as well as East and West Dunkirk crews.