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WJTN News Headlines

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling narcotics to undercover drug agents in Jamestown less than a week after he was arrested during a drug raid.  Sheriff's Department Correction's officers say 37 year-old Simeon Leeper was brought to the county lock-up last weekend for allegedly selling drugs to JPD Narcotics Unit... and, State Police C-NET Team members.  Leeper had initially been arrested with another man during a drug raid at 846 Lafayette Street May 2nd.  He was allegedly found flushing narcotics down a toilet.  He was arrested on misdemeanor charges... and, released on bail.  However... the Post-Journal reports a warrant had been issued May 8th for Leeper's arrest... and, officers spotted him coming out of the Bullfrog Hotel early last Friday and getting into a vehicle.  The paper says Leeper was arrested after an officer broke out a car window.  He was arraigned on charges including Felony third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance... and, sent to the county lock-up.


State lawmakers are hosting a roundtable discussion to examine the rise in heroin and opioid abuse in New York.  Members of the state Assembly are set to hold the event TODAY at the legislative office building in Albany.  Representatives from mental health organizations, public health agencies and law enforcement are scheduled to attend, along with drug policy experts.  The Senate is holding a series of similar forums around the state to study the epidemic of opiate abuse and recommend ways to combat it.  A second Assembly roundtable is scheduled for June 5th in New York City.


Travelers in the western Southern Tier will have to make alternate plans for travel on part of Interstate 86 in an area of the Seneca Nation's Allegany Reservation.  State Department of Transportation Regional Director Darell Kaminski says both lanes in BOTH directions between Exits 21 and 23 in Cattaraugus County will close at 3 this afternoon for the next five months.  Kaminski says the closings are due to constraints of the job sites... and, extent of the work being done.  He says the 21-million dollar project is part of Governor Cuomo's Driver's First Initiative.  Kaminiski says detours using State Route 417 will be used during the construction period.  However... he says motorists are advised to expect delays.  In addition to major road resurfacing... Kaminski says the project also includes some minor bridge rehabilitation work... and, the reconstruction of on and off-ramps at Exit 20 near the Seneca Allegany Casino.


Recent polls have found a surprising number of immigrants eligible for citizenship are opting not to become naturalized U-S citizens.  It's estimated that more than 8-million immigants nationwide are eligible to apply... but, many have never even taken the first step.  Some cite the expense, which is about 700-dollars in fees, plus the cost of a lawyer.  The Pew Hispanic Research Center's Mark Lopez says there are some key differences between having legal permanent status and being a U.S. citizen.  One is you cannot be deported.  In addition... Julissa Gutierrez with the National Association of Latino Elected Officials says they encourage people to take the pathway to citizenship so they have the right to vote. Lopez adds others worry that they don't speak English well enough to pass the citizenship test.  A recent Pew Research Center poll found only 36-percent of Mexicans who are here legally actually go on to become naturalized U-S citizens.  This percentage is much less than other groups, including Cubans, Indians and Europeans.  Finally... the Pew poll also found that the vast majority of immigrants -- and the American public -- do support a pathway to citizenship.


A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly driving recklessly... and, crashing his Sports Utility Vehicle with a 15 year-old child inside the car last Friday afternoon.  Jamestown police were called to the area of Camp Street shortly before 2 PM on a report of a silver-colored SUV being operated in a reckless manner.  Officers say shortly after that... they got a report of a similar-colored vehicle hitting a sign near Bush School... then rolling over in front of 258 Camp Street.  When police arrived... they found 20 year-old Devin Figueroa and the teenager outside the vehicle... walking around.  Neither appeared hurt.  Upon further investigation... officers say they found that Figueroa and the child were inhaling a can of "Duster" -- or canned air -- while Figueroa was driving.  He was arraigned on charges including Felony first-degree reckless endangerment... reckless driving... and, endangering the welfare of a child... and, sent to the county lock-up.


While members of the Chautauqua County Water Agency have taken a major step in reaching a consensus on a North County Water district... there is still a lot of work ahead.  That's the assessment of County Executive Vince Horrigan who was released with the decision that was made during a meeting last night.  The village of Fredonia is now part of the proposal, but Horrigan says trustees will be required to pass a special resolution. Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce says he is glad that the group has included Fredonia, but he says some tough decisions still have to made.  One is whether the city and village are on the "inside" of the district... or selling from "outside" the district... and, Dolce says those talks "will be intense."  Members have spent the past month reviewing a number of options and examining cost figures.


The state Department of Environmental Conservation has a new law enforcement director.  Major Timothy Duffy takes over a department that oversees more than 330 staffers.  The division enforces environmental conservation law, focusing on fish and wildlife... but, it's officers can enforce all state laws.  Duffy has more than 25 years of service with the DEC's Division of Law Enforcement and has been responsible for all administrative and operational activities for the lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island Regions of the state.