Community Spotlight, the area's longest running local public affairs radio program, airs on all six Media One Radio Group stations each weekend and is also available to hear in our Podcast Section.  Each week we sit down with a community leader or another special guest to talk about issues within our community.  

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WJTN News Headlines

Most parts of Chautauqua County are below-zero to begin the day... and, if there's a breeze... it's feeling like it's 15 to 20-below.  That after the Jamestown-area received a "quick shot" of 2 to 3 inches of snow yesterday morning... as a cold front moved into the area... bringing frigid, Arctic air with it.  Forecaster Bill Hibbert with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said Thursday the heavy snow and blowing snow in some areas ended... but, we'll remain under a Wind Chill Advisory through 10 this morning. Hibbert also said air temperatures will fall to about minus-6 in some places early today.  He adds we'll see little relief with highs about 10 to 15... but, wind chills will remain about 10 15-below zero.  Hibbert says there will be some relief by the weekend when temperatures get into the 30s. Hibbert says our overnight low may set a record for February 28th.  He says the all-time record low at the Buffalo Airport is minus-4... and, temperatures will be close to that.  Hibbert adds temperatures today will again be 20 to 25-degree below normal for this time of year.


Severe white-out conditions on Route 5 in the village of Silver Creek are being blamed for triggering a 12-car accident that closed the highway from Silver Creek to Center Road in the Town of Sheridan for a few hours Thurdsay.  The crash occurred around Noon-time Thursday in an area near St. Columban's when a Sheriff's Department patrol car slowed for vehicles in front of it.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says the police car was then struck from behind and it was spun partially into the oncoming lane... and, struck by a large, Mack truck.  Gerace says both the deputy driving and a trainee where take to Brook's Memorial Hospital. Gerace says five people from the accident were taken to Brook's Hospital... while three others were taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving.  Ten other people signed off on treatment.  Gerace says the injuries appear to be non-life threatening.  First responders from Sheridan, Silver Creek, Forestville, county Emergency Services, and ALSTAR Ambulance were called out to the crash scene.  Gerace says the department's accident reconstruction team is at the scene.  Route 5 from Silver Creek to Center Road reopened late yesterday afternoon.


A Cattaraugus County woman is being held on 100-thousand dollars bail for allegedly shaking a 19-month-old toddler so hard that she suffered severe head trauma.  Sheriff's Deputies in Little Valley says they arrested 22 year-old Jessica Courteau of Limestone following an investigation into the incident at 660 Parkside Drive.  Officers say a Limestone ambulance was called to the scene for a child having difficulty breathing about 11 AM Thursday.  The child was rushed to Bradford Regional Medical Center... where staff later called police because the girl had "very serious, unexplained head trauma."  Courteau was arrested... and, arraigned on charges of first-degree assault... first-degree reckless endangerment... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  She was then sent to the Little Valley Jail.  The child was later taken to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo and is in critical... but, stable condition.


A new labor agreement for the union representing Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies has cleared the County Legislature, but not without some opposition.  Cassadaga Republican John Runkle was one of three legislators voting against the contract.  He's concerned how it will impact other county employees. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he understands Runkle's concerns, but he believes it was a fair contract. The five-year agreement is retroactive to 2012... and, calls for a zero-percent increase the first year... and two-percent raises in each of the remaining four-years of the contract.  Joining Runkle in voting against the agreement were fellow Republican legislators Terry Niebel and Robert Scudder.


New York state's comptroller reports local sales tax collections statewide rose by 739-million dollars... or 5.2 percent last year, exceeding the 3.3 percent increase in 2012.  In the annual report out this week... state tax data from all 62 counties show New York City was responsible for much of the gain, with sales taxes up 406-million dollars... or 6.8 percent.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that's partly due to rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, though collections from retail sales have rebounded significantly in the city since the recession, up almost 38 percent since 2009.  Overall, including the state's 57 other counties, sales taxes have risen 25.4 percent since then to $14.9 billion last year.  Collections on Long Island rose 6.9 percent in 2013 from the year before, while falling 2.3 percent in the Southern Tier.


The deadline for Chautauqua County residents and seniors to apply for the Basic, and Enhanced New York State School Tax Relief -- or STAR Program is this Saturday.  That from County Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos... and, the United Senior Council.  Spanos says -- "seniors who are struggling to make ends meet need to take advantage of programs like STAR that can save them hundreds of dollars."  Basic STAR is available to all homeowners of any age... and, gives them a reduction on their school taxes if they're income eligible.  Seniors may be eligible for Enhanced STAR if they are 65 years of age... or older... and, their income is less than 81-thousand-900 dollars a year.  For more information... call your local assessors office... the Office for the Aging at 753-4471... the NY Connects helpline at 753-4582... or go on-line to Tax-dot-NY-dot-GOV.