WJTN News Headlines

Making the Chautauqua County Home profitable as a private entity is not all about cost-cutting... but, expanding services and enhancing revenue.  That from one of the principles from VestraCare... the Long Island-based nursing home firm that's offering 16-million dollars for the home during a special legislature meeting last night.  Edward Farbenblum and Shannon Cayea answered several questions about how they could turn the Dunkirk facility into a financially-viable institution that still provides quality service.  Farbenblum addressed employee issues such pension plans... and, health insurance. The County Home is currently just a Skilled Nursing facility... and, some new lawmakers wanted to know what kind of services would be added if the approve VestraCare's offer.  Cayea -- who is Chief Executive of Operations -- says they will put a number of programs in place... two in particular. Asked about whether the home would pay taxes based on it's assessed value... Farbenblum said yes... once the property's assessment had been determined.  He says the reason their purchase offer had been cut by 500-thousand dollars from last September is two-fold.  One is they did a new analysis of the facility... and, a proposed freeze or cut in Medicaid reimbursements from the state in Governor Cuomo's budget plan.


We continue on the 'Winter weather roller-coaster' the next few days after getting hit by yesterday's snow storm.  Now... bitterly cold wind chills will be returning to the Jamestown-area for the next two nights.  The National Weather Service has now issued a Wind Chill Advisory for Chautauqua County from 1 AM to 10 AM Friday.  Forecaster Dave Thomas in Buffalo says temperatures will fall to the lower single-digits tonight... and, just below-zero Friday night.  Thomas adds that... with 10 to 15 mile an hour winds... it'll feel like minus-15 tonight... and, about 20-below Friday night.  After that... Thomas says our next snow storm arrives Saturday. Thomas says that system will move from the west into the Great Lakes region.  Initially... he says forecasters believed it might combine with a system forming in North Carolina to generate a more powerful storm.  Still... Thomas says it will produce up to six inches of snow.  Thomas adds that... once we get through the weekend... we'll still see cold temperatures through at least the middle of next week.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan is back from Albany where the New York State Association of Counties held it's Winter session this week.  Horrigan says one of the issues he spoke with officials from other counties about is how they're dealing with public nursing homes.  The Bemus Point Republican says it's an issue that many counties are dealing with. Horrigan says most of people he spoke with seem to be coming to the same conclusion. Horrigan was at last night's special meeting of the County Legislature.  Lawmakers heard a quick presentation... and, asked questions of VestraCare representatives.  The public was not able to speak during last night's session... but, will have a chance to speak at the legislature's regular meeting February 26th where a vote on selling the home is likely to take place.


Even as Governor Andrew Cuomo talks about tax cuts and surpluses, potential state budget challenges loom on the horizon.  Cuomo's budget plan claims the state can rack up a 2-billion dollar surplus by 2017 as long as the governor and state lawmakers agree to keep spending growth under 2 percent over that time.  There are several big-ticket financial challenges in the years ahead as the governor and the Legislature make those future budgets.  State-wide universal Pre-Kindergarten could eventually cost roughly $1.6 billion a year.  Cuomo also proposed a broad range of tax cuts, freezes and repeals. The costs for the coming fiscal year would be $657 million, but they would more than triple the next year to $2.1 billion.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a Bemus Point home late last month... and, taking a box containing money and property.  Sheriff's officers say their investigation detemined that 31 year-old Matthew Olson of Parttridge Street entered the residence on North Everett Park Drive the evening of January 25th through bilco doors... then the basement.  Deputies say Olson was arrested after a brief investigation.  He was arraigned on charges of second-degree burglary... and, third-degree Grand Larceny... and, sent to the county jail on 15-thousand dollars bail.


The New York State Bar Association says there has been ``a shocking level of decline'' in Americans' understanding of democracy and its framework... and, is calling on state education leaders to renew emphasis on civics and put it on a par with math and science.  The association's Law Youth and Citizenship Committee says social studies has become a ``secondary curriculum'' in schools.