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WJTN News Headlines

Multi-unit housing is a popular form of living in the city of Jamestown... but, it can also be a place of involuntary exposure to harmful or potentially deadly effects of secondhand smoke.  Director Christine Schuyler with the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services says they're working to reduce this health risk as well as tobacco product exposure to those living in multi-unit housing... especially children. Currently... Schuyler says her department is working through a Community Transformation Grant to reduce this involuntary exposre to secondhand smoke. Property owners or tenants looking for more information about smoke free housing may contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services at 753-4771... or the Tri-County Tobacco Control Program at 665-2310.


A city woman is jailed as a fugitive from justice... and, for allegedly being in possession of a pain-killer following a "street check" on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say they performed the check on 49 year-old Sheryl Richards just after 11 AM yesterday at 824 East Second Street... and, found her in possession of a quantity of percocete pills without a prescription.  Officers say they then did a background check... and, found an outstanding Felony warrant for Richards' arrest in Colorado.  Police arrested her as a fugitive... and, also charged her with criminal possession of a controlled substance.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have guaranteed job leaves for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers during emergencies.  Cuomo also vetoed another bill Thursday that would have extended coverage for their injuries in the line of duty outside the areas they regularly serve.  He says authorizing leave when New York or the federal government declares a state of emergency would force staffing shortages and a financial burden on private and public employers.  He says extending the injury coverage, similar to workers' compensation, would impose ``an undue burden'' on municipalities before they have the opportunity to opt out of its provisions.  The bills would have amended New York's labor and municipal benefit laws. The vetoes were announced Thursday.


An audit of New York public workers with more than one job found routine abuses that resulted in paychecks for hundreds of thousands of dollars for hours not worked.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that auditors found more than a fifth of the 345 employees examined regularly violated time and attendance policies, costing taxpayers just over 413-thousand dollars.  This included a psychiatric nurse who reported working for the state mental health agency and a public school in the Bronx at the same time.  DiNapoli blamed lax oversight for employees who falsified time sheets, abused sick leave and misrepresented travel time.  He estimates that state employees allowed to hold two or more jobs account for more than 500-million dollars in pay annually.  Even a small percentage of ``double dipping'' could cost millions.


County legislators did not take action on a motion Wednesday night that would ask the state to establish stricter residency requirements for welfare benefits.  Dunkirk Democrats Keith Ahlstrom and Shawn Heenan decided to withdraw their signatures from the motion... leaving it one signature short.  Ahlstrom explains the reason. Cassadaga area Republican John Runkle, who introduced the motion, says he was a bit disappointed the motion wasn't acted on... but, intends to bring it back to the legislature next month. Ahlstrom and Heenan say they intend to sign the motion when it returns to the floor next month.


The FAA says that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's plane had to be redirected last week because the landing gear failed to deploy.  The agency issued a statement late Wednesday detailing the incident to the Associated Press.  Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa says the governor was not on board the plane when it was redirected December 10th.  The FAA says Cuomo's plane was headed to pick him up after a press event on Long Island that day.  It says the plane returned to Albany mid-flight because of the landing gear problem.


Authorities say 60 people have been indicted in a major drug sweep in a county on the Canadian border in northeastern New York.  Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie says Thursday the suspects were involved in the sale of heroin, cocaine, prescription medication and methamphetamine in the North Country. He says all but five of them are in custody.  Officials say that during the drug busts that started earlier this month, police seized 7 ounces of cocaine, 260 bags of heroin packaged for individual sale and about $20,000 in cash.  Authorities say the suspects include several local college students who sold drugs to fellow students in the Plattsburgh area.


An American Idol contestant...a three-time CMT Award winner...and Dancing with the Stars Champion.  These accolades belong to recording artist Kellie Pickler and she will be live in concert at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena this January.  The arena announced Pickler's concert to promote her newest album "The Woman I Am."  Arena officials say tickets go on sale today.  For more information or to purchase tickets call the Arean at 484-2624 or go on-line to Jamestownarena-dot-com.